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The Boys season 2 episode 7 recap: One hell of an ending

Aya Cash as Stormfront in The Boys season 2. (Image credit: Amazon)
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About this episode

- Episode 7 (of 8), ‘Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker’
- Written by Craig Rosenberg
- Directed by Stefan Schwartz
★★★★

If you're caught up on season 2, check out what we know about The Boys season 3. Spoilers follow.

Hughie sees a TV headline about Starlight being branded a traitor, but can’t get hold of Butcher. Lamplighter tells him she’s being held in a supe-proof cell at the Vought Tower. Hughie asks if there’s a secret entrance, and for Lamplighter’s help, saying that Vought screwed him over and now they’re trying to do the same thing to Starlight. Hughie says that this is Lamplighter’s last chance to be a hero, and the disgraced supe agrees to help.

A man wakes up in a room whose walls are covered with superhero posters. Stormfront is on TV rallying against “illegal immigrants” and “super-terrorists”, shouting about the need to “keep America safe again”. Meanwhile, Congresswoman Victoria Neuman is discussing the upcoming Vought hearings. Inspired by Stormfront, the man walks into a convenience store. Convinced he saw light in the clerk’s eyes, he asks if he’s a supervillain and if he’s bullet proof, before shooting him in the head.  

Lamplighter is in protective custody with The Boys, Mallory and Neuman. He says Stormfront gave the orders at the Sage Grove Center, and he just executed them. “I think we can all agree you’re the real victim here,” says Mallory. Lamplighter has agreed to testify against Vought at the Congressional hearing. Neuman says that he’ll be a good witness, but they need something more if they’re going to take down Vought. 

Starlight goes for coffee with her mother, who says she’s not leaving town until they work things out. Starlight says everything has been for nothing, that being a superhero is just about the money, and she’s stuck in the middle of a Vought nightmare – and alone. Donna suggests they escape for a while and says she’s cleared it with Ashley at Vought. As Starlight admonishes her for telling Vought where they are, Black Noir smashes his way into the coffee shop, gases the other customers, and knocks Starlight out.

Mallory tells Frenchie to protect Neuman because “she’s our best chance to nail Vought. Before he leaves with Kimiko, Mallory tells him not to abandon his post this time. Hughie wants to go with Butcher, but is told he has to stay behind to watch after “prize asset” Lamplighter – an assignment that means watching a lot of Seven-themed porn.

Butcher takes a phone call from his mother, telling him she’s in New York and his father is dead. She says she needs to see him right now.

Starlight wakes up on the floor of an empty green room. The glowsticks lighting the room are so low-powered she can’t charge her energy blasts.

As Lamplighter works his way through his collection of X-rated movies, he recalls how proud his father was when he burned the house down at the age of four, proving he was a supe. Lamplighter laments the fact that he almost did great things, and tells Hughie the reason he’s babysitting Lamplighter now is that he’s useless.

Stormfront and Homelander take to the stage at a rally, and kiss for the crowd. They send their “thoughts and prayers” to the dead convenience store clerk, and say they’re making a donation to his family. They continue their tirade against supervillains and “SJWs” like Victoria Neuman, calling for more superheroes and more Compound V. Homelander also reveals that there was a mole in the Seven, and it’s Starlight. He says she’s been apprehended and won’t be able to hurt anyone else.

Hughie sees a TV headline about Starlight being branded a traitor, but can’t get hold of Butcher. Lamplighter tells him she’s being held in a supe-proof cell at the Vought Tower. Hughie asks if there’s a secret entrance, and for Lamplighter’s help, saying that Vought screwed him over and now they’re trying to do the same thing to Starlight. Hughie says that this is Lamplighter’s last chance to be a hero, and the disgraced supe agrees to help.

Butcher meets his mum at a hotel. “Don’t hate me,” she says. “Why would I hate you?” he asks, as he sees his terminally ill father, Sam, on the balcony. Butcher says he’ll talk to him for two minutes, and tells his dad he’s the reason his younger brother Lenny is dead. Sam – who was violent towards both boys when they were kids – says Lenny chose to sink, that he loved his son but he wasn’t hard like Billy. He says that when Lenny stuck a gun in his mouth, Billy couldn’t hack it anymore and joined the SAS, claiming it was Billy who abandoned Lenny. Butcher grabs his father by the neck until his mother pulls him back. “See, Lenny could never have done that,” says Sam.

At a photo call, Homelander says keeping Starlight alive is a mistake – especially as he’s underestimated her before. Stormfront points out that “Starlight is at traitor” is trending at number one, and that having a common enemy “rallies the base”. Stormfront sees a kid who reminds her of her daughter 80 years earlier.

Homelander takes Stormfront to meet Ryan. He apologises for screwing up when he pushed his son off the roof, as Stormfront tells the boy he’s very special. Becca tells Homelander he should have called before visiting. Stomfront butts in, telling her “he’s Ryan’s father, he has a right to see his son”. Homelander says he and Stormfront will be around a lot more because he wants them to be a family.

Elena tells Queen Maeve she’s going to her sister’s for a while. Maeve says she has a plan and they don’t need to be scared. Elena explains she’s not blaming Maeve but she can’t stop thinking about the little girl on the crashed plane in the video. Maeve throws a table across the room in anger.

Mother’s Milk and Mallory arrive for a meeting with Dr Vogelbaum, the former Vought scientist who raised Homelander. They ask him about Sage – Milk is certain he must know something about it – but Vogelbaum claims it was someone else’s project and he has no information. They offer him a deal – testify in exchange for involuntary manslaughter charges being dropped – but he refuses. As they leave, Mallory tells Milk that some things are more important than doing the right thing, and that he should take his family to Nicaragua and never come back. She wishes she’d taken that option, pointing out that he won’t ever get justice or revenge for what happened to his father.

Butcher takes a call in a bar. He asks how it went with Vogelbaum and quickly says he’s on his way.

Frenchie and Kimiko are on surveillance duties at a protest outside Neuman’s house. He reminisces about his mother and says he’d like to learn more about her family. Kimiko starts teaching him her unique sign language.

At the Church of the Collective, a birthday party for Alastair Adana is in full swing. A-Train gives Deep a goldfish as a gift to make up for past unpleasantness – “He knows my name!“ –and Adana reveals he’s having a meeting with Vought CEO Stan Edgar the following week. He says Vought needs trusted commodities like A-Train and Deep. Adana then asks what they think of Eagle the Archer. As Deep says he’s like a brother, Adana says Eagle is a toxic personality and that no members of the church should have any contact with him.

At the Vought Tower, Lamplighter shows Hughie a secret entrance he and Mr Marathon used to sneak college girls into the building. His handprint still operates the lift.

Ashley pays Maeve a visit and is surprised to see her in bed with a man. She’s concerned this could ruin the narrative of “America’s second favourite lesbian couple”. Maeve tells her to behave more like a human being, and Ashley apologises.

Ryan shows Homelander and Stormfront his Lego-animated version of The Blind Side – one of his mum’s favourite movies. Stormfront wonders if Ryan’s seen any of his dad’s movies, or if he knows that his dad has his own rollercoaster at Vought Land. Becca asks Homelander outside for a word. She begs him to give Ryan the childhood he never had, with his mother, but Homelander says she’s lying to him – and that when he sees the outside world, he’s going to be really confused and messed up. 

Butcher arrives at Vogelbaum’s house. Vogelbaum says he can’t apologise enough for what he’s done, but can’t give Butcher the information he wants. Butcher asks what Homelander was like as a boy. Apparently he was quite sweet when he was five or six, but Vogelbaum needed him to be the strongest man in the world – it was for Vogelbaum’s benefit more than the boy’s. Butcher points out that it wasn’t Homelander who hid his wife, Becca, away, and asks if Vogelbaum ever thought about the pain he’d caused him. Butcher threatens to kill Vogelbaum’s entire family if he doesn’t help out at the hearings.

Hughie and Lamplighter arrive at what Hughie believes to be Starlight’s cell – but it’s actually the Seven’s conference room. Lamplighter’s disappointed they moved his statue, because “I wanted to do it in front of my statue”. Do what? He says he wanted to make his dad proud before setting himself on fire, burning himself to death.

The blaze sets off the sprinklers and fire alarm, activating a warning light in Starlight’s cell. It’s the only power she needs to charge herself up and she blasts her way out. As Starlight tries to escape, Black Noir attacks her. After a lengthy scrap, Maeve jumps out on Noir and forces an Almond Joy sweet into his mouth to trigger his tree nut allergy – he starts choking. Starlight asks Maeve to join her but Maeve refuses.

An escaping Hughie bumps into Starlight’s mother in the corridor. They then meet Starlight who realises Hughie came to rescue her – and that he has an escape plan in the form of Lamplighter’s severed hand.

Becca calls Ryan in for dinner but he’s not interested. He calls her a liar, because Homelander and Stormfront flew him into the sky and showed him “everything”. When Homelander says he needs a little space, she says he needs his mother. “Don’t worry,” replies Stormfront, “he’ll still have a mother.” The two supes fly away with the boy.

The Boys mock Hughie for letting the star witness burn himself to death. Butcher meets up with his mother, who says he won’t have to see his father again because he hasn’t got much time left, and that she hates her husband too. She was trying to do the right thing by bringing the two together.

Eagle the Archer is on the news having been excommunicated by the Church of the Collective.

Homelander tells Ashley to find Starlight. She’s sitting down with The Boys – and her mother – to watch the congressional hearing, with Neuman and some of the Seven in attendance. Vogelbaum emerges as a star witness, but just as proceedings are about to get underway, the chair of the hearing’s head explodes – and before Vogelbaum can say anything, his own head goes the same way. Soon it’s exploding heads everywhere as Homelander, Stormfront and Maeve stand around helpless. “What the fuck do we do now?” Hughie asks.

The Boys season 2 recaps

The Boys: Season 2

(Image credit: Amazon)

Remind yourself what's happened so far in The Boys with our recaps of The Boys season 2 episode 1, The Boys season 2 episode 2, The Boys season 2 episode 3, The Boys season 2 episode 4, The Boys season 2 episode 5 and The Boys season 2 episode 6

Verdict: 

The penultimate episode of this brilliant season feels like the first half of a two-parter. Less a story in its own right than a set-up for the finale, the primary aim of ‘Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker’ is getting all the key players in the right place for the big showdown – a mission it fulfils in style.

Showrunner Eric Kripke told Entertainment Weekly that last week’s close encounter with Love Sausage was introduced because they were missing the prerequisite “holy shit” moment that every episode of The Boys requires. This instalment delivers in the form of a gory succession of exploding heads at the Congressional hearing. Who’s making it happen? It’s not clear if it’s one of the usual suspects or someone we haven’t encountered before – Stormfront and Homelander look surprisingly worried – but surely it has to be connected to Susan Raynor’s death in the season premiere.

And with Stormfront and Homelander whisking Ryan away to form a very scary family unit, – and The Boys left with few options for bringing Vought down – things couldn’t be much worse for the good guys. Next week’s season finale is superbly primed.

Super trivia

  • There’s a Lord of the Rings reunion when Billy Butcher meets his dad, Sam. Karl Urban played Eomer in the trilogy, while former Fringe star John Noble was Denethor, Steward of Gondor. (Lesley Nicol, who plays Butcher’s mother, Connie, will be familiar to fans of Downton Abbey.)
  • Just before Homelander and Stormfront start their rally, you can see a statue of World War 2 superhero Soldier Boy outside the Vought Tower. It’s already been confirmed he’ll be played by Supernatural star Jensen Ackles in season three.
  • It’s a case of art imitates life when Black Noir’s tree nut allergy is revealed. Actor Nathan Mitchell’s real-life allergy inspired the writers.
  • The Cricket World Cup did indeed take place in England in 1982, so the production team did do their research.

Episodes 1-7 of The Boys season 2 are available to stream on Amazon Prime Video now. New episodes appear every Friday.