In episode 5 of The Boys, the guys attend the Believe Expo to learn more about Compound V, Annie feels conflicted about organized religion, and The Boys make a disturbing discovery about the Supes origins.
Annie (Erin Moriarty) and Hughie are at the Believe Expo. It’s an event sponsored by the Supes-run charity Samaritans Embrace. The two bond as Annie reflects on her Christian upbringing when her mother Donna January (Ann Cusack) arrives. Ashley Barrett walks in a minute later, telling Annie they have to get going. She whisks Annie away with Donna, while Hughie stays behind.
Butcher and Mother’s Milk/M.M. are also there, surveying the expo’s security and CCTV. The religious Supe Ezekiel gives a lecture, claiming God gave Supes their powers at birth. He was also in the club Butcher took Hughie to in the first episode, engaging in sexual acts with other men. Security’s tight, so Butcher asks Hughie to use Annie to get a pass to an exclusive VIP experience. Butcher recorded a video of Ezekiel at the sex club. He wants Hughie to use it as blackmail to get information on Compound V.
During a teen roundtable, Annie lies about her virginity. She tries to tell her mother that she is uncomfortable, but Donna reminds her she was born with superpowers because she is a miracle from God. Later, when Hughie meets Annie, he has a vision of his deceased girlfriend, Robin. He asks Annie for a special pass to see Ezekiel, saying his dad is a fan. A suspicious Annie agrees to give him the ticket.
Goodbye My Love
A-Train travels to Havana, Cuba to check on Popclaw and tells her that Madelyn Stillwell is okay with them going public. However, Popclaw has to reveal who she told about Compound V. She admits she told The Boys and describes what the men look like, but doesn’t know their names. A-Train tells Popclaw that he was thinking about their first date and how she wasn’t afraid to be happy. He then tells her that he loves her before stabbing her with two needles, injecting her with lethal doses of heroin. Popclaw asks, “Why?” as she takes her last breath.
Back at Seven Tower, A-Train tells Homelander that Popclaw died from a heroin overdose. Homelander confronts A-Train for using Compound V, but A-Train swears that he quit cold turkey. Homelander hugs A-Train and tells him that he loves him, but his words are more of a threat than a promise. He also wants A-Train to find the missing girl.
Later, a devastated A-Train is in Popclaw’s apartment, watching one of their sex tapes. However, the video is overwritten with footage of Popclaw killing her apartment manager. Shocked, he sees Frenchie and Butcher blackmailing her. He takes a still of Frenchie’s face and takes it to Vought Crime Analytics. They tell him and Black Noir that Frenchie has 34 addresses and over a dozen aliases. A-Train tells the tech guy, Trevor, not to get involved.
Meanwhile, Butcher pays a visit to his sister-in-law, Rachel. He is furious that her family bought a headstone for his missing wife, Rebecca. Rachel defends the decision, saying that her mother is getting older and wants a place to talk to her daughter. She hits Butcher with some hard facts: it has been eight years since Becca went missing, the police haven’t found anything, and he hasn’t found anything either. She argues that the family needs closure. Butcher later destroys his wife’s headstone with a sledgehammer. As they say, everyone has their own method of getting closure.
Homelander and Queen Maeve attend a memorial service honoring the victims of Flight 37. Maeve starts having flashbacks of the disastrous mission during Homelander’s remembrance speech. As he reads the names of the little girl and her mother, an angry Maeve leaves the venue. Homelander follows her and explains that nobody wanted the plane to go down.
“We got to make the best of it,” Homelander tells her. “Otherwise, it was all for nothing.” Maeve is not impressed.
Maeve decides to pay a visit to her ex-girlfriend Elena. Elena accuses Maeve of drinking and skipping AA meetings, which Maeve denies. She admits to missing Elena, as they haven’t seen each other in years. However, Elena tells Maeve that she sees her every day, wherever she goes. Maeve realizes that she never left Elena’s life, while the opposite is true for Maeve. Elena tells her to go back to Homelander, but a shaken Maeve says she can’t. It’s too hard. The two kiss until Elena pulls away, saying Maeve’s not in a good mental state. She can tell Maeve is upset about something and tries to get her to explain what happened. Maeve can’t bring herself to talk about the plane crash. She leaves, saying it was a mistake to visit Elena in the first place.
Losing My Religion
Homelander arrives at the Believe Expo, looking for Madelyn. A terrified Ashley admits that Madelyn isn’t at the expo and tells him where she is. He flies to a pediatrician’s office, where Madelyn has an appointment with her infant son, Teddy. Homelander wants to discuss the speech he has to give. Madelyn says the speech is to get The Seven into the military. An annoyed Homelander is aware that Teddy is a higher priority and refers to him as an accessory. Madelyn tells him he needs to respect boundaries, but even she seems afraid of Vought’s top star.
Homelander returns to the expo, where Hughie runs into him. Homelander interrogates Hughie about his connection to Annie, asking if he is special to her. Homelander, who is an ordained minister for the charity, performs a re-baptizing ceremony for everyone present. This unnerves Hughie to the point where Homelander can read his blood pressure (150/90). It doesn’t help that Homelander held Hughie underwater for an extended period of time.
Once he gets Ezekiel alone, Hughie tries to show him the video, but his phone is no longer working due to water damage. Hughie improvises by claiming that the two of them had sex at the club that night. Ezekiel denies it and tries to strangle Hughie with his elastic arms. He stops when Hughie mentions the video and says it will be posted online unless Ezekiel tells him everything about Compound V.
Hughie calls M.M. to tell him about what he learned. Samaritans Embrace ships boxes of Compound V to hospitals across the country, passing them off as polio vaccines. He says a new batch is being shipped to the NICU at Mercer Hospital.
Homelander delivers his speech and goes completely off script. He claims that God wants him to avenge the passengers of Flight 37, but his hands are tied until Congress gives their approval.
“Psalm 58:10 — The righteous shall rejoice when he sees the vengeance and he will bathe his feet in the blood of the wicked,” Homelander says.
The cheering crowd eats up every word. Madelyn, who’s watching the event from her office, is pissed.
Annie continues to struggle with her conflicted feelings towards organized religion. She doesn’t want to go on stage, but her mother begs her to do it anyway. Donna has waited 23 years for this moment, and all her friends are watching too. Madelyn and The Deep (Chace Crawford) are also watching – The Deep is stuffing himself with junk food in the conference room, while taking a break from watching news stories on his “harebrained” idea of freeing a dolphin.
Annie tries to read from the teleprompter, but she can’t do it. Instead, she goes on a rant questioning the legitimacy of The Bible. She says there’s nothing wrong with being gay, non-Christian, or having sex before marriage. It’s not immoral, it’s human. What is immoral is the “guy that stuck his dick in my face”, but she doesn’t mention Deep by name.
As she’s walking off-stage, Annie says she’s done pretending. Anyone who claims they have all the answers are lying, and she’s confused and scared as everyone else. Hughie is the only person in the audience brave enough to clap.
When Hughie tried to congratulate Annie on her speech, she confronts him about using her. He finally tells her about Robin’s death. He doesn’t go into detail or mention his involvement in Translucent’s death. But he does admit he came to the event looking for a way out, and it wasn’t fair to her. The two apologize to each other and hug.
At Seven Tower, Stillwell can tell Homelander is watching her through the walls via CCTV. She invites him in, asking if he’s feeling lonely. Madelyn apologizes for neglecting him, but it doesn’t excuse the speech he made. She reminds him that he can’t be bad, and he has to listen to her. She unbuttons her shirt and makes Homelander lie on the couch. As he’s suckling Madelyn’s breasts, she tells him he has to be good, then they can both get what they want.
Where Do Supes Come From?
Butcher and M.M. are at the hospital when they find a baby receiving Compound V through an IV drip. The baby opens its eyes, which emit a blue light. They realize the Supes aren’t born with their powers, they’re created in a lab. Butcher gets his hands on a sample, right when security walks in with assault rifles. Butcher uses the baby’s laser eyes to kill all the security guards and makes his escape.
It’s a Miracle
Frenchie cooks dinner for The Girl, in hopes of getting her to speak. She tries to attack him instead, but this time, she’s on a leash.
Frenchie’s girlfriend Cherie calls with bad news — she saw Black Noir outside of her apartment. If they know where she lives, they most likely have his other addresses too. Frenchie calls Butcher to let him know he’s been ID’d and has to leave. Butcher tells him to leave The Girl behind. Instead, Frenchie lets her go, telling her he wants her to be safe.
Black Noir is able to locate Frenchie, but he’s rescued by The Girl. He runs off as the two Supes fight. Black Noir gets the upper hand and stabs her many times. After he leaves, Frenchie returns and sees The Girl lying on the ground, bleeding. Frenchie assumes she’s dead until she opens her eyes. As he watches her wounds heal, The Girl grabs his wrist, and he places his hand on top of hers. Frenchie calls her a miracle. But the real miracle is, despite this girl trying to kill him, he actually managed to forge a connection with her.
Cast In This Episode
Jessie T. Usher as A-Train
Karl Urban as Billy Butcher
Nathan Mitchell as Black Noir
Chace Crawford as Deep
Tomer Capone as Frenchie
Karen Fukuhara as The Girl
Jack Quaid as Hughie Campbell
Antony Starr as Homelander
Elisabeth Shue as Madelyn Stillwell
Laz Alonso as Mother’s Milk
Dominique McElligott as Queen Maeve
Erin Moriarty as Starlight