The opening scene from Prime Video’s new season of The Boys drops viewers right into the middle of one of Vought’s new film premieres, the “fictional” plot of the film being that the Seven have to take down Stormfront and featuring a high level cameo I wouldn’t dare spoil here. Right after the film is over, the Seven hit the red carpet for questions. Homelander (Antony Starr) is swarmed by inquisitive members of the media about his past relationship with known-Nazi Stormfront. He’s clearly trained for this, as his answer to every outlet is the same rehearsed lines. In season three of the hit show, Homelander has become the epitome of real-life American politicians as he evades the truth.
Last season’s finale ended with the reveal that Congresswoman Victoria Neuman (Claudia Doumit) is not only a Supe with explosive powers as she killed the leader of the Church of the Collective, Alistair Adana, but is also the one who exploded multiple heads during the US House Judiciary Committee hearing. This reveal pushes right into the second season, which starts twelve months after the last time we’ve seen the Boys, as Congresswoman Neuman now heads the Federal Bureau of Superhuman Affairs (FBSA). Joining Neuman in the FBSA is Hughie Campbell (Jack Quaid), who now oversees Butcher and the Boys in their fight against Supes who abuse their powers. Hughie has a bit of a reputation at the office due to being in the middle of taking down Stormfront last season and his relationship with Starlight. Mother’s Milk (Laz Alonzo) has left behind the Boys since we last saw him and is attempting to live his life disregarding Supes, but as Homelander becomes more unstable, he gets sucked back into their world.
Homelander’s instability grows with every episode of the season, with Antony Starr doing great work as he navigates this new world without Stormfront and increasing tensions between the Seven. The Boys seek to find something to be able to take Homelander out for good, with a couple of new options. Butcher comes into possession of a new temp-V, a temporary version of Compound V that gives the user 24 hours of supe (aka superhero) abilities. They also start the hunt for an old, long-pronounced dead Supe, Soldier Boy (Jensen Ackles), in the hopes he can help them take down Homelander for good. Ackles is a great addition to the already exceptional cast, an intense aggression and paranoia brewing behind his eyes as he faces a world 40 years after his last sighting. Soldier Boy is as racist and misogynistic as anyone would expect from a Superhero from the 40’s and 50’s, and has an agenda all his own. Without treading into spoiler territory, the team up between the Boys and Soldier Boy is fascinating to watch.
The season doesn’t just explore the psychological effects that the past two seasons have had on Homelander, but on the rest of the crew as well. Supes and the Boys alike are rethinking their lives and their commitment to their causes. The writing allows these characters freedom to express themselves, while giving the actors room to make silent choices that further the understanding of their characters. The season does suffer a similar problem that the previous two had, in that some storylines feel undercooked and pushed-away by the time the finale is over in favor of completing more pertinent storylines. In some ways (and without spoiling), the season makes the viewer ask some questions that are never answered. Perhaps the writers are leaving these mysteries open until season four, but it makes the season feel somewhat incomplete by the end. That being said, there are other areas where the writing flourishes and allows the audience a complete perspective of given situations – one of these areas is Homelander’s growing need for attention, whether it be love or fear.
Homelander has become the embodiment of a politician, waving away accusations he claims to be false while dismissing the “mainstream media”. The Boys is a satire above all else, and this season proves to be no different. Homelander and the politicians try to evade questions, trick journalists with lies and deception, all while trying to promote their own agendas. It’s eerie seeing this as it perfectly mirrors American politicians who are concerned with promoting themselves and making as much money as possible, while not enacting real change for the country they’ve taken an oath to serve. Homelander serves as the Donald Trump of Supes, a man unqualified for the job he’s taken while very aware of the real life damage he’s causing. Without the great writing of the series, this could have fallen flat, but it’s incredible to watch these Supes and politicians act as they do in real life without hyperbole.
The action sequences are still top-notch with excellent fight choreography that’s enticing and exciting. The Boys has never shied away from portraying excessive violence and carnage and this season is no different – it seems that the show wants to one-up itself with the gore each season and it succeeds. These sequences create an experience full of dread, with the stakes having never been higher and the characters having never been in more danger. If there’s one question the viewer might ask themselves during their watch, it will be a question of who will survive by the end.
The Boys isn’t a perfect show, with a couple of mentionable flaws, but it is entertaining. The rollicking third season features more sex, drugs, lies, and carnage as the body count rises and the Boys figure out their next move. While viewers will leave the season with a couple of unanswered questions, they will undoubtedly have had a good time along the ride.
The first three episodes of The Boys premiere on Prime Video June 3, with new episodes following weekly.
Photo courtesy of Prime Video