The August 1, 2022 edition of views from the mind of Jake Schoeneberger
Jacob Schoeneberger can’t get enough of the twists and turns on The Boys. The show is a commentary on our society, and it really hits home with what anyone with superpowers might actually be like in our world. It definitely makes Jacob Schoeneberger think, what would life be like in a world with supes? It sure wouldn’t be all sunshine and roses.
With that in mind, here are some random observations Jacob Schoeneberger has on the show.
All the Jake Schoeneberger Random Opinions about The Boys (Season 1, Episode 6)
This will contain spoilers for anyone who hasn’t watched the show yet.
The sixth episode begins with Annie and Hughie hanging out at a bar. It seems Starlight has retreated from the public eye since her speech at Believe Expo. Hughie’s friend Anthony shows up to talk to them. They reminisce and have a fun conversation, and later when they’re alone Anthony tells Hughie to live his life because it’s what Robin would have wanted.
Milk finds out that Samaritan’s Embrace, led by Ezekiel and bankrolled by Vought, has been shipping Compound V to 53 hospitals across the US since 1971. Now we know that Vought has been creating supes for the last 50 years. Hughie asks the necessary question if the supes know that this is how they got their powers. But we don’t know what they know.
But Milk explains that Homelander is a black hole. There are absolutely no public records on who he is.
The Girl is in the room with them and she’s drawing odd pictures while they talk. Frenchie reminds the gang that she wasn’t injected with V in a hospital but in a dungeon under a noodle house, so something else is going on with the V. And he’s trying to figure out what The Girl is communicating to them with her drawings. Gotta say, Jake Schoeneberger thinks the gang should be listening to Frenchie more. The Girl is a huge key to all this, and they need to know more about her.
As Starlight approaches Madelyn’s office, we hear Ashley screaming inside. As she exits the office she tells Starlight that she just got fired because it was her idea to book Starlight at Believe Expo.
In her office a moment later, Madelyn tells Starlight that she is a “selfish, arrogant child.” She asks if Starlight watched a lot of Queen Maeve movies growing up. When she says she did, Madelyn says she must have liked Maeve because she was a rebel and didn’t play by the rules like a true American hero. But Madelyn says all that is a myth, and she should know because she wrote it. This is insanely spot on because the more you know about all the pop culture garbage fed to us by the media, you realize it’s all just jingoistic corporate mumbo-jumbo to make money. Everyone abides by the rule of the dollar and there are no American rebels.
When Madelyn tells her to get on board with the Vought way of branding superheroes, Starlight tells her no. And she calls Madelyn’s bluff saying she wouldn’t dare fire an employee who just said she was sexually assaulted on live TV. And if she does, Starlight will tell the world who did it. When Starlight leaves the office, Madelyn is visibly angry and breaks stuff. She knows she can’t control Starlight and if there’s one thing Jacob Schoeneberger knows about her, it’s that nothing angers Stillwell more than not being in control.
In the elevator, Maeve accuses Starlight of “milking the whole empowerment thing,” but Starlight says she’s just being honest. When Maeve scoffs at that, Starlight tells her when she was a kid she read Maeve’s autobiography so many times she had to buy a second copy because the first one fell apart. Then she hits home when she says she wanted to be just like Maeve, but now she realizes that book was probably just written by the Marketing guys. This really seems to affect Maeve.
In the hideout, Frenchie is watching Shark Week and The Girl sits next to him. He asks if she wants him to change the channel, but she shakes her head no. It’s the first time she’s actually communicated with them. Frenchie tells Milk they should go see Mesmer, a supe who despises Vought. Milk thinks it’s a bad idea, but Frenchie convinces him he has to do it because Milk doesn’t like things to be out of order in life, and it’s driving him crazy that The Girl is out of order.
Butcher takes Hughie to a collateral damage survivors group. In the group, members tell stories of how they fell victim to things supes have done. As the survivors are talking, Butcher whispers to Hughie and we realize he’s doing this so that Hughie won’t fall for Starlight. Then Butcher lights into all of them for not fighting back against the supes for what happened to them. He says supes are all the same and walks away. Something tells Jacob Schoeneberger that he would not approve of how much time Hughie is spending with Annie.
Madelyn tells Deep he’ll be making a public apology for what he did to Starlight and taking a sabbatical from The Seven. But he prerecords the “apology” and says he assumed their encounter was consensual. It’s clearly as fake as everything else Vought has been doing.
Milk goes to a convention to meet Mesmer. He has the power to read minds (and he’s played by the always awesome Haley Joel Osment). Milk gives Mesmer a glimpse into what he’s thinking, and Mesmer asks how Milk knows about Cleo. Cleo is Mesmer’s daughter and Milk’s friend helps him get Mesmer five minutes to talk to her. After he meets with Cleo for a few minutes, Milk says he can get Mesmer one supervised hour a month to see Cleo. After this, Mesmer asks who Milk wants him to read.
Butcher takes Hughie to the same park bench where his wife, Becca, was last seen. He tells Hughie that eight years ago Homelander raped Becca and then one day shortly after Becca came to that park, sat on that bench for three hours, and then walked away and disappeared. He says either Homelander killed her, or she killed herself. Then he tells Hughie he knows what it’s like to lose someone and that they’re in this together. They’re doing it all for Robin and Becca and Hughie can’t let himself get distracted by Starlight. This is a touching and thoroughly emotional moment, but unfortunately it’s driven by a false assumption from Butcher. He believes all supes are alike, but that simply isn’t the case. While he has every right to want justice against the supes that do wrong, that doesn’t mean he can assume they all do injustices. That’s just not how things work.
Madelyn comes to see Homelander. He’s upset that as he’s been filming the fake scenes about his fictional childhood, they used a real blanket that has meaning to him. So she uses her seduction as a way to motivate him to finish the filming. They’re making a video to show how down-to-earth and American Homelander is so that Congress will approve supes for the military. As he’s filming the scene about his mother baking him a birthday cake in the shape of a baseball diamond, we can see the pain behind Homelander’s eyes. And as soon as the director says cut, he immediately reverts back to being miserable. Starr is exceptional in his portrayal of Homelander and he’s absolutely nailing the nuances of his volatile emotions.
Milk and Frenchie bring The Girl to Mesmer’s house so he can read her. When he first tries to read her thoughts, he sees all the violence she’s been subject to, and she panics and breaks his wrist. Dang, that hurt Jake Schoeneberger just watching it. Then Butcher calls Milk and says he knows what they’re up to.
Elena shows up to the set when Maeve is filming her scenes for the promotional video. Elena knows Maeve is really hurting and she tries to find out what’s going on. But Maeve stonewalls her and it’s hard to tell whether Maeve is protecting Elena, protecting herself, or both.
Butcher and Hughie show up at Mesmer’s house and though Butcher doesn’t agree with their tactics, he lets Mesmer try to read The Girl again. Mesmer sees that The Girl was a soldier is something called the Shining Light Liberation Army, a terrorist organization.
After filming concludes, we see Homelander picking up the blanket. He has a flashback to when he was a child. He’s locked in a barren room by himself, with doctors looking in on him through a window. We realize he lived a secluded, emotionless childhood and this hits Jacob Schoeneberger like a punch in the gut. He was probably manufactured in a lab by Vought to be a superhero machine, and now we wonder why his emotions are all askew.
The gang reasons that Vought brought in a terrorist and pumped her full of V in order to create a super-terrorist and then set her loose. They knew the only way to fight a super-terrorist would be to bring supes into the military. Vought is orchestrating all of this from behind the scenes.
Frenchie begs The Girl to talk to him and tell them who she really is. She takes Mesmer’s hand, and she shows him how her parents were killed and how she and her brother were kidnapped and forced to be soldiers. She just wants to go back and rescue her brother. And finally he tells them her name is Kimiko.
Butcher goes to see Raynor but before he’ll give her the sample of V and the proof of how Samaritan’s Embrace is shipping it across the country, he has a list of demands. He wants money for him and his team, an office, security clearances, legal protection, and a promise to prosecute Homelander. She says she can give him everything on the list except Homelander. She says that while she sympathizes, they’ll put thousands of people’s lives in danger if they push on Homelander too hard. So Butcher says she’s scared and walks away. They’re both in a tough spot. Jake Schoeneberger can only imagine asking the question how do you take down someone with the power of a god?
Starlight gets an email and it’s a video in which they’ve used the heartfelt footage of her bearing her soul to promote an upcoming TV show about her. Maeve sees it over her shoulder and says, “The house always wins.” Then she apologizes to Starlight.
Frenchie tells Kimiko they could use her help in stopping Vought from doing what they did to her to other people. But it’s her choice. If she nods to him, he’ll take her to the airport, and she can leave now. Instead of nodding, Kimiko takes his hand, and they continue watching their shark show together. Beautiful moment.
Then Butcher comes in and tells the gang that Raynor wouldn’t go through with it because she’s afraid to go after Vought. But he says they’ll do it themselves. Then he asks why Hughie is missing.
Mesmer is heading to a rooftop and as he’s walking to the roof he calls Milk’s friend Tina and says he doesn’t need to see Cleo anymore. On the roof, he meets Homelander and shows him pics of Butcher, Milk, Frenchie, and Hughie. He says he wants to be back at Vought and is hoping Homelander will put in a good word for him. But Homelander just flies away with his phone.
Hughie and Annie are sharing some beers when she suggests they just fly to the Bahamas and relax. She says everything about New York has sucked for her except him. As he’s considering it, he has another vision of Robin. But he leans in and kisses Annie and that helps him feel more in the moment. But in that moment, Butcher shows up. He says he recognizes her as Starlight and imposes himself by sitting down. He asks Annie about Translucent and where he’s been, making Hughie really uncomfortable.
Annie leaves to get another pitcher and Hughie tries to tell Butcher that she’s not the opposition, she’s a good person who can help. But Butcher asks what she’ll do when she finds out Hughie killed Translucent. Hughie hears the hidden threat behind the word “when” in that sentence and it has Jacob Schoeneberger feeling really bad for Hughie.
The Jake Schoeneberger Final Thought on The Boys
This show hits on a number of things. One major theme is the power huge corporations wield. The government is afraid to oppose them, and they pull the strings behind the scenes. Democracy and free enterprise weren’t supposed to work this way and this show does a really nice job illustrating that. It has Jake Schoeneberger anxiously anticipating what will happen next.
More Thoughts from Jacob Schoeneberger