The Boys: Barbary Coast
June 6, 2022 4:06 PM - Season 3, Episode 3 - Subscribe

Episode 3 starts with a pre-teen Starlight's Little Miss Hero pageant performance of ...Baby, One More Time.

Homelander's numbers are up. Mallory's flashback to Nicaragua blows up. The Seven's new members come up. Butcher throws up. And V24 / Temp V seems to have some side effects.
posted by Etrigan (26 comments total)
 
EAT THE FUCKING OCTOPUS.

In a show where people frequently explode or are torn in half, Deep being forced to eat Timothy ranks as one of the most horrifying scenes so far. I wonder if Cassandra clocked the “Jack me off with all your arms” and recognized Timothy as a rival.
posted by ejs at 5:04 PM on June 6 [16 favorites]


I am absolutely fascinated that Homelander, upon realizing that he is so powerful that nothing can stop him, immediately returns to using psychological torture.

Also, I'm kinda disappointed that we're definitely not going to get the Black Noir resolution that we got in the books.
posted by Etrigan at 5:58 PM on June 6


I don't want to get into specific storylines from the comics--in part because I quit on the comics series about 2/3rds of the way through--but I do appreciate that this series is willing to part ways with Garth Ennis' perennial disgruntlement with superhero comics. The special ops gone horribly wrong certainly isn't limited to superhero stories, of course, although there was one story in George R.R. Martin's Wild Cards series some time ago that was very similar (in that case, the supes were taking part in the attempted rescue of the American hostages in Iran back in the late seventies, based on the real non-supe botched rescue attempt), down to the flying character not realizing that their power made them more conspicuous and vulnerable, not less. Gunpowder going trigger-happy seems extremely plausible; Black Noir being sort-of normal back in the day reminds me a bit of early Rorschach. Of course, Soldier Boy "dying" off-screen is very obviously setting him up for reappearing; it also makes it seem likely that they're going less Captain America and more Winter Soldier with him.

The bit about Homelander going more for psychological torture/abuse makes me wonder if he was just counter-bluffing about going apeshit if the airplane video got out. One of the speculations that I had about Edgar's control over Homelander is that Edgar has some supe in his pocket that's the equivalent of kryptonite; his having raised Neuman as his secret supe assassin confirms that he's at least thought of that, and he could have others on tap.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:30 PM on June 6 [2 favorites]


I'm assuming that his secret hyper weapon is the girl he not-adopted. If you see what I mean. But we're supposed to think it's Neuman.

And yes, "Eat Timothy" is the one transgression that's had some kind of deeper resonance. It's extraordinary that for all the violations of the integrity of the human body this show gives us, what hits hardest is the egregious cruelty to sealife.
posted by Grangousier at 11:30 PM on June 6 [4 favorites]


This season is really great so far. My favorite part of this episode (or maybe it was the one before, it's all kind of a blur), is how Starlight is actually a "hero" and Supersonic is too - and what that actually looks like is gritting your teeth and deciding to persevere in a dangerous situation because that's what you signed up for when you decided to tell everyone you were a superhero. Seeing that on the screen felt like it was filling a deep need to actually see someone with some power attempting to address a bad situation by deciding to do something difficult, even if fictional.

Another thing I liked was how Neuman has been sort of positioned as the "AOC" of this universe and to have her be a corporate plant...... very sneaky, very sneaky indeed. (Not to get too political. I don't think AOC is a plant but I know alot of people do.)

Just loving everything about this show.
posted by bleep at 10:53 AM on June 7


I wonder if the Islamic-American heroine who Homelander passed over is going to make a re-appearance. Something's making me think it's a Chekhov's Gun situation. Starlight tells us she has the best rescue percentages. I can imagine a scene in following episodes where The Deep and/or Supersonic fail a rescue and Starlight gets to say, "I told you so!" It would also raise the question: if superhero groups WERE run as a meritocracy and not beholden to a tyrant like Homelander, WOULD they be benign in this universe? Or is it a structural thing?
posted by Schmucko at 11:25 AM on June 7


I'm assuming that his secret hyper weapon is the girl he not-adopted. If you see what I mean. But we're supposed to think it's Neuman.

That girl was Neuman.
posted by bleep at 1:42 PM on June 7


Was she...? I completely misread the scene, then. I didn't realise it was that much of a flashback. I thought there was a scene with the girl, Neuman and Edgar together in it. Am I thinking two completely different women are the same person? That would be embarrassing but not, sadly, unique.
posted by Grangousier at 3:37 PM on June 7


There WAS another girl, Edgar seemed to treat her as a daughter and said, "Let me talk to your Mom" referring to Nadia. I wasn't sure if it was implied that Edgar was the father of the daughter or not, as that's quite an age difference and at first Nadia seemed to think he was adopting her as his daughter. But this show isn't known for avoiding weird relationships (milk fetishes, octopus arms, shrinking into organs, etc.)
posted by Schmucko at 4:06 PM on June 7


That little girl was Neuman's daughter/Edgar's adopted granddaughter.
posted by bleep at 4:32 PM on June 7 [1 favorite]


I like how this season is turning out so far. Really interested to see how the Soldier Boy storyline develops.
posted by extramundane at 9:09 PM on June 7


In a show where people frequently explode or are torn in half, Deep being forced to eat Timothy ranks as one of the most horrifying scenes so far.

I've watched a lot of horror movies and this was one of the worst things I've ever seen.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:27 AM on June 8 [3 favorites]


In a show where people frequently explode or are torn in half,

So here's a thing that's kind of annoyed me about this season.

In the first episode, the Termite was in the other guy's penis -- clearly still in the shaft. Why would his growth split the entire person in half?

And then, in VoughtLand, Crimson Countess throws a fireball that detonates a costumed character into a shower of blood. That doesn't seem like a thing that a fireball would do.
posted by Etrigan at 12:16 PM on June 8 [1 favorite]


The Termite - he was up the guy's butt, looking for his prostate.

Whatever the Crimson Countess does does that to people, as she did it to someone in Nicaragua, too, so whatever it is they're consistent about it.
posted by Grangousier at 12:48 PM on June 8


The Termite - he was up the guy's butt, looking for his prostate.

I thought that too, but all of the coverage has said it was his dick (link is, of course, incredibly NSFW).
posted by Etrigan at 1:35 PM on June 8 [1 favorite]


I've watched a lot of horror movies and this was one of the worst things I've ever seen.

Then let me emphatically unreccomend the movie Oldboy (2003) to you!
posted by paper chromatographologist at 1:42 PM on June 8 [1 favorite]


Termite was still within sight of the... entrance. The unfortunate gent about to have his lower body rapidly reorganized had made a suggestion about heading for the prostate, but this apparently had not been acted on, so really this should have been a rapid and messy castration.

Then again, it is possible that The Boys runs a little toward the grand guignol end of the verisimilitude scale.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:06 PM on June 8


The octopus (or is it a squid) in Oldboy is ... well that scene isn't nice, exactly, but there's not emotional connection to it. It's a random creature, just alive. At least initially.

The thing with Timothy is that he was The Deep's friend and sexual partner and there was an emotional connection there. In addition The Deep is kind of like a god to him (it was, presumably, The Deep that Timothy was praying to). And The Deep had to eat him, because otherwise his own god would kill him. What's horrific isn't so much the eating-a-live-creature thing, but the enormous betrayal of trust and cruelty of it. It's Titus Andronicus feeding a woman her sons in a pie (or Robert Morley being force fed his poodles by Vincent Price - the poodle version is somehow worse, isn't it?)

At this point Homelander is effectively Caligula.
posted by Grangousier at 3:58 PM on June 8 [3 favorites]


But on the other hand he did assault Starlight so I'm not that mad about him being made to pay a price by an out of control psycho. I'll take it!
posted by bleep at 4:12 PM on June 8


The octopus (or is it a squid) in Oldboy is ... well that scene isn't nice, exactly, but there's not emotional connection to it. It's a random creature, just alive. At least initially.

You’ll enjoy these two bits of IMDb trivia:

Four live octopodes were eaten for the scene with Dae-su in the sushi bar, a scene which provoked some controversy abroad. Eating live octopus in Korea is commonplace although it is usually sliced first. When the film won the Grand Prix at Cannes, the director thanked the octopodes along with the cast and crew.

Choi Min-sik is a Buddhist and had to pray after eating the octopi.

posted by ejs at 6:10 PM on June 8 [1 favorite]


Timothy talking about "eat brain, eat brain" - presumably so it'll end quickly?

The octopode version of brains, as us vertebrates understand it, is widely distributed around their bodies.

There's no analogy to "a bullet in the skull" for octopodes.

Octopodes also have a hard, evolutionary implausible, beak made from very firm arrangements of normally more pliable base materials.

If it's coming out the rear end, that's definitely going to leave a(n internal) scar.

(and external - cephalopod-eating whales don't seem to pass the beaks from their stomach to their anuses, and the beaks also much smaller for them than us, relatively)
posted by porpoise at 10:22 PM on June 8


This is inarguably my favorite show outside of Better Call Saul right now. It toes such a fine line between absurdity and (I guess pseudo-) profundity and manages to be funny and engaging on top of it. I bailed on the latest season of Netflix's blockbuster series when I realized that I could not possibly care less what happens to any of the characters, and yet here? I want to know how this plays out for literally everyone involved.

It's funny how they've managed to make The Deep both so pathetic (and sympathetic) and also so hateable. Every scene he's in is a treat.

Also surely Mr. Edgar knows about V24's side effects by now, and still he's pitching it hard at the Pentagon to capture that enormous monthly revenue. I wonder if appointing Starlight co-captain was him intentionally tweaking Homelander's nose to hasten the "end of supes" he talked about.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:29 AM on June 9 [2 favorites]


https://screenrant.com/boys-madelyn-stillwell-son-supe-teddy-theory-prove/amp/

I thought this was interesting -- so little Teddy at Red River is the son of Stillwell?
posted by extramundane at 7:49 AM on June 9


What stood out to me was Deep’s wife’s satisfaction? pleasure? At helping force Deep to eat Timothy. Felt more or different then what I would expect from just the sexual jealousy angle.
posted by TheJoven at 1:28 PM on June 10


I'm mad this episode ends with Starlight being victimized, again, and in such a similarly gendered / sexualized way as the first season. I guess it's a fair enough plot given how awful Homelander is. And it's not like Annie is some hapless damsel in distress; she even chose this role, sort of, based on Hughie's pleading request. The way she leaned in at the end was distressing but at least gives her agency.

I sure hope Super Sonic turns out to be as good as depicted so far; I could do with another uncompromised good guy in this show. Knowing this show though it'll turn out he's some flesh-exploding monster with a disturbing sexual fetish.
posted by Nelson at 7:59 AM on June 11


I've watched a lot of horror movies and this was one of the worst things I've ever seen.

I felt it made the Ray Liotta scene in Hannibal look like something from Care Bears.

I sure hope Super Sonic turns out to be as good as depicted so far; I could do with another uncompromised good guy in this show. Knowing this show though it'll turn out he's some flesh-exploding monster with a disturbing sexual fetish.

I could see them going a power-corrupts route where he is demonstrably good, but we watch as his position compromises him. It's kind of the route I've been expecting Hughie to take, in fact.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 5:59 AM on June 12 [2 favorites]


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