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‘The Boys’ season 3 episode 6 ‘Herogasm’ recap/review

While much of the hype for “Herogasm” revolved around the graphic content, it shined as the most emotionally powerful episode of The Boys this season.

Last week’s episode of The Boys concluded with several explosive cliffhangers:

  • Butcher and Hughie formed an alliance with Soldier Boy in the hopes that he can kill Homelander. The decision required both men to betray not only their principles, but the people closest to them. The pair have also gone all-in on injecting themselves with V-24.
  • Before being killed by Soldier Boy, Crimson Countess alluded to something that happened in Nicaragua beyond what we saw during the flashback in episode 3.
  • After sniffing out her participation in a plot against him, Homelander had Queen Maeve kidnapped/disappeared (with an assist from Black Noir).
  • Despite not having her powers anymore, Kimiko is happier than ever. She and Frenchie also finally kissed each other. Unfortunately, this sweet moment was immediately followed by Nina and her goons kidnapping Frenchie after he refused to work for her.
  • In an effort to help his brother’s community, A-Train asked Blue Hawk, the supe who’s been terrorizing them, to deliver a public apology. Things went from predictably bad to catastrophic when he attacked the community members, resulting in Nathan (A-Train’s brother) being grievously injured.

This week, the highly anticipated/dreaded “Herogasm” episode arrives along with the first confrontation between Soldier Boy and Homelander.

As always, the recap portion of this review will contain plenty of spoilers. The sequence of events has also been streamlined a bit for the sake of clarity.

Lack of Imagination

The Boys (Prime Video)

The Boys (Prime Video)

The episode opens with the Deep posting a video to assure people we’re “all in this together” after the supe terrorist attack in Manhattan. He then leads a host of celebrities in a hilarious parody of Gal Gadot’s “Imagine” sing-along from 2020.

Later, the Deep joins Homelander, Ashley, and Black Noir in the Crime Analytics lab to look through video of the explosion at Crimson Countess’ residence. The Deep struggles to operate the equipment, but he’s the only one available now that most of the Crime Analytics team has been fired — a decision he falsely tries to pin on Ashley.

He’s eventually able to pause the video at a point that clearly shows Soldier Boy leaving the scene. Ashley begins working on PR spin, but is stopped by Homelander, who reminds her that Soldier Boy used to be the face of Vought. If people find out he came back from the dead only to blow up a Manhattan city block, it could ruin the company…and him.

After taking a moment to gather himself, Homelander decides to find and kill Soldier Boy himself. He instructs Ashley and the Deep to delete all evidence of the legendary supe’s return before departing with Black Noir.

The Boys (Prime Video)

The Boys (Prime Video)

Once they’re out in the hallway, Homelander asks his teammate (who used to be a member of Payback) why Soldier Boy would kill Crimson Countess. When Black Noir doesn’t answer, Homelander tells the silent supe he’s the only one he can count on and departs.

After Homelander leaves, Black Noire gets into an elevator and slices open his arm — much to the horror of an unsuspecting fellow occupant. He pulls out his Vought tracking chip and hands it to her before getting off on another floor.

Negotiating Pain

The Boys (Prime Video)

The Boys (Prime Video)

Hughie and Butcher take Soldier Boy to a motel. While giving him his requested fast food and amphetamines, Butcher begins discussing how their team-up is going to work. Soldier Boy initially dismisses the need for a team, pointing out that the last one he was on turned him over to the Russians. *Side Note: Oh snap!

He changes his mind once Hughie points out all the technology and supe hunting techniques Soldier Boy doesn’t know about or understand. In exchange for their assistance getting revenge on Payback, all Butcher asks is that Homelander be added to the kill list. After being goaded a bit over people seeing Homelander as his replacement, Soldier Boy agrees.

Later, Butcher begins searching for Soldier Boy’s next target, the TNT Twins. While he’s out, Soldier Boy watches one of his old movies featuring him and the twins fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan. Seeing his traitorous teammates on screen makes him angry, which also causes Hughie’s Geiger counter to click.

Thankfully, a commercial featuring a dad wearing a baby carrier gets him to alter his focus — namely on how men/dads today aren’t like his old buddy Bill Cosby. Soldier Boy then asks why America was in a decades-long war in Afghanistan, which was their staunch ally during the Soviet-Afghan War. This leads to him ranting about how much things have changed in the country that ultimately abandoned him, causing the Geiger counter to click even more.

The Boys (Prime Video)

The Boys (Prime Video)

Soldier Boy finally calms down after discussing his previous desire to have children with Crimson Countess — something that obviously can’t happen anymore. Hughie takes this opportunity to ask why he blew up a city block in Manhattan. Soldier Boy angrily responds that he doesn’t know what happened or why his powers activated. All he knows is that he blacked out for ten minutes. When he came to, the damage was done.

Soldier Boy assures Hughie that he didn’t mean to hurt anyone. It also won’t happen again unless someone deserves it.

Before Hughie can process the implications of that last part, Butcher walks in covered in blood (not his own) and announces that he found an address for the TNT Twins. He and Hughie then proceed to shoot up with V-24 while Soldier Boy puts on his suit.

The Boys (Prime Video)

The Boys (Prime Video)

Over at Vought Tower, A-Train storms into Ashley’s office and demands to know what Vought plans to do about the incident with Blue Hawk. Ashley attempts to placate him with PR speak while revealing that Blue Hawk has been assigned 12 weeks of mandatory “sensitivity training.”

Understandably, this only pisses A-Train off even more. When he threatens to find and deal with Blue Hawk himself, Ashley reminds A-Train that Homelander wants everyone to present a united front. A-Train fires back that because of Blue Hawk, his brother is in the hospital and will never walk again. He wants justice.

At this point, Ashley finally snaps.

After pulling a large chunk of her hair out, the Vought CEO reminds A-Train of all the work she had to do covering up multiple killings/murders he committed (including Popclaw‘s). Now that the collateral damage involves him, however, he wants justice for one of its victims. Instead of giving it to him, Ashely tells A-Train to go f*** himself.

Stunned at Ashley’s cruel display of confidence, A-Train silently turns and leaves. Once he’s gone, Ashley revels in her newfound power before immediately freaking out over what she just said/did.

Self Sabotage

The Boys (Prime Video)

The Boys (Prime Video)

The Deep informs Homelander about Black Noir taking out his chip and going off the Vought grid. Homelander initially refuses to believe his teammate would leave him, but comes to his senses when the Deep expresses his and Cassandra’s theory that Soldier Boy is going after former Payback members.

Homelander instructs the Deep to intercept Soldier Boy at the residence of the T&T Twins (who would be the next closest target) and to call him if he shows up. As Homelander departs, the Deep chastizes Cassandra for audibly pushing him to reveal their theory. Cassandra responds that they’re “in this together,” a sentiment that the Deep appears to be quickly growing tired of.

Meanwhile, Homelander goes to Stromfront’s old recovery room to think. He begins to have a conversation with himself in the mirror expressing his doubts about being able to take on Soldier Boy. Homelander’s reflection (which acts as his extreme narcissism) assures him that he’ll come out victorious as long as they work together.

When Homelander expresses his fear that Edgar was right about him being a fraud, Reflection Homelander counters that his fear stems from a constant need to be loved. Once that human part of his psyche is excised, he can finally be his purest/best self.

*Side Note: Can we just go ahead and give Antony Starr and Emmy already?

Rejecting Poison

The Boys (Prime Video)

The Boys (Prime Video)

Mothers Milk and Annie discuss their strategy for tracking down Soldier Boy. MM points out that Crimson Countess couldn’t have betrayed him on her own, meaning that the rest of Payback is likely on his kill list.

Annie notices MM loading a large amount of ammunition and points out that Soldier Boy is bulletproof. When MM responds that it isn’t for the supe, Annie pleads with him to take a step back. MM counters that he’s tired of taking the high road while everyone else operates without principles. Annie responds by reminding him that nearly all of their allies are dead or missing. The last thing they need is to make more enemies, especially when it’s just the two of them.

Their conversation is interrupted when Annie gets a call from Ashley asking her to report to Vought Tower. Before departing, she asks MM if he’s okay, but doesn’t get a response.

The Boys (Prime Video)

The Boys (Prime Video)

Starlight arrives to find that she’ll be doing an interview on VNN Today along with Homelander and Victoria Neuman. From the start, Starlight can tell Homelander is on edge — especially after he grabs her hand and appears to be genuinely thankful for her presence.

Once the interview starts, Homelander and Starlight assure the viewing audience that they’re working to catch whoever was responsible for the explosion in Manhattan. When the interviewer asks Neuman what she’d say to Americans who are still scared, Homelander berates the anchor for attempting to “ambush” them with nasty questions. He then tells the American people that they are completely safe before storming out of the interview.

While Ashley lays into the interviewer, Neuman asks Starlight for a few minutes so they can catch up. After retreating to Starlight’s quarters, Neuman asks where Hughie is. When she lies and says he’s camping with his dad, Neuman expresses relief. She thought Hughie had been avoiding her out of fear she might pop his head.

The Boys (Prime Video)

The Boys (Prime Video)

Starlight initially tries to play dumb, but Neuman encourages her to drop the charade. She then starts to activate her powers, but Neuman calmly tells her to put them away. She also assures Starlight she’s not there to hurt her, Hughie, or their families. In fact, she actually wants to help them take down Homelander.

Neuman’s plan is to harness Starlight’s massive following to speak out against her co-captain. From there, the congresswoman would piggyback on the publicity to help get her education reform bill passed. She wraps her appeal up by explaining how much it would do for her own daughter along with millions of little girls across the country.

Instead of accepting Neuman’s offer, Starlight finally reaches her breaking point. She’s sick of being told to compromise her principles in order to win. Even if she is able to take down Homelander, working with Neuman would only be putting another terrible person in charge of things.

Starlight declares that she’s done with all of it. When Neuman points out that Homelander might kill her, Starlight acknowledges she’s right…but at least she won’t have to go from working with one psychopath to another. She then tells Neuman to either pop her head or get out.

Neuman stares at her for a moment before asking that she keep their conversation secret. She also reminds her that it’d be tough taking out America’s sweetheart, but not impossible. As Neuman leaves, Annie notices a small amount of blood trickling from her nose.

Real-Life Consequences

The Boys (Prime Video)

The Boys (Prime Video)

While worrying about what happened to Frenchie, Kimiko is attacked and knocked out by one of Nina’s goons. She wakes up to find herself handcuffed to a chair inside an abandoned warehouse. When Kimiko looks to her left, she sees a bruised and battered Cherie in the same predicament.

Cherie apologizes seconds before Frenchie is dragged into the room naked by two of Nina’s goons, who chain him by the neck to a nearby scaffolding. Nina points out some of his scars, revealing a few that came from her before describing one that was his father’s fault. When Frenchie was 14, he dropped a glass on the floor. His father made him kneel in the shards and told him not to move until he said so. The man then went to one of Nina’s brothels and ended up passing out.

Nina then explains how Frenchie likes being told what to do before having one of her goons go behind Kimiko and Cherie. She tells him that he must choose which one lives and which one dies. If he doesn’t, she’ll simply kill both and him, as well.

The Boys (Prime Video)

The Boys (Prime Video)

While this is happening, Kimiko uses a popsicle stick from the hospital to open her handcuffs. When Frenchie refuses to choose which woman to kill, Nina motions to Goon #1, who shoots at Kimkio just as she breaks free. She dives forward before popping back up and slashing Goon #1 with the popsicle stick. She then allows him to fall on top of her and absorb the bullets from Goon #2’s gun.

*Side Note: I don’t think bullets work that like, but whatever.

Once his clip is empty, Goon #2 kicks aside Goon #1’s body to confirm the kill. Kimiko briefly plays dead before biting down into his ankle. Goon #2 punches Kimiko in the face and begins choking her. She manages to get free by grabbing one of his fingers and breaking it.

Meanwhile, Nina begins moving toward Goon #1’s dropped gun. Just as she’s about to reach it, Cherie breaks free of her restraints and knocks her down. Goon #2 grabs Cherie’s head and slams her into a metal drum before beating the absolute hell out of Kimiko. He’s about to kill her when she spots a metal spike, grabs it, and plunges the tip into his femoral artery. After he cries out and falls back, she picks up another spike and stabs him repeatedly until he’s dead and then some.

Her rage is interrupted when Frenchie announces that Nina has fled.

Where It All Went Wrong

The Boys (Prime Video)

The Boys (Prime Video)

After Annie returns from Vought Tower, she and MM go to see if they can intercept Soldier Boy at the TNT Twins’ residence. Along the way, Annie notices’ MM’s OCD ticks and asks him about it. He explains that one night when he was young, he saw Soldier Boy stopping some kids from boosting a car nearby. He ran and got his grandpa to see what was happening. Moments later, Soldier Boy hurled the car through their home. It missed MM by only a few inches, but struck and killed his grandfather.

Annie tries to assure MM it wasn’t his fault, but he still feels responsible since his grandpa wouldn’t have been standing there if he hadn’t woken him up. From that point forward, he’s always felt a compulsion to check things multiple times. If he doesn’t, he fears that Soldier Boy will return and kill his family.

That’s one of many reasons he needs to see this through and make sure Soldier Boy is put down for good.

The Boys (Prime Video)

The Boys (Prime Video)

Meanwhile, the Deep arrives at the TNT Twins’ residence to discover that they’re hosting a major supe sex event known as “Herogasm.”

Later, when Annie and MM arrive, they’re greeted at the door by Love Sausage (who is clearly enjoying life since escaping from Sage Grove Center back in “The Bloody Doors Off”). Before he appears, his gargantuan penis opens the door, which understandably shocks Annie and MM — especially once it begins slithering around them.

Love Sausage immediately recognizes Starlight and says how delighted he is that she’s decided to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of Herogasm. He almost recognizes MM, but is more concerned that a non-supe is trying to gain entry to the party. Annie convinces him to let MM in by explaining that he’s with her.

*Side Note: Love Sausage is Russian. That will end up being an important detail in a little bit.

The pair enter and find themselves surrounded by acts of extreme debauchery on all sides. MM explains to Annie that the yearly event often hires sex workers who end up getting severely injured by the supes.

As they begin looking for the TNT Twins, one of the partiers bumps into MM, leaving a sticky residue on his favorite jacket. When MM goes into a bathroom to wipe it off, he’s blasted with another bodily fluid that I will definitely not describe here.

Let’s just say it’ll take a lot of soap, water, and therapy for MM to ever feel clean again.

The Boys (Prime Video)

The Boys (Prime Video)

Outside of the TNT Twins’ residence, Butcher, Hughie, and Soldier Boy arrive and begin doing reconnaissance. Soldier Boy reveals that he founded Herogasm back in 1952 with a super named Liberty, which Hughie realizes was actually Stormfront. Soldier Boy is ready to go in and cause some damage, but Hughie convinces the supe to give him three minutes so he can teleport in and find exactly where the twins are.

Back inside, Annie tries unsuccessfully to convince Gunpowder that Soldier Boy is coming and everyone needs to leave. She then finds the Deep having sex with an octopus. After taking a picture to show Homelander, the Deep explains that he’s actually there because Homelander sent him, meaning that Homelander is likely on his way.

Meanwhile, Hughie teleports in and immediately becomes all types of uncomfortable. After wandering around for a bit, he locates the twins and is about to leave when A-Train bumps into him. After being dismissively blown off, Hughie (emboldened by his powers) confronts the supe about never saying he was sorry for killing Robin. A-Train’s recent trauma with his brother causes him to reply with a genuine apology.

Unsure of how to react, Hughie punches A-Train in the face.

The Boys (Prime Video)

The Boys (Prime Video)

The commotion draws the attention of Annie, who rushes over and separates the pair before a real fight can start. Once A-Train is gone, she demands to know if Soldier Boy is there. When Hughie confirms he is, Annie reveals that Homelander is also on his way. Once he and Soldier Boy start fighting, it’s sure to be a bloodbath. They need to get everyone out before that can happen.

Instead of listening to her, Hughie grabs Annie and teleports her outside, causing them both to lose their clothes. When Annie chastizes Hughie for removing her from the house, he justifies his actions by explaining that he saved her, which is all he’s ever wanted to do. He then admits that her being stronger than him is something he simply can’t get past.

In that moment, Annie realizes it isn’t the V-24 that’s made Hughie act like he has the last few days. It’s simply brought out the worst parts of him that he’d kept hidden until now.

The Boys (Prime Video)

The Boys (Prime Video)

Back inside, MM is leaving a basement bathroom (much cleaner than when he went in) when Soldier Boy appears.

*Side Note: To be fair, he did give Hughie a lot longer than three minutes.

MM tries to knock the supe out with halothane, but it has no effect. he then steps forward and tells Soldier Boy that he killed his family. When Soldier Boy reacts with indifference, MM puts up his fists and prepares for a fight that’s sure to end in his death.

Before that can happen, Butcher walks in and tells Soldier Boy to leave him be. After he departs, MM calls Butcher a hypocrite for going after Homelander while not letting him have his own revenge on Soldier Boy. When he tries to get by, Butcher uses his temporary super strength to stop him.

Meanwhile, Soldier Boy goes upstairs and finds the TNT Twins. They immediately claim to not be responsible for what happened in Nicaragua. When Solider Boy asks who was, they attempt to lay the blame on Black Noir. Soldier Boy responds with skepticism due to Noir being a strict rule follower.

While the twins await their fate (and hilariously fail to use their powers in a last-ditch effort to save themselves), Soldier Boy hears Russian pop music playing near where Love Sausage is having sex with someone. This triggers him into causing an explosion that kills the twins along with many of the house’s occupants.

As the surviving partiers flee (including the Deep and his octopus friend), A-Train grabs Blue Hawk and drags him at high speed along the asphalt of a nearby highway. The use of his powers nearly kills him, but it definitely kills Blue Hawk, providing him a small sense of relief.

Meanwhile, Hughie tries to stop Annie from going back to the house. She responds by using her powers to incapacitate him.

Scored Earth

The Boys (Prime Video)

The Boys (Prime Video)

After awakening in the wreckage of the TNT Twins’ home, Butcher checks to make sure MM is still alive. He then spots Soldier Boy and asks if he eliminated the target. Soldier Boy replies that he doesn’t even know what just happened.

Before Butcher can try and explain anything, Homelander appears. He sees Soldier Boy and chastizes Butcher for going back on their deal to end things by fighting each other to the death. After declaring that their deal is off, he lasers Butcher and knocks him out before turning his sights on Soldier Boy.

Homelander tells him that he was his hero growing up. In fact, he admired Soldier Boy for being the only supe who was nearly as strong as him. Soldier Boy responds by insulting his cape and declaring that he’s simply a knockoff. Homelander counters that he’s actually the upgrade before starting what turns out to be an epic brawl.

As the two supes duke it out, MM comes to and decides to throw down with them. Before he can act, however, Annie runs in and stops him. She explains that she needs his help with all the injured party guests while also assuring MM that Soldier Boy doesn’t have to control his actions.

MM realizes she’s right and goes with her.

The Boys (Prime Video)

The Boys (Prime Video)

Meanwhile, Homelander is about to kill Soldier Boy when Butcher comes to and lasers him. Homelander isn’t hurt, but it does knock him back. After expressing surprise at Butcher’s powers, the pair start a brawl of their own. Butcher starts off strong, but begins to struggle before Soldier Boy and Hughie both join in.

The trio is eventually able to pin Homelander down. Butcher tells Soldier Boy to use his explosive blast to kill him. He also commands Hughie to leave, but he refuses, opting instead to die with Butcher while making sure that Homelander is dead.

Just as Soldier Boy is nearly powered up, Homelander is able to break free of their grasp and fly off. A defeated Butcher, Hughie, and Soldier Boy exit the wrecked house while MM and Annie tend to the wounded. Hughie and Annie look at each other in a way that all but says it’s over between them.

The Boys (Prime Video)

The Boys (Prime Video)

Back at The Boys headquarters, Frenchie tends to Kimiko’s wounds while Cherie sleeps. As he finishes stitching her up, Kimko explains how she now realizes it wasn’t Compound V that made her a monster — it’s who she always was. She also assures him that all the awful things Nina said about him were not true.

Over at Vought Tower, Homelander stares in disbelief at a bruise on the side of his face.

At the wreckage from Herogasm, Annie and MM assist paramedics with the victims who are still alive. Unfortunately, the bodies of twelve party guests are covered in preparation for the morgue. Annie then has MM film her on a live feed telling the world the truth — about Solider Boy, the corruption at Vought, and how evil and destructive Homelander truly is.

She finishes by officially quitting The Seven.

The Verdict

The Boys (Prime Video)

The Boys (Prime Video)

While much of the hype for “Herogasm” revolved around its graphic/sexual content, it truly shined as the most emotionally powerful episode of the season.

Antony Starr was great as always, but Erin Moriarty (Annie/Starlight) and Laz Alonso (Mother’s Milk) brought the house down. In addition to their heart-wrenching talk in the car, each character had brilliant scenes of their own. For Annie/Starlight, the best was obviously her speech at the end. Despite it being a predictable moment for her character’s arc, Moriarty still made you feel every ounce of Annie’s furious resignation. Her conversation with Neuman was a close second, resulting in one of the season’s tensest moments

The scene with Hughie outside of Herogasm also had a similar emotional weight. This could have been a typical “You’ve changed from the person I fell in love with!” quarrel. Instead, Annie makes us realize that Compound V has brought out a significant/awful aspect of Hughie’s character that she’d never seen until now — something Butcher foreshadowed for us in the last episode.

As for MM, I’m not ashamed to admit that I nearly joined him in shedding a tear when he finally explained what Soldier Boy did to his family (and how it resulted in him developing OCD). We’ve seen the character be vulnerable before, but never like this. Rather than allow Annie to magically assuage his childhood trauma, Alonso made us realize just how ingrained it would always be no matter how illogical the guilt behind it is.

And then you have his scenes with Soldier Boy and Butcher, which provided a completely different type of punch to the gut. In both cases, the most rational member of The Boys irrationally tried to face down two of his greatest enemies — the man who destroyed his family and Butcher’s hypocrisy. Despite not having a chance to win against either, he was ready to die trying.

In the end, however, MM decided to help others while continuing to carry that pain in the form of a massive chip on his shoulder and inside his heart.

The Boys (Prime Video)

The Boys (Prime Video)

On the action side of things, the fight with Homelander was much better than I was hoping/expecting. As good as The Boys is, you still can’t always be sure that a TV series will have the budget to make such an important sequence look as good as it should — even when it’s produced by Amazon. Thankfully, this one delivered.

I am a bit confused about Soldier Boy’s new power, though. I’d previously thought it was triggered involuntarily, but it appears he can control it sometimes, as well

That didn’t bother me nearly as much as Nina running away after getting lightly body-slammed by Cherie. The series went a long way to show us how tough she was only for her to flee when it would have made infinitely more sense for her to do some damage.

Of course, that might have not been possible since Kimiko developed bullet-proof plot armor on par with Compound V. I may not be a gun expert, but unless the goon that fell on top of her was wearing 10 layers of leather clothing, I’m not sure every single bullet would’ve stopped inside his body before reaching her. Combine that with yet another episode of Kimiko going full Carol from The Walking Dead (i.e. constant hand-wringing over her violent nature), and I’m just about done with this plotline.

As for the Herogasm event, I’m no prude, but some of it was a bit much. Aside from a few funny sight gags (and Annie’s hilarious excuse for MM being with her), the whole thing seemed pretty gratuitous. It also felt dangerously close to “try hard” territory. The Boys has always pushed the limit, but in a way that served this story. This just felt like shock for shock’s sake — which is fine if you liked it, but wouldn’t have harmed the story at all if it wasn’t there.

Thankfully, the episode’s overall narrative made up for its shortcomings. In addition to what we’ve already discussed, the plotlines involving A-Train and Black Noir were positioned to kick things into an even higher gear in Season 3’s penultimate chapter next week. We also have Homelander coming to grips with the fact that there’s a force out there that can defeat him.

If you thought he was scary before, this is likely to make him even more terrifying.


Next Episode: ‘Here Comes a Candle to Light You to Bed’

The Boys (Prime Video)
The Boys season 3 episode 6 'Herogasm' review/recap
While much of the hype for "Herogasm" revolved around the graphic content, it shined as the most emotionally powerful episode of The Boys this season.
Reader Rating0 Votes
Antony Starr (Homelander) was great as usual, but Erin Moriarty (Annie/Starlight) and Laz Alonso (Mother's Milk) brought the house down.
The fight with Homelander and Solider Boy was as good as advertised and them some.
In addition to some of the season's most powerful moments, other plot lines were set up for big payoffs in the upcoming episodes.
The Kimiko/Frenchie plotline is somehow getting out of hand and tiresome at the same time.
The actual Herogasm event was so gratuitous that it strayed dangerously close to "try hard" territory.

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