The Boys: Nothing Like It in the World   Show Only 
September 11, 2020 7:36 AM - Season 2, Episode 4 - Subscribe

Road trip! The Boys head to North Carolina to follow a lead on a mysterious Supe named Liberty. And did you know a person's choice of candy bars might tell you if they're a serial killer? Watch and learn the warning signs! This episode could save your life!
posted by Brandon Blatcher (20 comments total)
Easily the best episode of the season so far! Itgets down into the relationships of the characters and who they are, for good or bad, while still operating in a gleefully messed up space for comedic value.

Well, except for The Deep's appearance. That's never a good time for that.

The road trip scene with Starlight and Hughie bonding over singing was great, along with the banter about candy bars. Though Hughie was mostly wrong, Bit of Honey and Charleston Chew are pretty good, but yeah, fuck Almond Joy. Don't hate the messenger.

Also good to see Becca and Billy finally talk and what it revealed about them. Along with Hughie and Starlight, there was an odd (for this show) but welcomed maturity to their encounters.

Wasn't sure if MM's story was gonna be real, was wondering if it was just a play, but it wouldn't be like MM to lie to that extent in that situation.

Homelander you gloriously sick fuck.

Frenchie, yeah, no need to go there with Kimiko.

Black Noir steals the show again!

Doesn't look go for Elena, but I'm hoping they don't go THERE.

Yep, there's a ton of plot holes, but I don't care this time around.

Clearly this was a slower paced episode designed to give some emotional weight and backbone to what comes ahead. That's fine, it worked really well! There's multiple conflicts ahead and I'm finally curious to see how they play out. Hopefully the enjoyable character bits don't get too lost in the upcoming punch out gore fest.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:37 AM on September 11, 2020 [1 favorite]

Also, shout-out to the Billy Joel songs. "We Didn’t Start the Fire" is from this 1989 album titled "Storm Front".
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:45 AM on September 11, 2020 [8 favorites]

Well that was fun. The Frenchie/Kimiko thing is to fit in with the rest of the show, which is mainly about break ups (except for the Deep...ugh).

I'm not sure how marrying someone is supposed to help the Deep, but I also don't care and wish they would just cut him from the show.

I suspect MM is telling what he thinks is the truth about his father's death. I also think his father was actually murdered, mostly likely by a Supe in Vought's employ. While Supe kills are generally pretty dramatic, who says Supe couldn't use their power to make it look like someone died of a heart attack or some other natural cause?

Also I like charleston chews. I actually have a few strawberry ones in my freezer right now. Clearly I am not to be trusted.
posted by miss-lapin at 11:00 AM on September 11, 2020 [1 favorite]

use their power to make it look like someone died of a heart attack

I wonder if an electrical shock, applied in just the right way, might stop someone's heart...
posted by Maecenas at 11:40 AM on September 11, 2020 [3 favorites]

When Hughie knocks on the door and Valerie answers, it is Ensign Boimler and Captain Freeman from Lower Decks crossing paths in live action.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:10 PM on September 11, 2020 [3 favorites]

Wait what, there are strawberry Charleston Chews?!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:18 PM on September 11, 2020

posted by miss-lapin at 1:25 PM on September 11, 2020

Haaa, I recognized Dawnn Lewis’s name but couldn’t recognize her face—turns out it’s because I know her from Futurama, in which the played LaBarbara Conrad, wife of Hermès.

It was great how this episode slowed down to make space for the characters. The season premiere packed about six WTF moments in its running time; this one only had room for a couple, the Homelander/Doppleganger sequences. Always glad to see Elizabeth Shue again, but not like this! Never like this.

I have a strong suspicion that Raynor’s head explosion is not in fact the work of a secret head-exploding assassin in Vought’s employ. There’s something about how everyone immediately jumped to that conclusion and there’s been no further evidence for or against makes me suspect we’re being conned. I had that suspicion right away and three episodes later it’s only grown stronger!

I’m on Team Annie when it comes to candy bars. Add Mary Janes to the list and we’re talking some treasured Halloween memories.
posted by ejs at 5:45 PM on September 11, 2020 [1 favorite]

Watching this episode, I just realized something: we never see Homelander out of costume. The same is true for Black Noir, Stormfront, A-Train and (as far as I can recall) The Deep. Their identities are so strongly wrapped up in their image as superheroes that it's impossible for them separate themselves from their costumes. While they willingly lie and deceive the public, there's no concept of alter-ego for them. They are that character, all the time. Which further brings to mind the line in Kill Bill that Jor-El's secret identity is Clark Kent: he really is Superman, and the human being is an act.

It's only the supes with a flicker of humanity left in them, who retain some hope for a normal relationship with a non-powered human being - Maeve, Starlight - who are prepared to hang up the cape when they're off the clock, to be "normal" and emotionally vulnerable, at least for a time.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 6:26 PM on September 11, 2020 [3 favorites]

Bora Shiraz Gobuchul, a funny/interesting extension of your point is that when, at the end of episode, Homelander sees “himself” out of costume, he kills “himself.”

I’m very interested that The Boys looks like it’s going to be joining fellow genre shows Watchmen, Agents of SHIELD, Umbrella Academy, and Lovecraft Country in addressing the history of injustice perpetrated on Blacks In America. It’s exciting that these shows that were all in the can before the nation erupted in protest against inequality were coincidentally well timed for the moment.
posted by ejs at 8:08 PM on September 11, 2020 [1 favorite]

Charleston Chews and Bit-o-Honey are fine--they're both a type of taffy--but I don't think of taffy as a candy bar, per se. I know that that's getting into "is a hot dog a sandwich" territory, I just feel that way. And Almond Joys are perfectly cromulent candy bars, I don't know what anyone's problem is. (Jeffrey Dahmer didn't get in trouble for eating candy bars, ffs. Also, he worked in a chocolate factory.) Snickers are undoubtedly superior; the rest is just personal taste.

Not a lot to say about the rest of the show, except that the framing device was pretty effective, and shows that the show is going in on the cult angle.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:12 PM on September 11, 2020 [2 favorites]

I'm getting strong Scientology vibes from the whole Deep plot line..
posted by Pendragon at 5:24 AM on September 12, 2020 [2 favorites]

I don't know if it's scientology or just a cult. There are a lot of specific hallmarks of Scientology and I'm not seeing anything analogous. But it's early yet so maybe those parallels will become more apparent in time.
posted by miss-lapin at 11:24 AM on September 12, 2020

There was a wording in ep 1 or 2 when the "shrink" spoke to hawkguy [?] about being unable to reach Deep, and the wording was almost "something something thetan blocking" - and with Vaught being analogous to Hollywood the scientology angle seems obvious.
posted by monocultured at 2:38 PM on September 12, 2020 [1 favorite]

Ah I missed the thetan thing. I'm currently watching the Vow, an HBO documentary on the NXIVM cult and sexual slavery. Since they had a few celebrity members, one particular involved in the scandal, that's where my mind went.
posted by miss-lapin at 7:12 PM on September 12, 2020

Yeah, between Carol talking about how “therapy is destructive” and handing the Deep a book called “Destinations: The New Science of Self-Renewal,” it’s clearly supposed to be Scientology, even if Kripke won’t mention the famously litigious group by name in interviews.
posted by ejs at 7:35 PM on September 12, 2020 [3 favorites]

At least they hinted that Butcher is going to get caught for his amateurish attempt to rescue Becky by scaling a wall with a rope. She's monitored 24/7, Homelander listens in on her, but yet she can hang out on a bridge for 2 hours and bang her husband without anyone noticing? If Butcher had some plan to use the son for his escape that would have made more sense.

Starlight doing a road trip with Hughie also seemed incredibly dangerous after Homelander almost disemboweled her.

Nice work on the Homelander confederate flag barn painting, something that would just have to exist in that reality given that Homelander is a Trump stand-in. MM's T-shirts are always the best.
posted by benzenedream at 1:28 AM on September 16, 2020 [1 favorite]

She's monitored 24/7, Homelander listens in on her, but yet she can hang out on a bridge for 2 hours and bang her husband without anyone noticing?

Yeah, I laughed at someone saying Becca's prison was super locked up, and yet they're just hanging out talking and banging.

Good example of character interaction and development overriding plot holes.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:09 AM on September 16, 2020 [1 favorite]

At least they hinted that Butcher is going to get caught for his amateurish attempt to rescue Becky by scaling a wall with a rope. She's monitored 24/7, Homelander listens in on her, but yet she can hang out on a bridge for 2 hours and bang her husband without anyone noticing?

Well, to be fair the first time she went off to meet with Billy she waggled a box of smokes at the camera, so I just sort of assumed she has an understanding with her monitors for some free time. As Billy pointed out, they're not actually terribly interested in her, it's the kid they're keeping a hold of.

I mean, I assume they're halfheartedly monitoring her just so Homelander doesn't go all crazypants if his babymommy disappeared.
posted by Kyol at 8:29 AM on September 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

Hi folks, it's me six months later finally watching this show. It's good! I like it! I even like The Deep. As someone remarked earlier a show like this needs a despicable icon. I like that his awfulness is more human and relatable than Homelander's pure monstrousness. (Or Stormfront's comicly simple racism, apparently). The Scientology thing should become interesting. I also wonder if they're setting Deep up to be a sort of Gollum character, someone who ends up saving the world our at least our heroes despite himself. No real redemption mind you, just stumbling into the fires of Moria because you're snatching too fast for that ring.

The character I could do without is Butcher. And his silly personal quests. The thing with the rope over the wall was hilarious. Did he leave the rope there? For three days while he's hiding out inside trying to get laid?

MM's T-shirts are always the best.

For real. There needs to be a Tumblr or something.

This week was a Black Panthers t-shirt. No, not the funny book Panther, not the amazing comic book adaptation movie. The Huey Newton Black Panthers. And their Free Food Program, at that. I gotta think that shirt alone is half of how he talked his way into the door at Valerie's.
posted by Nelson at 7:29 AM on February 15, 2021 [3 favorites]

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