*Spoilers for episode 2 of Gen V below*
Gen V is a spin-off of the popular show The Boys, which is based on the Garth Ennis comic book of the same name. Gen V follows Marie Moreau, a young woman with superpowers, as she tries to navigate life at Godolkin University, a school that specializes in teaching young people with powers how to fight crime and promote themselves. Episode 2 explores the following themes: betrayal and self-harm.
In episode 2, Marie (Jaz Sinclair) is given credit for stopping Luke from going on a killing spree and as a reward she is given the opportunity to attend the upper level crime fighting classes. This angers Jordan (Derek Luh, London Thor), who demands that Marie explain to the press that Jordan was actually the one who fought Luke. Marie’s life only becomes more complicated when the dean of the school, Indira Shetty (Shelley Conn), takes an interest in her and offers to help Marie talk through her traumatic past.
In the meantime, a student named Justine (Maia Jae Bastidas) comes to Emma’s (Lizze Broadway) defense after she’s ignored by a guy she hooked up with in episode 1, and Andre (Chance Perdomo) and Cate (Maddie Phillips) look into suspicious activities by the school related to Luke’s (Patrick Schwarzenegger) death. As the episode progresses, Emma becomes close with Justine and reveals how her powers essentially give her an eating disorder, since she has to throw up in order to get small. Emma and Justine’s bond doesn’t last long, as Justine reveals Emma’s secret to the entire campus by talking about it in a youtube video.
Andre and Cate are met with their own struggles when they discover that Luke’s brother is being held captive in a secret facility in the University. Their storyline ends with Andre almost getting caught by campus security, only for Cate to save him at the cost becoming exhausted and passing out due to overusing her powers.
For her heroics, Marie is given the opportunity to have an interview with a famous broadcaster named Hailey Miller (Leigh Bush). As she preps for her interview Marie has her mind set on admitting that Jordan was actually the one who deserves credit for fighting Luke. Marie’s mindset changes when Hailey reveals that the press team reached out to her sister, who told them that she wants nothing to do with Marie. Heartbroken, Marie decides to ignore the promise she made to Jordan and instead focus on furthering her own career. The episode ends with Marie telling Hailey (and the people watching the interview) that she was in fact the only person who fought against Luke.
“First Day” has some notable character moments but also feels dull in comparison to the pilot episode. This is mostly due to the fact that the episode is much heavier on drama over action, which wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing in theory. Unfortunately, the episode also fails to make some of the dramatic scenes resonate with the viewer. Andre and Cate’s storyline is the most interesting as it explores the mysteries that were set up in the previous episode, and shines some light on what is going on behind the scenes at Godolkin, while still managing to keep the audience in suspense. Marie’s storyline is entertaining enough, and her final decision to promote herself instead of Jordan make her stand out as a protagonist as it cements that she isn’t afraid to put others down in order to rise to the top. Emma’s storyline feels like it should be more emotionally powerful but Justine’s confusing motivations take the viewer out of the story.
As in the first episode, Jaz Sinclair has the strongest performance but Lizze Broadway also stands out, despite having a weaker storyline. Sinclair especially shines near the end of the episode as she’s able to show the guilt that Marie feels in a subtle and realistic manner. Broadway’s performance stands out since her character goes through a much wider ranger of emotions in episode 2 than she did in the pilot, which gives her the chance to show her range as an actor.