Things have gone wrong indeed when Vought is forced to call in a weapon of mass destruction as volatile and unpredictable as Homelander to get them out of a jam. When he isn’t fighting Soldier Boy (Jensen Ackles) to the death or murdering protesters in broad daylight to satisfy his own whims, the main antagonist of “The Boys” might as well be the ace in the hole for anyone misguided enough to be allied with him. Unfortunately, Marie Moreau (Jaz Sinclair), Jordan Li (Derek Luh and London Thor), Andre Anderson (Chance Perdomo), and Emma Meyer (Lizze Broadway) end up in the wrong place at precisely the wrong time. Forced to fight against former friends Cate Dunlap (Maddie Phillips) and Sam Riordan (Asa Germann), our protagonists are caught right in the act of using their powers on fellow Supes and, as Homelander chillingly puts it, “attacking your own kind.”
As violent and gore-soaked as this debut season has been, nothing quite rivals the tension and fear evoked by seeing Homelander float down from the skies, turn his dead-eyed gaze on Marie, and quickly make it clear that he’s not happy to see her preventing her Supe brethren from unilaterally putting down defenseless humans. As shocking as it is to see him laser Marie through the chest, it’s much less surprising that Vought and God U conspired to hang the entire debacle on our quartet of heroes, who admittedly make for very convenient scapegoats. As for Homelander, he only appears for a few brief moments on campus and, later on, observes news footage of the campus rampage. It’s all he needs to make his presence truly felt, however, in one of the most effective moments of shared-universe connections enhancing a story, rather than detracting from it.