Erin Moriarty as Starlight in The Boys | Agents of Fandom

‘The Boys’ Season 4, Episode 4 Recap & Review: Annie Snaps at Firecracker

Butcher deals with more inner conflict while Homelander returns to where it all began.

Warning: Spoilers ahead for The Boys Season 4, Episode 4 “Wisdom of the Ages.”

Following up an immensely successful three-episode premiere, The Boys Season 4 rolls on with Episode 4, “Wisdom of the Ages.” This is the first installment in a string of five weekly releases that will lead up until the Season 4 finale, currently slated to air on July 18.

The fourth episode cranks up the action with Firecracker (Valorie Curry) revealing a shocking personal detail about Annie (Erin Moriarty). Make sure you caught every twist and turn with our recap of The Boys Season 4, Episode 4.

Homelander Returns to the Vought Bunker Where He Was Raised in ‘The Boys’ Season 4, Episode 4

A bloody Homelander standing in the elevator with a slight smile on his face | Agents of Fandom
Homelander (not John) puts on a nice guy act, but it’s clear he isn’t here to eat cake and share memories. Image Credit: Prime Video.

The Boys Season 4, Episode 4, “Wisdom of the Ages,” opens with Homelander (Antony Starr) bringing a cake to the Vought bunker where he was raised. All the Vought employees share a piece of cake while Homelander watches with an uneasy look on his face. Meanwhile, Butcher (Karl Urban) takes a shower and notices something crawling under his skin, but he passes out and hits his head. Back at the hospital, the doctors tell Hughie (Jack Quaid) they’re pulling his Dad’s (Simon Pegg) feeding tube, and he has a few days to live.

Starlight visits Presidential nominee Robert Singer (Jim Beaver) and agrees to help him get into office only if he promises to help her put Vought in the ground once and for all. Colin (Elliot Knight) tells Frenchie (Tomer Capone) about what happened to his parents, not knowing Frenchie is the one who killed them. Back at the Starlight House, Firecracker sets up a show across the street with her team.

Inside Vought Tower, Sister Sage (Susan Heyward) fills in the media and The Seven on their plans to discredit Starlight and boost Firecracker’s ratings. The Deep (Chace Crawford) tries to hit on Sister Sage after their previous interaction, but she says she finds him repulsive. In front of the Starlight House, Firecracker kicks off her show while Annie evacuates the building. The Boys show up to help and MM (Laz Alonso) tells them Butcher is back in, and they devise a plan to take down Firecracker.

Butcher and MM Go Backstage in “Wisdom of the Ages”

Butcher, MM, and Frenchie searching for Sister Sage at TruthCon in The Boys Season 4, Episode 2 | Agents of Fandom
Both Butcher and MM are not happy to be working together, but they know it’s their only shot to get the job done. Image Credit: Prime Video.

The Boys Season 4, Episode 4 continues inside the Vought lab, when Homelander forces Frank (Mark Cowling) to get inside the furnace and burns him alive. Hughie and Kimiko (Karen Fukuhara) arrive at the docks to meet MM’s contact, and A-Train (Jessie T. Usher) shows up. Hughie gets A-Train to get him some Compound V to help save his dad, but Kimiko thinks Hughie should let his dad die. Their conversation is interrupted when they’re attacked by Shining Light soldiers.

Butcher and MM get backstage at the Firecracker show and Butcher asks MM for his help getting Ryan (Cameron Crovetti) away from Homelander. The two then blackmail Firecracker about her affair with a 15-year-old boy, but she doesn’t care and releases the footage herself. Firecracker then confesses on live TV to sleeping with a 15-year-old and fake-repents for her sins and the crowd eats it up.

Firecracker also tells the crowd that Starlight blinded a hostage on her first save. Butcher then sends Frenchie to search Firecracker’s trailer while A-Train steals the Compound V from Homelander’s penthouse. Ashley (Colby Minifie) catches him, but he also catches her leaving a floater in his toilet, which starts an unlikely alliance between the pair. Back at the Vought bunker, Homelander tries to force Marty (Murray Furrow) to masturbate in front of everyone and lasers him in the crotch when he can’t get it up.

Firecracker Exposes Annie’s Deepest Secret in ‘The Boys’ Season 4, Episode 4

Hughie and Annie looking at each other behind a crowd in The Boys Season 4, Episode 4 | Agents of Fandom
Hughie tries to make this heinous reveal about his and Annie’s relationship when in reality, she just needs him to be there for her. Image Credit: Prime Video.

Homelander is laughing at Marty when Barbara (Nancy Lenehan) walks in and tells him to put him out of his misery, so he stomps his head in. Hughie and Kimiko hold off the Shining Light soldiers and Hughie kills one of them. Frenchie searches Firecracker’s trailer while she announces to the world on stage that Annie had an abortion six months ago. Frenchie gets caught in the trailer and Annie attacks Firecracker live on stage as the world watches until MM pulls her off.

Butcher comes close to death but narrowly (and mysteriously) escapes Ezekiel (Shaun Benson). Barbara tells Homelander he was engineered to be obedient while Frenchie comes clean to Colin by telling him he killed his family and Colin attacks him. In one of the grossest things put to scene so far in The Boys, The Deep and Sister Sage meet up again and Sage asks The Deep to lobotmize her because her brain won’t stop growing, temporarily — which is the reason behind their previous foray. Singer then cuts ties with Starlight while Hughie collects the Compound V from A-Train.

Butcher tells Hughie not to give it to his dad and reveals he took V four months ago but it didn’t help. Hughie returns to the hospital and can’t bring himself to do it, but the vial falls out of his pocket and his mom (Rosemarie DeWitt) injects Hugh. Hughie returns to the room to see the V take hold, and his dad comes back to life, while Homelander exits the bunker covered in blood, leaving behind a pile of corpses.

Homelander Has Made Peace With His Demons in “Wisdom of the Ages”

Homelander staring into a broken mirror talking to several alternate versions of himself | Agents of Fandom
Antony Starr is doing some of the best acting on television at the moment with his performance as Homelander. Image Credit: Prime Video.

The Boys Season 4, Episode 4, “Wisdom of the Ages,” is the perfect follow-up to a nearly flawless three-episode premiere. While Homelander may be overstaying his welcome as a story device, Starr’s performance ensures the character is still electric every second he’s on-screen. Now halfway through the season, The Boys continues to prove why it is more than worthy of your time, so long as you don’t mind more mature content.

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'The Boys' Season 4, Episode 4 "Wisdom of the Ages" Review

'The Boys' Season 4, Episode 4 "Wisdom of the Ages" Review
4.5 5 0 1
4.5 rating
Total Score

The Good

  • Antony Starr puts on a show as Homelander, portraying menace but also a desire to be loved.
  • Firecracker shines as an anti-Annie, opposing all her morals and ideals.
  • Butcher's inner turmoil is devastating but exhilarating to watch.
  • The series continuously proves there is no needle it won't push.

The Bad

  • Overarching structural plot issues that don't hinder the episode's ability to shine.
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