Spoilers below for The Boys' Season 2 episode titled "Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker."
As one of the most ruthless members of The Seven whose name isn't Homelander, The Boys' Black Noir is often portrayed as being a mostly unstoppable badass whose targets fall on all sides of the moral spectrum. (Especially in the Season 2 premiere's opening scene, which also featured the character's most light-hearted moment yet.) Just when it looked like he might snuff Starlight out in Episode 7, Maeve showed up just in time with the ultimate weapon to take Black Noir down – an Almond Joy – before revealing that the quasi-hero suffered from a tree nut allergy.
It was a wild twist that I can't imagine a whole lot of viewers saw coming, even with the candy-related foreshadowing earlier in the season. As it happens, that tree nut allergy reveal was inspired by Black Noir actor Nathan Mitchell's real-life allergy, which is one of the most unique "art imitating life" examples I can think of. The actor recently spoke with CinemaBlend about everything that went down in "Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker" and when I commended him for allowing his real-world kryptonite to be used in the show, here's what he told me:
Though Compound V might seem like it makes certain people immortal – such as Homelander or perhaps Stormfront – while eliminating some of the problems that affect regular humans, Black Noir is proof that even members of The Seven have to reckon with specific health issues that affects untold numbers of the aforementioned regular people. It had to be somewhat strange for Nathan Mitchell to portray a situation that could potentially kill him if it happened in real life. I mean, obviously Black Noir has faced several different hyper-violent situations that would also kill a normal human, but allergic reactions are obviously more specific and nuanced. And apparently they're not kept top secret from the rest of the team.
For Nathan Mitchell, allowing Black Noir to share his tree nut allergy is not only an interesting way to share something personal with The Boys' fanbase and the world at large, but it's also a way to raise awareness for the issue and to normalize it within pop culture. Considering such allergies are so vastly widespread that schoolchildren around the country generally aren't allowed to bring lunches that have anything to do with peanut butter, it does seem strange that there aren't more prominent TV and movie characters who are also allergic to nuts. One of the only examples I can think of right away is Milly Shapiro's Charlie in Ari Aster's horror flick Hereditary, and while I'm sure there are more, there's still an imbalance. And here we thought The Boys was mainly concerned with awesome head explosions and Homelander's milky desires.
While fans may not ever get a backstory for Black Noir's origins, Boys star Nathan Mitchell did offer up a backstory behind how his tree nut allergy got used in the show in the first place. Unsurprisingly, it had everything to do with Karl Urban. In the actor's words:
Ha! I like that Laz Alonso was possibly self-conscious about his own stench for the entirety of that flight, when it was just Nathan Mitchell trying to stay alive. Can't hate on Karl Urban for spreading the word about Mitchell's allergies, either, since Black Noir's takedown was one of the most surprising moments of the season. Now let's just hope he actually got to his EpiPen and actually lived through the experience.
The Boys' seventh episode, which also featured that huge Lamplighter twist, is sadly the penultimate installment, with just one episode left to go. It'll be out on Friday, October 9, so be sure to tune into Amazon Prime Video to see what happens.
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Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.