The Boys are back in town, and in addition to bringing more blood, guts, cursing, head explosions, and whale mutilation, Season 2 of the hit Amazon series is also doubling down on character development. Two members of the eponymous crew now getting their proper due are Mother's Milk (Laz Alonso) and Kimiko (Karen Fukuhara).
*The following contains spoilers for the first three episodes of The Boys Season 2.*
When SYFY WIRE visited the show's Toronto set last October, Alonso explained that showrunner Eric Kripke "didn’t want to necessarily go bigger" for the second season. "He wanted to go deeper into the characters, into our backstories, into where we come from and why we’re here. We went deep this season. We went super deep."
Mother's Milk is now in hiding with the rest of the Boys, medically treating drug dealers, using copious amounts of hand sanitizer, and constantly worrying about his wife and daughter. "Why would you leave that to go fight Supes and live in a hideout with other men?" Alonso says. "And this season, he’s wrestling with that. Why did he make that decision? Did he make the right decision? Did he put his family in jeopardy by making this decision? He’s at an emotional place where he can explode at any moment."
Obsessed with cleanliness and order, MM is plagued not by anger, but by indecision. "Everybody kind of deals with it in different ways and Mother’s Milk, with his incessant OCD, has to have control at all times," the actor continues. "And when we start the season off, nothing is in control. Also, him being Butcher’s second in command, he’s got a lot more responsibility now. He didn’t really sign up for that. He signed up to be his own executive officer... We’re all at each other’s throats. We obviously have our common enemy, but even within [the group], we have our differences that are heightened now."
MM's obligation to step up is only exacerbated by the absence of Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) throughout most of the Season 2 premiere. Even when he does return, Butcher is so preoccupied with finding his wife (Shantel VanSanten), that he doesn't pay much attention to the needs of his compatriots, especially the struggles being faced by Hughie (Jack Quaid).
"We don’t know where Butcher is. We don’t know what he’s dealing with," Alonso says. "We just know that sh** hit the fan, and who got us out? It was Hughie. And of the same token, because [MM is] second in command, it’s almost his job to now say, 'What do the Boys do?'... Is he going to stay on mission and finish the job that we started? Or is he going to say, 'I’m going home to my family, you guys. Good luck, God bless, I’m done'? I think that’s kind of the internal battle that you’re going to see him struggle with at the beginning of the season."
As evidenced by the events in Episode 3, MM is more in tune with Hughie's feelings, willing to wait for Homelander to kill them both as they sit inside the carcass of a whale (RIP Lucy). "You’ll see that relationship develop with Hughie throughout the season," Alonso reveals. "You’re going to see this character be a lot more involved with the Boys, a lot more. Mother’s Milk is Butcher’s conscience. And one of his main roles is to talk Butcher off the ledge. And I think this season, there are a lot more ledges that Butcher is potentially going to jump off of."
Alonso added that MM definitely doesn't want Butcher's job as leader, preferring to take on the role of "a street therapist, like your bartender, or your barber that you just find yourself talking to because this is somebody that you know and you trust. He’s the hub that keeps everybody together. Because Butcher and Hughie this season, they’re at each other’s throats. So I’m trying to keep this guy from killing this guy, I’m trying to keep this guy from going that way ... It’s a fun role to play because, in many ways, he keeps the Boys together."
MM's selfless attitude is able to make Butcher consider someone else's well-being for a change. While the Supe terrorist transfer plan goes sideways in Episode 3, the audience gets to see Billy start to care about his gang of Supe-busters. Speaking of the Supe terrorist, let's talk about Kimiko, since that terrorist was actually her little brother, Kenji (Abraham Lim).
"I'm really excited because, in Season 2, you get to see more of her backstory. What experiences she went through with the organization and just a little reveal of the past. It all kind of makes sense after a few episodes," Fukuhara said during the set visit, adding that Kimiko (sometimes known as "The Female") is becoming more of a well-rounded person. Just don't expect her to speak yet; according to Kenji, Kimiko stopped speaking the day their parents were killed.
"She is transforming into her own self," the actress says. "Not defined by other people or not forced into a different definition than one that she gives herself. But no, she doesn't speak this season. She is trying to communicate first through writing and then through signing... In Season 2, there's definitely a progression of her going from animal to more human and eventually girl, woman."
After the events of Episode 3, which ended with Stormfront (Aya Cash) murdering Kenji in front of a defeated Kimiko, it's probably safe to assume that a vengeful rematch between the two women isn't far behind. Aside from her fight sequence with Cash, Fukuhara also admitted that she's got scenes alongside Erin Moriarty ("Starlight") and Dominique McElligott ("Queen Maeve").
"I think there's definitely a bit of shock when they first are in the same scene together because she's never been around someone so perky, but also taken care of," Fukuhara says of her character's interaction with Starlight. "She obviously hasn't met anyone like that. Growing up [as] a part of the terrorist organization, there's not that many women to begin with and then there's definitely no makeup or proper showers, probably. I think their relationship is very cute. It's still evolving, I would say. But I think a good word to describe their relationship is Kimiko's appreciation toward Starlight in this season."
With Kenji gone, one might expect Kimiko to lean on Frenchie (Tomer Capon) for solace, as he's the only member of the group who understands her. Or at the very least, he wants to understand her. Case in point: The scene on the boat where he asks Kenji to teach him Kimiko's special form of sign language. Despite Frenchie's affection for her, it sounds like his connection to The Female is heading for some turbulent waters.
"For a few episodes, you'll see that relationship fall apart a little bit. Trust is broken," Fukuhara teased, later opening the door for hope: "They're not just friends, but they're kind of soulmates, but it's a little bit deeper than the word 'soulmate.'"
The first three episodes of The Boys Season 2 are now streaming on Prime Video. The remaining five installments will be released on a weekly basis, starting this Friday, Sep. 11. Aisha Tyler (Archer) is hosting a special aftershow for all eight installments. A third season has already been ordered, with Jensen Ackles (Supernatural) set to appear as Soldier Boy, who, according to Vought CEO Stan Edgar (Giancarlo Esposito), was the result of sadistic Nazi experimentation.