This review of The Boys Season 2, Episode 4, titled “Nothing Like It in the World” contains full spoilers. Check out our episode release schedule for The Boys Season 2 to find out when new episodes are debuting on Amazon.
After last week’s action-packed three-episode premiere of The Boys Season 2, episode 4 slows the momentum for a more character-driven hour of television. And even without buckets of blood from disemboweled whales this week, creator Eric Kripke manages to take the series down new and interesting paths.
One of the memorable themes permeating “Nothing Like It in the World” is the issue of discrimination, which writer Michael Saltzman effectively explores using a couple of key characters. Firstly, there’s the shocking reveal that Aya Cash’s Stormfront is actually a much older supe called Liberty, who we learn has killed an innocent black man for a crime he didn’t commit back in the ’70s. Apart from the head-scratching fact that she’s probably over 70 years old and still looks amazing, it’s interesting to see the show delving into complex issues like racism.
In Season 1, sure, we had Homelander’s questionable moral choices when it came to being an all-powerful being. But Stormfront is something else entirely and is perhaps the most dangerous character (so far) in Season 2 due to her duplicitous nature. Aya Cash, who is no stranger to playing complex characters (watch FX’s You’re the Worst if you haven’t yet), gives a dynamic performance here, especially during the scene when she’s confronted by Homelander. The way she makes him feel uncomfortable and doesn’t appear to back down from his laser-focused glare shows just how confident she truly is.
The second instance where discrimination is explored happens during Billy’s last conversation with Becca. While not as overtly obvious as Liberty’s example, Billy’s struggle to accept Becca’s superpowered son shows that he still has a blind spot when it comes to supes… Even for those who are still innocent. Whether or not he’ll be able to overcome his prejudice down the road remains to be seen, but it’s always enjoyable to watch Karl Urban show some vulnerability instead of barking orders at The Boys.
Antony Starr’s Homelander also has some fantastic moments to shine as the world he once knew slowly begins to crumble around him. All of the scenes between him and Madelyn Stillwell Doppelgänger (Dan Darin-Zanco) at the cabin are super creepy, and brilliant. Watching Homelander confront himself (so to speak) in the final scene appears to be a turning for the character who, if he were Kylo Ren, would probably say, “let the past die.” Even with Cash’s on-screen charisma, Starr remains one of the most watchable members of The Boys’ talented ensemble. While I don’t see him switching over to the “good guys” any time soon, perhaps he’ll forsake Vought altogether and chart his own path since everyone around him continues to lie to his face? Time will tell.
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While “Nothing Like It in the World” is a mostly strong outing for the series, one of the disappointing aspects is the overall lack of focus on Karen Fukuhara’s Kimiko. After the tragic loss of her brother in the Season 2 premiere due to Stormfront’s diabolical actions, one would think that a deeper exploration of how she’s handling the situation would be in order. Sadly, all we get is an awkward failed attempt by Frenchie to kiss her, and a scene where she’s contemplating an attack on Stormfront in public. While that surely signifies that’s she’s royally pissed off at Stormfront for murdering her brother, it feels like her story is a bit rushed here, and since the character is nonverbal, it needs to work harder to let us in on her mental state.
Another entertaining storyline in episode 4 centers around the trio of Hughie, Mother’s Milk, and Starlight, who find themselves on an unlikely cross-country adventure. While the group’s trip this week isn’t the most thrilling in terms of action and spectacle, Saltzman’s script uses the quieter moments to further develop the characters. Laz Alonso and Erin Moriarty’s scene in which the two of them toast to “fathers and sugar” is a heartwarming and impactful moment that gives us a better look at where these two characters come from.
And lastly, there are the always entertaining adventures of Chace Crawford’s The Deep, who appears to be searching for a compatible wife who will help him reshape his image and get back into The Seven. During the premiere, we wondered if it was really possible for The Deep to change and become a better human being, but after we see who his ideal pick for a wife could be, it’s clear that he’s still a pretty shallow dude… Oh well, it’s still fun to watch him fail.
Source: IGN.com The Boys Season 2, Episode 4 Review