There are big spoilers ahead for this opening episode review of The Boys. Catch up with Flickluster’s review for Episode 3. It’s all about loyalty – and in this corrupted universe of supes, money, and bloodshed – there’s not much of it to go around. Homelander has steadily and scarily transformed into an entirely new villain. Following his televised speech in Episode 2, Homelander has invited The Deep back into the Seven, dramatically revealing to the world that he and Starlight are a couple. Stormfront is dead, and his son Ryan is in CIA custody, hidden from him. Perhaps the only thing that can stop him is a mystical weapon in Russia that can stop him. That’s if it even exists.
With every twist and turn in this episode, it appears increasingly unlikely that Homelander will ever be stopped – and a mystical anti- supe weapon might just be the only thing left to oppose him. Starlight allies with Supersonic, who later allies with A-Train in a bid to form an army to fight America’s greatest hero. Queen Maeve is predictably on the fence about joining the fight, whose character has been fiercely underplayed this season. Maeve is the one, however, to reveal to Starlight that she was the one to tip off the Boys on BCL-Red.
As for A-Train, his health problems coupled with a feud with the Deep leads him to work with Supersonic. Homelander rejects A-Train’s pitch on the issue with Blue Hawk during a meeting with the Seven (the first time since the pilot they’ve been a collective). Forming a rebellion surely cannot end well. You’d be right, A-Train betrays Supersonic, revealing the mutineer plot, and Homelander kills Supersonic.
It’s a stunning twist that was foreshadowed early in the episode. Supersonic, better known as Alex, jokingly revealed to Starlight that she was the only girl he’d ever loved. The moment, as sweet as it is, is defused by Starlight’s former flame. The general rule of television is – if a declaration of love is not reciprocated – there’s a chance someone could meet their demise. Now the Seven are back down to the six – and Supersonic’s stint in the Seven concludes. It’s Homelander’s way or the highway – to coin a phrase – and Homelander’s dreadful warning to Starlight that Hughie will be next leaves the mid-season episode on a seriously dark note.
On a lighter note, Frenchie and Kimiko make a plan to depart for Marseille once they’ve seen through their latest job with The Boys. After killing a Russian oligarch (with an interesting choice of weapon), a desensitized Kimiko wants a new life, and Frenchie is keen to indulge her. Much like Starlight’s mutineer plot – it’s all about to go wrong. More on that later. The Boys have arrived in Russia.
Cherie’s financial debt is paid to Little Nina, and the Boys are provided accommodation to jet off to Russia by Little Nina. Frenchie remains skeptical as Butcher and his team off in search of BCL-Red, the alleged anti-supe weapon. To confirm Frenchie’s suspicions, Little Nina asks the Boys to take care of a Russian oligarch. Kimiko makes light work of the oligarch and his goons with a set of dildos fashioned after members of The Seven and the Boys break into a highly guarded military lab. As far as the anti-supe weapon goes – they come up empty. However, all is not lost. The Boys meet a superpowered hamster called Jamie.
Then there’s the second, bigger surprise – Soldier Boy is contained inside a cryogenic chamber, hooked up to oxygen and in need of a shave, leaving M.M out for revenge against Payback’s top supe for the deaths of family members, visibly horrified. The stories say Soldier Boy is buried beneath a nuclear reactor. Soldier Boy – for reasons unknown – has become a test subject for the Russians and a vessel of destructive energy. Kimiko is hit full-on by Soldier Boy’s powers – stumping the Boys as to what could cause Soldier Boy’s transformation and whether Kimiko will survive. Because her healing powers are not working…
On the subject of powers – Butcher unleashes his temporary superpowers again – cutting down Russian commandos as a gunfight breaks out in the lab. Shocked, M.M, Frenchie, and Kimiko are further stunned – by Hughie, who demonstrates the power of teleportation. He’d snuck himself a vial of V24 from Butcher’s stash earlier. The only issue is every time he teleports, Hughie loses his clothes. He puts a fist through a Russian commando, apologetic throughout this incredible feat of strength, saving M.M.
Jack Quaid bares all for the cameras, and none of the others are too impressed by his actions. Angry at his inability to challenge Homelander without Starlight on hand to help, Hughie decides he wants to level the playing field for his own good. Hard to say anyone would blame him if Homelander makes moves on your girl. Plus, there’s only so much Russian TV making fun of Homelander’s relationship with Starlight at Hughie’s expense that he can take.
With Hughie in Russia, and Victoria Neuman unaware that he has rejoined the Boys, Stan Edgar encourages the director of the FBSA to reprimand Homelander in a press conference. She’s understandably hesitant but agrees – and as she takes to the podium, the episode throws us a big twist. Neuman goes against Edgar’s plan with another. Homelander is a whistleblower who has provided evidence of Stan Edgar’s corruption within Vought. Edgar is due to face charges of blackmail, perjury, and obstruction of justice.
There’s no more Stan Edgar – which effectively makes Homelander the most powerful figure within the company. In perhaps the best scene of the episode – Edgar faces Homelander and denounces him as a disappointment – a fact everyone will soon realise. He tells him he’s not a god, simply a bad product. With nobody to oppose Homelander, there’s no one to cover for him, leaving Homelander seemingly unfazed. Yet we know Stan Edgar has a way of getting under his skin – even just slightly.
Coming back to the theme of loyalty – Edgar had contingencies against Neuman – leading Homelander to learn the truth of Neuman’s powers. She’s no more than a weapon to Edgar. In return for exposing Edgar at the conference, Homelander provides Neuman with Compound V, which she later uses to inject her daughter Zoe.
The fourth episode effectively illustrates the theme of loyalty. From Hughie’s determination to protect Starlight, Alex’s unwavering devotion to join Annie’s mutiny plot, and Frenchie and Kimiko’s plan to depart for Marseille, “Glorious Five Year Plan” explores both sides of the coin. If we flip it, we find out that loyalty can get you killed, ousted from a multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical company – and betrayed by those you love the much.
“Glorious Five Year Plan” shines with scintillating performances, brutal backstabbings, betrayals, and even a shock death to drive home the point that in the world of The Boys, loyalty is a rare thing. Other highlights include Jamie the Hamster, a fearsome showdown between Homelander and Stan Edgar, and a Russian oligarch’s demise by dildo. On that note, review over.
Seasons 1-2 and the first four episodes of The Boys are available to stream on Amazon Prime. What did you think of The Boys Season 3 so far? Give us your thoughts in the comment section below!