TL;DR – This is the episode where we get to see the direction of the season
The Boys: Nothing Like it in the World Review –
Well, The Boys came back with a whale splatted gore explosion, but unlike last season, we are getting weekly episodes to space out the carnage. Given the places this show goes, this is very much for the best to give us some moments to breathe given what we just watched. With that in mind, let’s dive into an episode that gets ew in 4 minutes.
So to set the scene, New York is still reeling from the supposed super-terrorist attack on an apartment building. However, we know it was not the terrorist but Stormfront (Aya Cash) the newest member of The Seven with clear Nazi undertones. With the way Vought is manipulating the media not even the revelation that supers are made not born has shaken them from the prime position they are in. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.
If there is one thing, The Boys does well is go from zero to creepy in a heartbeat. We see that here right from the start when Homelander (Antony Starr) goes to visit Madelyn Stillwell (Elisabeth Shue) for some advice. Now, this raises an immediate issue given in Season One finale Homelander killed Madelyn in what might have been the most confronting scene in the season. This interplay which you suspect and is confirmed to be made possible thanks to the Doppelganger (Dan Darin-Zanco) takes a turn for the weird with Homelander’s obsession with milk. The framing and staging of the scene make you cringe, and that won’t be the last time this happens this season.
On the flip side are those moments that make you feel some joy, which given this show is few and far between. So much so that you can’t trust them because they may be using them to lure us into a false sense of security. In here we have the budding relationship between Hughie (Jack Quaid) and Starlight (Erin Moriarty). It is charming and delightful, a real counterpoint to all the awfulness that comes from the rest of the episode. It is also contrasted with the final collapse of Butcher’s (Karl Urban) relationship and what ever weird Scientology-ish thing that is going on with The Deep (Chace Crawford). Though this is an excellent time to point out something that is entirely a fixture of tv/film where if there are three people in a car, the person in the backseat always sits in the middle. I have never once seen it in the real world, and it only exists to get the framing right.
The undercurrent of this episode is the start of the personal fall of Homelander with the isolation of him from the rest of The Seven. His desire to be in control in a world that is rapidly moving outside his power is his one main weakness. This drive makes him act with callousness and violence to all the other members of The Seven isolating himself from everyone. Firing A-Train (Jessie T. Usher), outing Queen Maeve (Dominique McElligott) on live TV, and assaulting Starlight in the elevator. This puts him in a place where he is easily manipulated by Stormfront (who has been around a lot longer than we thought). It is at this point where the show becomes about as subtle as a sledgehammer with the “You have fans, I have soldiers” speech.
In the end, do we recommend Nothing Like it in the World? Well look let’s be honest, if you got through last week’s whale scene and are still on board, then I don’t need to recommend it to you or not. But for what was a slower-paced episode this week, it was good to see it take some time to breathe. However, it was also good to see it take some time to chart where it is going, and we only have chaos waiting for us.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of The Boys
Directed by – Fred Toye
Written by – Michael Saltzman
Created by – Eric Kripke
Based on – The Boys by Garth Ennis & Darick Robertson
Production/Distribution Companies – Sony Pictures Television & Amazon Studios
Starring – Karl Urban, Jack Quaid, Antony Starr, Erin Moriarty, Dominique McElligott, Jessie T. Usher, Laz Alonso, Chace Crawford, Tomer Capon, Karen Fukuhara, Nathan Mitchell, Colby Minifie & Aya Cash with Shantel VanSanten, Giancarlo Esposito, Cameron Cravetti, Laila Robins, Dan Darin-Zanco, Jessica Hecht, Abraham Lim, Jordana Lajoie, Dawnn Lewis, Howard Campbell & Elisabeth Shue