‘The Boys’ Recap: It’s Home Not-So-Sweet Homelander In Season 4, Episode 4

(Warning: Loads of The Boys spoilers will be found below.)

The Boys returned for its fourth and penultimate season last week, and I promised that there would be better-than-ever writing alongside the show’s customary depravity in this fourth season. This week’s episode, “Life Among The Septics,” is a leading example of that dichotomy working in tandem together. As always, there was almost too much happening to comment upon everything in an even remotely adequate matter, but let’s give this a shot.

Homelander’s visit “home” happens to be the centerpiece of this week’s mayhem (next week takes a completely different detour into other characters’ current horror), so congrats on the huge episode for “John.” Sorry, I meant “Homelander.” (Please do not laser me, Homie, like you did to this guy after making him unsuccessfully pleasure himself in front of an entire room of fellow scientists while you mercilessly cackled.)

Prime Video/Amazon

Where to start? Let’s recall how odd it was when far-right types melted down over realizing (during the third season) that Homelander has been a villain for the entirety of The Boys. He remains the worst Supe, and what transpires in this episode tracks with the rest of his most horrific misdeeds of the series:

– Sending a plane full of passengers to crash to their deaths while flying away;
– Making Deep eat his friend, Timothy the octopus, while the poor critter was still alive. (See also pretending to make Deep service A-Train while Ashley approvingly looked on);
– Rewriting the entire narrative of the Gen V finale’s most climactic scene and lasering the heck out of Marie while framing the so-called “Godolkin Four” as the perpetrators of the campus bloodbath;
– Yanking it atop a skyscraper and letting his little Homelanders fall where they may, causing god only knows how much collateral damage on civilians;
– And I could never omit Homie killing a civilian in broad daylight.

During this week’s The Boys episode, we receive some Homelander backstory when he goes back to visit the lab where he spent his childhood after being born as Soldier Boy’s biological son. Of course, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen earlier Homelander days. The Diabolical animated spin off showed us the disastrous first outings of Homelander as a “hero,” but this is the most graphically rendered scenario in which we’ve caught a glimpse of his upbringing, when he was considered too dangerous (from the moment that he was born) to leave the lab and stayed locked up as a Vought prisoner.

Now, the most evil Supe has returned home to wreak vengeance upon those who treated him so callously. None of what we see excuses what Homelander has done after leaving the lab, but at least we understand more about how he became this monster. And after he incinerated a scientist alive, lasered the aforementioned guy’s dong off, and then slaughtered the rest of the group off camera (leaving a pseudo-maternal figure alive but trapped inside the room with the carnage), this face emerges:

Prime Video/Amazon

Dude can hold a grudge. Nothing will ever fill the void in his soul, however, and, there’s no justifying anything that the guy does even if The Boys gives us occasional moments where it makes more sense. Oh, and Antony Starr previously detailed to UPROXX why Homelander is beyond redemption:

“I think the damage is done! I wanna say yes, but two things: (1) I think it’s impossible because this guy is so deeply screwed-up from what’s happened to him and the environment he was raised in and going from that to basically becoming a corporate product. I think he’s so messed up that there’s only glimpses and maybe a little bit of hope here and there that’s never gonna be realized; and (2) I don’t think you ever wanna see him redeemed. At least I don’t. I like the idea of the bad guy just being the bad guy. That doesn’t mean that we don’t wanna understand what makes the guy tick, and every now and then, have conflicted feelings about him, but with redemption as a broader sort of ideal, I don’t wanna see Homelander turn into some good guy.”

Looking back at these words from Starr, the homecoming scenes rolled out precisely as they should have according to the bylaws of this series. Yes, The Boys did so in an unpredictable way and highlighted every aspect of Homelander’s cruelty, but the outcome was inevitable. What we saw was hellish but spawned from an incredible performance from Antony Starr. (And the Academy won’t be able to stomach it come Emmys time — their loss.)

Some additional notes:

– Sister Sage is clearly evil on some level, yet I cannot help but enjoy how she’s the only entity who isn’t afraid of Homelander. Also, she nearly steals the episode from him — an act that would have been unknown even to herself — by instructing Deep to give her a lobotomy so that she won’t find him too “repulsive” to have sex.

– Kimiko’s major gross-out moment did get overshadowed, but you may have noticed that the part where she pieces her face back together is reminiscent of a certain Beetlejuice moment. Notice also that even though Kimiko doesn’t speak, she knows how to use an eggplant in a text message. Good for her.

– How is Butcher hanging onto life at this point? Temp V does some crazy stuff to humans, and the episode’s final moments suggest that we’ll get to see the effects on Hughie’s dad next week. This episode also makes a point of showing us a worm-like object inside of Butcher’s back before he passes out in the shower. And yup, no explanation there, so we gotta wait for it.

– Hughie is not doing so great, again. As I hinted in this season’s review, his stressful times have only begun. Hugs for Hughie.

– Annie January/Starlight is gaining dimensions as a character, which coincides with her becoming a full-fledged vigilante. The abortion revelation serves this arc well, and that might seem like a tacked-on, last-minute idea from the writer’s room, but the element of surprise is also important in how she reacts, and how the public sees her react.

– Yup, there’s Tek Knight with his true-crime show discussing Marie and the other Godolkin Four, who have “seemingly vanished.” Seeing Chance Perdomo back on the screen (after his recent passing) does hit hard.

– MM remains the voice of reason, always. Yes, he’s mad at Butcher (and justifiably so), but he knows that only as a team do they have a chance at nailing Vought, so he cooled Annie down, and Butcher joined the group again. They’re in business from here on out, and we’ll soon see how that goes.

Prime Video/Amazon’s ‘The Boys’ streams new episodes on Thursdays.