There are big spoilers ahead for this review of The Boys. Catch up with Flickluster’s review for Episode 4. A brand new age at Vought has begun. Ashley is CEO of Vought, the Deep takes charge of Crime Analytics, and at the top is Homelander – who might be regretting his decisions to take Stan Edgar off the board. He’s learning – like many of us – that if you lie on your CV – you could wind up completely unprepared for the position.
In Homelander’s case – he’s not only a superhero – but he also needs to decide on how to handle EBITDA margins during an upcoming earnings call. Meanwhile, Hughie’s violently spilling his guts as he comes down from the effects of taking V24. Butcher is reminded of his younger, deceased brother Lenny, while M.M watches experiments performed on Soldier Boy from the Russian lab.
M.M gives Butcher a sobering lecture on the risks of using V24, who warns him that nobody should have that sort of power – and that it’s the very reason the Boys fight supes in the first place. With M.M at odds with Butcher, his only friend is Hughie as the others take Kimiko to hospital. Aside from that – everything’s fine. Apart from Soldier Boy running amok in New York, Kimiko losing her powers, Queen Maeve’s passionate night with one William Butcher, and the eventual showdown between Soldier Boy and the Crimson Countess. Plus, Seth Rogen is weird. So we’ve still got some way to go.
Other than meeting a deadly rodent (good old Jamie the Hamster), the Boys came up empty following their heist of the Russian lab. Soldier Boy was experimented on by the Russians and is now in the wind. Hughie tells Starlight as much – before she learns that Hughie’s broken arm has, incredibly, healed in record time. It’s come clean time for Hughie after shooting up on temporary V, gaining teleportation powers, and penetrating a man’s chest with his fist.
Starlight is understandably angry – and she’s losing allies in her fight against Vought following Alex’s death. Despite his worst efforts to convince her otherwise, Hughie admits that he enjoyed taking the dose of V. He further tells Starlight that with these new powers, he’ll be able to save her. Starlight tells Hughie that she doesn’t need him to save her – she needs him. She needs someone honest, reliable, and untouched by the corruption and bloodshed at Vought.
Moving onto the subject of bloodshed and corruption, having broken free from the Russian lab, a culture-shocked Soldier Boy roams the streets of New York. He’s bemused by it all, and hearing a Russian song on the radio triggers the Payback leader to release an energy burst, killing nineteen people. Butcher, Hughie, and M.M suspect Soldier Boy was meeting with the Legend (Paul Reiser), considered a parody of Marvel’s Stan Lee.
He’s the former Vice President of Hero Management at Vought with ties to the Boys. He has a cigar hanging from his mouth, tinted glasses, and pictures of Hollywood stars on the walls of his apartment, and he spends a lot of the time reminiscing about his various sexual conquests. There’s even one with Marlon Brando. He’s as corrupt and cocaine-fuelled as they come, a testament to the swinging 60s of Hollywood, and Butcher hates him, calling him the infamous C-word.
The Boys learn Soldier Boy returned for his suit – that the Legend had kept as a keepsake since the 80s – and a vengeful Soldier Boy is going after the Crimson Countess (Laurie Holden). The Countess is living in a trailer for a charity single “Chimps Don’t Cry,” and performing as a cam girl on an adult website. Before being tackled away from the camera by Butcher – Seth Rogen makes his third cameo appearance as the viewer on the chat with a risqué username. Contrary to the flashbacks established from Nicaragua in Episode 3 – the Crimson Countess betrayed Soldier Boy and gave him up to the Russians. Mirroring Homelander and the Seven – the Crimson Countess and the other members of Payback all hated Soldier Boy.
Soldier Boy confronts and kills the Crimson Countess and partners with Butcher to work with them in taking down Homelander. In the process, Butcher drugs M.M to prevent him from exacting revenge for his family’s deaths. Hughie sides with the Boys over Starlight – causing their already fraught relationship to worsen. We’ve yet to talk about Homelander. He’s increasingly unstable and beginning to understand the mountain of problems coming his way with no Stan Edgar in the picture.
He’s urging the public on chat shows to go about their lives despite Soldier Boy’s rampage in New York, having Vought employees for offensive tweets against him, and turning on Queen Maeve after discovering that she’d slept with Butcher. He has Black Noir abduct her – and her location, by episode end – remains unknown. The Butcher/Maeve plot is one of the bigger surprises of the series so far – but one you could see coming. Reeling from the fallout of the Russian mission and the hopelessness of the Homelander situation – Butcher and Maeve break their sobriety and sleep together. They’ll be breaking a lot of lamps and furniture.
A-Train has left the golden age of his career in the rear view mirror – and turns to help his community reeling from a supe-inflicted death. In a sub-plot that eerily mirrors real-world events, Blue Hawk (Nick Wechsler) meets with A-Train and promises an apology following the death of a black man in their neighbourhood. Wechsler’s a violent, unhinged supe whose public apology at a local town hall erupts into chaos. His half-hearted, stage-managed apology is received negatively with calls for equality and justice. Blue Hawk later strikes out against those in attendance, injuring A-Train’s brother Nate, leaving him paralysed for life.
Plus, how could we forget Kimiko and Frenchie’s musical number at the hospital?. Kimiko speaks for the first time as she discovers – for reasons unknown – that her powers are gone. Did Soldier Boy steal them after hitting her with his energy blast? Could he do the same with Homelander? Frenchie is delighted, and Kimiko kisses him. The sweet moment is interrupted by Little Nina and her henchmen, who apprehend Frenchie, ordering him to perform a hit on a family.
The fifth episode is another hard-hitting, masterfully executed episode of Amazon Prime’s The Boys. Other highlights include Todd’s growing obsession with Homelander, Kimiko and Frenchie’s musical section, Nick Wechsler’s performance as Blue Hawk, Seth Rogen’s cameo, and Butcher delivering one of the best lines of the series – echoing the great power/great responsibility quote from Spider-Man, remixed with a C-word.
Seasons 1-2 and the first five 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!