The Boys Season 4 Episode 5 is a Meaningful Exploration of Fatherhood

The Boys Season 4 Antony Starr (Homelander), Cameron Crovetti (Ryan)

The Boys is an adult-themed superhero that frequently pushes all the boundaries of what can be shown on a television screen. But despite that, The Boys Season 4 Episode 5 is really a sweet episode that pays tribute to all the fathers in the show.

The episode continues the amazing story that Season 4 has been telling so far but focuses on the fatherly relationship dynamics between the characters. It’s an unexpectedly softer and more emotional side of The Boys.

But the episode isn’t without the outrageously shocking moments of violence and adult themes that make the show so watchable. Please note that the following will have spoilers for The Boys Season 4 Episode 5.

The Father-Son Dynamic Goes Back To Season 1

The Boys has always partly been about fathers and sons. Earlier seasons focused on the embittered relationship between Butcher (Karl Urban) and his father. And in the same season, also had Homelander (Antony Starr) deal with his own ‘father,’ or the closest thing to it, the scientist in charge of the experiments done to him since childhood.

The Boys Season 4 Episode 5
The Boys Season 4 Episode 5

The fractured and cruel upbringings of both the hero and villain of the show culminated in Season 3’s big moment: who gets Ryan? Homelander’s biological son Ryan (Cameron Crovetti), imbibed with the same superpowers as his dad, is in the middle of the fight between his father and the husband of his mom, Butcher.

Season 3 got even weirder with the introduction of Soldier Boy (Jensen Ackles), brought in to kill Homelander, only for them to reveal that his genetic material was used to create Homelander.

So he was Homelander’s father, the whole time. But this new episode gives us even more fathers and how their impact influenced our favorite characters.

A Career-Best Performance by Simon Pegg?

We start The Boys Season 4 Episode 5 with the cliffhanger from last week, when Hughie’s (Jack Quaid) dad returns from the dead because of Compound V. Quite possibly the wildest and most emotionally drenched subplot of this episode, it also features an astounding, possibly career-best performance from Simon Pegg.

The Boys Season 4 Episode 5 - Simon Pegg
The Boys Season 4 Episode 5 – Simon Pegg

Hughie’s dad has been there from Season 1 Episode 1, and it’s been a kind of a different role for Pegg; a nagging father to one of the protagonists, in a role that is very boring and dull.

But on The Boys Season 4 Episode 5, Pegg conducts a Masterclass of acting and gives an incredibly moving performance that I’m not ashamed to admit made me very emotional by the end.

The Boys Season 4 Episode 5 Has More Dads

After his violently cathartic stroll down memory lane, even Homelander wants to be a good dad, or rather, what he thinks that means. Returning from torturing his own tormentors, Homelander frees Ryan of any obligation to follow in his footsteps. He gives him free reign and attempts to father the young boy in his own twisted way.

It’s fascinating seeing Homelander try to do what he considers good, but his innate sociopathic nature transforms even that sentiment into something twisted and cruel.

The Boys Season 4
The Boys Season 4 – Cameron Crovetti (Ryan), Antony Starr (Homelander)

And this is the bigger threat of Homelander in this current season; that he may connect with Ryan from a sense of paternal love, but may end up undermining the morals and values his mom gave him, with this new sense of righteous power.

And even a less powered psychopath like Homelander is a threat that Butcher’s new friend Kessler (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) warns him about.

The Boys’ Dads Have a Lot More Impact This Season

And speaking of mind games, The Boys Season 4 Episode 5 also sees a reunion between the former big bad of the show, Stan Edgar (Giancarlo Esposito) and his own adopted daughter, the current big bad, Victoria Neumann (Claudia Doumit).

Coming together for a united purpose, Stan and Victoria confront each other about their actions but end up resolving their issues with one another in favor of a truce that benefits them both.

Moving away from the villains, even MM (Laz Alonso) is having problems being a father. Apparently, his daughter is following in his footsteps of using violence to solve her problems. Forcing MM to have to try to reconcile how his ongoing fight against Supes is now bleeding into his personal life, and impacting his daughter.

So while this is very much a season of large ideas like the impact of superheroes on politics and a country’s democratic process, it’s nice to see these sweeter stories. But if decades of TV viewing has taught me anything, fictional catharsis comes at a price, as we anticipate next week’s episode with bated breath.

The Boys Season 4 Episode 5 is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

Let me know what you thought of this fatherly episode in the comments below, or by following me on X (Twitter) at @theshahshahid.

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Entertainment Journalist. Movie & TV Critic. Bollywood Blogger. Proud Geek Girl Dad. Lover of all the Stars(Trek/Wars/Gate) and everything in between.

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