Susan Heyward as Sister Sage in 'The Boys' season 4
(Prime Video)

The Most Disturbing Moment in ‘The Boys’ Season 4 (So Far) Had Nothing To Do With a Sauna

The Boys is officially back with a new season filled with gratuitous violence, gore, and gaping, uh, you know. The first three episodes of season 4 dropped late last week, and while everyone on god’s green internet is preoccupied with the “Human Centipede sauna scene,” I found myself more disturbed by another revealing moment.

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I know where I am—I can’t name-drop something like “Human Centipede sauna scene” without explaining it, so for the blessedly unaware but still morbidly curious: In episode 2, the eponymous Boys are investigating new season 4 antagonist Firecracker (sort of a knock-off Stormfront) and tailing a Supe named Splinter to get more info. Splinter (Rob Benedict, who will probably be answering questions about this scene for the rest of his life) can produce clones of himself, and those of you wondering how this might influence his masturbation habits are on the right track. Our guys follow Splinter to a sauna, where several clones are arranged in an elaborate ass-to-mouth chain, each masturbating while eating another clone’s butt. It’s the sort of shocking, edgelordian sexual imagery that’s become synonymous with The Boys, made all the more jarring by the sheer amount of saliva on screen.

Now that you’re caught up, you might be wondering how and why the sauna scene wasn’t the most disturbing moment in the first three episodes. I mean, it’s up there with Homelander’s son, a.k.a. “Homeboy” (I may never stop laughing), using his powers to toss a full-grown man into the side of a building, causing his body to splatter like a paintball. At a certain point, especially if you were raised by horror movies in lieu of a responsible guardian, you become a little desensitized to the constant torrent of viscera in The Boys—something the writers must be painfully aware of, given their ability to gross me the f—k out in the most unexpected ways every season.

At the end of episode 3, Deep (Chace Crawford) runs into season 4’s other new antagonist, Sister Sage (Susan Heyward), the world’s smartest woman and the latest addition to the Seven. She’s presumably stoned, eating a Bloomin’ Onion from Outback Steakhouse and watching trashy TV. I can relate, especially to the “smartest woman in the world” part. Sage asks Deep if he wants to watch the Transformers sequel with the racist robots, and after a hilarious aside about Shia LaBeouf and Honey Boy 2, they quickly admit they find each other attractive and start getting freaky on the couch. As the camera pulls back, something on the coffee table comes into focus: a long metal implement covered in blood.

It’s admittedly not as flashy as the butt-chomping Human Centipede bit, but there’s something more visceral in what it suggests: Sister Sage is giving herself recreational lobotomies. It makes sense—how else would the smartest woman in the world unwind after a long day of having a big brain? That thing probably never shuts up. Instead of smoking a pre-roll, Sage (presumably) shoves a metal rod up her nose and gives it a little swirl et voila: she can enjoy her Bloomin’ Onion and Michael Bay movies (and hooking up with hot dummies like Deep) in peace.

Maybe it’s the centuries of women’s opinions and feelings and desires being treated like psychological maladies (to be fair, a month-long stay in a sanitarium to overcome “my troubles” sounds like it might fix me), but the suggestion of ritualistic lobotomies and the cerebral self-mutilation they entail is, how do you say, deeply f—ked up. In my ranking of “most f—ked up” moments in The Boys, this one’s neck and neck with the woman who stuck her entire hands in the Deep’s gills (sexually) in season 1, or the Deep having sex with his octopus girlfriend—now that I think about it, the most disturbing scenes in this show always involve that guy.

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Britt Hayes
Britt Hayes (she/her) is an editor, writer, and recovering film critic with over a decade of experience. She has written for The A.V. Club, Birth.Movies.Death, and The Austin Chronicle, and is the former associate editor for ScreenCrush. Britt's work has also been published in Fangoria, TV Guide, and SXSWorld Magazine. She loves film, horror, exhaustively analyzing a theme, and casually dissociating. Her brain is a cursed tomb of pop culture knowledge.