The episode “What I Know” ended with our title Boys successfully taking down both the corrupt Vought International corporation and the Nazi supervillain-in-disguise Stormfront (Aya Cash). By exposing her roots as a literal Nazi from the 1940s, the Boys tarnish the company, forcing Vought to halt its plot to produce the Compound V drug to create more government-sponsored superheroes.
But The A.V. Club’s Roxana Hadadi didn’t think Stormfront’s reaction to being outed was realistic because, in her mind, a sizeable chunk of modern America loves Hitler’s Nazis:
Stormfront is very clearly a true believer. So why then [does she] panic and freak out about the reveal of her true origin [as a Nazi]? There is, very clearly, a portion of this country that would love her more for this! We are living that reality right now!
Yeah, and in that reality Antifa is merely an idea.
The final minutes of the episode surprisingly revealed another supervillain in the mix. Apparently, our AOC-representative, Congresswoman Victoria Neuman (Claudia Doumit), has secretly been using her powers to blow up heads and cause a panic about supervillains. Then she led her anti-Supe crusade to take down the Vought corporation on the side and gain power in a plot that’s certain to continue in season three.
Making a liberal politician a blatant bad guy for once, especially one based on AOC, is an interesting twist which means liberals were sure to hate it.
Kaila Hale-Stern wrote in The Mary Sue, “Although I usually adore the way that The Boys so artfully skewers our current political divides, I also have to pause at the fact that the stand-in for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is revealed to be a ruthless villain.”
Rebecca Onion of Slate didn’t like the heel turn of the AOC character, either:
Why did this surprise retain the power to jar and upset me, since I’m generally a huge fan of what Slate’s Matthew Dessem has described as the show’s “deep and abiding misanthropy”? Because Neuman is clearly an Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez analog.
So devastated was she that AOC was treated this way that Onion said, “this twist of the story makes me look twice at the show’s nihilism, and wonder whether I want to be along for this particular ride.” Yeah, it’s all fun and games until one of your idols is taken down.
She further found upsetting parallels to how Rep. Ocasio-Cortez is supposedly attacked in real life by the right:
It’s just too reminiscent of online right-wingers making up fables about AOC’s secret nature (Snopes.com has debunked conspiracy theories from “AOC is an actress playing a congresswoman” to “AOC wants to ban motorcycles.”) Clearly jealous of her youth and beauty, these real-life conspiracists insist she’s too good to be true. I wish this show hadn’t done the same.
The A.V. Club’s Hadadi chimed in, writing of her outrage at the twist:
…I think it’s a very lame, very “both sides are bad,” faux-edgy ideology for The Boys to switch from having a neo-Nazi as a villain to now having a progressive politician as a villain. This is why I don’t watch South Park, I don’t have time for these lazy false equivalences!
Hadadi, a liberal who declared “health care is a human right” in the same review, also begged for “[f]ewer attempts to make progressive politics seem like an artifice for evil,” as if it’s some kind of epidemic on TV nowadays.
It’s actually conservative and Republican characters who are predominantly made evil in entertainment, with President Trump an especially popular target, but liberals can’t even handle one less-than-noble progressive politician. Now they know how conservatives have felt for decades.