“The Boys” recap: Butcher plots his endgame

The Boys infiltrate a far-right get together and uncover Homelander’s master plan.

After the tragic death of Hugh Sr. (Simon Pegg) in last week’s episode of The Boys, we catch up with Hughie (Jack Quaid)... on a Maid In Manhattan walking tour? Yep, apparently this was Hugh Sr.’s wish, to have his ashes spread throughout the city at the filming locations of his favorite movie. Hughie’s mother (Rosemarie DeWitt) and Annie (Erin Moriarty) are both there, along with the rest of the Boys. Well, most of them, anyway.

Frenchie (Tomer Capone) is notably absent, and that’s ’cause last episode, overcome with guilt, he turned himself in to the police, confessing to the murders he committed in his past life as a Russian mafia hitman. But even worse than the murders, according to Kimiko (Karen Fukuhara), is the fact that Frenchie surrendered without talking to her first. So after Hugh Sr.’s “funeral”, she goes to visit him in prison… but he won’t see her.

Meanwhile, Mother’s Milk (Laz Alonso) receives a call from a panicked A-Train (Jessie T. Usher), who’s worried about being fingered as a traitor, after leaking intel to the Boys. MM’s able to talk A-Train off a ledge and get a key piece of information from him – supe Tek Knight (Derek Wilson) is hosting a “Federalist Society” get-together at his estate, where it seems like some truly evil stuff is gonna be going down.

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So MM gathers the Boys and tasks them with infiltrating this alt-right party to find out what they’re up to. But his plan to get someone inside is as risky as it is hilarious.

A supe named Web Weaver, they learn, has been invited to audition for the role of Tek Knight’s new sidekick. So MM visits Web Weaver… and sticks a roofie up his butt (not by choice, it’s just WW’s preferred injection site, to our and MM’s disgust). Once WW’s out cold, they take his suit… and put Hughie in it, so he can pose as WW, attend the party, and bug the place.

Annie’s hesitant about sending Hughie on a dangerous mission so soon after his father’s death, but Hughie insists that focusing on work is exactly the distraction he needs. So Hughie dons the suit (smelly as it is), and waltzes into the lion’s den.

All the power players are gathered there: Homelander (Antony Starr), Sage (Susan Heyward), Neuman (Claudia Doumit), Firecracker (Valorie Curry), the U.S. Speaker of the House, and a litany of billionaires. As Hughie plants listening devices throughout the house, he’s approached by Tek Knight, who invites him down into “the Tek Cave” for his sidekick audition. To avoid arousing suspicions, Hughie is forced to oblige.

So he follows Tek into his “cave,” which turns out to be a creepy sex dungeon. To maintain his cover as Web Weaver, Hughie has to perform some truly bizarre acts (for the sake of your browser history, do not google “Cake Farts”) before things quickly escalate and he finds himself tied to a table while Ashley (Colby Minifie) mercilessly tickles his feet and pleasures herself. If this isn’t the most bizarre sentence I’ve ever written….

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If only that’s as bad as it got in the Tek Cave. But this is The Boys, so that was just an amuse bouche. Now, Tek wants to carve a new hole into Hughie so he can… use it for his pleasure… and the only way for Hughie to get out of it is to utter Web Weaver’s safe word. But when it becomes clear that Hughie doesn’t know it, Tek rips Hughie’s mask off and blows his cover. So as Hughie squirms and Tek prepares to get into some true sadism…

The Boys sneak into the estate to save Hughie, having lost communication with him when he descended into… well, pretty much hell. MM and Kimiko find Sister Sage in Tek’s study, where the entrance to the Tek Cave is hidden. MM urges Sage to step off, but she dashes to hit the alarm, and in a fit of anxiety, MM shoots her in the head before fainting from a panic attack. Kimiko convinces A-Train to dash MM to the hospital.

Kimiko and Starlight find their way into the Tek Cave just in time so save Hughie, then tie Tek to his own torture rack and press him for information on what he and Sage are up to.

They beat and stab Tek, trying to force him to squeal… but all the pain does is get him super horny. Hughie asks: “How do you torture a masochist?” and soon they come up with a brilliant solution – you torture him by doing good.

So with the help of a Pulp Fiction-style sex gimp Tek’s been keeping in the dungeon (you can’t make this stuff up… unless you write on The Boys, I guess), they hack into Tek’s bank accounts and start donating money to charitable causes. Tek’s furious, doing his best to hold out, but when they threaten to donate $100 million to Black Lives Matter, he breaks. “Not those people!”

Earlier in the night, Tek was bragging about how his family made their billions – centuries ago, they were slave catchers, and now they do… sort of the 21st century version of that: they own the largest network of private prisons in the world. And that’s what Sage wanted with Tek: she and Tek struck a deal to allow Vought to use his prisons as internment camps for dissidents.

There’s plenty of drama playing out upstairs as well. Homelander and Sage’s plan here is to gather up all the most powerful people in the world so Sage can talk them into invoking the 25th amendment, ousting Singer and making Neuman president.

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Only problem – Sage got shot in the head by MM, and while she heals from it, the temporary brain damage leaves her, well… not quite as intelligent as she usually is, to put it lightly. Homelander is left on his own to convince “35 percent of the U.S.’s GDP” to play along with their 25th amendment plan. But his bluster only takes him so far, and he quickly finds himself out of his element when these power players ask about his plans to keep the markets and the Justice Department calm amidst this proposed presidential coup.

With Homelander floundering, Neuman steps up, essentially promising these elites a blank check to do whatever the hell they want once she becomes president. Neuman’s speech successfully persuades the .01 percenters, but Homelander’s left feeling useless and pathetic.

Later, back at Vought, we find Homelander in a sorry, self-pitying state… when he’s visited by Firecracker. Initially, he wants nothing to do with her after she got embarrassed by Starlight on VNN, but then… she takes her shirt off, and squirts breast milk in his face.

And if you remember season 1, you’ll know that breast milk is Homelander’s kryptonite. Firecracker knows this too, and, obsessed with attaching herself to Homelander, has been taking medications to help her lactate. So as her juices drip down the supe god’s face, Homelander instantly melts, and we leave him curled up on Firecracker’s lap, suckling like the little man-child he is.

Now, at this point you might be wondering where Butcher (Karl Urban) has been all episode. Fear not, he’s been a bit busy… leading us through perhaps the most mind-bending storyline of the whole season.

<p>Courtesy of Prime Video</p> Karl Urban as Billy Butcher on 'The Boys'.

Courtesy of Prime Video

Karl Urban as Billy Butcher on 'The Boys'.

Last week, Butcher kidnapped Vought scientist Sameer (Omid Abtahi) and brought him to Kessler (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) with the intent of forcing him to make a dose of the supe-killing virus strong enough to eliminate Homelander. But now we learn Sameer’s refusing to do it.

Eventually, Butcher learns why. Sameer tells them that through Vought’s research, they discovered that in order to make the virus lethal enough to end a supe, it’d also become airborne and highly contagious, infecting and killing every supe on the planet.

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Kessler, of course, loves this idea. But Butcher’s conscience comes burning through in the form of a hallucination of his departed wife Becca (Shantel VanSanten). As Becca urges Butcher to find his humanity and let Sameer go, Kessler pushes him to grow a pair and do what’s necessary to keep the world safe from supes. The angel and devil on Butcher’s shoulders pull him back and forth, when suddenly… Kessler snaps at Becca, trying to shut her up.

But wait… how can Kessler see Becca if she’s a hallucination? Because he’s one too. That’s right, we’ve now gone full Fight Club. Kessler was always a figment of Butcher’s imagination, as flashbacks to the rest of the season help clarify for us.

Kessler is Butcher’s dark side, Becca is his light, and the fate of the world now rests on the twisted, conflicted conscience of Billy Butcher. Which one will win out – the angel or devil on Butcher’s shoulder? Sigh. Guess we’ll have to wait another week to find out.

Stray Observations:

  • Ashley’s descent into unhinged sadism has been a riot to watch. Telling a tied-up Hughie, “I’m gonna bite your dick off and cook it, I’m 100 percent a cannibal,” wrecked me.

  • In case you were wondering, Web Weaver’s safe word turned out to be “Zendaya,” which is a truly genius Tom Holland/Spider-man reference.

  • My favorite moment of the episode was a small but powerful one — a young kid smiling at A-Train after watching him safely deliver MM to the hospital. This genuinely heartwarming moment feels like a real turning point for A-Train, who, miraculously, the writers have turned into one of the most sympathetic characters on the show.

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