The Boys Season 2 Episode 4- Liberty, Doppelganger, The Valdaro Lovers, And Everything You Missed
Amazon’s The Boys Season 2 Episode 4 brought less gore but more emotional weight as secrets are revealed. Here’s everything you need to know.
You got to give it to The Boys. It isn’t afraid to go there. The series has no problem showing you the worst in humanity and then telling us we should feel sorry for them. It’s one of the things that makes it so successful. Only by acknowledging our own flaws can we hope to understand them. Everyone revealed truths about themselves this week, and it wasn’t just the Liberty jaw-dropper that caught my attention. Here are essential takeaways from The Boys Season 2 Episode 4.
Elizabeth Shue’s Madelyn Stillwell Is Dead But Not Gone
Thanks to Doppelganger, who has the handy ability to shapeshift into whoever he wants, Madelyn made another appearance. Homelander, who fried Madelyn’s face in a fit of rage last season, misses his maternal lover or at least the milk she provided. Doppelganger can fill that void. Homelander keeps him hidden away so he can pop in for a quick lactose fix any time he is feeling sad or insecure.
Unfortunately, our bad deeds have a way of catching up to us, and Homelander’s visits aren’t getting the job done anymore. In one of the most effective by wild scenes, Doppelganger shifts into Homelander himself, so the monstrous leader of the Seven can have sex with himself. It is easily one of the creepiest and yet fascinating scenes on a series chalk full of them. It speaks to exactly who Homelander is. Initially, he is intrigued by the idea but eventually kills Doppelganger because he secretly hates himself. Antony Starr(Homelander) never fails to deliver and The Boys Season 2 Episode 4 is brilliant this week. He somehow makes the terrible hero sympathetic.
Someone Loves Billy Joel
Billy Joel’s musical stamp is all over The Boys Season 2. In Episode 4, his social commentary anthem We Didn’t Start The Fire was used as a hilarious backdrop to a fact-finding road trip shared by Mother’s Milk, Hughie, and Annie. The fist-pumping song is an addictive tune that everyone knows at least part of. It has the kind of beat and musical rhythm that sucks you in and begs to be shouted. That is precisely what Annie and Hughie do, much to MM’s chagrin. Hughie and Annie aren’t burdened in the same way as Mother’s Milk, and for them, the trip is an adventure. They soon learn Homelander isn’t even close to being their biggest concern. The journey with benefits gave them more to worry about then the hooking up again.
Annie Loves Almond Joys, Charleston Chews, Bit-O-Honey
Continuing The Boys’ fascination with odd pop-culture food and drink, Annie takes a trip to the vending machine and makes some offbeat selections. It was Fresca last week and candy this one. Almond Joys are good. I enjoy some coconut nutty goodness. It has been around since 1920, and our soldiers have been big fans of the confection as the US military was responsible for purchasing 80% of the companies bars. It still cracks the top 15 candy bars in America so everyone can protest all they want, someone is eating them. Charleston Chews are not my thing, but many people swear by them frozen. So much so they are number nine. If they are eaten at room temperature, they plummet in popularity, though. Bit-O-Honey’s have been around since 1924. The honey-flavored taffy with almonds is a guilty pleasure.
Liberty Is Stormfront
The biggest jaw-dropper of the night makes Stormfront the scariest supe of The Seven. It also explains how and why she was into things like Pippi Longstocking. She has been abusing her skills since at least the 1960s, and probably before. MM, Hughie, and Annie managed to track down the sister of one of Liberty’s victims. They didn’t know who they were going to find. Liberty killed a young man, and Vought paid off the family to buy their silence. She is the superpowered face of a continuing police brutality problem that plagues our country in real life.
By naming herself Liberty, she made a mockery of everything Lady Liberty stands for. Give her your poor, huddled masses to protect and usher into the American Dream. Instead, this Liberty only wants to intimidate, hurt, and perpetuate bigotry. She isn’t the social warrior she pretends to be but a full-blown racist with an army of online trolls paid in Arby’s gift cards at her disposal.
Unfortunately, she isn’t wrong when she tells Homelander he doesn’t need 500 million people to love him, but 5 million pissed off soldiers. It’s a sad commentary on our current situation, but it is very accurate. Liberty/Stormfront may be over 70 years old, but she is social media savvy and very tapped into public mobilization. Whether she can regenerate, live forever, or just a really long time, Stormfront is terrifying. Homelander is terrible, but Stormfront is worse.
Homelander outs Maeve while he is being roasted about the whiteness of the Seven because he is desperate for adoration or at least fear. Black Noir, who is silently stalking Billy, the Butcher doesn’t identify as any race, so Homelander posits he fits the nonbinary role. When his interview with Maria Menounos doesn’t go as expected, he outs Maeve to save face. The two most important parts of this plot beat are one, Homelander needs control and respect because he is terrified Maeve will leave him. It isn’t so much about intimidation with her, but fear of abandonment. She is his oldest friend(if you can call her that) and perhaps one of the few people that even kind of understands him.
The second meaningful connection is to consider that Stormfront undoubtedly started #HeroesSoWhite. She is a bigot, but a clever one. As much as she doesn’t want any racial diversity in the Seven, she wants Homelander to lose his leadership more. Forcing him to answer these types of questions and making the Seven vulnerable elevates Stormfront’s status. It’s about well-timed sound bites, virtue signaling, and anger. Stormfront is a master at all of those things.
A-Train Is Being Retired
Poor A-Train is being put out to pasture. The sad speedster can’t run as he used to, and everyone knows it. Shockwave is poised to take his spot after a year-long victory lap curated by Vought. A-Train(Jesse T. Usher) has been deceptively quiet this season, here’s hoping this latest wrinkle gives the fast-moving hero something to chew on rather than something else for him to sulk about. It is a waste of Usher’s talent to keep him so narrowly boxed in. He was much more effective in season 1.
Jessica Hecht’s The Collective Guides The Deep To Marriage
Throughout the episode, there are interwoven videos of young women answering questions about love and marriage. The interviews feel like dating profiles because they are. The leader of The Collective, Carol(Hecht), is bound and determined to insert one of her own into the Seven. The Deep is that chance for her. He is a broken man who has hurt others because of his own self-loathing. Chace Crawford(The Deep) took a serial rapist last year and turned him into a pitiful mess in Season 2. Crawford fills The Deep with such all-consuming insecurity he has become the monster we cry for instead of the toxic male we hate. He has done awful things, but we now know why, and that makes him relatable.
Carol chose a wife for him because if left to his own devices, The Deep would pick an oversexed, under-managed woman Carol would have a hard time controlling. Instead, she chooses a chaste, true believer who will fit the image The Collective needs for The Deep to be embraced by America and the Seven again.
Who Were The Valdaro Lovers?
The perpetually entwined Neothithic Romeo and Juliet are two skeletons that were found during an archeological excavation in Italy. They were found facing each other with their arms and legs circling one another as if in an embrace. They were found in a necropolis, so scientists believe the bodies were laid that way. The male and female were no more than twenty. No finding of violence was found, so the cause of death is unknown, but it is believed the bodies dd not die embracing but where positioned that way later. They are together still today on display in Mantua, Italy, at the National Archeological Museum of Mantua.
Carol’s choice for The Deep recites the romantic story of The Valdaro Lovers because she has an idealistic view of marriage and love. This makes her perfect for Carol to control and for The Deep’s image. He needs to become a reformed Bad Boy, and Cassandra gives him the best chance of that. The odds of her accepting his powers, gills and all, is much higher as well.
Billy the Butcher Is A Moron And Becca Was Raped
Poor, dumb, crude Billy can’t keep his anger in check. He finally reconnected with Becca courtesy of Grace, but he couldn’t hold onto her because he is so afraid of what Ryan could become he can’t focus on who his mother is trying to raise him to be. His prejudice against supes has legs, but he shouldn’t hate every one of them without least considering other possibilities, especially when a child’s life is on the line. Becca is right to say she doesn’t want Ryan to turn into Homelander. Billy may not be entirely wrong, either. Doting parents weren’t enough to save Brightburn’s Superman from breaking bad.
The Boys Season 2 Episode 4 was a turning point for many of the characters. Motivations and backstories are coming into focus. I’m not sure I can take anymore Stormfront reveals. That supe is poison, and when Homelander looks “not so bad,” by comparison, we are all in trouble. Let’s hope those two never hook up. Catch all our The Boys coverage here.
As the Television Editor for Signal Horizon, I love watching and writing about genre tv. I grew up with old school slashers, but my real passion is television and all things weird and ambiguous. When I’m not watching and writing about my favorite movies and series, I’m introducing my family to the wonderful world of sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. My only regret, there is not enough time in the day to watch everything.