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The Boys Season One Episode 8: “You Found Me” Pulls Itself Together

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The Boys You Found Me

“You Found Me” finally delivers on the vague moments of promise offered through The Boys‘ wildly uneven first season: there’s explosive(ly meaningful) action sequences, dynamic moments of character, and a number of truly unexpected narrative shifts. Equally trashy and operatic in its delivery, “You Found Me” is a moment of realized potential for The Boys, despite being a deeply flawed finale of an equally troubled freshman offering.

“You Found Me” is a moment of realized potential for The Boys, despite being a deeply flawed finale of an equally troubled freshman offering.

What’s exciting about The Boys is how it offers some important clarity on some of the season’s running stories, like the identity crises the Deep and Starlight individually experience in this episode. Catalyzed by their one awful shared scene in the pilot, “You Found Me” offers a quiet poignancy in how it revisits the state of those two characters.

The Boys You Found Me

It works most effectively for Starlight (since, you know, it’s not asking the audience to be a rape apologist), who finally takes hold of her image and her life, confronting her mother and Hughie alike when they try to project their hopes and dreams onto her. She’s not Hughie’s savior, her mother’s pet project, or a government experiment: she’s a fucking super hero, one whose core values have been challenged in every episode this season.

Some of those moments have been extraordinarily clumsy (her getting drunk and suddenly embracing the sexy Starlight outfit is… kind of a jarring turn), but they coalesce into an interesting distillation of Starlight’s inner conflict, once separated from the paltry romantics of her and Hughie’s coupling. For once, The Boys offers a female character whose strength is build on a solid foundation of character, one that isn’t a cartoonish villain (Madelyn) or an indecipherable enigma (Kimiko).

It’s a rather hopeful moment for the series, that it can grow out of some of the more regressive stereotypes it’s offered through the season – including this episode, like Homelander’s big opening sequence.

It is disturbing, on any number of levels, to watch him gleefully tear apart a group of unnamed Syrian soldiers during his first official mission (I guess?) as a member of the United States military. There’s literally no context given beyond “how cool is it to watch Homelander fucking shred some terrorists” – it’s a scene we don’t really need to get the point across, and dips into some of the more disappointing racial elements this series has struggled with.

Speaking of: what the fuck happened to the suicide bomber super villain? If there’s one ovearching issue with “You Found Me,” it’s The Boys‘ aryhthmic pacing coming back to bite it in the ass. With so much material to burn through with its central conflicts, there’s little time for other plot threads to follow through: Kimiko, Raynar, A-Train, and their entire plot lines vanish in the course of the final thirty minutes, while scenes with The Deep and Queen Maeve feel like they’re cut halfway through, material left for the already-announced second season.

The Boys You Found Me

Of the three I mentioned, A-Train’s sudden death is a bit disappointing: there was a more complex character hinted at with his role in the Seven, his addiction to Compound V (which nobody else has exhibited, even though they were pumped full of it in the womb?), and the relationship with his brother. This is a super hero show, so anything can happen, but his sudden death is a sad sidelining of a true tragedy, one with implications in defining some of The Boys‘ occasional metaphysical musings about power, purpose, and identity.

Where those ideas really hit home are in unexpected places: though her presence in the episode is brief, “You Found Me” gives voice to the founder of Butcher’s little group, the CIA agent we briefly saw during Butcher’s flashbacks. Having paid the cost of taking on superheroes (she saw her grandchildren incinerated by Lamplighter), she lives a lonely life watching the birds in the woods, the world’s most open prison to relive her life’s failures over and over again.

It’s subtle, but the unrest Butcher’s presence – and stern admonitions of her breaking promises – is rather powerful, giving voice to the helplessness of mortals in the presence of gods, enacting their will how they choose. She makes an interesting parallel to both Hughie and Butcher: a comparison test in what grief and trauma does to one’s humanity, and a grave reminder to Hughie that while victory and failure in battle is temporary, the pain he feels about killing Translucent, lying to Annie, and losing Robin is something he’s got to deal with, or he’ll be left choosing between binoculars and a shot glass himself.

The Boys You Found Me

Hughie is probably the character who suffers the most from his character’s inconsistency in The Boys‘ weaker moments; even The Deep sadly shaving his entire body has some meaning, a man whose completely lost touch with both worlds he swore to protect, a deserving punishment for the abuse he’s wreaked on them both (raping women, and half-assing his job in protecting the environment).

Hughie’s presence in “You Found Me” lacks that conflict for most of the hour, fumbling through his scenes with Annie and the other members of the group: but it does find its footing long enough when Hughie tries to save A-Train while he’s having a heart attack, no matter the cost it might be to Hughie personally in the future. It is a quiet (and, admittedly, quickly forgotten) moment of redemption for his role in the season’s events, a way for him to embrace life and reconciliation, rather than wallow in the violent darkness that consumed him earlier this season.

Of course, this doesn’t forgive what a manipulative shit head he was to Annie all season; but the scene also serves her well, finally putting her powers on full display, and giving us the aforementioned “I’m a fucking superhero moment.” It’s a strong resolution for another character The Boys‘ has sometimes fumbled to understand – and of course, the coolest fight scene of the season, the one time we see two super heroes go head to head.

The Boys You Found Me

I’m a bit more ambivalent about the ending: both in the clumsy way it explains everything to the audience, but how it continues to present Homelander as a character without nuance. To borrow from Antony Starr’s previous show Banshee, he feels like Declan Bode appearing in the Amish town: it lacks distinction, and feels nihilistic often just for the fuck of it. Though it takes the idea of an all-powerful superhero to its natural extreme, the expression of that doesn’t offer any room for Homelander to effectively express some of the emotions that lead him to burning holes through Madelyn’s skull (again: more violence against women! It really just never fucking stops).

He feels betrayed that she’s ungrateful, and wants to reiterate his ultimate power on Madelyn, revealing he’s the one who created the super terrorists for his own entertainment (and her fortune) – but now that she has a baby, he doesn’t feel he’s important. So he kills her, to reiterate his nature and prove to Butcher that he’s never going to get the vengeance he wants: it thoroughly paints him as an otherworldly monster, one whose absolute corruption is just a bottomless pit of viscera and toxic masculinity.

It makes him both a one-dimensional character, and one who is hard to understand: and for some reason, The Boys leans hard into this during its most surprising reveal, that Becca Butcher and Homelander’s rape-child are actually alive and well, hidden somewhere even the CIA Deputy Director can’t find them. Like many of its half-resolutions and dramatic climaxes, Homelander’s final reveal is halfway to being a truly moving, world shaking moment, one that renders Butcher’s entire suicide mission moot, and drastically changes our understanding of the world (since this child would be, in theory, the first naturally born superhero in history).

The Boys You Found Me

If there’s a unifying frustration to the many big moments of “You Found Me,” it’s that: while so many of the scenes are intriguing, many of them are slightly unsatisfying resolutions, just because they’re never given a moment of room to breathe, to let the air settle in the room to give an idea of how things have actually changed.

For example, it’s impossible to discern where Hughie and Annie’s relationship is: she broke up with him, saves his life, expresses disappointment in him, and he confesses his truth to her. But there’s no real shape given to these revelations, simply letting them exist as a connective thread to wherever it heads in its already-announced second season. It feels like a series of commas, without any other meaningful punctuation to surround these moments.

In other episodes, it made the big turns and dramatic decisions feel hollow: in “You Found Me,” The Boys is able to engineer some resonance with the modicum of growth its displays in its storytelling. There’s still a long way to go before it is the well rounded drama it could so easily become, but there’s a handful of encouraging moments it can hopefully build upon when it returns for season two (which it is already in the middle of casting; I have some thoughts on some of that news below).

As a whole, the first season of The Boys is a bit more shapeless and regressive than its premise promised; but episodes like “The Female of the Species” and “You Found Me” offer a glimpse of something more, a series with some engaging deconstructions of testosterone-fueled superhero culture, beyond a superficial, edge lordish application of these ideas that feels more enamored than critical (something its source material suffers from throughout its lengthy run). If The Boys can strike a more consistent tone in season two (and can stop murdering women for like, two fucking seconds), then Amazon might have something on their hands.

Other thoughts/observations:

  • random thought I had: it would be cool if they could merge The Boys and the recently-canceled The Tick into one shared world. The content of the former, with the tone of the latter, could make for a really fun series.
  • boy am I interested to see how this show handles Becca Butcher’s character in season two. It may be the most important unanswered question of the entire series to this point.
  • Wait… Homelander went back to Vogelbaum, and hints towards killing him? Why didn’t we see this?
  • I really like the Butcher/Homelander dynamic in their scene at Madelyn’s; both are working so far from the known realm of antihero fiction. It’s one time this show’s cynicism doesn’t drown everything else out in a scene.
  • I don’t get how A-Train finds Hughie and Annie? Boy, does that character… fall flat at the end of this season (please forgive me, it’s a terrible pun).
  • Boy, I wish The Deep wasn’t such an unforgivable rapist, because Chace Crawford really brings some sad hilarity to his performance these last two episodes. It will be hard to forget the gill penetration scene, though.
  • Not sure what the whole “racist security guard” scene was going for… at best, it feels like a cheap ploy to try and be socially relevant in some way? Whatever it was, it was awkward and forced as hell.
  • One thing I’m worried about: not having Elisabeth Shue in season two could give this show a major, major identity crisis. Her performance was the epitome of what this series can be, and it’s going to be a major hole to fill in the next batch of episodes.
  • Raynar appears to apologize to Butcher… then vanishes for the season. Was really hoping to see the government fallout of realizing how powerless they’ve become in the face of super villains debuting. Which… how were there no super villains before this? None are ever mentioned, that’s for sure.
  • Giancarlo Espostio and Jim Beaver both make appearances in this episode, which is a very exciting proposition for next season.
  • Shockwave’s new show? Wack.
  • Can’t express how much I love Mallory’s presence in this episode.
  • Black Noir remains a punchline, easily the most pointless presence on The Boys: here, he plays the piano for some reason?
  • And that’s it for reviews of The Boys Season 1 – thanks for reading!


A TV critic since the pre-Peak TV days of 2011, Randy is a critic and editor formerly of Sound on Sight, Processed Media, TVOvermind, Pop Optiq, and many, many others.

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Fran Tayto

    August 24, 2019 at 6:21 am

    Yours are the best reviews of this series that I’ve read. It’s 2019 and it’s not
    good enough for us to say, “It’s a superhero series, for God’s sake/it’s based on a comic book so has to stick close to that”, etc. This show is presumably aimed at men, dare I suggest young men….and it’s responsible to point out where the ball has been dropped and highlight just how often rape/violence/killing of women is used to drive men’s actions and/or development. I almost laughed (in despair!) when Homelander said he didn’t kill Becca and Butcher was left crestfallen. Ummmm…would rape of his wife not be good enough motivation for him, in any case? P.S. what about the baby Teddy and the nanny? Dead, I presume?

    • Randy Dankievitch

      August 26, 2019 at 11:55 am

      It’s so weird, how The Boys posits itself as a trangressive anti-hero series, because it is often just using the same playbook as everything it tries to condemn or satirize. It’s so strange.

      (And I’d imagine baby and nanny are splattered whatever’s left of Madelyn’s property.)

      Thanks for reading!

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The Boys Season 2 Episode 3 Review: “Over the Hill With the Swords of a Thousand Men”

The Boys’ marks an improvement and pays big dividends in an explosive, violently revealing hour.

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The Boys Over the Hill With the Swords of a Thousand Men

Half bottle episode and half coming out party, “Over the Hill With the Swords of a Thousand Men” is a sneaky little showcase for The Boys, and just how big its world’s suddenly gotten in season two. Though ostensibly an episode designed around two events – the boys getting stuck on the boat, and Stormfront revealing her inner racist sociopath – “Over the Hill” navigates a number of brewing conflicts in fascinating ways, building and building until the violent explosion at the episode’s conclusion. With a nimble script and a game group of performers, The Boys‘ second season is turning out to be a distinct pleasure – albeit one heading down a gruesome, dark path I sure hope it’s capable of navigating.

“Over the Hill With the Swords of a Thousand Men” navigates a number of brewing conflicts in fascinating ways, building and building until the violent explosion at the episode’s conclusion.

It does take a little while for “Over the Hill With the Swords of a Thousand Men” to get going; beginning three miles offshore with The Boys and the reunited super-siblings, the first quarter feels like it’s simply restating the stakes. It’s a nimble trick, though; led by Kimiko and Kenji, The Boys begins to feel like it is approaching a true moral quandary for the group. Which door descending into hell will they choose?

The Boys Over the Hill With the Swords of a Thousand Men

While The Boys often likes to posture its presenting characters with complex dilemmas, the show’s unnerving nihilism often upends any sort of nuance it looks for in its debates around “necessary” violence. Here, Kimiko’s presence throws a fascinating wrench into the proceedings; with most of the group’s members clinging to whatever mirage of family they have left (save for Hughie, who has… forgotten his dad exists?), even Butcher can’t deny having conflicting feelings about what to do with Kenji, and the deal that’s been offered to him if he turns him in.

Elsewhere, “Over the Hill” throws the brazen personalities of The Seven into their own little blenders, as Stormfront begins to sow discord through Vought, and abuse her powers to casually murder a lot of people – nearly all of them minorities, in a way that feels like an explosion of character, rather than an unpeeling of some complicated identity. Stormfront simply doesn’t give a fuck; and with her supernatural ability to manipulate feminist views (her speech to the reporters is magnificent, both in how it develops Stormfront’s character and nods to the simplistic ways in which the evilest people in society disguise themselves among the “good”).

While she’s kicking up tornadoes and electrocuting everyone that gets in her way, characters like The Deep and Homelander continue to benefit from the much-improved writing of season two. The show is still struggling to make Becca something more than the Ultimate Mother Protector trope, but Homelander’s warped sense of responsibility to his son is interesting, surely a bad sign for the upbringing of this world’s Superboy (will he also don a cool leather jacket and weird cyberpunk sunglasses? Who knows!). It’s clearly not going well; even he seems to recognize the danger in bringing his son’s powers to the surface, as its the first time in his life he’s facing a challenge as the world’s strongest hero (that is, until Stormfront doubles that total later in the episode, further frustrating Homelander’s attempts to hold domain over everything in his grasp).

The Boys Over the Hill With the Swords of a Thousand Men

It’s not going well for The Deep, either, as his slow descent into cult life is bringing his desperation for acceptance further to the surface. Like with Homelander’s stories, I wish The Deep’s story was a little tighter and more thoughtful (some of the body image stuff seems to be treated trivially, in a way that borders on insensitive and uninformed for the sake of easy jokes), but there’s no denying his character is infinitely more interesting this season, a test case for what a superhero trying to learn their own limits would struggle with. The Deep works best as a pathetic character, but not when it’s a pathetic character The Boys just kick around with bad punchlines; when he’s treated as a byproduct of a deeply flawed human being trying to find a path to good intentions, his fumbles and weak-minded rhetoric is much more amusing – and at times, the tiniest bit empathic (his sadness over Billy’s, well, butchering of his whale buddy was such an earnest, raw and twistedly funny moment).

The Boys has needed to accelerate its internal stakes for a while; the introduction of “super terrorists” to the world by Homelander, and Compound V’s reveal to the public might make the show’s world feel a bit smaller than intended – I think a lot about the “big” fight scenes at the end of Arrow‘s third season, where the ‘entire city’ is fighting, but there’s never more than six people around – The Boys does that on a narrative level sometimes. But as the stories of the show dig a little deeper into its characters – Maeve’s disillusionment, Homelander’s failure to emulate paternal behavior, A-Train’s desperation, it’s beginning to feel like the writers have a deeper understanding of its characters and world, and how to wield its inherent sadistic cynicism to more interesting ends. “Over the Hill With the Swords of a Thousand Men” benefits massively from that, setting up a number of intriguing dominoes for the back half of season two to knock over (in bloody fashion).

Other thoughts/observations:

  • Look, I’m bummed how the Kenji character played out; he was such an interesting character, an examination of everything horrible about what power and war can do to a human being. It’s sad to see The Boys dispose of such an intriguing presence, especially as its a death of a minority character in service of mostly white-related stories – however, with such a hateful, nasty character like Stormfront waiting in the wings, it is easy to see how the writers found their way down that path. (like, she could’ve killed Black Noir and this show would’ve literally lost nothing… just sayin’).
  • Can A-Train just collapse or whatever, so we can get this storyline moving? We’ve been doing this since the second episode!
  • Why haven’t we seen any reaction to Becca seeing Butcher in person at the end of season one? She hasn’t mentioned it or even had a longing look off-screen to violin music.
  • Man, I’m so glad they cast Aya Cash as Stormfront.
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The Best Golden Girl is Sophia Petrillo

Sophia Petrillo was a legend in her own mind who always had her way and like Mighty Mouse, always won.

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Sophia Petrillo The Golden Girls

A seemingly harmless little old lady with curly white hair, oversized glasses, and an innate ability to tell a great story shows up on her daughter’s doorstep when the retirement home she was put in by said daughter burns down. With a simple, “Hi there,” the world meets Sophia Petrillo. For seven years on NBC’s The Golden Girlsa show about the senior set—Sophia lived with her intelligent and extremely sarcastic divorced daughter Dorothy Zbornak and her two roommates, sexy, eternally horny southern belle Blanche Devereaux and sweet but dim-witted Minnesotan Rose Nylund. Each is memorable in their own way, but it’s Sophia, “feisty, zesty, and full of old-world charm,” that stands out the most.

When TV was full of generic, sweet grandma types, Sophia was anything but. Sure, she looked the part with her bifocals, pearls, and now iconic straw and bamboo-beaded handbag, but Sophia was always trying to make a quick buck. She conned Rose into going into a sandwich-making business that pit them against the mob, faked being paralyzed to try and collect insurance, and constantly “borrowed” money from Dorothy’s purse. Instead of helping Dorothy, Blanche and Rose get out of jail when they are mistaken for hookers (don’t ask, just Youtube it). She stole their tickets to go to a party and meet Burt Reynolds. She also stole Rose’s car, worked at a fast-food restaurant, and won a marathon. Not bad for a woman in her eighties. Sophia had a sharp wit and an acerbic tongue, blaming her stroke for leaving her without the ability to self-censor. She was always ready with a zinger or a comeback, some of which she saved for her very own daughter.

Sophia Petrillo The Golden Girls

Sophia Petrillo is the Secret Star of The Golden Girls

That’s not to say she’s all schemes and insults. Beneath her tough exterior is a kind woman with a big heart who loves her family and friends. Viewers don’t often get to see her softer side, which makes the moments they do seem that much more special. One of the best Sophia episodes showed her reaction to the death of her son, Phil. She put up a wall of anger which Rose was finally able to break down in the final moments of the episode, revealing Sophia’s true feelings of guilt over Phil’s cross-dressing as she bursts into tears. Another favourite was when Dorothy expressed concern about her mother not doing enough with her days. We then get to see exactly what she gets up to sticking up for her friend and causing a scene at the grocery store while claiming to represent a fictional senior citizens union, volunteering at a sick kids hospital and later, conducting a senior citizens jazz band. Meanwhile, Dorothy, Rose, and Blanche do next to nothing except sit around and eat. When she’s asked what she did all day upon her return, she simply says she bought a nectarine, and Dorothy, Rose, and Blanche are none the wiser.

But if Sophia has one claim to fame, it is her colorful old-world tales about Sicily, which often as not, contain a pearl of wisdom or embellishment of some kind. We would have loved to have known her during her “picatta period (a wedge of lemon and a smart answer for everything),” when she was the most beautiful girl at a resort and all the men fought over her (so beautiful, in fact, that she had “a butt you could bounce a quarter off of”). She was also once painted by Picasso and was best friends with Mama Celeste. But I digress. Sophia Petrillo was a legend in her own mind who always had her way and like Mighty Mouse, always won. Her hunches were never wrong, and rarely, if ever did she meet her match. Sophia was, in short, a one-woman show. And thanks to re-runs and fan appreciation, that show will never be gone.

  • Dasilva

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published under our old brand, Sound On Sight.

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30 Years Later: The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

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30 Years Later: The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
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