‘The Boys’ Recap, Season 4, Episode 3

The Boys

The blog post's featured photo is taken from Prime's collection, with permission granted for its use.

The fourth season of The Boys has surpassed the number of trauma-focused storylines needed to form a pattern. Nevertheless, this episode stands out as my personal favorite out of the initial batch of three. It skillfully blends a captivating plot with compelling character development, evoking both excitement and emotions in the viewer.

In simpler terms, there's a big plan called the Superhero Management Act, but it's going to be difficult to get it approved because many people who make decisions are being influenced by Vought. Someone named Victoria Neuman is worried about the bill ruining her own career. Additionally, there are two different groups of superheroes, Starlighters and Hometeamers, who are becoming increasingly divided. One person, Sister Sage, wants to make things worse by choosing someone controversial, Firecracker, for a leadership position. This will cause more conflict, eventually leading to a coup. This is the villains' goal for the season, and it's clear what's at stake.

I must admit, some parts of this feel like a throwback to Stormfront's storyline in season two. Sage is Homelander's new partner and the attack on Starlight House by a radical Firecracker fan gives me flashbacks to the Stormchaser incident where he killed a grocery store employee who he thought was a sup terrorist. However, things at Vought Tower have changed enough to warrant my forgiveness for the repeated satirical content.

The reason why things feel unusual is because Sage has swiftly taken over Ashley's position as CEO, even though Ashley will still be around as a symbol and personal assistant. If this were a typical situation, it would be a hidden blessing as Ashley could focus on developing her career elsewhere. However, after witnessing how quickly Homelander can eliminate a disloyal colleague, Ashley becomes frightened and decides to stay put. Despite the possibility of finding safety elsewhere, with all the unethical behavior and disgusting acts she has observed at Vought, Homelander would most likely prevent her from leaving.

The latest episode of the show revealed an interesting fact about Firecracker's past which gave her feud with Starlight a personal touch. As it turns out, when they were both in pageants, Firecracker used to encounter Annie frequently. Annie's mother's toxic influence had turned her into a bully, and at one point, Firecracker (known as "Sparkler" then) and Annie both made it to the finals. However, Annie made a nasty comment about Firecracker to the other girls, something about how she only made it to the finals by having an "ass-fuck gang-bang" with the judges. This remark quickly spread as a rumor and ruined Firecracker's reputation, forcing her to leave the pageant circuit.

Firecracker's assumption that Annie is still the same mean girl from her teenage years may seem ridiculous, but it's intriguing to see Annie take on the role of a bully and apologize to one of America's most infamous people. It's interesting to think about Firecracker revealing Annie's darker and crueler side. Maybe there's some truth to Firecracker's unfair portrayal of her.

The A-Train situation is improving greatly, as the Boys' latest source has inserted themselves into a plan to monitor a meeting between Homelander and Neuman at VoughtCoin Arena during a Vought on Ice rehearsal. Mother's Milk mentions that the source could use blackmail against A-Train, but the constant threats are getting tiring. What's refreshing is that the source's objective isn't to force A-Train into helping their cause, but rather to appeal to his conscience during a time of crisis and hopefully persuade him to assist the Boys willingly.

When the meeting was rescheduled, Hughie crawled into the vents to plant a bug. However, he couldn't leave without making a sound, so he waited and listened to their conversation. Sage made a proposal that she and Homelander would kill Dakota Bob after certification to protect Neuman from suspicion. In exchange, Neuman agreed to disband the Bureau of Superhuman Affairs, condemn the “defund the supes” movement, remove “critical supe theory” from schools, put heroes in charge of police departments all over the country, and publicly reveal herself as a supe. Unfortunately, Hughie's sweat dripped down onto Homelander and exposed his presence, putting him in danger of being burned to a crisp.

The Vought on Ice scene may not be quite as flashy as the fight with Splinter in the last episode, but it's definitely my favorite action sequence in the season so far. The Vought on Ice performance itself is pretty cool, especially with the "Put the 'Christ' Back in Christmas" tune. The deaths of a few ice skaters are also pretty intense, from Homelander's errant laser bolt to the frantic dash across the ice to escape. (It's no shock that a few skaters wind up dead given the situation.) But what I really love about this scene is the espionage thriller aspect, with Homelander in hot pursuit of Hughie (who he knows exactly). It's just a lot of fun. Sure, Hughie doesn't stand a chance against Homelander, so it's a relief when A-Train quietly steps in to save his butt.

Homelander had a terrible day as he spoke to the braver and ruthless version of himself that he sees in the mirror. He felt envious after learning that Ryan spent time with Butcher and wanted to rise beyond his human emotions to become better. He plans to do this by facing his past, similar to how Hughie, Annie, Frenchie, and Kimiko are also dealing with their past this season.

In this episode, Frenchie and Kimiko embark on a side mission with the aim of eliminating everyone involved in the operation. During their quest, Kimiko comes across a young woman with scars who she recognizes from her past as a member of the Shining Light. Despite the mission's goal, Kimiko decides to let the scarred woman go without explaining the reason behind her choice to Frenchie. On the other hand, Frenchie continuously refuses to disclose the cause of his reluctance towards Colin. Instead, he chooses to consume hallucinogens and avoid thinking about it altogether. Despite his lack of participation in this mission's violence, Frenchie remains present while Kimiko carries out her kills, visualizing the gore as bubbles and rubber ducks.

If you didn't already understand Frenchie's problem, a hallucination that wasn't necessary reminded us. An imaginary person named Colin blamed Frenchie for killing others on Little Nina's orders. Nina also appeared and said that he was a failure for having relations with the boy he left behind and still feeling guilty even though Nina wasn't around. Later, during a conversation with Annie, Frenchie talked about how he always wants to blame someone else for his mistakes instead of taking responsibility himself.

Butcher is maintaining his commitment to doing things correctly for now. This season, we witnessed him use his usual violent tactics on missions, but he always stops himself before doing something truly atrocious. In "We'll Keep the Red Flag Flying Here," he considers giving Ryan a powerful opioid to drug him, with the intention of taking him away with his ominous CIA ally to "deprogram" him. However, after having a genuine conversation with the young man, he chooses not to go through with it and discards the laced cookies in the garbage.

The moment where Butcher and Ryan had a deep conversation really stood out to me this season, as we've been watching their relationship develop for a while now. Ever since Butcher made a promise to Becca in season two, we knew this conversation was coming. During a game of foosball, Ryan expressed his frustration with always being let win by everyone at Vought Tower, which reminded him of the same feeling he has towards his biological father. When he opened up about accidentally killing someone, my heart went out to him, especially when he said, "I understand why you don't want me. I wouldn't want me either." This was definitely an emotional highlight of the season for me.

I feel really satisfied that Butcher has finally revealed the truth about why he rejected Ryan last season and offered up a confession. Butcher claimed that he intentionally pushed Ryan away because he believes he's not fit to be a father. However, he's now worried he might die before he can make things up to Ryan. It was really refreshing to see both of them let their guard down and spend some quality time together. However, Kessler's final warning has made me feel more worried than ever before. The CIA may need to either train or kill Ryan, and this could potentially put the country at risk. Right now, I'm most concerned about the characters and their relationships.

Hughie discovers that there are no lawful actions he can take regarding power of attorney. Nevertheless, he has an earnest conversation with his mother where she shares with him the profound sadness she underwent after his birth. She made the tough decision to leave the family for her own survival, and his father decided it was best to have no further contact. It appears that they are both on a path towards reconciliation, and I am intrigued to see how their relationship will progress.

Sage is aware that the incriminating footage of the Starlighters was stolen, and I doubt she will just ignore it.

In a surprising twist, the characters Deep and Sage end up together towards the end of the episode. Their bonding moment happens over a shared Bloomin' Onion from Outback Steakhouse, which adds a fun element. However, during the scene, Sage appears to be influenced by drugs, possibly due to a nearby weapon that appears to be covered in blood. It's amusing to think that the most intelligent character on the show has a desire to watch both Say Yes to the Dress and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

The immunizations being distributed at the Starlight House are believed to be the cause of autism, but not the kind that's characterized by exceptional abilities in numerical feats like the movie Rain Man.

The expression "Enough yeast infections to open a Panera" is a very descriptive statement.

I am aware that Vought holds a significant grip on the media, but I find it quite peculiar that Butcher managed to witness Ryan's heroic act on television without also catching a glimpse of the deceased body he had caused. Wouldn't there be an abundance of footage recorded by onlookers who were broadcasting live? Additionally, Ryan won't face any legal repercussions as he was acting in defense of a young girl.

"Shy and I are close friends, and he has expressed interest in having me join the cast of Honey Boy 2. However, the script is still being developed and is not currently in a suitable state for production."

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