[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers for The Boys, Season 2, Episode 6, “The Bloody Doors Off.”]
There are two massive reveals in “The Bloody Doors Off” — or, that is, one massive plot revelation and one incredibly large love sausage. There’s also a pretty substantial flashback: Frenchie has been at the periphery of the action to some degree this season, but in this episode we get the full story about the tragedy that haunts him, as well as how it was his talent for finding unique ways to attack supes that got him recruited in the first place.
However, the night when he neglected his duties while working for Grace, which led to the deaths of her grandchildren, it wasn’t for selfish reasons. As we see in the opening flashback, he had only a few people he was close to prior to joining the Boys, and a member of his old crew was dying that night. Trying to help Kimiko may not be what ultimately helps him find peace, but it’s at least a shot.
Starlight takes a few big steps in this episode towards becoming a full-fledged member of the Boys, getting her tracking chip removed (an operation that requires a really serious drill) and a sweet hug from Kimiko (who honestly is probably just grateful for the sight of a friendly non-dude). She even manages to earn a cordial invite from Billy Butcher to join them in investigating the Sage Grove Center that is of particular interest to Stormfront — though he says that it’s primarily to use her as bait.
Central to this episode is — after last week’s shadowy introduction — the full-on reveal of Lamplighter (played by Shawn Ashmore, a guy who has been through the superhero trenches after three X-Men movies), who’s working as an orderly at the Sage Grove Center. That’s not nearly as shocking a reveal as what’s happening in Sage Grove: basically, Vought is using test subjects there to figure out if they can stabilize the administration of Compound V to adult subjects, reliably creating superheroes.
Investigating Sage Grove leads to Kimiko, Mother’s Milk, and Frenchie trapped inside the facility and Billy, Hughie, Starlight outside when the test subjects start running rampant — the ensuing death and destruction caused by their ability to vomit acid, explode heads, or use a 10-foot-long penis as a weapon is true chaos. The three of them manage to get out of there safely after Lamplighter covers for them — leaving the surviving test subjects to their own devices. (The most dangerous, Cindy, is last seen hitchhiking her way to freedom.)
Not that things are easier for the folks outside, as an escapee causes their van to flip over, and Hughie gets a nasty abdominal wound that Starlight can’t cauterize there. When they head to a nearby road to commandeer a vehicle, a passing motorist refuses to let them take his car and Starlight ends up killing him. (It’s all to save Hughie’s life, and the thing that seems to bother her most is that it doesn’t really bother her.) Once they get him to the hospital, she and Billy even end up bonding over their mutual affection for Hughie — finally having found some common ground.
Elsewhere, The Deep is trying to draw A-Train into the Church of the Collective with offers of Fresca and real conversation about their relationship, supervised by the head of the Church himself. The Deep also comes through on the favor Maeve requested — scouring the ocean with the help of his aquatic friends to find evidence of the plane disaster that Homelander forced her to abandon. It’s evidence that could truly ruin Homelander’s reputation, but Maeve doesn’t look too good either, which means that it’s bad news when Elena stumbles across the footage. Maeve explains that she’s using the footage to blackmail Homelander into giving them their freedom, but Elena is still horrified.
Finally, anyone who figured that Homelander and Stormfront hooking up would lead to some pretty unhinged moments got confirmation of that courtesy of the criminal they confront in an alley, which combines this show’s intense interests in sex and violence in a whole new disturbingly fun way. But a few rounds of hyper-bloody sex only seems to have made Homelander more volatile, not less, especially when he quickly deduces that Stormfront is keeping something from him.
Oh, and what has she been keeping from him? Just the fact that she was born in the year 1919, was the first Compound V test subject, and oh yeah was a full-on member of the Nazi party and married to Frederick Vought. Those little racist asides she’s been making? They’re just drops in the white supremacist ocean that is her character… and by appealing to Homelander’s ego as the “superman” who will lead them, she seems to have him convinced.
As far as grand romantic declarations go, “I love you with all of my heart — how could I not? Everyone I have ever loved is in the ground, and then I found you. We found each other, and neither of us has to be alone ever again and that is the truth,” isn’t exactly “You had me at hello.” But it’s effective enough for them to make out once again, as the theme song to The Golden Girls (a callback to Frenchie expressing his love for that series at the beginning of the episode) plays.
It’s been somewhat tacitly known that Stormfront was more than just casually racist (she’s even from Portland) but The Boys isn’t afraid to spell things out, as explicitly as possible. And now this season has truly established its Big Bad — though of course, there’s plenty of other badness to spread around.
- Maeve’s casual vaping while watching one of her cheesy coming-out ads is just one of those great character touches that says a lot about where she’s at emotionally (the kind of thing that’s honestly pretty necessary with an ensemble of this size).
- “Strippers aren’t exactly my brand of Hershey’s, with or without nuts,” is, as far as random Boys quips go, an all-time champion.
- Despite not speaking, Karen Fukuhara‘s performance over the last few episodes has really made Kimiko come alive as a character. Her “Bossy” ring is such a fun choice.
- While we’re appreciating the acting here, the subtle way that Aya Cash blends a bit of a German accent into that last scene was really well done.
- “I’m going to Postmates Sugarfish” is a line we’re probably going to have a hard time explaining to our grandchildren.
- I have it on good authority that if you spend some time freeze-framing the Sage Grove security monitors, you’ll spot some fun Easter eggs, including the tiny human who made a big dive in the very first episode of the show.
New episodes of The Boys premiere Fridays on Amazon. Check out last week’s recap here.