Review | The Boys Season 3: The Premiere Episodes
“Some of what occurs during this season of THE BOYS will have you holding your sides in laughter while thinking to yourself “They ACTUALLY went there!” in disbelief”
For those of a nervous disposition, ‘The Boys‘ is NOT the show for you. Or if you’re offended by bad language, gratuitous violence, or heapings of gore. Prime Videos’ superhero show is full to the brim of it all. And it remains one of the best shows ever to grace our screens. The third season of the hit show is almost upon us. Once again, Billy Butcher, Hughie, Mother’s Milk, Frenchie, and Kimiko return to take it to the ‘Supes’ once more. The vigilantes are back but they start the series on a different footing than before.
My review here won’t go into ANY detail about what the first three episodes contain. To do so would lead me into giving away massive spoilers. In fact, there is nothing I can say about what I have seen so far. Except for, IF you think you’ve seen it all. If you think it can’t get any better or worse. If you think they can’t possibly go there. Believe me, you ain’t seen nothing yet!
THE BOYS SERIES 3 SYNOPSIS
It’s been a year of calm. Homelander’s subdued. Butcher works for the government, supervised by Hughie of all people. But both men itch to turn this peace and quiet into blood and bone. So when The Boys learn of a mysterious anti-Supe weapon, it sends them crashing into the seven, starting a war and chasing the legend of the first Superhero: Soldier Boy.
‘The Boys’ is a fun and irreverent take on what happens when superheroes-who are as popular as celebrities, as influential as politicians, and as revered as gods-abuse their superpowers rather than use them for good. Intent on stopping the corrupt superheroes, The Boys, a group of vigilantes, continue their heroic quest to expose the truth about The Seven and Vought-the multibillion-dollar conglomerate that manages the superheroes and covers up their dirty secrets. It’s the seemingly powerless against the super powerful.
BUTCHER’S BAD SIDE
Let’s not beat around the bush here. The cast is back as their characters in a big way. Karl Urban once again leads the line as Billy Butcher. And without him, the show wouldn’t feel right at all. His portrayal of Butcher is the highlight of the show once again. We discover Butcher doing something he has never done before. He is holding his temper and his true feelings in. Urban plays the character almost straight. And is completely unpredictable as usual. His performance brings home everything we want it to and more. He keeps us on our toes throughout, one minute calm, collected, and almost sane. The next, he is foul-mouthed, violent, and completely off the chain.
Urban drags every emotion out of Butcher and from his role with relish. And his disarming smile is back on show for everyone to see. It leads the audience and the other characters into a false sense of security. One that will end with a violent act, a cutting remark, or a foul-mouthed tirade. We know it’s coming. We just don’t know when. And when it arrives, it is glorious. This is Karl Urban at his finest, and we couldn’t ask for more. He even gets to show Butcher’s sensitive side. We never saw that coming!
HUGHIE IN THE NEWS!
Jack Quaid as Hughie returns once again in his typical style. But make no mistake, this time around, Hughie has developed a slightly more mature and stronger side to his personality. Quaid plays Hughie to perfection. And makes for the straight man to Urban’s comedic psychopath. While Urban is strutting his stuff as Butcher, Quaid has the more vital task of being the audience’s consciousness, the one who will make sense of it all. The one we can follow into saner waters, and trusting him to lead us through. Quaid is a likable actor and his portrayal of Hughie helps us feel grounded while everything else is going to hell in a handbasket. But that’s not to say he doesn’t have his own hilarious, laugh-out-loud moments. He does, as usual. And we can’t help feeling sorry for Hughie at times, even though we are crying with laughter.
Antony Starr once again puts on Homelander’s cloak and boots. And again, comes across as the evilest, slimy, despicable superhero we can imagine. And we love him for it. Starr’s performance as Homelander is completely inspired. We last saw the character..er..having fun by himself on top of a building. (Phew, got out of that one!). But when we come across him this time, he is struggling with his feelings. He is barely able to suppress his anger. He is having trouble towing the Vought Company line. And his emotions are all over the place.
Make no bones about it, this is Homelander at his deadliest. And Starr drags out an unbelievable performance as the character. We find ourselves hanging on every word he utters. We believe every threat he makes. Antony Starr has created a villain that we can be fearful of. And his smile hides the menace lurking within. It is an inspired performance.
Erin Moriarty as Starlight is one of the most vital pieces of this season. And she grabs the chance with both hands and runs with it. Ms. Moriarty brings out everything we could ask for as Starlight. She is still the slightly vulnerable young woman we encountered back in season one. At times, we want to wrap her up in a blanket and tell her everything will be alright. But that would be doing the character and Ms. Moriarty a disservice. Starlight displays a real strong, almost unbreakable backbone in this season, one we knew was there but had yet to see it.
After the events of last season, we can tell that things will not go as smoothly as she hoped. And we fear for her from the start. We can tell that Starlight is going to have a major part to play in this season and Erin Moriarty proves that she is more than up to the task once again.
The supporting cast, for the most part, is a joy to behold as usual. None more so than the pairing of Karen Fukuhara as Kimiko and Tomer Capon as Frenchie. We have followed their relationship from its embryonic roots through to where they both are in this season. Both actors prove themselves to be integral to the series. And their storyline going forward is going to have some large twists and turns. Laz Alonso as Mother’s Milk, for some reason, doesn’t feel a huge part of this season so far. Sure, he is in the mix but his storyline feels forced. And from where we left him, he seems to be just a background character this time. And that isn’t right for someone who has earned his spot as one of the main players over the past two seasons.
The same can sadly be said for Dominique McElligott as Queen Maeve. Instead of once again being front and center, she appears to have been relegated to a few appearances here and there before her character is gone for long periods. Her appearances are vital to the plot of this season but exactly why Maeve isn’t one of the big characters this time is a bit mystifying. Nathan Mitchell as Black Noir hasn’t featured that much either. Again, even though the character hasn’t been a huge part of the previous two seasons, it is strange to discover he is hardly featured at all so far.
THE DEEP AND A-TRAIN
Chace Crawford as The Deep is another that has yet to feature heavily or shine so far. After his journey in last season’s run, we could expect to see more of him. Instead, he is relegated to brief appearances here and there, as if the writers don’t know quite what to do with him this time. He could yet feature more in the coming episodes as he appears to be heading towards becoming a bigger fixture than we’ve seen him so far in this season. Jessie T. Usher as A-Train fares much better though. He appears quite a lot in the episodes seen so far and at least he has his own storyline. Whether the writers run with the idea through the remainder of the season is yet to be seen. But at the least, he has a part to play so far.
Colby Minifie as Ashley Barrett and Laila Robbins as Grace Mallory flit in and out of the story but their roles are vital in the opening four episodes. Mallory gets her own arc that we follow through a couple of episodes which is vital to moving the story forward. While Ashley is always on hand to be annoying and someone we would seriously like to see taken down a peg or two.
Giancarlo Esposito as Stan Edgar is on top form, however. His role is a huge plot point and is vital to the story as it unfolds. He is once again excellent as the devious head of Vought but shows some decent human qualities this time around. It is a surprise that Edgar is someone we actually could grow to like in time. But I’m sure the writers will pull the rug out from under us as the season progresses.
Claudia Doumit as Victoria Neuman features quite a lot in the story. Of course, we know that she is the head-busting ‘supe’ who hid in plain sight in season two before we discovered who she was and what she could do. We have to watch her closely, as we feel that at any time, she could turn on anyone and kill them off nastily. Ms. Doumit brings a certain charm to her character, one where we know who she is and what she can do but can’t help but like her all the same. And her performance is wonderful. Will she turn out to be the villain of the piece? Or will she become the vital cog in the wheel that The Boys need in their quest to destroy Vought and in particular, Homelander? Watch this space!
SOLDIER BOY STRIKES
I can only discuss two newcomers to the cast for this season. The first is Soldier Boy played by Jensen Ackles. Soldier Boy and his fate are the big thread running through the season. Without giving anything away, Soldier Boy is the glue that is holding the whole thing together. His story brings the season a hint of mystery, a mystery that needs investigating by Butcher and his team. Ackles has, so far, only appeared briefly in the opening episodes, but we get the feeling that he will be a major part before the climax.
Ackles makes Soldier Boy immensely likable from the start. But we can’t allow ourselves to become too attached to him. He could turn out to be the biggest villain of them all, for all we know. But Ackles brings a certain amount of charm to the character. And I’m eager to see where his story will take us.
Laurie Holden as Crimson Countess is an anomaly. We encounter her and are curious as to which way she will go. When we find out, it is shocking but tragic at the same time. Again, we have yet to see much of Ms. Holden as the character. But what we have seen so far leaves us intrigued. Again, her inclusion could turn out to be vital to the events that have yet to unfold. But Laurie Holden, who I think is a terrific actress, embodies the character without any difficulty. I’m hoping that Crimson Countess becomes a big part of this season in the remaining episodes. But based on the all too brief looks we have had of her so far, she could become a terrific addition to the cast.
The writers have outdone themselves this season with the various storylines. It is incredibly hard to be able to juggle the various storylines and keep them all up to date and follow through with them. But they have managed it with some style once again. The various plotlines are laid bare and are examined in perfect detail. The only problem I’m finding with them is the aforementioned lack of story for some of the characters. What we do have though is an intricate web. The storylines seem to be shooting off in different directions. But they are starting to turn back on themselves and converge.
We can already predict that the various plot strands will all join together into a whole before the season comes to a climax. But it’s the genius of how they will get there that is the most interesting part. Without spoilers, some people will get the comeuppance they deserve. Others will not get the ending they require. And some will, possibly, not get to see season four. I have my suspicions on who may fall before the season ends. And it isn’t who you think.
Every episode is directed with love, care, and attention to the material. For a show that features violence and gore, there is a lot of humanity involved here. And the directors of each episode know exactly how to frame, film, and present it to the audience. Every episode is rich in color, shot perfectly, and comes across as a movie rather than a TV show. Although there are a lot of special effects in play, the directors don’t allow them to overpower the story they are trying to tell. And their approach works.
Even the shots of gore that litter the screen at times have been filmed to perfection. And each director has managed to drag out great performances from all the cast. It is possibly the most beautifully shot season so far. And the desire and determination that has gone into making this season are on display for all to see.
As I said at the start of this review if you’ve think you’ve seen it all, think again. Some things happen that have prevented me from talking about the individual episodes themselves. It is all intricately linked together that any small revelation can be considered a spoiler. But what I can say is that this season is possibly the most bat s**t crazy of them all so far. There are shocks, surprises, and some genuinely hilarious moments in store.
Let’s put it another way. If you thought that the Whale Impaling with a speedboat in season two was hilariously funny and completely off the chain, prepare yourself for something that makes that scene look like ‘Bambi‘ in comparison. And I’m not over exaggerating that statement. Some of what occurs during this season will have you holding your sides in laughter while thinking to yourself “They ACTUALLY went there!” in disbelief.
‘The Boys‘ season 3 is most certainly not for the squeamish, the faint of heart, or suitable for anyone who can’t handle what is given to them this time. It is full to the brim of foul language, violence, gore, and some pants-wetting funny moments that must be seen to be believed. It also takes us deeper into some of our favorite characters, and into parts of them, we didn’t know existed. The acting is top-notch, and the writing is crisp, bitingly funny, and painful in equal measure. And has been directed to sheer perfection. If you’re a fan of the show, you’re in for a treat from the start. I loved it, and so will you. If you don’t, then that is DIABOLICAL!
‘The Boys’ season 3 starts on Prime Video on June 3rd with a three-episode drop. Further episodes will become available on a weekly basis thereafter.
Feel the Force on Social Media.
Carl Roberts is the News Editor of The Future of the Force. Aside from being our horror genre aficionado, he is also passionate about Star Wars, Marvel, DC, and the Indiana Jones movies. Follow him on Twitter where he uses the force frequently!
1 thought on “Review | The Boys Season 3: The Premiere Episodes”
After finishing the season, this song truly fits the series and current season.
This show hands down has the best actors I’ve seen in a TV show, possibly I’ve ever seen in any production. I’m so excited for the boys season 4. This series has done an awesome job of giving the people a visual of what it’ll be if humans have superpowers and I’m here for it.