Every week, Gen V pushes the envelope a little further, which is impressive considering it’s a spin-off of The Boys, one of the goriest, bloodiest shows of all time. But what makes Episode 5, “Welcome to the Monster Club,” so impressive is that the most disturbing fight scene yet features zero blood. Instead, there’s confetti and lots of puppets.
“I was really happy that everyone signed on to what on the surface sounds like a ridiculous idea, which is we’re going to shoot a fight sequence exactly as if it’s a visceral human action fight sequence, and the only differences is it’s also with puppets but treated exactly as if it’s a real fight sequence.“Gen V executive producer Michele Fazekas
Yes, “Welcome to the Monster Club” featured some major story beats as the plot is picking up, but all of that can be discussed later. For now, let’s break down this insane scene that could only be pulled off in the universe of The Boys. Starting 20 minutes into the fifth episode of Gen V, we catch up with Sam, on the run from Vought.
Sam, played by Asa Germann, has a currently unknown power set, about all we know is that he’s super strong, seemingly invincible, and hallucinates puppets while listening to voices in his head. The scene starts with a puppet version of Emma (Lizze Broadway) telling Sam how bad things are and “you said you were going to save me.” Interestingly, she appears as if a television program is coming into focus, which goes back to the first time Sam hallucinated puppets, in Gen V Episode 4, telling him to do bad things.
Seconds later, we see Sam as a puppet himself, and then the Vought guards descend, also appearing to us as puppets. When told to “freeze,” he strikes, immediately punching through a puppet’s head, then ripping off the arms of another before tearing the third one’s head clean off his body. The whole time, all the blood is replaced by shiny confetti, turning the gruesome massacre into an upbeat sequence punctuated by LVCRFT’s song, “Skeleton Sam.”
Gen V shows us how dangerous Sam really is in the next moment, when while holding a head by the spinal column, he’s shot, point-blank, by two guards with automatic weapons. Puppet Sam looks bemused but is somehow not harmed.
One of the guards charges Sam, who promptly rips off his arm, folds it in half, and jams it down the guard’s mouth. If anything could top The Boys sequence where dildos are used as weapons, it’s this moment in Gen V, which would be pure nightmare fuel if not shot with puppets. Another guard has his head ripped open, and his brains popped out, while a foolish attempt to swing in on a rope results in another guard being ripped in half.
The final guard is held up and starts begging for his life, saying, “I’m a single dad with two daughters, their names are,” before he’s also brutally murdered by Sam, covering his mouth and then ripping his head off. Again, Gen V’s choice to use puppets makes it darkly comic. Otherwise, it would just be disturbing, and it’s hard to see Sam as anything less than a major threat.
In an interview with Variety, executive producer Michele Fazekas reveals the set was custom-built to accommodate the puppeteers, all of whom wore green suits and were CGI’d out of the scene. Fazekas explained, “I was really happy that everyone signed on to what on the surface sounds like a ridiculous idea, which is we’re going to shoot a fight sequence exactly as if it’s a visceral human action fight sequence, and the only difference is it’s also with puppets but treated exactly as if it’s a real fight sequence.”
Any doubts that Gen V would be inferior to The Boys are long gone at this point, and now fans will start to wonder what the main series is going to do when it returns for Season 4. “Herogasm” now looks almost quaint compared to the insanity of Godolkin University.
Gen V’s choice to use puppets makes it darkly comic.
For now, there’s going to be a lot of speculation as to the true nature of Sam’s powers and if his apparent schizo[hrenia is part of his power set. Black Noir in The Boys Season 3 was shown to take advice from cartoon animals, so Sam’s not the only supe suffering from delusions. The difference is Noir didn’t see other people, or himself, as cartoons the way Sam did with the puppets.
We’ll get answers later this season, but for now, the biggest question is what Gen V is doing to do to one-up the last two episodes as it starts working toward the finale.