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The Boys Review – Lamplighter’s Debut Answers Burning Questions (2 x 06)

Lamplighter (portrayed by Shawn Ashmore) makes his first full appearance on this episode.

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In The Boys season 2 episode 6, “The Bloody Doors Off,” Lamplighter (Shawn Ashmore) makes his first full appearance where he sheds some light on the mysterious Sage Grove Center, his connection with Stormfront, and the tragic history he shares with Frenchie.

As usual, there’s a lot of gratuitously bloody violence involved in this episode as well as some shocking scenes (one of which involves someone getting choked by an elongated phallus) and game-changing revelations about Vought International.

The main focus of the episode revolves around the Sage Grove Center which is being used by Vought as a testing center for stabilizing Compound V with the goal of creating an army of Supes by injecting them into adults instead of infants.

The Boys Visit Mysterious Loony Bin

As it turns out, the hospital is run by Stormfront on behalf of Vought where she supervises Lamplighter, who is ordered to burn test subjects when they’re no longer needed.

This is a startling revelation, along with the fact that Stormfront admits to Homelander that she was born on 1919 in Berlin, Germany during the Nazi regime. During which she fell in love and married Frederick Vought and learned everything he knew.

She then became the first successful test subject for Compound V – essentially making her the original Supe, which explains why she is so powerful and able to manipulate her way around Vought so easily.

Moreover, her Nazism has extended throughout her time behind the scenes, and sees Homelander as “everything [she and Frederick Vought] dreamed of.” Implying that the goal of Compound V coincides with Nazi values – Yikes!

Fortunately for Billy and The Boys, Lamplighter is more amiable than they expected and is willing to atone for his sins and work with them.

Lamplighter and Frenchie’s Traumatic History

After the patients of Sage Grove Center accidentally break out, Lamplighter, MM, Frenchie and Kimiko find themselves trapped in the hospital with a bunch of unstable and dangerous Supes. One of which is a patient named Cindy who shows considerably dangerous psychokinetic powers – she is shown at the end of the episode hitchhiking and could be a factor later in the season.

Cindy (portrayed by Ess Hödlmoser) debuts in this episode.

On a more humorous note, MM has an unpleasant encounter with a Supe patient who has the unseemly power to control his elongated elastic phallus, which he wraps around MM while trying to choke him out. (So yeah, this show is basically pure insanity at this point.)

The main takeaway from their time at the hospital, however, is the confrontation between Lamplighter and Frenchie who are finally able to discuss face-to-face a traumatic event from their shared past that has haunted both of them for years.

During Lamplighter’s time with The Seven, he is blackmailed by Colonel Mallory and The Boys to be their mole at Vought Tower. Their association ends in tragedy, however, when Lamplighter attempts to assassinate Mallory in her sleep to try and get out of their arrangement but instead mistakenly burns her innocent grandchildren instead.

To make things worse, Mallory tasked Frenchie to track Lamplighter on the night of this event but he is sidetracked into rescuing his best friend from overdosing and was unable to prevent Lamplighter from committing the horrible act.

So essentially, both Frenchie and Lamplighter blame themselves for the deaths of the children.

Other Key Events In This Episode

  • Starlight removes the chip implanted by Vought on her with the help of Frenchie, and she has a heartfelt hug with Kimiko.
  • The Deep invites A-Train to join the Church of the Collective.
  • Elena discovers a video (dropped off by Deep) of Maeve and Homelander abandoning the falling airplane from season 1, which Maeve plans to use as blackmail against Homelander.
  • Starlight accidentally kills someone while trying to commander his vehicle when she and Billy needed to take Hughie to the hospital after he sustained injuries caused by one of the escaped Supes from the Sage Grove Center.
  • Frenchie is a huge fan of The Golden Girls and considers himself as a Betty White type. And, of course, the episode ends with The Golden Girls theme song.

Episode Rating: 9.5/10

The Boys new season 2 episodes stream on Fridays on Amazon Prime Video.

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Lorenz Bacani is a pop-culture enthusiast who's trying to watch as many good comic-book movies and TV shows as superhumanly possible. He received a bachelor's degree in Journalism and New Media at California Baptist University. Wrote for a news tabloid, worked for a couple of non-profits, and dabbled in some photography (mostly for Instagram purposes). He is probably currently binge-watching an old TV show for nostalgia.

Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin

Pretty Little Liar: Summer School Review – Sweet Sixteen (203)

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Pretty Little Liar: Summer School Review - Sweet Sixteen (203)

There was nothing sweet about Mouse’s sweet 16 on Pretty Little Liars: Summer School Season 2 Episode 3. 

At such a tender age, these girls have survived one serial killer, only to be preyed on by another, seemingly more deranged, one. 

My whole heart hurt for Mouse as she realized that the location where Lola dropped her off for her surprise party was a trap set by Bloody Rose Waters, considering how depressed she was when she thought her friends weren’t prioritizing her birthday.

All sweet Mouse wanted was to feel special, but instead, she was fighting for her life at every turn—and thanks to some quick thinking, managed to make her way out of the abandoned restaurant after Bloody Rose set it on fire. 

All those months of therapy went down the drain in a flash as the trauma returned upon the realization that it was happening again—their biggest fears were manifesting. Not to mention poor Imogen is going to struggle between distinguishing reality from her nightmares/hallucinations as Bloody Rose exists in both.  

The final girls needed to once again prove that they could survive a serial killer. 

Throughout the episode, I kept trying to figure out who could be behind Bloody Rose. While there’s always the possibility it is actually Archie’s mom, I’m inclined to believe it’s someone who knew what happened to them and wants to continue preying on them. 

Pretty Little Liar: Summer School Review - Sweet Sixteen (203)

Credit: PLL Summer School/Max

However, all of the topline suspects were at the roller rink for Mouse’s actual surprise party—that she sadly didn’t get to enjoy—including Imogen’s crush, Johnny, Noa’s juvie friend, Jen, Tabby’s new work crush Christian, and Kelly and Gregg. 

There were a few people missing, including Henry and Sean, which I found suspicious. I don’t actually think Sean is behind any of it, but I can’t shake the feeling I’m getting about Henry, especially as it would make sense for the killer to be someone all too familiar with what happened to them last year. 

Then there’s Ash, who wasn’t at the party but did come to Mouse’s rescue, once he found out about her other “surprise” party from Lola. He seemed very much in the dark the whole time, so I think we can rule him out. 

I’m not counting out Kelly’s mom, Chip’s mom (who has a reason for wanting revenge), and Dr. Sullivan herself, who knows the liars’ deepest darkest secrets and can frankly use them against them. 

Murder and serial killers aside, Tabby and Imogen both confided in their new crushes about their trauma and PTSD—and much like in the original, the guy seems like they will be a source of support, which is nice. Everyone needs supportive partners, especially when you’re being hounded by a psychopath.

Faran owned her power after a terrifying experience at the pool, and while being intimidating might warrant some haters—especially the dude she fired—it was also warranted as he was negligent on the job twice, and it almost led to a terrible accident. 

And I’ve got to ask, what’s with all the douchey dudes in Millwood? For every good one, there are several around to make derogatory and misogynistic comments for absolutely no reason.

What did you think of the episode? Is Bloody Rose taking things too far? How will the liars ensure their survival this time around?

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Chicago Med

Chicago Med Review – Get by with a Little Help From My Friends (912)

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Chicago Med Season 9 Episode saw a lot of people overwhelmed by work and life in general. 

It all started with Sharon Goodwin, who is coming to the realization that her life is going to be a lot different now that Bert is experiencing memory loss. 

The incident that kickstarts everything involves him forgetting to turn the stove off, but as Cruz informs her, it had a good outcome but may be the first of many. As Goodwin’s ex-husband is treated for smoke inhalation, she struggles to figure out how to manage it all. Eventually, when Bert has another meltdown, she realizes that she’s the only person that can calm him down. Even when he’s disoriented, he recognizes her and feels comfort when she’s around, which again, puts an immense burden on her. 

As he pleads for Sharon to take him home, she agrees to be his caregiver, a situation that Dr. Charles informs her cannot be permanent. But it’s easy to see why she feels responsible—this is the man she’s loved her whole life who still needs her. It’s almost like he’s regressed to an infant mentality, not really understanding the what and why behind what’s going on. Bert is doing a fantastic job portraying all of those emotions and vulnerabilities on screen, providing audiences with a heartbreaking look at the disease.  There’s no reasoning with him, all she can do is provide care, though hopefully, not at the expense of her own mental health and sanity. 

Newcomer Jackie, played by La Brea’s Natalie Zea, arrives in the ED for her second shift in a row, when Maggie immediately notices something is off. Jackie isn’t her usual self, and paired with the stress at home and the blood dripping from her arm—a cut she claims to have sustained earlier in the day while leaving the house—there’s definitely room for worry. 

A quick diagnosis from Dr. Charles reveals that the cut may have been self-harm, as he suggests Jackie is distracting herself from the daily pain she witnesses in the burn unit. This is proven to be true after Jackie loses a patient, runs off to the bathroom to cut herself, and then collapses in Maggie’s arms, revealing scars from previous cuts. Intervention becomes necessary at that point, even though to Jackie, it feels like the ultimate betrayal, but eventually, she comes around to see that Maggie was simply acting in her best interest. It’ll be interesting to see if Med finds a permanent place for Zea on the team as I think she’d make a great addition—plus we all know Maggie needs a new friend around. 

Dr. Marcel also wasn’t spared from the harsh realities when his celebration over his young patient Colin’s new liver quickly soured when he realized the child had an infection. While he tried his best to advocate or Colin, knowing that the boy might not live to see another donor match, he ultimately had to make the hard, yet right, call and give up the organ to someone who could survive the surgery. It’s not the outcome anyone wanted, including Colin’s disappointed father (this is why as a doctor, you never make any promises), but due to the illness, he wasn’t strong enough to move forward. The final gut punch was Colin asking if he was going to die, making Crockett question every decision he’s ever made. 

Hannah teamed up with Ripley—while also sealing their romantic fate—to help his childhood friends, Lynne and Sully, welcome their new baby, born prematurely at 30 weeks and not breathing. Thankfully, they were able to save the child, which was comforting considering everything Sully is already going through. They need a shred of happiness. 

Archer also got a little scolding from Sharon, who didn’t take kindly toward his harsh attitude toward the new intern, reminding him that this is a teaching hospital after all. Turns out, when Archer wants to, he can be a great mentor—and that’s something some students need when they are letting their fears and doubts cloud their judgment and get the best of them. None of us are born with the knowledge and skills—it takes patience and practice.

Thankfully, in every situation, the good outweighed the bad as everyone was supported by loved ones—friends, family, and staff who truly cared about their wellbeing. 

What did you think of the episode?

If you are having a mental health, substance use, or suicidal crisis, call 988. 

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Chicago P.D

Chicago PD Review – Voight Becomes the Victim (1112)

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Chicago PD Season 11 did not come to play! Through the course of 11 seasons, fans have seen it all—and been through it all with the detectives working in Intelligence, but Voight getting taken by the serial killer he’s been obsessively chasing down takes the cake!

The Sgt. Voight somehow got outplayed—and it’s equal parts disappointing, concerning, and intriguing. These writers know what makes good TV. It’s also a change of pace to see someone like Voight end up as the victim. We always see them in these powerful positions, dominating crime scenes, dictating how situations will turn out, and demanding that criminals and suspects be held accountable, but now, we’re seeing him on the other side.

Voight has gotten what he’s wanted for some long—facetime with the serial killer terrorizing the streets of Chicago. It’s likely not the way he wanted this to unfold, or how he imagined the situation would go down, but it’s the unfortunate twist that it took as the suspect realized that the cops were on his tail and needed to regain control of the situation.

What he failed to anticipate is that Voight’s team was following a lead that he thought was no longer viable. Right before Kiki’s tragic death—and it pained me to hear that she didn’t pull through after being filled with so much optimism about the future just mere moments before she was gunned down—and before she could reveal who her informant was, she mentioned a key piece of information that was enough for Hailey Upton to go on. Upton located Kiki’s John, who previously told her that someone in his family was a serial killer, which is how she knew so many of the personal details of the case that weren’t made public. 

While Bobby wasn’t immediately comfortable with sharing, he eventually disclosed the name of his cousin’s husband, who blabbed about his love of torture when he was intoxicated, allowing Upton to pinpoint lockup keeper Frank Matson. 

He was right there, in front of them, the whole time, with access not only to all the victims upon cross-referencing, but to intel, cameras, and everything in between. It only makes sense that this person was close to it all having been able to get away with so much. Hiding in plain sight truly is one of the best ways to pull off a crime of this nature. 

And, now, he’s moved in on Voight, who found himself drugged with some kind of paralyzing agent after his trip to the bar. I wish that before he fell unconscious, he gave anyone on his team a ring to let them know he wasn’t feeling well, but, he tried his best, even locking the door after himself. Matson, however, was one step ahead—as he had been this whole time—breaking in, before creepily checking Voight’s eyes and pulling his frozen body to another location.

Once Hailey arrived to check in on Voight, she knew something wasn’t right. And once again, Matson takes the lead in an investigation that’s now racing against the clock. 

The team is currently searching Matson’s place, as his poor wife seemingly didn’t know anything was wrong, though, I’m willing to bet his daughter has some insight. The girl looked like she wanted to spill.

But Matson has proven time and again to be pretty crafty, so tracking him down might be very difficult, especially with Voight’s life on the line adding additional pressure. 

Will the team be able to pull it off? I’ve not heard any murmurings of Jason Beghe leaving the series, so odds are they will get to him in time, but the case, which has already taken an emotional toll on him, might leave a permanent mark. To be honest, all I want to see is Voight get his revenge and justice as Matson burns in hell—and as we race toward the season finale, this seems like a really fitting plot to finish on, all while lending itself to Upton’s inevitable exit.  If there’s anything to convince you that a career change is healthy and necessary, it’s seeing your boss almost get murdered by a serial killer. And, as we’ve seen with her vulnerable chats with Petrovic (who I am now convinced will join Intelligence after commenting on the “family vibes”), Upton isn’t in a great headspace to begin with so she’s going to need to take a step back and find something that allows her to move forward without all the baggage she’s been carrying from her childhood and divorce from Jay.

Also, with Chicago PD Season 11 Episode 12 being Jesse Lee Soffer’s (remember him?) directorial debut, I have to give him a shout-out for a job well done. The episode kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time—and that’s not an easy feat for a show 11 seasons in, but no one knows these characters better than the man who spent so much time on the show! 

What did you think of the episode? Did you expect Voight to become the next victim? Share your thoughts now! 

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