‘The Boys’ S04 Episode 5 Recap: Did Victoria Neuman Save Stan Edgar?

Families are complicated, more so in the messed-up world of superbeings in The Boys universe, and time and again we have been reminded of that through the series’ bloody shenanigans. The fifth episode of the ongoing season brings family dynamics to the forefront to assess both humans and supes from their respective positions—and helps viewers find a commonality in that. Previously, Homelander went back to his childhood ‘home’—the ‘secretive Vought lab where he was created, brainwashed, tortured, and perfected—and decided to exact bloody retribution for all the past crimes. Hughie’s father, who was on the verge of his death, was dosed with Compound V by Daphne, resulting in his revival from a comatose condition. On the other hand, after Firecracker belittled Starlight on a propagandist teleshow of her own by bringing up her abortion, Annie lost her cool and beat Firecracker to a pulp, resulting in presidential candidate Robert Singer severing his ties with the Starlight support group. While battling Ezekiel, Billy unlocks an unseen power while being on the verge of death, which turns the battle in his favor, reducing Ezekiel to a bloody mess. In the latest episode, the team goes in search of the supe-killing virus, which could change the equation of the upcoming battle between humans and the supes.


Spoilers Ahead

Hughie finally realizes his mistake and learns to let go

The final moments of the last episode ended with Hughie’s dad, Hugh, getting a new chance at life due to Compound V being injected into him, and as the fifth episode begins, he seems to be in his best shape already. Initially, there are no side effects, and Hugh feels so energetic that he finds it hard to believe that he has suffered a stroke. The Campbell family reconciles as Hugh and Daphne reminisce about their younger days, and Hughie is overjoyed by thinking that injecting Compound V was the right decision after all. However, eventually, Hugh starts suffering from bouts of amnesia, and his superpowers (phasing through objects) emerge in a brutal, uncontrollable way, leaving a bloodbath in the hospital. Hugh breaks down in fear and confusion; past trauma starts affecting his mind; and Hughie finally understands that he needs to let go. His guilt over not being there for his father in his direst hour of need had forced him to make the rash decision to use Compound V, and even though he decided not to use it, he didn’t realize how vital it was to accept his fate. Hughie decides to let his father out of his misery by injecting the supe-killing poison concocted by Frenchie into him, and thematically, this segment is the highlight of the episode. Interesting fact: Hughie’s character in comics was modeled on actor Simon Pegg, who played the role of Hughie’s father in the series. In this episode, he acted his heart out, giving a befitting end to the character. 


An Unlikely Partnership: The Boys Team Up With Stan Edgar 

Mother’s Milk gets a reality check when it turns out that his daughter, Janine, is trying to follow in her father’s footsteps, but learning all the bad lessons, like solving problems through violence. On the other hand, Kimiko, Annie, and Frenchie ponder over their respective problems when Butcher reveals what he knows about the supe-killing virus, which can provide them with an edge against Homelander and Neuman. However, with the virus at Neuman’s disposal—who is trying to modify it to kill Homelander—they need to come up with a plan to take it from her. Butcher proposes getting a presidential pardon to release former Vought CEO Stan Edgar, Neuman’s adoptive father, whom he wants to use to get the virus. Stan is temporarily freed, and Butcher offers him the chance to go scot-free if he helps them determinethe probable place where Neuman has stashed the virus. Stan refuses to help, but upon knowing that Neuman has dosed Zoey with Compound V as well, he undergoes a change of heart and agrees to help the team. Butcher meets Joe Kessler briefly, who expresses his disdain over Butcher’s team and advocates for extreme methods to bring down Homelander and co. 

Ryan’s Turn to the Dark Side and A-Train’s Troubles

Liberated from the shackles of his mind after revisiting his childhood ‘home’, Homelander indoctrinates Ryan with his version of brutal ‘justice’. Seeing Vought-sponsored director Adam Bourke misbehaving with his assistant, Bonnie, Ryan is encouraged by Homelander to ask her to slap the living lights out of Adam. Stuck between Butcher’s efforts to keep his moral compass intact and Homelander’s worldview of being a good father by allowing unrestrained freedom, Ryan is in a precarious state at this moment, and whatever course he chooses will determine his fate. On the other hand, Sage threatens to expose A-Train after deducing his role in leaking Vought’s confidential information. However, A-Train blackmails Ashley to help him, and she frames Vought media personnel Cameron Coleman as the culprit, leading to Homelander seblntec8ng to be beaten to death by the Seven. Cate Dunlap and Sam Riordan, two teenagers from “Gen V” who orchestrated the killing at Godolkin University, are seen in the Seven HQ, along with Tek Knight, as the annual Vought52 Expo commences. 


Why Did Victoria Neuman Save Stan Edgar At The End?

On the other hand, Stan leads the Boys to his farm in the west, which has been turned into a virology lab by Neuman and her lackeys, where they are testing Gen V on farm animals. Neuman tracks them down through Stan’s ankle collar and reveals that her lover’s daughter Zoey’s father, Vought scientist Sameer, who was working on the supe killing virus, has been missing with the entire lot of the virus with him. With her political career on the line, Neuman begrudgingly agrees to assist her adoptive father and the Boys to find Sameer, and by extension, the virus stash as well. 

Navigating their way through Compound V-pumped killer farm animals, the boys find out about Sameer but learn that the majority of the virus-containing vials have been destroyed, leaving only one intact. To get out of the perilous situation of suped-up animals patrolling all around the farm, the boys and Neuman decide to use the last vial to poison the remains of a dead scientist and use it as bait to kill the enhanced animals. Their plan works, but Sameer inexplicably goes missing once again, much to Victoria’s dismay.


Stan Edgar is sent back in a police van as the mission to gain the supe killing virus turns out to be a failure after all. However, Butcher is revealed to have abducted Sameer with the help of Joe and is likely to force him into making new batches of the virus. On the other hand, Neuman kills the authorities who were taking Stan into custody and frees her adoptive father—not only due to familial connection but also for mutual benefit. She doesn’t have what it takes to face Homelander, and Stan is also a much better strategist than her; he knows how to keep Homelander in check, although after the fourth episode we are not so sure. There might be a sense of guilt that is affecting her judgment as well, as her betrayal led her adoptive father into custody. In any case, the father-daughter partnership will not bode well for the boys in the long run, and it only adds to their existing problem from here on out. 

Siddhartha Das
Siddhartha Das
An avid fan and voracious reader of comic book literature, Siddhartha thinks the ideals accentuated in the superhero genre should be taken as lessons in real life also. A sucker for everything horror and different art styles, Siddhartha likes to spend his time reading subjects. He's always eager to learn more about world fauna, history, geography, crime fiction, sports, and cultures. He also wishes to abolish human egocentrism, which can make the world a better place.

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