Hughie and Butcher can't seem to stay away from the V, and Vaught has a new CEO in episode 5, "The Last Time to Look on This World of Lies."
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Last week's episode of The Boys saw Billy Butcher's (Karl Urban) plans fall to pieces before his eyes. BCL Red, the weapon the Boys have spent most of season 3 searching for, turned out to be a myth. It didn't kill Soldier Boy (Jensen Ackles) as they'd been told, and in fact… Soldier Boy is still alive. After the Boys found him in a top-secret Russian lab, Soldier Boy attacked our team, leaving Kimiko (Karen Fukuhara) in critical condition.

At the top of this episode, we find Kimiko lying unconscious in a hospital bed — still recovering from her wounds, but stable, with Frenchie (Tomer Capone) refusing to leave her side. Meanwhile, Butcher, Mother's Milk (Laz Alonso), and Hughie (Jack Quaid) debrief from the Russian s----show. MM's pissed, to say the least, that Butcher and Hughie took V-24, becoming the very thing they're trying to stop. "The whole point of what we do is that no one should have that power," MM reminds Butcher.

Back in Vaught Tower, we see exactly why that kind of power is so corrosive… as Homelander (Antony Starr) solidifies his stranglehold on Vaught Industries. Last week, he strong-armed FBSA Director Neuman (Claudia Doumit) into betraying Vaught CEO Stan Edgar (Giancarlo Esposito), thereby vacating the CEO position. And who better to fill Edgar's shoes than Ashley (Colby Minifie), Homelander's weak and pandering pawn, who's willing to do anything to avoid Homelander's wrath and keep her job?

We get a hilarious scene on the 99th floor with the brand new Vaught board, who seem to have been hand-picked by Homelander for their extraordinary ability to… well… kiss his ass. Though Ashley's got the CEO title, it's clear that Homelander's the one in charge. But corporate gamesmanship is an unfamiliar brand of combat for Homelander, and he's quickly overwhelmed upon hearing the term "IBITA". Guess we finally know Homelander's kryptonite… math!

This turn of events proves particularly troubling for Starlight (Erin Moriarty), who was at the head of the planned Homelander coup. And as if the shake-up at Vaught wasn't disturbing enough, Starlight's knocked on her ass when she learns that Hughie indulged in V-24. But Hughie calms her down by promising that he's kicked the V — not that they have more of it, anyway…

Except… they do, as Queen Maeve (Dominique McElligott) pays a visit to Butcher and hands over another batch of V-24. Maeve, who's been sober for several months, decides to assuage her misery by diving headfirst off the wagon and downing a bottle of vodka with Butcher. What starts as an intimate moment between two broken people suddenly turns into a ferocious sex scene, with Maeve and Butcher surrendering to their instincts and going at it. #QueenButcher? They're a surprisingly cute couple… I'm all for it.

At Kimiko's hospital, Frenchie receives an unexpected visitor… the Russian mob boss Little Nina (Katia Winter). Thanks to the destruction the Boys wrought in Russia, her operation has taken a major hit… and it's up to Frenchie to repay the debt. She needs him to kill someone for her — a Russian man and his young daughter. Frenchie resists, but Nina won't be denied, and Frenchie's left with a painstaking dilemma. But his spirits are quickly lifted, as when he returns to Kimiko's bedside, he finds her awake… and, for the first time in the series… she's speaking!

The Boys season 3
Credit: Amazon Prime

We all know the writers of The Boys love their musical numbers, but they've really outdone themselves this time by giving Kimiko and Frenchie a full-on song-and-dance rendition of George Gershwin's "I've Got Rhythm" as a beautiful expression of Kimiko's reclamation of her voice. But this gift comes at a cost…

Because Kimiko's lost her superpowers. How? The working theory is that the energetic blast from Soldier Boy rendered her powerless. Could this be the Homelander-killing weapon they've been looking for all season?

Speaking of Soldier Boy, the supe has found his way back to New York, and his entrance is anything but quiet. While walking the streets of Manhattan, Soldier Boy's stopped in his tracks by a radio playing Russian music. The song triggers traumatic memories of his time in Russian captivity, and he quickly loses control, emitting a burst of energy from his chest that levels an entire city block.

The Boys season 3
Jensen Ackles as Soldier Boy
| Credit: Amazon Prime

Meanwhile, A-Train (Jessie T. Usher) cashes in on his betrayal of Supersonic (Miles Gaston Villanueva) to land a face-to-face with Blue Hawk (Nick Wechsler), the racist supe who's been terrorizing the Black community in Newark. A-Train insists on Blue Hawk issuing an apology, and Blue Hawk acquiesces… sort of. What starts as a pathetic, scripted mea culpa to a group of Black citizens (A-Train's brother included) quickly turns into a literal fist-fight, with Blue Hawk attacking the people he's supposed to be apologizing to… and in the process, crippling A-Train's brother.

Back with the Boys, Butcher and MM take Hughie to visit a former Vaught employee known as The Legend (Paul Reiser), seeking information on Soldier Boy's whereabouts. After a hilariously cringeworthy scene in The Legend's man-cave, he tells them where to find Soldier Boy: he's going after his ex-flame Crimson Countess (Laurie Holden).

The final act of the episode sees the Boys capture Crimson Countess and use her as bait to lure in Soldier Boy. But to their surprise… they're not alone on this mission, as MM's called Starlight in for backup. And that's bad news for Hughie… because he's broken his promise to her and taken another hit of V-24. 

As Soldier Boy murders Crimson Countess and strikes a deal to work with Butcher and the Boys to take down Homelander, Hughie is faced with a difficult decision. Starlight wants him to ditch the Boys and come back to the light… but Hughie's too wrapped up in his power trip to listen. He turns his back on Starlight, leaving her totally crushed, and more alone than ever before.

Paul Reiser in the Boys season 3
Paul Reiser as The Legend
| Credit: Amazon Prime

Other Observations:

  • Blue Hawk has quickly turned into a more hateable villain than Homelander, bolstered by his insufferable rant to a group of Black people about how "Supe lives matter!" F— that guy.
  • Loved the appearance by The Boys EP Seth Rogen as the repulsive "sir-cums-alot-779," who's hired ex-superhero Crimson Countess for a private video session to engage in some… err… extra-curricular activities.
  • Paul Reiser's having a hell of a year, from Stranger Things 4 to his thoroughly entertaining appearance in this week's episode. I could watch a full hour of him regaling Hughie with stories of his sexcapades with old movie stars Hughie's never heard of. Seriously hope we haven't seen the last of this character.
  • The ever-incompetent Deep (Chace Crawford) taking over as head of crime analytics is what happens when an unqualified dictator installs sycophantic puppets in key positions around him. Thank god this is just fiction….

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