[Caution: Major spoilers ahead for The Boys and Gen V]

Gen V Tethers Itself to The Boys in Two Brilliant Ways

I have made no secret of my love for Gen V, the latest spinoff to the hit series The Boys, for reasons I have previously covered, but perhaps the most impressive aspect of the show is just how consistent it has been episode to episode. I have yet to experience an iota of boredom in this debut season, which harnesses The Boys’ universe in a fresh manner without the ever being dragged down by the inevitable tie-ins to its parent show. 

This was on full display in its penultimate seventh episode, which is likely to be the most revealing and consequential episode of the season, pending the release of the finale on Friday at least. The first revelation is that the deadly crash of Transoceanic Flight 37 in season one of The Boys, for which Homelander is ultimately to blame, is tied to Godolkin University’s dean Indira Shetty (Shelley Conn), whose husband and daughter were on the doomed plane. Adding weight to this is the fact that we, the viewers, have first-hand experience of the horrific incident, which saw Homelander callously leave everyone to their fate rather than make any attempt to save anyone, even children like the Shetty’s daughter. Eric Kripke, Evan Goldberg and the other creatives on the show cleverly wield one of the most heartbreaking sequences in The Boys as a means of grounding Shetty’s indefensible pursuit to rid the world of supes by means of viral genocide, as pointed out by Grace Mallory (Laila Robins), whose character from The Boys makes a guest appearance in the episode. This all leads to Shetty’s shocking death at her own hands, but under the control of Kate who, in a case of clear-cut irony, Shetty had been manipulating until then. The ramifications of murdering Shetty will be interesting to see in the season finale.

The episode’s second revelation was one I did not see coming at all, but in hindsight makes perfect sense and is further proof that Gen V doesn’t do forced, hollow cameos in some misguided attempt at fan service (I’m looking at you, El Camino), and it involves Victoria Neuman (Claudia Doumit).

Neuman has been a compelling addition to the cast since she first appeared in season two in a recurring role, before being bumped up to the main cast during season three. There have already been many twists involving Neuman, such as her being a political plant by Vaught who casts herself as an adversary of the corporation, but in truth it is just another means for them to control the public narrative, even in its opposition. Then, there’s the fact that it was Neuman who was blowing the heads off people who got too close to the truth about Vaught, hiding her supe status from the public for obvious reasons. And it is her abilities that are of most interest in Gen V’s episode seven, in which Neuman appears for the first time and features prominently, as it contextualises them in a way I didn’t know was necessary.

Up until this point, we had simply been left to assume that her ability was to…well, make people pop, whether it be their heads, or even entire bodies. However, it turns out that she is actually a blood bender just like the show’s lead, Marie Moreau (Jaz Sinclair), and that because their abilities are so rare, she has been watching over Marie for years, paving the way for her entry to Godolkin behind the scenes. Kripke and company had even indirectly hinted at their connection back in episode four, but in a way that is so typical of The Boys universe. 

Anyone who has watched the show will undoubtedly remember what has been dubbed “cocksplosion”. When you think about it, Marie managed to pop a head of her own, just not the type we are accustomed to seeing with Victoria Neuman, and in a brilliant stroke of understated writing and acting, Marie remarked to Jordan (London Thor) after the incident that she wasn’t sure how she was able to do what she did, hinting that it would be an issue that would, ahem, pop up later.

Going into the final episode this Friday there are now less unanswered questions and more of a bold blank tapestry that will dictate the next moves for its main characters, which is actually quite refreshing in an era where tantalizing questions such as these are used as crutches and can carry into multiple seasons. No doubt we will still be left with new questions after the finale airs, but it is easy to appreciate having certain threads resolved in a manner that leaves you thirsting for more, rather than wishing they’d just get on with it.

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