Is history repeating itself on The Boys? In “Barbary Coast,” Butcher (Karl Urban)and the gang find more information about Payback. Homelander (Antony Starr) deals with the public reaction to his very public rant.
JUST BE YOURSELF
If there’s one thing Annie January aka Starlight (Erin Moriarty) learned from her pageant days, it was how to push back the pain and keep smiling. As a child, she would clench her fist behind her back to deal with the pain, but was always smiling.
Homelander’s poll numbers went up … way up after his rant at his birthday celebration. People like this new unapologetic Homelander, especially the white males. They like that he’s not afraid to be himself. His rating, with Starlight as co-captain, is 98%. The highest ever.
Butcher has a massive hangover from the Temp-V. He spends a lot of time in the bathroom throwing up. Mother’s Milk (Laz Alonso) returns to the Boys HQ and is compulsively cleaning up the place. Hughie (Jack Quaid) also returns. Everything seems right as rain.
Hughie says they need to move Ryan (Cameron Crovetti), but Butcher is way ahead of him. They are going to see where Grace Mallory (Laila Robins) took Ryan. Frenchie (Tomer Capone) can’t go because Cherie (Jordana Lajoie) texts him, saying she’s in trouble. Hughie volunteers to go in his place. He’s going to call in sick to work, but it has to be real. So he asks Kimiko (Karen Fukuhara) to break his arm.
The American Hero competition is coming to a close and Supersonic (Miles Gaston Villanueva) will be one of the two new members of the Seven. Starlight wants the muslim sup Silver Kincaid (Jasmin Husain) as the other winner, but Ashley (Colby Minifie) has an issue with that. She wants to talk to Homelander first. Starlight informs her that she has final say, according to Stan Edgar (Giancarlo Esposito).
Frenchie meets with Cherie, who is on the run after she lost 11 kilos of drugs. She says she was robbed. Frenchie offers to help her pay the cost of the drugs, but they both know the boss Little Nina (Katia Winter). Nina wants to torture Cherie first. Cherie asks Frenchie to go with her, but he declines.
Starlight informs Supersonic that he’s going to win American Hero and asks him to decline the offer. She says Homelander is unstable and he doesn’t want to be a part of the Seven. Supersonic doesn’t quite understand, so Starlight begs him to decline the offer.
A-Train’s (Jesse T. Usher) brother Nathan (Christian Keyes) finds him at the hospital. The doctor told A-Train that if he uses his power, it could kill him. Nathan says he accepts his brother’s apology and invites him to come home.
The Boys visit with Mallory and Ryan. Ryan tells Kimiko that he’s scared of his powers. They both hate their powers and wish they never had them. Hughie tells Mallory about Victoria Neuman (Claudia Doumit) and she’s not happy about it. Butcher is more interested in Mallory’s connection to Soldier Boy (Jensen Ackles). At first Mallory denies it. Butcher threatens to release the names of all of Mallory’s assets around the world if she doesn’t come clean.
Mallory tells them the story of Nicaragua from her point of view. She was in charge of trafficking drugs to the US and the government used the money to fund their conflict with Russia. Everything was going well until the superhero group Payback showed up and showed out.
At the time, Payback included Soldier Boy, Crimson Countess (Laurie Holden), and Gunpowder (Sean Patrick Flanery/Gattlin Griffith), Mindstorm (Ryan Blakely), Swatto (Joel Labelle), the TNT twins, and Black Noir (Fritzy-Klevans Destine/Nathan Mitchell). They are accompanied by Stanford Edgar (Justiin Davis). This was the beginning of Vought’s campaign to make supes out of soldiers. And a time when Noir could actually speak. Butcher has to pause the story to throw up again.
IN TOO DEEP
Homelander approaches Starlight about her choices to win American Hero. He won’t allow Silver Kincaid into the Seven and suggests that they reinstate The Deep (Chace Crawford). Starlight has a big issue with that and threatens to release the Flight 37 video. Homelander tells her to release it. He has nothing to lose and doing so will give him permission to do whatever he wants. She has no leverage over him. Homelander would prefer to be loved. If Starlight takes that away from him, being feared is fine with him too.
The Deep and Cassandra (Katy Breier) celebrate his reinstatement by having sex in Deep’s old room. He starts talking dirty but not to Cassandra. To the starfish in the fish tank.
Starlight calls Hughie, ready to quit the Seven, but he asks her to stay. He confesses that he went back to Butcher and they may have a weapon to kill Homelander. She agrees, even though she has no idea how long it will take for the Boys to find the weapon.
Nathan’s family tells A-Train that his new suit is wack. He says he wants to show he supports the cause. Nathan gives him something to support. He shows A-Train a video of a news story. A supe named Blue Hawk (Nick Wechsler) killed a black man who he thought was aggressive and attempted to assault a white woman. The man was just walking home from work. Nathan tells A-Train that he should use his platform to speak up on this type of violence. A-Train says he can’t. He’s Michael Jordan, not Malcolm X.
THE TRUTH COMES OUT
Ryan is worried about Butcher. He offers him crackers, like Becca (Shantel VanSanten) used to do. Butcher goes back to hear the rest of Mallory’s tale. Payback’s hijinks caught the attention of the Russians and their camp was attacked. Mallory lost a lot of men. She says that’s when she was told that Soldier Boy was killed by the Russians. She also watched a helicopter fly away, supposedly with Soldier Boy’s body. The rest of Payback survived, including Black Noir.
MM and Butcher are not happy with Mallory because she kept the truth from them. Butcher is especially upset because Homelander could already be dead. And Becca could be alive right now. Mallory accuses him of being selfish, saying killing Homelander won’t satisfy Butcher.
The Boys leave but Ryan tries to stop him. Butcher is mean to Ryan, saying he doesn’t want to look at the kid after what he did to Becca. Ryan’s eyes glow red as he gets angry and tells Butcher that he hates him.
Little Nina summons Frenchie to ask him where she can find Cherie. He says he doesn’t know. Nina wants Frenchie to come back and work for her. He refuses but she tells him to think about it.
Homelander invites the Deep, Cassandra and Ashley to dinner. He serves them seafood and makes Deep eat his friend … an octopus named Timothy. Homelander also compares his story to Martin Luther King Jr. They were both persecuted and now they are both free.
The Boys return to HQ. Kimiko isn’t happy with how Butcher is acting. She asks Frenchie if they can leave and go to Marseille. The rest of the gang enters before he can answer. MM takes a file and leaves without saying a word. Frenchie tells Butcher that he was detained by Little Nina. Butcher wants him to set up a meeting with Little Nina. They are going to Russia.
Supersonic tells the producers that he will take the offer. He wants to stay for Starlight because she was there for him at his lowest point. Besides, someone has to have her back.
Butcher feels bad for what he said to Ryan. Hughie says no one gets it but he does. They start to have a heart to heart but Butcher throws up on Hughie.
Starlight and Homelander tape the finale of American Hero. They announce Supersonic as the winner and the return of The Deep. Starlight plays along saying she accepts Deep’s apology. Homelander takes it a step further announcing that Starlight is his girl now.
Starlight shuts down for a minute. She smiles and asks for one more take of the scene. This time, Starlight kisses Homelander, with her fist clenched behind her back.
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