A cut-and-dry recap of the first twenty or so minutes of the most recent episode of The Boys is easy enough. The cold open is a delicious recreation of a relatively recent real-life celebrity faux pas, as The Deep sings John Lennon’s “Imagine” with a collection of celebrities. It’s not so much a satire as it is a complete remake of a recent cultural cringe moment, which is perfectly at home in The Boys universe.
A-Train is feeling deeply betrayed and trapped following Blue Hawk’s attack on his community and family, finally getting firsthand experience of Vought’s brushing off supe injustices and collateral damage (something he has mainly benefitted from before). Fearful of Soldier Boy, Black Noir is AWOL (making sure to cover all his bases by slicing his wrist open and fishing out his tiny tracking device, which he gives to a horrified woman on the elevator). Noir is right to be afraid, as Soldier Boy is out for blood, wishing for revenge on the entirety of Payback. In the meantime, though, he’s holed up with The Boys, eating Vought-A-Burger and spewing 1950s racism and sexism as Hughie fearfully checks the increasingly high radiation levels in the room, an aftereffect of the Russians testing and torture of the older supe. Kimiko nervously wonders if she has made a mistake by kissing Frenchie, who is nonresponsive to her texts because he has been taken by Little Nina. Homelander works to crush the last bits of empathy within himself in a meta conversation with himself in the mirror, edging closer and closer to insanity.
A simple, straightforward first act. In fact, it’s relatively speaking, good, clean fun. But when The Deep arrives at the TNT Twins’— Tommy (Jack Doolan) and Tessa (Kristin Booth) — house for recon, the backdrop becomes pretty intensely distracting. The TNT Twins are hosting the annual “Herogasm;” a massive supe orgy free-for-all. As our drama unfolds with a full-blown, multi-room orgy backdropping it, The Boys continues to provide what most other mainstream superhero content cannot — in this case, a collection of sexual tableaus that answer some “What If” questions which would usually only be mined in the depths of raunchy fanfiction. It is absolute wall-to-wall sexual insanity, and bit by bit, almost our entire ensemble of supes and vigilantes end up in the thick of it (including in the crosshairs of excessive semen and slamming into men drenched in a collection of bodily fluids).
The only person missing out on Herogasm is Frenchie (who, Mother’s Milk mournfully points out, would have enjoyed the event more than any of them) — kidnapped by Little Nina and saved by Kimiko. While Kimiko is still technically without superpowers, she clearly has some remaining ferocity within her, which she taps into to brutally kill some of Little Nina’s henchmen to help Hughie, Cherie, and herself, escape.
Attempts to clear out the massive orgy before Soldier Boy comes by to wreak havoc are hindered by some of the usual communication issues amongst The Boys — most prominently, Hughie and Starlight’s continual tension in their relationship, mainly stemming from some insecurities on Hughie’s part that, at three seasons in, can border on the aggravating.
Soldier Boy arrives before the party is over, and sends off one of his massive nuclear blasts, killing the TNT Twins (and taking out a swath of orgy-going civilians in the process).
As The Boys try their best to help with the carnage and remaining survivors of the orgy explosion, A-Train and Blue Hawk’s conflict comes to a head and bestows one of the best, most creative kills of the whole series. Taking matters and justice into his own hands, A-Train drags Blue Hawk’s limp body down a road at impossibly fast speeds, grinding his body down to a nub like one would an eraser, and leaving only an endless trail of blood in his wake. Almost immediately after, his heart problems seem to have caught up with him, and he collapses in cardiac arrest, alone in the middle-of-nowhere Vermont.
In the midst of this chaos, Homelander arrives at the remains of Herogasm, leading to one of the more Marvel-esque battles in the entire series so far between himself, Soldier Boy, Butcher, and an ass-naked Hughie. Homelander escapes, but only by a small margin — ego undoubtedly bruised, surely nervous about what these new temp supes and their vendetta mean for both his reputation and safety.
In a culmination of the shit she’s been getting from all sides, Starlight finally reaches her breaking point. The episode ends with her publicly revealing not only the corruption of superhero culture, but of Homelander specifically — over a public Instagram feed she accuses him of being the cruelest of them all, constantly covered up by Vought and higher powers.
With Homelander missing, Starlight officially denouncing her superhero status (“My name is Annie January, and I fucking quit,” she monotones on her Instagram live), and A-Train alone and in peril, The Seven is now officially in shambles — not just privately, but for the previously ever-trusting public to see.