The Boys Season 4 Episode 1-3 Review

The Boys are back for another season of the hit show, ready once again to try and bring down Vought and Supes. They have their work cut out for them this seasaon, as they must deal with the dual threat of head-popping Supe Victoria Neuman from taking control of the Whitehouse and fight to free Ryan from the clutches of Homelander. The first three episodes set up all this, alongside the usual gory and dark humour that fans of ‘The Boys’ expect.

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It’s great to finally see Butcher (Karl Urban) return, and this season allows audience to see a new side to him. Yes all of the bravado is still there, but there’s now fear in him, that after using Temp V too many times he’s now on a countdown to death. Worst of all, he’s been demoted from being the leader of The Boys, and gets thrown out. He’s more vulnerable than before. 

Of course, with this return sees Homelander (Antony Starr), the overarching villain of the show, come back too, and he’s even more deranged than ever. He’s pulling out grey hairs, obsessing over making Ryan into a mini-version of himself, and tired of the sycophants he has to call co-workers. This unhinged nature is worse than audiences have ever seen, and Antony Starr crushes it in the role. He’s developed a meglomania that evokes the political personalities in current American politics, with divisive rhetoric and a fanbase that will go to war for him. 

It’s a good moment to stop and talk about the current politics in ‘The Boys’. It’s less subtle than in previous seasons, with Homelander’s meglomania just being the tip. Victoria Neuman (Claudia Doumit) is gunning for the White House, and one of the funniest moments is when Hughie chucks acid at her, thinking that it will kill her. Firecracker (Valorie Curry) spits vicious and incoherent bile that could be interpreted to similar right-wing rhetoric that even Homelander rolls his eyes at, and then there’s Annie January’s/Starlight’s (Erin Moriarty) progressive nature and fanbase.

But ‘The Boys’ doesn’t take itself seriously all the time. At FIrecracker’s TruthCon, the Supe Splinter (Rob Benedict), who can split himself into new bodies, uses his power to pleasure, the new Black Noir is fantastically hilarious and of course there’s Vought on Ice, the best combination of insane politics, gore and humour. While the gore has lost its edge – an inevitability after so long – it still undeniably serves a purpose within the show, and it wouldn’t be the same show without it. The action has also largely improved, with Supes making better displays of their powers in fights, though there are still some fights that dissolve into fist fights. 

If there is one worry after the first three episodes it’s the large amount of plotlines ‘The Boys’ season four wants to tackle. While it’s hard to tell how/if these will merge later down the line, right now there’s a plotline for each character, and given the ensemble cast it means that some are bound to get sidelined. This is something to watch as the rest of the show unfolds. 

There’s no doubt that Eric Kripke and the rest of the team behind ‘The Boys’ haven’t yet run out of places to go yet, pushing the show in interesting directions. It manages to hold a mirror up to an incredibly fractured society but has the moments levity to balance it out. While the gore is no longer as surprising, it’s purpose keeps it effective. Where some shows run out of steam in their later seasons, ‘The Boys’ start to season four proves it can still thunder down the tracks.

Kieran Burt

My name is Kieran and I am based in the UK. I love writing about all things science fiction and fantasy, particularly Star Wars and Marvel. When I’m not writing or watching anything sci-fi related, you can probably find me exploring the open worlds of alternate lands through my Xbox.

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