Saturday, June 25, 2022

The Boys S03E06: Herogasm

© Prime Video

The Boys goes for broke by breaking the barrier of bodies.

by Jeremy Fogelman

The latest episode of The Boys is called “Herogasm” which is naturally named after one of the chapters from the original comics. Of course there, the circumstances are so incredibly different it’s really pointless to connect the two except superficially. In the comics it’s a secret event created by Vought for the supes to let off steam in whatever debaucherous way they want (with paid sex workers that aren’t necesarily being treated safely) and here it’s a secret party for supes to hook up with each other and sometimes sex workers also not necessarily being treated safely. I did notice an Easter Egg where someone in the background shouts “Come on my hump” which is a pretty memorable and absurd moment in that chapter. They also brought back that “Love Sausage” character for a pure joke moment (which I didn’t really find that funny).

But although that’s the similar line and the title of the episode, it’s really not about that at all, other than we discovered that Soldier Boy started the thing in 1952. The plot throughline is really still just about image and truth. The episode starts off with another dated (if funny) joke about tone deaf celebrities singing “Imagine” in March of 2020 (which is already over two years ago if you want to feel the cold vacuum of time speed through you). I noted such luminaries as Patton Oswalt, Josh Gad, Ashton Kutcher & Mila Kunis, Elizabeth Banks, Kumail Nanjiani, Aisha Tyler and Rose Byrne, and none also sang in that actual video. It would’ve been funnier if they had been able to get one of those people.

Otherwise the show doesn’t really (as usual) really get that deeply into satire, the majority of the humor coming from Soldier Boy’s outdated references to supporting our Mujahideen brothers and how Bill Cosby is America’s dad. Easy jokes but they were funny. In the more tragic part of the episode, Kimiko ends up brutalizing people without any powers -- it’s badass considering that she could actually die, but it only serves to make her think of herself as a monster after all. Yet in a completely non-monstrous way, she refutes the horrible assertions Nina said about Frenchie.

© Prime Video

We do know that Compound V has already been said to make “you more you”, but that doesn’t mean Kimiko is a monster at all, as she has a particularly awful and traumatic backstory. In a similar “who am I?” sequence, A-Train actually sincerely apologizes to Hughie over his accidental killing of Robin from way back in the series premiere as he’s now seen how people can be cruel and hurt people he loves. It’s something even if he was one of those “he gets it now that he feels affected” things, and you do wonder if Hughie punching him will really change anything.

After that though, A-Train does actually run for the first time since his health diagnosis, scraping the racist Blue Hawk along the highway -- only of course for his heart to give out. Doesn’t mean he’s dead yet though, I never trust that until I see it confirmed. There’s still a bit with Victoria trying to ally in a way with Starlight, which is another “who am I?” thing.

The Soldier Boy versus Homelander storyline finally gets to the real action moment, as he confronts the TNT Twins (which are reported to be a parody of Northstar & Aurora from the X-Men comics), another set of toxic people. With the combination of our two taking temporary V along with Soldier Boy helping out, it seems that Homelander is nearly done for.

© Prime Video

But our Homelander identity moments are the more complex ones, as he literally questions himself in the mirror, his other self talking about protecting them in the “bad room” (which is shades of Dissociative Identity Disorder) while also admitting he still wants people to love him. Although his other self demands he remove the remnants of humanity, we can see in the final moments of the episode that he hasn’t done that yet -- being actually hurt in the fight and in real danger for the first time since he was a child may be making him feel more human than ever before.

And Starlight reveals the truth of it all to the world, for those who would still believe her -- it’s a great cliffhanger. Although I found the extreme over-the-top sex stuff to be pure shock value, if sometimes cleverly done, the actual content of the episode aside was really pretty good. The show is doing a great job of showing the bizarre problematic humanity of these supes, the balance being doing terrible things and still feeling human. As we go into the last episodes of the season, it’s hard to predict how things will go, which is always a good sign.

No comments:

Post a Comment