The Boys Season 4, Episode 4 Explained: Homelander Wants His Audience To Feel Sorry For Him

By Daniel Hart
Published: June 20, 2024 (Last updated: 2 weeks ago)
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Homelander in The Boys Season 4, Episode 4 as part of recap and review
Homelander returns to his home, Vought's lab, in Episode 4 of The Boys Season 4 - “Wisdom of the Ages” (Credit - Prime Video)

WARNING: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS

4

Summary

The Boys steps up the story in Season 4 with pivotal moments for Starlight and Homelander.

As I enjoyed The Boys Season 4, Episode 4, I realized that Homelander breaks the fourth wall—not by looking at the camera and talking to us, but by the character wanting the audience to feel a certain way for him due to his significant insecurity. It takes a pivotal character in “Wisdom of the Ages” to settle our perspective of Homelander: he’s a monster.

Homelander’s visit to his home is not pleasurable viewing at all despite the grossness of the situation. He once again becomes the villain in the room that no one wants to be there, making for tense viewing. Here’s my recap and my opinions on the main parts of episode 4:

Homelander Visits “Home”

Homelander in The Boys Season 4, Episode 4

Homelander visits his home in The Boys Season 4, Episode 4, and causes havoc (Credit – Prime Video)

Homelander has concluded that he needs to rid all of his humanity to achieve his mission, so he visits “home,” which is Vought’s lab, where he was experimented on and found as a Supe after he was born. I wouldn’t say I like it when Homelander enters the room sometimes, and that’s the point: when the lab staff sees him, the anxiety is off the scale as they all try to remain calm.

Calmness means nothing when faced with a psychopath, and even though Homelander brings cake, it does nothing to settle the nerves. His first victim is Frank, the man who placed him into a human oven to test his resilience to heat when he was a child. Homelander plays with Frank before putting him in the human oven and incinerating him.

The second victim is Marty, a man who used to taunt him and call him “Squirt” when a young Homelander was locked in the Red Room and often masturbated after he had been tested. Homelander forces Marty to masturbate in front of his colleagues, and because he cannot get erect, he lasers his penis off. Eventually, Homelander ends his misery and kills him.

But this is where I feel the character tries to gain empathy from the audience – his visit to the lab appears like a tour of “this is why I’m a victim.” He wants humans to feel sorry for him as he details what Vought did to him when he was younger.

But that perspective changes when Barbara enters the lab and calms Homelander down momentarily, reminding him that the staff only followed orders out of fear of him. She explains that he was dangerous as soon as he was born and could have easily broken out of the lab whenever he wanted, but he needed love and approval, a need that they instilled in him to remind Homelander that he is human.

Of course, Barbara’s attempt to get to Homelander’s humanness does not work, as he ends up slaughtering the rest of the staff and leaving her to revel in all the gore and guts while trapped in the Red Room.

Were we ever going to feel sorry for Homelander? Were we fuck. What is clear is that this Supe will never change. He’s not expected to. He’s like a nuclear bomb but without a deterrent, and that is terrifying.

Firecracker Ruins Annie’s Already Questionable Image With “Abortion” News

Sister Sage and Firecracker in The Boys Season 4, Episode 4

Sister Sage (L) has a plan for Firecracker (R) in The Boys Season 4, Episode 4 – “Wisdom of the Ages” (Credit – Prime Video)

I’ve felt very little for Annie since the start of season 4, and that’s because I am not sure what the writers want to do with her. Having ethical Supes is difficult, so trying to get her to be a humanitarian is fruitless. Maybe that’s the point of episode 4: getting Firecracker to expose Annie was making an example of a Supe.

Sister Sage sets up Firecracker’s new Vought News show in episode 4, aptly titled “THE TRUTHBOMB,” which is on-brand with her conspiratorial ways. Sister Sage wants the public to be outraged by Annie by getting Firecracker to expose her as a fake superhero who accidentally killed an innocent civilian when she was learning her powers.

The Boys try to stop Firecracker by blackmailing her: they have evidence that she slept with a minor, but Firecracker stays in her stride and uses her Christian faith to talk about her sins, which her audience laps up, which is a blatant political angle for the real world that political division works as teams, regardless of what their influencer or leader egregiously does. Who cares if Firecracker has committed sexual crimes as long as she represents the values of her followers? You know where I’m going with this.

Annie’s patience wanes thin when Firecracker reveals on her show that Annie was pregnant and had an abortion even though she was a committed Christian. You can understand her anger: Firecracker is trying to singlehandedly destroy her reputation, so when Annie transforms into Starlight and beats Firecrack senseless, I felt it was fair.

Unfortunately, optics are at play, and it does not look good in the media when you see a Supe acting overly violent. Starlight’s image is destroyed, and even Bob Singer refuses to ally with her to stop Vought as he fears losing votes.

Despite the dramatics in this episode, The Boys have a Starlight problem at this stage of season 4. I’m unsure what the character stands for.

Hughie Teams Up With Kimiko To Save His Father

Simon Pegg as Hughie’s Father (Credit – Prime Video)

It turns out Hughie’s father has days to live after being diagnosed with brain cancer. He teams up with Kimiko and meets A-Train to ask him to steal some. But what ends up happening is Hughie and Kimiko fighting off the Shining Light Cell.

Kimiko bumps into an old acquaintance who is trying to kill her. We soon learn that Kimiko wronged this woman in the past by forcing her to fight in a pit. I assume this is linked to Kimiko’s experience as a child who was trafficked, but the context is flimsy in episode 4.

They manage to fight off Shining Light Cell, which involves Hughie brutally slicing someone’s neck in a close fight. Either way, seeing Hughie and Kimiko team up for the first time was fun.

In the end, Hughie gets Compound V from A-Train and surprisingly forgives the Supe. Butcher sees the exchange, and he’s dismayed by Hughie, who warns him not to use it as it does not have the desired effects on him.

Hughie chooses not to use it on his father, but it hardly matters, as his mother gave him Compound V anyway, presumably by sneakily stealing it from him, proving that Hughie’s life is never simple.

Confirmed: Sister Sage Is Using Lobotomy

The lobotomy tool Sister Sage uses in The Boys Season 4 (Credit – Prime Video)

There were a lot of murmurs after episode 3 of Sister Sage lobotomizing herself to make her temporarily dumb as she sleeps with The Deep. Episode 4 is initially confusing as she tells The Deep she finds him repulsive.

Later on, she shows him a brain probe and explains how her brain grows back after she damages it. Sister Sage asks The Deep to use the lobotomy tool on her so she does not have to be smart for 3 hours, and then they can fuck however they like.

I’ve had a fair few interesting sexual experiences in my life, but I’m not entirely sure how I’d feel if a woman had to give herself brain damage to sleep with me. Luckily, The Deep is dumb anyway, and maybe that’s the point.

Vought Files #4

  • Butcher knows he has powers as he kills Ezekial in episode 4, but he’s unsure what they are and how they are activated.
  • Ashley catches A-Train stealing Compound V, spurring an unlikely alliance as they both see Homelander as a problem.
  • Frenchie tells Colin the truth about his past that he murdered his family. Colin is understandably outraged and upset and tries to hurt Frenchie. 
  • Butcher asks Mother’s Milk to get Ryan away from Homelander and raise him if he fails to do so himself before he dies.

Read More: The Boys Season 4, Episode 5 Explained

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