Prime Video first introduced us to the world of The Boys four years ago back in 2019, where we first met the likes of characters such as Hughie and Homelander. The Boys was a hit and became a lot of people’s favourite show that centred around superheroes in a different light.
The Boys was originally based on the Dynamite Entertainment comic of the same name by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, which is a completely different version of the story being told in the show, there are a lot of differences, to the point where the show feels like its own entity, some people even prefer the show to the comic which is a rare sight. Gen V, the second spin-off in The Boys universe is finally out after being announced all the way back in September 2020.
Gen V Episode 1 Recap Review
The first episode of Gen V titled “God U” is directed by Nelson Cragg who is widely known for directing a lot of Ryan Murphy projects such as Pose, Ratched etc. Gen V revolves around the first generation of teens who now know they were injected with Compound V, who all attend Goldokin University, a school for supes. These soon-to-be heroes get put to the test to see who will be in the school’s top ten rankings and be the next member of The Seven.
In this episode, we start off eight years ago seeing on the TV that A-Train (Jessie T. Usher) who is a Goldokin University Alum is being indicted into The Seven as the first black person. We then zoom out to see a young Marie Moreau (Jaz Sinclair) playing with her younger sister, she then suddenly has to run to the bathroom after some pain and we soon find out that she’s going through her first period.
Unlike the usual young girl, she starts to have control over her blood and being surprised by that, she ends up worrying her mother who breaks into the room and in shock, she accidentally kills her mother by slicing her in the neck with her blood. All of this chaos causes her father to enter the room and see his dead wife in the room, this becomes all too much for Marie who unleashes her powers due to her emotion and she also accidentally kills her father. The sister then comes into the room but before seeing her reaction we cut to Marie in present-day waking up, most likely having this event from her childhood as a recurring nightmare.
Throughout the episode, we see rapid flashbacks to her parent’s death and her sister’s reactions when we see Marie go through moments that either remind her of the situation or when she’s trying to keep control of her emotions. This was a perfect introduction to the show as we get to see that it still has The Boys’ formula of being shocking and gory while also showing that this show will be different with the story that it’s telling.
Now following an 18-year-old Marie Moreau, we see the horrible living arrangements that she’s in at the Red River Institute, where she was most likely placed after the death of her parents. Here we see how dedicated she is to not only getting into Goldokin University (which she does) but to hone her powers as we see her practising her blood control, attacking objects she’s placed in the room.
After being accepted and finally entering Goldokin University, we get introduced to Emma Meyer (Lizzie Broadway) one of my favourite characters in the episode, she manages to compare herself to the likes of ‘Pewdiepie without the Na*i sh*t’. Her character is quite interesting as she seems to be full of life and is ready for the uni life, ready to make friends, telling Marie to act normal around them but once they find out about Emma’s YouTube channel, her mannerisms start to change.
We find out later on that she receives a lot of hate on her videos and that she is nowhere near as popular as she is stated to be and that she gets fetishised for her tiny size which we see play out in a horrific scene between her and the other student.
Marie Moreau finds out that she wasn’t accepted into Brinkerhoff’s class and tries to fight her way in and fails, we get to meet another character here which is Jordan Li (London Thor / Derek Luh) who is played by two actors as they have the power to change, giving them access to not one but two special abilities which make for a very interesting fight scene towards the end and was actually a better use of powers within a fight scene that I’ve seen compared to The Boys.
Later on, we see Jordan Li along with some other characters such as Andre Anderson (Chance Perdomo), Cate Dunlap ( Maddie Phillips) and Luke Riordan/Golden Boy (Patrick Schwarzenegger). These characters are an interesting bunch and when comparing back to The Boys, a lot of these characters slightly resemble characters from the parent series.
Marie is a lot like Annie January/Starlight, who’s very excited about being a hero and getting into the Seven but eventually sees the reality of it all and I can see Marie’s story playing out in this season in a very similar light with what Goldokin University seems to be hiding.
We get to see Marie showcase her powers at a party when she’s forced to save someone’s life after Andre accidentally slits their throat. Emma and Marie hope that this helps her get into Brinkerhoff’’s class but the opposite ends up happening and instead, she gets excluded. Showcasing the harsh reality we’ve witnessed before with how Vought handles a situation.
This all escalates when she returns to possibly have a word with Brinkerhoff but we don’t know what happens as Luke has already seemed to have killed him. Luke has been dealing with some nightmares and it seems to tie into what the overall plot of Gen V is going to be about. Luke goes on a rampage, attempting to kill Marie, having an all-out fight with Jordan Li and then eventually being calmed down by Andre. After all this, he flies into the air and overheats himself to the point of explosion, causing blood to rain on everyone down below.
The first episode of Gen V is the perfect introduction not only to these characters but the mystery of what’s going on at Goldokin University. The episode managed to provide a lot of questions about what’s going on behind the scenes, why certain characters like Luke were having reoccurring nightmares, what the woods are and much more.
I think this sets up the story very nicely and can easily be better than The Boys’ recent season which this show takes place at the same time. Gen V Episode 1 maintains the DNA of The Boys while also adding something new to the formula, while we will still be seeing crazy shenanigans and scenarios that will make us think, “Is that allowed”, I love the direction that the story is going in and it seems that the show already cares more about the story and character arcs that are taking place compared to its predecessor.
Rating: 4 out of 5
This review was written during the 2023 WGA (now resolved) and SAG-AFTRA (ongoing) strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the series/movie being covered here wouldn’t exist.