The Boys (2019) s03e05 – The Last Time to Look on This World of Lies

Silly me, when I wondered how things could get worse for everyone on “The Boys,” I didn’t realize it was going to be everyone everyone, including Antony Starr’s psychotic Superman analog. He’s just become to de facto CEO of the superhero pharmaceuticals company (sycophant Colby Minifie gets the title), and he doesn’t, you know, know anything about big business. Starr’s way out of his depth and obviously can’t admit it, which he plays beautifully. He’s actually not in the episode very much, just for some bad-to-worse scenes throughout, but it’s still an excellent episode for him.

The episode opens with a reprieve (or cop-out) for previously mortally wounded Karen Fukuhara. She’s okay now. Like, she’s in the hospital—which raises questions about how they took a superpowered individual to the ER—but she’s okay. She and Tomer Capone get to spend one great day together with him taking care of her. Of course, he’s neglected to tell her his former boss, Katia Winter, blames him for their Russian mission going wrong last episode and is demanding he kill people for her again, but he’s trying to center Fukuhara’s recovery. It’s a lovely arc for Fukuhara and Capone, and of course, their respite will not last.

Laz Alonso starts the episode mad at Karl Urban for superhero serum juicing, but once Jensen Ackles’s reawakened from a Russian lab Captain America gets to New York and starts blowing up city blocks… Alonso decides to put aside his anger. Erin Moriarty’s also recovering from last episode’s tragic twists, but she’s present enough to suggest they deal with Ackles, who everyone thinks is just a super-villain.

Starr’s too busy watching the stock price, though.

It’s a very packed episode. First, there’s relationship stuff for Moriarty and Jack Quaid, again showing why she’s one of the show’s greatest assets, then there’s Urban and Dominique McElligott bonding over the shared trauma of existence in “The Boys” universe. McElligott is another of the show’s best performances. Urban gets the heaviest lifting in their scenes, leaving her the comic relief, which is actually nice since the rest of the time, she just lives in terror of Starr.

Jessie T. Usher then finally gets his arc involving racist superhero Nick Wechsler, which manages to go incredibly wrong even after it’s already going incredibly wrong. “The Boys” isn’t wasting any time getting everyone to the bottom of the well. Except for Chace Crawford, who’s only got one scene, where wife Katy Breier is effectively puppeteering him to success. I was expecting more with them, but the episode leaves a lot of seemingly open threads unfinished. It’s got a particularly frustrating cliffhanger.

One big highlight—not sure executive producer Seth Rogen’s cameo is a highlight; it’s funny, it’s not a highlight–but one unquestionable series highlight is Paul Reiser. He plays “The Legend,” who was sort of Stan Lee in the comics, but in the show, he’s a Robert Evans-type. Reiser’s awesome; no notes.

He helps the Boys find Ackles, who’s on a revenge mission.

Ellie Monahan gets the script credit; very good script. And Nelson Cragg’s direction is outstanding.

It’s a great episode. It’ll marathon superbly. But having to wait a week for any resolution to the… four or five hard cliffhangers? Annoying.

2 Comments

  1. Vernon W

    Egads! Can a tv show about Superheroes get any better? The performances here easily make one totally convinced of the imagined reality of this and those hard cliffhangers keep us begging for more. Where Doom Patrol was the intellectual, Boys is definitely the physical meat of fantasy television.

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