Well, there is a whole lot to unpack, as usual.
And if you're wondering why I'm the only game in town waiting to cover a show that is covered all over the web, well, so am I. Beginning with The Boys Season 2 Episode 5, I'll post on Fridays when the show is still fresh in your minds.
As for The Boys Season 2 Episode 4, as Homelander spirals, a massive secret about his competition comes to light after MM, Hughie, and Annie go on a fun road trip. And that's just the tip of the iceberg!
We have to start with the overarching "theme" of this episode, which featured a bunch of women talking about love as if they were a part of a documentary.
If you're like me, you probably didn't think it would amount to much. After all, love was in the air, soaring high and flatlining.
So when it turned out that it was The Deep's auditioning process for his future wife, all I could think was -- RUN!! If Hughie and Butcher can't keep a woman, The Deep is never going to be able to hold it together.
But it's part of his rebranding with the hope that he'll get back onto The Seven. Uh, why? What does having a wife have to do with being on The Seven?
Perhaps that's the point. Being in the superhero business either as a supe or trying to defeat them can suck the love right out of your life.
Before we get to the real love stories of the hour, let's consider Maeve.
She left happiness behind to protect the woman she loves. Even that didn't help when she wanted to emotionally support her girlfriend. She's never fallen out of love, but even treading lightly didn't keep her from falling into the fire.
If nothing else, Homelander outing Maeve to get Maria Menounos off of his back about diversity might be a golden opportunity for Maeve IF her girlfriend wants to be a part of all that is The Seven.
Homelander screwed himself (we'll get to THAT later) by using Maeve's sexuality to suit the moment because if he kicks her out of The Seven or interferes with her love life, he'll be the subject of another meme.
And if there is one thing that Homelander doesn't need, it's more bad publicity. The latest Seven recruit is making a mockery of his bad moves, raising herself to the rank of most beloved supe.
The power of social media is gross.
We see it all the time. It's a joke. People are liars and manipulators just to make a name for themselves while lurking behind the memes is a tragic animal. BUT more on that in a moment.
Returning to Homelander, the guy is struggling. He shot himself in the foot by killing Madelyn.
She took care of everything. But making his own Madelyn by demanding Doppelganger become her to care for him is a lot, even for someone like Homelander.
At first, it seemed like he imagined everything, so seeing Doppelganger turn back mid-session with Homelander was hilarious.
Kudos to Elizabeth Shue for those scenes. She had a look of such terror on her face, and it was less confident than the terror Madelyn used to hide, giving the scenes their own life outside of the character she played.
And can we talk about that negligee? It went the rounds!
Shue wore it the best, but dang if Antony Starr managed to make it kind of sexy, too. Poor Doppelganger was trying so hard to please his... captor?... that he allowed The Seven leader to face himself in some pretty unique circumstances.
But it was too late for Doppelganger. Homelander had a very bad day. Even firing A-Train didn't get his rocks off.
Maria Menounos knocked him off of his game, and confronting Stormfront for daring to knock him off of his perch was just one staw away from the final one, which he used to kill himself. Sorta.
And does Homelander really want to go a round with Stormfront and her media savvy team of boys on laptops who are happy to work for Quiznos coupons? He's out of his depth. He's the old regime.
That's ironic given what we've learned about Stormfront.
She rolls with the changes and keeps upping her game. How else can she continue her reign of terror on the disenfranchised?
Grace sent the Boys into different directions when she surprised Butcher with information on Lady Liberty and a lead on Becca's location.
Grace: I found Becca, or at least our best guess where she is. Vought facility, armed to the teeth. It won't be easy.
Butcher: We had a deal. I didn't come through.
Grace: Jesus, Butcher. I'm just giving it to you. It's my fault you stopped searching for her. I put a target on Homelander's back and pointed you right at it. I didn't know Becca was still... It would be good to have one less person in the audience staring at me.
It was so sad that Butcher was gobsmacked by Grace's goodwill toward him. Then again, it's only recently that Grace has realized all the damage she's caused through the years. That's got to take a toll.
It's too bad that Butcher hasn't really learned any lessons, squandering his love so soon after finding her again.
Becca and Butcher were like teenagers when they reunited, making love in the backseat of a car and smoking cigarettes.
Butcher: Look at you. My girl.
They were basking in the glory of being together, but that didn't mean that Becca was missing some important signals from the man she loves.
I was right that she was raped and hid from her husband to keep him safe. That she knew that should have been enough for him to realize that she knows him well enough to realize that he has no interest in Ryan.
I ached for her when Butcher called Ryan a supe freak.
Being raped is bad enough. Having a child is horrifying because as much as you love that child, you will always be reminded of how you got him.
She's hiding and in fear of her life, but she's also dealing with a child who has the same powers as the man who raped her, a worldwide terrorist disguised as a superhero.
That's so many levels of complicated and tragic that were made worse by Butcher's flipping attitude toward Becca's love for Ryan.
The way it ended made Butcher fly right back onto the radar, and he was immediately spotted by Black Noir (who doesn't identify with any race), so who knows what that means?
It probably means that the supes are going to be hounding Butcher, and since he's on his own again, he'll be taking it back to his boys.
And those boys have quite a tale to tell after their road trip. The best thing to come of it, in my opinion, was MM understanding what Hughie sees in Annie, that she is worth the effort.
Annie is struggling. She's always a moment away from being attacked. She's putting a lot on the line to take down Vought, not the least of which is Homelander's ability to squash her like a bug.
What would happen if they went eye to eye with each other? If Starlight lit him up at the same time that he beamed into her? In that way, they seem pretty evenly matched.
Still, she wasn't eager to test him when they were in the elevator together.
Even though she wants to stay away from Hughie for both of their safety (what is with these women?) so they can focus on the Vought mission, she still enjoys spending time with him.
Annie ended up on the road trip because she let it slide how terrified she is just surviving at Vought headquarters. Hughie should understand. He practically shat himself just sliding a mic under The Seven desk when he was there.
They were almost more than MM could handle, but I sure appreciated the singalong with Billy Joel. Did you see the look on Hughie's face when he realized Annie knew all the words to his favorite song? He melted!
There was a lot of bonding going on over food, too.
Annie and Hughie talked candy during a midnight munchies run, and I have to agree with Hughie that Annie has problems with her brain when it comes to candy.
Hughie: Is that an Almond Joy?
Annie: Mmm hmm.
Hughie: Nobody likes Almond Joy. Jeffrey Dahmer. That's it. He's the only one.
Annie: This is in my top three, for sure.
Hughie: What are your other two?
Annie: Mmm. Charleston Chew and Bit-o-Honey.
Hughie: Jesus Christ! Those are like the three worst candy bars in the history of candy. That's it, you're sick in the brain.
It was Annie and MM sharing stories about their fathers that got me. When MM said he would give a year of his life to be embarrassed by his father and all of the ice-cream tasting spoons at Baskin Robbins, I felt him with all my heart.
I'd stand inside of an auto parts store listening to my dad talk shop with a clerk if I could spend time with him again. I wouldn't even cringe!
They needed to be in a good frame of mind to stay off the radar on their trip. Witnessing an accident in which they couldn't help was sobering, and that was another layer of prep for what they were to learn about Lady Liberty.
The story the woman told about her brother was tough to hear, but we've seen some pretty despicable things from Homelander and friends, too. Just because they aren't racially motivated doesn't mean they're any easier to take.
Myron: Why you doin' this to me, Lady? Ain't you supposed to be the hero?
Lady Liberty: I am a hero for killing a Black piece of shit like you.
Can you imagine being a little girl and witnessing the hatred she saw against her brother at the hand of Lady Liberty? That she is still sane and safe in a world run by the very people who perpetrated such evil in front of her is damned impressive.
Given what we've seen of Stormfront so far, it's not a surprise that she is Lady Liberty. It is frightening that she managed to work herself into a position of power.
Yeah, it's fiction, but her actions show how easy it is to manipulate the masses to launch yourself into their hearts and minds. Did I mention it's gross?
Change with the times. God knows, I did.Stormfront
She put it out there that she's there is Homelander needs her. After he confronted himself, he's even more vulnerable. Will he take her up on her offer?
We'll find out in the coming weeks.
What did you think about this one? It was more heartfelt than usual. I bet that changes. I expect quite a show when The Deep takes a wife, among other things.
It's gonna be fun!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.