With two more episodes to go in its first season, Episode 6 of Gen V is a standout for more reasons than one.
SPOILERS AHEAD FOR EPISODES ONE THROUGH SIX OF GEN V!
We pick up in the sixth episode (“Jumanji”) with a repentant Cate restoring all her friends’ memories. They’re shocked, pissed, betrayed, everything you’d expect. Emma immediately heads out to find Sam, but not without a parting shot.
Emma: Also? You’re a cunt.
Cate insists she thought she was doing the right thing. Andre is especially furious, wondering if Cate’s manipulations were what made Luke kill himself and afraid to even consider that what she did was okay because then he’d just forgive her. His feelings for her make her betrayal a personal one.
They all feel (understandably) mind raped. Marie is the voice of reason though, saying it’s God U who is fucking them over, not Cate – that Cate was fucked over just like the rest of them.
The strain on Cate from restoring their memories and the trauma of realizing how she’s betrayed them makes her collapse, her heart rate slowing dangerously. Marie manages to save her (since apparently none of the others learned CPR at superhero school). Marie slowly learning to use her formerly horrifically destructive powers for good is a nice little story arc running beneath the surface, though it will certainly not go smoothly. This is The Boys universe, after all.
At times this show reminds me of Buffy (which I loved) as it uses metaphor to tell stories about real life issues, in this case one of the challenges of growing up. We all have to learn how to harness our destructive impulses, how to recognize our own power but not mis-use it. We all have missteps we feel guilty about along the way, that can keep us afraid of speaking up or calling out injustice when we see it. That’s been part of Marie’s journey all along.
She does manage to save Cate, who wakes up and then abruptly bursts through the wall of the house they’re hiding at.
They follow, but when they all go through the break in the wall, what’s outside is…the woods. Well, not THE woods, but actual woods. Suddenly everything has gone surreal, and I love it, not knowing what’s actually happening and what isn’t.
They see a hysterical woman, sobbing and calling for Caleb and realize that’s Cate’s little brother who disappeared – we see young Cate distraught, telling her mother she didn’t mean it, not understanding what’s happening. Her mother looks at Cate not with love or concern but with terror, telling the cop she doesn’t feel safe with her daughter. Bits and pieces of the landscape start to come apart in some truly eerie special effects…
They’re in Cate’s head, they realize.
The Boys universe excels at finding ways to get into its characters’ heads (often literally) so we can truly understand their back stories in a way that makes them very real and very compelling. We often don’t just hear about it, we see it. It makes all the characters a lot more sympathetic, as the scenes of Cate’s past do in this episode.
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And then I admit to gasping out loud, because even though I knew it was coming, seeing Soldier Boy striding out of the woods took my breath away.
I know it’s wrong, but I’ve missed him! Welcome back to my screen, Jensen Ackles!!
And then begins a scene that will go down in history for both The Boys and Gen V fans – and Jensen Ackles and Supernatural fans too. Holy shit, what a scene!
Soldier Boy: What are you greasy sack of fucknuts doing in here?
Yep, that’s our disgusting uncensored murder grampa kitten, being just as gross as ever. Ahhhhh, I’ve missed him!