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The Boys Season 2 Premiere Review — As Ridiculously Bloody as Ever (2 x 01-03)

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The Boys season 2 premiered on Prime Video, Friday, September 4  with the first three episodes following-up on the insane cliffhanger from last season.

[SPOILER ALERT: Season 1 & 2 details henceforth]

As revealed in season 1, Becca, Billy Butcher’s wife who was believed to be dead, is alive and has been raising the bastard son of Homelander at a secret remote location. After the events of the finale, Billy is framed for the murder of Madelyn Stilwell and must find a way to overcome the overwhelming influence of The Seven and Vought International.

Elsewhere, A-Train is hospitalized, Starlight is working as a mole in The Seven, The Deep is stuck in Sandusky, Ohio, and The Boys are in hiding because they’re on everyone’s most-wanted list.

Will they be able to pull through and pull something out of their butts this time around?

Well, if the first three episodes are any indication of where things are going this season, then strap in for a helluva ride.

EPISODE 1: “The Big Ride” (Rating: 8.5/10)

The much-anticipated appearance of Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad, The Mandalorian) happens right off the bat as his character is revealed to be Stan Edgar, the big boss above Madelyn Stilwell, who ran Vought International behind-the-scenes and is now at the forefront.

Aside from Esposito’s character reveal, a couple of blink-and-you’ll miss it celebrity cameos happen in this episode with Seth Rogen appearing as a fictionalized version of himself talking about a new superhero movie franchise regarding the fallen Translucent, who was killed by Hughie Campbell in season 1.

There’s also another Star Wars-related reference when Alden Ehrenreich(Solo: A Star Wars Story) is quickly mentioned in a conversation between Hughie and Starlight.

Then Chris Hansen appears as himself as a host of a television report show portraying a poorly re-enacted scene from last season’s finale.

As for the episode itself, it’s a wild ride filled with a couple of twists and turns that reminds viewers just how much the world of The Boys is painted in the gray area of the moral ambiguity of both its superheroes (who most are ironically the villains on the show) and the criminals aka “The Boys,” who are the brutally violent vigilantes trying to fix everything.

The show’s satire on the superhero mythos is still deeply entrenched within its world and has even become worse as the narrative is twisted by Vought International’s PR and damage control.

Aside from the usually messed-up story arcs continuing from season 1, a couple of notable scenes cleverly played out to reference comic book characters as well as introduce new cast members.

One is a new hero named Eagle the Archer (Langston Kerman), who’s an obvious parody of Green Arrow and Hawkeye, who bails a drunken Deep out of jail.

Another is Blindspot (Chris Mark), a Daredevil knock-off, who is killed by Homelander in a dark-humor scene (which is equally disturbing and somewhat hilarious in an off-beat way) by bashing his ears, which renders him useless.

Finally, Gecko (David Thompson), Starlight’s former childhood friend, who has accelerated regenerative healing factor is introduced as an S & M worker for hire who lets people mutilate him for money as a side hustle.

Stormfront Joins The Seven

The episode also introduces the newest member of The Seven, Stormfront (Aya Cash) who first shows up by going on an Instagram Live feed while crashing a commercial shooting with Homelander and Maeve.

Her character is quite endearing, and refreshing at first, as her sarcasm and bluntness don’t conform with the PR and media pandering the other members of The Seven adhere to.

However, she soon takes a dark turn toward the end of episode 3 where she shows violently sinister tendencies.

Other Important Details:

  • CIA Deputy Director Susan Raynor is killed when she pieces together the mysterious appearance of a Super Terrorist with Vought International and it’s Compound V.
  • Stan Edgar lectures Homelander about the real history of Frederick Vought, the founder of Vought International, who’s revealed to be a Nazi geneticist responsible for inventing Compound V, which is implied to have been tested on the Holocaust victims.
  • Hughie Campbell references multiple high fantasy coming-of-age movies as he compares himself to John Conner, Harry Potter, and Katniss Everdeen (who Frenchie is apparently a fan of).
  • Soldier Boy, a new character who is reported to be played by Supernatural actor Jensen Ackles, is mentioned by Stan Edgar.

EPISODE 2: “Proper Preparation and Planning” (Rating: 9.5/10)

After Billy Butcher returns in episode 1, he immediately puts The Boys to work on his latest diabolical plan. This time, however, he tries to keep his motives hidden since his main agenda is to reunite with his wife, Becca.

For guest appearances, Patton Oswalt (Agents of SHIELD) voices the Deep’s gills during a hallucinogenic tea-induced trip that eventually leads to Oswalt and the Deep singing a hilariously sad rendition of “You Are So Beautiful.”

Also, the Deep is apparently a huge fan of the Goo Goo Dolls as he plays the song “Iris” in the background when he is locked in a room.

Kimiko’s brother Kenji Miyashiro (Abraham Lim) is introduced in this episode and is shown to possess powerful telekinetic abilities. He is, however, brainwashed by the terrorist group Shining Light Liberation Army, which makes him misguided and dangerous.

This is justified to an extent though because he’s seeking revenge for an unnamed superhero’s attack (presumably Homelander) on his and Kimiko’s home village.

It’s also revealed that he and Kimiko communicate through a unique sign language that only they can understand as Frenchie tries to coax him into teaching it.

In the end, Kimiko is forced to put his own brother in a sleeper hold as he threatened to put himself and the team in danger as he’s being targetted by both the CIA and The Seven as a “Super Terrorist” whose been smuggled into the country illegally.

Other Important Details:

  • A-Train wakes up from his coma and threatens to expose Starlight but she learns to blackmail him back for killing Popclaw in season 1.
  • Stormfront, during her press tour with Maeve and Starlight, delivers this great comedic line:
    • “let’s finish d***-tickling these half-wits so we can finally do our real jobs”
    • She also goes on a long rant about Pippi Longstocking, her favorite superhero.
  • Becca goes to a mysterious gated facility to speak with the mysterious Dr. Park about protecting her and her son, Ryan, from Homelander — her plea is ignored.
  • Maeve confides to Elena about Homelander’s secret violent side.
  • Gecko manages to get a sample of Compound V to Starlight.
  • Homelander gives his son a smartphone so they can keep in touch but Ryan is hesitant to bond with his estranged father.

EPISODE 3: “Over the Hill with the Swords of a Thousand Men” (Rating: 9/10)

The episode begins with the exposure of Compound V to the general public, thanks to the efforts of Starlight and Hughie. However, Vought International manages to deny all ties with the drug and claims Madelyn Stilwell was responsible for its creation and dissemination.

The episode then revolves around Kenji, who was subdued by The Boys during episode 2 and is about to be surrendered to the CIA for protection. Kenji doesn’t trust the word of anyone on the team, however, including his own sister who is trying to look out for his safety. He tries to escape and almost kills the team but accidentally destroys a police helicopter instead.

This, of course, puts them on The Seven’s radar, and the sinister superheroes go after them.

Unfortunately, Kenji’s reluctance to cooperate would lead to his demise as The Seven catches up to his and The Boys’ location and a violent encounter with Stormfront happens where the supposed superhero maliciously murders Kenji and calls him by a racist slur.

Stormfront, beforehand, was also shown to kill innocent African-American bystanders, which strongly suggests that she has racist tendencies that belie her generally relaxed attitude. This characterization, however, stays true to her comic book counterpart who is a Neo-Nazi.

These scenes are definitely not for the faint of heart or those who are easily offended but it works as brilliant satire for the show.

To add insult to injury, Stormfront then spins the story in front of the media by saying Kenji and Kimiko were responsible for the deaths of the innocent bystander. Her actions, however, catch the attention of Homelander who sees her as a threat to the status quo he has maintained.

Stan Edgar then follows-up with a press conference saying that the Vought International family sends their “thoughts and prayers” to the victims of the “terrorist attack” further cementing their image management and disassociation with Compound V.

As for clever references, the show once again mentions a few off-hand including a nod to the movie Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, which is parodied in a movie pitch about The Seven entitled Dawn of the Seven, which is fittingly accented by a Hans Zimmer score.

Lin Manuel Miranda (Hamilton) is also mentioned as the potential voice actor for Translucent and Michael Bay’s Transformers is referenced.

Other Important Details:

  • Billy Butcher kills The Deep’s whale, Lucy, by ramming a boat through it, exposing its guts in all its bloody glory. It’s a particularly shocking scene that’s definitely not fit to be seen by animal lovers. Also, Black Noir is apparently the only member of The Seven with a soft spot as he’s the only one visibly affected by the dead animal.

  • Starlight is almost forced to kill Hughie as Homelander threatens to kill them both if she does not do so. They’re only saved by Kenji, who is released by Billy to momentarily disable Homelander.
  • Homelander pushes his son Ryan off a roof to try and force him to use his powers. He faints upon falling but soon recovers after Becca wakes him up. However, a frustrated Homelander does manage to coax his son’s powers out of him by getting physical with Becca, which prompts Ryan to become angry as he pushes Homelander to the ground.
  • The end scene shows The Boys watching the broadcast covering the events that transpired during their latest encounter with The Seven, and each of them appears to be once again united in seeking vengeance.

The Boys is exclusive on Prime Video with new episodes to be released for streaming on Fridays.

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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.

Chicago P.D

Chicago PD Season 11 Episode 6 Review – Survival

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Chicago PD Season 11 Episode 6 Review - Survival

Chicago PD came through again, this time with a rare gem that focused on Voight. 

I say rare because while Voight plays an integral part of the series, he’s rarely ever the sole focus of the case in such a way that we actually see him dominating the screen for most of the 45-minute episode. 

And, on top of that, the episode ended without Voight and the team finding the suspect, which also allows for another multi-episode angle to play out and keep viewers invested. 

Voight’s carefree night took a turn when he overheard a beeping sound in an alleyway and found traces of blood belonging to a young man named Noah, who he saw getting violently kidnapped by an offender in nearby surveillance footage. 

Without much to go off of, Intelligence worked together to try to build a case and save Noah before it was too late. Since they found a baggie of party drugs near the scene of the abduction, they linked it to a dealer in the area whom Chapman, coincidentally, has tried to nab a handful of times. 

The dealer’s MO is to abduct those who stiff him, break their legs, and then dump them back at the place where he sells as part of his warning. 

However, after locating the car that kidnapped Noah, they found the young man in dire conditions after he was abused—stabbed six times and had his eyes stapled open (one of the most horrifying sights I’ve ever seen on television, might I add)—which indicated that this was the work of someone else entirely. 

Even when Noah identified his dealer in a lineup, Voight wasn’t convinced as he knew he simply did it to get them off of his back. Chapman, who offered to help Voight on the case, wasn’t pleased with the idea of letting a violent criminal that they’ve been pursuing walk away based on a hunch, so she went above Voight to get him arrested. 

Still, Voight knew that they were going after the wrong man, so he milked him for any information about Noah. 

Noah’s situation was a heartbreaking one as he was a lone wolf in the city on his own after his family turned on him when he came out as gay. When Voight made contact with them, Noah’s mother essentially said Noah deserved what happened to him and that she didn’t want updates because he was no longer their son. I can’t even imagine a mother saying something so cruel, especially when her son was missing and brutally tortured. How could you not want to know if he survived? It broke my heart—and it broke Voight’s heart, which is why he dedicated himself to the case so strongly. 

He knew that whatever Noah went through was personal, which was confirmed further when he realized that the suspect they were looking for had been stalking the boy for months, ever since he arrived in Chicago. This was a planned and calculated attack, but they had no suspects to work off of, which didn’t make it easy. 

It’s likely one of the main reasons why Voight took Noah in after he was discharged from the hospital. He needed Noah to feel safe and comfortable enough to open up so that they could finally catch this monster and put him behind bars. However, Voight also felt a personal connection to Noah, who reminded him a lot of his late son, Justin, and he felt for the kid since he had nowhere to go and no one to lean on. It’s not exactly all that shocking that an Intelligence member connected with someone on the case as we previously saw Burgess and Ruzek adopt Makayla after her parents were brutally murdered, however, it does sort of cross the line into getting too personally connected. Chapman seemed concerned with Voight’s decision, but only time will tell if he made the right one. 

If I had to wager a guess, I’d say Noah knows who his abuser is, but he’s not saying anything because he’s scared and traumatized since it’s someone that he cares about. Since we know the attack wasn’t random—and everyone who did come in contact with him explained that he didn’t have friends or make many connections with anyone—it has to be someone from home. Maybe someone like his brother or a friend whom he confided in. 

This is one of those lingering cases that we will revisit in future episodes, but it has so much promise. Voight’s seen a lot during his tenure in Chicago, but even he seemed completely shaken by what Noah endured. 

And will the series ever make any positive moves with Voight and Chapman? It’s clear that there’s something between them that goes beyond their workplace friendship. 

What did you think of the episode? Who do you think Noah’s attacker is?

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Chicago Med

Chicago Med Season 9 Episode 5 Review – I Make a Promise, I Will Never Leave You

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Chicago Med Season 9 Episode 5 Review - I Make a Promise, I Will Never Leave You

It was a rough shift for everyone on Chicago Med Season 9 Episode 5. The episode focused on plenty of heartbreaking cases, which naturally take a toll on the doctors who do their best for the patients who walk through their doors. 

One of the newest members of the team, Dr. Ripley, responded to help an elderly man suffering from hypothermia, who seemed disoriented and kept calling out for someone named “Betty.” While Alzheimer’s and dementia came to mind, especially due to Jimmy’s elderly age, a CT scan revealed something much more horrific: the patient was the victim of a lobotomy conducted at Med roughly 60 years ago. Ripley and Charles surmised that Jimmy was a problem child, so they took care of it by messing with his brain, not giving him a chance at a full life. Jimmy ventured to the hospital hoping to help his sister and caretaker, who took a fall at home, but by the time PD got an address, they were too late and she passed away due to natural causes. Ripley had to break the news to Jimmy, who, in his regressed state of mind, couldn’t understand what was happening—and it was gutwrenching to watch. Ripley felt so bad when he called social services, in fact, that he promised to visit Jimmy so that they could talk about Betty, knowing that the man had no one else looking out for him and was let down by his loved ones for so many years. 

The case also hit close to home for Ripley, who had disciplinary issues as a teen and who felt abandoned by those who should’ve helped him, something Dr. Charles apologized for when he was his psychologist. The nature of the relationship between these two remains one of the most compelling storylines this season.

Another newbie, Dr. Zola, tapped in Dr. Marcel when Alex’s parents brought him in with concerns over his very high heart rate. He ended up needing appendix surgery, but during the procedure, they found cancer before running into some trouble with one of the drugs they used to wake him up from his anesthesia, nearly killing the 14-year-old. Zola insisted that Med pull the medication immediately, but Crocket knew that it wasn’t that easy, and after he brought it up in one of the meetings, the board decided to keep it in rotation and make a case to the FDA. When Zola said she’d pursue it further, Crockett advised her to drop it, and with all the hot water she’s gotten herself in during her short time at Med, she should probably heed his advice for now—though I do anticipate we’ll see this storyline pop up down the line with everyone eventually agreeing that Zola’s instincts were right. 

Dr. Charles’ tough day also included getting his longtime friend, Bert, checked out at Sharon Goodwin’s request. Ever since Bert came into the ED after falling while watching his grandson, there have been concerns about cognitive decline, particularly since his family has a history of dementia. And since Bert is the kind of person who refuses to see a doctor, Goodwin had to get creative, though when they finally sat him down to have a chat about their concerns, he felt ambushed and bolted out. It’s scary to be told that there may be something happening with your memory, but the signs are all there and it’s important to get ahead of it. Eventually, he came around to the idea, agreeing to get further tests if it gets Sharon off of his back.

Dr. Asher took on a patient brought in by Dr. Johsnon (you know I’m happy to see him coming around more often). The couple’s dream pregnancy turned into a nightmare when the woman’s water broke at 15 weeks and the doctors refused to do a D&C for fear of legal repercussions. Instead, they sent her away and kept telling the husband that the situation wasn’t an emergency as she carried a dead fetus and developed an infection. Eventually, he trekked from his rural home to Chicago to seek out help before it was too late—and by that point, the woman had gone into septic shock. It was touch and go there as Asher tried to save the woman’s uterus while also preventing her from hemorrhaging out during the operation. Everything ended up just fine, all things considered, with the couple candidly exploring future options for their family that they were both comfortable with. Without fully touching upon the complexities of the current laws surrounding pregnancies and miscarriages, Chicago Med showed the dangers of laws that work against women, their choices, and their safety.

And finally, Dr. Archer was unable to save a patient that his son brought into the ED who was having shortness of breath. Sean, who is a counselor at a rehab facility, put all of his faith in his father, but sometimes, things are simply out of everyone’s control, which was hard for him to accept as he was full of hope and positivity, trying to help people with their second chance at life. While it’s unclear what caused Damon’s fluid in the lungs, it may have been caused by persistent drug use, which led to heart failure, and meant he was too far gone to be saved. I’m just hoping that Damon’s death doesn’t send Sean off the deep end or make him second-guess his career path—it’s just a reminder that life doesn’t always work out the way you want or expect it too. 

Maggie assisted Dr. Johnson throughout his visit, all while getting her divorce papers officially notarized. When the moment finally came, it was nice to see her get the support of Asher and Zola, while also acknowledging that she has an interest in Johnson… when she’s finally ready to get back out there again. 

What did you think of the episode? Did it pull on your heartstrings?

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Chicago P.D

Chicago PD Season 11 Episode 5 Review – Split-Second

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Is 'Chicago PD' New Tonight? Everything We Know About Season 11 Episode 5

Atwater does it again, but that’s really no surprise. Kevin Atwater episodes of Chicago PD are consistently the strongest—delivering complex issues, a riveting performance, and making us all question why LaRoyce Hawkins isn’t allowed to take the wheel more often. 

And would it kill them to give him a love interest so he doesn’t have to carry this burden all on his own?

On Chicago PD Season 11 Episode 5, Atwater responded to a robbery in progress on Jeweler’s Row, but the situation quickly escalated as the robbers proved to be dangerous and careless, firing shots that killed the store owner and hit an innocent bystander, who ended up bleeding out to death.

The moment was one that haunted Atwater for much of the episode, as the wife of Corey, who was trapped between the safety door, blamed Atwater for making a conscious choice to try to save the owner over her husband. 

And she’s not wrong—Atwater went to check on the other man, allowing the impenetrable doors to close, preventing him from rendering life-saving aid to Corey. 

He was filled with instant regret knowing that his choices could’ve made a difference, and while we know that it’s simply Atwater’s personality to want to take accountability, the case showed that sometimes, despite our best efforts, we can’t change the outcome. And we can’t save everyone. 

It wasn’t stated in the episode—and Atwater said time and time again that he didn’t know why he chose to check on the owner instead of Corey—but my guess is that he didn’t imagine that the doors would be impossible to break through. He likely also felt that the injuries of the owner may have been more extensive than Corey’s, and felt the need to prioritize helping him. 

At the end of the day, he followed his gut in a split-second, trying to make the best decisions for everyone, and there’s not much more you can ask for when it comes to the person responding to a critical situation. 

He went back to the scene of the crime, retracing his steps an replaying the situation over and over in his brain, making himself feel guiltier, particularly when he found the keys under the shattered glass, which could have bought Corey the necessary time until the paramedics arrived, but that’s all hindsight and doesn’t change what happened. Atwater can learn from it, but he needs to let himself move on for his mental health, especially as Voight pointed out that there is no handbook on who you should save first. 

Atwater’s regret aside, the episode was action-packed as they tried to identify the two robbers, who were leaving behind a trail of victims during their heists. The key person to helping them make a break in the case was Teresa. They knew she saw one of the suspects as there was video footage of her looking him in the face before he put his mask on, but when confronted, Teresa insisted that there was a “glare” and she saw nothing.

Considering the suspects took off with every victim’s driver’s license, I’m not surprised Teresa chose to stay quiet as she feared retaliation against her family. She already lost her husband, and she didn’t want to put her husband in harm’s way. 

While Voight’s tactics of pushing her to talk or charging her with obstruction of justice may have seemed harsh, it was necessary to motivate her to help them make a break in the case. (I’ll be honest, I first thought that Teresa was keeping the suspect’s identity a secret because it was someone she knew/someone connected to her son, so I was glad that wasn’t the case.) 

But the sad reality is that even if she hadn’t identified the suspect, they could’ve still come for her to silence her since they knew that she saw one of their faces, which is exactly what happened. They didn’t care if she sold them out—if she could, she needed to be taken care of. Working with the police and giving them what they needed sooner may have ensured her safety as they could’ve caught the bad guys, but I’m also not surprised that there’s a distrust of police, in general, but also specifically for Teresa.

Teresa felt betrayed by Atwater since he didn’t save her husband—it’s all she could focus on. Not to mention that even though Atwater told her that they would have units watching her house until the bad guys were caught, he couldn’t guarantee her safety as the moment one of the suspects broke into her home, no one was stationed outside of her home because they were switching shifts. They dropped the ball, and if it wasn’t for Atwater’s quick thinking, it could’ve cost her and her son their lives. 

Atwater went above and beyond on the case, as he felt a sense of responsibility to the family, but he also found himself with conflicting emotions after he shot Aiden and asked Teresa for assistance with putting pressure on the wound, which she refused to do because “he didn’t deserve to live while her husband died.”

And, quite honestly, as a victim who is grieving a major loss and feels betrayed, I totally get where she’s coming from. This is a man who killed her husband and who broke into her home to kill her and her child without a second thought. If Atwater wasn’t there, he wouldn’t have shown her any mercy, so why did she have to take the high road in this case? 

On the other hand, Atwater is not in a position to pick and choose who he saves. He has sworn to serve and protect—so while he stopped the suspect from hurting someone else, he also has to render aid and do everything to prevent the suspect from dying. Atwater did his job, even if the outcome wasn’t fair. And honestly, when is life ever fair? 

As we’ve seen time and time again on Chicago PD, there are many inner struggles that come with being a cop, and no one feels guilter, harbors more regret, or is harder on themselves than the cops that find themselves in those tricky situations, toeing the line between right, wrong, and necessary. 

Thankfully for all of us, Atwater has always excelled in those storylines, rising to the occasion every single time. 

What did you think of the episode? 

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