The Boys Season 4 Episode 5 Review

Old MacDonald’s gonna need a new farm now that The Boys have been through with it, with an episode that while has good elements, struggles to come together like episode four. It struggles to find ways to bring its disparate parts into one narrative. This is an even bigger issue when they are only three episodes left, which means that everything should be hotting up. That said, nothing in this episode should overly worry the audiences, as nothing was ruly terrible to watch.  

The Seven took a bit of a back seat this week, stuck at Vought’s interpretation of D23. They promote several projects that the company is about release, in a clear (and hilarious) swipe at Disney and Marvel Studios. A standout moment in this seqeuence is a joke where the Deep shows off a nifty piece of social justice advertising (likely powered by AI) that shows black audiences one thing, and white audiences another. Peppered throughout the seqeuence is the Supes jostling for screentime, including attacking the host of VNN. 

The jabs at the VNN host come full circle when Ashely, learning that A-Train leaked information about the murder of the Hometeamers, dobs him in, planting false evidence. Homelander, now completely sold on the idea of a Supe coup, orders everyone to kill him. It’s a scene that’s surprisingly restrained in the gore that audiences see.

Another restrained scene is Homelander’s drive to change Ryan to be a mini-Homelander. Homelander declares that he won’t try and manipulate Ryan anymore, but this is a clever slight of hand, as he’s now manipulating Ryan in a more subtle way. And, slightly worringly, it starts to work, with Ryan embracing his darker side, by making others indulge in violence. But this is also kept off camera, which is another weird decision.  

Thie Vought conference is truly ‘The Boys’ at its height, attacking the perceived progressiveness of companies like Disney and the convuluted nature of ever sprawling cinematic universes. Though this episode does arguably fall victim to this itself, tying into the spin-off ‘Gen V’ with appearances from Godolkin graduates, and the Supe killing virus, which forms half of this episode. 

Butcher returns to The Boys HQ, revealing that he’s been to Godolkin University himself to inspect the Supe killing virus, but Victoria Neuman has already pinched it. This leads The Boys to temporarily make a devil’s deal with none other than Stan Edgar. It’s wonderful to see Giancarlo Esposito return, and to see him squirm when he’s forced to get involved in the action. 

And that action is great. After The Boys run into Neuman and her goons, they’re forced into a temporary truce, searching for the virus and Neuman’s love. Throughout, Edgar sticks to his own side, twisting both Neuman and The Boys, delighting. On the way, they run into Ved up animals, which lead to some hilarious antics. Flying sheep anyone? A rabbit on Temp V also teases what disturbing fate awaits Butcher. Eventually, everyone is trapped in a moral quandry with the last dose of virus, revealing character when it’s argued of what to do with it. 

If there is a weak story in this episode, it’s Hughie and his mother, Daphne. They’re trapped in hospital with Hughie’s father, who’s shot up with V. Hugh Sr and can’t control it. It’s really a tragic story, especially with how it ends. But it doesn’t fit with the tone of the rest of the episode, which is comedic. It’s not that ‘The Boys’ can’t have emotional moments, Hughie and his mother putting Hugh Sr down is heartbreaking to watch, especially with Simon Pegg’s excellent performance, with his usual calm replaced with a panic stricken demeanour, but in this episode it was oddly place.   

Frenchie also gets a weird ending. Instead of opening up to Kimiko about his truama, he hands himself in to the police, though in doing so undoes his and Kimiko’s arc about trusting one another. While how he’s feeling is understandable, and his return to drugs understandable, this takes everything a step too far. 

Overall, while there’s nothing hugely bad in this episode, there’s nothing that makes it stand out. The biggest problem with this episode is it’s split focus. Audiences follow many different perspectives for them to all come together. The lack of meaningful buildup also hits this episode, making feel like it’s treading water. Emotionally, this episode is all other the place, wanting audiences to laugh one scene, cry the next, and then laugh again. But that’s not to say it’s without highlights, with the Vought Con and the whole Ved up animals providing laughs throughout. 

Kieran Burt

My name is Kieran and I am based in the UK. I love writing about all things science fiction and fantasy, particularly Star Wars and Marvel. When I’m not writing or watching anything sci-fi related, you can probably find me exploring the open worlds of alternate lands through my Xbox.

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