The Boys season 3 review contains only general information about the plot and no major spoilers.
The Boys returns for its 3rd season with more gore, darker humor and insightful commentary on consumerism and idolisation. A man with nothing to lose seems to be more potent than the actual powers the “heroes” wield as we watch Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) and Homelander (Antony Starr) stop at nothing to achieve their morally questionable goals. After a period of relative normality, Butcher is intent on dragging everyone down with him as he, along with the Boys, attempt to find a mysterious and deadly weapon that will finally defeat Homelander for good.
A year after the Stormfront incident, Homelander is being blackmailed by Queen Maeve (Dominique McElligott) who threatens to release a video of him letting a plane full of people crash while The Boys are finally eliminating Supes “the right way”, as Hughie (Jack Quaid) stated in season 2. The team is now working for the Federal Bureau of Superhero Affairs headed by Victoria Neuman (Claudia Doumit) and it seems all is right with the world. Homelander’s restraint though is hanging on by a thread despite the leash around his neck getting tighter. His collected persona is slowly revealed as a facade as it appears the season is building up to his swan song. Starr’s performance of this man on the edge will simultaneously captive and horrify you.
Image courtesy of Prime Studios – The Boys – Episode 305 – “The Last Time to Look on this World of Lies”
After discovering a new Vought product, “Temp V”, Butcher’s crusade against Homelander kicks back into high gear. Temp V, a critical plot device this season is a cousin to “Compound V” and as the name implies its effects are temporary lasting only 24 hours. Now the playing field between Supes and civilians is even, it just comes down to whether you’re morally compromised enough to take a dose and Butcher, as always, is.
The parallel between Butcher’s powers when using Temp V and Homelander’s further demonstrates how the two characters are not as different as they claim to be. It can be quite shocking at times just how evenly matched they are once both are super abled which is something that surely pisses Homelander off but more so, frightens him.
New addition, Jensen Ackles, makes his debut as the (seemingly) All-American Supe, Soldier Boy. Who knew it was possible to have a character more sadistic and grating than Homelander himself? The Soldier Boy storyline further deepens the show’s world building by exploring more of Vought’s corrupt history as well as the backstories of Mother’s Milk (Laz Alonso), Grace Mallory (Laila Robbins), and Black Noir (Nathan Mitchell and Fritzy-Klevans Destine). Some storylines are not as strong as others as it becomes hard to become fully invested in the domestic drama between Hughie and Starlight (Erin Moriarty) when you can watch Queen Maeve finally take on Homelander one to one. Although, the show’s pacing more than makes up for it at times with each episode not feeling nearly as long as their 55-68 minute run time.
The series’ showrunner, Eric Kripke, is a master storyteller, allowing the blood and violence to take a backseat to carefully crafted storylines and character arcs that continue to build each season. His witty satire helps cement the strength of the series as an “obscured” reflection of our own reality – from Homelander’s Trumpesque rants over “fake news” to A-Train (Jessie Usher) parodying the infamous Kendall Jenner Pepsi ad – the show is not afraid to showcase the ignorance in our “idols”.
The season finale of The Boys is dramatic, cruel and will leave audiences in shock as Kripke leads up to possibly one of the most devastating story arcs in the series so far while simultaneously giving some characters the closure they deserve. From start to finish, the season is an erratic thrillride that fans continue to crave as the series progresses with the show consistently proving to be one of the best adult programs on television right now.
You can now watch all three seasons of The Boys on Amazon Prime Video.
Danielle DerGarabedian – Editor