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The first season of Amazon’s The Boys made it very clear that despite looking like a mash-up of Superman and Captain America, the psychopathic superhero Homelander has none of those heroes’ nobility. Season 2, which premiered today, takes Homelander to even more depraved depths. Just in case viewers forgot who they’re dealing with, the season premiere features a truly shocking scene that distills who Homelander is in a deeply upsetting way.
**This post contains spoilers for the first episode of The Boys Season 2.**
Season 1 ended with Homelander blasting lasers through Vought International vice president Madelyn Stillwell, killing his lover/mother figure and creating a bit of a power vacuum within Vought. Ashley Barrett, a publicist, fills the gap, and right away she has some ideas about how to make Vought’s premiere superhero team, The Seven, more marketable.
Seeking to fill the open spot on the team after Translucent’s death, Ashley excitedly brings in a possible new recruit for Homelander to meet. The hero, a Daredevil pastiche named Blindspot, is a gifted acrobat who navigates through the world with super-hearing as he is unable to see. (“A differently-abled member of The Seven,” Ashley excitedly says in a nice bit of satire sending off box-checking diversity pushes. “We’re gonna poll through the roof with Millenials. Inclusion’s a big priority for them right now.”)
Blindspot is excited and honored to meet Homelander, as for all he knows, Homelander is the ultimate good guy superhero. Homelander plays along, patronizing Blindspot. Then, he asks what would happen if he “did this,” slamming his super-strong hands into Blindspot’s super-sensitive years. The young hero screams and falls to the ground as blood gushes out of his now-deafened ears.
“And now you’re just another useless f***ing blind guy,” Homelander says in disgust.
It’s a gut-wrenching scene. Homelander’s pre-maiming praise that Blindspot is a hero “because of what he’s overcome,” is smarmy and inherently ableist, sure, but it feels especially awful to see a hero who had found a way to thrive despite living with what would typically be seen as a disability to then have that gift so cruelly taken away. By deafening Blindspot, Homelander has in effect taken two senses away. Life with a disability isn’t “less-than,” but because Homelander swiftly took Blindspot from being superpowered to being both blind and deaf, Homelander’s casual cruelty makes it feel that way. It’s devastating to watch.
Blindspot is really just an afterthought to Homelander, though. He assaulted Blindspot to send a message to Ashley: Homelander controls The Seven — not her, not Vought, not anybody but him. Homelander’s ego is so big that he will casually hurt bystanders — people who see him as a golden boy hero — just to make a point and threaten others. The Season 2 premiere of The Boys makes that clear less than 30 minutes in: There’s no redemption here, and nobody is safe from Homelander’s violence.