So, I had a few thoughts on this one. But one that stood out to me the most was this: Hughie is being remarkably stupid about, oh, everything.
But, aside from seeing Paul Reiser as the show’s version of The Legend, what really struck me is how everyone on this show is setting themselves up for future misery. These are remarkably unhappy people on many levels, and it’s only going to get worse because they keep making decisions that, well, aren’t going to go well for them. Homelander may be running Vought, but he clearly has no idea how to run a business, and as soon as someone asks him a basic question on the subject, well…he defaults to his threatening methods. It works, at least on boardmembers, but it doesn’t exactly resolve the issues.
Likewise, putting the Deep in charge of crime analysis and sacking almost the entire division for insufficient loyalty…yeah, I can’t see who Homelander is supposed to remind me of that the producers might have thought was supposed to be someone in over his head, taking on a job he wasn’t really all that knowledgeable on, and insisting on loyalty over competence in some way that might be a call back to in the real world.
Meanwhile, Butcher decides he needs to team up with Solider Boy to take down Homelander. Ignoring for a moment how the Solider Boy operation put Frenchie in debt to Little Nina (to be fair, Butcher doesn’t seem to be aware of that), MM knows Solider Boy is bad news. The Crimson Countess, left tied up so Solider Boy could kill her, knew Soldier Boy was bad news…and she was his wife. Solider Boy blew up a bit of New York City even if it was an accident. There’s a reason Payback let the Russians have the guy. Teaming with him is bad news. This will not work out well for anybody. Stopping Homelander may not be worth it to work with this guy.
As for Hughie…look, I mentioned last time how Hughie has a head full of ideas on traditional gender roles. In this episode, he says something about being tired of always being pushed around and made to feel small. If he focused more on that, I might be able to sympathize a bit more over what he’s doing. But he isn’t. He keeps bringing up the need to protect Annie.
Dude, Annie has superpowers. She is probably more than capable of protecting herself. If popularity is the one thing that keeps people safe at Vought, she may be the only member of the Seven that Homelander won’t mess with. Maeve didn’t have that luck. She’s…missing. Regardless, macho posturing doesn’t seem to be the sort of thing that Annie will appreciate.
So, really, it was something of a joy to see a character happy. That would be Kimiko, imagining herself in an elaborate song and dance, pure joy radiating out of her now that the V has been burned out of her system. It’s the sort of joy, even if it is a fantasy dream sequence, that is so often missing from The Boys and its grim and dark ways. Is it asking too much that some of these characters could maybe, once and while, actually be kinda happy?
That said…this show still has a very dark sense of humor, so even if the characters are miserable, that doesn’t mean the audience has to be.
Oh, and I mentioned Reiser above…nice to see him in a role that is about as different from his Dr. Owens over on Stranger Things as he can get. And since I’m finishing that show up for the season for the Monday write-up…well, that’ll work out nicely for me.