We reached the penultimate episode of Gen V last week, and things are ramping up as of course we knew they would. And there are twists and turns, which of course we knew there would be. But everything in the universe of The Boys does those expected things in an unexpected way – this show is no exception.
So, as we get ready for the season finale to air tonight at midnight, let’s see where we are at the end of last week’s wild ride.
SPOILERS FOR GEN V EPISODES ONE THROUGH SEVEN AHEAD!
Into The Woods
In a scene that’s way too terrifying in a lingering pandemic, Episode 7 (aptly named “Sick”) begins as a guy gets thrown into a cell where one of the other students in there warns him not to breathe – because his friend Andy is being consumed by the horrible engineered virus and coughing up his lungs, threatening to infect the rest of them who are trapped in there.
Dr. Cardoza says it will take a while since it’s spread through contact, and of course the diabolical Dean Shetty asks the most chilling question possible right now.
Dean Shetty: Can’t we make it airborne, so it’s more contagious?
Seriously, this hits a little close to home, GenV!
Cardoza warns that if an airborne virus gets into the super-abled population, it could spread like wildfire. He wants out, but it’s his word against hers and she’s ready to tell Vought that he’s the one who invented a virus that can kill Supes if he doesn’t go along with her.
Cate, however, has decided she’s had enough of being manipulated by Dean Shetty, who keeps reminding her to take her pills. Cate has had enough of that too, realizing they’ve been keeping a cap on her powers. She tells the others she’ll make the Dean admit to everything she’s done, hoping to make it up to them, but she can hear all their thoughts of how much they don’t trust her (which they do not appreciate at all, understandably).
Ships and More Ships
The Marie/Jordan shippers got a treat as the two share a tender kiss, though Marie does call them out about buying into gender stereotypes.
Marie: And you’ve gotta stop turning into a dude every time you wanna make a point to us!
Jordan wants to find proof of what’s happening in the woods but Marie is a realist.
Marie: You think they’re gonna believe a black girl and a bi-gender Asian supe over Vought? No, they’ll just twist it like they twist everything else. Unless we get it to someone they will listen to…
A Singer and Neuman poster, graffitied over, is on the wall right behind them.
Things go better for the Marie/Jordan shippers than the Sam/Emma shippers in this episode, though we do get some nice moments. She helps clean up after Sam’s murderous rampage, Sam reminding her that he ripped an entire guy in half – though he was a puppet at the time.
I love Emma. She’s undeterred by Sam’s occasional murderous outbursts.
Emma: I’d be so messed up if I were you, but you’re so sweet. When you’re not slaughtering a bunch of dudes.
I mean, she’s right.
Sam explores her sex toy collection, impressed.
Emma: That is a normal amount of sex toys. I like options.
She goes to get rid of the evidence and get Sam a Vought A Burger, which he hasn’t had since he went with his brother Luke (ouch), which is clearly a big mistake. Sam hides in the closet, looking like a wide eyed scared kid, then acts out little plays with his fingers, one hand wearing Emma’s tiny panties. A noise in the hall makes him open the door, afraid Emma is in trouble, but it’s a bunch of Supe kids laughing as they make some snow in the hall and sled through it, saying ‘we’re supes, we can do whatever we want.’
Mini Homelanders in the making? Which may be one of the scariest things I’ve ever written…
Of course this is tempting for Sam, who likely hasn’t had much chance to be a kid and certainly not a teenager. He takes a turn sledding and having fun like the kid he probably never got to be. Rufus asks if he’s coming when they move the party elsewhere and Sam, so innocent, says no, he has to wait for Emma.
Rufus (who is the absolute worst in this show): Dude, Emma’s at the party.
A Familiar Face
Meanwhile, Jordan and Marie go through the Dean’s office and find a hidden binder with news of the flight that crashed in The Boys – Shetty’s child and husband were on the manifest. Ahhhhhh it all starts to make sense. These shows are so good with tying things together and giving backstories that help you understand even the worst of the worst characters.
A drunk Dr. Cardoza comes in as Jordan and Marie hide. He takes a sip from Shetty’s carafe, then pees in it and calls her a cunt and leaves. You really never know what these characters are gonna do, do you?
Shetty is full of surprises in this episode – she meets with Grace Mallory and shows her the photo evidence of the virus, asking for help in eradicating them all. Mallory points out that’s genocide, but Shetty only shrugs – this is a war, she says, us against them.
Mallory: No matter how many you kill, it won’t bring your husband and daughter back.
Shetty: Or your grandchildren. But it could save others.
Mallory warns against going down the path of being consumed by rage (talking about Butcher, it seems) and walks away. Someone else was listening on her phone though…hmmmm.
Who had Dean Shetty on their score card as being more or less on the Billy Butcher side??
And isn’t it interesting that at this point we’re all feeling more on the side of the junior Supes, not the person trying to take them out? That’s the brilliance of this whole universe and it’s refusal to paint anything in black and white and constantly make you question the definition of right and wrong.
Things Get Political
Victoria Neuman comes to speak at God U at a town hall.
On the Cameron Coleman Show, Polarity says he’s agreed to moderate, with Coleman questioning why they’d invite someone who’s “anti Supe” – which is hilarious considering what we know about Neuman. Andre watches his father on TV, admitting he hasn’t talked to his dad since he “found out he was Vought’s bitch and chose not to rescue the kids trapped under the school.” Suddenly Polarity has some kind of seizure and things start flying uncontrollably around the studio, then it cuts away. Andre rushes to his father’s side, trying to keep the ambulance from flying apart as his father seizes and scissors and sharp medical implements fly through the air, mutilating the poor ambulance techs.
Cameron Coleman takes over the interview – never mind, nothing to see here – grilling Neuman about Stormfront slaughtering people and Soldier Boy nearly killing thousands in NYC. He accuses her agency of persecuting the minority group – Supes. Neuman counters that if elected, their government will give the superhuman community a voice – a seat at the table.
Meanwhile, Sam and Rufus and the other Supe kids are in the audience. When Neuman says HOmelander will be held accountable and have a jury of his peers, Rufus stands up and protests.
Rufus: Humans aren’t his fucking peers!
Audience: Supes lives matter!
It’s a provocative flipflop of the question of who is a persecuted minority group, and once again an illustration of how easily those in power can co-opt and manipulate public opinion.
The audience starts chanting “you will not control us”, Sam initially bewildered by all the anger. Rufus tells him that Homelander is right, that they’re trying to take away their power, and Sam starts to get swept up in it, finding an outlet for all his own rage at the people who tortured him for all those years. Emma finally finds Sam, who was quite charmed by everything including Rufus.
The irony of it all, it burns.
More More More (Manipulation)
In the midst of the chaos, Jordan creates a distraction so Marie can go find Neuman – by attacking the girl who made that TikTok about Emma. Hah! Marie finds Neuman, who shocks her by saying she was hoping to meet her. Neuman tells Marie that she and her daughter are huge fans. She suggests they hide in the green room.
Neuman: Otherwise the shit show out there might “take off my head”.
Everyone who watched The Boys: hahahaha good one!
Neuman invites Marie to tell her about herself, sense things in her blood, and Marie gasps.
Marie: OMG your… you’re a Supe. Your blood, there’s compound V in it.
Turns out Neuman can do the same thing she can and also grew up at Red River – and helped her get into God U.
Neuman: I know you fought for every fucking thing you’ve ever gotten. You’re constantly lonely and you’re afraid you’re gonna hurt people. Like you did with your parents. You grew up feeling your powers are too dangerous and disgusting for anyone to ever want to adopt you.
Another perfect manipulation, and it works. Marie tells Neuman the truth and she says she’ll handle it, advising Marie that God U is her shot at having control of her life but they won’t hesitate to ship her off to an adult facility if she fucks up. On the other hand, she could be the first black woman in the Seven, with real power to make a difference…
Damn, these people are good at manipulating!
At Shetty’s house, Cate accuses Shetty of manipulating and controlling her. Shetty insists they’ll be leaving together soon, that after her family was killed, she felt like Cate was truly hers. That she loves her.
Cate holds her bare hands and knows she’s telling the truth about that. She leans on Shetty, crying, and we think oh no, she’s been manipulated again.
Or maybe not. Cate calls the others to come to Shetty’s house (except Andre, who stays with his dad), where she pleads with Cate, saying she loves her.
Cate: I know you love me – it doesn’t change the fact that you’re a fucking bitch.
Compelled by Cate, Shetty tells them the truth. That God U is a front – Godolkin was a behavioral scientist who built it to figure out what makes Supes tick. Their weaknesses, how to control them.
Shetty: You’re not here to study, the school is here to study you.
She admits she wants to make a virus that can spread across the world and kill all of them.
Emma: Holy fuck.
Shetty blames Homelander for taking down the plane, and all of them too, since they all leave a path of destruction behind them. Says they can’t help it, it’s their species, in a pointed justification for genocide that rings chillingly real right now.
Cate: They want to wipe us off the face of the earth. So we have to strike first.
She makes Indira slit her own throat. Marie has a flashback to her own mother lying bleeding to death on the floor, pleading with Cate to let her save Shetty. But Cate says no, and Dean Shetty dies.
Marie: Cate, do you know what you’ve done?
Cate: For all of us.
Me: Oh no, Sammmmmmmmmm!
Heads Will Roll
Cardoza brings the virus to Neuman, relieved that she contacted him about his ‘research’.
Cardoza: We have the same goals, right? Compassionate control. And you get me and my family out. Witness protection.
He hands her the vat of virus, very foolishly assuring her that’s all of it and he’s the only one who knows how to replicate it.
Neuman calls him a 21st century American hero. A drip of blood falls from his nose, and Cardoza has a second to say that the air must be a little dry before his head explodes. Neuman casually wipes a drop of gore from her hand.
Music plays, some of the lyrics perfect…Heads will roll on the floor… off with your head…
I’ve weirdly missed you, Victoria Neuman (and Claudia Doumit). And you too, Grace Mallory (Laila Robins). Gen V is firmly planted in The Boys universe now, which makes the anticipation for the season finale even higher!
Be sure to watch the new episode when it streams on Thursday at midnight on Prime Video!
And if you’re enjoying Gen V and The Boys, you can take a deep dive into the fascinating characters and what makes them tick with the new book Supes Ain’t Always Heroes. There are chapters on the main characters of The Boys, the way the show tackles real life issues and refuses to see anything in black and white, the brilliance of its marketing, and what it has to say about everything from narcissism to misogyny to racism to toxic masculinity. There are also exclusive interview chapters with Jensen Ackles (Soldier Boy), Aya Cash (Stormfront), Nathan Mitchell (Black Noir), co-creator Darick Robertson and Jim Beaver (Robert Singer) plus interview excerpts from many of the other actors. Pre-order at the link below and you get free original artwork of Kimiko and Soldier Boy!