Having now seen the finale, I’m comfortable saying something I’ve been suspecting for a while now. In my opinion, season two is even better than season one. It’s bigger, it’s bolder, it’s funnier, and it’s even more brutal if you can imagine that as a possibility. It introduces some great new characters (and if you’ve been reading these reviews you know that I love to hate Stormfront [Aya Cash]), and it really builds up older characters by re-contextualizing them. But we’re not here to talk about the season overall, we’re here to talk about the finale, so let’s do that.
I’ve mentioned in previous reviews that this season is going heavily into political satire. And you’re likely far enough into the season if you’re reading this review. You know the show is playing with the idea of super villains as a form of terrorism. This episode has a very prescient cold open involving Homelander (Antony Starr). It’s clever, it’s meta, and it’s a little scary.
Earlier in the season Hughie spoke about his love for Billy Joel. This finale pays that off rather well, giving us a little more backstory and context for his character and why he’s perhaps a little fragile. I thought it handled that backstory well. And Jack Quaid played it beautifully with his classic Hughie “I’m telling you heavy stuff, but it’s no big deal” countenance.
Queen Maeve (Dominique McElligott) has gone through the ringer this season. And she has a great moment where she lashes out from anger and frustration, and once again, McElligott crushes it.
Shantel VanSanten’s Becca has a couple really amazing beats here as well. She’s in an impossible situation and she’s acting the heck out of this episode.
Karl Urban continues to be brilliant here, and it was a roller-coaster ride with my feelings for Butcher. Loved him, hated him. Not necessarily in that order.
The Deep (Chase Crawford) and A-Train (Jessie T. Usher) have some funny stuff with the group that they’re involving themselves with, and Deep’s reactionary attitude had me laughing out loud.
Further, there’s a moment that was reminiscent of something from Avengers: Endgame (something that had been alluded to throughout the season) that brought me so much joy that I had to scrub back and watch it again.
Towards the end there is also a sequence that is really quite heavy, but then a character drops a line that is so out of left field and that they execute perfectly. I laughed so hard that I was wheezing.
And Homelander has a moment (because you know you have to go out hard with Homelander in a finale). It wasn’t as twisted as it could have been (I do think the show pulled its punches a little bit here), but it was still pretty insane.
In a way, this episode could almost have been the series finale, as it wraps up so many loose ends. But of course, it adds in a little thread that had me salivating for more.
I think season two was more emotional than the first. It’s also funnier, more brutal, more clever, and even smarter. Bring on season 3! It’s been so much fun talking about this season with all of you readers, and I look forward to more conversations going forward!