‘The Boys’ Boss Eric Kripke on the Season 2 Finale and What to Expect from Jensen Ackles in Season 3
SPOILER ALERT: Don't read if you haven't seen season two of The Boys, which is now streamed on Amazon Prime Video.
A major villain in "The Boys" season two has been neutralized, but a new one may have just been revealed.
At the end of the eight-episode season of the Amazon Prime Video superhero and vigilante drama, Stormfront (Aya Cash), who had been exposed as a member of the Nazi Party for preaching about contemporary white genocide, was burned a crisp and had hers Limbs lost after Ryan (Cameron Crovetti) couldn't control his strength and kicked out when his mother was in danger. (Unfortunately, his lack of control meant his mother was injured too, and she succumbed to her injuries.)
“This character is a legitimate Nazi who is leaving the Nazi Party and is aging very slowly. And that was the character I went into the season 2 writer's room with. I felt like it allowed us to say a lot of things that I wanted to say about white nationalism and white supremacy and really aimed, ”creator and showrunner Eric Kripke told Variety. “What we found was that the modern face of hate - especially online and social media hate - is actually very attractive: It's a lot of good looking young men and women who have these really despicable notions in this branding of 'We 'to express. It's just free thinkers and we don't go mainstream because we're telling the truth. But it's the same old folks that people have been putting up for thousands of years.
In order to maintain the semblance of control, Homelander (Antony Starr) gave a press conference in which he attributed Starlight (Erin Moriarty) and Queen Maeve (Dominique McElligott) for defeating Stormfront - who had initially been a welcome member of the elite - superhero group known as the Seven before she was publicly outed as a Nazi.
Stormfront was obviously out of the seven, allowing A-Train (Jessie Usher) to finally get back in, much to the Deep's (Chace Crawford) disappointment as there was only room for one. And the “attack on Washington,” which literally bowed their heads down, was also blamed on Stormfront.
But in the final moments of the season two finale, the real culprit was exposed as Congresswoman Victoria Neuman (Claudia Doumit), who was a secret superhero.
Talk about how you can blow the audience away! Or maybe not?
"We worked really hard on this character to really feel like she was going to be an ally, but from the start we knew she was the head popper. If you watch episode 1, they're actually sitting in the van, after Raynor's head popped up and they said, “Who could do this?” and we cut to Victoria Neuman, so we gave evidence from the start that it was her, ”says Kripke.
Here Kripke talks to Variety about how to defeat Stormfront for good, Butcher's (Karl Urban) reasoning, how he dealt with Ryan, and what to expect from Soldier Boy in season 3.
How much of your final plan have you already determined after revealing Victoria as the decapitated person?
After breaking most of the third season, we have a pretty good idea of where her story is going and why she's doing what she's doing. There are some revelations and twists and turns and twists and turns, and much like we did with many other characters from the books, Vic Neuman was a man in the books and he will delve deeper and deeper into politics as the comics progress. It's the scary notion that there might be a Supe who digs deep into American politics and who's screwed up enough already. So in Season 3 we start playing Victoria this way.
There was a line in the finale that mentioned that she's basically going to be the Tsar of the Supers keeping an eye on her, but she's one so she's keeping an eye on her to see who's an ally for could be their own plan?
We want people to worry, thinking about the danger Hughie is in: the poor guy is trying to fight the fight in a good way - the legal way - and literally step one, which he is for a secret supe works.
Season 3 also introduces Soldier Boy (Jensen Ackles) to the show. Will he be the innocent one in the comics or will you make him one of the more ruthless Supers?
I think anyone who expects Jensen to show up and be a good guy will be disappointed. I will say that! [Laughs] In the comics, he's mostly just a little clumsy and submissive to Homelander, I would say. As we write this to him, we're really going to be talking about the history of Vought because he's like John Wayne: he's one of those guys who's been around for decades in Vought history. And he was Homelander before Homelander, so he's from a different time, but he's got the ego and the ambition - it just comes across differently because he's from a different time.
Are you keeping his #MeToo story?
Oh, if he and Homelander have sex?
Yes. My understanding was that he got set up with Homelander in the comics, so I put it the way I did.
I don't know - how about no comment.
It's early days and it seems fair to expect secrets about him to be revealed when the episodes move on in the next season. That year Stormfront had also revealed secrets throughout the season - that she was a Nazi, but also that she was seemingly immortal as one of the first people to take Compound V. So how hard was it to find a way for characters to take them down?
It's a slightly bigger question because finals are really difficult, because you have to land the plane right, and there are so many storylines in this one, and you have to figure out exactly how we can weave those storylines together so that right then they all come together you can need them to have a real discussion about weights, counterweights, and options - and still make sure we've paid for all of the things we had to pay for. There were so many people in line to kill Stormfront so we had to explore them all - is it Kimiko? Is it Kimiko and Starlight? Do they hit her so deep that she's dead? We kept coming back to the fact that we really had to show how powerful Ryan was - and that Starlight and Kimiko and Maeve still have some visceral satisfaction with what they're doing, but that the end is really gripping and emotional and personal have to be. We felt as we went back like we really opened the season. It was really about family and can they survive? you just try things and that felt like it got the most response.
Satisfactory is a great way to describe the Starlight, Kimiko, and Maeve battle against Stormfront. However, since the audience knew how powerful Stormfront was when they saw bullets ricochet off it, many assumed they weren't going to do any real damage. What determined how long this scene would last and was there anything left on the cutting room floor?
We pretty much used everything we shot. I think the bigger problems were more like the end of the season and we ran out of time and it got really cold in Toronto very, very quickly. We were just trying to get things done, so at the end of the day I believe we only had two days to film this fight - including blowing up the entire cabin, the rolling car and all the odds and ends; There's a lot to do in two days. So it was more like stuffing 10 pounds of s into a 5 pound bag.
In the last episode there were also many pieces - especially emotional ones - to Butcher's bow. Guide us through his evolving decision on what to do with Ryan. Make a deal with Stan (Giancarlo Esposito) first to hand Ryan to Vought, then admit that to Becca (Shantel VanSanten) and give Ryan to Grace (Laila Robins). .
In our minds he would really hand the child over to Vought and separate them from Becca and use that arrangement to get rid of Ryan. He's been so obsessed with Becca all year round and he's a rough character and he makes a lot of incredibly myopic and selfish decisions. And for us there is a huge emotional arc from what we have built with him, he realizes that his propensity for violence continues Becca, and in episode 7 there is the demon on his shoulder shape who is his father and how so Many of his bad habits came from that really traumatic childhood and that horrible man. So now we know who the angel and who the devil is on his shoulder: it's Becca and his father. And while you go into episode 8 believing that all is lost for blowing up Congress, we planned it as the first half - or the majority - of this episode, he's his father and he's going to be that kid sell Get what he wants, this is his wife. And then, the moment they actually save the kid and he sees Becca holding Ryan, it looks like in the first moment he doesn't see the kid as much as Homelander's kid as he does as Becca's kid sees. And once that clicks into place for him, he can turn his back on the man who was his father and actually try to be a better man. He says to Becca: "You have to go because I can't be the one to raise this child. He will develop like me" - which means that he will develop like my father. And at the very end after Becca died Butcher takes that crowbar and really thought for a minute that he was going to kill that kid, but then Homelander comes and [Butcher] protects the kid like Becca's last wish, so you see that for now, at least - and although it comes at a high cost - humanity is winning for Butcher this season.
If he made the right decision, can that be said of Maeve too? Eventually, if you keep silent about bad behavior, the perpetrator can move on. What is her obligation to the larger world she has sworn to protect, and did you take any real-world inspiration for this part of the story?
For us this is actually something that is inspired by the actual comics because in the comics the boys actually get really damn blackmailing material about Homelander - he graphically kills a lot of people, and for us it's the plane. But to be honest, the idea was actually very practical. We were just trying to create some kind of restriction on Homelander so we could create some kind of balance so that he doesn't automatically kill everyone. Because that's exactly what he wanted to do and you can't write a season if you have an all-powerful character. We needed something to tie a hand behind his back, and it did. I don't think it's that easy for Maeve to just post this so the world will know what a bad guy he is. He's saying right now, "If you do that, I'll destroy everything." So it's a very nuclear option of "I got this thing about you and if things get bad enough I'll post it and it will probably lead to it." in the deaths of thousands. “But we play a lot of that question in season 3 of“ Are we really going to show the world this thing, with the consequences it could cause? ”I think Maeve was reasonable; I find it pretty reckless to release this tape.
There are definitely moments in the finale that seem to respond directly to our world, from the PSA with teachers armed to Homelander's "We are here to serve and protect you" press conference when the audience knows that the supes must be reformed The real world calls for a police reform. But is there a line you don't want to cross or topics you don't want to touch?
I think we are living in an incredibly difficult time for a million reasons. I think we came across this show which is a pretty apt metaphor for the exact moment we're living in. I think it's one of the show's best things about it - that it lets you immerse yourself as deeply as possible in every element of society that is really happening. Seth Rogen said something as we shot the pilot, which I really took to heart: "You can have all sorts of crazy and disturbing things - as long as the audience knows your heart is in the right place." And so we spend a lot of time asking ourselves, for example, "Are we hitting people in authority and people who need to be struck down, or are we hitting people who are already suffering?" And if we turn out to be knocking down, we don't because we want to be a show that is about questioning authority.
I think there's a lot of hope on this show, but there is a part of this show where we as writers are a little angry. I'm mad at the lack of action in school shootings! And we poured it all into the sour, dark humor of that opening. Or if you look at Stan Edgar's entire season schedule that was revealed in it and how companies were willing to let go of Trump because it ultimately served their bottom line. So you are ready to unleash a really dangerous divisive force in society as this will ultimately help your stock prices. All of the seasonal mythology at the end of the day - the entire seasonal plot - is based on something all too real.
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