Gen V Episode 5 review: Satisfyingly wild TV

Cameron Frew
Marie Moreau in Gen V

Gen V Episode 5 manages to find a satisfying answer to last week’s head-scrambling ending while upending the show’s natural order; the flow of time and power isn’t as steady as we thought.

Just like The Boys, Gen V is a juggling act. There’s the overarching mystery revolving around Vought’s exploitation of young supes in the Woods, but there’s also uncomfortable, wholesome coming-of-age woes to overcome; last week, we saw Sam trying to overcome shyness to flirt with Emma, a horny psychic using his powers for despicable means, and Marie waking up in bed with Jordan after a blackout.

That last moment is particularly important, as it came after a discombobulating hard cut in the middle of an exciting, boundary-breaking set piece between Sam and Godolkin’s so-called Guardians. With a bit of distance, it’s to be admired; shows should have the courage to be confusing, even when it makes you want to shout at your screen as the credits roll.

Episode 5 is a dynamite response to the baffled complaints of the previous installment; it’s short and punchy, packed with icky grotesqueries, unhinged action, and a shocking revelation. Spoilers to follow…

Gen V Episode 5 opens with a wet dream

Andre wakes up in a bed with Cate, in a random house, surrounded by the detritus of last night’s party; red cups, cans, and other rubbish. Neither of them can remember how they got there, and that’s before they figure out the slimy patch of cloudy gloop that’s dripping from the ceiling.

They realize they’re at Dusty’s home, and the embers of debauchery the night before are barely flickering; upstairs, Maverick is chasing after his llama Sloan, and a fire-breather is still snorting cocaine in one room. In Cate’s words, it seems like it was a “pretty f*cking awesome” party – it’s just a shame they can’t recall a single thing.

They barge into another room, where they find Jordan and Marie in bed. They awkwardly shuffle out as quickly as they came in, and the unlikely couple get dressed while barely saying a word to each other (in a nice touch, Jordan picks up a bra and says to Marie, “I think this is yours”). Unsurprisingly, their memories are also completely blank – somebody, somewhere, wiped them.

Andre and Cate walk along the landing and see sticky liquid seeping out beneath a door like a flooded bathroom. He uses his powers to unlock the door, and inside he finds a guy using his vibration powers (a bit like how The Flash looks when he uses his phasing abilities) to make his hand move rapidly while inserting it into his girlfriend. That doesn’t explain all the ooze – until they notice the orifice on her back, which covers the door in her projectile ejaculate. Lovely.

Nobody remembers anything

Outside, Emma is still in her giant form and waking up from a boozed-up slumber in the pool. She thinks it’s a dream at first, but when she realizes it’s not, she asks Marie to “choke her out of her misery” and “find her somewhere to puke” so she can return to normal size. Meanwhile, Andre tries to wind up Jordan about sleeping with Marie, but they’re not bothered about they – they’re more concerned by the fact that they’re missing “huge gaps” in their memories. This wasn’t just a blackout, they’ve forgotten entire days.

Soon after, Emma is back to usual. Marie asks if she knew she had the ability to go that big, but “ever since the Buster Beaver incident”, her mom made her swear to never do it again. Sam rushes in and starts apologizing after his violent, terrifying freakout in the previous episode, but there’s a big problem – neither Marie nor Emma have a clue who he is. He suspects they’ve been wiped, because there’s “dangerous” people at the school who don’t want anyone to know what’s really going on.

“I’m gonna find a way to fix this and make you remember… you’re a hero, a real one,” he tells her. It’s a minor tragedy, given how charming their dynamic was in Episode 4. Let’s hope they find their way back.

We get an amusing moment with Emma asking Marie when their next period will be (“You’re insane… I mean, next Friday though,” she tells her) before Cate and Andre ask if she blacked out too. At first, she recoils, not wanting anybody to know her private business (aka, that she slept with Jordan), but she quickly realizes that everyone has been a victim of someone’s powers – and there’s an easy suspect: Rufus.

After all, we’ve seen him manipulated into slamming his nuts with a baseball bat while shouting “Jumanji!” and attempting to rape Marie by putting her under his control… before she exploded his penis. If anyone’s got a taste for revenge, it’s him – and certainly not Dusty, the infantile 28-year-old with a “d*ck like a hairless caterpillar.”

Shetty and the Woods are at risk of exposure

In the Woods, Doctor Cardosa is still shaken by Sam’s invasion of his home and tells Dean Shetty he’s “tired of babysitting psychopaths” – even though that is literally his job. She’s trying to remain cool and composed, but he thinks it’s a matter of time before Marie and co. figure out the truth. “I am this f*cking close to perfecting the virus, a viable way to control them for good,” he says, but he’s not getting “paid nearly enough to die for this sh*t.”

Shetty then asks if it’s about money, but that’s not the doctor’s point; all of his efforts could be rendered futile in an instant if the supes catch him. But as Shetty says, he’s pretty much stuck there, because “cutting up supes to see what makes them tick” doesn’t make for an attractive LinkedIn profile.

He makes a request: he wants Marie, because her blood-blending powers are the rarest he’s ever seen, and she’s way more powerful than she knows. Alas, she’s off limits because she has a “benefactor”, according to Shetty – but who; is it Ashley and Vought, a member of the Seven, or someone else entirely?

Cate reveals she was raped by Rufus in freshman year. “He said he liked my gloves, and then three days later I woke up in a random bed with a camera pointed at me. He saw I was awake, smiled, and said, ‘Make this weird and I’ll wipe you again’,” she explains, and she felt like like she couldn’t do anything because she’d been filmed appearing as if she’d consented. “This is exactly his MO,” she says, but as they discuss why Rufus would go after everyone else, Andre has already vanished – and Cate thinks he’s going to kill Rufus.

As Emma walks through Godolkin’s halls, she’s stopped by a random guy. She cowers, fearing ridicule, but they all love her after the party. “You got that big supe energy… oh my god, she’s f*cking dope, man,” he says, and she walks away smiling.

Marie, Jordan and Andre go after Rufus

Jordan finally tries to speak to Marie about them sleeping together – well, kind of. They just tell her that it “doesn’t need to be weird” between them, she doesn’t “need to do or say anything” because “that scumbag mind-raped us… we weren’t acting like ourselves. We’re cool.” Marie politely agrees – she’s clearly thinking about it quite intensely – but before they can talk about it anymore, they catch sight of Rufus talking to Dean Shetty, and when Rufus sees them, he starts to run.

Rufus makes it back to his dorm, but he’s confronted by Andre, who shutters the room and pins him against the wall. He threatens to “put him to sleep for good”, but in the blink of an eye, he’s transported to a fast food restaurant staring at a soda cup with Homelander’s face on it. Blinded by red, he forgot Rufus has the power to control him when he’s that close.

Marie heads back to her room, where Emma is ecstatic about breaking into the top 100 on the Godolkin ranking; 88th, to be exact. She’s even been receiving calls about “giant cricket” shows, which isn’t necessarily what she wants – she’s just happy to have proven her mother wrong. Emma then finds a t-shirt from a drive-in theater she doesn’t recognize – but then she remembers Sam mentioning it, and sets off to find him.

Before she gets there, Sam is tormented by the Avenue V voices again. Suddenly, he transforms into a Sesame Street-style puppet as Vought’s guards swarm the room, but Sam rips them apart with ease. “I’m a single dad with two daughters,” one of them pleads, but Sam tears his body in half. “Oh Sam, you have to stop hurting people,” another puppet tells him, before he returns to normal – but if you thought it was a demented fantasy, you’re wrong. Everything we saw was just a puppet version of real, horrific violence, and we see viscera splattered all over Sam’s boiler suit, the floors, and dangling from a helicopter rope outside.

Marie finds a tracker

Marie in Gen V Episode 5

Marie keeps scratching her neck, but it’s not a rash – she thinks she has a blood clot. She pulls it out of her skin, but it wasn’t a clot – it’s a tracker, and she doesn’t know how it got inside her. Marie runs along to Cate’s room to show her. “I think this is way, way bigger than Rufus… something really f*cked happened to us… is happening to us, and I think Dean Shetty is part of it,” she says.

Cate asks Marie to check her neck, and then comes the shock: she removes her glove. “I’m so, so sorry… I really wish it didn’t have to be like this,” she tells her, but just as Marie realizes she’s the culprit, Cate wipes her memory again.

Jordan seeks comfort from Maverick – he confesses to peeping on girls and boys in the showers and says their paranoia over their gender-flipping is their hang-up, not Marie’s – before Marie stumbles out into the corridor. She doesn’t remember anything that happened that day; the tracker being pulled from her neck, her conversation with Jordan, them chasing Rufus – any of it.

Cate visits Shetty’s office and breaks down about having to manipulate her friends. Shetty pretends to care – if it wasn’t clear by now, she only cares about herself and protecting Vought – and admits she may have asked too much of her, but she also tells her that “no one helps people get past what’s holding them back like you… you’re the only one who can keep your friends safe.”

Andre learns the truth

Emma finds Sam at the drive-in. She may not remember how she knows him or what brought them together in the first place, but she recognizes the tension between them. “Somebody made me forget you,” she says, and she believes everything he’s told her. “It’s not your fault… she made Luke forget me too,” he responds.

While Andre and Cate watch an episode of The Mesmerizer together (“Someone’s been mutilating the and nuns over at St Patrick’s again,” a detective says) and smoke weed, Andre suggests “getting the f*ck out” of Godolkin. He receives a text from Jordan, who says they’ve found Rufus.

Marie and Jordan confront him, using their powers to keep him at a safe distance while restraining him. “I swear to f*cking Christ, I never touched any of you,” he says. “You’re all f*cking nuts. Look at the facts… you say I wiped your memory, right? Except I couldn’t have done that, because my powers only work up close and I’ve been here for the past five hours,” he says.

Jordan shows him the tracker, but Rufus doesn’t know what it is. Marie gets a call from Emma, who reveals it’s been Cate all along – she even made Luke forget Golden Boy was his brother over and over again. “Rufus is a monster, but so is Cate,” Emma says.

A beer keg comes hurtling through the room and whacks Rufus through the wall. “Move, this scumbag’s mine… nowhere to run motherf*cker,” he says as he holds a shovel to his neck. Marie and Jordan tell him it was Cate – predictably, he doesn’t believe them, until Cate appears behind him and confesses, even using her powers to show him everything he forgot. “You’re a f*cking monster,” he says, before walking away as Cate’s left alone, distraught over her actions. And to cap it all off beautifully, Annie Lennox’s cover of ‘I Put a Spell On You’ plays over the credits.

Gen V Episode 5 review score: 4/5

There’s not a single dud scene in Gen V Episode 5. It’s the show at its free-wheeling best; silly, violent, shocking, and everything in between.

Gen V Episodes 1-5 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 | Episode 4 | When does Gen V take place in The Boys timeline? | Gen V cast and characters | The Boys cameos | Gen V runtimes explained | Tek Knight powers 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.