In episode 6 of The Boys, Vought Industries continues to push for the militarization of their Supes. Meanwhile, Butcher tries to manipulate Hughie by attempting to turn him against Annie. This comes after Annie’s controversial speech at the Believe Expo, which has put her on the defensive.
Vought Industries releases a new promotional video titled “Super in America,” which shows The Seven appearing to act like heroes for once (though it is emphasized that they are only acting). Courtenay hates the video, saying that it is meant to gain support for the Supes’ presence in the military. Another issue Courtenay has is the absence of Starlight, who has been missing from Vought since revealing her sexual assault at the Believe Expo. Two weeks later, newscasters are still discussing Annie’s speech and speculating about her assailant.
The rest of The Seven continue to film their parts for the promotional videos. Homelander is at his childhood home, pretending to have had an idyllic, all-American life before becoming a hero. When he enters his old bedroom, he becomes angry over a blanket on his bed and walks out. A-Train reveals that he discovered he could run very fast when he outran a bullet at the age of three. Courtenay wants him to change his story to avoid any references to gun violence. When she mentions Popclaw’s death and asks if A-Train knew her, he claims that he hasn’t seen her in years. Elena shows up at the filming of Maeve’s promotional video, and the two exes try to have a private moment together, unaware that the film crew is secretly recording them. Elena wants to know why Maeve has been ignoring her messages and acting strangely.
Homelander meets with Madelyn, angry that he has to fake his entire childhood for Vought’s promotional videos. Madelyn apologizes about the blanket and uses his sexual attraction to her to persuade him to finish filming. Later, it is revealed that Homelander was raised in a lab with only a blanket and a human target. His only interactions were when Vought’s scientists would play Peek-a-boo with him through a wall in another room. The blanket is one of the few things he remembers about his past.
The Association of Collateral Damage Survivors
Annie and Hughie are on a date when one of Hughie’s childhood friends, Anthony, approaches them. Anthony tells Annie a story of Hughie running away from a school bully, much to his embarrassment. Privately, Anthony admits that he has been worried about Hughie since Robin died. Hughie explains that he wanted a fresh start. Anthony tells him to live his life, as this is what Robin would have wanted.
Back at their headquarters, Mother’s Milk shares more information on Samaritan’s Embrace. Ezekiel runs the charity, but Vought bankrolls it. The charity has been shipping Compound V disguised as polio vaccines to 53 hospitals across the country since 1971. None of the Supes were born with their abilities, they were injected with the drug as babies. When asked about Homelander, MM says there are no public records for him. The Girl is an anomaly too, as she wasn’t given Compound V as a child, so how did she get her superpowers? Butcher says they have enough evidence for Raynor. He tells Hughie that Annie’s phone bug has stopped working. Hughie plays dumb, even though he is the one who disabled it.
Hoping to turn Hughie against Starlight, Butcher takes him to a support group for humans who have suffered collateral damage from the Supes. One woman became paralyzed after being rescued by Tek Knight. A male writer used to date a Supe called Ice Princess, who turned into ice while they were having sex and snapped his penis off. He still misses her, though, and writes it off as the price one pays for being with a “God”. This comment infuriates Butcher, and he goes off on everyone for not seeking justice. Butcher later tells Hughie that Homelander raped his wife Becca eight years ago. She went missing shortly after the incident, and he doesn’t know if Homelander killed her or if she killed herself. Butcher uses his story to remind Hughie who his friends and enemies are.
Frenchie suggests to MM that they seek out Mesmer, a telepathic Supe who hates Vought, to read The Female’s mind. Initially hesitant, MM agrees and meets with Mesmer at a comic book convention. He reveals to Mesmer that he knows Vought fired him for insider trading, and he has a daughter named Cleo. In exchange for reading The Female’s mind, Mesmer agrees to see Cleo for one hour a month under supervision.
When Mesmer attempts to read The Female’s mind, the experience is so intense that he accidentally breaks his wrist. Butcher arrives ready to kill Mesmer, but MM intervenes. On the second attempt, Mesmer learns that The Female is a member of the Shining Light Liberation Army, a terrorist group. Frenchie is devastated by this revelation and encourages The Female to share her story. It is revealed that she and her brother were kidnapped and raised as soldiers after their parents were murdered, and The Female was brought to the US to be trained as a Supe terrorist. The Boys come to realize that Vought is using Compound V to create superpowered terrorists that only their heroes can fight.
Butcher tells Raynor everything he has learned, and she agrees to press charges against Vought, but refuses to target Homelander specifically. Displeased, Butcher ends their deal and tells The Boys they will have to take Vought down on their own. Frenchie asks for Kimiko’s help in taking down Vought, but also offers to take her to the airport to find her brother. Kimiko ultimately decides to stay in New York.
The House Always Wins
In Madelyn Stillwell’s office at Seven Tower, Annie overhears Ashley being fired for booking Starlight for the Believe Expo, which resulted in a meltdown. When Annie enters the office, Madelyn scolds her for being selfish and arrogant, and threatens to fire her. Madelyn assumes that Annie is acting out in an attempt to emulate Queen Maeve’s rebellious nature and threatens to fire her. Annie explains that she wants to be a hero, not a celebrity, and threatens to reveal that The Deep sexually assaulted her if she is fired. Madelyn dismisses her and tells she has a lot to think about.
Queen Maeve confronts Starlight and accuses her of using her assault for attention, to which Starlight responds by explaining that she used to admire Maeve, but now realizes her image is just a marketing strategy.
Madelyn calls The Deep into her office and tells him he will be sent on a sabbatical to Sandusky, Ohio because it is only a matter of time before Annie or other victims reveal that he assaulted them. Vought releases a trailer featuring stock footage of Starlight and The Deep’s apology in order to spin the story of her sexual assault in their favor. Maeve tells Annie, “The house always wins.”
Later, Hughie and Annie are at a bar and discuss the possibility of leaving New York together. They kiss, but are interrupted by Butcher, who asks Annie about Translucent’s activities in order to upset Hughie. When Annie leaves to get drinks, Butcher asks Hughie what he thinks will happen when Annie learns he murdered Translucent.