Gen V Episode 4 review: Jaw-dropping and baffling

Cameron Frew
Marie in Gen V Episode 4

Gen V Episode 4 contains one of the most outrageous, squeal-inducing moments of gore you’ll ever see – but it also ends on a note certain to leave viewers scratching their heads.

If nothing else, The Boys franchise has a commitment to one-upping itself; once upon a time, Popclaw smashing her landlord’s head like a pumpkin while sitting on his face felt like it was courting the boundaries, but after later seasons pushed the limits, Gen V is primed to stretch them even further.

Alas, the fourth episode of the spinoff haphazardly stumbles around its big, gruesome water-cooler moment, struggling to find the right pace in its storytelling. The central mystery is still compelling, but the constant juggling with nary a beat that stops to take a breath could become a bit frustrating if the series doesn’t remedy itself.

But, and this is a big but, Gen V remains incredibly entertaining, especially with the introduction of a scene-stealing, any-holing scumbag in the latest installment. Spoilers to follow…

Gen V Episode 4 opens with an earful

Doctor Cardosa in Gen V Episode 4

After Emma crawled through a man’s brain in the closing moments of Episode 3, the fourth episode opens inside the guard’s ear, evoking an unsolicited memory of that icky inner-anal cavity shot in Cherry. Dean Shetty asks what happened, and Doctor Cardosa gives his “searing insight” – perhaps Sam “penetrated the ear with his member.”

It’s nonsense, but Sam is dangerous; according to the doctor, he’s even stronger than Golden Boy, illustrated by the blood-soaked hallway of dead guards in the Woods. She orders the doctor to task the remaining half of the facility’s security with finding Sam. “If Vought finds out about this… I promise you and I get skull-f*cked next,” she tells him.

Elsewhere, Marie, Andre, Cate, and Jordan find Emma’s tracker in a crater, but there’s no sign of her anywhere. The full scope of Sam’s powers isn’t clear at this point – he has super strength, but he may also have the ability to leap great distances like Queen Maeve. Marie is furious at Andre for giving Emma a life-or-death mission – not because she’s incapable, but he’s risked nothing in the process. No accountability, just results – or lack thereof.

The updated ranking is released, and Jordan is still maddened by their lower placement after Marie was crowned the “Guardian of the Godolkin.” Then again, Andre has the luxury of not thinking about it. “Says number one,” they tell him when he shouts at them for obsessing over the ranking, but they also agree there’s bigger problems to worry about. “Turns out the school has a f*cking Mengele Health Clinic,” Jordan says, referencing SS physician Josef Mengele’s brutal experiments at Auschwitz.

They speculate that Dean Shetty may also be in on it, “but you guys are gonna get a green van and a talking dog and f*cking solve it? You’re just gonna end up like that f*cking cricket?” Marie reminds them that her name is Emma, but before they can argue any more, Cate and Jordan storm off. “This girl could be dead, Andre. We are in over our heads,” Cate tells Andre.

Emma and Sam keep each other company

Emma and Sam in Gen V Episode 4

Next, we catch up with Sam and Emma at an abandoned drive-in theater he used to go to with his brother. She’s still small and covered in gloop, but marginally bigger. “I think I must have swallowed something when I went through that guy’s head,” she says, before dry-heaving at a tiny piece of eardrum on her shoulder.

She’s shaken by her first kill, but as Sam points out, he was a “sadistic asshole” – what matters more, his children having a father, or karma coming back around? Sam then says he’s going to get Luke’s help, and Emma remembers she never told him the truth. When she reveals he’s dead, Sam can’t accept it. “Nothing could kill him, he’s too strong,” he says, but Emma explains that he killed himself. Sam loses his temper, smashing everything around him before falling to the floor. “I’ll f*ck up somehow, everyone always leaves me,” he tells Emma, who promises to always stay with him. Their dynamic may be the best in the series so far; two supes who’ve always felt alone and resentful of their powers.

The episode then cuts to a preview of a new Vought+ show: The Whole Truth with Tek Knight, an investigative series in which the titular supe is set to investigate the “rot” at Goldolkin after Golden Boy’s death. He pays a visit to Dean Shetty, who obliges Vought’s request by calling him an “esteemed alumnus” and granting access to the campus, but she also notes his “formidable” reputation. “Was it Ironcast who killed himself the morning after you interrogated him? she asks, observing how his subjects almost always end up dead or in a coma. He can sense her apprehension, whether it’s the small bead of sweat on her head, or the adrenaline seeping from her pores – and he tells her she’s ovulating, in a particularly slimy grace note.

His reasoning for making the university his latest case is simple: #WhyDidGoldenBoyDoIt is still the number one trending topic across the world, so he’s been asked by Vought to make sure nobody finds out what led to his death. “Misdirection, obfuscation, find a patsy and destroy their life,” he says, giggling as he adds: “I’m gonna Johnny Depp someone so hard they’re gonna want to crawl into a hole and die.”

Dean Shetty tells him to stay away from the top five students and refuses access to Sam, which Tek Knight appears to accept, but he also requests all of Luke’s records, “girlfriends, f*ck boys” and all.

We also get a brief scene between Cate and a “high-as-f*ck” Andre, who reveals to her that his dad knows all about the Woods, and he’s starting to feel like he wasted his childhood idolizing him so much. Chance Perdomo and Maddie Phillips aren’t delivering the strongest performances on the show, and the Polarity sub-plot isn’t as engrossing as other parts of the story – at least right now.

“Cocksplosion”

Rufus in Gen V Episode 4

Remember Rufus? The boy who laughed about Golden Boy’s death at Brink’s memorial and Cate forced him to hit himself in the nuts while shouting, “Jumanji” every hour? Well, it turns out he’s a psychic with clairvoyance powers, so Marie asks him if he can find her sister. When she says she doesn’t have any money, he says there’s “other ways” she could “thank him”, but he claims he was just joking when she tries to walk away.

He tells her to sit down next to him, and suddenly she wakes up in his room, on the floor, with him wearing nothing but a kimono. Jordan’s banging on the door (plus Spandau Ballet’s ‘True’) brings her out of her stupor, and when confronted with the sight of his genitals, she puts her powers to use. In other words, she manipulates the blood coursing through his dick and inflates it to the point it pops like a balloon. My legs are crossed just thinking about it. Gen V and The Boys are more than their violence, but come on – it’s a cocksplosion! “Piece of dickless sh*t,” Jordan quips as they walk out.

Jordan then criticizes Marie for risking her placement on the ranking, and Marie they’re just scared. Jordan tells Marie that Tek Knight is on campus and he “f*cks people up”, so she should be more careful about how discreetly she’s searching for her sister. “Since when do you care about anyone not named Jordan?” Marie says, but they don’t end on harsh terms. Jordan says it was a “tag-team cocksplosion”, and they both smile as they walk away.

Tek Knight interrogates the top five

Tek Knight in Gen V Episode 4

Andre, Cate, and Jordan sit down for a recorded interview with Tek Knight, and he quickly picks apart all of their stories; he detects the smell of Cate on Andre’s breath so much that he asks how long it’s been since he started “eating Golden Boy’s girlfriend’s hole.” Cate feels so threatened by his deducing that she starts to take her glove off, but Tek Knight doesn’t miss anything. “Take that glove off, I take your f*cking hand off,” he warns.

As Tek Knight pressures Andre, his dad suggests taking a break. “You’re a f*cking hack. No camera can hide the fact you’re just a small man playing f*cking hero because you’ve never been one. You get treated like a god here, but what kind of hero is too f*cking chickensh*t to do anything heroic. F*ck this, f*ck you,” he barks as he storms out, but his interviewer isn’t fazed. “We’ll find it in the edit,” he whispers to this team. Derek Wilson is undoubtedly the star of Episode 4, chewing up every line with delicious, malicious glee.

Back at the drive-in, Emma is back to her normal size. “In all my glory,” she says, in a higher-pitched voice, which Sam picks her up on. She’s reluctant to take a compliment because she’s embarrassed of having to puke all the time, but Sam jokes that he used to “put stuff up his butt for money” (he’s joking to make Emma feel better, which is another charming stroke between these two characters). “After what you did for me, I would eat your puke,” he tells her, and when she says he’s sick, he cracks: “I know! Multiple mental hospitals!”

Their conversation descends into a flirty discussion of Sam’s hypothetical 50 nipples, but just at the moment where they should kiss, Sam panics and goes around the corner – where he starts to hear the faint twinkling of amusements.

Tek Knight finds Marie

Tek Knight and Marie in Gen V Episode 4

As Marie walks into crimefighting class, Dean Shetty notes she didn’t come to her office for lunch and asks if she’s seen Emma around anywhere. “I’m just checking she’s okay,” Shetty says, but we saw her pick up Emma’s miniature shoe in the Woods, so she’s definitely on to her.

Soon enough, Tek Knight arrives to demonstrate his groundbreaking interrogation techniques – and despite all the willing volunteers, he picks Marie out from the class. Within minutes, thanks to her dilating eyes and pulsing veins, and he gets her to admit that Jordan was the true hero on the day Golden Boy died. “Digging for the truth, it’s better than sex,” Tek Knight tells Shetty.

But that’s not all: he knows Sam escaped from the Woods, and he has no interest in pinning the blame on any of the students. In his eyes, they could be “real earners” for Vought, so he’s already picked his patsy: Shetty, who’s “just human.” As he walks out, he smiles at a bagel and picks it up – remember this.

We cut back to the drive-in, where Sam is being tormented by a twisted episode of “Avenue V” that keeps telling him to kill the doctor. He’s clearly quite mentally unwell, even continuing to hear voices when Emma tries to comfort him. He runs out of the theater and leaps into the distance, leaving Emma alone.

While Andre compresses the head of Polarity’s statue, Jordan confronts Marie after she revealed the truth of the Golden Boy fight. “I didn’t ask you to do that… I didn’t want you to bury yourself in the process. You keep doing the dumb thing,” she says, before asking her what her angle is. “My angle is that I sometimes people don’t have an angle. Sometimes, they’re just actual human beings,” Marie tells her, and Jordan admits they’re terrified. They flip to their male form, and the pair kiss.

Before the steaminess progresses, Emma barges in and tells them about Sam, so they set off to stop him killing the doctor and help him.

Dean Shetty schools Tek Knight

Tek Knight and Dean Shetty in Gen V Episode 4

Dean Shetty gets the last laugh with Tek Knight. While he thinks he’s been lured out to a secluded area for a “blowy”, she quickly reveals that she knows about his soon-to-be-fatal brain tumor. This is also the cause of his “unusual proclivity” – no, not his powers, but his irresistible urge to insert his penis into anything resembling a hole; bagels, exhaust pipes, vacuum cleaners, and skulls. “What is it with skull-f*cking?” she asks.

“How do we think your 18-49 demo will fare when we broadcast you despoiling every single hole you come across?” she adds, before telling him to get lost. He agrees to move onto his next case, and takes the Whole Truth elsewhere (along with his hole truth, which he demonstrates by shagging a tree and bathroom hand cleaner before the credits roll).

Dr. Cardosa walks into his house, where his daughter is screaming for him. They’re scared of Sam, who says they’re “not real… you’re all f*cking puppets.” He starts shouting back at the voices in his head – who we can’t hear – but before he causes too much carnage, Marie and co. arrive to stop him with their assortment of powers.

None of them are powerful enough to stop him – except Emma, who chows down on a huge bowl of spaghetti and transforms into her giant form (the blending of the effects is a bit shaky, but still effective) before pinning him down. “Sam we’re gonna make this right, I promise,” Marie says, before the episode makes a disorienting cut to her in bed with Jordan as Missy Elliott’s ‘Work It’ plays.

Yeah… what the f*ck?

Gen V Episode 4 review score: 3/5

Gen V Episode 4 barrels along at a super-speed pace, and it comes armed with another landmark burst of violence – but an awkward ending leaves the whole thing feeling a bit off.

Gen V Episodes 1-4 are on Prime Video now, which you can sign up for here. You can check out our other coverage below:

Gen V review | Episode 1 | Episode 2 | Episode 3 | When does Gen V take place in The Boys timeline? | Gen V cast and characters | The Boys cameos | Gen V runtimes explained

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About The Author

Cameron is Deputy TV and Movies Editor at Dexerto. He's an action movie aficionado, '80s obsessive, and Oscars enthusiast. He loves Invincible, but he's also a fan of The Boys, the MCU, The Chosen, and much more. You can contact him at cameron.frew@dexerto.com.