The following story contains spoilers for the premiere of The Boys Season 3, “Payback.”
If you came into Season 3 of The Boys wondering how showrunner Eric Kripke and company could possibly top their grossest highs of past seasons—including tons of whale gore and a room full of exploding heads—you probably stopped wondering about 12 minutes into the season’s first episode, titled “Payback.”
Let’s set things up very quickly: in the aftermath of last season, our heroes are set up to monitor Supe activity. So, after the premiere for a movie called Pocket Romance, we find Frenchie (Tomer Capone) monitoring the afterparty for its hard-partying, showboating star, Termite (Brett Geddes). Termite has the power to grow very small and (presumably) very large, and shows this off in front of his adoring party guests.
Then we hit that 12 minute or so mark, and Termite heads back with a romantic suitor to do some drugs. OK, fine, to do lots of drugs. And then the romantic suitor tells Termite that he wants to take things to the next level. Termite knows what he means—he shrinks down to bug-size, and suddenly we see things from his perspective; he climbs into his suitor’s penis like he’s spelunking in a cave, and once inside, touches the sides like its some kind of erotic game.
But, uh, remember: these guys just took a bunch of drugs. Termite almost sneezes, but he stops himself. Crisis averted! But then he sneezes again, and with the sneeze, can no longer remain his small size. He grows back to normal, and, in process, splits his romantic suitor into many pieces from the Penis out. Blood, guts, and probably bodily fluids are everywhere. It’s…well, we don’t need to beat around the bush: it’s extremely disgusting. Don’t ever doubt the production team on The Boys again, OK?
Of course, Frenchie’s job is to oversee this, and, well, he does his job. He tells Termite he didn’t see anything, but then Termite doesn’t have any interest in word of this getting out—he shrinks down to bug size, and, in a lovely reference to the famous Ant-Man Endgame theory, tries to fly into Frenchie’s behind to explode him. Luckily, Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) is monitoring from afar, and comes in to save the day: throwing Termite into a bag of cocaine and shaking him up like a powdered sugar dispenser for a delicious Sunday waffle. Crisis…averted? Kind of?
How did The Boys film the Termite penis exploding scene?
In Amazon Prime Video’s in-episode trivia, they reveal that everything on the table when Termite goes minature, including the cocaine and the penis, was created using visual effects. “The VFX team did a tremendous amount of research into what these objects would look like from Termite’s perspective at that miniscule level,” it says. The text also reveals that the inside of the guy’s urethra was built practically, the last design of production designer Arv Greywal, who died in October 2020.
It also reveals that in order to depict the destroyed body of the guy—who’s name, apparently, was Peter—a silicon cast was made of the actor. “Then silicon viscera was created, from blood to intestines, to assorted organs, and packed into the dummy’s hollow rib cage, so that when it flopped onto the bed, the blood and guts would spill out of it.”
Who is Termite in The Boys?
This is Termite’s first major inclusion in the show by Kripke and company, though he was previously seen in the secret Supe sex club that Butcher and Hughie walked through in the very first episode. He also appeared in Vol. 5 of The Boys comics, titled “Herogasm.” It also clear that Termite is intended as direct spoof of one of the most popular characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Ant-Man, as played by Paul Rudd.
While Episode 1 of Season 3, “Payback,” was Termite’s first official entrance into The Boys as it appears on Amazon Prime Video, the character was first introduced with an online episode of the FOX News-esque Vought News Network: Seven on 7 with Cameron Coleman show, which viewers can see The Deep (Chace Crawford) and Homelander (Antony Starr) appear on in Season 3.
Coleman gave a plug for Termite’s new movie in the show:
“Vought’s tiny, fun-loving superhero, Termite, known for his ability to shrink to the size of a bug, has a new movie out on Vought+—a romantic comedy, titled ‘Pocket Romance,'” he says. “In the movie, Termite’s co-star plays a lonely toy store manager named Dolly, who initially discovers the Tiny Supe hiding amidst the action figures, while working an undercover mission. As Dolly is swept up into Termite’s world, action and hilarity ensue, as the unlikely duo find that no matter how small you are, finding true love may be the biggest mission of all.”
Of course, there are some obvious differences: in the Marvel films, Scott Lang (Rudd) only has the ability to shrink down and grow large when wearing the suit created by genius Hank Pym (Michael Douglas). In The Boys, Termite can shrink (and, presumably, grow) his entire body. It’s unknown if he needs to be naked like his old friend Translucent (who, you may remember, was exploded with a bomb up his behind back in Season 1). We’d guess he’s just that much of a douchebag.