DISCLAIMER: This recap of Gen V Season 1 Episode 2, “First Day,” contains spoilers. Proceed at your peril.
Welcome back, supes! “First Day” finds everyone starting school while navigating grief from the last episode’s traumatic events. Marie’s popularity skyrockets, and she breaks records by joining the top 10 ranking list as a freshman. However, she takes credit for Jordan’s heroics, which rubs them the wrong way. So much drama! So much action! Not quite as much blood!
“First Day” is a solid follow-up to the series premiere, even if it somewhat loses momentum. It’s a great outing for establishing this universe and fleshing out our core characters. This episode also tackles mental health in a significant way while sprinkling in some The Boys cameos. It artfully pokes fun at product placement and leans more into satirizing our toxic social media obsession. In that way, this episode feels more like The Boys than its episodic predecessor.
Ready to delve into “First Day”? Let’s get to it.
We open with Marie (Jaz Sinclair), Andre (Chance Perdomo) and Jordan (London Thor) sitting outside in the aftermath of Luke’s suicide. A clean-up crew sweeps his remains. Cate (Maddie Phillips) shoulders her way through the crowd to the spot where Luke died. She falls to her knees. Andre rushes to her side. Phoebe Bridgers’ cover of Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters” feels apropos here. At the same time, Dean Shetty (Shelley Conn) meets with the school board, which includes Andre’s father, Polarity (Sean Patrick Thomas). Ashley (Colby Minifie) phones in from Seven Tower. They all contemplate their next move to save face.
Polarity feels his son should be front and center. He’s the “hero” who saved the school from Luke, right? Shetty mentions how Marie was also there. However, we know Jordan was the real hero (said in Homelander’s voice). Unfortunately, according to Ashley, they won’t “market well” to middle America. Therefore, it’s decided Andre will be the new number one.
Ashley asks to speak with Shetty in private. She asks if Luke’s and Brink’s deaths are related to “The Woods.” Shetty evades answering the question. She merely promises to solve the problem at hand. Later that evening, Marie returns to her dorm. Emma (Lizze Broadway) embraces her. She offers to smoke and/or drink with Marie to forget that day’s traumatic events. However, Marie gently sets boundaries with Emma. From now on, she’s keeping her head down and working hard to get a city contract post-graduation. The pair go to sleep without saying another word.
Next, Marie learns she’s the first freshman to break the top 10 — she’s sitting at number eight. Meanwhile, Andre also learns he’s replaced Luke as number one. Jordan is furious to discover they’ve dropped to number five. After making that discovery, Jordan visits Brink’s makeshift memorial on campus. They place a photo of them with Brink among the plethora of flowers and cards. Cate approaches them, apologizing for what happened to Brink. She doesn’t understand why Luke did what he did. Jordan leaves her in silence.
Then, Cate catches Rufus (Alexander Calvert) and his buddies make a joke at her and Luke’s expense. She removes a glove and touches him. She orders him to buy a bat and incessantly whack himself in the balls while yelling, “Jumanji!” Side note: it’s interesting to me that (and this is referring to episode one) Cate is the most concerned about consent when her powers are the most consent-violating of the bunch. Well, that we know so far. Inside, Marie meets Jeff (Dan Beirne), God U.’s social media person. He tells Marie she’s a Twitter sensation (it’s still called that in this universe).
He leads Marie to a photoshoot with Andre. The school is marketing Andre and Marie as the “Guardians of Godolkin” despite Marie explaining she didn’t fight Luke/Golden Boy. Courtenay Fortney (Jackie Tohn), the PR person, tries to prepare Marie for an exclusive televised interview with Hailey Miller. Marie’s surprised to learn she’ll read prepared responses from a teleprompter. Polarity pulls his son aside and urges him to keep his head in the game. He’s number one now, after all.
After the photoshoot, Andre discloses his suspicions regarding Luke and Brink to Marie. Something’s amiss. Marie believes it’s possible he had a psychotic break. She doesn’t think there’s a larger conspiracy at play. She asks Andre to keep her out of it. Firstly, she only hung out with their friend group once. Secondly, Brink tried to expel her to save them. She doesn’t owe anyone anything. That’s right!
Later, Emma attends an Acting for Auditions course with none other than the director of The Dawn of the Seven, Adam Bourke (P.J. Byrne). Adam wants them to partner and present prepared scenes for the next class. Emma chooses Liam (Robert Bazzocchi) as her partner despite his being a massive, consent-violating prick. However, he’s chosen someone else as his scene partner. Justine (Maia Jae Bastidas) puts him in his place for making Emma shrink during sex. Then, she asks Emma if she wants to be partners.
Next, Marie learns she can audit the Crimefighting class for juniors, which Dean Shetty has taken over in place of the late Brink. Jordan confronts Marie after class. They’re pissed that Marie’s taking credit for something they did. They fought Luke, not Marie. Marie essentially gives the same speech she delivered to Andre. However, Jordan doesn’t meet her with scorn — they get it. Jordan shifts to their male counterpart (Derek Luh). They explain that Brink was the only person who accepted them for who they are. They ask Marie to tell the truth during her interview with Hailey Miller.
Meanwhile, Emma and Justine get high while picking a scene for their class. Emma searches the library on Vought+, offering all of Termite’s movies as suggestions. Justine encourages Emma to choose something where she doesn’t have to get small. The conversation turns to Emma purging to shrink, which she discloses to Justine in confidence. Hmm. This won’t end well. On the other side of campus, Marie meets with Shetty in the latter’s office. Shetty tries to get Marie to open up. She even claims she understands Marie — Marie suppresses her emotions and forges ahead for fear she’ll screw up. If she’s not perfect, someone dies.
Marie insists Shetty’s wrong and departs. As for Shetty, she heads to The Woods, where Dr. Cardosa (Marco Pigossi) conducts an experiment on Sam (Asa Germann). Yes, Luke’s little brother is the boy we saw being subdued in the premiere. It appears Shetty and her scientists are cooking something nefarious and deadly.
Next, Andre and Cate break into Luke’s old dorm room to find it empty. The school officials wasted no time in removing his belongings. Meanwhile, Emma learns Justine shared her purging secret with the world. Justine did say she needed more YouTube subscribers. Now, everyone on campus looks at Emma with pity. Emma confronts Justine, who tries to act innocent. She claims she thought it was okay to share Justine’s “truth.” Perhaps her story will help others! Ugh. This is so gross. Another consent violation.
That evening, Andre reflects on what Luke told him before he died. Luke said, “Your dad has it.” Andre realizes Luke was referring to the Polarity statue. While accompanied by Cate, Andre manipulates the metal on the statue to remove a phone. Granted, the phone was nestled in Polarity’s crotch, which feels appropriate for a show in The Boys universe. They watch a video featuring Luke (Patrick Schwarzenegger) recording a message for Andre. Luke explains Sam is alive and being kept in a lab of sorts funded by Vought and God U. Brink knows about it. There’s a good chance other faculty are aware of it, too. Luke hopes to break Sam out.
Next, Marie prepares for her interview with Hailey. She looks over her sides while getting her makeup done. Will she acknowledge Jordan’s involvement on-air? Polarity waits for Andre, who’s also participating in the interview. Courtenay orders her crew to remove his chair from the set when he fails to arrive on time. Uh-oh. Speaking of Andre, he breaks into Brink’s office to look at his laptop files. He finds documents on everyone in The Woods, including Sam. It’s evidence that Luke was telling the truth. What a gut punch after being told your younger brother committed suicide.
Suddenly, armed security barges into Brink’s office to remove essential belongings like his laptop. Andre hides under the desk. On set, Marie meets Hailey (Leigh Bush), who reveals she won’t ask Marie any heavy-hitting questions. However, her team did reach out to Marie’s little sister, Annabeth, who refrained from commenting. Marie asks for her email address. We know Annabeth was adopted, but Marie has no idea where she is. An email could help. But Hailey informs her that Annabeth wants nothing to do with her. Ouch.
Marie freezes temporarily amid the interview, but she recovers, deciding to recite her lines from the teleprompter. She doesn’t admit Jordan’s the actual hero, much to the latter’s understandable anger. After the interview, Marie returns to her dorm. She sends Emma a series of texts, asking if she wants to drink together. Marie gazes at the photo of her with her family. She sobs. Every time she’s upset, she slits her palms and uses her blood powers. If that’s not a metaphor for self-harm, I don’t know what is.
Then, Marie confronts Shetty, asking if she knew about Annabeth. Shetty pulls Marie in for a hug. Don’t trust her, Marie. She’s bad news.
Later, Andre hides in the stairwell from the armed security leaving Brink’s office. When one of them catches Andre, Cate swoops in to the rescue, utilizing her abilities to persuade two officers to perform sex acts. Suddenly, Cate collapses and starts convulsing. Every time she uses her gift, she drains herself. Has she now gone too far?
Who else knows about The Woods? Will Andre think of a way to free Sam? Is Cate okay? Only time (and more episodes) will tell.
Gen V drops new episodes every Friday on Prime Video.
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