The Boys: Why Did Sister Sage Need A Lobotomy?

Showrunner Eric Kripke has doubled down on the satire/deconstructionist aspect of The Boys, even more than creator Garth Ennis, mostly through two aspects: satirical topicality and unchecked graphic spectacle. Whereas the first aspect enhances the dexterity of the narrative, it is the violence that ultimately sells. Whether it is for thematic requirement or visual shock value, it is nearly impossible for the show to take a borderline normal approach to situations that involve super-powered beings. The fourth season is no exception in that regard, as over the course of four episodes it has delivered a number of scenes ranging from flesh-ripping tentacled teenagers to human centipede reenactment, which is liable to make viewers feel like throwing up. Among these, Sister Sage’s lobotomy in the fourth episode ranks on the higher side of grotesqueness, and the scene has an irksome context that fits in with the narrative in typical The Boys fashion.

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Spoilers Ahead


Why Did Sister Sage Need a Lobotomy?

Sister Sage, presumably the smartest person on earth, is the latest addition to the roster of the despicable superhero team, the Seven. Aside from having a stern, no-nonsense attitude, which doesn’t even spare Homelander from getting his fair share of backtalk, and an intuitive, sharp, analytical mind, nothing seemed to be extraordinary about Sage in the first couple of episodes. However, in the third episode, Sage seems to have undergone a radical mood swing all of a sudden, as she hooks up with Deep even though she despised him previously. A bloody metal poker comes to focus in this scene, which seems to have a connection with this sudden change of attitude, but it isn’t until the fourth episode that viewers get to know about its significance. 

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In the fourth episode, Sage asks for help from Deep to get herself lobotomized through the eyes, which is where the metal poker comes into play, and she explains that her powers are the reason behind such an odd request. As it turns out, having the smartest mind comes with the side- effects of an ever-growing brain. If Sage doesn’t get rid of the ‘extra’ volume of her growing brain, it can bear fatal results, just like those guys who got their heads popped by Victoria Neuman’s powers. Which is why Sage regularly needs to cut out part of her brain in such a fashion—and for a short span of time, the lobotomy affects her brain functioning in such a way that her personality noticeably changes. Along with the painstaking procedure, the mood swing can turn out to be a problematic trait, especially for someone who has already been targeted by the Boys. 

Sage’s ‘big brain’ problems offer new possibilities, which can be explored in the series in the upcoming episodes. Due to her strange affliction, Sage cannot afford to get captured by the Boys like Hughie and Billy, who kept Translucent captive in the first season, or else she will eventually perish on her own. Again, the fact that her personality changes after the lobotomy can benefit the Boys; they can pry out information when her mind is in a vulnerable state. We haven’t seen whether Sage boasts physical endurance or super strength to defend herself, and if indeed her entire specialization is based on her intellect, she might be the link that the Boys can use to get to Homelander at the end. 

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What Is Sage’s Motive Behind Helping Homelander?

Over the course of four episodes, Sister Sage has proved that her moniker as the smartest person wasn’t just a fancy title cooked up to make her appear cool. She is indeed one of the most intelligent characters in the series, as seen from the way she deduces Homelander’s personality traits with ease, turns the public opinion in his favor by planting false evidence, and restructures Vought’s internal systems. She had also recruited Firecracker, whose anti-Starlight propaganda eventually ensured that the Boys and President-elect Singer didn’t get to collaborate against Vought together and that the anti-Supe bill didn’t get passed in Congress. Within a short span of time, Sage has played several calculated moves that have put the Boys on the backfoot and brought her right into the crosshairs of the team. The inevitable question that arises is: what is Sage’s motive behind doing all this? She isn’t a narcissist megalomaniac like Homelander who gets turned on by setting up the chess pieces of the board; she doesn’t seem to be especially eager for superhero glory, fame, or other motivators like that. In fact, her initial appearance and demeanor were exactly opposite those of the rest of the flamboyant, petty bunch of heroes. Which makes us wonder: what is she even doing with the Seven in the first place?

One aspect that could be a possible reason for her joining the Seven and aiding Homelander is similar to that of Homelander, i.e., a necessity for validation. Despite being the smartest, she is regarded as a mid-level hero, not really liked by her peers, and she isn’t really sociable either. With Homelander swooping down at her apartment and knocking at her door with opportunity, Sage might be drawn to his request to join the Boys simply due to the fact she needs people to recognize and appreciate her intellectual talents. We might be wrong on this aspect, but having a common motivator with Homelander can make Sage’s addition to the series really interesting in the long run. 

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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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