The Boys Season 4, Episode 2 recap: The Truthcon is out there

One Supe maybe switches sides, and the Boys almost get pink eye in another wild episode.
The Boys Season 4 on Prime Video
The Boys Season 4 on Prime Video /

Despite blasting past the election in the season premiere, The Boys season 4 isn’t holding back when it comes to political commentary. And in Episode 2, not only do we get some extremely pointed commentary about racism, but we also take a trip to Truthcon, the place where conspiracy theories go to thrive.

We’ll get into the recap in a second, but first, in case you’re spacing out episodes (the first three season 4 episodes all dropped on Prime Video today) here’s the recap before the recap. Homelander (Antony Starr) has been working with Sister Sage, a new member of the Seven (Susan Heyward) and the smartest person alive, to destabilize America and gain control of everything. You know, little stuff like that.

Meanwhile, the Boys are split over what to do about Butcher (Karl Urban), who has six months to live and — spoiler — finally tells everyone about it in this episode. And by split, I mean only Hughie (Jack Quaid) wants him to stay on, but Hughie is off dealing with his father (Simon Pegg), who had a stroke, and his mother (Rosemarie Dewitt), who abandoned them when Hughie was 8.

Frenchie (Tomer Capone) has started sleeping Colin (Elliot Knight) at the encouragement of Kimiko (Karen Fukuhara). Both Frenchie and Kimiko have some dark secrets they’re dealing with at the same time.

And at the end of the last episode, Homelander and Sage framed Annie’s (Erin Moriarty) Starlighters for the murder of three Homelander supporters, including Todd (Matthew Gorman), aka MM’s (Laz Alonso) ex-wife’s ex-husband.

There’s a lot more to cover, but let’s stop wasting time and get into the real recap. Enough edging. That’s the sort of thing they’d say on this show, right?

The Boys, Season 4, Episode 2 “Life Among The Septics” recap:

The Boys Season 4
The Boys Season 4 on Prime Video /

Written by Jessica Chou and directed by Karen Gaviola, the show continues to absolutely flex with its cameos after last episode’s “Tilda Swinton is an octopus” reveal. Here, we open with director Adam Bourke (P.J. Byrne), who would very much like you to forget he exposed himself to Minka Kelly, directing a wince-inducing Blind Side-esque movie titled Training A-Train. Rather than his suburban upbringing, here we’re getting A-Train (Jessie T. Usher) “slinging yayo for gang bangers” as surprise guest star Will Ferrell says.

Fun note: Ferrell is credited as “Will Ferrell as Will Ferrell as Coach Brink,” and so beyond playing himself he’s also clearly playing a younger version of Clancy Brown’s character from Gen V, Richard "Rich Brink" Brinkerhoff. Probably should have saved this for the “cameos and Easter eggs” section below, but hey, that’s what copy and paste is for.

If fact, I’d argue A-Train is the emotional center of this episode. After resignedly dropping three murder victims off at the Starlight vs. Homelander rally last episode, plus the plot of Training A-Train, he’s about had it with the whole Seven thing. Later in the episode he tries to pump himself up by bragging about a save to his nephews, only for his brother to lay out how the whole hero thing is a hoax: they have stunt coordinators, special effects… It’s basically all a movie. At the same time, Hughie and Annie are attempting to corner him to find out more about Sister Sage’s plan… But when Hughie — who I will remind you, had his girlfriend murdered by A-Train — sees the guy distraught, he gives A-Train a moment to collect himself.

A-Train knows this, and gifts the couple the evidence they need to free the Starlighters framed for murder. It’s not redemption, it’s not heroism, but it certainly seems like A-Train is starting to flip… And if he and Hughie end up on the same team, wouldn’t that be… Interesting. Dramatically, I mean. Not emotionally. That’ll be rough.

Speaking of fake saves, our fave team of Vought writers have come up with a whole backstory and first mission for Ryan (Cameron Crovetti). They even want to call him Homeboy, which is awful and I love it. Homelander loves it; Sage does not. In fact, she thinks Ryan should go solo, much to Homelander’s dismay. And then later, she interestingly encourages The Deep (Chace Crawford) to join the save even though he’s on PETA’s Bestiality Watchlist. She also convinces The Deep to stand up to Ashley (Colby Minifie), which seems to both terrify her and turn her on. That’s sort of the whole concept of the show: terror + sex.

Anyway, Ryan does the save, Homelander messes it up by pushing him too hard, and Ryan ends up killing poor stuntman Koy, played by the show’s actual Supervising Stunt Coordinator John Koyama. RIP Koy, I guess there will be no more stunts this season! Ryan is distraught. Homelander doesn’t get it, and is frankly disappointed. So good news is Ryan is still human, bad news is that Homelander is finding out he and his son are not the same person, and Homelander generally doesn’t let people who aren’t him live for very long.

Just to wrap up talking about the Seven: Black Noir doesn’t understand his motivation and won’t shut up about it, to everyone’s dismay. It is, shall we say, hilarious.

The Boys season 4 on Prime Video /

Jumping over to Hughie for a second, he’s furious about his Mom coming back, pushing beauty products for Vought. And also it turns out she has power of attorney over Hughie’s dad. By episode’s end, he stands up to her because she abandoned him when she said she was getting tickets to see Billy Joel. And you do not do that to Hughie Campbell. Not about the Piano Man himself!

While we’re bopping around, Annie doesn’t have much of an arc this episode, but she does glow a bit, semi-inspired by A-Train standing up to Vought. The crowd of Starlighters love it. That’s pretty much it for her! This cast is so big that there's usually one person who gets lost per episode; last episode was Kimiko, this episode is Annie.

Kimiko actually gets more of an arc this episode, which is nice, but it’s concerning the direction it’s going in. She finds that speech therapy isn’t quite working, particularly as her therapist wants her to dig down into her trauma. But it all comes out thanks to her drinking eight Speeding Bullet Ale, and it’s clear she’s not quite done with the Shining Light terrorist organization that trained her; there’s a cell in New York. I say her arc is "concerning" because it definitely feels like we got all the juice from that storyline in previous seasons. But we’ll see where it goes. We leave her stalking off to deal with… Whatever.

Frenchie also has a wild, huge revelation this episode. He clearly likes Colin, but before we didn't know anything about their past. Thanks to a Zoom call with Frenchie’s friend/ex-lover/whatever Cherie (Jordana Lajoie) we now know more: Frenchie killed Colin’s family. That’s going to be some awkward third date conversation, I’ll tell you what!

Butcher, meanwhile, has a pretty simple arc this episode… He tells everyone he has six months to live, and is trying to get back in with MM. His goal? Convince the Boys to help him get Ryan back. Only problem, they hate him, he’s a rogue element, and the only mode Butcher understands is goading MM until he punches him in the face. At least Butcher has a beautiful picture of his own butthole he can look at whenever he wants to console himself.

Speaking of buttholes, let’s get to the meat of the episode. Most of this hour is set at Truthcon, a fringe conspiracy theory convention that isn’t too far from cons in our own reality. It’s pretty uncomfortable and gross, but it’s also where Firecracker (Valorie Curry) is set up peddling her “truth bombs,” which are Q-Anon style conspiracy theories designed to rile up the masses.

We also meet her roadie, who is in love with her: Splinter, played by Supernatural fave Rob Benedict. Hey, hope you SPN fans were ready for this, because I sure was not! Splinter can duplicate himself, but when he does his clothes rip off. So while Firecracker does three hours of Pizzagate riffs at her Truthcon panel, he goes into the locker room, duplicates himself, and eats out his own a** human centipede style while jerking off to a picture of Firecracker. That’s where Kimiko and Frenchie find him, and we get the second funniest line of the episode: “This isn’t what it looks like!”

Anyway, after Sage discovers that Firecracker is aware of her grift — she’s peddling hope to these people that they are part of something bigger, when really they’re just petty and small — the two set up a trap for the Boys. Given the team is whiffing it non-stop this season, that’s not too hard. But they have one advantage: Splinter may be many things, but he also has pink eye due to tossing too much of his own salad.

What ensues is one of the wildest fights the show has ever done, with multiple nude Splinters battling our heroes through the hotel where Truthcon is being held and ultimately falling into a Marvelous Mrs. Maisel-themed Bat Mitzvah. Shouts out to the Amazon cross-promo here, and it also leads to the first funniest line of the episode. When it seems like Firecracker and Splinter have the upper hand, she flips on the livestream and tells her followers that they’ve not only been attacked by the Deep State, but it’s also the Zionist cabal, and the “proof is right here.” At which point she turns the camera to on Tony Shlahoub, who is not Jewish, but plays Jewish on The Marvelous Mr. Maisel. The multiple layers of this joke completely obliterates the “proof” these wackos use every day in the real world, plus the Amazon tie-in, plus the whole ambience of a Maisel-themed Bat Mitzvah…That’s some A+ satire. Nobody is doing it like The Boys.

Back to the action, as you might expect, the bad guys do not win. Butcher comes in at the last second and wrecks shop, but it’s only with the help of a deadly Menorah wielded by MM that the team manages to kill Splinter and scare off Firecracker. Not the last we’ll see of her, but RIP, Splinter: you were way more disgusting than the rat who lived in the sewers and taught those turtles karate.

Unlike the previous episode, which ended with that horrible worm in Butcher’s head, here the only worm is his own… Brain… Worm… I lost track of that one, but he gets expelled from the Boys by MM, despite stepping up on the mission. Guess he’ll just give up and die!

Easter eggs & cameos:

  • [Clicks copy and paste] Fun note: Ferrell is credited as “Will Ferrell as Will Ferrell as Coach Brink” in the credits, and so beyond playing himself, he’s also clearly playing a younger version of Clancy Brown’s character from Gen V, Richard "Rich Brink" Brinkerhoff. Hm, getting a weird sense of Déjà vu here.
  • Proving that even a broken clock is right twice a day, one of the tables at Truthcon has merch touting, “Secrets Revealed! Soldier Boy Captured By The CIA.” As you may be aware, that’s exactly what happened at the end of Season 3.
  • Two great door plaque jokes at the hotel: there’s a conference room called “Deep’s Blue Sea Room,” and the bathroom is labeled “Queen Maeve’s All-Gender Bathroom.” She must absolutely hate that, wherever she is.
  • We also get a table at Truthcon that says “Stormfront is Alive,” which seems less true than the Soldier Boy thing, since we saw her die. But maybe! It’s Supes. Who knows. You know what, I’ll buy two T-shirts and a magnet, just in case.
  • Behind the Flatiron Building is a billboard for “Vought on Ice,” which we saw a commercial for last episode. If this is anything like Hitler on Ice from History of the World, Part I, which it definitely is, I can’t wait.

Does Homelander drink milk?

“Who wants a creamy, delicious milkshake?” Ryan does not! Kid doesn’t like milk! The kicker of that scene, where Homelander takes back Ryan’s milkshake to punish him, is some hilarious, silent acting from Antony Starr.

Does Hughie get covered in blood?

Again, no! It’s like they totally rebooted the show. Though also I don’t think I want Simon Pegg to explode or anything, so it's probably for the best.

Love Sausage Award for most gross-out moment of the episode:

The Splinter Human Centipede might be the most straight-out-of-the-comics moment this show has ever done. Which is to say wildly, insanely raunchy. And last season they had a tiny man explode out of a dude’s penis. How do you top that? A dozen identical penises. Mind you, I didn’t stop to count them, but this might be the most full-frontal male nudity on TV ever? If it's the same penis does it count as multiple penises? Game of Thrones could never.

Burning questions:

Who is Black Noir? He’s an actor, clearly, and there’s some mystery there, but will we see the man behind the mask?

What is Sister Sage’s plan? I didn’t talk about this much in the recap, but she’s the Smartest Woman in the World, so all these seemingly random bits like goading Homelander, encouraging The Deep to join Ryan’s save… They have to add up to something, right? Or is she doing the whole Dark Knight “some men just want to watch the world burn” thing?

Speaking of The Deep, are we going to get a follow-up to him and Ashley? You know, sexually? If so, I don’t hate it.

Is A-Train turning to the good side?

And most importantly: how much is Simon Pegg getting paid to lie there in a bed for two episodes?

The Boys streams Thursdays on Prime Video.

The Boys season 4 review

Next. The Boys Season 4, Episode 3 recap: Vought on Ice. The Boys Season 4, Episode 3 recap: Vought on Ice. dark

To stay up to date on everything fantasy, science fiction, and WiC, follow our all-encompassing Facebook page and Twitter account, sign up for our exclusive newsletter and check out our YouTube channel.