The Boys season 1, episode 7 recap: The Self-Preservation Society


Episode 7 of Amazon Prime’s The Boys delivers more startling revelations, a few more shocking deaths and another disturbing event for The Deep.

Previously on The Boys, we learned about Vought’s plan to make super-babies, the backstory of The Female (Karen Fukuhara), and why Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) hates Homelander (Antony Starr). Episode 7 begins with a Christmas-time flashback, where we see Billy with his wife, Becca (Shantel VanSanten), who was actually the senior director of digital marketing at Vought International. In fact, Becca handled Homelander’s social media accounts! So, as we can already guess, even if Becca hadn’t mysteriously disappeared, Billy had reason to be jealous of Homelander.

Things also get complicated for The Boys because Hughie (Jack Quaid) is in a relationship with Annie January / Starlight (Erin Moriarty). She’s tired of his secrecy and wants to see his place. Of course, this could compromise both The Boys and The Seven — including Hughie’s plans to punish A-Train (Jessie T. Usher). We’re reminded that Homelander has photos of The Boys and that he remembers Billy from the aforementioned Christmas party, as well as from A-Train’s sporting event. On that note, while A-Train is training with his brother, Nathan (Christian Keyes), it’s re-established that Compound V may give The Seven their powers, but it has negative physical and mental consequences.


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With info on The Boys, Homelander finally holds a meeting with The Seven, saying he’s disappointed in everyone — especially Starlight. Noting his belief that Hughie killed Translucent (Alex Hassell) and compromised Ezekiel (Shaun Benson), Homelander wonders if Starlight’s been working for Hughie all along. In fact, he threatens to eviscerate her with his laser eyes. Queen Maeve (Dominique McElligott) springs to her defense, doubting that she knew about his affiliation.

Meanwhile, in their own, separate meeting, Hughie says he wants out of The Boys as he cares too much about Annie. To heighten tensions, Mother’s Milk (Laz Alonso) is also in trouble. His financial accounts have been frozen, thanks to Vought International’s powerful allies, which leads to Monique (Alvina August) threatening to leave him.

Before long, Hughie is summoned by A-Train himself, who is threatening Hughie’s father (Simon Pegg). Hughie shows up there ASAP, bribing the superhero menace with some more Compound V. When A-Train refers to himself accidentally running through his ex (Jess Salgueiro), Hughie notes that the “accident” had a name. Rather perversely (as he killed her himself), A-Train blames Hughie for the death of Popclaw (Brittany Allen). Before A-Train can make a super-fast move, The Female/Kimiko sneaks up on him and breaks his leg!

Billy unhinged / Homelander’s quest for truth

An enraged Billy Butcher goes after Mesmer (Haley Joel Osment), punching him savagely. During a single punch, Mesmer gains information, and the mind-reader suggests he can help Billy track down his wife. Unfortunately, Billy’s too much of a maniac for that and he murders Mesmer in the public restroom! We soon learn that, to a large degree, Billy’s basing his hatred of Homelander (and of “supes” in general) upon surveillance footage of Homelander meeting Becca behind closed doors. Although Billy has no further proof, he assumes Homelander raped her and eventually “made her disappear.”

Meanwhile, with the proverbial heat turned up, Mother’s Milk confronts Billy about previously turning down help from Susan Raynor (Jennifer Esposito). Billy strikes a deal with her, though Homelander’s still off-limits. He gives Raynor a container of Compound V. Raynor later brings it to Stillwell, saying she’kk either withdraw The Seven’s military alliance bill or Compound V will make the news.

Speaking of Homelander, he visits Jonah Vogelbaum (John Doman), a retired Vought scientist, to learn more about what happened to Becca. It turns out she was having an affair with Homelander and got pregnant. Vogelbaum also says the resulting baby had superpowers that killed her, and that the baby itself drowned in its mother’s blood (quite depressing, but The Boys isn’t afraid to go there). Vogelbaum also says Homelander should have been raised with a loving family, not in a lab. While Homelander says he’s the world’s greatest superhero, Vogelbaum says “You’re my greatest failure.”

Starlight’s dilemma/other crazy stuff

Earlier in the episode, Queen Maeve advised Starlight to remain alone to stay “bulletproof.” It ends up applying literally. She later approaches Hughie about Homelander’s accusation that he killed Translucent. He admits it but suggests it was a complicated matter. Annie wants to turn Hughie in but he stalls her by mentioning Compound V and that her superpowers were created in a lab. While contemplating this information, Billy shows up and shoots Starlight, who appears to be genuinely harmed (if not dead)!

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This episode is jam-packed with other events, too. This includes a super-terrorist named Naqib (Krishan Dutt) who can explode at will. Also, The Deep (Chace Crawford) keeps on his downward spiral. We see he’s working on a memoir that seems to be headed nowhere. At one point he starts getting frisky with someone named Molly (Caitlyn Sponheimer), but she calls him a freak and sexually assaults him by his gills. If that’s not enough, The Deep tries to save a lobster from a grocery store but the worker misunderstands and kills it for him!

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