Martin Carr reviews the sixth episode of The Boys season 2…
This are no bank robberies, no doors being blown off and nobody hanging off cliffs come the conclusion. Michael Caine is absent without leave, Noel Coward long past reviving and everything else is inconsequential. If you were looking for comparisons The Boys does feature an absurdly disorganised splinter group, hot pursuits and a ludicrous level of misadventure. There are some high security break outs, excessive amounts of opposition and collateral damage as well since you’re asking. However, where The Golden Girls fit into all this is another story.
Director James Mangold has a lot to answer for as far as episode six is concerned. Several leaves, a branch or two and enough foliage to create your own brush has been lifted from Logan. Aside from the occasionally rampant adversary this is white washed experimentation writ large. Test subjects watched over video surveillance vomit acid, break bones and generally make others just explode randomly. Sage Grove Psychiatric Centre as fiction is unfortunately more mainstream and mundane than anything we have encountered thus far.
Aside from the character confessions, Stormfront revelations and Homelander hissy fits this feels more like retrofitted X-Men territory. Links back to an Aryan race, Nazi Germany and super soldier soliloquies maintain audience interest but these are fleeting. Exchanges between Queen Maeve and The Deep add little, while A-Train flounces around not doing very much. Thankfully flashbacks break up proceedings and provide back story, which goes some way to balancing things out.
There are moments of genuine chemistry between Butcher and Annie, while Frenchie and Kimiko finally forge a bond of sorts. There are some laugh out loud moments which are often gross or hugely inappropriate, while a certain commercial takes tactless to new heights. Shawn Ashmore who some will remember as Ice Man from the X-Men franchise does well, buying into the cross over joke and embracing Lamplighter wholeheartedly. For the moment though his presence feels like a one trick pony despite any implied antagonism between himself and others.
For my money then this episode has flashes of brilliance but mainly treads water. Vought still hold the upper hand, Homelander is still brooding rather than progressing and our hapless anti-heroes are similarly in stasis. With any luck episode seven will actually blow ‘The Bloody Doors Off’.