Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

How The Boys Team Made The Season 2 Finale Fight Happen - Exclusive

Contains spoilers for The Boys season 2 through to the finale

The Boys is a wild show — and not just because it's determined to do really weird things like ramming a speedboat into a whale and making lasers come out of the eyes of infants. Adapted by Eric Kripke from the comic of the same name by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, the series has built its reputation on its ability to keeping raising the stakes of weirdness it can offer to the superhero media landscape, but what's given The Boys true staying power is the attention to detail it offers. From the acting to the writing to the production design, The Boys is rooted in a sense of real commitment and realism, and nowhere is that more apparent than in the stunt department. 

For Tig Fong, stunt coordinator for the series' just-concluded second season, crafting realistic-looking stunt work for a show like The Boys begins with attention to character and thematic detail — balancing the need for everything to look cool with the need for to all be rooted in the storytelling, no matter how much stuff is blowing up at the time. 

"I think what happens is that this is one of the reasons why action is often thematically divorced from plot and story. It's one of the criticisms, if you will, of action-driven shows. And it's really just, there's a plot that is created as an excuse for the action, and then the action happens. So what's very important to me is the story first," Fong explained in an exclusive interview with Looper. "For that reason, I'll want to read the entire script front to back [rather than just skimming for stunt scenes]. I'll often give it a second read if I do have the time, and only then do I go back to the actual sequences, which I've annotated at this point, and really then think about how I want to approach those while still carrying the through-line emotion, or theme of the story."

For Fong and his team, this attention to emotion and theme presents a number of challenges, particularly on the second season when The Boys began to up the ante on the sheer size of the set pieces being delivered to the viewer. Even as season 2 grew in scope, though, one major task persisted: put super-powered characters and regular humans in the same scene, and make everything they're doing look completely real at the same time. 

"On one side, you have super-powered humans who fly extensively, and destroy things, and so on. So there's wire work involved, there are interactive props that have to illustrate their strength, if you will. But then if you call that the action, then the non-super-powered humans, they would be the reaction," Fong said, explaining the intricate dance of The Boys' stunt work. "If I'm super-powered and I fly down and land, there's a wired gag involving somebody flying and then landing perhaps in front of a regular human. Then they use powers or they physically grab onto that human, and they throw them or they hit them, and that human goes flying. Well, then that is the reaction. And that human is also on wires — but usually it has to be accelerated at much higher speeds than the impetus, than the super-powered human. Really, the challenges are the same on both sides: You're creating action and reaction, and you have to create it in a way that is visually believable."

Through the second season of The Boys, Fong and his stunt team had to do everything from rooftop fights between Supes to crashes on beaches — and it all came to a head on the season 2 finale

Creating the finale's fight was a collaborative effort

On the last episode of The Boys' sophomore season, the Boys stage a rescue operation for Butcher's (Karl Urban) wife Becca (Shantel VanSanten) and her son Ryan (Cameron Crovetti). The wind up meeting Stormfront (played by Aya Cash) head-on before they can make a getaway. What follows is a truly massive stunt effort involving several fighters (both super-powered and not), explosions going off, lightning streaking through various characters, and a super-showdown that ends with Stormfront down for the count.

So, how did Fong and the rest of the crew pull it off? It started with the script, and then became an act of total collaboration.

"There are a lot of elements that went into that. First and foremost, I'm just going to say really excellent writing on the show," Fong told Looper. "My process of reading the script from front to back, it's not hard for me to do that because every episode I'm always pulled into the story. When I read the finale and saw this journey that Stormfront goes through, I couldn't wait to just turn to the next page to see what it was going to say."

Fong then explained how multiple departments worked together to execute the final season 2 battle scene. 

"In terms of executing that, what it requires then, of course, is this dance between multiple departments. You've got her flying around. When she does her slow descents and take-offs, for instance, that's all wire work — that's on high-speed winches and so on, that's us," said Fong. "When you see her rocket across the sky and land down in a fast impact, that's, of course, VFX. When you see the interaction between her and other Supes, or humans, that could be wire work, that could be VFX."

He continued, "So it's a lot of meetings. It's a lot of discussions between, 'Where do the practical effects of wire work and stunt work leave off, and where does VFX begin? How can props and special effects assist in this?' It's definitely an intricate dance between these departments to create what you see is the end result — which again, I'll say, is all driven by the writing and by the story. As long as that's strong, it's just for the rest of us to do our jobs and bring it to visual reality."

The entire second season of The Boys is now streaming on Amazon Prime.