Prime Video’s The Boys (Season 3): Here Comes a Candle to Light You to Bed (Episode 7) Review
*This Review Contains Full Spoilers*
With its latest episode, The Boys fills in a few character and story gaps while also mending broken bonds as it heads towards its likely explosive finale.
Episodes like this show why The Boys can handle splitting the spotlight between so many characters and storylines as it puts enough focus on its wide array of characters to answer some big burning questions. While it has some smaller storylines it does simple check-ins with, it mostly tries to tie its big story beats together through a central theme. Here, the ongoing idea of trying how to figure out how to create change in society takes a bit of a back seat for themes about defining family. It’s a small but significant change that allows for some to reunite and others to uncover horrifying discoveries. Before we get to any of that though, we should get those “check-ins” out of the way.
Last week’s episode saw A-Train (Jessie T. Usher) get his vengeance on Blue Hawk (Nick Wechsler) by dragging him across the concrete, but remarkably, A-Train isn’t dead. Although it seemed like his heart would explode, he ends up being saved by Vought transplanting his heart with Blue Hawk’s. It’s a decision that clearly doesn’t sit right with him, but he’s in no shape to do much about it. It’ll be interesting to see where he really stands as things come to a head. We also now know what happened to Maeve (Dominique McElligott) as Homelander (Anthony Starr) visits her in the padded room he’s trapped her in. Their exchange is tense as hell with Homelander saying that he plans to harvest Maeve’s eggs to have more super kids and Maeve taunting Homelander for being scared of Soldier Boy (Jensen Ackles). Aside from A-Train and Maeve, The Deep (Chace Crawford) gets deep with another octopus, but likely tarnishes his relationship in the process.
The biggest thing that happens outside of what’s happening with our band of divided heroes is with Black Noir (Nathan Mitchell). After hearing that Soldier Boy was back, Noir immediately went on the run, and you can’t blame him. Soldier Boy is on the hunt to get payback on Payback and there’s no doubt that Noir is a top target. Before we see them go toe to toe, we get a glimpse into Noir’s backstory and peel back the layers on when Payback turned on Soldier Boy with the help of some animated critters. The idea of having cartoons be a part of Noir trying to piece things together is weird at first but comes together excellently as we get a deeper backstory on him.
So, the little play put on by the cartoon characters shows Soldier Boy being a violent force towards his own team and Stan (Giancarlo Esposito) talking to Noir about taking Soldier Boy down. Then comes the real version of how Soldier Boy got into the Russians hands, and it turns out it was from fighting his own team. While most people got out okay, Noir did not. Soldier Boy is not only the reason that part of Noir’s face is burned under the mask, but he’s also the reason that Noir can’t speak since he bashed Noir’s head so hard that part of his brain fell out. It’s cartoon violence (The Boys version), but this sequence also has some good heart to it. The series finally delivers the long-awaited backstory of Noir, but also uses this moment to push him forward as the animated critters give him a heartwarmingly genuine pep talk. Noir could play a surprisingly big role in this big final battle that’s set up perfectly here.
There are not many people left on Soldier Boy’s hit list and his latest target is Mindstorm (Ryan Blakely) but capturing him is not easy. With his power to scramble people’s minds and even put them in a coma just by looking into their eyes, which is exactly what happens to Butcher (Karl Urban). With Butcher out cold, Hughie (Jack Quaid) and Soldier Boy spend some alone time together and it doesn’t strengthen their relationship. Truthfully, Soldier Boy is making Hughie very regretful as his macho man schtick only goes skin-deep. Turns out that all the war stories he had are a farce, but him punching Hughie when he’s annoyed still make him a strong psychical threat.
As for Starlight (Erin Moriarty) and the rest of the crew, they deal with their own issues as they try to find a way to stop Soldier Boy. Starlight’s pleas for people to hear the truth, as expected, fall on deaf ears as many, especially Homelander, try to make her out to be the bad guy. M.M. (Laz Alonso) becomes irate after seeing that Todd (Matthew Gorman) takes his daughter to a Homelander rally and literally knocks him out after a dispute. Plus, Frenchie (Tomer Capone) and Kimiko (Karen Fukuhara) are still licking their wounds but make a big choice that changes everything and really kicks off this episode’s big thematic push on family.
It was only a matter of time before Kimiko would get her powers back, but the place it comes from is deeply emotional. If you told me that Frenchie and Kimiko’s relationship would overtake Starlight and Hughie’s going into season three, I would’ve thought you were crazy. But their relationship is just so damn emotional and Kimiko’s arc in this episode is just immaculate. The letter that she writes Starlight to get her a vial of Compound V is a total tearjerker as it emphasizes the power of choice. Her realization that her powers don’t define who she is shows that she can be a hero and her desires to protect the family that she’s made here, especially Frenchie, really makes her getting her powers back hit different.
Seriously, this episode might have some of the strongest emotional points in the series and this shared theme of family is a big reason why. After seeing everyone become divided, it’s more fulfilling for them to have these big moments of coming together and expressing a real care for one another. Kimiko regaining her powers not only represents an empowering moment of reclamation for herself, but also showcases the love she has for Frenchie and the crew. Hughie going around Soldier Boy’s back to bring Butcher back to life is a meaningful return to the Hughie we all know and love. Even Starlight calling Butcher about temp-V possibly killing Hughie and Butcher felt like an extending the grapevine type moment that could bring them back together in a key moment before the final battle.
However, not all these themes about family were as rosy for other characters like Butcher and Homelander. Throughout his coma dream, Butcher is haunted by the abuse he suffered as a kid and his brother Lenny (Bruno Rudolf) ultimately committing suicide. It also absolutely devastating to watch and Urban continues to provide some deeply emotional moments for Butcher’s character. It’s also established that Butcher is becoming his dad and that he’s not exactly ready to grow yet as he doesn’t tell Hughie the truth about temp-V, not yet anyways. Homelander is also in a downward spiral and we’re nearing towards the point of him just going nuts. Starlight livestreaming their conversation is certainly about to send him over the edge and he can’t hide that Soldier Boy is back forever. However, Soldier Boy drops one hell of a bomb after learning that Vought made a son out of his DNA, Homelander. Yep, there was always that curiosity of how Homelander and Soldier Boy could come together, and this could be it.
The Boys sets up its very likely devastating and destructive finale with a couple big old truth bombs and some heartwarming personal arcs about family. If Homelander and Soldier Boy end up teaming up, who knows if anyone will be left standing and we could be in for a bloody, brutal, and heartbreaking finale.