REVIEW: The Boys – Season 4, Episode 4, “Wisdom of the Ages”


In “Wisdom of the Ages,” Homelander returns to his origins. Hughie grapples with his dad’s possible death. Butcher struggles to continue his mission despite his dire situation. Annie and President Singer discuss a bill to keep supes out of the military. Colin tells Frenchie about his parents’ murder, unaware he’s talking to the murderer. Firecracker’s news show is set to film across the street from Starlight’s headquarters. Homelander kills some of his childhood tormentors. Hughie asks A-Train for Compound V to save his dad. He and Kimiko are attacked by the Shining Light girls from her past. Butcher asks MM to save Ryan if he dies first. Butcher and MM confront Firecracker about her less-than-innocent past. A-Train breaks into Homelander’s room to steal a dose of V and runs into Ashley. They agree to keep each other’s secrets. Firecracker reveals Starlight’s dark secret, and Starlight goes postal. Deep does Sister Sage an unusual favor. Hughie agonizes over whether to use the Compound V.

If I had to describe “Wisdom of the Ages” in one word, it would be “explosive.” A lot comes out in this episode about Starlight, Firecracker, and Sage, and Frenchie finally admits to Colin that he killed his parents. I think this is the first time Annie having an abortion has been mentioned. I think I would remember that. This was a great way to reveal this, shocking the audience and the show’s characters. I get that we’re not supposed to like Firecracker; she’s like a stupid version of Stormfront. She’s hateful and misguided but lacks sophistication and cunning. But releasing Annie’s private medical history because she bullied her as a child is just wild. I was bullied in school, and I honestly think most kids are at some point. But this is a form of revenge that wouldn’t even occur to me; it’s actually pretty sad to be this old and a freaking SUPERHERO and even think about this childhood pettiness. Marvin and Butcher threaten to out Firecracker as a pedophile, but she instead reveals it herself, apologizing on her TV show. Despite being exactly what she tried to paint Starlight as, Firecracker’s audience accepts and forgives her… for molesting a teenage boy. I get that the hypocrisy is the point, but seriously, why are these people okay with this? Firecracker is the worst, and this is the worst thing she’s done (that we know of). I hope she dies this season.

The Boys Wisdom of the Ages

Meanwhile, Sister Sage is the mastermind behind using Annie’s abortion to lure her out. She is manipulative and knowledgeable, polished in all the ways Firecracker isn’t. But her intelligence and the lack of malice in her actions make her entertaining to me in a way Firecracker isn’t. I don’t necessarily like Sage, but I do like watching her. I just want Firecracker to die, but I think the show’s writers would be okay with that. Sage’s hot-and-cold routine with Deep is finally explained here; her brain is always growing. As she becomes smarter, she becomes meaner and seemingly more discerning. She offers Deep something I can’t repeat here if he essentially gives her a lobotomy, damaging her brain temporarily and relieving whatever being smart puts her through. This actually makes some sense to me, as the happier people I know tend to be less intelligent. I guess the less you know, the less there is to worry about. It also makes sense that in her dumber state, she would go for the Deep, someone who is not very smart and unappealing as a boyfriend, for a lot of reasons.

The Boys Wisdom of the Ages

“Wisdom of the Ages” also deals with the pasts of many characters. Starlight and Firecracker’s darkest secrets from the past are leaked, while Kimiko and Homelander literally face the people who shaped their past lives. Firecracker also mentions that Starlight accidentally blinded a single mother in her first save but doesn’t mention that it was accidental. The Boys and Gen V talk a lot about the consequences of young supes learning how to use their powers. I’m not sure what a good solution would be, but I think this show is opposed to the existence of superheroes in the first place. Homelander’s story involves memory and perspective, how differently people can remember (or not remember) the same events. Homelander finds increasingly horrific ways to punish the Vought employees who “raised him,” including burning, emasculation, and ambiguous murder. Meanwhile, Kimiko wants to reconcile with a girl from Shining Light but learns that she hates and blames Kimiko for roping her into the group. Much like Starlight’s mistake in her first save, this is pretty bleak.

The Boys Wisdom of the Ages

Next, we have Hughie’s quest to give his dad Compound V. He’s willing to do anything to save his dad, even working with A-Train, his main rival on the show, to get V. It’s interesting to note that Annie would undoubtedly be furious with Hughie for even considering using the drug for anything. But Hughie’s absentee mom wants to let his dad die, albeit per a DNR his dad signed. However, at the end of the episode, when Hughie’s dad wakes up, I think the mom (who does work for Vought) is the one who administered some Compound V because something blue was in his IV, and Hughie had been gone getting coffee. It appears that his mom took the decision away from him after all this hemming and hawing. We learn in this episode that Butcher tried taking V to save himself; it didn’t work for Butcher, but it does for Hughie’s dad. We also get some light Gen V tie-ins here, with Tek Knight’s show questioning where the Guardians of Godolkin are. I also liked Vought 54, the little jab at Disney’s D23 convention.

The Boys Wisdom of the Ages

“Wisdom of the Ages” is insanely entertaining and pushes the characters forward in interesting ways. Homelander’s plot is unnerving and builds tension well while the Boys are on an uphill battle, as usual.

The Boys – Season 4, Episode 4, "Wisdom of the Ages"

Plot - 8
Acting - 8
Progression - 8
Production Design - 8
Character Development - 8



“Wisdom of the Ages” is insanely entertaining and pushes the characters forward in interesting ways. Homelander’s plot is unnerving and builds tension well while the Boys are on an uphill battle, as usual.

Comments (2)

June 21, 2024 at 7:01 pm

Aside from some of the more vulgar and graphic stuff, yeah, I liked the show, too.
One thing life taught me about bullies, is that no one escapes tragedy.
Before I say this, will say 90% of my peers were totally cool, but my little ears work. The popularity bully people I met, one got stabbed by a gangster and coke was found in his system. Another went off to war and his widow contacted me to attend his funeral. One left school due to a rape. Another had a divorce and had to raise his two kids. This happens to good people, too, but I’m talking more of the status bully type. Another one died of alcoholism sometime in his 30s.
Want to make it clear that most of the kids I grew up with were nothing but great people, so each tragic story was a gut punch. The problem with wanting to be a church kid is that the scandals of life are actually a bit traumatic.

June 21, 2024 at 9:42 pm

When it comes to achievement, I don’t think that you get to be top model or top jock without being a bit of a bully.
It comes with the territory. It’s just the normal one-upsmanship and status seeking alpha of human nature to want to come out on top.

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