There are big spoilers ahead for this review of The Boys. To quote Vin Diesel’s Dom Toretto, it’s all about family – or something to that effect. The penultimate episode of The Boys Season 3 focuses on family. Episode 7 is a flashback-laden instalment with its rightful share of blood, shocks, and a mollusk called Ambrosius.
As a quick recap, Soldier Boy’s revenge mission against Payback, the supe team that betrayed him – is gathering pace. The TNT twins, the Crimson Countess, and Gunpowder are gone, and the next on Soldier Boy’s hit list is Mindstorm. Unlike his comic book counterpart, Mind-Droid, Mindstorm is a superhero suffering from bipolar disorder with mind-reading and mental manipulation powers. In comparison to the other members of Payback, Mindstorm’s lack of control over his powers forces him to isolate away from society.
Butcher, Hughie, and a paranoid, stoned Soldier Boy track him to a cabin in the middle of a woodland rigged with explosive devices. Mindstorm subdues Butcher into a nightmare dream state from which he will never wake up – unless Mindstorm pulls him out of it. The manipulative supe is further brainwashing a nun and priest attending to a broken down car – before Soldier Boy savagely shoots the priest, and the nun attacks Hughie.
Butcher relives his traumatic childhood past with his brother Lenny and abusive father, Sam. The flashbacks of Butcher’s troubled upbringing highlight some disturbing parallels between Sam’s abuse of his sons and Butcher’s violence against supes. In a later flashback, Butcher watches his younger self abandon Lenny, who loads a gun and takes his own life, citing that the same will happen to Hughie.
Both Butcher and Hughie are beginning to experience the side effects of Temporary V, a chemically unstable drug that’ll cause lesions, warning that three to five doses can kill them. The trouble is – Butcher and Hughie are beyond that stage. They’ve dosed up to go to battle with supes multiple times already. Mindstorm frees Butcher – before Soldier Boy kills his former Payback colleague, and Starlight later informs Butcher of Temporary V’s deadly aftereffects.
Despite her warnings and Butcher’s undisclosed attachment to Hughie – he decides not to warn him of the danger, selfishly continuing their self-destructive mission to kill Homelander. Will Hughie, who openly reveals to Mindstorm that Butcher is family to him – go the same way as Lenny and die young, or will Butcher come to his senses in time for the finale to save him?
As mentioned earlier, Soldier Boy brutally bludgeons Mindstorm to death with his shield – and learns a secret that he reveals to Homelander in the episode’s final scene. In 1980, Soldier Boy provided a sperm sample for Doctor Vogelbaum, and only one year later, Vought created a child. Homelander learns that he was the child – making him Soldier Boy’s son. As plot twists go, it’s one of the best of the series. It sets up the finale perfectly.
After this whole time, the man Homelander fears the most is the man who helped to create him. The prospect of a father/son team-up – with the two most dangerous supes in the world – is a terrifying one going into next week’s final episode. Following last week’s epic three-way fight between Butcher, Soldier Boy, and Homelander, America’s greatest hero finds himself on the back foot. He uses concealer to mask a bruise from the fight, and Maeve, held in a private Vought facility, recognises that the threats he faces scare him.
He’s ranting at rallies about Starlight’s alleged ties to a human trafficking ring with Kimiko and drinking milk from a cow’s udders. Plus, his threats to kill Hughie (following Alex’s death) fall on deaf ears, and Starlight reveals – why secretly live-streaming their conversation to catch him out – that she no longer fears him. Victoria Neuman forces him into shape and offers what she describes as a “transactional” partnership. She gives him an address for 715 County Highway 2. If he helps her with a favour, she’ll return it. Sadly, once again, Claudia Doumit’s head-popping supe has been, much like Queen Maeve, underutilised as a character in Season 3 – despite the promise of the penultimate episode from Season 2.
A-Train too, and the good news is, the speedster is alive. After dragging Blue Hawk at full speed, A-Train suffers heart failure. However, he wakes up in a hospital bed and finds out from Ashley that surgeons gave A-Train a new heart. The one belonging to Blue Hawk. Vought wants him back up and running as soon as possible as development starts on a biopic with Tom Hanks and Julian Fellowes linked to the project. They further cover up his involvement in Blue Hawk’s death – and lay the blame on Soldier Boy – who detonated the Herogasm party.
All this talk about movies leads us to Black Noir. He’s been absent since going off the grid in the last episode – and he has good reason to go on the run with Soldier Boy getting retribution on Payback. The show explores Black Noir’s back story through a Disney-esque cast of animated characters who chronicle his tenure in Payback with Soldier Boy. Narrated by an animated beaver by the name of Buster, the writers expand on Black Noir’s storyline.
During the battle at Nicaragua, Soldier Boy causes Black Noir’s facial disfigurement – while Stan Edgar reveals to Black Noir that Vogelbaum has created a supe (Homelander) destined to succeed Soldier Boy. In another beautifully animated, if also violent segment, Black Noir was at one point in the running for a role as Axel Foley in Beverly Hills Cop, but Soldier Boy’s influence denies him the opportunity. Buster the Beaver and his animated entourage encourage Black Noir to face a traumatised Soldier Boy, and with the finale one week away, it’s evident there’s going to be a hell of a fight on the way.
Returning to family, we’ve had the Homelander/Soldier Boy plot twist and Butcher’s family flashback nightmares. Kimiko, who’d lost her powers following an encounter with Soldier Boy at the Russian lab in Episode 4, wants them back to protect her family – chief among which is Frenchie. They share a sweet moment as they dance to Doris Day’s ‘Dream A Dream Of Me,’ and Kimiko gets her powers back with Compound V. At the same time, Frenchie and M.M discover they may need to return to Russia (and bring back Little Nina) to retrieve a Russian nerve agent that can stop Soldier Boy.
M.M takes a swing at his ex-wife’s new beau, Todd, after he discovers a photo on social media of Todd and M.M’s daughter Janine at a Homelander rally. Todd is fiercely pro-Homelander and adamant that major media outlets continue to lie to the public. The punch leaves Janine shocked and M.M regretful of his actions.
Highlights include the stunning plot twist between Homelander and Soldier Boy, Butcher and Black Noir’s tragic backstories, the Deep and Cassandra’s crumbling relationship after a three-way proposition with a mollusk, and the gorgeously animated Buster the Beaver and his entourage. Catch up with Flickluster’s review for Episode 6. Seasons 1-2 and all seven episodes of The Boys Season 3 are available to stream on Amazon Prime. What did you think of The Boys Season 3 so far? Please give us your thoughts in the comment section below!