Marie goes to Neuman because she wants to blow the whistle about The Woods, the inhumane laboratory underneath Godolkin; she doesn’t know the truth about Neuman (at first) and so assumes she’ll be happy to air Vought’s dirty work in public. Neuman, though, is interested in Marie because of how similar they are.
They don’t just have the same powers, they’re also orphans who both grew up in the Red River Institute. Neuman describes people not wanting to adopt her because her powers were so visceral, not something cool like flight or super strength, and Marie clearly relates. While Neuman’s empathy for Marie is real, it means she only wants to set her on the same path as herself. She tells Marie to envision two futures for herself; one where she speaks out and gets shuffled off, or where she becomes the first Black woman in the Seven and besties with the Vice President.
The choice of selflessly doing good or staying in line has been a repeated one throughout “Gen V.” For instance, Andre (Chance Perdomo) wants to be a real superhero who does good, even though his dad Polarity (Sean Patrick Thomas) always tells him to look out for number one. There’s also the theme of letting personal tragedy define you and this pair are the opposing answers. Neuman let her upbringing turn her into a villain; she ends the episode by covering up the Woods with another of her head poppers (cue Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ song “Heads Will Roll”). Even after Neuman’s pep talk, Marie holds onto her conscience; she tries to save the dying Dean Shetty (Shelley Conn) and clearly isn’t on board with Cate’s (Maddie Phillips) plan for revenge against non-supes. Will Marie’s morals endure? We’ll have to wait and see.
“Gen V” is streaming on Prime Video.