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The Boys Review – A Literally Mind-Blowing Cliffhanger (2 x 07)

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In The Boys season 2 episode 7, “Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker” ends with a cliffhanger that literally blows everyone’s brains out.

Also, Billy Butcher’s parents make their first appearance on the show, Hughie and Lamplighter rescue Starlight from Vought Tower, Homelander basically kidnaps his son, and a bunch of other crazy s**t happens.

From the start, things get a bit too real when an unnamed social media-radicalized gunman (played by Charley Koontz AKA “Fat Neil” from Community) shoots a store clerk he suspects is a Supe terrorist.

Typically, when shows try to tackle political subjects like this, it comes off clumsy and out of touch, but The Boys takes a nuanced approach that gets the message across without seeming preachy.

For example, the whole bit with Homelander and Stormfront reiterating sending their “thoughts and prayers” with less than sincere intent is a sublime critique on the whole practice in real life and is subtly done with sprinkles of satire.

With that said, this episode ends in a cliffhanger that sort of mirrors real-life political events as well when a Congressional hearing is held against Vought International and its Supes.

And, simply put, it doesn’t end well…

Minds Are Actually Blown Away

During said Congressional hearing, right as the star witness, Dr. Jonah Vogelbaum (John Doman), is about to out Vought for all its criminal activities, his head mysteriously explodes after swearing himself in.

Soon after, a bunch of other people’s heads starts exploding as chaos ensues and Vought, once again dodges a bullet.

The shocking scene is dark and violently gratuitous (as per usual on this show) and watching it is stressfully nerve-racking.

No major character seems to have suffered from head explosions, conveniently enough, which suggests that the attack was made to look like a random act of violence.

So hopefully the assailant is revealed in next week’s season finale.

Lamplighter & Hughie Watch Parody Movies

Superhero parody adult films, to be more precise. Among these titles include “Translucent The Invisible C**k”, “Queen Maeve Pleasure Slave” and “Big Black Noir.” (Super classy titles, obviously.)

As if Lamplighter wasn’t already messed-up before, his odd collection of movies just shows how he couldn’t give any less of a fuss.

Unfortunately, this is also the last episode Lamplighter appears in as he commits suicide at Vought Tower by burning himself in front of Hughie after the two infiltrate the building to try and rescue Starlight, who was captured by Black Noir earlier in the episode.

Shawn Ashmore’s performance was magnificent and quite funny in his short stint on the show, and hopefully, we get to see more of him in flashbacks at some point in future seasons.

His character though was still able to help rescue Starlight in the end as his flaming body triggered the emergency system that enabled Starlight to escape, and his severed hand (chopped by Hughie) was useful in letting Hughie get around Vought Tower with relative ease.

So in the end, Lamplighter died heroically, albeit under the context of committing suicide but still, the point is, Hughie, Starlight, and her mom were saved because of him.

Stormfront Helps Homelander Brainwash His Son

Yup. That’s right. Homelander steals another win in this episode as he successfully brainwashed Ryan Butcher, his son with Becca, to leave his mother and fly away with him.

What began as a seemingly harmless scenario of daddy introducing his new girlfriend to his son, quickly turned into a manipulative abduction as the two twisted Supes turn Ryan against Becca by showing him the fake world he’s been living in.

Before that though, a few clever nods were thrown in that referenced The Blind Side movie with Sandra Bullock, which Ryan made a LEGO animated version of.

Then Stormfront mentions a bunch of movies that Homelander has starred in including “Homelander: Brightest Day” and “Homelander: Darkest Night,” which is a clear easter egg for the DC Comics superhero Green Lantern who says the phrase “In brightest day, in blackest night” when activating his powers.

The aftermath of this episode leaves a lot of questions about where Becca ends up though – Does she go to Billy now? Or will she do something else to get her son back?

Other Key Events:

Meet the Butchers

  • A bit of a Lord of The Rings reunion happens in this episode as John Noble plays Billy’s dad, while Downtown Abbey alum Lesley Nicol portrays his mum. Noble, of course, was Denethor and Karl Urban was Eomir in the Oscar award-winning high fantasy adventure film series.
  • Karl Urban probably says the C-word a record number time in this episode as he goes off on his character’s dad, who has a strained relationship with Billy.

Kimiko & Serge AKA Frenchie Bond Again

  • Kimiko finally opens up again to Serge during this episode when she begins to teach him the unique sign language she and her deceased brother used to communicate.

Black Noir’s Tree Nut Allergy

  • The Almond Joy jokes from a couple of episodes ago come back to pay off in this episode big time when Maeve uses one to subdue the brutally powerful Black Noir by stuffing an Almond Joy in his mouth when he was choking Starlight out. Black Noir hilariously tries to pull out his inhaler but Maeve just kicks it out of his hand and leaves him to struggle, giving Starlight a chance to escape.

A-Train and The Deep Still Doing Nothing

  • Nothing much going on with these two, they just go to a birthday party for the leader of the Church of the Collective. A-Train gives The Deep a goldfish, so there’s that.

Episode Rating: 10/10

It’s very rare for me to drop a perfect score for an episode, but the ending for this one is just too crazy to ignore, so this rating is well-deserved.

 

The Boys season 2 finale streams next Friday 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.

4400

4400 Review – If You Love Something (1×06)

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4400 Review If You Love Something Season 1 Episode 6

That was one intense prison break on 4400 Season 1 Episode 6. 

But it was necessary. Scary things are happening at Ypsi Med. Jharrel and Keisha, who are aware that the 4400 have superpowers, were trying to find a way to connect with them and protect them from being found out by the government, but it’s much too late for that. 

Ypsi Med — likened to Hawkins National Laboratory — sealed off a wing of the hospital in order to run experiments on their “subjects.”

After breaking in, LaDonna, Hayden, and Dr. Andre found that had specialized cells to keep the prisoners and cuffs to dampen their powers. 

Among the prisoners were Mildred and Noah, who sparked the whole rescue mission, a “bird lady” with impressive wings, and a man who was literally on fire. 

As Andre later pointed out, it’s clear that the government has a plan for them beyond just setting them free, and with Jharrel and Keisha on the inside, it’s important that they find out everything they can.

Keisha was pretty shocked to hear about what was going on inside Ypsi Med considering Jessica works there. Could her girlfriend be such a soulless monster?

Or is she clueless about what’s happening as well?

Mildred was definitely channeling her inner-Eleven, and while her anger was justified, it was also very clear that she was no longer the same girl at the Bois Blanc Hotel.

She was forever changed by her experience and the tests that they conducted on her.

And that’s why despite putting himself in the line of danger to save her, Hayden had to let her go.

I love that through this rescue mission, he found his power and he found a way to advocate for himself.

Hayden was a leader and a hero, but he also knew that asking Mildred to stay would be selfish and only best for him and not necessarily for her.

4400 Review – The Way Were Were (1×05)

The present-day tied into Hayden’s backstory beautifully as we learned a little bit more about the sensitive boy from the 1930s.

In flashbacks, we saw that Hayden’s mother, Ruth, was a gentle soul who loved her sweet boy and did her best to help him cope with his anxiety. 

When he had a panic attack, she calmed him down and found a way to channel his energy into something more positive. 

She was always working on coping mechanisms in order to ensure that Hayden was set up for success in the event that she wasn’t around. 

And he was. In the present day, Hayden used all the tools his mother gave him to believe in himself and stand on his own. 

His backstory was heartbreaking, however, as we saw that his insistence on getting Mildred and Noah out of that place stemmed from his own experience. 

After his mother passed, Hayden’s uncle — who previously called him an “odd duck” and used violence against him — had him committed to a ghastly and dark place just like Ypsi Med that conducted experiments on him.

The poor kid was traumatized and saw the “green zap” as a saving grace rather than an unwelcome intrusion.

The episode also honed in on seeing things from someone else’s perspective. 

While Shanice and some of the other 4400 were thrilled to be getting released, the same couldn’t be said for the Reverand or Andre as they didn’t have anywhere to go. 

Even with a stipend and some housing, they were in a world all too unfamiliar to them without any friends or family. 

The Reverand explained to Shanice that at the hotel, they created a family of people who are “the same” and going through the same experiences. 

4400 Review If You Love Something Season 1 Episode 6

4400 — “If You Love Something” — Image Number: FFH106a_0277r — Pictured: Autumn Best as Mildred — Photo: Adrian S. Burrows Sr./The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

It only made sense that they would want to stick together with their community. 

Of course, Shanice offered up a brilliant solution to turn the hotel into a place of worship therefore legally allowing them to stay as long as they like. 

I don’t think Mr. Greene expected the 4400 to be as quick-on-their-toes, but I think he appreciates whenever an opportunity presents itself. 

The Reverand is not only power-hungry, but he loves a theatrical spectacle. These are the same qualities I see in Mr. Greene, which is why I wouldn’t be surprised if they struck up a deal. 

Shanice also had some drama with Andre when she saw into his memories, particularly when he covered her with a blanket and she called him Logan. 

Things got even more awkward when Logan got roped into the rescue mission because of Mariah and defended the 4400 for their bravery instead of scolding them as Shanice did. 

I get that Logan wants to stick it to Shanice and keeps mentioning that he raised Mariah instead of her, but he has to eventually come to the understanding that Shanice was robbed of being a parent. 

She didn’t willfully walk away and give up raising her daughter; she never had the chance in the first place. It’s disgusting to throw that back in her face even if he doesn’t agree with how she’s handling a situation. 

With each passing episode, things for the 4400 are growing more and more dangerous, but at the very least, they have each other and a solid team of allies. 

Will they find a way to rescue Noah? Will Andre explore his healing powers, which are so fitting for a doctor who has always wanted to heal the sick?

Will they get out into the real world? Or will the mystery continue to haunt them? And also, how great was it that LaDonna basically shape-shifted into anyone she wanted to be? I could see that coming in handy on many occasions! 

Let us know your thoughts in the comment section! 


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The Resident

The Resident Review – Chastain’s Most Eligible Bachelor (5×08)

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The Resident Review Old Dogs, New Tricks Season 5 Episode 8

The lesson from The Resident Season 5 Episode 8? It’s never too late to change. 

And change came for Chastain’s best in a variety of different ways. 

Dr. Pravesh dealt with a corrupt system that wouldn’t offer help to a retired couple struggling to take care of themselves. 

Pravesh has always wanted to change the system, but now, more than ever, he wants to do something meaningful. 

It’s what pushed him to talk to Kit Voss about embracing clinical trials. 

He wants to be part of the solution that ensures there is adequate treatment for those who really need it. 

George and Celeste were a sweet couple, but it was clear the weight of taking care of her husband was getting to her. Eventually, it was important for Celeste to prioritize her own health in order to ensure that he would also be taken care of in the long run. 

I’m always supportive of a woman advocating for herself. Though I’ll be honest, I love that we also got to see the other side of the coin with George explaining that he hates that his needs made his wife sick. I’m sure it’s not easy for a man, who is always considered the caretaker, to put all that pressure solely on his wife. 

Kit hired DeSoto to coach Chastain’s self-proclaimed Kings of Surgery, and their egos were definitely a little bruised. 

Bell and AJ spent much of the surgery gassing themselves up, so it was definitely painful to learn that Kit thought they could use coaching. 

Even worse — DeSoto had a lot of notes about how they could improve, which meant that their technique wasn’t flawless after all. 

While Bell was a little more adaptive, AJ pushed back on a lot of DeSoto’s suggestions because he felt he knew better. 

However, once Bell applied the notes and excelled in surgery, AJ acknowledged that he probably could be more strategic in surgery.

And, if I’m interpreting the situation correctly, he also asked DeSoto to stick around to continue challenging him because he has a huge crush on her, right?

There was also Dr. Conrad better known as the hospital’s most eligible bachelor.

All the nurses were fawning over him, and while he definitely noticed, he wasn’t really comfortable with it.

It’s been years since Nic’s death, but Conrad still doesn’t feel like it’s the right time to move on.

However, with Billie’s blessing, he did indulge Marion, a daycare worker that Gigi loved.

Am I crazy or did it seem like Billie regretted giving Conrad the green light to move on from Nic because she has feelings for him?

That would be complicated. But she’s right that Nic wouldn’t want Conrad to be alone forever — she would want him and Gigi to find someone that could make them complete again.

Plus, I love how he manages to keep Nic’s memory alive. Gigi may not have known her mother, but you’d never tell by the way she talks about her mommy.

Admittedly, I don’t know if I’m ready for Conrad to move on mainly because I was so devoted to his relationship with Nic, but Marion seems like a really great person with a good heart.

If Conrad is going to move on, it better be with someone worthy of his and Gigi’s heart!

What did you think about the episode? Let us know in the comments below! 


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Riverdale

Riverdale Review – La Llorona (6×02)

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Riverdale Review Ghost Stories Season 6 Episode 2

Did I just watch an episode of Nancy Drew on Riverdale?

It almost felt like “Ghost Stories” was the perfect crossover opportunity to bring our favorite supernatural Horsehoe Bay detective to Rivervale. 

But don’t be fooled — Betty, Toni, and Cheryl did a fine job handling La Llorona. 

You have to give it up for the series for embracing Latin American culture for this one, while also making a poignant point about the sacrifices of motherhood. 

La Llorona was summoned by Darla, a Ghoulie, whose son was accidentally killed by Toni. 

The ghostly spirit, who was drowned in Sweetwater River along with her babes, was coming for the soul of Baby Anthony, however, Toni didn’t think her innocent son should pay the price for her mistakes, so she sacrificed herself by taking on La Llorona’s suffering. 

As she descended underwater, she handed baby Anthony to Betty and urged her to protect him, which is fitting considering La Llorona erased Betty’s pregnancy. 

It’s funny that these women are devoted to finding a murderer when just last week, they willingly sacrificed Archie to make the maple trees more fruitful. 

Honestly, this show gets weirder and weirder. 

And since it’s set in Rivervale, which I’m guessing is simply an alternative universe of Riverdale, it’s hard to really get invested in any of the storylines. 

It seems like a cheat to introduce and get away with the wackiest storylines. 

Admittedly, it did feel weird watching an episode without Archie, but the hour was so jam-packed, he was barely missed. 

The series claimed its second victim with Toni, so it doesn’t seem like many of our favorites will live to see another day by the time the five-episode event is finished. 

Tabitha and Jughead dealt with their own relationship woes as they found out that they were living in the apartment plagued by a couple’s murder-suicide. 

When they discovered a hidden room, they seemingly unleashed the couple’s spirits and began turning on each other. Tabitha wanted to bash Jughead’s head in on a few occasions, but thankfully, she stopped herself and realized that their relationship was stronger than murder. 

Good for them, I guess?

As for Ronnie and Reggie, well, their storyline felt pretty forced. Reggie bought back the car he had in high school in hopes of reliving the glory days. 

That was fine and dandy until Veronica realized that Bella was a tribute to his driver’s ed teacher who was fired for having inappropriate relations with students. 

Reggie denied the whole thing, and Ronnie felt terrible for smashing his car considering his father just died. 

However, it turns out Reggie lied about the abusive relationship? Or, at least, it seems like it.

It’s unclear why this was such an important storyline to tell, but I’m also at the point where it doesn’t seem like any of these storylines hold any merit at all. 

Did Riverdale sell you on its ghost stories? Or do you think it should be left to the professionals?


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