‘The Boys’ ramps up the action in a more focused episode than usual.
by Jeremy Fogelman
The latest episode of The Boys is called ‘The Bloody Doors Off’, once again a reference to a particular issue of the comics and vaguely connected to this episode (I mean doors do get blown off hinges and there is often blood on them, although the title initially was a double meaning between literally bloody and figuratively, like the British slang). Here we see almost all the characters again, but at least some things are combined and others ignored.
There’s more still of The Deep and his fairly broad storyline of Scientology satire, this time working on bringing A-Train into the fold. A-Train has legitimate concerns too, real problems, and he’s noticed Stormfront’s microaggressions. Of course, the leader Alastair (Goran Visnjic) seems well spoken and charismatic enough, but that’s sort of the point of it -- poking fun at Scientology is all well and good, Bowfinger did it years ago, but I don’t yet see a real salient idea more than surface level with this subplot.
Maeve’s tiny subplot has a little going on, just enough to create drama for the next episode, I suppose, but for now it feels like it wasn’t really necessary to keep in this one. The main storyline, connected in part to Homelander, which is the discovery of the Vought “asylum” for inmates gone wrong, is more interesting in general, even if there are aspects which feel a bit melodramatic.
The storyline finally brings the oft mentioned character of the Lamplighter (Shawn Ashmore) into the fray, who is a vaguely Green Lantern sort of ripoff, except that here his power is simply being able to spread fire (I guess not create it offhand, making him less powerful than the firebenders from Avatar: The Last Airbender). Delving into it is an interesting tale, having Mallory’s kids be an inadvertent murder from the Lamplighter who was targeting the lady herself (basically similar to the comics in some ways), but now feels hollow and broken about it.
We finally, finally get some more from Frenchie here, as his own backstory reveals a messy guilt and a desire to “save” Kimiko, who is great in this episode. Frenchie’s explicit explanation of his hangup is a little obvious and overly “therapy speak”, but at least it’s adding more depth to his character. Kimiko though, she was fun, from the shared realization with Butcher that Homelander and Stormfront were hooking up, to her “Bossy” golden knuckles that we see when she punches the “Love Sausage” in the face.
The character the Love Sausage is also in the comics but he’s so completely different and more fleshed out, here he’s probably only a one-off joke. We even get a bit more from MM’s backstory, although again I feel like it’s barely scratching the surface. The injury storyline with Hughie is a lot more interesting, as it’s forcing Butcher and Starlight to bond over their shared affection for the hapless Hughie.
Those two storylines feel pretty well connected, and it’s fine to lightly touch on the Homelander/Stormfront stuff, as it’s clearly vital to the plot of the season. When Stormfront reveals the truth to Homelander, that she was literally married to Vought in Nazi Germany and spits out an ugly racist screed, it’s hard to know what Homelander thinks, except that he craves love and all out worship -- so whether or not he’ll really be along for the racist part of the ride is still an open question, but for now it’s easy to understand (as we already know of his demented personality) why he’s still willing to be with Stormfront.
Homeland may be more of an anti-human bigot than any race in particular, but he considers himself “more than” -- it’s a chilling way to set up danger for the future. Overall, a mixed episode in parts, but the focused parts tended to work more than otherwise.