A new episode of “Gen V” will stream on Friday (or midnight Thursday), and who knows what insanity will play out then. Last week’s fourth episode of this first season lived up to its legacy of being part of “The Boys” universe, in more ways than one. Let’s revisit some of what happened in that episode to tee up the new one that’s about to drop…
The episode was written by Jessica Chou and directed by “Supernatural” directing alum Steve Boyum, so you’ve got the writer of “The Boys” Herogasm episode and the director of the one where Lucy the whale was killed in a way I haven’t gotten over yet. Clearly, this was going to be an episode that leaves an impression – and it did!
SPOILERS AHEAD FOR GEN V THROUGH EPISODE 4
I’ve Got a Weak Spot for Brothers Named Sam
The saga of little brother Sammy… sorry, Sam….continues in this episode. I’m here for the bonding that goes on between Sam (Asa Germann) and Emma (Lizze Broadway), both of them feeling like outcasts and on their own, especially after she tells Sam the truth that his big brother Luke is dead by his own hand.
You can’t really fault him for reacting emotionally to that news, and neither does Emma, who is remarkably calm in the face of Sam wrecking their hiding place and then confessing that he’s hearing voices. Emma seems able to do the “take me as I am” thing with Sam, and you get the feeling she may be the only one other than Luke who’s ever done that.
Sam’s terrified he’ll fuck it up though.
Sam: Everybody always leaves me.
Emma: I promise, I’m like you.
How terrifying and isolating must it be to have all this unwanted, sometimes uncontrollable power, and also know that your mind is constantly playing tricks on you? I empathize with Sam and I also find him scary as hell, and Asa Germann pulls off that combination flawlessly.
Amusingly, the voice he hears (and the hallucinations he sees) are of “Television’s Jason Ritter” and a The Deep puppet with talking gills on the “Avenue V” show, a Sesame Street/Mr. Rogers crossover that was so out of left field it made me laugh out loud. “Gen V” has a lot of mental health parallels, which means my psychologist self is always fascinated, including Sam’s psychosis. He hears what are called command hallucinations as Jason Ritter calmly insists that Sam just kill Dr. Cardosa from the lab.
Secrets and Lies with Tek Knight
Another storyline of this episode is celebrated God U alum Tek Knight (Derek Wilson) returning to the school to film an episode of his show exploring strange mysteries – in this case what happened to Golden Boy? He locks horns with the Dean (Shelley Conn) immediately, using his heightened senses to figure out when he’s gotten to her.
Tek: You’re sweating, adrenaline is seeping from your pores. Oh, and you’re ovulating.
Dean: You must be fun at parties.
Of course, Knight isn’t there to find out the truth, he’s there to cover it up – through “the usual – misdirection, obfuscation, find at patsy, destroy their life.” The Dean warns him to stay away from the school’s Top 5, but Knight interrogates all of them, making a show of breaking Marie (Jaz Sinclair) eventually. She admits that it was Jordan who took down Golden Boy, not her.
Knight has to admit that he can’t pin Golden Boy’s death on any of the kids, though. So, he threatens the Dean that he’ll pin it on her instead. Never underestimate some of the characters in this universe – Dean Shetty asks to meet him in an isolated actual woods and tells him she knows about the brain tumor he has, and that it’s the cause of his “unusual proclivity”. Which turns out to be him fucking anything with a hole – a car, a log, a vacuum cleaner, a traffic cone, a skull…
And yes, of course she has video. Flip that power dynamic, at least for now.
Oh No, Not AlCal!
“Supernatural” fans love Alexander Calvert, who played Jack aka God on that show for its last few seasons. Having had the pleasure of chatting with him several times, he’s also just plain nice. Not so much his character Rufus! We saw how that went for him in previous episodes, but this episode finds him over the whole ‘Jumanji’ thing and back to being a jerk.
Marie asks him for help finding her sister and he uses that to manipulate her – she comes out of a trance in his room, Jordan (Derek Luh and London Thor) pounding on the door and Rufus wearing just a robe and clearly intending to assault her in some way. (Poor Alex, his character’s introduction on “Supernatural” also featured him naked… but hey, this is a “The Boys” tradition, just ask Jensen Ackles about his Soldier Boy intro).
Jordan’s knocking interrupts Rufus enough that Marie realizes what’s going on, and in a panic, she starts pulling the blood from his exposed penis. In a scene typical only of “The Boys” universe, it swells and then explodes, the head blowing off, blood splattering all over a shocked Marie. A cocksplosion, if you will. I don’t even have a penis, but OUCH!
Marie and Jordan connect after in an adrenaline-fueled makeout session until they’re interrupted by Emma – who tells them Sam has gone after Dr. Cardoza. The gang (Scooby gang, should we call them that?) shows up in time to prevent Sam from killing the doctor or his terrified daughter, trying to calm Sam down by reassuring him that they loved Luke and tried to help.
The BIG Finish
My favorite part of the episode is the surprise we get next – Emma shovels a whole meal into her mouth in desperation and then walks out very very large (and very naked) and holds Sam down, telling him it’s all right, they’re in this together.
And then the screen glitches black – and when it returns, Marie wakes up beside Jordan. She looks as confused as I did, and I confess I spent a minute trying to figure out if the episode was glitching or if that was intentional. What happened? Was there a time jump or rewind? Did Rufus still manage to do something to Marie’s consciousness? Did someone else intervene?
Hopefully, we find out in the next episode. I only had time to scratch my head for a minute before the last scenes played as Tek Knight wraps up his investigation and then attempts to screw the hand dryer in a restroom. You can’t make this up. I admit I laughed out loud.
All In for Emma
It’s obvious that I’m an Emma fan, and I’m still chuffed about her becoming supersized instead of tiny. Now that’s a super power! It’s also right in line with the parallel the show drew, with Emma’s need to purge and make herself small and nearly invisible, to real life eating disorders. This is Emma daring to make herself large and in charge and very visible indeed, and I kinda love it.
Episode 4 fits right in with “The Boys” universe – it’s got sex (Andre and Cate are a thing now too, along with brand new Marie and Jordan), it’s got violence and blood and gore, it’s got sex and violence and blood and gore all mixed together in the most disturbing ways possible. It’s got humor (still laughing about all the holes Tek Knight finds and can’t resist). And, as Eric Kripke likes to point out, it’s got heart. The surprisingly tender new bond between Emma and Sam is currently my favorite illustration of how true that is.
And to add to my instant affection for a little brother character named Sam with floppy hair; a teaser tweet this week with Asa Germann lets us know that he’s a Soldier Boy fan. I knew I liked you, Sam!
Can’t wait for this week’s new episode – catch it streaming on Friday morning on Prime Video.