Friday, 18 September 2020

The Boys - "We Gotta Go Now"

Any show that disses what Joss Whedon did to Zack Snyder's Justice League is instantly my favourite. Writer Ellie Monahan is the episode's MVP. Her commentary of the way superhero films are created, and how corporations have thin unfelt inclusion hits the mark.

We open on a Zack Snyder like shot, with Queen Maeve and a hacker woman in a war-torn street. Through he dialogue is noticeably low quality and the pandering to the LGBTQ community obvious as if the writers of Supergirl were on set. It turns out that Vought is making their Justice League film: Dawn Of The Seven. Besides having to perform a noticeably weaker role in the film, Maeve also finds herself Vought's new diversity hire, with a massive campaign made behind her and her girlfriend Elena's relationship. The satire here should be a wake-up call. It is awkward and cringes in all the right ways. I like the direction that they are taking Maeve here. As the character suffers from burnout, she didn't have that much of an active role in season 1, nor the comics. Now, with the mission she placed upon herself to take down Homelander, she will take a more active role in the overall storyline. Her and The Deep haven't interacted, so it will be cool to see where that goes.

Anthony Starr was surprisingly hilarious in this episode. Sure, more unsettling moments, especially the scene at the protest, but he was a source of some of the biggest laughs. Homelander was filmed killing a Supe terrorist on video, but his laser vision ended up hitting an innocent, resulting in protests against him. Homelander's mental state during the protest scene was suspenseful and tense. The moment when he lasers the entire crowd is a fake-out, but with what has been established with him this season alone, I wouldn't have put it past him, so it gives the moment impact and weight.

A-Train, having been fired also finds that his storyline in the film has been altered to retire him. He attempts to resist it, but both Ashley and the director reject his ideas. In the end, to avoid losing his benefits, he submits and films his exit to Homelander. Actually, to add insult to injury, he films his goodbye in front of a Homelander stand-in. Jessie T Usher didn't waste his screen time here. He was great. Also, with what we know about Stormfront, the conversation between the two regarding Church was uncomfortable.

The Boys storyline will more dramatic than action-packed, but still interesting. For one, the team is still separate. Not a big deal, as The Seven have all been together a total of 4 times through the entire show so far. Just an observation. Butcher, still reeling from Becca choosing not to leave with him leaves the team to visit his aunt Judy, who is taking care of his dog, Terror. Terror in the comics had a habit of humping thins. Behind the scenes, the dog actor was a bit of a diva, and would not hump on command. Of course, the dog being as cute as he is is excused from any culpability. Hughie and MM (Mother's Milk) find him there. Black Noir is also there, having tracked Butcher from the Vought compound, and they rigged the house with explosions. They failed to do anything but destroy Judy's house. The team fights Noir face on, and it also failed. Butcher manages to keep them alive by threatening Vought with pictures revealing the secret of Ryan's existence. Mr.Edgar who is watching from a camera in Noir's suit calls off Noir in exchange for the photos never being released. At this moment, I realized two things. One, Butcher's lying on the spot was incredible. Two, Mr. Edgar is aware of everything that goes on in his company. As a black man, what is he doing with Stormfront?

The relationship between Hughie and Butcher is given more depth here. We learn that Butcher had a brother named Lenny who is like Hughie in a lot of ways. The older brother younger brother relationship had subtle yet tender moments. The chemistry of The Boys as a whole makes their team dynamic feel natural and believable. The history implied between Butcher and MM works because of this.

The episode benefits from a faster pace from last week's episode. The weakest part of of this episode is with Kimiko and Frenchie. Frenchie adoration with her was sweet in season 1, but his character has become defined by it. Kimiko, venting her anger has become a hitman, resulting in the week's grossing visual of ripping a man's face off. Was it because he thought Dear Evan Hansen was better than Hamilton? No, but I like to think so. This results in the two fighting in a church. This fails to create the effect the show wants it to as Kimiko is communicating in a language that Frenchie does not understand, so it is rendered useless.

The ending of this episode has me cringing. I thought Homelander and Stormfront would-be rivals, not lovers engaging in super-violent superhero sex. The sound effect during the oral portion is brief yet shocking. I expected the two of them to be rivals, but as lovers, their dynamic is much easier to invest in. Stormfront puts on a good face to disguise who she really is, so her plans for Homelander raise a lot of them. Also, the sex scene, while beautiful shot revealed that she is just as powerful as him, withstanding his laser blasts that are known to cut people in half. She is much more dangerous now with Homelander wrapped around her finger. Shawn Ambrose, best known as Terry Fox and Iceman from the X-Men franchise plays Lamplighter and had a brief cameo in this episode. He and Stormfront are working together. It has been a while since I read the comics, so I don't know his purpose, but the character was referenced last season as the reason The Boys broke up in the first place, so last week has me hyped.

Side note: 3 former castmembers from Timeless were in this episode. As a clockbuster fan, I loved this.

The Boys sets up new dynamics, providing more developed stories for The Supes, continuing the show's streak of satirical wit, and shocking moments. This is the show at its best. Kimiko and Frenchie's story is still weak though.

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