Aye, yai, yai. Some things just don’t change over time, do they? Everything is starting to implode on both sides, and it’s not pretty.
As with the previous episode, there’s a lot to unpack in “The Last Time to Look on This World of Lies.” It’s funny though because the most important line of the episode, and perhaps the season, is uttered in the first scene by Mother’s Milk. “The whole point of what we do is that no one should have that power.” That struggle over power ends up being the crux of a lot of what happens in this episode.
Before we get to the heavy stuff, can I start with something fun? Yes, you heard me, fun. This was the episode where the highly anticipated musical number from the season promos comes to be. Just how? Well, poor Kimiko makes the trip back from Russia still badly wounded. Her super healing is no more, so Solider Boy did something to her! Frenchie holds vigil by her side, even though Little Nina is close by and a little pissed about the whole Russia thing. It cost her dearly, so Frenchie now works for her to repay her. Instead of doing a hit that she wants, he goes back to Kimiko. She wakes up and one heavy equipment test later, she is excited to find her powers are gone.
Kimiko and Frenchie curl up on the bed and watch movies on a laptop, specifically Girl Crazy with Judy Garland. I adore that she loves the musical classics! They watch Judy sing “I’ve Got Rhythm” and then suddenly Kimiko speaks! Then, she sings! She and Frenchie burst out of the room into a technicolor world, and the entire hospital erupts in a giant well choregraphed musical theater while Kimiko belts the words to ‘I’ve Got Rhythm.” This is totally bananas and so freaking fun to watch! We need more musical numbers breaking out on this show at random since they’re a refreshing change to the depraved sex scenes. Karen Fukuhara again gets to show off her amazing singing voice, doctors fire off defibrillators to the beat, patients get to bang on bed pans, nurses perform their own pseudo kickline in bright colored scrubs, and Tomer Capon gets to sing and dance along with a big smile on his face. It was pure joy.
(Sound of record scratching)…Okay, fun over. Unfortunately, it all ends up happening in Kimono’s head and then they’re back to the movie on the bed. So she kisses Frenchie! He leaves the room to take it all in and that’s when Little Nina’s goons jump him. So poor Kimiko closes out the episode thinking he ditched her because she kissed him. What a big bummer after that beautiful technicolor dream.
As for the rest of the story, let’s start with the fallout from last episode’s naked, I mean shocking, reveal. Those that were really counting on The Boys to come back with a weapon were devastated that the plan fell apart. First was Annie, who was coming off of seeing Supersonic’s brutally mangled corpse and a warning that Hughie was next from Homelander if she didn’t say in line. I would have slammed more than a few White Claws then broken out the bourbon if Hughie broke that news to me. To think though, no weapon was less of a blow than finding out Hughie took V-24. That girl has been through enough Hughie, she didn’t need to hear that.
I’ve mentioned it in a prior review, absolute power corrupts…absolutely. What happens now that Butcher and Hughie are getting a taste of that power? Turns out that V-24, much like the original Compound V, heightens the sense of invincibility. We saw it with Hughie at the close of last episode, when the others were fretting over Kimiko’s injury. He just sat in the front seat, enjoying the buzz of no longer feeling afraid. I give him credit for confessing to Annie how confident he felt under the drug’s influence, but what a slippery slope. He tells her he won’t do it again, especially since they don’t have any more, but I don’t believe this is the end of it. There’s no way he’ll resist that power if given the chance to use it again.
It’s only a few scenes later that Maeve shows up with more V-24, ending any speculation on whether the Butcher and Hughie temptation will continue. Of course it will! The question on everyone’s mind, is it truly them or is it just the drug talking? I find it hard to believe that V24 is making Butcher angrier. It’s just opening the floodgates all that pent up internal rage, so it adds to the intensity of the reaction. Hughie, I’m not so sure.
Speaking of poor Maeve, she realizes that she is screwed, so she gets screwed, with Butcher! Actually, the two of them have some really intense chemistry, maybe because they are both so lost and broken. Butcher is off the wagon, and it didn’t take much for Maeve to jump in and help him with a bottle of Russian vodka. As they’re having a bonding moment on the couch, Butcher tells her that supes are no good to their core, and they all must die. He won’t stop until they are all dead, including her. She somehow finds that incredibly sexy and those two have sex that is tame for this show, but it was not tame sex at all. Those two went at it pretty hard. They have a lot of pent up frustration to release I guess.
Once the dust settled, I took a little time to ponder what Butcher just said. He wants ALL supes dead. He won’t stop at Homelander. So what about Annie? Could this mean an eventual showdown between him and Hughie over Annie’s life? What about Ryan? Would he actually kill Ryan? What’s scary is I believe he would. Under the right set of rage, V-24 fueled or not, he is nihilistic enough where he will burn it all down. So if Butcher come out victorious over Homelander, he will need to be stopped. It’s just confirming what we’ve always suspected, Butcher is as much of a villain as Homelander.
Meanwhile at Vought tower, things are really falling apart. Ashley is CEO now, which means Homelander is really in charge, and it’s no surprise she’s in way over her head. Someone tries to bring up the business end of things and gets a Homelander psychotic tongue lashing, meaning Stan Edgar wasn’t wrong, he will run this company into the ground. In another “smack you in the face” orange menace parallel (he who shall not be named), The Deep is put in charge of Crime Analytics by Homelander, even though he doesn’t know his head from a hole in the ground. He fires most of them because they were critical of Homelander on social media. Yes, the parallel is that heavy handed.
This Vought incompetence doesn’t help them one bit when some mystery supe shows up in New York and blows out an entire tall building, killing 19 people. You’ve got it, Soldier Boy. BTW, the VFX on that blown apart building was quite spectacular. While everyone is trying to piece together what happened, Homelander is trying to run things at the tower and totally sucking at it. First he just goes on TV and tells everyone everything is fine and he’s got it under control, while technically everyone is telling him things are not fine and they should be going after the guy that bombed the city. There’s another one of those parallels.
The real chilling part though is when Homelander confronts Maeve. He knows what she’s doing, he can smell Butcher on her. He tries to appeal to their past. “It’s lonely at the top, but at least, we had each other. We were lonely together and I loved you.” Maeve knows she’s in trouble, but doesn’t back down. She gets real close and with a gritty, icy delivery to Homelander’s face tells him she has always hated and pitied him. I was expecting Homelander to take her out with the laser eyes just like he did Madelyn Stillwell after her confession that he scared her, but no, Black Noir comes up from behind and that’s all we see. Ooh, Black Noir getting his revenge after Maeve fed him that Almond Joy to save Starlight last season. This cannot be good for her.
After the official “Maeve is in rehab” story is released, Starlight is livid! She storms into Ashley’s office and pleads to tell her where Maeve really is. At first a terrified Ashley looks like she will come clean but then she digs down deep, toughens up and orders Starlight to leave. Oh no, Homelander’s really gotten to Ashley. Is the job that important? I’d be running if I were her. I think she’s going a bit mad.
So, if all that drama isn’t enough, there’s still a lot more! Mother’s Milk showed up the explosion site as well as Butcher and Hughie due to his need to confront Soldier Boy, and unwisely chooses to work with them to find him. Welcome Paul Reiser to our little franchise! MM takes Butcher and Hughie to see The Legend. Who? He’s the guy was in charge of Hero Management at Vought before Madelyn Stillwell and he clearly came from a different time. He also hates Butcher, who was responsible for him losing his leg. Remember how I said whenever Butcher is hired s*** goes wrong? Anyway, after many cute anecdotes about the good old days, bottom line is Solider Boy was there and he got his suit. He’s off to find Crimson Countess.
Now, I’m still trying to figure out how The Boys got to the chimp rescue compound well before Solider Boy. He had a big head start. Maybe Soldier Boy walked while the others drove? Considering we don’t know the distance from point A to point B, I’ll just drop it for now. It looks like Crimson Countess has found another way to make extra income since the chimp thing probably doesn’t pay too much. She was charging $19.50 a minute? Now that's a good paying gig. I wondered if Seth Rogan, a producer on this show, would ever make an appearance and here he is! SirCumsALot779 is in the house. He and the countess apparently have regular kinky online chat sessions and well, even interrupted it was enough to get him off.
Countess is ambushed by the team and her hands duct taped, leaving her a nice vulnerable target for Soldier Boy. She knows he’s going to kill her. We call this the ‘duh, no duh’ portion of the plot. Butcher is offering her up as a prize to form an alliance with Solider Boy, but MM, who’s in the dark about his plan, calls in backup. Enter Annie, who’s stunned with what’s happening here. Hughie is back on V-24 and confesses it to her, so while they’re having their discussion out of harms way Solider Boy shows up. He remembers Butcher as the guy who let him out of the lab in Russia, and Butcher talks alliance before letting Solider Boy be reunited with his love. On the ground during this is MM, who was roofied by Butcher because he knew MM wouldn’t go along with his plan. So Butcher was just using him to find Crimson Countess and Soldier Boy? Yeah, MM’s so not going to forget this. I think the team is no longer at this point.
This is where the big parallel with the Homelander and Maeve scene happens. Different generations, same s***. The previous power couple, Soldier Boy and Crimson Countess, are reunited and Soldier Boy is feeling the same sting that Homelander did over Maeve’s betrayal. Why? How much did the Russians pay her? Look where she’s living man! It couldn’t have been much. She confesses nothing. He doesn’t understand, he loved her. “I didn’t love you. I hated you,” she answers. “We all did.” Oh man, she ain’t exactly begging for her life. Solider Boy gets really upset, launches the chest bomb of doom, and the entire area explodes around it. Butcher did take MM out of harm’s way though because they aren’t dead even though that was a pretty ferocious blast.
Hughie and Annie hear the explosion and rush to find the trailer and Crimson Countess are charred pieces on the ground. Solider Boy is unscathed and he and Butcher have their alliance. Hughie now has a choice, Annie or Butcher. Annie begs him not to go with those sweet, pleading eyes, but hopped up on V-24 Hughie thinks about it for a few seconds and then goes off with Butcher and Solider Boy. Annie is left behind with an unconscious MM, and once again she’s left in a horrible position. She’s America’s sweetheart. Why is everyone dumping on her?
F*** you, A-Train! Actually, his story does take an interesting turn. He betrayed Supersonic so he could get Vought to intervene in his tiff with Blue Hawk, who has been over policing his former neighborhood which is predominantly African-American. Blue Hawk is just supposed to offer an apology and some money, but the outage is too great. When he’s verbally attacked by the people there, he loses it and injures a lot of people, including A-Train’s brother. Now his brother will never walk again. A-Train finally gets to feel that pain that he’s inflicted on others. Will he finally stop being a weasel? Probably not, but he does have this coming.
I’m not sure what I’m freaking out about more, Maeve possibly being dead or Hughie totally losing his way. I mean, Maeve has been pretty wallpaper for a while now, but her teaming with Butcher this season was a nice twist. Why does Hughie want all supes dead when Annie is one? Or is he only thinking Homelander and possibly Neuman? How long before he sees the dark path he’s headed on and what Butcher really wants to do? Will he learn to stop in time?
It’s looking like Solider Boy doesn’t have control over when that bomb in his chest goes off. He gets upset and Boom! I’d like to know more about all those experiments they did and why. I’m sure that’s what he’s trying to find out too.
Overall grade, a B+. The plot thickens, and I’m rather happy about it. Coming up next, the one they’ve been talking about all season, Herogasm. It is quite a gasp.
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Catch up on all of Alice's Reviews on The Boys and Supernatural, listed on her Writer's Page.