Prime Video’s “The Boys” Continues Its Winning Streak
Despite a bumpy season finale, “The Boys” Season 3 continues its streak as one of the best shows on television.
“The Boys” Season 3 Review
Following the events of The Boys: Season 2…..
- Butcher (Karl Urban), Hughie (Jack Quaid), Mother’s Milk (Laz Alonso), Frenchie (Tomer Capone), and Kimiko (Karen Fukuhara) are no longer on the run and working for the Department of Superhuman Affairs.
- Back at Vought, Homelander (Anthony Starr) has been in damage control after revealing that Stormfront (Aya Cash) was a Neo-Nazi.
- When Vought CEO Stan Edgar (Giancarlo Esposito) makes Starlight (Erin Moritary) co-captain of The Seven, Homelander’s facade fades.
- Seeing an opportunity, Butcher and the Boys along with Queen Maeve (Dominique McElligott) decide to kill Homelander.
- However, this leads to them beginning to break their own facades with themselves and with others.
Originally created in 2006 by Garth Ennis and Darrick Richardson, “The Boys” has an interesting place in history.
Back in the 1990s and 2000s, comics showed no restraint to sex and violence. But with Prime Video’s “The Boys”, showrunner and executive producer Eric Kripke and company maintain the edginess of the comic. However, rather than just be like the comic, the show takes the edginess and develops it into something substantive.
From there, the show adds in a substantial amount of social commentary. And Season 3 is no different. Kripke and his team of writers tackle everything from capitalism to systemic racism to even toxic masculinity. All while creating some fantastic storylines and developing the characters and their arcs.
Speaking on that, Season 3 is set a year after the events of Season 2. Everyone from Butcher (Urban) to Hughie (Quaid) to Homelander (Starr) has moved on and is in a place of comfortability. Butcher, Hughie, and the Boys are no longer fugitives and have essential stable jobs. Homelander is trying to retain his facade following the reveal of Stormfront (Cash)’s Neo-Nazi allegiance.
But, when Hughie discovers a revelation, everyone begins to reject that place of comfortability. That sense of normality, it turns out was a lie. Deep in self-reflection, we see characters we love, begin to go into a downward spiral. Some succumb to the spiral, while others realize their mistakes and try to get out of it.
When it comes to the cast of “The Boys”, everyone has great chemistry with each other.
On top of that, every cast member gets a moment to shine in a way that complements their arc. The best example of this is when Hughie (Quaid) does something behind Butcher’s back. This makes us do a complete 180 on how we saw the character up until that point. We also see a similar scene with Butcher during a very emotional scene.
But, out of everyone in the cast, Anthony Starr as Homelander takes the cake with this one. Starr personifies the cockiness as well as ruthlessness of the character. Furthermore, Starr gives the character a dynamic to where you HATE him. And while there are moments of empathy within the character’s story, the anger and hate with this character is all to present.
This makes his chemistry with those that know versus those that aren’t aware of his personality very interesting.
As for other standout performances, Jensen Ackles is outstanding as Solider Boy. Fresh off of his role as Dean Winchester on “Supernatural“, Solider Boy is a departure from Dean. If Homelander is a stand-in for Superman, then Solider Boy is a stand-in for Captain America. Ackles plays him as a broken, yet violent and misogynistic character, one who definitely represents the theme of toxic masculinity. However, this leads into an issue with the season finale.
THAT ONE PESKY ISSUE
If there were any complaints with this perfect season, it’s that Season 3’s finale, titled The Instant White-Hot Wild, feels rushed.
The episode, written by David Reed and Logan Ritchey and directed by Sarah Boyd, rushes several characters’ arcs. It also messes with one character’s motivation. Now, granted the motivation still makes sense. It still works from a structural point of view. And considering that the character wasn’t as present as much as she should be due to behind-the-scenes issues involving COVID, it’s a godsend that it works. It’s just that from a writing (and from even an editing POV), the execution isn’t really that good.
However, the last ten minutes of the finale fixes this by providing a sense of dread of what’s to come. Never could Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road be so … foreboding. But, it is. And man, is that terrifying. Though, the final shot of the season, it’s something that will haunt us for weeks to come.
Or at least until the next season airs.
Despite a somewhat bumpy season finale, “The Boys” continues its streak as one of the best shows on television.
Showrunner Eric Kripke and company continue to maintain the edginess of the comic, while developing these characters.
Whether it’s giving them a downward spiral or removing their comfortability, the characters are constantly changing. Weaving this, with much-needed social commentary, is feat that should be borderline impossible. But, not for these guys. Combined with the amazing performances from the cast, Season 3 of Prime Video’s “The Boys” is truly a smash job!
And I cannot wait to see what’s in store for Season 4.
Score: 4 out of 5