Sunday, July 28, 2019

REVIEW: 'The Boys' - Hughie Debates Just How Far He Is Willing to Go to Help Butcher and His Cause in 'Cherry'

Amazon's The Boys - Episode 1.02 "Cherry"

The Boys gets themselves a Superhero, Starlight gets payback, Homelander gets naughty, and a Senator gets naughtier.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Amazon's The Boys.

"Cherry" was written by Eric Kripke and directed by Matt Shakman

The premiere closed with the suggestion that Butcher and Hughie had actually killed Translucent. They now had an invisible body that they had to deal with as well as a mess at Hughie's job. But this hour actually reveals early on that Translucent can't be killed so easily. It also places a huge moral burden on Hughie. He was the one who electrocuted Translucent. It was an action done in the heat of the moment in order to stop this hero who wanted to kill him and Butcher. A line had clearly been lost but the rationale could still exist for why Hughie felt like he had no other choice. He is no longer afforded that luxury here. Instead, he is debating whether or not he can stomach the murder of a superhero. It's the action that Butcher and his new friend Frenchie see as the only thing that will allow them to survive. They have to kill the powerful person who knows their faces and could exact vengeance on them for their recent actions. It's just a matter of figuring out how to kill a man with impenetrable skin. Translucent walks around with an aura of superiority because he believes that no one can hurt him. That sense of ego can delude so many of the superheroes in this series. They believe that they can do whatever they want because they have the powers to do so and the appreciation of the public. Plus, they have the backing of a company that wants to exert their influence in every corner of the world. The crime-fighting lives of the Seven are carefully mapped out and backed up with crime analytics. That's an entire division of Vought. It makes it so impersonal. It's all about catching the crime fighting on camera. Sure, it still saves the world and stops criminals. And yet, it doesn't feel like a victory when Annie goes out into the field for the first time as a member of this team. She feels strong because she knows how to stand up to The Deep now. She knows that he doesn't really have the power or authority to challenge her standing on the team. He is petty and insecure as well. He just tried to be powerful over someone else on the team for once. He wants to prove that he can do so much more. He may ultimately get that opportunity because Homelander has been revealed as a monster who believes he can get away with absolutely anything. He can intimidate The Deep into saying that there was nothing unusual about the plane crash that killed the mayor of Baltimore. He believes he does all of this for the noble goal of protecting Stillwell. And yet, she doesn't want anything to tarnish his image. He knows how to play the game but he is still so destructive. Meanwhile, Annie is made to fear that she messed up and could be fired simply for stopping a rape. She should feel heroic because of that action. She stood up and made a difference. Instead, the media wish to contort everything that she hopes to achieve through this line of work because they have already spoken on how heroes can operate. They aren't accustomed to her kind of vigilante justice. As such, they can't tolerate it. That's devastating because she is pure and noble. But the show also aspires to compromise everyone's morally. The hour concludes with Translucent actually being killed by Hughie. He doesn't die because of some action that Butcher or Frenchie takes. They come up with the plan but Hughie is the one who ultimately pulls the trigger. He kills a superhero. He crosses that line. It will forever change his life. This is an active choice. He may do so in order to get answers about Robin's tragic death. But this will be a slippery slope towards a depraved life alongside Butcher that will leave him vengeful and spiteful for any kind of superhero who uses their powers at the expense of others.