Monday, July 29, 2019

REVIEW: 'The Boys' - Hughie Goes on a Date While the Team Tracks a Mysterious Woman in 'The Female of the Species'

Amazon's The Boys - Episode 1.04 "The Female of the Species"

On a very special episode of The Boys... an hour of guts, gutter balls, airplane hijackings, madness, ghosts, and one very intriguing Female. Oh, and lots of heart - both in the sentimental sense, and in the gory literal sense.

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.

"The Female of the Species" was written by Craig Rosenberg and directed by Fred Toye

The show is struggling at this point to really provide much depth or an explanation for why the audience should care about anything that is currently happening. Robin's death was designed as the sole motivation for Hughie's turn into vigilante justice with Butcher and the rest of the team. And yet, he has quickly gotten flirtatious with Annie. The audience is suppose to feel morally conflicted about all of this just like he is. That appears to be Hughie's only defining characteristic though. He lamented over the decision of killing Translucent. And now, he is unsure of how to engage with this new relationship. He and Annie spend a lot of time in a bowling alley having a good first date. And yet, he is haunted by Robin's memory and the idea that he has to be wary of Annie and her powers. Butcher believes that all supes are evil. The powers give them a sense of superiority. That doesn't present as being true of Annie though. She seems genuinely nice. She aspires to do better by the world. Her position and strength is always being questioned. And so, she always has to prove that she is the best person she can be. That's her driving principle. But it also amounts to a relationship in which the guy is taking advantage of the girl with the audience just suppose to go along with Annie's obliviousness. Hughie shouldn't be dating anyone at the moment. He still hasn't properly mourned Robin's death. But this feels like a scenario he is forced into simply because he is the lead of a television show. Of course, this series also enjoys using dead women in order to inform the actions of its male protagonists. Now, the Boys don't naturally fit the definition of heroes. They don't abide by the rules of society. They kill in order to get what they want. And yet, the supes do that too. As such, it feels like a free fall for anyone to grab whatever power that presents itself to them. That means Butcher is on a personal mission of vengeance because he too has lost someone close to him. That is only teased here at the moment. But it's a very familiar pattern that doesn't bring any kind of depth or greater understanding to who he is and what's driving him forward. Meanwhile, the tension between Milk and Frenchie comes entirely from a past accident in which Mallory's grandchildren were killed. Mallory has been mentioned in name only so far. She's not a major character in this world just yet. She is just someone often spoken of because of the tragedy of her life and how that has made it toxic for the government to go after any of the superheroes. It's dangerous that Butcher is approaching Susan at the FBI once more. She is giving him the opportunity to impress her again. She needs hard evidence about the existence of Compound V and its dangerous side effects. A-Train is trying to figure out what happened to his supply as well. But ultimately, this episode pivots around the need to abuse and cage a woman who presents as powerful and vicious but nothing more. There is a clear sense of vulnerability within this new female character. And yet, she remains very distrustful of those making big promises to her. It proves that Frenchie has a soft side. He's not quick to use the gas as a weapon. But that's still want ultimately must happen because this show aspires to be violent at all times. That is certainly engaging up to a point. Unfortunately, the show is crossing that line where it seems as if there is nothing of actual substance in the proceedings. It just delights in the sociopathic tendencies of the Seven and the Boys. That could be fascinating. Right now though, it's very monotonous and scattered.