Ms. Marvel and The Boys Finales + Stranger Things Season 4 | Crooked Media
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July 15, 2022
X-Ray Vision
Ms. Marvel and The Boys Finales + Stranger Things Season 4

In This Episode

On this episode of X-Ray Vision, Jason Concepcion and Rosie Knight take turns practicing guitar licks in Hawkins, take on supes with The Boys, and take down Damage Control in Jersey City! First in Previously On (2:10), they discuss all things season 4 of Stranger Things. In the Airlock (26:30), Jason and Rosie dive deep (deeeep) into the season finales of The Boys season 3 and Ms. Marvel (1:10:45) — recapping both shows’ final episodes, discussing cycles of abuse and fighting power with power in The Boys and offering a plethora of lore-backed theories for where the MCU is headed next (especially in light of that insane Ms. Marvel stinger). 


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Jason Concepcion: Warning. This podcast contains spoilers for the finale of Ms. Marvel for the finale of The Boys Season three and for all of Stranger Things Season four. So be warned. If you haven’t watched any of that stuff, please watch it and come back because it’s a fun episode and I think you’ll like it. But we don’t want to spoil you. Hello, my name is Jason Concepcion and welcome to X-Ray Vision, the Crooked podcast, where we dive all the way down to the upside down, crawling up the ladder and then falling down as gravity reverses it. Your favorite shows, movies, comics and pop culture in today’s episode. We’re going to discuss Stranger Things in the Previously On. We’re going to go to the airlock where we’re going to talk about The Boys, The Boys season three and the Ms. Marvel finale. And also, we’re going to take a victory lap. Who am I going to take a victory lap with? I’m going to take a victory lap right now with the comics encyclopedia, the number one comics talker. She’s writing. She’s writing for her outlets. She’s writing her own comics. She’s a creator, a producer, and an all around genius of nerd stuff. Please welcome to the stage Rosie Knight.


Rosie Knight: Well, hello there. Wow. To be introduced like that by the Jason Conception. Imagine, imagine.


Jason Concepcion: Imagine. Who could have dreamed a dream?


Rosie Knight: Who could have dreamed I’d find myself here.


Jason Concepcion: Rosie, how are you?


Rosie Knight: I’m good. I’m happy to be here. What a wild, wild day with that Ms. Marvel finale coming on my out like that. And then nobody was expecting it. And we just coming off The Boys and Stranger Things.


Jason Concepcion: We were right. But we’ll get into that. We were right.


Rosie Knight: We just we need to make t shirts, you know, like the Magneto was right T-shirt back. We need one that says X-Ray Vision was right. Yes.


Jason Concepcion: And now we will get to that. But first, let’s get into the Stranger Things. Okay, Stranger Things, season four, created, of course, by the The Duffer Brothers, starring Winona Ryder, David Harbor, Millie Bobby Brown, the the Incredible Stretchable, Finn Wolfhard. Gaten Matarazzo. My good friend Dustin. I love him so much. And of course the rest of them, including Maya Hawke, Joe Keery, Charlie Heaton, Sadie Sink. Hope you’re doing well, Max. No recap to speak of, but let’s just you know, our good friends, they faced off against Vecna from different locations, Nevada, Russia, over in Hawkins. And they did it. They it was a multi-part plan to lure Vecna into Max’s memories. Eleven chipped in. Of course, over in Russia, our buddies chipped in by when Joyce realized, Hey, Hivemind, I recognize those monsters. We can help them by, we can help them weaken the enemy because if I if we hurt these Hivemind creatures, it will it will hurt everything. And it was fantastic. And I’ll tell you, as I was rewatching it this weekend, I, the thing, part of what why I liked it so much is seasons one, two, three are good. I really I like them as well, but especially the early seasons. I’m not going to say they felt disposable, but it felt like it, you know, it was so nostalgia based and callback based that I was like it. Then it felt like, what is here that is just of this show? And the answer was the characters.


Rosie Knight: Yeah.


Jason Concepcion: Now in season four, we’ve gotten to the point where the nostalgia, you know, we had these great moments as in this like extended fight against Vecna that was like operatic. It was operatic in the sense that like everybody. Every emotional moment, whether it’s Joyce and Hopper. You know, Hopper finally like telling Joyce, like how he feels and kissing her with a mouth that hasn’t been brushed in X amount of years because he has been in that like in a prison eating like bedbugs and maggots and who else knows what. It’s like, it’s these moments where these characters who are always great get to like create these mini loops of nostalgia from within the very own series. And that’s on top of the nostalgia while the callbacks to the pop culture references and things that were happening at the time and like, and, you know, like textures from from Nightmare on Elm Street.


Rosie Knight: Oh, yeah.


Jason Concepcion: The various Spielberg stuff. Yeah, all that stuff. On, and then on top of that, the nostalgia of, Oh, I’m getting to hang out with these characters that I legitimately thinker great. And we’re getting all these emotional payoffs of them finally, like just coming clean with each other about how they feel. And and then on top of all that. After four seasons. We now have, as we said in the previous episodes, like A Real World that has rules that we kind of know the shape of it. Just like just like Joyce being like, Oh, Hivemind. Like as a callback, setting up a rule of the world so we know how it works. All of that stuff is great. Like all the popper reveals, all like the mind flayer. Flesh out all that stuff is just great. And I. I really had a great time. Only sorry about that.


Speaker 3 Yeah, I think that Saul, super producer, Saul, just popped something in the thing that I think is really good point. The characters have a history now. Like, we know them, we care about them. It’s about the world building has grown alongside them. But something else that you said that really spoke to me. I definitely agree. Like Seasons one and two are cool. But the season three was where I felt like the characters started to be on journeys that I really, really cared about. Like Max and Eleven, having that friendships kind of building in in the mall and everything. I felt like that was really great from that season. I loved Dacre Montgomery as Max’s brother. I was such a great inclusion and that really added these emotional stakes to me. It did something that I think we’re going to talk about with The Boys a lot this season. It did something that I think the best versions of these shows can do using sci fi and horror as a space to explore trauma. Because so many of the reasons that we’re drawn to horror and we’re drawn to these grotesque, gory things, whether it’s classic Starlite Nightmare on Elm Street or like, if we’re into really, really bleak, like, hostel style gore, like, a lot of it comes from a place of wanting to explore that stuff safely. So I think it’s really cool when these shows take the time to do that. And obviously that’s what vacuum is playing on here is like the notion of trauma. And then how do you beat that? Is by healing, is by personal journey, is by coming clean, you know. And we get really cool moments where I write a really fun piece at Nerdist about putting each of the characters into like a DND class. And I did so much research and like one of the ones that I felt like is really strong here is, is Nancy as the fighter because, yeah, she might not be like a main stage, but every time she’s there.


Jason Concepcion: Oh my God.


Rosie Knight: And if you need her, she is there. With that shotgun. Shooting Vecna.


Jason Concepcion: I love nothing more in any show story book whatever then gearing a gearing up for the final fight scene.


Rosie Knight: The best.


Jason Concepcion: I just love that shit like Monster Squad as a great.


Rosie Knight: Monster Squad is a classic.


Jason Concepcion: Home Alone. Like there’s there’s so many great command, there’s great. Versions of this. And I’ll tell you what, man, Stranger Things with Nancy pumping that shotgun and first of all, buying it like be at the store buying it. That was a an absolutely like top level gear up scene. Yeah. I was just like so excited.


Speaker 3 You know what, you actually speak to something I think is part of why season four is being received this way. Right. It a lot of the stuff that happens in the season feels like they are earning and adding to the tropes and the canon rather than just doing a trope because you’ve seen it elsewhere. Like you said, that gearing up scene, people are going to put that alongside famous gearing up scenes now.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah.


Rosie Knight: They didn’t just do it because other movies do it. And I think as well like I have just because this is this has been like my entire timeline for the last like since the show dropped. I mean, I’ve never seen a character come in and gain the absolute obsessive fandom of Eddie Munson, Joe Quinn as Eddie Munson. My whole timeline.


Jason Concepcion: Talk to Doja Cat about it.


Rosie Knight: Right. Like, I mean Doja please look at him without the wig. It’s not the same. Eddie is, Eddie is.


Jason Concepcion: Hey, he’s a good looking guy.


Rosie Knight: He is a good looking guy but he’s not Eddie Munson like in gentlemen. Did you see the.


Jason Concepcion: He’s not a striking gentlemen. Did you see the video of him really playing Master of Puppets?


Rosie Knight: Yes. Yeah, well, he said he played. He played guitar and they asked him that when he was one of the things they asked him when he did the show, you know, and, and to me, to see that character represented something that I think has been at the fringes of Stranger Things for a really long time. But in this series hit on in a really, really deep way, which is that notion of being othered and being the outsider.


Jason Concepcion: It’s all these outsiders that find a place.


Rosie Knight: Yeah. And Eddie brings them together in this way that is completely selfless. And when you first meet him, you’re like, okay, it’s the eighties. He likes Metallica. Like, Is he a jock? But then he has a Dior backpack so I was like, He’s probably a good guy. And then, but like he’s actually this incredibly generous soul who’s kind of constantly fighting against the evil of Hawkins, which is not just about the upside down. It’s also about people’s perceptions. It’s about this satanic panic kind of stuff. So I think they did so much interesting stuff here. And also, I know nothing should ever be like just to set up the next season, but this does set up some really interesting stuff with Will and Eleven that to me I feel like was like hinted at from the first season, but I feel like we might really get to see come to fruition in the next season. So I’m I would be most happy to see to see those two have a lot of team up.


Jason Concepcion: I love the, the, like the little mini arc of Mike being like, yeah, you know, Eleven, you know, obviously, you know, like we’re with, we’ve been through so much together and I like you so much and she’s like, love? What happened with love?


Rosie Knight: And then like, and can’t even write it on the flowers.


Jason Concepcion: Can’t even write it on the flowers. And then finally, like, he it, he pays it off while everybody else is paying it off. And you get that wonderful moment where he admits how he feels.


Rosie Knight: You know what else I think?


Jason Concepcion: He still feels that way.


Rosie Knight: You know, shouting out your little buddy. I think something that’s been really cool as well as to see Dustin essentially go from like the comedy relief to being the true leader of the party.


Jason Concepcion: The guy.


Rosie Knight: Like that, his his pop culture knowledge and references that is now his armory. It’s kind of like us. It’s like that’s what he can pull from to know stuff. He doesn’t drop it to be cool. He that is how he solves mysteries. That’s how he solves problems. You know, he’s the inventor, the art officer. I thought I always loved Dustin, but I was very happy for that journey. And I’m really excited to see that because Mike used to be the kind of like, you know, go to leader. But I would say Dustin is really that.


Jason Concepcion: I loved him. I loved him, you know, in the Lure Away the the Demo Bats Mission with Master of Puppets and Eddie Munson on guitar.


Speaker 3 R.I.P.


Jason Concepcion: High R.I.P. to my guy I loved how like,  there’s fucking demons like around.


Rosie Knight: He’s just so happy.


Jason Concepcion: We could die at any moment and he’s just like, yeah, this is so cool.


Rosie Knight: He’s looking at Eddie. And he’s like this is sick.


Jason Concepcion: This is sick. That just absolutely delightful. And I’ll just say, like I was a little bit as so as a, as a reformed guitar player myself to, who went through a pretty heavy Metallica phase and used to hang out with metalheads. The big thing, as I’m sure Eddie Munson would tell you, with metal is it’s all down strokes, that right hand picking technique, you know, your hand, you know, moves up and down, right. So like the more efficient way to like do like a digital done is to go, you know, down, up, down, you know, like that. But in metal, that’s wrong. Metal is all down strokes. Metal is all guh-guh-guh-guh.


Rosie Knight: *Makes guitar noises*


Jason Concepcion: Like punching down on the ground again and again and again. And I was a little disappointed that no like reporter no journalist was like, so. Okay. Joseph Quinn, a great, incredible video of of you playing Master of Puppets. Are you doing all down strokes as you were supposed to do?


Rosie Knight: Joseph Quinn, please send your answers on a postcard to X-Ray Vision. We want to know. Come on and show us. What’s it all down strokes? We need to know. The people want to know.


Jason Concepcion: Setting up for season five, which hopefully will not be spoiled by Legos this time.


Rosie Knight: We can dream.


Jason Concepcion: Well, I just. I should say so. That’s the Duffer Brothers were a little miffed because some plot stuff from season four was spoiled by Lego, which joined the club like.


Speaker 3 It happens to everything.


Jason Concepcion: Star Wars.


Rosie Knight: Doctor Strange.


Jason Concepcion: Fantastic Beast, Doctor Strange. Many, many properties have been spoiled by Legos. But I am Ben. What’s going to happen with Max? All of that stuff. Like go like Eleven searching like her mind is going to be a big part of it.


Rosie Knight: Yeah. And and I think that as well like the I think so from the outset if we look at the D&D stuff which has always been really key to this. Like, you know, Will, I think was always their wizard right. Eleven was a more generic magic user was was how Mike saw her. But she’s obviously a major I think the end with Will’s like connection to vector, Vecna. I actually think we might see him kind of take on like a good Hannibal referencing but like a Will Graham like empath style superhero where he can hunt down Vecna. He can team up just El and get to have his for those hero moment.


Jason Concepcion: For those of us who don’t know, that’s a reference to Will Graham from the Thomas Harris Silence of the Lambs novel Red Dragon is is the one.


Rosie Knight: Hmm mm.


Jason Concepcion: Adapted later by Michael Mann in Manhunter in the later became a series. And Will Graham is just it he’s a he’s a fascinating character because basically the whole thing with him is he understands what drives a serial killer so well because as Lecter is always kind of like teasing him, he almost he he’s like an inch away from becoming.


Rosie Knight: Yeah, it’s.


Jason Concepcion: Like he could almost be one.


Rosie Knight: It’s one of the.


Jason Concepcion: And that dynamic with Will, I think would be so amazing.


Rosie Knight: I think it’s  like this notion of he’s the ultimate outsider. And he can start to feel it and Vecna can take advantage of those manipulations. And I would just say, like, if you haven’t watched the the if you can believe it was on NBC, you’ll never believe it.


Jason Concepcion: It doesn’t make sense that the show is on NBC.


Rosie Knight: It’s so gory. It’s so grotesque. It’s so brilliant. But that really explores that notion of of of being an impact to the point where it’s like a superhero and a curse and how it can be manipulated. And I feel like they will be very smart to bring in element like that.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah, I think that that’s right on. I just need them to get Will a better haircut we can’t keep doing this.


Rosie Knight: And a boyfriend.


Jason Concepcion: To my guy. Yeah, yeah. Let’s just commit to it, please.


Rosie Knight: Oh, my God. No, it’s so true. Did you see that? There was a really, really hilarious meme, and it was like, how could. It was like somebody had posted, like, how could Mike not see Will crying like that? And then they were like, All they could see, and it’s the thumb with a bolker. Oh, please, we. Need the Joyce the better than the Joyce special. Please.


Jason Concepcion: One more thing I want to shout out is. My friend Heidi said this to me. She’s like I realized like the last like three episodes that I just had my fist clench the whole time, like particularly the chapter eight Papa episode when Eleven when, you know, Papa is running and the sniper is from the helicopters like shooting at him and Eleven is like shaking the helicopter with her powers, trying to throw that was as visually like stunning as anything I’ve seen in a while. I was just like, This looks great. Like, yeah, like I felt like I was watching this on a big screen. Like some of the action sequence in this were just so great.


Rosie Knight: It’s actually nice to see why that $30 million an episode went. You know, aside from cast, which I pay those kids because.


Jason Concepcion: They deserve it.


Rosie Knight: There’s definitely is.


Jason Concepcion: Like who has more leverage of these fucking kids right now?


Rosie Knight: These children.


Jason Concepcion: You got to make, you got it make season five. What are you going to do, say Dustin? Dustin died offscreen.


Rosie Knight: Yeah. He’s gone up to space. You know. Like, this is episode. Like. It’s definitely one of those things where, like, the other thing that this show has always done really great from the beginning, which I think is why targets people like me and you. Because this is one of my favorite things. Found family, kids. Ragtag group. Who you care about I mean you would die for. This does that. Umbrella Academy does that. We’re about to get into how Ms. Marvel really leans into that this episode. Like I love those stories. It goes back to the X-Men, which has always been one of the most important touch points for this show. You know, the first episode of this season’s called The Hellfire Club, a big, you know, X-Men reference, even though it has historical resonance outside of that, it’s also what D&D club is called. So I just think, like there’s so much in just those relationships that can carry it. And that’s kind of where the heart of the show is.


Jason Concepcion: We were talking about, we were talking about the the the Norwegian movie Worst Person in the World before we hit record. And I was saying what I liked about it was that it was less a plot driven movie and more a movie in which everything turns on how well the main character is fleshed out. And it’s like, we’ve hit that for me. Stranger Things has hit that point where it’s just like, you just know who these people are and it’s so great to spend time with them. I will say, here’s my one. It’s not even a disappointment. Lucas man, you got to have hands. How are you getting your ass? He won the fight. He did win the fight.


Rosie Knight: I will say though in terms of.


Jason Concepcion: What happened? You. Indeed.


Rosie Knight: In terms of that very  aspect of the characters, I would love to see them bring in some writers who can really do justice to Lucas and Erica next season. That would be like my big guess. I also say like resurrect Eddie. I think that that that’s what the people want. We could bring him back as some spooky shades to Vecna. Like, that’s what the people want, man. They’re giving you free, that is free consumer testing.


Jason Concepcion: Bring Eddie back.


Rosie Knight: They’re telling you, please bring Eddie back


Jason Concepcion: And next time Lucas gets to fight like a like a dickhead jock who he’s been a piece of shit for the entire season. Instead of, like, instead of making it like, a, like a back and forth seesaw battle, how about just Lucas just pummels the guy’s face.


Rosie Knight: Yes. That’s cathartic.


Jason Concepcion: For 20 minutes, and then eventually that guy’s body gets destroyed by it.


Rosie Knight: I’m telling you.


Jason Concepcion: Can I just watch Lucas stomp this guy for five minutes straight?


Rosie Knight: We got to move. That’s the next step in this idea of, like, look, people are racist and there are ways of showing that and the dangers of it and how terrible it is. But you know what? Everyone has seen everyone’s seen black people being victims of racism. Everyone’s gonna see the horrors of that. Can we just see somebody stomping out a racist?


Rosie Knight: Yeah, I’d love to see it. That’s the next step.


Jason Concepcion: I don’t like there have been some critiques, some of like, oh, we’re not exploring small town racism. Blah, blah, blah. Okay, I get it. Like, that’s that is an absolutely important thing to explore and to show at times. But I also like, again, like I don’t speak for anybody. I’m speaking for myself. Like, is it just from my personal experience that I can I can interact with those ideas, with that history, with stories like that. There’s a million choices. I really appreciate the fact that when I’m with my friends from Hawkins, it’s just the reality of this world. And it’s. And not to say disconnected from the real world, but it’s a different it’s a more heightened verb, pop culture inflected version of that world in which we can just, like, enjoy this plot.


Rosie Knight: Yeah.


Jason Concepcion: And I would have enjoyed this thing a little bit more if Lucas would have not struggled. My guy, Lucas, you got to get your hands up. You got to. He needs to join a boxing gym before Before season five.


Rosie Knight: It deviates from that, that power that this has of getting to be distant. Lucas doesn’t get that freedom, but I’m really hoping Lucas and Max want to see it. Eleven and Will team up. Want to see it. Like there’s things I want for these characters. You know, I’m now a Stephen Eddie shipper, but I like the Steve and Nancy stuff that they hinted at. Come on. You’re telling me in any world anyone’s gotten with Jonathan instead of Steve? I think think not. The same way Will has a crush on Mike. No.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah.


Rosie Knight: He would have a crush on Steve. Steve is such.


Jason Concepcion: Everyone would have a crush on Steve.


Rosie Knight: Such a delightful. One, that is a character arc for the ages like that. That was one thing from the beginning to now that has always been consistently great is the character arc of Steve going from the jock ish bully popular kid to becoming this caretaker leader. Who he respected even in these moments of telling Nancy how he felt. It was all about her boundaries. This is how I feel. I don’t want you to feel that way, but I need to know. I know I did wrong.


Jason Concepcion: Like absolutely so much.


Rosie Knight: Yes. Steve’s having a great time. Jonathan.


Jason Concepcion: I got to say.


Rosie Knight: Eh. Come back next season.


Jason Concepcion: I thought. There was a second there where I thought Steve was about to get topped off in the upside down.


Jason Concepcion: Like I thought.


Rosie Knight: Thank you.


Jason Concepcion: It was. I thought it was about. I thought I thought it was about to go down in the upside down.


Rosie Knight: I’m telling you. I’m telling you.


Jason Concepcion: And listen, Has it ever happened before? Let’s make history, folks. Steve, Nancy, like, next time we’re down there. Let’s make history. That’s all I’m saying.


Rosie Knight: It could happen. That was it. That was a moment that makes me feel like it’s not you. You could put a warning beforehand. I was. Watch this show.


Jason Concepcion: Okay. Up next, the airlock.


Jason Concepcion: [AD]


Jason Concepcion: We’re stepping out on the air a lot to talk about The Boys and Ms. Marvel. First up, season three of The Boys, the season three finale, Instant White-Hot Wild, written by Logan Ritchie and David Reed, directed by Sarah Boyd. Here we go. Homelander lands at the farmhouse where his Supe son, Ryan Butcher, has been hiding under the care of Boys founder and former payback team member and former CIA director Grace Mallory.


Rosie Knight: Generally evil woman.


Jason Concepcion: She’s done a lot of bad shit and she’s trying to make up for it. And she’s not doing a great job.


Rosie Knight: She’s doing a bad job.


Jason Concepcion: Homelander is like, I just want to talk. When is when do you ever believe that? From this guy, anyway? This is Homelander. Grace and Ryan are terrified, clearly. Homelander reacts with the iconic and stereotypical Homelander simmering rage. When Ryan refers to Mallory as Aunt Grace, he’s like Aunt Okay, whatever. And Grace is like reaching for her cell phone. Homelander were the superhero, and hear’s it. And he’s like, Don’t even fucking do it! Ryan asks Homelander in a really actually, like whenever this show gets heartfelt, it’s crazy. But Ryan is really the touchstone for real emotion in this show, and he’s like, Hey, you know, are you mad at me for, you know, the thing where I burn Stormfront, the woman you love, the Nazi woman you love into like a little stump person?


Rosie Knight: What could go wrong?It would go wrong.


Jason Concepcion: With this melted face. And also my mom died in that incident or was mortally wounded and stuff. Are you mad at me for that? And Homelander was like, No, no, of course not. Absolutely not. Was I was I still masturbating to that stump Nazi earlier in the season? I was. But I’m not mad about that. I killed I’m Homelander. And you know what? I kill people all the time by accident. It’s really not a big deal. I killed a whole passenger plane sort of by accident once because I lasered through that pilot’s skull and destroyed the the instrament panel. So that happens. And so I’m not mad at you. And they embrace and they fly off. Outside Vought HQ Pro Starlight Protesters fired up by Starlight social media leaks. A lot of social media leakes these finales.


Rosie Knight: Yes a lot.


Jason Concepcion: A lot of it. Are squaring up against pro Homelander protesters. Meanwhile, inside the building,The Deep and Ashley are like What the fuck do we do? The AG the the attorney general general is coming here and she’s got a search warrant. And when did the you know, it’s serious when the attorney general is coming in person.


Rosie Knight: Yeah. Because of a TikTok video.


Jason Concepcion: Because of a tik-tok video saying that Maeve is not really in rehab. She is imprisoned in Vought HQ, so they’re like, What do we do? Here’s what they do. They spray some kind of sedative into Maeve cell and they’re going to get her out of there. Meanwhile, Hughie and Butcher have their own concern. Soldier Boy. Of course, we’ve seen that this guy is suffering from a mighty, mighty, mighty case of PTSD, which is not an excuse for what a terrible person he is. But he is suffering from that. He’s, and now he’s having to deal with the prospect of murdering his. The issue of his body Homelander, his son. Homelander. And so he’s kind of self-medicating as he’s off to do with with whiskey. And then there’s, of course, the issue of the fact that Hughie and Butcher could die at literally any second because they’ve been taking the the temporary V and he is like bleeding black shit out of his ear.


Rosie Knight: Like Starlight  rightfully told you so. Like absolutely told you so. It was a terrible idea.


Jason Concepcion: Hughie. Every time Starlight says something, just listen because she’s right 100% of the time.


Rosie Knight: I will say this is a great I feel like the use of V in this movie in the show has been a really really great a microcosm for how thoughtfully The Boys handle stuff, because they don’t. They didn’t use it to be like this is about addiction. They used it to be about this is about toxic masculinity. This is about an obsession with power.


Jason Concepcion: And this is about power. Yes, that’s exactly right.


Rosie Knight: And I find this to be so good. And it’s and they even have a great moment where Starlight says to Hughie where she’s like, I thought this was the drugs, but actually it’s you. And it’s it really is a very thoughtful, like, forward thinking, use of addiction to tell a story that’s really about something else.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah, because really the central critique of The Boys, if you could say there is one, is what would happen if people had ultimate power, superhero level power, and then the people who oppose them have to take the position that power must be limited. So what happens when those people begin to dabble in unlimited power? And I and that’s been a super, super interesting driver, a lot of the a lot of the story this season. Butcher, of course, is just like he’s cannonballing straight ahead. He does not care about any of this stuff. He’s like, you know what we need to do? We need to go. We need to go get more V. We’ll have Hughie teleports us to the bad guys and we’ll take and after we take the V we’ll kill Noir and that’s it we’ll kill Homelander and then we’ll finish alright. And Soldier Boy is like whatever. I’m going to go drink more whiskey tonight. Vought paramilitaries take the sedated Maeve across town so the AG he can’t find her. But of course, Maeve is a fucking superhero, folks. You think she hasn’t been through shit like this before? She wakes up, she’s on the car. She’s Wonder Woman. What do you just think? You got to dose her again. You can’t just, you know.


Rosie Knight: Constant dosages. It’s like the T-Rex.


Jason Concepcion: Consant dosing. Yeah.


Rosie Knight: T-Rexes in Jurassic World, you’ve got to keep them. But to keep them pumped up, man, I just dose someone once.


Jason Concepcion: She can go toe to toe with Homelander. And you’re just going to dose her once?


Rosie Knight: Many times.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah. What are you doing? She wakes up, she kills everyone and fucking escapes. Frenchie, over at MM’s house, comes to MM and is and is like, Hey, I know what we can do to take down Soldier Boy. Now that we lost the previous sedative, we can use the neurotoxin Novichok, which is a real life poison, which the Russians have often used to take care of troublesome dissidents. There is only one dose on the eastern seaboard, and so they’re going to try and get it. MM, the moral heart of The Boys, and I would actually say if there is a hero on The Boys, it is MM. Mother’s Milk is the hero of the story, the moral center, the beating heart, the one character who is always keeping in sight like what they are there to do and and what and what they are fighting about and keeping those lines clearly drawn.


Rosie Knight: Yeah, it was really funny. I had a moment when I was watching it and I was like, MM doesn’t have powers. And then I remembered that the whole notion of The Boys is none of them have powers and they hate Supes, but they’ve gone so far down this rabbit hole of temporary V and the experiments and stuff that is is easy to forget that. But he is. Not only is he like a moral center, but what I really love about him is it’s not some puritanical. He is like a great guy and he is someone who is very human in a way a lot of the other characters have lost and he is the one who, when Starlight says to him like, No, we need to do something good. He’s the only one who will listen. He’s the only one who remembers that it’s true. She can’t go to anyone else and get that help. He is the helper, but he is the carer. I mean, even this episode shows it really well. We’ll get into it in a minute, but even in his personal life, he makes mistakes, but he makes up for them in a way.


Jason Concepcion: He feels that he feels bad about them. Like unlike a lot of our other heroes. So MM in this case, right now, in the scene, he’s feeling bad because he punched his daughter’s stepfather, who is a Homelander loving fascist and deserved it, but still you don’t want to do that.


Rosie Knight: Honestly fair.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah, you don’t want to do that in front of your daughter. I get it. He feels bad for losing control. Frenchie tells MM, like you’re the best human being I know. Just the respect that Frenchie shows to him is really great here. And then he. And then he’s like, Listen, you just have to tell your daughter the truth about your family history. Your family was murdered by Soldier Boy, etc., and also get back on the Lexapro man.That was like.


Rosie Knight: I love Frenchie so much.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah I love Frenchie.


Rosie Knight: I love Frenchie and Kimiko. That’s like a I love them.


Jason Concepcion: Back at Vought, Ashley and The Deep find Homelander and his sweet watching Anansi News just watching a report about Vought stock prices which are in the toilet, is the result of Starlight’s various social media missives and her most recent post in which she secretly taped Homelander going on one of his trademark psychotic screeds, which, let me just say, they should have released the airplane tape originally. This was actually a crucial mistake that The Boys did when when Homelander was like, I’ll kill a million people,  I call your bluff. Because here’s the thing. If, as the champions of limited power, The Boys backup is people. It’s public opinion. And they just needed to. They should have released a video. But that’s neither here nor there.


Rosie Knight: No, but I think that it’s really I think you raise an interesting point, because I wonder if the notion of it is like you see over these three seasons is like The Boys going from this tiny enclave of like violent men to like spreading out and understanding more about like community and bringing in different voices and maybe they like needed to have that journey. But obviously, yeah, that’s one of those I call it like a Walking Dead thing. That’s like my Walking Dead thing is where like you can you could have done something five episodes or a season ago and been in the same place, but you had to do the journey to get there. So this to me is, is smacks of that.


Jason Concepcion: I loved this season, but there are notes of that throughout.


Rosie Knight: Yeah.


Jason Concepcion: This episode. We’ll continue. Ashley and The Deep are absolutely shitting themselves because they now have to break the news to an already pissed Homelander that may have escaped. And it’s it is 100% more Ashley’s than The Deep’s, but it’s their fault. Homelander hears this, and he’s about to fucking blow his top and maybe kill one or both of them.


Rosie Knight: Probably?


Jason Concepcion: When Black Noir, prodigal son, Black Noir returns. He’s, of course, been on the run. And Ashley and The Deep clear out. Clearly relieved. Noir shows Homelander a note that says Soldier Boy will come, we kill, and then they embrace. At a gas station somewhere Butcher socks Hughie, knocking him out so Hughie can’t take more V and come on the mission with them. Homelander then gets back in the car. Soldier Boy wakes up and says, Where is the cum guzzler? Jesus Christ. Eddie was like, you know, what, You were right. He was a coward. He ran for  it and he left and now we’re going to do it ourselves aren’t we. And so speed’s like, great, we’ll go back to sleep. A-Train arrives at his brother Nathan’s house. Nathan now without the use of his legs because of the attack by Blue Hawk, which is essentially A-Train’s fault. Nathan isn’t doing great. Nathan is surprised to see him in a A-Train is like, Hey, I’m alive after the events of your orgasm, I got a brand new heart. He does leave out the part where it’s Blue Hawk’s heart.


Rosie Knight: Then that’s such an absolutely evil move by Voight’s PR person. She just did that to fuck with him.


Jason Concepcion: Like, come on.


Rosie Knight: It’s very cruel. It’s very it’s almost like very like eerie Indiana. Like, you get the heart. And will it make you like. But I mean, I will also say as well, like we’ll get into this later but something this season. Just does so well that all the seasons have done well, but this is the extroversion of it is like this is just so searingly real about how these corporations work.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah.


Rosie Knight: And that relationship with A-Train, I think is, is very, very, very key. I figured way that these heroes are, like, tokenized and utilized as tools.


Jason Concepcion: Someone on Twitter and I forget who and I apologize to them for not getting their tag but said that, paraphrasing now, but it’s like The Boys wields its satire, like Paul Verhoeven, like RoboCop, like where it’s just absolutely bashing you in the face with the satire.


Rosie Knight: It’s Starship Troopers.


Jason Concepcion: That’s what’s great about The Boys is there’s nothing subtle about The Boys. They’re just like, Do you know the character named Stormfront? I mean.


Rosie Knight: This season. And they did. And some people, they didn’t realize she was a Nazi. But like this season as well, you introduced the legend, you know, the Stanley character played by Paul Reiser, and they literally have words of him. He literally since then has a scene where he talks about how he sat there making up myths and millions like they’re not afraid to just be they you know, at one point, Soldier Boy says, you know, shut up or slap you like Connery. Like they’re just like and then you get the stuff with when they’re talking about Disney or Warner Brothers and and the kind of notion of how these superheroes are wielded almost like a modern God pantheon. It’s very, very funny. But you’re right. The Verhoeven. Yeah. Jacob Hall.


Jason Concepcion: Jacob. Jacob Hall. This was Jacob Hall from Slashfilm.


Rosie Knight: The Verhoeven is such a good call because like when Starship, you know, he’s maybe my favorite director, but definitely one of them. And when Starship Troopers came out, you know, that was a movie that was widely misunderstood by critics who were like, Oh, he’s making this horrific, pro-military, pro-America movie. And it’s actually just an incredibly grotesque satire of those very things. And The Boys, if you watched it, you could be like, Oh, is this like, are we supposed to like them? But


Jason Concepcion: I mean, it’s just like, you know, there’s all the all the Homelander fans that suddenly realized, mid this season, was like, oh he’s the bad guy.


Rosie Knight: Yeah. And I think Eric Kripke, he does a really good job of balancing that constant on that constant knife’s edge of, well, we’re making entertainment and you’re choosing to watch it.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah.


Rosie Knight: And the entertainment we’re making is also the thing we’re critiquing constantly that’s really hard to do. And I, I think they do a really good job in this season. This season did a better job than any other season.


Jason Concepcion: So A-Train tries to reconcile with his brother. But but Nate does want to hear it. He’s angry because A-Train, rather than bringing Blue Hawk to justice, which actually. Listen, I want to see Blue Hawk dead, too. But I think for actual for and for what Nate wants, which is actual change in the community, someone needs to pay a price in the in the legal system to like actually change things. And now that’s been taken from them becauese Blue Hawk is dead.


Rosie Knight: Be held accountable.


Jason Concepcion: Held accountable in the light Of, of, of the courts so everybody can see it, didn’t happen because his brother killed him. A-Train initially tries to lie like Soldier Boy did it, but Nate knows it’s not true. And then they fight and Nate falls out of his chair. That’s it for that relationship. Starlight picks Hughie up from the gas station. She is super mad because Hugh has been lying for a long time about taking V and stuff and Starlight, realizing that Butcher has not, as he promised to do, told Hughie that that one more dose of of combat V could kill him, tells him. And Hughie realizes then that Butcher punched him to save his life. He has some further realizations about just like what moral strength is. And he apologizes to Starlight for everything. She’s like, I fucking told you. And then Starr gets a phone call from Maeve. Maeve is at MM’s. Hughie and MM give Star  and Maeve some privacy. Maeve credits Starlight’s social media campaign with giving her the opportunity to escape but she’s also like, Why don’t you just fucking like a real superhero? Just fucking bust me out. What’s up? Meanwhile, Kimiko can’t stand to see Frenchie abusing himself the way he is. You know, totally depressed about, like, the way that his past has come up. And he’s been retraumatized by things that have happened in his past and his past failures. And he’s snorting lines and generally acting like he doesn’t care about life anymore. But Kimiko, and you’re absolutely right, this is like. I. Nothing can happen to them.


Rosie Knight: No, that’s why I take them with my life. Yes. We’ll riot. Like, they did such a good job.


Jason Concepcion: Nothing can ever happen to them.


Rosie Knight: And they did it. They did a much better job this season as well, I think of of giving Kimiko a space to verbalize her feelings and her relationships with people and stuff and in multiple inventive ways. So I really love to see this, and I love the way that for Kimiko, it was like I didn’t think I could ever be, you know, better, but you saw something in me and don’t give up because I see it in you. I just think it’s a powerful and.


Jason Concepcion: It’s just an incredible performance all around. By Karen Fukuhara.


Rosie Knight: Yes, unbelievable.


Jason Concepcion:  So good.


Rosie Knight: She does so many episodes in this season, when I was watching and rewatching for the for the prep where I was just like, Oh, fuck.


Jason Concepcion: She is just good.


Rosie Knight: You are it. You are the thing in this show.


Jason Concepcion: She does it  with, with, with facial expressions, with gesture, with posture. And she’s just so fucking good. She’s great. Maeve is freaking out after learning that Soldier Boy is Homelander’s dad.


Rosie Knight: Understandable


Jason Concepcion: Yeah, understandable. Starlight, meanwhile, is like on the phone to Vought trying to raise the alarm. So several thousand people at Vought Tower don’t die. She leaves a message on the answering machine. The Boys, plus Star and Maeve come up with a plan. Okay, we’re going to go take down Soldier Boy and save Butcher. Right? Hughie’s like we’ll save Butcher too. He’s like, good. He saved my life, MM isn’t so sure. He’s pretty sure that that Butcher is gone all the way bad because of all the compound V he is taking. But Hughie says listen, really deep down, like, I mean deep. Like all deep


Rosie Knight: Deep in it.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah. Like all the way down. Still so good. And then he says, the thing that I think is kind of the central ethos. Of the stand that this show is taking, which is we save everyone even if they don’t deserve it, especially if they don’t deserve it. Which I think raises an interesting moral quandary, which I’ve been thinking about, which I’m now going to ask you about now.


Rosie Knight: Yes.


Jason Concepcion: So I think that unlimited power is, of course, terrible. Superhero power is, of course, bad. And that. It should be critiqued and it should be fought against. And if you’re going to power yourself up, as are as our friends do here, it should be done very, very carefully with a lot of lot of oversight. But the thing is, and I respect MM stance and I agree with it most of the time, the thing I was thinking of in the context of our broader world is, when, are you talking about power to win? Or you, or, are you talking about meeting structural power with structural power? What I mean is this. If one side is using power to win. At what point do you decide the game, the rules of the game have now been so warped that you have to meet that power with power in order to balance things. And I think that that is a very seductive question, and everybody thinks that they know the right answer. And usually what happens is you pick up the scepter of power and you are wrong or you go too far. But I also think it’s a it’s a it’s a thing that needs to be thought about and debated. Because if the other side has all the superheroes. And they are empowering and upholding like a despotic fascist system. And the only way to bring them down is to power yourself up for a little while.


Rosie Knight: Yeah.


Jason Concepcion: You have to seriously consider doing it.


Rosie Knight: I mean, it’s The Boys. It’s the it’s The Boys asking the ultimate superhero question. It’s the Magneto argument versus the Charles Xavier argument. It’s the notion of do you meet power and violence with power and violence or do you try and take the higher ground and protect everyone? Well, I really actually like about the way that The Boys is presenting it is it’s not this notion of kind of a lot of times this gets pulled down to almost like a nonviolence versus violence. And non power of us is power. Here, it’s more like we’re going to do what needs to be done and try and reek as little damage as possible, which I actually think is a pretty radical. That’s like a very realistic yet radical notion where it’s like you have to do something terrible to stop Homelander.


Jason Concepcion: At what point do you respond?


Rosie Knight: You have to do something terrible to respond to him. But and all you can do is think, how many people can we save? And how can we cause as little damage, collateral damage as possible?


Jason Concepcion: Yeah, that part of it is I found myself thinking about.


Rosie Knight: Very interesting question.


Jason Concepcion: A lot. Over at Boys HQ in the Flat Iron, Soldier Boy and Butcher are chatting about dads and it turns out they both had really bad ones. Butcher wrecks his phone, rather than pick up a call from Grace Mallory, we learn that Soldier Boy’s dad was the complete piece of shit that even after Soldier Boy became a super hero, his dad was like, You cheated, you took a shortcut. This is clearly resonating with Butcher, whose dad, as we have seen in the flashbacks, was also like a real, real, real piece of shit. Troublingly Soldier Boy then says, I always wanted to have kids. I think I’d be a better father than my dad, which triggers Butcher to be like, you know, Hey, he’s not your son. They made him to replace you. You didn’t raise him. Truth bombs. But listen, Soldier Boy, is he looking for that emotional connection? We don’t know.


Rosie Knight: Not yet.


Jason Concepcion: And it’s unclear whether Butcher and Soldier Boy still have a deal. Over at Vought, Homelander finds Noir sharpening his katana? He asks Noir, so Soldier Boy, what was what was he like? Bad, Noir  scribbles. Homie then asks Noir the key question Did you, as Soldier Boy’s former teammate on payback know that, and by the way, I can see you because I have X-ray vision. I can see your face under that fucking mask. Did you know he was my dad? And Noir is like, Yeah, they embrace. And then Homelander disembowels Noir tears his guts out and Noir dies as his cartoon friends keep him company throughout his final moments.


Rosie Knight: Yeah.


Do we think he’s dead? Do we think Noir’s dead? Yes or No?


Rosie Knight: Generally, I’ve kind of felt like he was near immortal or slash very good at healing in a Wolverine or Deadpool sort of way. In the past, this seemed pretty brutal and finite.


Jason Concepcion: His guts were all the way.


Rosie Knight: His guts were everywhere. I also I have to say, like this is to me, Noir’s ark on this this season has is a is proof of how inventive and thoughtful the team behind this is. Because at the.


Jason Concepcion: Yes.


Rosie Knight: Using his this is a character who is essentially faceless, emotionless.


Jason Concepcion: In the comics, we should say.


Rosie Knight: Yeah.


Jason Concepcion: In comics he is a clone of Homelander.


Rosie Knight: Yeah, exactly. And here is kind of like that. We only experience so far in the show. Up until this point, we’ve only really experienced his experiences through other people’s perceptions of them and by adding this PTSD imaginary friend hallucinogenic aspect of these animated characters. Which, one, by the way, beautifully animated and yeah, Amazon’s animation unbelievable. Two, it made his death have so much weight. It felt really, really sad.


Jason Concepcion: I felt bad about it. It felt really sad because he sucks and Noir sucks.


Rosie Knight: He absolutely sucks. But you learn about his PTSD. You learn about this. Another thing like we were saying, I was saying about Stranger Things, and I think The Boys does it in a way, way more expansive and deep way. This whole season is about these cycles of abuse and cycles of trauma. The government is abusing these superheroes by raising them. You know, Homelander was raised to be this fascist Nazi piece of shit. Now, does that mean he could have changed along the way? Of course it does. Does he consciously make terrible choices? Yes, but we get to see with his son as well, like these cycles continue until you break them. Yeah, this show has done such a good job of just being really empathetic to everyone, both good and bad, and giving everyone a kind of humanity. And it’s so funny because if you were like, Yeah, there’s a character who wears a mask and he’s kind of like a Deadpool esque Batman character. And then he started seeing all these animated characters, and it was really emotional. People be like, What the fuck are you talking about? But when you actually watch it, when it hits, it hits. And then when he dies, you’re like, Oh, I care, because it’s not the first time he died. And the other times I was like, Do I care? No.


Jason Concepcion: What I think is part of, I love what you said because I think part of what our heroes in this show do really well is give each other the opportunity to, like, take the off ramp before they pass on their trauma to someone else, before they act on it. Act on that trauma as a way to take back agency because something bad was done to them. Therefore, I can do something bad to somebody else. I’m taking back control. This is the way the world works. But all of our heroes, the way they talk to each other, the way they suggest, you know, that character, you know, talk to Janice, this Frenchie says to MM as Starlight, you know, the way tarlight comes clean and talks to Hughie, they’re all giving each other these opportunities to like get out of take the off ramps.


Rosie Knight: Yeah.


Jason Concepcion: The cycle before they pass on the bad stuff.


Rosie Knight: I love that and I’m very excited to see how that kind of manifests for Butcher in the next season because like he has these huge moments this season, especially when he has that whole flashback to Lennie and his childhood and the mistakes he made. And for the first time, he sees them at every point. When he is watching that happen, he’s saying, No, do something different. Don’t do that, do this. He’s already learning it. But the question but then in that even after that experience, he couldn’t just be truthful to Hughie face to face. It had to he had to do it in some weird, convoluted way. They turned to violence to push him away.


Jason Concepcion: But you’re right, just the fact that he is like engaging with those memories in a way.


Rosie Knight: In a way where he’s not blaming himself.


Jason Concepcion: He’s he’s actually taking, for the first time seemingly in his life, taking a taking stock and processing those events and finding out how they power him. Listen, like like for anybody who’s been to therapy, what happens you start talking about shit like the earliest stuff, it’s, oh, that’s always where you go. You go for me anyway. You end up going back to stuff from when you’re a kid and what that’s like the root of who everyone is. It’s all comes from there. Like all the feelings of, like, not being accepted and being traumatized. It all comes from there. And because that’s the time in your life when you just had no power, you had no agency and you were looking for it and you were looking for signals about how to wield it. And so, yeah, I loved it. It’ll be really interesting to see where Butcher goes next.


Rosie Knight: He’s never going to be a classical hero. That’s not who he is. That’s not what the show is. But I’m interested to see what his, you know, traditional classical hero’s journey is now that he’s coming to terms with that and how it manifests itself in the next season.


Jason Concepcion: Back at the Flat Iron, The Boys find Butcher. He’s about to take some V, MM gets in his face. Hughie pulls him away. They try in this moment to talk Butcher into being like actual heroes for one slight. Think about all the people that are in that towers. Thousands of people. There’s janitors and just like normal people going about their work, we stop Soldier Boy. Maeve is likedo we and she takes a Novachok. She throws it 20 miles at the fucking window.


Rosie Knight: Sorry to whoever that hit you, that picked it up. Sorry for that small town whose water I supply it went into.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah, they’re like, Oh, look at this, a little Starlight preview, and then they’re dead. Homelander needs to die, she says. Whatever it takes, Starlight is pissed, but then Soldier Boy shows up and they all make everybody get in the safe. At Vought, The Deep, A-Train and Ashley are listening to Starlight’s Voice Mail. The Deep is like, should we should we do like an analysis to make sure it’s really her? And also should we evacuate? Homelander is like, no we stay in project strength. When The Deep lays out his plan to use Noir as bait for Soldier Boy, Homelander drops Noir’s head, just a helmet I think, on the table and then proceeds to tear into his teammates for being not up to the standards of Homelander. He’s like, You guys fucking suck. He decides to teach them a lesson. He’s like, Deep if if he wants to help, here’s what you do. And then he whispers in his ear. And whatever it was he said was clearly bad because The Deep, very reluctantly agrees to do whatever he says. Then he tells Ashley, Take off your wig. Here we learn that Ashley has has like no hair, is balded.


Rosie Knight: I’m interested in this because, like, I can’t I can’t help but think, look, we have a character here, Soldier Boy, who’s radioactive, right? Right. That’s very Doctor Manhattan to then have somebody who’s in that realm, losing their hair, maybe being sick, maybe having cancer. I think that that is going to become. He does it to. To shame her because he’s too shameful, because he’s misogynistic. I think it is going to lead to a bigger conversation.


Jason Concepcion: We’ve been waiting, We’ve been waiting for now three seasons for the turn from Ashley. It’s like maybe it’s insight, but we’re not quite clear if it is. And then finally, A-Train, it’s like, how dare you kill Pop Claw? Remember when you did that back in season one, a fellow supe. And then he says Noir was worth more than all of you put together. And what was the thing that Homelander whispered to The Deep? It was for The Deep to kill Lamar Bishop, a.k.a. Dakota Bob’s, the presumptive vice presidential candidate who he doesn’t by drowning him in his pool, by, I guess, wading in the pool, which is the weirdest way to do it.


Rosie Knight: It’s the most Deep way, though, I have to say. He had to like sit at the bottom like he was because he can breathe underwater, had to show off. He is really had truly an arc this season.


Jason Concepcion: What an arc from that guy. Starlight punches our friends way out of the safe. They, of course, need more nerve gas. And Frenchie figures it out. He’s like, Hey, guess what? There is a lab that has everything we need. It’s in Vought Tower. Okay, so they come up with a plan. Frenchie will cook up the nerve agent while everybody else fights Homelander and Soldier Boy. And on the way out the door Hughie finds, like under the couch another a spare vial of some of that temporary V. Butcher, Maeve and Soldier Boy find Homelander watching Old World War Two footage of Solider Boy. Oh, Dad, Homelander then tells everybody that Noir is it that Noir is dead. And then he is just like, Hey Dad, can we just, like, reconnect? Can we just, like, team up? Like no one can stop us if we team up, like, and then Butcher alarmed again at this is like, hi, this isn’t your son. Don’t lose focus, okay? You didn’t raise him. Then Homelander brings out Ryan. Very tough moment.


Rosie Knight: Terrible, terrible dad. Very, very deadly. Bad Dad you see into  annals of bad dads.


Jason Concepcion: Homelander wants them to be one big, weird, murderous, genocidal, fascist, super hero, family and Soldier Boy, luckily, weirdly. Luckily, Soldier Boy is a complete piece of shit and much like Homelander is is triggered by any kind of vulnerability or weakness. This is the toxic masculinity, right? The way that society imprints on men to treat weakness or any kind of show of vulnerability is attack it. And this is what Soldier Boy does in this moment. He’s like, You’re such a fucking sniveling pussy, starved for attention. And then they fight, which is. Very, again, very, very lucky for Butcher and our heroes. That Soldier Boy is so toxic because if not, they might have teamed up and become a family and killed everybody.


Rosie Knight: It’s really interesting as well because like we’ve had this journey for Hughie this season with the temp V where he is essentially living out his toxic masculinity fantasies, where suddenly he’s able to be the strong man and the man who can do all the things that his girlfriend can’t do. And, and he’s seeing this kind of beautiful to him, this kind of like, you know, Garden of Ambrosia, where he can be everything he’s always been told he can be. But at the same time, he’s been hanging around with Soldier Boy, who’s just an absolute piece of shit. And like, there’s a line where Hughie is like, everything you say is gross. And I’m like. Please, son, like he this is the. Lesson. Like, this is what you are. This is the end game. You know, we were talking today before on Reaper about end games. Like where do you end up if you follow that path? That is the ultimate version of it. So yeah, also I just have to say Jensen Ackles, he was ready for this role. He was just like, he. Is so happy to not be doing primetime TV or the CW. He just wants to be bad.


Jason Concepcion: He’s he’s he’s exploded from the soap opera world, from the CW world, and he is just fucking doing it. He is great


Rosie Knight: I love it. He’s good. He is so good in this role.


Jason Concepcion: It’s almost like this is going to be this is not quite the comparison, but kind of it reminds me of the first time I saw Jon Hamm in Mad Men, whereas like, where the fuck is this guy?


Rosie Knight: Like, Yeah, yeah, I feel you.


Jason Concepcion: Do they just have, like, handsome and good actors, like, in a warehouse somewhere? Where the fuck is this guy? I’ve never heard of him.


Rosie Knight: Ready to do some, like, absolutely deep. Like, gut wrenching acting. And Jensen just, like, commits so deeply, and he makes the character so unlikable, which is his power as an actor. You’re not also Jensen being unlikable. You’re watching this and you’re watching. I mean, this is it’s the most basic take, right? But this is the truth. You are basically watching like this is what I would be like if Captain America existed. It absolutely is.


Jason Concepcion: And the thing that makes it not? Obviously, again, this is it’s not a subtle performance. But the thing that I love about what Ackles does here is he makes Soldier Boy so, like, marinated in his own, like. His own, like, self-hatred of him, you know, like his own toxic self-hatred and PTSD is this intense stew that he just can’t deal with.


Rosie Knight: Yeah.


Jason Concepcion: In any other way other than smoking a lot of weed and drinking a lot of whiskey and then occasionally literally blowing up in a nuclear explosion.


Rosie Knight: So that I think is like the realest shit, right? Is not just this notion of self-medication, which for a lot of people can be the only way that you can treat yourself. But also, this is a great example of The Boys doing the most literal version of an analogy.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah.


Rosie Knight: The notion of his PTSD is that when he gets triggered, he literally explodes. Yeah, it’s a literal explosion.


Jason Concepcion: It’s, again, not subtle.


Rosie Knight: But it’s not subtle. But it works. And it’s really, really.


Jason Concepcion: It’s powerful


Rosie Knight: Especially because they even have, like, a Geiger counter to measure how radioactive he is to see if he’s going to go off. But no one at any point does a good job of, like, trying to comfort him or stop it. It’s more like even they just see him as a weapon. It’s very interesting stuff.


Jason Concepcion: Ryan gets knocked out and then Homelander goes to tend to him. So our friends grab him and Soldier Boy lines him up too, to do the herogasm on him and de-power him. But then Butcher is like, Ryan’s going to get zapped too, and he feels bad about it. So now it’s Butcher versus Soldier Boy and Maeve versus Homelander with Starlight and MM thrown in for some good measure. And we get some truly, like movie level superhero action. It’s great. It’s like it’s just great superhero action. Great, great, great superhero action in which the show is delivered all absolute season. Now, I will say small note, I think there’s a great like device that’s at play here. And you see it a lot in suspense movies, suspense books where it’s like it’s like every time. Our heroes get the thing that they want in their grasp. It gets pulled away. Gets pulled away. It gets pulled away. Yeah, I will say it’s a little. It flirted with a little too much, like just blast Homelander already. Like it was a little, little The Walking Dead thing.


Rosie Knight: There’s a little there’s a little moment earlier this season as well where Soldier Boy and Butcher and Hughie do get to the point where they could have just killed him. But Butcher and Hugh, during Hughie having a little like you go now, you go. And I’m like, they’d just kill him, just kill him. So they, there’s lots of just killing babe moments.


Jason Concepcion: That is an absolutely minor. It’s very minor.


Rosie Knight: It’s like it’s one of those things we’re like, I love. Like, I love the characters. So I’m okay with chillin with them, but also just kill them. Obi Wan and Anakin all over again.


Jason Concepcion: I just want to acknowledge that. Hughie gets on the P.A. He’s in the security room and he calls for an evacuation. So everybody’s all the civilians are leaving. Meanwhile, Frenchie is cooking up the nerve agent as Kumiko to the dancing to the tune of Maniac from Flashdance. Frenchie finishes making the nerve agent, but then he gets shot in the ankle. Upstairs Homelander pops out Maeve’s eye. Terrible. Soldier Boy gets the best of butcher Kimiko and MM and the security team. Hughie sees this. He sees the danger he’s about to take the veil of V, but instead, he turns up the lights in the studio to their highest level. Starlight gets super, super powered up to levels we have never seen before, and she hits Soldier Boy with all that she has. Doesn’t knock him out, but it stuns him. And it’s a big hit. Kimiko and Starlight hold him. As Mother’s Milk slips that Novichok inhaler over Soldier Boy’s mouth, he says For my family. He’s breathing it in. But Soldier Boy is super pissed. He’s powering up to blast off and then Maeve after having Homelander in the ear, sees all of this and very, very, very regretfully understands that she has to be the hero now. She has to do something. So she’s like, Fuck, I guess I got to, I got to, I got to do it. I got to be Wonder Woman. She tackles Soldier Boy, Clear the building and Soldier Boy detonates in the air, wrecking the outside of Vought. But it’s fine and killing Maeve, we think. But everyone else is okay, including Homelander. Fuck, this guy is still up and going.Oh my god. This fucking guy. I can’t believe this guy’s. He’s not even scratched.


Rosie Knight: He’s a Terminator. He’s got some Vorhees powers  at this point.


Jason Concepcion: He did take, like, a letter opener to the neck, but, like, this guy is still going. He confronts Butcher, who’s like, Ryan come here, but Ryan is like, Dad, let’s go and he means Homelander, Unfortunately.


Rosie Knight: He means Homelander.


Jason Concepcion: He means Homelander. But Ryan go in there. He’s a he’s a cunt, isn’t it? but no, Ryan definitely wants to go with Homelander and then they just leave and Butcher’s brain then start bleeding black shit and he passes on.


Rosie Knight: Sorry.


Jason Concepcion: Fast forward, we watch a Vought news piece on on Maeve, R.I.P. Maeve. The whole world is turning out to to celebrate the life of Maeve. Butcher in the hospital, learns that the V damage is terminal and he has maybe 18 months. MM tells Janine about his and his family’s past, including the deaths of many of the family at the hands of Soldier Boy. He tells her how he’s fighting, just like her granddad did to get justice. We learn that Maeve is alive. Fantastic.


Rosie Knight: Yay. I was very happy about this.


Jason Concepcion: I was very, very happy about this. She lost her eye. Yes, she did lose her powers also. But she survived. And now she’s going to lay low on a farm somewhere with Elena. They’re going to go off. They’re going to live a great life. Over at Vought, Ashley and Anika, see the security footage that Maeve survive. They see MM. And the rest, like picking her up and putting her in the van and sparing her away on the security camera. And Ashley’s like erase that shit. They erase it immediately.


Rosie Knight: The ton. Is it coming? That’s the thing it is like, is she sick of it?


Jason Concepcion: Grace Mallory, Back in Power, oversees the return of her former teammate, Soldier Boy, his body to stasis containment. Sleep well, dear Prince, Soldier Boy. The Deep watches Cassandra, his ex on TV, announcing that the very fast publication of her tell all.


Rosie Knight: She had that book ready baby.


Jason Concepcion: But I guess she must have been right. You’re absolutely right. She was writing it while she was with him. Her new tell All In 2 Deep. My Journey to Freedom. The twos being the number 2, of course, about her leaving a toxic relationship with her squid fucking soup ex-boyfriend, the Deep. At the Flat Iron, Starlight throws her Starlight costume away, doesn’t double bag it and tie and double knotted as she is as MM who is OCD about cleanliness would wish her to do but of course they’re welcoming her to The Boys is a wonderful. She is part of the team now. But then news flash, the TV is announcing that guess who, Victoria Newman is replacing Lamar as Dakota Bob’s new vice presidential candidate. That’s right, Victoria Newman, who can pop people’s skulls, though no one knows it. It will now be one popped skull away from the highest the highest throne of power in the in the land. That bitch definitely has got to go. Elsewhere, Homelander introduces Ryan to his and Stormfront right wing supporters at the very the protest that seems to be always going on outside Vought. When when a counter-protester throws a drink at Ryan, Homelander just lasers the guy’s head off in the in the broad daylight in front of everybody. Yeah. And Janine’s stepdad is there and he’s like, I love it. And then Ryan smiles and season is over. Wow. What a season of The Boys.


Rosie Knight: If you if you didn’t know who Homelander is meant to be, they made that I could shoot someone in the street and people would still vote for me. They made it right there. Baby literally blows up a guy’s head, and Todd and everyone else is like, Yeah, this is great love Matt. I think. I think the Ryan thing is a really good choice because it’s just realistic. That’s what happens when your dad is a fascist. You’re probably going to become a fascist, and if you grow out of it, it will be later. And I think that that was a moment. I’m a softie in some ways, even though I love like action and stuff. So there was a moment at the end of season two where I loved the idea of Butcher being there for Ryan and that being a way of him showing his love for Becca. But the reality was he was shit to Becca, he was shit to Ryan. He basically abandoned Ryan and allowed Homelander to step in.


Jason Concepcion: As Ryan screams don’t leave. Yeah. And Butcher was like, I’m leaving.


Rosie Knight: He’s like, bye. And he left out with Grace. And then he opened up this space for, for Homelander. So I think it will be really interesting. I think now we haven’t really seen a soup with a sidekick yet, so I’m very excited to see the the Robin-Batman Homelander-Ryan thing that they’ll obviously do next season.


Jason Concepcion: Can’t wait for season four coming next year. Ms. Marvel Finale Episode six No Normal Teleplay by Will Dunn, A.C. Bradley and Matthew Chauncy Story by Will Dunn Directed by Adil and Bilall. We open on Jersey City. Agents Deever and Barry of the Department of Damage Control are examining the wreckage outside the Circle K, Bruno’s apartment. Obviously above that, this is what happens when the wrong people get powers, Deever says. Absolutely.


Rosie Knight: Who is she talking about? Who is she talking about?


Jason Concepcion: Absolutely letting us know.


Rosie Knight: Say it with you chest, babe.


Jason Concepcion: Absolutely. Letting us know that the Department of Damage Control is going to be a part of the Sentinel program eventually. All of these people who very, very clearly don’t like Howard, for.


Rosie Knight: At least she is.


Jason Concepcion: She is, for sure. And well, listen, I think what they were signaling two episodes ago when the Clandestines were being put in prison, but then the guards just started being really physical and and abusive towards them, is letting us know that this is an entire this department is staffed with people who feel this way. And we’re headed that way.


Rosie Knight: I think that that I think this episode is is really interesting in that way because we we see a distinct extremism from Sadie Deever, which is not surprising because she’s been going that way. But then other DODC agent who he met in No Way Home, he takes a turn against that. And I’m very interested to see if we’ll get some kind of split.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah, I think that that is well, we’ll get there, but I think that that is going to happen. Notably, Deever says that she wants whoever this powered person is that they haven’t caught, but they’re looking for they. She wants him brought in and studied.


Rosie Knight: Sounds like the Sentinel program to me.


Jason Concepcion: It  really does. Meanwhile, Bruno and Kamran are on the path train. They’re headed for Manhattan. The plan is to transfer there and then to head upstate, which I’ll just say in a in a episode filled with Easter eggs about mutants in the X-Men heading upstate felt like.


Rosie Knight: It means something also.


Jason Concepcion: I mean, listen. There’s a teenager, who can’t control his powers. And he’s thinking about heading upstate. That’s just is like an ex. That’s so many X-Men stories.


Rosie Knight: And I’ll tell you this. So, look. Watch this episode, with this in mind, compare it to the other episodes. Not only is the camera moment and that’s like part of the story, we have Agent Deever starting talking about experimenting on people that screams weapon X. It screams that they could need genetics for the drones that will inevitably become the sentinels, as Jason so rightly pointed out last week. And the other thing is this looks different. This episode opens with these huge sweeping shots of the New York skyline and these towering images of the Statue of Liberty. And then we go swiftly onto the train. And it’s all very urban, but it looks like actually it looks like a Zero’s X-Men movie. It evokes that exact thing. It’s letting you know where you are. It’s it’s placing you in the mindset of that. And that continues throughout this episode, not just thematically, but also like literally as we’ll get into.


Jason Concepcion: Back at the Khan household, Kamala tells her family that she has superpowers. She is the super hero. The family reaction is very proud and very positive, which is wonderful, although and fairly so and understandably so, Muneeba and Yusef are worried about the danger inherent in a superhero life. Nakia calls. Kamala learns about the destruction of the Circle K and that Bruno is missing. She rushes upstairs trying to call Bruno. She’s in a panic. But then Muneeba enters and Rosie’s prediction comes true. And guess what baby? Her mom made her a suit.


Rosie Knight: Oh, it’s so great.


Jason Concepcion: Take a victory lap Rosie Knight.


Rosie Knight: I mean, this is our most predicted series in one project. And the thing I love about this is that they made the suit so narratively intertwined with the show. And what was important about the show and what works about the show. An intergenerational story about family acceptance. It also does something that contradicts one of my worst, but also I understand most necessary tropes in superhero comics. For a long time I felt like over this 100 year history of superheroes, so much of what the heroes and the people that we look up to do is predicated on lying. They have to lie about their secret identity. They have to put their families. Spider-Man How many times is Aunt May in the hospital because of him and his secret identity? You know, Batman, even Clark Kent, Superman’s had that problem at times, like. But what I love about this is that contradicts this and in a way that it’s not only oh my family are know about it but that proud of me and they’re actually coconspirators and her mom made her this gorgeous costume classic superhero trope as well. This costume looks too legit. I’ve seen. Muneeba is a great seamstress, but like this is a Stark level costume.


Jason Concepcion: Here’s the other thing. Not to keep not said not to bring it back to the X-Men is we’re going to do multiple times.


Rosie Knight: Oh we’re going to bring it back. It’s going to be X-Men like this is our dream.


Jason Concepcion: Acceptance and community is that’s the key to an X-Men mutant story and that’s what this whole show and and in particular this episode is about is we are coconspirators because we’re a community.


Rosie Knight: I totally agree. And also something that I think they did really cheekily here that I’d love to know if it was purposeful as well, because I feel like this whole episode they basically got to write an X-Men story, which is really fun, but they also the whole show is about found family. But that’s not just family who isn’t your family. It’s about like finding your family again, which I think is really cheeky because found family is the heart of why we all love the X-Men so much. So there’s just so much good stuff here and I love that the costume now includes the Red Dagger Scarf. Yeah, you know, that kind of hint about the connection between the Red Dagger in the Clandestine and a collaboration in their future, which we’ll see more of later this episode. I, I needed I love predictions but this if Muneeba after them showing she’s a brilliant seamstress showing her punky roots and all that. If she hadn’t have made that costume, I would have been actually pissed. Usually I’m like, my predictions are wrong. I don’t care. But this one meant a lot and the moment is so well delivered. The actress who plays Muneeba is so spectacular and obviously Iman Vellani is just so wonderful. So they just, that delivered and the costume is stunning. Jamie Mckelvie’s brilliant costume design just brought to life onscreen.


Jason Concepcion: Bruno and Kamran arrive at the mosque. Nakia is like, What are you doing here? They’re like, Mosques are the few places of refuge. And then one of the funniest lines of the entire show is a mosque in America. Very like


Rosie Knight: She’s like no.


Jason Concepcion: Do you don’t understand. This is will not be respected as a place of refuge. Nakia then suggests that they head to the high school because it’s Saturday. No one is going to be there. Damage Control and Agent Deever enter the mosque and they’re looking for that high level threat that is Kamran. Sheikh Abdullah stands up for his flock ably, but of course, Deever and her goons are going to search anyway. The Sheik, while that’s going on, is already escorting Bruno and Kamran out the back door to an alley where Kamala finds him. No time for catch ups, however.


Rosie Knight: I just want to say really important moment, though, which is where we get another X-Men moment where Sheik Abdullah says, you know. Just.


Jason Concepcion: Oh, yes.


Rosie Knight: Because he’s being peaceful. He’s he’s he’s meeting them as friends. He offers them cookies. Agent Deeva once again, doesn’t take off her shoes. Disrespectful, racist bitch. Like she is just the worst. And but he still comes to her with cookies. He comes to her with friendship. And, you know, the kids want to know why. And he says, just because they make you their enemy, it doesn’t mean you have to make them yours. That’s your Charles Xavier moment, right?


Jason Concepcion: That is your, that is absolutely.


Rosie Knight: Just because they hate and fear us doesn’t mean we shouldn’t protect them, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t come with peace. That is that was when I realized I was like, oh, this is this is texture.


Jason Concepcion: They really are. This is textual.


Rosie Knight: They’re going for it.


Jason Concepcion: And it is early X-Men too, because I will say one thing that I think is in the mid 2000s to now that X-Men stories have done really well is is is radicalized in a way that felt earned. We can get in the slate and we talk about the X-Men, but a certain point when you’ve been engaging with the Charles Xavier philosophy for that long, and while you are met and all you are met with is genocide, literal genocide, that like 20 million dead on on Genosha, constant genocide. You have to ask, at what point is it enough? We’re not there yet, but it’s I love what Sheikh Abdullah said there. And thank you for bringing that up. Okay. Kamala finds Bruno and Kamran in the alley and they all get away just before the sirens find them. Kamala calls Kareem. It’s like, Listen, I have a friend. He is a Clandestine. I’m sorry about that. I know you don’t like them, but we got to. I have to get him out of here. And he’s like, okay, I know someone who can get him out, get him to the harbor at midnight. Very mysterious.


Rosie Knight: But Kareem’s got some secret connections, like, who’s at the harbor?.


Jason Concepcion: We need to know more about this, our friends then break into the school where they meet Nakia, who’s definitely pissed because Kamala didn’t tell her about the powers and the bangle and stuff. Kamala apologizes, but there’s no time to apologize because Damage Control is outside. Pause here. I think. Damage Control, how are they following him? How did how were they one step behind Kamran all the time? I think they’ve developed as the sentinels in the comics that this they have this technology. They have developed somehow a way to target onto a power signature and to follow it. It’s obviously at very early days, it’s not super refined, but they’ve figured out a way to do it.


Rosie Knight: I agree. It’s essentially in the MCU world, right? There is only so much fantastical stuff and we’re getting a lot more into it. But I definitely think you could do something like power signatures, heat signatures. There’s a radioactivity because the waves of power, it’s not genetic mutation yet. That’s not what they’re sensing, but they are sensing powered stuff. And I also just want to say, like when. Yeah. The high school choosing the high school. That is another X-Men moment, you know?


Jason Concepcion: That’s very X-Men.


Rosie Knight: And you know, that is something where. As we’ll see that there is no way that it cannot evoke, especially the X-Men comics, especially those Zeros, X-Men movies where the DODC is coming through these halls. So you’ve got these military people in these schools. It feels like an X-Men movie. They they know what they’re doing. And there’s a great moment where as they’re prepping.


Jason Concepcion: Even the way they’re geared up.


Rosie Knight: Yeah.


Jason Concepcion: Like, we’ll  get to this, but like. Even the way they’re geared up. You’re absolutely right. This is X2 X-Men United.


Rosie Knight: Exactly. Exactly. Totally. They have a they have a moment that comes up like just in one minute, which we which is just so throwaway is like they what are they using to to prepare for this fight? Right. In the high school. And they choose softballs. And the X-Men playing softball is like one of the most beloved tropes


Jason Concepcion: Absolute touchstones.


Rosie Knight: Technically, they in the Claremont stuff, you know, it’s baseball and throughout comics it kind of is changed between the two. But you know, that that was when I was like, Oh, okay, they know, know. I was like they’re not doing Easter eggs. This is why I did it. You’re literally using softball in your pad, like, this is a thing. That you’re doing and you know that you’re essentially letting these kids, Bruno, Nakia, you know, Kamran soon to be joined by Kamala’s brother. You are letting them have that X-Men moment. And I just love that.


Jason Concepcion: Kamala tries to get Bruno and Nakia to leave. But before they even talk about that, Zoe shows up. She’s like, I was in the theater filming Tik-Tok because of the lighting. Babe, get a ring light. They’re very, very cheap. She wants to be a part of this big fight mission. And you know what? Why not? Actually, she has an important role to play. Everyone is staying put, including Kamala’s brother, Amir, who shows up. And so it’s time for the big plan. And here it is. Distract Damage Control so Kamran can get to safety. Meanwhile, Zoe will leverage her social media following to put out a call to action to the community to get eyes here so people can see what’s happening. So Damage Control can’t just go like full, like kill the mutants or capture the mutants so they can well, capture the powered people will just call it that for now.


Rosie Knight: Enhanced individuals.


Jason Concepcion: Enhanced individuals, so that they can study them. By the way, you know just want to mention love the use of the the circular Star Wars, A New Hope stun rey. That’s what a star, you know established in 1977 this is what the stun looks like. It’s that little hollow smoke ring circle. It goes out and hits people. Outside, Deever is on the phone with Agent Cleary. Damage Control is is ready for a siege. They’re outside the school. They’re getting ready to charge in. And Cleary is like, are you fucking crazy?


Rosie Knight: What is wrong with you?


Jason Concepcion: Yeah. You’re going to attack kids in a school. Don’t do this, like stand down. Absolutely. Right now. I want to hear you say it and Deever’s like, yep, standing. Yeah, you got it hangs up and goes, nope, call additional units. We’re going in. Now, our heroes, our friends, their plan works. There’s only a few hiccups. One hiccup is Kamala and Kamran almost kiss and then Bruno walks in


Rosie Knight: Classic had to be the X-Men love triangle. Key to the X-Men by the way,.


Jason Concepcion: Got to have that love triangle love love love love triangle between enhanced individuals. And then the other little wrinkle is Kamran figures out that his mom is dead and that and that K1qaamala’s been hiding this from him. And then naturally, because he learns this, he’s already not in control of his powers, but then he just takes all the safeguards off. And we it’s kind of cool because we get to see what Kamran can really do. He pulls all the lockers down on the Damage Control goons. But. And then. He steps out of the high school doors and faces down Damage Control. This is Magneto at the police station in the first X-Men movie. it’s like 100% is.


Rosie Knight: Exactly. And also, he has his this is his Magneto moment, you know. And yeah, Zoe has.


Jason Concepcion: Goes a little differently because he’s not as he’s not as ready for it.


Rosie Knight: He’s not that far gone, right. But like and Zoe’s called all these people via her social media and they’re all outside watching very Spider-Man Two on the train. Right.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah.


Rosie Knight: The public is here. The public is in support. But for Kamran, it’s too heartbreaking. And and it’s very interesting because they get to have. Kamala and Kamran get to have this Eric and Charles moment.


Jason Concepcion: It is a very, very Eric. It is that.


Rosie Knight: Kamala realizes that what Kamran needs, she cannot give him. But what she can do is give him a chance to leave. This is not the right choice. Don’t become this danger. Don’t become the thing that they want you to be. And if you can’t do that, just go and I’ll I’ll I’ll let you go. And I was like, Wow, it’s Charles and Eric, baby.


Jason Concepcion: And it’s really it is in miniature. It is Charles and Eric. So Kam faces down Damage cCntrol. Kamala protects him. This is all witnessed by the crowds who Zoe called. Kamala then, like, is able. She has just been practicing and working at it enough. Has hit that emotional level, intellectual level and physical level where she’s she unlocks the final level of her powers, and we can see everything she could do. She’s got the two Embigen hands. She’s punching Humvees across the fucking. She’s giant. She’s giant manning. She’s like bullets are bouncing off her. She’s catching the Humvee that that Kamran accidentally threw at, like the entire community. She saves all their lives. And then, as you said, they have that Eric and Charles moment. She puts this like shield of light around them. And then they have it out. They have that talk. And she is like, fine. Punches a hole in the ground is like, just crawl through there, escape to the harbor, go. Damage Control, tries to arrest Kamala, but the entire neighborhood stands in between them, including the cops, which is crazy.


Rosie Knight: They de arrest her.


Jason Concepcion: They de de de de arrest her. And then Kamala escapes. Cleary calls Deever and he is fucking heated. He relieves her of command. The question is, well, let’s let’s finish this.


Rosie Knight: Yeah. we’re so close.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah, yeah, yeah. we’re so close. He relieves or command. Later, all of Jersey City is buzzing about the historic events and they all got to witness it. And and not only that but they have their very own superhero is protecting thier neighborhood. It is Spider-Man does Manhattan is Daredevil does Hell’s Kitchen. This is so great. They got their own superhero. Kamala is in her in her room posing in her suit, as one would naturally do if one was a superhero. She talks to her dad. And they talk about just life and her journey. And he says, you know what Kamala means? It means kind of means Marvel. Sort of. You’re like our Ms.. Marvel, and the name is coined. It’s a wonderful moment. I love that. Meanwhile, Kam makes it to Karachi, where Kareem gives him a little head nod and takes him in. And then we fast forward. One week later, Bruno and Nakia pull up in Kamran’s whip, his sports car, which I have to say, who is who’s paying the insurance? There’s a lot of questions about that. Can you just keep doing can you just keep driving this car? I understand. Did he sign over the title and everything? Anyway, I’m not going to worry about it. Bruno’s has big news. He has been studying Kamala’s biological makeup and also her powers. And he says, You know what? Your genes are a little different. It’s almost like like you’ve undergone a mutation.


Jason Concepcion: And the fact that they threw that in there. It almost felt too much. But honestly also not enough.


Rosie Knight: They had to do it because the truth is like.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah they had to tell you.


Rosie Knight: We’ve heard. We’ve heard the term mutation in the MCU before. And you’re like, ooh, but this one, they were like. X-Men. They were like right now the plan will we see it for seen? Who knows? But the plan right now, she is a mutant. This is X-Men. She is an X-Men style mutant. And that is how powerful that theme is that you can put that there and everyone’s like, Oh shit, she’s an X-Men. Like This is X-Men. The X-Men are in the MCU. And you start here.


Jason Concepcion: As old King Mike on Instagram DM’d me he me he gave me that the meme picture of the guy who is you know outside his haters funeral and he said how the X-Men dressed as they watched the final nail going the Inhumans coffin. Yes it is true irony that the character who in the comics was created because Marvel was looking for a way to have X-Men that they owned as their own IP to put in the movies and  And it was going to be the Inhumans to now have that character in the in the TV and film property side now be revealed to be a mutant is just crazily ironic.


Rosie Knight: Unbelievable.


Jason Concepcion: Unbelievable Shit.


Rosie Knight: Especially because like Kamala everyone’s assumption was she just was a mutant because that is how people in the comics get their powers. But then it ended up being that she got her powers through Terrigenesis, made her an inhuman, the most famous inhuman, arguably ever, honestly, and the most well known because of how successful the comic was. The very funny thing is it put her in this very hilarious group of characters like Spider-Man, like Falcon, where it’s like they were almost a mutant. But then it’s revealed that they weren’t or at times. They almost made them mutants. So this feels very full circle.


Jason Concepcion: Fulton still talking to those birds, you know.


Rosie Knight: That’s what I’m saying in the comics, they never really they never really had a.


Jason Concepcion: He’s still talking to those birds.


Rosie Knight: I want to know if that’s his secondary mutation. so I have a I have a theory. At the moment.


Jason Concepcion: Well let’s go. Let’s do the stinger.


Rosie Knight: Oh, okay, okay, okay, okay.


Jason Concepcion: Let’s go through the stinger and then we and then we can dive into it. So Stinger, Kamala is in her bedroom when the bangle starts acting weird, she’s suddenly thrown through her closet door crashing into the closet. And then when she comes out, it’s not Kamala, it’s Carol Danvers. They have switched places in the universe somehow. And we can only assume that Kamala is somewhere where Carol just was. What is going on? And then we’re done. And then it says Ms.. Marvel will appear, will be back again in the Marvels. Okay, let’s talk about everything. First of all, let’s just say we were right.


Rosie Knight: Yeah, we were right.


Jason Concepcion: We were right about it. We were right about the costumes. We were right about the mutants.


Rosie Knight: We were right about this stinger. Which.


Jason Concepcion: Yes.


Rosie Knight: Means that.


Jason Concepcion: Let’s talk about this stinger.


Rosie Knight: Okay, I’ll explain the stinger. So so this is very funny because I think it is a very interesting choice because I think for maybe 50 or 60% of people who watched it, they were like, oh, maybe Kamala shapeshifting into Carol. That’s her comic book powers. They were like, Maybe that was weird. Why did it happen? But if you are a comics reader of a certain age or you have read a lot of old comic books, you are immediately like, Oh my God, they just Rick Jones’d her.


Jason Concepcion: They did Rick Jones her. Who is Rick Jones you might ask.


Rosie Knight: Who is Rick Jones you might ask? Rick Jones is like the Marvel’s perennial sidekick. He is very much maligned. He began as a Hulk sidekick. He’s been a sidekick to Captain America, where he was essentially trolling Captain America by pretending to be Bucky.


Jason Concepcion: Let’s just say that in the comics. So the origin story of Rick Jones is the reason that Bruce Banner is the Hulk is because Rick Jones is a fucking moron.


Rosie Knight: Yep. He is a bum.


Jason Concepcion: And he wandered into like a gamma bomb experiment site and was just like, hey. And so Bruce Banner did run out and, like, tackle him into, like, a ditch so he wouldn’t get irradiated. And that’s how Bruce Banner got irradiated and turned into the fucking Hulk.


Rosie Knight: And at some point, someone was like, Oh, yeah, we should, like make him like a. Superhero. He’s going to run this team, the team brigade, you know, he’s going to be an accessible kid hero and. And kind of throughout comics, he’s been he’s been in that role for many, many characters beginning with the Hulk.


Jason Concepcion: He’s been a superhero.


Rosie Knight: He’s been a superhero. He was able.


Jason Concepcion: He was a rock star.


Rosie Knight: Yeah, he is. And he’s always just a really generic dude that’s like his funniest thing. And it’s like he is just a perennial, that guy. In London, we would call him a side man. Yeah, it’s like so it’s like it’s really funny. But the reason he is relevant here is that in the original Captain Marvel Comics, Marvel, Marvel was given the Nega bands, which we were right. We did predict that the Nega bands may be the Bangles may be a representation of them. Remember, we saw the Bangles first come off a blue skinned arm, which implies they were Kree. Captain Marvel was given the Nega bands when he and Rick Jones wore the Naga bands. They could switch places.


Jason Concepcion: Yes.


Rosie Knight: Rick Jones essentially became Captain Marvel’s Earth alter ego. And when he tapped the Nega bands, Captain Marvel would take his place. Now, whenever one of them was not on Earth, the other one was stuck. Nega bands in the negative zone. It is very interesting to then see that here because that is essentially what we just saw happen to Kamala. The big question is, as we have briefly mentioned before in Marvel, we have not met the negative zone. The negative zone is an important Fantastic Four location. There are a lot of connections that could be made. What we have met is the quantum realm, and there is a version, a later version of the bands that are the quantum bands. So which one is it going to be? That’s kind of the big question, but that’s that’s the Rick Jones of it all. And that is also.


Jason Concepcion: Let me we me.


Rosie Knight: Which one do you think?


Jason Concepcion: Let me add another. Well, before we go there, let me add another wrinkle to this, another X-Men style wrinkle. In the comics, Rogue, famous X-Men, who’s a who’s power, is that she touches someone and then she takes their memories. And if she touches a mutant, she she steals their powers for a time and for a time because she’d come into contact with Carol Danvers. Captain Marvel. But Captain Marvel Psyche became embedded in Rogue.


Rosie Knight: Yep.


Jason Concepcion: And would occasionally come out at different times. And it would be Carol Danvers. Where am I? What body man? What are they? Are they not just Rick Jones and Kamala, but are they Rogue and Kamala?  Are they Rogue and Kamala and Captain Marvel?


Rosie Knight: I’m trying to work out like. So I’ll just put Freaky Friday. So I’m basically saying I’m trying to work out what the purpose of this choice is. It definitely seems like it’s setting up the Marvels. Right? Carol has to find where this young girl went missing or get back to where she was. So she enlists Monica. And obviously they’re going to have to get over that beef that Monica understandably has with her for like constantly just breathing on earth. But what I think is really interesting is we definitely know one thing, Carol was off earth and nobody knew where she was. That is a recurring talking point in this season where people are like, Where’s Captain Marvel? Why does nobody know? We assumed she would just be in her usual off in the universe, leaving everyone by themselves self. But obviously she was trapped in this place and in some way it’s connected to the band or the band called Carol Back because of her connection to the Kree. It is unbelievable. I’ve always, ever since they did introduce Carol into the MCU, I’ve wanted them to do the Rogue stuff. I hope that if it happens, that is another edition of Rogue coming in. Maybe they need Rogue to separate the two of them or something. But seeing as we only have one bangle, I think the Marvels is going to continue on artifact trend. We’re going to have to see Carol seeking out that other bangle to kind of get control of this. Now, what I really want to know, because this could be very fun, I have to say.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah.


Rosie Knight: This I’m hoping whatever the Marvels is, is a little bit of a recontextualize ation of Captain Marvel in the way they did with Thor and with Doctor Strange. Because I loved this and with Brie Larson, there was so much more humor in it than Carol’s been allowed to have before, and it was very kind of wacky and a costume was badass. So I would yeah, I’d be very happy to see where this is going to go. And I really want to know if Carol and Kamala will be able to communicate, because Rick James Jones and Captain Marvel, they can communicate when one of them is in the negative zone. So it will be really fun to see if that’s something they bring in. And also another thing, this is kind of more serious narrative, but like, I wonder if because now Carol and Kamala are so connected, I wonder if they’ll follow the comic book arc that they took where Kamala comes to that realization that Carol is not necessarily the hero on a pedestal.


Jason Concepcion: Right.


Rosie Knight: That she always thought she was.


Jason Concepcion: Get to know somebody and it’s different. Yeah, there’s a difference. I mean, listen, Carol is. Carol. Carol in the comics has taken the side that I would prefer not to take.


Rosie Knight: I concur.


Jason Concepcion: Multiple, multiple times across the history of the Marvel. She’s on the wrong side of both civil wars. Like, I love her. But she she.


Rosie Knight: She’s a cop. She’s a space cop.


Jason Concepcion: She’s a space cop. She’s a space cop. I don’t want to see who she votes for it. Let’s just put it that way with Carol, who, again, I love. Let’s talk about. You know what? We’ve talked so many times about how how are they going to bring the X-Men? How are they going to do it? First of all, let’s just say that what this shows us and what Wandavision showed us as well is that mutants are here, whatever.


Rosie Knight: Yeah.


Jason Concepcion: However they do it, they’ve already laid the groundwork for mutants are already here. And what we didn’t know and what we said in the past was super important track to be laid to eventually introduces mutants is we need to get to a place where powered people are hated and feared or else why even have the X-Men? They’re just like super heroes. Like we were getting there now. Yeah, we’re the way that Deever acts, the way they do, which by the way, is hilarious because Department of Damage Control is just like the fucking Keystone cops in the car.


Rosie Knight: Exactly. You know, so this is this is the thing I’m really interested in. So I think there’s two routes that Deever could go. I think that we will either see her essentially go to S.W.O.R.D. and steal some kind of technology from The ODC and take it there and create what the Sentinels are. Because we saw the big size mechs, we saw something like that. So I feel like that could that could happen. Or a really interesting route, which is another incredibly important thing to have in an X-Men story. I wonder if she doesn’t necessarily continue her route as an agent, but she becomes the X-Men, the the the enhanced individual hating politician. That’s such a key part of the X-Men lore, and I could definitely see her running on a platform. It’s very easy to stoke mass violence and mass fear and mass confusion when you have a huge political platform. So I think that could be another route where we go on this escalated version. And then once she is in power, she can take over the DODC or she can create an even more extreme version.


Jason Concepcion: By the way, What a great platform for Armor Wars for Rhodey just to be like. They’re using my friend’s technology to hunt people down. That’s what they’re using it for. I have to stop this. It’s awesome. That’s great. And by the way, and so I think the X-Men are around somewhere. They’re hidden. I agree. As we said, as we said last episode, like it would be no problem for Charles using his powers, Magneto with the abilities he has to just hide the whole school from everybody.


Rosie Knight: If Kamala exists, as she does, and as her only interactions with Damage Control have been when she manifested powers in a very public way, there is no reason that other people who are mutants might not have been around, and it’s actually very narratively easy to explain it. You have these big government backed superheroes. You don’t need to go out there. You don’t need to put yourself in that risk. Captain America exists. The Avengers exist. That is gone now. There is a new. There is a new generation of heroes. There is a potential that a more responsible adult in that situation, a Charles or maybe even a Magneto on the other side of things or a Storm. You know, that’s one of them. She’s one of the most perennially popular characters and has been the head teacher. I think that we could see a world where they’re going to come out of that hiding to help these young people.


Jason Concepcion: Well, I think that the cool thing is that we’ve gotten to a place where it is actually the anti powered the anti anti enhanced individual, kind of like feeling, makes a lot of sense. Because the previous people who had powers, everybody knew who they were. There were no. Spider-Man. Spider-Man is the first character who had a secret identity. Nobody knew who he was. But crucially, Tony Stark cosign for this person. So it seemed like, you know, you can see how the general public go. Okay. Well, Tony Stark.


Rosie Knight: The six records happen.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah, that’s. Okay. But but Deever nailed it. We this is what happens when the wrong people get powers. And and that is the dynamic that’s going to be at play now that mutants are starting to come to the fore now. Now, we mentioned that clearly Damage Control has some kind of technology where they can track powers, they can hone in, you know, in a very, very primitive way on a power signature. Kamran’s in this case and follow that person. They’re going to hone that, I think. Right. And I already mentioned my crazy theory that that Arnim Zola’s like algorithm is going to be a part of this process.


Rosie Knight: Oh I think that’s actually really smart. I think it makes sense. We know S.W.O.R.D.


Jason Concepcion: This is they knew about Doctor Strange since way back in the day.


Rosie Knight: Look you know what the history of Real World has told us? Yeah. Any government does not have a problem with using Nazi technology or Nazi affiliated science. That has been the history of many.


Jason Concepcion: Whoever has the best tech.


Rosie Knight: Exactly.


Jason Concepcion: They really don’t care like who you are.


Rosie Knight: I do not believe that D.O.D.C. Wouldn’t have shield tech because they care about Hydra.


Jason Concepcion: 100%. Yeah, yeah, yeah. They have that.


Rosie Knight: That is. That is going to be that. That’s going to be.


Here’s what I think. I am. And like what we’ve again, we’ve been like, how do they do it? How do they do it? I think that there is a world where, as I mentioned last episode, they have this technology where they can track powers. They had that Hydra algorithm, that Shield had that allowed them to kind of like crunch numbers and figure out who’s going to be a threat. They combine those two things. They turn on the computer one day and they just see like some mansion in upstate New York is just all lit up with power. What? And so Deever or whoever happens to be in control of this program at that point in time just says, you know what, send in the upgraded drones. And that gives us gives us our entree to the X-Men. It’s like a a classic. The Sentinels are at the mansion fight between the X-Men and the Sentinels.


Rosie Knight: You know, we know how much X-Men the animated series is impacting this at this point with the theme with the show coming out, you know, maybe they’ll have them at the mall classic style, you know, the classic fight where you find the jubilee, you find the mall rat kids I, I feel like there is a lot of scope. I we had been thinking about this a lot. We loved the X-Men shock. Spoiler alert. But like I’m so impressed by how casually and easily they made it seem absolutely possible.


Jason Concepcion: Now, here’s my question is, are, have Charles and have Charles and Magneto split yet in in this in where we are post end game, post blip, all this stuff, phase four, like are they still together or did they split? Because as someone on Twitter replied to me, you could very easily see Magneto saying, well, look, look who they accept, who has powers. These normal people, they accept them. But if we were to come out, they would hate us. So we should just the power people are here and they’re taking the spot that we should have as homo superior. We should just reveal ourselves. And I could see that being, if not the break, the kind of philosophical argument that starts the break, whether or not they’ve actually split up.


Rosie Knight: I so I still think this is the biggest question because we are, you know, so far away from World War Two now, but Magneto’s origin is absolutely vital. So I, I will be very interested to see in my because of the stories I enjoy, I think I’d love to see a contemporary Charles and Eric. But we are in the realm of multiverses, old timelines, etc. time travel. Maybe there is a way that you can still have that. Maybe they’re just slightly younger. Maybe they have. You know, we’ve seen Wolverine. He’s a character you never really ages.  And, you know, they are many different things.


Jason Concepcion: Eric is a they can make Eric a grandchild of holocaust survivors. They could do it, too. But I do think. Listen, if the, again, the Zola theory is all mine. It’s no, this is it’s crackpot. But at the same time, like you can see if if they maintain Eric having that lineage a Jewish superhero survivor of the Holocaust or children child of survivors where he’d like go look.


Rosie Knight: They’re using Nazi tech.


Jason Concepcion: All their all their technology is Nazi anyway.


Rosie Knight: And they’re using that to harm people.


Their main, their main security international security apparatus is like, yeah, 95% Nazis. Their Captain America was powered up and was supported by active Nazis, worked for active Nazi, didn’t know it, but still.


Rosie Knight: Yeah, I think that we.


Jason Concepcion: Need to do something about this.


Rosie Knight: Okay. So, so then I think the funniest thing is, is like very wild to be talking about this when next week we will both be in San Diego Comic-Con and we will by two weeks probably have an idea of where this is all going, because I feel like bringing in the term mutation, playing the X-Men theme, we’re probably going to get at least a title reveal or a release date for an X-Men project at San Diego. Maybe casting for the Fantastic Four, that seems a little bit closer. So I’m very interested to see how much more that will lay out, because I think you make a really great point. And like, look, we are both Marvel Stans. Like, we remember the world for Marvel Studios and we remember the desolate times of the nineties and the late Captain America movies and stuff. As much as I love them. Yeah, it we are big. We have a lot of love for these franchises, but there’s probably never been a more pivotal moment since they chose to make Iron Man and they cast Robert Downey Junior. And they ended the movie with him saying, I am Iron Man. And they took that near bankruptcy inducing deal to put that movie out. There’s probably never been an as pivotal moment. Since then as there is now of them getting this right. Because the act if you don’t get the X-Men and or the Fantastic Four right, you’re probably given that the the the road of the MCU is going to change. So I feel like it’s I’m so excited. And for me,.


Jason Concepcion: I’m very, very excited.


Rosie Knight: This is a great way to start with a young, also this is very very in the weeds, but I do think it’s very cute and I think it’s intentional. In the comics canonically thanks to Chris Claremont’s X-Men run all five X-Men Run. Jean Gray, a.k.a. Marvel Girl is Charles Xavier’s first student. I love that in the MCU there is a world where Ms. Marvel is his first student. I think there are parallels here that they’re trying to make that would be really lovely and would hark back to the past of the X-Men while also doing something new.


Jason Concepcion: I cannot wait. I cannot wait for the X-Men to finally make their appearance. And to your point. It’s obviously like a huge, huge, huge. Step for the interest for Marvel to introduce the first family of the Fantastic Four and of course, the X-Men, who have been the flagship heroes for, you know, maybe not the last ten years, but certainly the previous 35 to 40. So it’s going to be a huge deal. I’m weirdly more worried about the Fantastic Four intro.


Rosie Knight: Of course. That’s the first movie project.


Jason Concepcion: Because I think because I think that they’ve really like every to your point this entire the finale of Ms. Marvel was like an X-Men story. And if and how hard they went into the outsider ness, the, the, the creating your own community, the like, just embracing who you are, despite the fact that like society is going to shun you if they do that, that like if they commit to it, that this hard when they introduce the X-Men, it’s all going to be fine. I can’t wait to see what happens.


Rosie Knight: Yeah. Unbelievable.


Jason Concepcion: Well, that’s it for us. It’s a big thank you to Rosie Knight for joining us on X-Ray Vision. Rosie plugs, plugs, plugs, plugs, plugs. What do you got to plug?


Rosie Knight: I got things to plug so you can start putting things in your diary for cool events for the Godzilla signing. So I’m going to be signing Godzilla versus Batra with Mark Martinez, who did a brilliant cover for that at Nostalgia Comics. So you’ll be able to see us there on the release day, which is going to be Wednesday, the 3rd of August. And then on when on Saturday, the 6th of August, we will be at Pulp Fiction, which is my local comic shop in Long Beach, doing a massive Godzilla Day with a ton of cool artists. Oliver will be there, the amazing artist. We will have a bunch of local artists from the England draw. We’ll have my friend Brenda Chi, an incredible cover artist for IDW. It’s just going to be really fun and that will be really cool. And next week I’m doing a lot of stuff at San Diego, so you will be able to see me there live vicariously through me there. Jason, you will also be there, right?


Rosie Knight: Yeah, we’re going to be there.


Jason Concepcion: X Ray Vision has a new YouTube home. The Takeline channel is now dedicated to all things X-ray vision. So check that out for recaps, primers, etc.. Also, we have a Discord. Check the shownotes for the link to our Discord to please join. Love to have you there. For next week’s episode we’re going to be at Comic-Con, as we said, and we’re going to do this really? We’ve decided to do this cool thing. It’s 2022, which means it’s 40 years since the summer of 1982 when 1,000,000 million cool movies came out. We’ve got a poll up now that we’re running up to next week where you can choose, you can vote on which of the many, many, many great movies of 1982 you want to hear us cover from Comic-Con next week. So check that out. The voting process has already begun. Check out the onculture page on social media and vote. Your vote is your voice. Please vote and tune in July 22nd to find out which film is chosen and which we talk about. Don’t forget five stars wherever you get your podcast, great reviews. If you want to review it, give us the five stars. We love it. X-ray Vision is a Crooked Media production. The show is produced by Chris Lord and Saul Rubin. The show is executive produced by myself and Sandy Girard. Our editing and sound design is by Vasilis Fotopoulos. Delon Villanueva and Matt deGroot provide video production support. Alex Reliford handles social media. Thank you Brian Vazquez for our theme music. See you next time. Bye.


Rosie Knight: Bye.