The Boys S03 “Herogasm” Review: Satisfactory, Cigarette-worthy Release
See, it’s not like Supernatural fandom did not try to warn us. They knew back from his time on the long-running The CW series how The boys showrunner / EP Eric Kripke (who created Supernatural) love to lure you in with some serious “shock and awe” and then blindside you with an emotional blow to the emotions you either never saw coming or could never prepare for. And just in case you think Kripke would take a problem with that assessment? Well, look no further than his response to just that yesterday when the “Herogasm” warning was offered: “Yes. More than 1.” And holy, they could not have been more right. Directed by Nelson Cragg and written by Jessica Chou, this week saw the streaming series’ input on the popular comic book miniseries. But to define this episode with just supersex and tidal waves of splooge (think that lubricant on the jacket was obviously not the worst thing that could happen to MMs clothes) would be to ignore what really made this episode work. Because this was an episode of “liberation” … and we’m not just talking about body fluids. No, this week brought a turning point for a number of players – some we have been waiting anxiously to see happen. Second? Well, let’s just say they made us a little worried. So with that said, we’re throwing on “BIG SPOILERS FORWARD!“sign and drop a photo spoiler buffer before we do our deep dive (but not as deep as any of the the “dive” we saw).
After five episodes of growing tension, frustration, fear, doubt, paranoia and a whole bunch of other not-so-nice things, all roads led to “Herogasm” – or more specifically, to the home of former Payback team members TNT Gemini Tommy TNT (Jack Doolan) and Tessa TNT (Kristen Booth), hosts the 70-year-old supes “tradition” (which we learn was first started by jensen AcklesSoldier boy in 1952). Of course, it quickly became “ground zero” for all our respective players, bringing The Deep (Chace Crawford), Hughie (Jack Quaid), butcher (Karl Urban), soldier boy, breast milk (MM, Laz Alonso), Starlight (Erin Moriarty), A train (Jessie T. Usher), and … finally … Homelander (Antony Starr). And as you can imagine, it was just the spark that was needed for a few game-changing moments (and with more than just the ones we mentioned above). In fact, after sleeping on the episode, I have to say that the examples of “release” we saw in this episode are quite astonishing considering how much is going on. Thanks to Cragg for setting the right moods for the respective situations, and when it comes to Chou? If the agent’s phone does not burst with offers, I do not need Claudia DoumitIt’s Victoria Neuman to beat my brain.
Now as for the “release moments” I have teased since this started, here is an overview of our overview:
Ashley (Colby Minifie) reminds A-Train of the “realities” of his past and how much she and Vought covered his “indiscretions” for years, incredibly influenced by Minifie by the look on Ashley’s face and that she outwardly expresses her astonishment at having finally said all that loud. And as tough as it was for A-Train, that the attire allowed him to release all the buried guilt he has been working on. Now, what does he want to do with it? Well, we saw a way …
Black Noir (Nathan Mitchell) performs a small self-surgery and goes off the net without anyone knowing it, leaving Homelander much more injured than those around him are aware of. Given what we learned about their crossroads in “Diabolical,” it’s not surprising.
And speaking of Homelander, we run out of praise for giving Starr, especially after the mirror scenes where Homelander has a conversation with the voice in his head that convinces him to let go of the “human” he still has left in him. A decision that it seems he has clearly made towards the end of the episode …
For Kumiko (Karen Fukuhara) and Serge (Tomer Capon), the release came when they both dangled on the brink of death in the hands of Little Nina (Katia Winter) and her prisoners. Faced with having their own worst feelings about themselves exhibited by Nina, they endured the torture and pain of getting out of it alive. And in some ways better. Ok, here me out! With Kumiko, the understanding that it was not her powers that made her “The Female”, but who she was as a person, is definitely a blow to the stomach. But there is also something Kumiko can try to cope with resigning herself that it is the result of a power she has never asked for. As for Serge, it’s hopefully the beginning of his understanding that his value does not depend on who he works for (and it was fascinating how MM and Butcher both thought he should go into “Herogasm”, mentioning how much he always wanted to check out one of these).
And when we talk about commendable turns in this episode, Alonso continues to impress and always has. But the moment between MM and Starlight where he explains his story with Soldier Boy and his OCD exercises with the burners, made the tears flow the way you know them, but you do not break your gaze because you do not want to miss another of greatness? Yes, it was one of those times …
Look, we all knew it was only a matter of time before The Deep would fuck an octopus. All the signs were there. But beyond the comic moment, it also talked about how The Deep is just another ticking bomb. Give him more quality time with Homelander, and we’ll see how quickly this PR campaign he calls a life continues to last. Now think how much more dangerous he would be if he had a brain with a decent common sense?
Hughie getting an apology from A-Train (especially after the Ashley beatdown) was something we did not see coming, and yet it probably could not have worked anywhere other than in the middle of a supes orgy. From the feelings on A-Train’s face, we see that the truth may eventually become too much for him to continue ignoring, and then by releasing some of Hughie’s guilt, he may begin some sort of process to become another. And what about Hughie’s reaction? As much as we want to believe that it was all V24, it clearly also comes from A-Train which forces him to let go of his hatred, and relieves him of that rage. And that’s clearly not something Hughie was ready to do.
And then we saw what A-Train did with that release of guilt, and that was to take the Blue Hawk (Nick Wechsler) the matter in their own hands. Considering this nation’s history of racist violence that includes black people being tortured and killed by being dragged behind a truck, A-Train’s choice of way to get rid of the “white trash problem” was particularly symbolic.
If you need me to explain how much “release” was going on in the epic smackdown between Homelander, Soldier Boy, Butcher & Hughie, then you’ll have to watch it again. Butcher and Hughie can finally go toe-to-toe with Homelander? Homelander gets the chance to take on “The Original Supe”? Soldier Boy gets a chance to take down his “fucking knockoff”? These were four guys who let go of rage, anger and general toxicity at each other, and that’s why it felt so much more like a street fight than you usually find.
But perhaps the greatest release of all belongs to Starlight … or as we shall now call her, Annie January. Because this was the episode where Annie drew a line in the sand and told everyone (and we mean everyone, Hughie) to fuck himself. From pushing back on Neuman’s offer to being the tough love friend that MM needed, Annie is done being the victim and always being on the defensive, while she waits for the moment when Homelander decides to snap and kill everyone. So you can have all the great sex and fight scenes you want (and they were all great) because the biggest “release” came at the very end when Annie took to social media to not just “free” herself from the burden of being Starlight , but also declare war on Homelander. Now it’s the kind of cover that needs a cigarette afterwards.
And it does not even mention the “Random Thoughts” we had, which we are saving for a post this weekend. See you here next week for our thoughts on the penultimate season of the season (I know, right ?!).
The Boys Season 3 Episode 6 “Herogasm”
Review of Ray Flook
Directed by Nelson Cragg and written by Jessica Chou, The Boys S03E06 “Herogasm” saw the streaming series’ version of the popular comic book miniseries. But to define this episode with just supersex and tidal waves of splooge (think that lubricant on the jacket was obviously not the worst thing that could happen to MMs clothes) would be to ignore what really made this episode work. Because this was an episode about “liberation” … and we’m not just talking about body fluids. No, this week brought a turning point for a number of players – some we have been waiting anxiously to see happen. Second? Well, let’s just say they made us a little worried …