‘The Bloody Doors Off’ (The Boys season 2 episode 6) doesn’t actually introduce Lamplighter (Shawn Ashmore) – yet another member of The Seven who was booted for bad behaviour – but he gets his first major bit of screen time after a brief cameo in episode five. This week’s instalment is packed with revelations, backstories, and the usual nasty bits. So let’s blow the bloody doors off and get to it:
— The Boys (@TheBoysTV) September 24, 2020
Gnarliest violence: a new supe blows up an orderly or two
The Boys are back together and on another slightly vague mission that goes sideways almost immediately! Thanks to laptop snooping from Starlight (Erin Moriarity), the gang has their sights set on Sage Growth, a psychiatric hospital in Pennsylvania. Butcher (Karl Urban), Hughie (Jack Quaid), Frenchie (Tomer Capon), Mother’s Milk (Laz Alonso), Kimiko (Karen Fukuhara) and Starlight all head out to investigate. They’re spotted by former Seven member Lamplighter, who’s working as a flunky who incinerates uncooperative patients on demand. The ensuing conflict winds up setting loose a new supe who has a shaved head and a serious grudge. She splatters several staffers into bloody stains and frees the other “patients”. When another supe inflicts a grievous injury on Hughie, Butcher and Starlight take off to get him help, leaving Frenchie, Kimiko, M.M. and Lamplighter to fight their way out. Stormfront (Aya Cash) shows up, but Lamplighter covers for his former sorta-coworkers, and leaves with them once the violence subsides – that is, once Stormfront kills her way through a clean-up job, offscreen.
Name that tune: ’60s rockers The Turtles make the Homelander-Stormfront sex playlist
The previous episode ended with Homelander and Stormfront consummating their partnership with some extreme super-sex. They pick up in ‘The Bloody Doors Off’ by stopping a robbery, toying with one of the robbers like particularly meagre prey. As Stormfront engages Homelander in some heavy petting, he bursts the poor guy’s head clean open. This doesn’t hinder the new couple in the least; it’s just foreplay for another blood-smeared round of hate-sex. They are, as a cutesy retro needle-drop points out, ‘Happy Together’ (from the Turtles album of the same name).
But the Turtles-scored bliss doesn’t last. Homelander reveals his bad-boyfriend bona fides again when he seethes about Stormfront missing a lunchtime sex date. In an uncharacteristically quiet bit of comic relief (for this show), there’s a cut straight from Homelander brooding in his trailer, waiting for Stormfront to show up, to the trailer in cinders after his superpowered hissy fit. He keeps things passive-aggressive when Stormfront does show up, because he knows she’s lying about having some quick business at Vought tower – she was actually off at Sage, zapping her way through test subjects.
This temporary rift – and Homelander’s frightening, threatening temper – causes Stormfront to reveal some more backstory. She was born in 1919 Germany, and grew into close connections with the Third Reich. Which means she’s not actually a neo-Nazi, as previously assumed. She’s a real-deal, original-recipe Nazi – as was the original Vought, who she married back in WWII-era Germany, and who made her the first supe. It’s a twisted riff on Captain America’s ‘First Avenger’ status – and it leaves Homelander and Stormfront just where they left off last time: in a passionate, superpowered clinch.
Hero Watch: the fall of the Seven
Starlight commits the most direct insurrection against her employers with her Boys adventure, but the rest of the team is in quieter disarray. The Deep (Chace Crawford) has been reaching out to several old teammates, locating crucial cell-phone footage of last season’s horrific plane crash to turn over to Queen Maeve (Dominique McElligott), who’s plotting to blackmail Homelander. Deep also brings about-to-be-ousted A-Train (Jessie T. Usher) to dinner with the head of the Church of the Collective. It’s awkward, but maybe it’s better than listening to a white dude rap the demo for A-Train’s new movie theme song, which supposedly will be re-recorded by Lil Nas X. Oh, and that powerful, unnamed lady supe with the shaved head, from the Sage Growth facility? She gets the last shot of the episode, successfully hitchhiking away from the wreckage.
The week’s biggest question: What’s next for Lamplighter?
The second-biggest question, of course, is: Was Frenchie in a throuple in those eight-years-ago flashbacks? At the very least, he seemed very close to both the main girl and main guy in his life as a drug-addled criminal who extols the virtues of those “saucy ladies” from American TV, the Golden Girls. But when Frenchie’s lusty gang gets caught in a robbery, he’s pressed into anti-supe service by Grace Mallory (Laila Robbins). The occasional Frenchie flashbacks continue with a later scene revealing that this original incarnation of the Boys recruited Lamplighter as an informant (just like his eventual replacement Starlight!). It turns out that when Lamplighter (accidentally) killed Grace’s grandchildren, a mishap much-discussed in the first season, Frenchie was supposed to be keeping tabs on him. Now, following the destruction of Sage Growth, Lamplighter is back in the fold, and Frenchie convinces Grace not to execute him in revenge. So is Lamplighter committing the full-time (if somewhat nebulous) mission of the Boys, doing some more temporary undercover work, or something else entirely? It seems like he’s set up to play a big part in the last two episodes of the season.