In “The Boys” recap, Homelander faces a personal crisis, the Boys go on a road trip seeking answers and Butcher finds what he’s been looking for…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
Following a non-stop action and ultimately bloody end to the third episode of “The Boys,” the newest installment slows things down while digging a little deeper into the psyche and relationships inside the series.
Last week saw Stormfront’s true personality emerge after unleashing a racial epithet just before killing Kimiko’s brother and that came after she executed a Black family for doing nothing more than owning the apartment where she crash landed. While the world still doesn’t know her true nature, Stormfront is starting to stir up a lot of anger while pushing a hate filled agenda that puts her at odds with the leader of The Seven.
Speaking of Homelander — thanks to the super terrorist dropping a highway on top of him, he failed to stop the bad guy, which then allowed Stormfront to step into his spotlight. Homelander has already been facing a lot of internal turmoil in the wake of Madelyn Stillwell’s death. She used to be his guiding light and now he’s been forced to find his own path and it’s safe to say that hasn’t been going very well.
As for the Boys — Butcher now knows his wife Becca is very much alive but the key is finding a way back to her. Hughie is spiraling after being branded a fugitive while still very much in love with Annie and Frenchie can’t seem to connect with Kimiko no matter how much he attempts to understand her.
This week splits up the Boys as Mother’s Milk and Hughie end up going on a road trip together while Butcher engages in a mission to finally reunite with his wife.
With that said, let’s recap the latest episode of “The Boys” titled “Nothing Like It in the World”…
After Stormfront put an end to the super-terrorist a week ago, she’s been cast into the spotlight as a new kind of hero that the world has been waiting for. That doesn’t sit well with Homelander, who has been the face of The Seven since the super group was first created. It also isn’t making Kimiko’s life any easier after she was forced to watch Stormfront snap her brother’s neck in the most callous and vicious way possible after shouting racist names at him.
Kimiko’s blood is boiling as she watches a report branding her brother a radical terrorist while proclaiming Stormfront’s greatness simultaneously. Frenchie, who has apparently been pounding lines of coke like he’s hanging out with Motley Crue circa 1986, is doing his best to console her but his attempt at kissing Kimiko comes at the worst possible moment.
She rejects him — and deservedly so — and Frenchie is still stuck loving her from afar.
As for Billy Butcher, he goes to the gravesite where 59 people perished in the attack last week and that’s where he meets with Grace Mallory. Butcher had promised to deliver the terrorist to her personally, which would have then given her the leverage to provide him with information on Becca’s whereabouts while hopefully giving her the inside edge to begin dismantling Vought International.
Instead, Grace is still on the outside looking in and Vought is seemingly more powerful than ever before.
Still, Grace is haunted at night by visions of all the people who have been killed by superheroes as she desperately tried to stop them and now enough is enough. She hands over some intel about a 1970’s superhero named Liberty and address in Raleigh, N.C. where Mallory wants to send the Boys to investigate. It seems this was what Rayner was investigating before she was murdered.
She also gives Butcher the address where she believes Becca is living inside a Vought facility with her super-son Ryan.
When Butcher questions why she’s handing over the information to him when he failed to deliver, she tells him that she doesn’t want to see his face staring back at her as one more tragedy haunting her dreams at night.
Back at Vought International, Black Noir makes an appearance at an analyst’s desk as he commands her to begin a search for Billy Butcher. But he’s not going to just wait for answers — he actually sits down next to her while she begins her search.
As for Homelander, he’s really not taking Stormfront’s rise to power well at all.
He watches the news coverage fawning over this new superhero, who absolutely does not play well with others much less abide by the cookie-cutter rules that Vought International has used to make Homelander the ultimate Boy Scout. Instead, she curses and talks about all the ways Vought is failing the American people and how everyone needs to learn to be their own hero.
As he’s seething with anger, Homelander decides to take a sojourn to a cabin where he opens the door and finds a scantily clad Madelyn Stillwell waiting for him with a glass of milk in hand.
It’s a rather creepy reunion but as “Madelyn” begins to tell Homelander everything he could possibly want to hear about his exploits building and crafting The Seven into the best superhero team in the world, he hears cries of pain before feeling a ridge bump into the back of his head.
That’s when Homelander jumps up and we learn that his Madelyn Stillwell clone is actually Doppelganger — the shape-shifting supe we met a season ago who ensnared a Senator into a sexual romp in order to blackmail him. Now Doppelganger has been dressing himself up as Stillwell to comfort Homelander whenever he needs it most.
The next day when Homelander returns to work, he confronts Starlight over her inability to pull the trigger after telling her to execute Hughie. He is ready to brand her a traitor but Starlight does her best to convince him that she’s just unwilling to become a cold-blooded killer and if anything she wants revenge on Hughe as much as anybody else for lying to her and nearly costing her a job with The Seven.
Homelander chooses to believe her before moving onto his next order of the day — firing A-Train from The Seven. It seems Homelander is well aware of A-Train’s heart problems, which in turn has left him compromised and far from being the world’s fastest man. It even appears a replacement has already been sorted after A-Train spotted his rival Shockwave inside the Vought tower just before he was handed his pink slip.
Finally, with Butcher preparing to invade a Vought compound to look for Becca, he hands over the information to Mother’s Milk that Mallory gave to him. He tells his old friend that he’s the one in charge while Butcher attempts to rescue his wife.
Hughie ends up meeting with Annie that same day as he tries to explain away that emotional voicemail he left her a week ago. Just as he’s leaving to join up with Mother’s Milk for the road trip to North Carolina to find out information on this mysterious supe named Liberty, Annie finally breaks down in his arms.
She’s feeling like there’s a loaded gun pointed at her head all the time since Homelander has already threatened to kill her on multiple occasions. At this point, Annie just needs a break so Hughie invites her to join them on the road trip to North Carolina.
New Wife, New Life
The strange season for The Deep continued this week as he started interviewing potential wives through his new religious group called The Church of the Collective.
A number of faithful women came through to be interviewed by him with Carol — his spiritual guru sitting in during the sessions. In the end, The Deep believes he found the perfect woman to marry but Carol has different ideas with an earlier candidate who seemed almost emphatically in love with the idea of being in love.
Carol believes that’s the best person for The Deep to marry so he can continue to rehabilitate his image in order to rejoin The Seven.
With the information provided to him by Grace Mallory, Butcher is able to make it to the Vought facility where Becca has been living with her son Ryan. He surprises his wife by laying in the back of her car before sneaking away to a bridge where the security cameras won’t see them.
Butcher finally reconnects with Becca after all these years being separated and he desperately wants to run away with her to a place where Vought can never find them.
They get physical in the back of her car and then share a cigarette while telling each other about the past decade of their lives after being separated. Butcher feels awful that he gave up searching for Becca and she feels equally bad that there was no way to reach out to him to say she was still alive.
In the end, Butcher tells Becca that the past is the past and now it’s time for them to be together. He’s devised a place to escape the facility and he tells her to meet him the next day so they can finally get out of this hell they’ve been living in since being separated.
Sadly the next day when Becca arrives to meet Billy, she comes without Ryan in tow while informing her husband that she’s not leaving. Becca knows deep down Billy has no interest in raising Homelander’s son, even if he was conceived under horrible circumstances during a rape.
She remembers Billy never really wanted children and over time there’s little hope that he would accept Ryan as anything other than a hindrance to them. Billy more or less comes clean while agreeing with her but adding that leaving with Ryan would only make Vought look for them that much more. In reality, he knows Ryan is the commodity that the company values so much because he’s a second generation superhero — and the first and only of his kind.
But Becca refuses to leave him behind. She knows left to their own devices, Vought will raise Ryan to be the spitting image of his father, Homelander, and that’s absolutely the last thing she wants for him. So she says goodbye to Billy and sends him packing while taking away the option that he’ll try to convince her otherwise after calling on security.
Butcher leaves Becca behind but flips a middle finger to the Vought security cameras that catch him escaping the facility. Little does he know that gesture has also been relayed back to Vought headquarters where Black Noir finally gets the information he’s been waiting for.
All By Myself
With Homelander on a mission to regain control of the narrative, he begins doing everything possible to wrap his hands around the situation.
First, he goes on national television for an interview with Queen Maeve where they discuss Compound-V and the secrets allegedly kept from them by Vought. Homelander is then asked about the “heroes so white” campaign where it’s been discovered than 92 percent of the heroes funded by Vought are Caucasian with minorities barely making up the other eight percent.
Homelander counters by pointing to the diversity of The Seven where A-Train is black man, Black Noir doesn’t associate himself with any race and they even have an out lesbian as a member of the team. That’s when he lets loose on live television that Queen Maeve is gay with a girlfriend named Elena.
Following the segment, Maeve is terrified with what Homelander knows but he ultimately tells her that all she had to do was come clean with him and everything would have been fine. In fact, he hasn’t touched Elena and won’t now that Maeve has admitted to loving her.
After returning to Vought tower, Homelander continues to watch Stormfront as she holds a meeting outside, ripping the company for their inaction and laughing off the multi-million dollar ad campaign about “Saving America.”
She’s stirring up a frenzy among her supporters while speaking about all the ways people are being shafted and how they need to stand up for themselves as their own heroes. Homelander then scrolls through a series of memes that tout Stormfront as the true savior while he’s part of a bygone era that needs to just fade away.
Finally, Homelander confronts Stormfront, who proceeds to tell him that he’s just out dated with his concerns about being loved by everybody while trying to maintain power over The Seven. Instead, Stormfront offers him some friendly advice after taking over as the most popular superhero in a matter of days.
“You can’t win the whole country anymore. No one can. So why are you even trying? You don’t need 50 million people to love you. You need 5 million people fucking pissed. Emotion sells. Anger sells. You have fans. I have soldiers.”
If that rhetoric doesn’t sound familiar, turn on any news channel these days and you’ll see a similar game plan being employed in politics.
As for Stormfront’s attempts to turn Homelander to her side, he starts to listen but then balks at the suggestion that anybody knows better than him. He eventually turns and walks away while still disturbed at just how much Stormfront has gotten to him.
Later that night, Homelander returns to the cabin to meet with his fake Stillwell but the attempts to console him aren’t working this time. Eventually, Doppelganger transforms into a version of Homelander — because ultimately this narcissistic superhero is really just in love with himself anyway.
A disturbing near oral sex scene unfolds before Homelander decides he doesn’t need everyone to love him and he doesn’t need anyone to advise him any longer — and then he snaps Doppelganger’s neck before leaving him laying in a heap on the floor of the cabin.
Liberty and Justice For All
On the road to North Carolina, Mother’s Milk and Annie get to know each other better over donuts before arriving at a hotel where the trio will sleep for the night. Hughie gets a message from Annie to meet her outside where she reveals to him that she has the absolute worst taste in candy bars but more importantly she doesn’t want to be alone right now.
The two of them end up back in her room where they spend the night together, which makes Hughie so happy after he nearly ruined things with Annie by lying to her.
The next day, the trio arrives at the address provided to them by Grace Mallory.
A woman answers the door but she has no interest in talking about the hero known as Liberty until Mother’s Milk shares a story with her about his own father. It seems M.M.’s dad was an attorney and as he saw Vought starting to grow in power and control, he decided to take them on legally.
Unfortunately, Vought fought back and in the end, M.M.’s father died slumped over a typewriter at just 55 years of age.
The woman finally lets them inside and that’s where she tells them the story about the death of her brother back in the 1970’s. It seems one rainy night, she was driving with her older brother when a superhero named Liberty stopped them and accused her sibling of being involved in some kind of robbery.
He explained that it wasn’t possible considering where he’d been all night but Liberty didn’t listen — and then she dropped a racist name at him before punching through his head and leaving him laying near death on top of the car. When she was just 11 years old, the woman got out to see her brother dying in front of her but her family refused to fight back against Vought and they were ultimately paid off for $2,000.
Mother’s Milk, Hughie and Annie are all disturbed by the story but still confused why Grace Mallory sent them to see this woman. That’s when the woman drops a shocking piece of information — Liberty, the racist superhero from the 1970’s is now parading around New York City as a hero named Stormfront.
All of them are stunned by this news, which leads Annie to wonder what kind of adverse effects Compound-V might have on people. Does the drug hand out super powers and immortality as well?
In the original comics, many superheroes have been around for decades including Stormfront, who was a Nazi poster boy raised in the Third Reich under Adolf Hitler. It’s not clear how much that storyline will evolve in “The Boys” TV series but obviously there are a lot of similarities with this version of the character.
After arriving back in New York, Hughie is happy that he finally reconnected with Annie but she tells him that it’s too dangerous to keep seeing each other. They’ve already been walking a tightrope in order to try and bring down Vought but continued visits will only invite further wrath from the company, Homelander or both.
She says goodbye to Hughie with a kiss and tells him that they’re all alone in this fight and they can’t be together any longer.
Now the question remains about Stormfront’s true intentions, especially after she was assigned to The Seven by Mr. Edgar. Obviously her arrival was put into motion for a purpose and all signs point to her true agenda stirring up an awful lot of hate and anger that will eventually be pointed at all the wrong people.
We’ll certainly find out more when “The Boys” returns for episode 5 next Friday on Amazon Prime video.