Friday, September 4, 2020

REVIEW: 'The Boys' - A Trade-Off at Sea Goes Horribly Awry for the Boys in 'Over the Hill With the Swords of a Thousand Men'

Amazon's The Boys - Episode 2.03 "Over the Hill With the Swords of a Thousand Men"

Attention: If you or a loved one were exposed to Compound V, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Vought has given the drug to multiple victims, without their knowledge or consent. If you believe that you or a loved one were administered Compound V, call the law firm of Bremmer & Bremmer at 1-888-177-2774 for a free legal consultation. Know your rights!

In 2019, the television industry aired 532 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides 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.

"Over the Hill With the Swords of a Thousand Men" was written by Craig Rosenberg and directed by Steve Boyum

How much is the public willing to accept and even normalize in the name of self-defense? It's a very topical subject. It's a conversation that has been happening in this country for generations. War is perceived as a noble and necessary option in order to keep the people at home safe from all threats. And yet, civil rights have been violated in the name of defense. In the world of The Boys, knowing that the superheroes are created through experiments on babies isn't enough to take down the company at the center of it. It only takes Stan Edgar coming up with a convenient attack that can be spun as a domestic terrorist. The people in power know how to craft the public narrative to their advantage. Sure, the boardroom is freaking out. Edgar has to meet with the Seven in order to come up with this plan. However, he is benefitted from many of the heroes being selfish and psychopathic. They too require admiration of them to be high so that they can continue to get away with their heinous actions. That's a story that has been predominately centered on Homelander. He is the leader of the Seven. He pushes back against the company line. He is an independent spirit with horrifying nationalistic views. He tries to pass his bigotry down to his son. He wants Ryan to accept his place as a god amongst man. And yet, Ryan has grown up knowing one version of the world. One that is filled with more empathy and compassion. Homelander views that as an inferior life. He doesn't understand why someone should care about others on this planet. English is the only language that should mean something in his mind. He is pushed away. He returns to Vought only to find his position as the leader of the Seven in question. People walk cautiously around him. They know that his violent outbursts to any bad news could be deadly for them. They have that awareness at all times. As such, they have to coddle him into believing that everything is fine despite their fears. Meanwhile, Stormfront has come in with the same desire to speak her mind because there will be no serious repercussions for her. She actually presents as a better leader than Homelander. In the field, she dismisses The Deep's contributions without mocking his gills. She gets everyone to focus on the task at hand instead of letting Annie be distracted over the sudden return of her abuser. And yet, Stormfront is just as villainous as Homelander. That should have been abundantly clear earlier when she suggested that Annie was to blame for her sexual assault because she didn't fight back. She too dismisses Annie as someone who isn't living up to her full potential as someone from a more powerful species than humanity. And now, Stormfront reveals a casual dismissal to civilians who get caught in the crossfire. Kenji wants vengeance against the people who destroyed his village and experimented on him and his sister. He gets to bring a train down on Homelander. But he and Kimiko are overpowered by Stormfront. She fights to kill because she is fueled by racism. She views this man as nothing more than a terrorist who must be killed. She makes that judgment based on him being a man of color with powers. It's despicable. He is now dead. Kimiko escapes to freedom and will now enjoy her own desire for revenge. Vought is more powerful than ever before because Stormfront gets to shape the narrative in the aftermath. She appears humble. She delivers the line as Edgar needs it for the company to soar once more. Butcher thought he was so close to reuniting with his wife. He chooses to put that at risk in order to keep Hughie safe. That sacrifice allows the Boys to be strengthened and galvanized as a team. It's still a major setback though. Annie risked everything in exposing Vought. Hughie tries to co-opt that success. His friends pat him on the back for the scandal breaking over Compound-V. Annie did that on her own though because Hughie was too lost in his own trauma to forge ahead. He is barely putting one foot in front of the other. Butcher throws out a life vest to save him. That is notable and appreciated. But again, their adversaries are only growing more powerful. The deal they had with Mallory goes awry several times. It may be impossible to topple the power structures of the world. It's certainly not possible to do it with clean hands. Good people are on the inside hoping for the best. And yet, it's all too clear that life with incredible powers is too fertile for corruption and superiority complexes. When those powerful forces collide, innocent people suffer while the rich accumulate more power, wealth and respect.