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Movies & TV

08th Jul 2022

Holy f*cking sh*t, The Boys REALLY delivered with Season 3

Rory Cashin

Obviously huge spoilers ahead!

A little over a month ago, when the review embargo was lifted on the first five episodes of the third season of The Boys, we called it “the best season of a comic book TV show ever (so far…)”, and we’re now going to revise that statement.

With the three remaining episodes – which included the events of Herogasm, some deep dives into the tragic backstories of both Noir and Butcher, the Empire Strikes Back-twist between Soldier Boy and Homelander, Annie’s sneaky social media recording, and the huge finale in Vought Tower – the season didn’t just stick the landing in terms of comic book TV shows, but TV shows in general.

And let us not forget, this is the same season that began with that cocaine-fuelled sneezing accident from within a man’s urethra! All of that happened this season!

The wheels-are-spinning-but-we’re-not-actually-going-anywhere vibe of season two has been wholly replaced by a mile-a-minute rollercoaster, all pinned down by immaculate character progression, levels of satire not seen outside of a Paul Verhoeven production, a genuine sense of scale and scope, and some properly jaw-dropping plot twists.

Plus, literally everything involving the severely broken The Deep (Chace Crawford) is 24-carat comedy gold, whether it wants to be or not…

Yes, the scenes of explicit sex, drugs and violence are going to grab the internet’s collective attention immediately, but the biggest takeaways from this season of The Boys will be what it has been doing incredibly well all along.

First and foremost, once again, enough commendations cannot be paid to whomever cast Antony Starr as Homelander. Obviously the entire cast are peerlessly spot-on in their roles now, but Starr’s delivery of an absolute need to be loved mixed with a toxic and extremely dangerous level of superiority is outrageously watchable.

And now he’s replaced his “found family” – i.e. the other heroes of the Seven, whom he has now either killed or tried/threatened to kill – with his actual family, Ryan (who has the Brightburn plot arc written all over him), he is only going to become more volatile. Especially in light of a cheering crowd of Proud Boys reacting to Homelander publicly executing a protestor who disagrees with him. The fear of the public discovering who he really is is gone, so it is time for the kiddie gloves to come off. Good luck with that, America.

The addition of Jensen Ackles as Soldier Boy was an inspired choice, the twisted Winter Soldier to Homelander’s just-as-twisted Captain America. Ackles was clearly having a ball being the most despicable person imaginable, leaning into every base level impulse, and always getting what he wanted because he was basically one bad mood away from becoming an exploding nuclear bomb. It was great to parallel Soldier Boy’s unwavering determinism of sticking to his kill list without giving it a second thought against Butcher’s slowly eroding edict of winning at any cost.

Karl Urban continues to swear it up better than anyone else, but this season really did give him some much needed subtle shading, including why he seems to have a such a complicated relationship with Hughie (Jack Quaid). So with the season ending by giving Butcher a very specific timeline to get his final mission accomplished, it also feels like the creators of The Boys have put a limit on how much more of this story they want to tell.

The finale very clearly sets out the chessboard for what is to come in the fourth season: Neuman (Claudia Doumit) will be popping heads in the White House, Homelander will have free reign to police the streets as he see fits, what remains of the Seven will do his bidding, while The Boys’ ever-expanding numbers will need to take a stealthier approach to destroying Vought’s increasingly nefarious control.

But after Herogasm and that dick-exploding and everything to do with The Legend (Paul Reiser), where else is there to take it in the next season? After the events of season three, we’ve now got full faith that the folks behind The Boys will know how to successfully take it to the next level.

Clips via Vought International

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