Lamplighter describes the purpose of Sage Grove in The Boys, season 2, but his explanation introduces a plot hole. In one of the series more unsettling episodes, The Boys introduces the Sage Grove Center, a psychiatric hospital that Stormfront has ties to; however, upon entering the facility in order to do reconnaissance, The Boys quickly discover the facility’s true purpose is much more sinister than psychiatric rehabilitation.
The Boys season 2 introduces Stormfront as the primary villain; like Homelander in season 1, Stormfront is an unusually powerful Supe. Unlike Homelander, Stormfront has a significant role behind the scenes at Vought. She isn’t a celebrity like The Seven’s heroes — although she becomes one as season 2 progresses — and instead has dedicated her many years at Vought working to further the research done by her late husband, Frederick Vought.
In The Boys, season 2, episode 6, “The Bloody Doors Off,” Billy Butcher and his team investigate Sage Grove after Starlight observes emails about the facility being sent to Stormfront from Vought head Stan Edgar. Starlight tells Butcher that in the emails, Edgar states that they are “close to a breakthrough.” The group infiltrates the Pennsylvania facility, only to discover that Vought has been experimenting on human subjects. As Lamplighter explains:
“You know, they’re not trying to make Supes here. These people are test subjects. They’re trying to stabilize the V[…] Infants handle it best, but adults? I mean, you saw what happens — sometimes you get powers, sometimes you get a freak, sometimes you just explode.”
Lamplighter goes on to explain that Vought’s ultimate goal in The Boys is to “stabilize” the compound to achieve more consistent and predictable result for adult recipients. Many viewers have interpreted the explanation as indicating that the patients seen in the episode were adult psychiatric patients given Compound V injections at the facility, and thus were created there as stages in a pharmaceutical trial trying to develop a more stable chemical formula. The problem with this interpretation is that it introduces a plot hole: why is Tiny Hero a patient at Sage Grove?
One of the patients observed in the security monitors is a pint-sized human who appears to be the same Supe seen in The Boys series premiere. In season 1, episode 1, Butcher takes Hughie to an underground Superhero sex club as a way to show Hughie the seedy underbelly of Vought’s celebrities. One of the Supes is a small man, credited as “Tiny Hero,” who takes a running leap into a woman’s genitalia. His presence in the first episode contradicts the notion that adults are given their powers (in this case, shrinking) at Sage Grove, since he presumably had his abilities before becoming a patient. Furthermore, Lamplighter indicates that his role is to “burn the evidence” — if this figure had been created and then somehow escaped (and went to a sex club), surely he would have been eliminated upon capture rather than admitted for further study.
While its possible that Tiny Hero is a disgraced Supe who has been imprisoned as a form of punishment, that would directly contradict everything Lamplighter said about the facility. Given what’s known about this world, the Supes at the sex club were likely all dosed with Compound V as infants. One explanation for Tiny Hero being at Sage Grove is that Vought is experimenting on those with undesirable powers — the “freaks” Lamplighter refers to — and his tiny stature is considered undesirable. There are problems with this theory, however, since it doesn’t fit with the process Lamplighter describes: adults being experimented on and then destroyed.
Amazon Prime’s X-Ray features sheds light on the seeming plot hole: “And did you notice the Tiny Hero? We saw a Tiny Hero in Episode 101 at the secret Supe sex club!” While the trivia does identify the Supe as “Tiny Hero,” it interestingly clarifies that viewers saw “a” Tiny Hero in the premiere, which differentiates the two figures. This suggests that both versions of Tiny Hero are related — hence the same name — but are also separate people. One possibility is that one was created from the other’s DNA, or that some sort of inclusion of the original Tiny Hero’s genetic code was used in Sage Grove’s experimental trials. This makes sense, since cloning was a huge part of the comics, such as the big twist that Black Noir is a Homelander clone. Given the source material, it’s likely that The Boys season 3 will include a storyline that involves cloning — and perhaps in doing so, will explain this Sage Grove plot hole.