Amazon’s The Boys has always been audacious from the jump, and has never been afraid to put its cast of supers and normal pissed-off civilians through several wringers. Being an adult-oriented show, it loves itself some sex, and this week’s episode had plenty of that on hand, as the show tackled the long-awaited “Herogasm” arc from Darick Robertson and Garth Ennis’ much beloved comic book the show’s based on.
In the comics, “Herogasm” is exactly what it implies: the world’s superheroes go to town on each other during a massive weeklong orgy held in a secluded mansion, with the public excuse being they’re all going to band together to beat off an alien threat. While that type of thing can be done in non-Big Two comics, where you’ve got plenty of creative freedom to do as you wish like Robertson and Ennis did, TV is a different beast altogether. But for showrunner Eric Kripke, he told Entertainment Weekly that he’s had Herogasm on the brain ever since he was attached to adapt the comic for TV.
It was a challenge to bring the event to screen, but he was certainly down to make it happen. “I don’t back down...It’s how I made all my creative choices!” When it came to pitching this to Amazon, what helped his case was just how successful Boys’ first two seasons were, and he admitted that there was “no way” he could’ve pitched it when the show was first starting. Before now, the closest he got was a short bit back in season one; a scene wherein Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) walks Hughie (Jack Quaid) through a superhero sex club was influenced by Herogasm, in Kripke’s words. But once he got the green light for the real thing—as he recalled, Amazon’s knew he’d try to get it done eventually, so they told him to “just go do it”—he and the rest of the Boys cast and crew set about doing it justice.
EW’s interview covers a lot, including that one part in the episode involving an octopus and Chace Crawford’s Aquaman-alike The Deep, and it sounds like making an hourlong episode about a massive orgy required a lot of logistical work. Along with having several intimacy coordinators on hand and ensuring everyone during production was safe while enacting COVID protocols, the biggest danger was keeping their hands clean. All over set, claimed Kripke, there were bottles of lube to be used as set decoration, in addition to the hand sanitizer kept on set. And you can guess what happened next: more than a few people didn’t realize what they were squirting onto their hand until it was too late. One such victim was Erin Moriarty, who plays Starlight; the first time she explored the set just for fun, and after touching “all of these dildos,” she needed to wipe her hands and pressed on what she thought was a sanitizer pump. “I pressed the pump and the entire crew went, ‘No! No! No! No! No! No!’,” remembered Moriarty. “That just symbolizes so, so much.”
Leading up to this episode, Prime Video hyped it up as an episode for the ages, and actor Jensen Ackles, who plays Soldier Boy on the show, made it sound like everyone who worked on it will have the memories forever burned into their brain. “They looked like they’d seen what they couldn’t unsee,” joked Ackles, who made a similar comment about the episode back in March. “One of our camera operators went, ‘Man, I’ve seen some shit today!’” By all accounts, it sounds like the episode lives up to its big, sticky hype, and will likely serve as one of the top moments of TV for 2022.
The Boys is available to watch on Prime Video.
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