The Boys season 4 episode 4 recap and review: Antony Starr deserves an Emmy

“Wisdom of the Ages” proves that The Boys still has its superpowered edge. Much like this fourth season, this episode is a bloody, brilliant reminder that the show is as sharp and unhinged as ever - if even only a bit more than usual.
Antony Starr (Homelander) - Credit: Prime Video
Antony Starr (Homelander) - Credit: Prime Video /

Episode 4 of the fourth season of The Boys, titled “Wisdom of the Ages,” is here, and it’s a wild ride from start to finish.

This episode is where viewers should take the time to take a nice, deep breath of fresh air before things continue to go the way they always go in this show: deliciously sideways. As season 4 continues to shock and awe viewers as the show's best season yet, let's take a little dive into today's episode and process it all.

Let’s dive into the chaos, carnage, and a sprinkle of dark humor that makes this episode a standout.

SPOILER WARNING: Please continue to read at your own risk!

The Boys Season 4
Antony Starr (Homelander) - Credit: Jasper Savage/Prime Video /

We kick things off with everyone’s favorite sociopath, Homelander. This time, he’s taking a trip down memory lane to the lab where he was created - think less warm nostalgia and more nightmarish flashbacks. It’s like visiting your old school but with a lot more blood and trauma. Homelander, always one for grand entrances, arrives with a chocolate fudge whale cake. Sweet, right? Nope. It’s a deceptive treat that sets the stage for some serious mayhem and one of the most tense and uncomfortable situations I've ever watched unfold on TV. I just freaking love this show.

As Homelander strolls through the lab, the tension is thicker than a New York cheesecake. We get the "this is why I am the victim here" vibes and, admittedly, we do feel a small twinge of sympathy towards this monster. He was kept locked up and away as a child. He was constantly locked in the Red Room. They did this to a child. Sure, this is Baby Homelander we're talking about here, but we can kind of see how he started out as a victim of circumstance rather than just being a bad person. Or, so we think so far. The scientists, who probably thought they were getting a day off from horror, are horribly lulled into a false sense of security by Homelander’s disturbingly cheerful demeanor. Remember - this is The Boys, so you know things aren't going to go down smoothly. Homelander snaps from polite visitor to avenging angel of death in no time as he begins slaughtering the lab staff in gruesome ways that would make even a horror movie director wince. The only one he spares is the chief scientist, Barbara, who he traps in the Red Room, surrounded by her colleagues’ mutilated bodies. If that doesn't scream "You're my least favorite", then I don't know what does.

But the pièce de résistance is reserved for two particularly nasty pieces of work from Homelander’s past. First up is Frank, the guy who tested young Homelander’s resistance to fire. In a twist of poetic justice, Homelander cooks Frank alive in the very furnace used for those tests. Then Marty, another employee, gets his just desserts for cruelly nicknaming young Homelander “Squirt.” Let’s just say Marty won’t be doing any more name-calling after Homelander blasts a hole through his nether regions with his laser eyes. Ouch! Amidst all this gore, there’s a chilling moment of humanity - or what passes for it in Homelander’s twisted psyche. When Barbara criticizes him for leaving Marty to bleed out, Homelander mercifully (if you can call it that) stomps on Marty’s head to end his suffering. It’s a small, twisted gesture that shows just how complex and terrifying Homelander is.

The episode’s brutal scenes and Antony Starr’s electrifying performance had me along with viewers buzzing and raving about how “Wisdom of the Ages” brings back the truly scary Homelander, reminding us why he’s one of TV’s most compelling villains. Whether it’s on Reddit or Twitter, the consensus is clear: this episode is a standout, and firmly believe Starr deserves an Emmy for his chilling portrayal. I kinda demand that he does.

Let's talk about my favorite episode this season - Sister Sage. She cranks up the depravity to a new level. Hard to believe, I know, but don't forget we're talking about The Boys here. Her twisted relationship with The Deep takes center stage in what is arguably the most squirm-inducing scene of the season. I, for one, have had to turn away every single time I try to watch that scene. Watching The Deep perform a lobotomy on Sister Sage is the kind of disturbing content we’ve come to love (or endure) from The Boys. Susan Heyward’s incredibly chilling and spot-on performance as Sister Sage, combined with her unsettling chemistry with The Deep, makes for a scene that’s as delightfully disgusting as it is unforgettable. This lobotomy scene isn’t just for shock value, though. It seems to reveal a lot about Sister Sage’s character: her brain’s constant regeneration drives her mind into overdrive, and the only way she can feel “normal” is through these self-inflicted lobotomies. It’s a bizarre and tragic glimpse into her psyche, adding yet another layer to her already complex character.

The Boys Season 4
The Boys Season 4 on Prime Video /

Meanwhile, the rest of the gang is dealing with their own dramas. Starlight finally gets her hands dirty, taking down the conspiracy-spouting supe Firecracker in a satisfying showdown. Gah, I absolutely despise Firecracker - and that's a wonderful thing. Valerie Curry is absolutely perfect in her portrayal of this content creator/podcaster/conspiracy theorist/extreme patriot/whatever else you want to call her. Starlight's unhinged moment is a welcome shift from her previous pacifist approach and shows she’s not afraid to throw down when push comes to shove. Also, don't lie - we were all cheering for her as she beat Firecracker's punchable face down.

When it comes to other characters, things are still looking ever so grim. Kimiko is still on a quest for answers about her past, Frenchie’s affair with Colin ends tragically after he finally confesses that he's the one who murdered his entire family, and Hughie facilitates his dad becoming a supe by bringing a syringe filled with Compound V to the hospital - with his mother injecting it into his father because she thought that it was what Hughie wanted. After all, he did bring it into his dad's hospital room for the "worst case scenario" scenario. Butcher, meanwhile, is on the brink of death, adding another layer of tension to an already chaotic episode.

The Boys. A. This episode is a bloody, brilliant reminder that the show is as sharp and unhinged as ever - if even only a bit more than usual.. Camila Domingues | Bam Smack Pow. The Boys season 4 episode 4, "Wisdom of the Ages"

“Wisdom of the Ages” proves that The Boys still has its superpowered edge. Much like this fourth season, this episode is a bloody, brilliant reminder that the show is as sharp and unhinged as ever - if even only a bit more than usual. Just remember, with The Boys, nothing is ever quite as it seems, and the next shock is always just around the corner.

Don't forget to tune in to Prime Video next Thursday, June 28th, to catch the next episode of this incredibly disgusting and entertaining series.

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