The Boys season 2 episode 5 recap: Homelander is starting to lose control null

About this episode

– Episode 5 (of 8), ‘We Gotta Go Now’
– Written by Ellie Monahan
– Directed by Batan Silva
★★★★

Spoilers follow

Queen Maeve walks into an apocalyptic cityscape, shouting for someone called Ruby. Ruby responds: “Looks like you saved me, Red.” Maeve tells Ruby that she’s the real hero because she’s not afraid to live her life and be who she really is, while Maeve is afraid to show the world who she is. “So who are you, Maeve?” “I’m a lot like you,” Maeve replies. “I’m gay.” The two women kiss, and the director of Dawn of the Seven calls “Cut” – turns out it’s a scene from the new movie.

In the real world, Maeve confronts Homelander about this new scene being added to the movie since he found out about her relationship with Elena. “When are you going to stop torturing me? If I promise to never see her again, will you stop?” Homelander tells her that Elena is good for her and he’s not going to let her throw that away – though he’s far from convincing. 

An online video shows Homelander burning a hole in someone’s stomach with his eyes – no negotiation, no mercy. Vought has been receiving some heat for the incident and Ashley confronts Homelander, telling him he should have asked for permission before taking such unilateral action. He refuses to apologize, offering to schedule a press conference to clean things up himself. Ashley tells him that the company’s official position is “no comment”.

Billy Butcher is sitting at a bar drinking shots. He gets into a fight and ends up being kicked on the ground by an angry mob. Hughie phones to tell him that Liberty is Stormfront, and she probably murdered Raynor. Butcher says he’s planning on heading off the grid, possibly to early retirement in Argentina, and bids him adieu. 

Mother’s Milk asks Hughie if he’s seen Frenchie or Kimiko – not for a while, he replies. Hughie also says he thinks something’s wrong with Butcher because he was nice to him. Milk asks him to recall everything that was said in their conversation. Frenchie tracks Kimiko.

Butcher turns up at his aunt Judy’s house in suburbia. She tells him he should ring his mum. Butcher says he doesn’t want to see his parents – he’s more interested in seeing his dog, Terror.

A-Train tells Dawn of the Seven director that he’s done a rewrite of the scene based depicting his departure from the Seven – he feels the dialogue is “a little off” and that it would be better to leave it open-ended. The director tells him that kind of decision is above his paygrade and that he should speak to Ashley.

The Deep appears on a TV chat show with his new wife, Cassandra. He’s asked about his membership of the Church of the Collective, and his checkered past.

Kimiko walks into a bar, and quickly (and brutally) kills the three men in front of her – including tearing the flesh from one of their faces. Frenchie arrives to see the butt of a gun embedded in a someone’s eye.

Milk and Hughie arrive at Butcher’s aunt’s house, asking for his help sorting the Stormfront situation. He tells them he’s not going anywhere, but spots Black Noir on the roof over the road. Milk says they were careful and couldn’t have been followed. Butcher speculates that Noir actually followed him from Becca’s, and admits that she didn’t want to come with him. Milk points out that they can’t run away from Black Noir, so fakes a gas leak to bring out the authorities – the thinking is that if Noir wants to kill them, he’ll have to do it in front of an audience.  

At craft services, Stormfront is talking to Starlight’s mum, Donna – a big fan. Donna tells Starlight that she misses her, but Starlight has no interest in extending an olive branch, scolding for talking to a stranger about their issues. Stormfront says that everyone is upset about the Compound V revelations, and wonders how angry you’d have to be to leak information like that – clearly directing the comment at Starlight. 

Maeve, Elena and Ashley meet with a pair of marketing consultants to discuss how they’ll be branded in future – they discuss guest spots on Queer Eye and images of Maeve waving a rainbow flag. They also suggest a makeover for Elena, which she refuses, saying she has no interest in being in a public relationship. Maeve tells Elena that Homelander is messing with them, and that she can’t protect her if she leaves. She vows to take Homelander down.

Reasoning that Black Noir is there for him, Butcher decides to go out to confront the supe, giving the others a chance to leg it. Hughie goads Butcher about the fact his wife is alive and that the problem is she just doesn’t want him – he’s trying to provoke a reaction from him, in the hope the normal Butcher come back. When Butcher threatens to fight past Hughie, Milk says he’s less likely to get past him.

Frenchie follows Kimiko into a church. It turns out Cherie is a go-between sending Kimiko out doing hits. Frenchie tells Kimiko that doing this won’t stop Stormfront, and this isn’t the best way to avenge her brother. She tells Frenchie that she got her brother killed, and that she doesn’t need his help – unfortunately he can’t understand her… 

The Deep hosts a promotional video for the Church of the Collective, explaining that he wants to be the kind of man who calls out injustices when he sees them. He introduces Alastair Adana, the head of the church.

Stormfront tells A-Train that it’s unfair he’s being retired – but her comments are actually a thinly veiled racial slur. Ashley tells A-Train he has to accept being fired, that he’s served longer than Mr Marathon managed, and it’s quite an achievement. Speaking to Homelander would not be a good idea, she adds – much better to leave with a pay-off and dignity intact. A-Train delivers his departure as scripted – the performance of his life.

Congresswoman Neuman talks in front of a rally against the Supes’ abuse of power. Homelander flies in uninvited to address the audience. He says that nobody wants innocent people to get hurt. Unfortunately, bad guys don’t think like us, so sometimes these things happen. The crowd start chanting, “You don’t speak for us!” Homelander fries the entire crowd with his laser eyes… before it’s quickly revealed that the carnage is just part of his imagination. Instead he tells the crowd they’re the real heroes – albeit through gritted teeth.

The emergency services depart and Black Noir is still waiting. “It’s time,” says Milk, and the team go to Judy’s taffy room – it turns out she’s a successful drug dealer and this is where she runs her business.

Stormfront is on the phone to a nurse at the Sage Grove Center – they clearly know each other well. “Nobody ever said the job was easy,” she says. “He’s just a kid, 17 years old, you don’t got to look him in the face,” he replies. “No one ever achieved anything without sacrifice. The kid’s a hero. Think of it like that.” 

Embarrassed by his performance at the rally, Homelander goes to see Stormfront, who’s working on memes to promote her status in the Seven – she tells him that when you see a meme on your uncle’s Facebook page, you know it’s working.

Judy tells Hughie about Butcher’s younger brother, Lenny – a “skinny, nervous little bugger, like you.” He was a quiet boy – totally different to his brother – but had a way of making Billy not be Billy. She believes that Butcher needs someone like that. She tells Hughie that Lenny is dead. 

Butcher fights Black Noir in the house. Milk bursts out and shoots Noir, who throws a blade at him, throwing him to the ground. Butcher tells Black Noir that if he lays a finger on Hughie, he can kiss his career goodbye – if he does, incriminating photos will be sent from the cloud to (investigative reporter) Ronan Farrow. Noir pushes Butcher against a wall, and puts him on the phone with Stan Edgar. The Vought CEO makes a deal – ensure that information never sees the light of day and he’ll call off Black Noir. Noir pulls back. 

Does Butcher really have the photos? Who knows…?

The Deep is handing out books for the Church of the Collective, when Maeve appears, telling him they should talk. She tells him he needs a woman to help restore his reputation – and that she can help him if he helps her.

Starlight sneaks into Stormfront’s trailer on set and gets past the security on her computer with the password “Adele”. Stormfront returns and asks what she’s up to. Starlight says her mother didn’t just lie about Compound V, she lied about everything, and that she doesn’t want Stormfront to try and broker a peace between them.

Stormfront tells Starlight that she knows she was the source of the Compound V leak, threatening to tell Vought. “How do you think the world will feel when I tell them you used to be Liberty?” Starlight fires back. Stormfront responds in an extremely patronizing manner, telling Starlight she’ll be a big help to her. Homelander interrupts the conversation, boasting that his ratings are up – and that people are checking boxes like “patriotic” and “unwavering”. He also says that he owes Stormfront for her help.

Butcher apologizes for almost throwing in the towel, and bids farewell to Aunt Judy.

Stormfront smashes Homelander against a wall and they kiss. She challenges him to laser her chest, which he does – while the burning hurts, she tells him not to stop. They kiss again and engage in violent, hovering super sex.

The Boys season 2 recaps

Verdict: 

Homelander’s spent the entire season on a downward spiral, but this episode shows how close he is to totally losing control. For all his manipulation of Queen Maeve and the other members of the Seven, he’s just one bad decision away from destroying the whole operation. The scene where he fries an audience of protestors may be a dream sequence, but for a brief moment you believe it’s real – Homelander clearly wishes it was, too.

The balance of power continues to shift in Stormfront’s direction. Not only has she persuaded Homelander to accept her help improving his profile, they indulge in one of the weirdest TV sex scenes in years – it’ll be intriguing to see where their alliance of convenience goes next. Stormfront also manages to stamp her authority on Starlight – she seems completely unfazed that Starlight now knows she’s Liberty.

For The Boys, meanwhile, it’s a trip into Butcher’s past. It feels entirely appropriate that he’d have a dog called Terror, and his aunt, Judy, is an excellent addition to the canon – while we know Butcher’s brother, Lenny, is deceased, we’ll surely get to meet more of the family in future. It’s disconcerting to see Butcher being nice to people, but thankfully it’s nothing an encounter with the wonderfully enigmatic Black Noir can’t cure…

Super trivia

  • When Homelander remarks that “This new Joss rewrite really sings, huh?”, it’s a sly nod to the Justice League movie – Joss Whedon took over from Zack Snyder as director during production.
  • Heroes/Star Wars star Greg Grunberg plays Greg Grunberg playing Agent Pearson in Dawn of the Seven.
  • Real-life US TV journalist Katie Couric appears as the news anchor interviewing The Deep and his new wife, Cassandra. She’s also the mum of Ellie Monahan, the episode’s writer.

Episodes 1-5 of The Boys season 2 are available to stream on Amazon Prime Video now. New episodes appear every Friday.

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