Helluva Boss is back and I have some opinions. In this episode, we see Stolas as a kid on his birthday. I’m glad we get to see him happy, even when he doesn’t have a reason to be. His father barely acknowledges or explains the gift he receives, and he doesn’t remember Stolas’s name.
Stolas doesn’t seem to notice though. He’s just happy it is his birthday and that his father acknowledges him a bit. He doesn’t know what the gift is exactly, but it makes him feel important.
He takes Stolas to the circus, and he sees Blitz for the first time and falls in love instantly.
Meanwhile, Blitz is hired by Stolas’s dad (who also voiced Blitz’s dad) to spend a day with Stolas. Blitz’s dad then instructs Blitz to steal from Stolas’s family while he’s there.
I like how we see Stolas as a kid. He’s cute. I enjoyed the moments between the two of them in this episode. Stolas is so excited that Blitz is spending time with him, he doesn’t even care if their “game” involves throwing his family’s possessions out the window.
Blitz and Stolas are at that age where the future sounds far away and all their dreams can come true. Blitz wants to run his own circus with an office and Stolas dreams of using his dad’s powers. I’m not sure their dreams are too far off, Blitz runs his own business, IMP, and has an office.
He seems put together on the outside, but his insecurities have come back to haunt him. Stolas has his powers, but they don’t provide him with any joy. He was forced to marry Stella, who treats him horribly and hits him, and his only happiness is watching his daughter have a somewhat normal life.
The writers were going for a contrast between childhood innocence and the brutalities of adulthood and it hit. But if we look back, we’ll see that both of their fathers were bad parents who will continue to let their children down.
There has also been some discourse online about Stella’s character. Some fans wish that her character had more nuance and that that her marriage with Stolas wasn’t all about her being the abusive one. In many unhealthy marriages, both parties are at fault and both sides have reasons for why they act so badly toward the other person. I’m conflicted on this. On one hand, sometimes one person in a relationship is a abusive, and they don’t need a backstory as to why. There are cases where men are victims and I feel like it doesn’t hurt when a narrative acknowledges that.
I kind of get that people would want nuance. Stella’s character is less interesting almost if she’s completely bad all the time. And in real life, marriages can be complicated. Maybe Stolas tried to love Stella but he didn’t and maybe Stella felt the same way. Maybe Stella was hurt by Stolas cheating because their family was all she had. In this episode, Stolas is a really sympathetic character and that’s awesome.
But I also think it could have been interesting if he was more morally grey. It is interesting to see characters who have some control over their environment and live with regrets and grow from there. It makes for a more interesting story than one where everyone is stuck in bad circumstances. It would be cool especially since the writers don’t seem to afraid to include morally grey elements to the story. This is Hell, so why not?
And with Blitz’s narrative, it would fit for Stolas to also have hurdles to get over before starting a relationship. After all, Blitz clearly has faults himself that he needs to work on.
Overall, I loved this episode. The animation style was gorgeous and the characters were fun to watch.
What did you think of this episode? Let me know down in the comments below.