Here’s everything we found in The Boys Season 2, Episode 5, “We Gotta Go Now.”
More than halfway through its second season, The Boys has presented a lot of mysteries and provided few answers. What is Stormfront’s goal? Who was that guy she spoke to on the phone? How does she fit into Stan Edgar’s plans, and where do their goals diverge? Will Homelander reach a breaking point and finally snap? Will Butcher find a way to get Becca out from under Vought’s thumb? And how much interference from The Boys will Edgar really tolerate, blackmail or not?
We have answers to come of these below, thanks to careful sleuthing and an awareness of the comic books. If you want to know who Shawn Ashmore’s character is, keep reading.
Beyond that, we’re thankful that The Boys is one of TV’s most detailed productions, because it lets us do these deep dives every week to discover tiny hidden references, Easter eggs, and other morsels within each new episode. Enjoy.
1. We Gotta Go Now
Like the other episode titles, “We Gotta Go Now” refers to a volume of the comics–in this case Volume 4, in which The Boys confront a superhero team known as The G-Men. They’ve been referenced as an Easter egg in the show before, but not seen.
2. Joss re-write
If Dawn of the Seven is a Justice League parody, then it needs to have its own “Joss re-write,” as Homelander puts it. Of course, this refers to Joss Whedon, who infamously stepped in to re-write and direct Justice League after Zack Snyder left the project. Granted, we’re getting the Snyder Cut soon on HBO Max.
3. Peas to get lasered in half by you
The frozen peas Butcher uses to soothe his face are sold by Vought and branded with Homelander, including the slogan “superheroes eat their veggies.” The sign over the freezer says “Vought Fresh Farms,” and the store also has a Queen Maeve perfume stand and a Starlight skincare stand on display. Supes, entertainment, “news” media, pharmaceuticals, hygiene, and now agriculture–is there a pot in which Vought doesn’t have a hand?
4. Like a Catholic priest
The line “they’ve been moving her around like a f***ing Catholic priest” references scandals involving the Catholic church moving priests around to cover up child abuse. For an excellent film covering the true story of the investigative journalism team that first brought such stories to light, check out 2015’s Spotlight.
5. Squeak toys
When Butcher is in the drug store, you can see supe-themed squeak toys–one of which he’ll later give to Terror–on the top shelf.
The show Mother’s Milk is watching is the Starz series Outlander, which is based on the novels by Diana Gabaldon. The series follows a woman who travels back in time and falls in love with a Scottish Highlander in the 18th century. MM is kind of a sap. Like The Boys, Outlander is a Sony production.
7. Dr. J 1976
MM’s string of great t-shirts continues with this Dr. J 1976 shirt, which references New York Nets basketball Hall of Famer Julius Erving, who won the 1976 ABA Slam Dunk championship.
8. Oh Snap (Wexley)
You might recognize this actor, Greg Grunberg, from various things, including the role of Snap Wexley in the most recent Star Wars films. Maybe more relevantly, he also starred in the 2006 series Heroes, a show about ordinary people realizing they have superpowers.
Stormfront accuses Starlight of “eye-f***ing [her] like a lovesick stangirl.” The term “stan” stems from an Eminem song, but it has come to be associated with a particularly obsessive brand of fandom, making a “stangirl” an extra obsessive fan girl, though it’s not a commonly used variation on the term. Stormfront is demonstrating her extensive knowledge of social media culture, while continuing to disguise her true age.
Here’s a strange mash-up of references: Nancy O’Dell is a real entertainment reporter, well known for hosting Entertainment Tonight and Access Hollywood. In addition, Extra, is a real celebrity gossip and Hollywood news show. However, as far as we can tell, O’Dell and Extra have never been associated with one another in real life.
Butcher’s dog Terror is omnipresent in the comics. He goes everywhere with The Boys and often gets into scraps with them, following Butcher’s every command. The fact that it took until Season 2, Episode 5 for the show to introduce him may be this series’ biggest crime.
Butcher mentions Metamucil as he laments the prospect of getting old without his beloved Becca by his side. Metamucil is a dietary fiber supplement that contains the plant psyllium.
13. Katie Couric
Live with Katie Couric is not a real show, but Katie Couric is a real-life journalist, host, author, and more. She currently runs her own company, called Katie Couric Media.
The mobsters whose faces are about to get ripped off are arguing about Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit musical Hamilton, in which a cast of historical white characters are portrayed by actors of color. This is the second Hamilton reference this season, after the Dawn of the Seven writer/director guy revealed in a previous episode that Miranda was interested in voicing Translucent. The mobsters also mention Steven Levenson’s 2015 musical Dear Evan Hansen.
Much of this episode is borrowed from various points in the original comic books. For example, in the comics, Kimiko (“The Female”) attempts to sate her unquenchable bloodlust by doing hits for the mob when she’s not busy fighting supes with The Boys. She also has a penchant for ripping off faces in the books. Even the dialogue in this scene is taken almost word-for-word from the comics.
Aunt Judy mentions Lenny, who she later reveals is Butcher’s brother. Lenny is an element of Butcher’s backstory from the comics. The show leaves some mystery there, but the comics eventually told Butcher’s full life story, including Lenny’s death.
17. Guest spots on Queer Eye
Vought’s marketing bozos make several references in their plan for Starlight’s “multi-pronged image makeover.” They suggest Maeve and Elena guest-host Queer Eye, a realtiy show that was recently rebooted on Netflix. They then mention an It Gets Better PSA, referring to the nonprofit It Gets Better Project. Ashley mentions filmmaker Kimberly Peirce, known for the 1999 film Boys Don’t Cry. They also suggest that Maeve and Elena will be made Grand Marshals at various pride parades (Grand Marshal is a ceremonial dignitary title for parades).
18. “Lesbian Ken Doll”
Elena is referring to Barbie’s male counterpart, Ken, which Mattel introduced to the Barbie toy line in 1961.
As of the time of writing, this website redirects to sonypictures.com/tv/theboys. We’ll see once the episode airs, however.
20. Mister Marathon
Ashley mentions Mister Marathon, a character who hasn’t been seen in the show. In the comics, Mister Marathon was A-Train’s speedster predecessor in The Seven. He’s seen only in flashbacks.
21. Walk Like an Egyptian
In the comics, Victor Neuman, or “Vic the Veep,” is a very different character compared with the show’s Congresswoman Victoria Neuman. The show has transformed her into a fictionalized version of New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC). Homelander makes the comparison explicit when he mentions Neuman’s online “Walk Like an Egyptian dance,” calling to mind the video that surfaced showing AOC dancing during college. (“Walk Like an Egyptian” is a 1986 song by The Bangles that has its own iconic accompanying dance.)
MM’s next great shirt is for Run-D.M.C., one of the most famous hip-hop groups of the ’80s.
This actor is Shawn Ashmore. You might recognize him from the X-Men movies, where he played Iceman. According to reports from earlier this year, Ashmore is playing Lamplighter, a former member of The Seven–you know, the one who murdered Mallory’s grandchildren before the show’s events began. In the comics, The Seven gave Lamplighter to The Boys as a peace offering to avoid war between the two groups; Mallory killed him, and then Vought resurrected him as a zombie who they keep in a feces-smeared cell that A-Train and Starlight are forced to clean. We’re guessing the show is going in a different direction.
24. Sage Grove Center
Googling this phrase pulls up various assisted living homes, plus this report from last year that Amazon had been seen filming at a former psychiatric hospital in Canada. Lamplighter could be working at a hospital or senior home–although that doesn’t illuminate what his and Stormfront’s conversation was about.
The scene preceding Black Noir’s attack has a couple of references to the number seven, including the time on the clock and the seven-of-hearts playing card used in one of the booby traps.
26. Ronan Farrow
Butcher threatens to send the photos of Homelander and Becca’s son to Ronan Farrow. Farrow is a real-life journalist whose investigative reporting helped expose Hollywood sexual abuser Harvey Weinstein in 2018.
27. Megan and Harry
Butcher reckons Homelander and Becca’s kid would be “more popular than Meghan and Harry’s little sprog.” He of course refers to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, who last year had a son named Archie Harrison. “Sprog” is British slang for child.
28. Stan Edgar’s involvement
We learn in this episode that Vought CEO Stan Edgar really is behind most of the sketchy stuff going on this season. Not only is he overseeing Black Noir’s pursuit of The Boys, but he’s also involved in whatever is going on between Stormfront and Lamplighter at Sage Grove; although the image is partially out-of-focus, you can clearly see that all her emails are from Edgar.
29. Tilda F***ing Swinton
Stormfront compares Starlight with Tilda Swinton, a Scottish actress known for her idiosyncratic performances in Snowpiercer, Doctor Strange, Suspiria, and many other films.
30. “F*** it”
Butcher’s command for Terror to f*** the Homelander doll comes straight from the comics, where Terror is seen humping–on command–everything from other dogs to people.
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