Dean Shetty (Shelley Conn) is one sick puppy. Not only has she empowered Dr. Cardosa (Margo Pigossi) to manufacture a virus that kills supes, but now she wants him to make it contagious… and airborne. Cardosa isn't too thrilled about this request, but Shetty's got him by the balls (if Vaught finds out what he did, he's dead) so he acquiesces.
Luckily, our heroes are hot on Shetty's tail. They don't yet know exactly what she's up to, so they plan on confronting her face-to-face to get answers. Cate (Maddie Phillips) and Andre (Chance Perdomo) head to Shetty's place to wait for her to return while the rest of the crew heads back to campus and does some digging.
Jordan (Londor Thor/Derek Luh) has a key to Shetty's office (they're her TA) so with Marie's (Jaz Sinclair) help, they break in and scour the place for answers. In Shetty's desk, Marie finds a file pertaining to the tragedy of Transoceanic Flight 37, which lists Shetty's departed husband and child as passengers – finally unlocking Shetty's reason for wanting to eradicate all supes.
Midgard Times/Youtube;Amazon Prime Chance Perdomo
If you watched The Boys, you'll remember that in season 2, Homelander and Queen Maeve were sent to subdue some terrorists who'd taken over Flight 37, but the plane malfunctioned and they were faced with a difficult choice: they could fly a few people off the plane to safety, but that would mean word would get out about their failure to save the day. Or… they could let everyone die and preserve their picture-perfect image. Of course, Homelander chose to look after himself instead of saving a few innocents and risking a PR disaster, and everyone died.
Marie and Jordan don't put this all together quite yet, but it's another important clue for them in piecing together what's going on and why. But that's not all they learn in Shetty's office… as Cardosa drunkenly stumbles inside, complaining aloud about the virus Shetty forced him to create, then dropping a file on her desk that cracks the case wide open for Marie and Jordan.
Meanwhile, Emma (Lizze Broadway) brings Sam (Asa Germann) back to her dorm room and makes him promise he'll stay put while she grabs him some food. Sam agrees… then pretty much immediately leaves the room to party with some other supe students in the hallway. It's a pretty dumb decision on Sam's part, but it's a really sweet moment, watching Sam for the first time in maybe a decade acting like a normal kid and just having fun. And at the urging of Sam's new supe buddy, the friendly campus rapist Rufus, he follows the students to campus for an event everyone's been super psyched to attend: A town hall with U.S. Vice Presidential candidate Neuman (Claudia Doumit). Again, if you've watched The Boys, you'll know Neuman as an ambitious politician who's managed to hide the fact that she's a sociopathic, serial-killing supe that's been murdering her way to the top. And if you haven't watched The Boys… I'm not quite sure what you're doing with your life.
Midgard Times/Youtube;Amazon Prime Claudia Doumit
At the town hall, Neuman tries to convince the crowd of angry supe students that she doesn't want to control them, she just wants to treat them like normal citizens, equal to humans. Sam's with Rufus watching this all play out, and Rufus explains to Sam that Neuman, just like all humans, wants to control them. But the reality is that supes are not equal to humans… they're better than them. And with Sam's experience of being abused by humans, being kept down because of his powers… he kind of agrees.
The town hall quickly goes south, and Neuman is escorted out. But before she can leave, she's approached by Marie, who wants a word with her. Neuman is more than happy to oblige, having followed Marie's career closely. And when they get a moment in private, Neuman reveals just how closely she's been following Marie.
As Marie uses her blood powers to identify Neuman as a supe, Neuman reveals that the two of them actually have the same kind of powers… and that's why Neuman pulled some strings and got Marie accepted to Godolkin. She, too, was a foster kid at Red River, and she, too, has the power to manipulate blood. So she feels a kinship with Marie, and wants to help her succeed. Hearing this, Marie feels she can trust Neuman enough to tell her what's been going on with the virus. Neuman assures Marie that she'll totes handle the situation and definitely not use it for her own gain in any way whatsoever. Sure…
The episode races to a close back at Shetty's house, where the Dean returns to have a heart-to-heart with Cate. Cate's pissed at Shetty for using her, and she wants out of their arrangement. Shetty pleads with Cate to stand by her side – her plan is almost complete. Cate doesn't know whether she can trust Shetty, who insists that she isn't just using Cate, she loves her like her own, views her as the only family she has left after the deaths of her husband and child. And when Cate reads Shetty's mind… she sees that she's actually telling the truth. As they pull each other into an embrace, we're not sure which side Cate will choose.
But when Marie, Jordan, Sam, and Emma show up at the house (Andre's busy getting his dad to the hospital after he suffered some kind of seizure during a live TV interview) it becomes clear – Cate's with them. She knows everything Shetty was trying to do, and she can't forgive her for it… so Cate makes Shetty slit her own throat. Marie tries to use her powers to save her, but Cate won't allow it, and they're forced to watch Shetty bleed out and die before their eyes.
The real significance of this scene isn't Shetty's death, though. It's the supes' reaction to it. While Marie, Jordan, and Emma are horrified, Cate and Sam (the latter motivated by what he saw and experienced at the town hall) feel the murder was justified. They've spent their whole lives being kept down and abused by humans, and they want to fight back. It's here that we get a glimpse at where the series is headed – a splintering of our group along moral and ideological lines, with the promise of interpersonal drama to come.
In the final moments of the episode, we see Neuman meet in secret with Cardosa, who hands over the last remaining vials of the virus in exchange for amnesty for him and his family. Neuman thanks him for doing a great service for his country… then beheads him.
What's she gonna do with the virus? Only time and the final episode (or next season) will tell.
The music in this episode was really on point, from Gustaf's "Best Behavior" over the montage of Sam exploring Emma's dorm to "Heads Will Roll" by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs cutting in as Neuman pops Cardosa's head off.
Shetty's reveal that God U is just an elaborate lab experiment was pretty gut-wrenching. Here, these impressionable kids think they're at this school to study, but really they're just there to be studied. Certainly not gonna help convince the supe community not to rebel against humankind when that comes out.
Emma's teeny-tiny underwear. O-M-G. Just when I think she couldn't get any more adorable, the writers take it up ten whole notches. #TeamCricket
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