Friday, 25 September 2020

The Boys - "The Bloody Doors Off"

So... Stormfront is a Nazi. Racist was bad enough, but she is a straight-up nazi. As if audiences needed another reason to hate her. Jumping the gun a little bit here. Below, I go in a bit more depth but for my opening statement, I feel like I needed to acknowledge this first.

Following some snooping on Stormfront's computer, Annie discovers that something is happening at the Sage Grove treatment center. She brings this to The Boys after Frenchie removes Vought's chip implant in her body. Butcher and Annie finally team up in this one, and they hate each other. Butcher hates Supes and general, and Annie hasn't forgotten when he shot her last season. Seeing them work together was quite engaging, and they work together for one important purpose: saving Hughie. After he gets hit with Shrapnel, they rush to save his life. Another interesting tidbit: Annie is hardened. After she accidentally killed a man to take his car, she didn't self destruct or cry in a corner. She rationalized. It earned Butcher's respect, not that she wants it. The character has gotten great development, and I am all for Annie leaving behind that shiny superhero portrayal she plays for Vought. Seeing Butcher and Annie bond over the silly things Hughie does, like use child shampoo makes for nice levity, especially compared to the drama heavy storyline with the rest of the team.

We finally see why The Boys broke up in the first place from Frenchie's perspective. Hell, this is Frenchie's episode, and Tomer Kapon owns the spotlight. Jumping back and forth with the use of flashbacks, we see Frenchie with his lover Cherie, and his friend Jay. He originally joined The Boys to keep them out of prison. Later, Mallory orders him to follow Lamplighter after the team blackmails him. We know that he left his post, and Lamplighter torched Mallory's grandchildren, but now we know why he left. His friend Jay was suffering from an overdose. After saving his life, he rushed to go back to his post, but it was too late. To make it even worse, Jay, figuring Frenchie abandoned him left him and dies a few months later from another overdose.

All this is revealed when the team discovers that Lamplighter is working at the center, torching uncooperative team subjects. Rather than seeing vengeance being served, we see a team-up. Cindy, a test subject gets loose, and releases more subjects to cause absolute mayhem. Shawn Ashmore is a very underrated actor, so not only am I happy to see him play Lamplighter in an irony casting since he was Iceman, but he gave the character depth rather than him being clear cut evil. He is in torment for killing those kids, and it results in him covering for The Boys so Stormfront doesn't know that they were there and later meeting Mallory in the forest.

Frenchie comes to terms that saving Kimiko wouldn't solve his problems and she doesn't need to be saved. Now, Stormfront kills most of the escaped subjects, but there are a few standouts. Cindy, who is much stronger than she looks as she survived a direct blast from Stormfront, and Love Sausage, whos power is exactly what it sounds like. Seeing a CGI dick wrap itself around Mother's Milk's neck is something I will never forget. A fun easter egg for fans of the comic. I wasn't too sure they would put the character in the series.

Speaking of callbacks, the events of last season involving the plane crash come back here to haunt Maeve. The Deep provides her with a Go Pro from the crash in the sea, and Elena happens to stumble upon it. The video is damaging. This lights a bit of a spark in Maeve's storyline, but not much. The character in hindsight hasn't done much this season, but given how my complaints are seemingly addressed each week, I'll reserve my judgment for next week.

The endgame is revealed. Stormfront and Vought are trying to stabilize Compound V so an adult will be able to take it and get powers without dying. This is an effort to create an army of Supes so Vought can take back control of the culture as in Stormfront's eyes, the other races are beating them. By the episode's end, she reveals this to Homelander and her origins. She is over 100 years old, a nazi, the first successful superhuman experiment, and was married to Fredrick Vought. There is a moment after she dumps this on him that you don't know how he is going to take it, but he responds by kissing her while The Golden Girls theme song is playing. With these two closer than ever, this power couple is even more dangerous.

There is a fun cameo with Christopher Lennertz, the composer of the series. He raps a theme song for A Train, and I demand that it be made available to Spotify immediately.

"The Bloody Doors Off" fires on all cylinders with black humor and gory violence, but successfully ramps up the tension without being repetitive.

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