The Boys: The Bloody Doors Off   Show Only 
September 24, 2020 10:21 PM - Season 2, Episode 6 - Subscribe

When The Boys and Starlight follow a lead to Vought's mysterious Sage Grove Center, they find one of Vought's darkest secrets - and someone even darker from their past. Meanwhile Homelander and Stormfront's relationship deepens.
posted by Brandon Blatcher (24 comments total)
Things get deep and dark, as the past comes back to change the relationships of today.

No surprise that Stormfront is an actual Nazi, who's seemingly using Vought to craft her own all white army. But that can't be Vought's actual mission, at least not with a black guy heading it, yeah? What will happen when Homelander and Stormfront, a literal power couple, decide to stop being coy and openly declare their nazi based outlook? Probably a lot of uncomfortable and gory sex.

But it's with Frenchie where things get real. All the cheerfully gruesome humor takes a step back as we discover he's got some demons. His own actions caused him to be placed in situation where he was faced with responsibilities to his two "families". Wanting to save your best friend who is passed out and dying from drugs is completely understandable. But knowing that the time you spent doing that, where you had to leave your very important and singular job of tailing one very bad person allowed said person to kill several children is a weight you'll never be able remove. No matter what he did that night, Frenchie was doomed. As he noted to Mother's Milk, he doesn't want forgiveness, even if he was in an impossible situation.

On a slightly bright side with all that, it gives Kimiko an understanding of where Frenchie was coming from in trying to save her. He's wise to finally realize that and back, but it doesn't look like she totally wants him to do that now. Feels a bit awkward if it leads to a relationship.

Lamplighter's own grief and regret over killing the Grace's kids was believable and harrowing. Sure, it was a mistake, but it's still something he, Frenchie, and Grace have had to live with for the past five years. All of them are tired are tired of dragging that baggage around, hopefully they'll be able to do something about it soon.


- "Of course I'm Betty White"

- Ashley's "Isn't it lit" regarding A-train wrap

- That was a very large appendage

- "This is a stand your ground state!"

- "You look like a majorette"

- "That's how Vin Disel must smell"

- Poor acid vomit guy not being immune to his powers

- Hi Cindy! What's your story?

- Really liked that Butcher was more of a background character this time around

- The look Elna gives Maeuve
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:01 AM on September 25, 2020 [8 favorites]

This was my favorite episode thus far.

I had been slightly bummed when my prediction that the mysterious Liberty would turn out to be Lynda Carter did not come true, but I do like how that plotline is developing, how we're seeing lots of intersectional complicity in Vought's legacy.

Karl Urban is an actor I always love to see turn up, but I feel like this show does not play to his strengths as a wacky (if dark) character actor. I get that Butcher's a Captain Ahab obsessed with vengeance, but I wish we got to see more colors out of him than "grim 'n gravelly."
posted by HeroZero at 7:28 PM on September 25, 2020 [1 favorite]

Original-flavor Nazi to the the face of modern American fascism: "You are everything that we dreamed of."

That scene was chilling.
posted by TheKM at 10:36 PM on September 25, 2020 [6 favorites]

Gotta admit I kinda like the stunt casting of Iceman as Pyro.
posted by straight at 12:48 AM on September 26, 2020 [9 favorites]

Much better-informed people than I have been covering it a lot recently, but Original-flavour Nazis were strongly influenced by the U.S. We tend to look at the Nazis as a weird aberration because it helps us to distance ourselves (at least in our own heads) from our own legacies.
posted by Grangousier at 2:57 AM on September 26, 2020 [8 favorites]

Just picked up that Enya was playing softly in the background of the Church / A-train diner *chef's kiss*
posted by litleozy at 3:22 AM on September 26, 2020


- "..." (The Female of the Species)

Seriously, Karen Fukuhara is killing it. Knowing her mostly from her VO work, I've been staring at her performance here as the flip-side of it. Instead of the 100% reading that's VO performane, this is 0% and wholly physical performance -- and it's phenomenal.
posted by mikelieman at 5:06 AM on September 26, 2020 [2 favorites]

In the opening rating screen my ladyfriend said "STRONG sexual content, I wonder what that's gonna be" and I replied "probably a fully muscled penis flexing like a bicep". Imagine my surprise!
posted by FatherDagon at 7:04 PM on September 26, 2020 [6 favorites]

So what's Stormfront's deal? Where the hell has she been for so long? Homelander has been around for a while, shouldn't she have been trying to jump his bones for years?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:31 AM on September 27, 2020

Stormfront has been busy working on a version of Compound V that she can give only to adults already committed to the Nazi cause. When they seemed close to being ready to create an army, she needed to find a leader and adopted the Stormfront identity to either find someone suitable or maybe position herself to lead.

She may not have known before joining the Seven and getting close to him which version of all-American values Homelander actually holds. Is he Captain America or Andrew Jackson? Remember that Ubermench is a moral category, not a physical one.
posted by straight at 12:52 PM on September 27, 2020 [2 favorites]

I thought this was a very solid episode, but the introduction of Lamplighter felt forced. They haven't really made the case for why they couldn't just fit the chambers with poison gas, shoot people, drug their food, or do anything else and then just burn the bodies themselves or whatever. It’s possible to write in a reason for his presence, and they haven’t done it.
posted by Going To Maine at 1:15 PM on September 27, 2020

This version of lamplighter, and what vought does with retired supes, is much better than how the comic reintroduces them.

I thought it was ok, although I would have thought the show would have written in a mercenary subsidiary company, a "blackwater" or "triple canopy" for retired supes, as an analog for all the "security" contractors for retired CIA. Oh well. I suppose "geo group" prison guard is close enough.
posted by eustatic at 1:40 PM on September 27, 2020

what vought does with retired supes,

It isn’t really clear that this place is only retired supes, though - if anything, it seems like Lamplighter is the only former supe there. A-Train certainly isn’t going to be doing prison guard work, and the Deep was just kind of put on hiatus.
posted by Going To Maine at 2:17 PM on September 27, 2020

Yeah, I'm agreeing, it's not written out. I think it s a thing they partially adapted from the books without fleshing it out
posted by eustatic at 6:28 PM on September 27, 2020

Poison and bullets don't get rid of bodies. This saves the trouble of building and maintaining a crematorium and solves the problem of what to do with Lamplighter now that he's too much of a liability to keep him in the Seven.
posted by straight at 6:43 PM on September 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

Oh. Stormfront must be running Vought, not Stan. D’oh!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:30 PM on September 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

I wish we got to see more colors out of him than “grim 'n gravelly”

Agreed. Something I’ve been wondering a lot this season is what the show itself wants the audience to think of Butcher.

Is he supposed to be the show’s hero alongside Hughie? Is he a tragic antihero we’re “not supposed to identify with” (wink wink)? Is he supposed to be a cool badass who always talks straight, or is he supposed to be an asshole and a bully? Or is he supposed to be a cool badass BECAUSE he’s an asshole and a bully?

I honestly can’t tell what our read should be on him, and I don’t think that ambiguity is intentional. I think maybe the show itself isn’t really sure what they’re trying to say with Butcher’s character.

And even though I’m really enjoying the show still, I think this points to a growing issue I’m having with the series. Last season I had no question that this was an intelligent mature parody that utilized the language of a more juvenile and crass show to make its points.

But this season I’m starting to wonder if the show just IS more juvenile and crass than I originally thought. All of the marketing that’s like “you won’t BELIEVE how shocking this week’s episode is!” isn’t helping, though I acknowledge that showrunners aren’t responsible for marketing. It just feels like the show itself is leaning into a tone that last season was more a means to an end than the entire goal of the series. Maybe that’s on me, I don’t know.

Anyway, I feel like that tension between what the show is ultimately about has lead to this inconsistent and ambiguous (in a bad way) characterization of Butcher.
posted by Ian A.T. at 8:53 PM on September 27, 2020 [2 favorites]

Huh to be honest I have been fairly happy with what the show does with butcher. I think it has been made clear by seeing both Becca and his aunt that butcher is a fundamentally broken person who does have a core of goodness, but is also full of anger and violence that he can't shake. I think butcher is positioned as a man who is right for a moment where a desperate fight is required, but if that fight was ever won he wouldn't really know what to do.

I don't think the show wants us to be fully sympathetic with any of the boys; the only character that the show seems to position as good is starlight, and it's clear they are building something there as the struggle gets more desperate.

One of the interesting things the show focuses on are different kinds of power. Homelander, for now at least, is more powerful than any other person, to the point where even the supremely cocky storefront gets concerned when it looks like she's pushed him too far, but he also keeps flailing at influencing people. He's a sad petty man who is desperate to be loved but is too self interested to attempt actual empathy of any kind. Of course he'd be drawn to modern facism, where empty slogans and simple messages win over mindless fanatics
posted by Cannon Fodder at 10:53 PM on September 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

*facepalm* of COURSE! Her name is STORMFRONT!

I do kind of love it when stuff that's in the wide open like that reveals itself. It's all so obvious now.
posted by mcstayinskool at 9:43 AM on September 28, 2020

facepalm of COURSE! Her name is STORMFRONT!

My spouse clocked this as soon as I mentioned her name (also Portland, haircut) and I felt very dumb.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:02 AM on September 28, 2020

Huh to be honest I have been fairly happy with what the show does with butcher. I think it has been made clear by seeing both Becca and his aunt that butcher is a fundamentally broken person who does have a core of goodness, but is also full of anger and violence that he can't shake.

Yeah, when two episodes ago we learned about Lenny, the brother Butcher protected growing up who has since met an unspecified end—and the fact that Hughie is very similar to him—I couldn't tell if it was too on-the-nose or if it retroactively made a lot of the Butcher/Hughie relationship make more sense. But either way, Butcher and Starlight bonding at Hughie's bedside was a sweet scene, and something other than grim and gravelly.

I will never not love a super-powered prison break sequence. The weirdness of this one reminded me of that climactic scene in Cabin in the Woods. Cindy's power certainly tracks with what happened to Raynor in the first episode of the season, but she really doesn't seem like someone you bring out of her cell for a targeted assassination.
posted by ejs at 7:27 AM on September 29, 2020 [2 favorites]

Behind-the-scenes photo found on Reddit.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 9:48 AM on October 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

Gotta admit I kinda like the stunt casting of Iceman as Pyro.

I have to wonder if there aren't some layers to that. Shawn Ashmore has done other things besides the early X-Men films, but that's very likely what most superhero fans remember him from, and those films' legacy has been badly tarnished by the allegations against Bryan Singer; since the whole premise of The Boys ties both into the current superhero movie craze and the metaphor of superheroes being the ultimate celebrities, with the attendant scandals and crimes, there's something to Ashmore playing the part of the guy who, in the X-Men movies, ends up getting turned to the side of evil by the canny manipulations of the older man. To add yet another layer, the actor who played Pyro in the first X-Men movie sued some of Singer's former associates for sexual assault soon after the first film premiered, and was replaced in the second movie. I might be reading too much into this--the Boys producers may have simply been riffing off of Iceman and Pyro being friends-turned-enemies in the X-Men movies--but it's not like the real-life scandals are particularly obscure by now.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:38 PM on October 9, 2020

Wow, the Supe with the penis is straight out of Welcome Home, Brother Charles
posted by Ideefixe at 6:35 PM on October 17, 2020

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