The Unjust League
Amazon Prime’s deliciously dark superhero thriller The Boys gets off to a great start. With a mixture of sharp wit and satirical plays on conventional superhero ideas, the first episode begins with two prologues that set the scene for the show to follow. We begin with Homelander and another superhero stopping a couple of robbers who hold two boys up at gunpoint.
We then skip across to a girl called Robin and her boyfriend Hughie discussing plans to move in together. Unfortunately, a superhero with super-speed called A-Train knocks into her with such force it causes her to explode. It’s here where we’re also introduced to Starlight, another hero who wants to save the world and has the power to blind people.
Hughie stews in his anger as the various supers brush off the incident and struggle to look him in the eye and apologize. Instead, he looks set to launch a court case against her death, much to the disdain of his Father. Meanwhile ,the Vought family hold a press conference and it’s here we see their global influence first-hand. Starlight begins her career as a superhero and enters the inner circle with these heroes.
The Deep shows her around and tells her she’ll be part of the group soon enough. As she admits to having a crush on him as a child, he uses that to his advantage and blackmails her into giving him fellatio. She vomits in the toilets soon after before Queen Maeve arrives and tells her to pull herself together.
At work, Hughie is approached by a man named Butcher claiming to be from the FBI. He intends to fight the supers and enlists him to his cause. Hughie then sees firsthand the shady corruption as A-Train and the others laugh off what happened to Robin. Billy then gives him a mission – plant a bug on A-Train personally to find out just what’s going on inside the offices. He refuses and heads away from the man before happening upon Starlight on a random park bench where they open up to one another.
This happens to be the spark Hughie needs and he decides to go ahead with the deal after all, playing on the need to have A-Train there to accept. The officials agree and Hughie is tasked with planting the bug. Although he manages to do the job, invisible super, Translucent, winds up in the toilets at the time and catches wind of what’s he’s done.
He follows Hughie back to his work and shows him the bug, uncovered from the toilets. However, before Translucent can hurt him, Butcher shows back up and saves the day. The two fight and blood is spilled before Translucent is taken down thanks to exposed electrical cables. Butcher and Hughie haul him into the boot of the car where he learns Butcher isn’t actually with the FBI.
The episode the ends with Highlander destroying the Mayor’s private jet high up in the air.
As an opening episode, The Boys does well to set the tone and mood for the series to follow. Butcher is certainly an endearing character and Starlight’s talk with Hughie on the bench near the end of the episode is a nice inclusion, doing well to foreshadow future events for them both to undertake in the future. Ultimately though it’s the intriguing notion of The Seven that makes this so interesting and with Translucent now captured, the foundations are set for an explosive season to follow.