The third season of The Boys is finally upon us, and while it’s been a bit of a wait, it’s certainly worth it. It’s been calm (or as quiet as things get at Vought) with a more subdued Homelander (Antony Starr) and Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) working for the government with a careful eye being kept on him by Hughie (Jack Quaid) and Victoria Neuman (Claudia Doumit). Of course, neither Butcher nor Homelander want to continue to play nice, and when the rumour of a weapon powerful enough to kill a supe is made known, it sets Butcher and The Boys on a new and dangerous mission.
This new discovery sets The Boys and The Seven on another collision course you’ll have to see to believe, including the re-emergence of a powerful long-lost supe named Soldier Boy (Jensen Ackles). Grittier and even more violent in some ways than the last two seasons, no lies were told during the publicity when they said, “Strap in mates, one helluva ride coming your way.”
I don’t know how the showrunners up the ante with each season of The Boys, but they always do so in fantastic fashion, and season three is no different. There has always been a lot to unpack in the series, and this continues. Not only does The Boys take on while it points out the persistent problems with capitalism wrapped in the guise of superheroes (who, as we know, aren’t super) with Vought, it consistently engages in the current political landscape. Sure, The Boys is hyper-violent and has many moments with viewers squirming in their seats, but it’s also always been much more.
The theme of found family is pitch-perfect, with MM (Laz Alonso), Kimiko (Karen Fukuhara) and Frenchie (Tomer Kapon) at odds with Butcher—even though he’s on his “best behaviour” or whatever qualifies as such for Butcher. The crew has their ups and downs throughout the season, and while bonds are tested, and some even pushed to their breaking points, The Boys still know their central mission initiative: to take down Vought and the terrible Supes with it. However, that is easier said than done. How can it be possible to eliminate a being as powerful as Homelander? They’ve struggled with this since the first season, and while the team strives for more answers in this one, some solutions are not to their liking. It makes for a very emotional season for our fave team of misfits, especially for the three (MM, Kimiko and Frenchie) who are at odds with Butcher and his methods.
Of course, all of this works in Homelander’s favour. He doesn’t need the team gunning for him when he’s still dealing with his rightful backlash from last season. A reminder for those who may have forgotten, the head of The Seven had been on his typical murder sprees (unbeknownst to the public) in season two, but the cherry on top of his f***ed-up cake was that he fell in love with The Seven’s new nazi teammate, Stormfront (Aya Cash). Remember people, “He’s just a guy who fell for the wrong woman.” Horrible, I know, but it’s what we’ve come to expect from the narcissist who is the leader of The Seven, isn’t it? Just when we think he can’t possibly stoop any lower, whoop, there it is.
For Homelander, it’s always been about him, and while that hasn’t changed, the public’s perception of him has. Down in multiple rating polls with Starlight (Erin Moriarty) significantly ahead of him, Homelander begins to spiral further out of control. Even with other team members such as Queen Maeve (Dominique McElligott) holding things over him like the footage from the botched plane rescue (amongst other things) to try to put Homelander in his place, he’s still seemingly unstoppable. Homelander continues to do whatever he can to maintain or gain one percentage of the approval rating. The writers do a great job of letting the viewers see Homelander’s desperation.
While his teammates try to zero in on this and use it to their advantage, being the spin doctor that he is, Homelander continues to weasel his way out of any bad situations. However, The Boys uncover a secret about a weapon that may be able to kill a supe and with Homelander busy trying to regain positive public sentiment, this is the optimal time to strike. This brings audiences the introduction of Soldier Boy, aptly played by Jensen Ackles (who is an excellent addition to the cast). Of course, Butcher wants to level the playing field for all, so when Maeve gives him something that can make him a supe for 24 hours, who is he to say no? What happens when the playing field is level, you might ask? You’ll have to watch the new season to find all that out.
Some standout moments for me this season came from learning more about MM’s family and how his trauma manifests itself, Frenchie and Kimiko’s relationship, Maeve and Starlight finding more common ground, and Ackles as Soldier Boy. There were some choices made in terms of A-Train’s storyline that I didn’t care for, and while it’s in line with some of the character’s foolishness from the past two seasons, I’ve been waiting for him to realize that Vought is never going to give him anything he wants and neither is Homelander. Hopefully, after this season, he will have learned his lesson.
Everyone involved in The Boys deserves multiple applause and a standing ovation. Every element in this series is well thought out and crafted. From the capable cast, the outstanding writing, and the well-crafted set and costume design (just to name a few things), The Boys continues to fire on all cylinders. They keep giving audiences more reasons to both love and hate the characters in the show, and everything that happens is laudable. The series’ consistency has never wavered and continues to set a high bar for itself—which it easily meets and exceeds every time.
With new and shocking secrets revealed, more moments that will have you writhing in your seat, and current social commentary, the third season of The Boys is mayhem and villainy intensified. It also continues its thought-provoking review regarding what can happen when certain people have too much power and how a never-ending spiral of, to put it bluntly, absolute f***ery can and will ensue. So, if you couldn’t get enough of the first two seasons, you sure as hell won’t want to miss out on this one.