This is a spoiler-free review for episodes 1 to 5 of season 3.
Season 2 of The Boys did a fantastic job of tying up multiple plot threads in both an entertaining and satisfying way, while still managing to set up and tease some exciting new ones for season 3. With Stormfront left badly burned and minus a few limbs, the final moments of season 2 introduced us to another villain with the shock reveal that congresswoman Victoria Neuman is in fact a supe and responsible for all the glorious head-popping that’s been going on throughout the season. Meanwhile, the future of The Boys as a team seemed in doubt after Butcher almost sacrificed himself for Ryan before turning him over to Mallory, Hughie switching to a career in politics as a way of fighting back against Vought and Mother’s Milk returning to family life. All in all, it was a real rollercoaster of a season with so much going on that I just had to watch a recap video in order to jog my ageing memory before tackling season 3. Thankfully, this new season continues the strong momentum and I breezed through the 5 episodes available for review and was still left hungry for more by the end of it!
We’re a year on from the events of the last season, and it appears to have been a year of relative calm. Butcher is working for the government, supervised by Hughie of all people as part of his new role at the Federal Bureau of Superhuman Affairs, working alongside Neuman. However, not more than 15 minutes into the first episode and The Boys had already managed to out-gross itself, succeeding in making me laugh out loud while feeling incredibly uncomfortable all at the same time, as a scene involving a miniaturising supe called Termite played out.
Meanwhile, Homelander now finds himself being repeatedly asked the same question about his ex-girlfriend over and over again by reporters – “How did you not know that Stormfront was a Nazi?” – and his ratings have taken a nosedive as a result. All of this sees Homelander becoming increasingly unhinged and unstable, that false smile continuing to slip as he dishes out more and more random acts of weirdness and evil. All of this leads to increasing numbers of people wondering how exactly can Homelander be stopped, if at all. And can they stop him before it’s all too late and he’s finally pushed over the edge, destroying everything.
Their prayers may or may not be answered when the potential existence of an anti-supe weapon is revealed, a weapon that was allegedly responsible for killing the very first superhero, Soldier Boy. Grace Mallory recounts to Butcher and The Boys an operation in Nicaragua that she was involved in as a young agent, in which we learn more about Soldier Boy and the team he was a part of. That team was called Payback, predecessors to The Seven, with other members consisting of Crimson Countess, TNT (Tommy & Tessa), Mindstorm, Airburst, Gunpowder, and Black Noir, who is also now part of the Seven. The Boys then decide to head off to Russia, where the anti-supe weapon is said to have originated from, to find out more.
Meanwhile, the relationship between Hughie and Supersonic is back on, although there is some jealousy when an old flame of Starlight’s appears as a contestant on a show she is judging called American Hero. The Deep finds himself back in the Seven and kissing Homelander’s ass while A-Train is struggling to stay relevant without having to resort to using his abilities. As usual, there is a hell of a lot going on in The Boys and it’s still amusing to see the corporate side of the superhero world portrayed so believably, with all the talk of approval ratings and various demographics. All of which is accompanied as always by a very high body count and plenty of violence and exploding body parts. They even find time to include a song and dance number!
The Boys has certainly found its stride and the first five episodes of season 3 prove there are no signs of that stopping anytime soon as it continues to shock and entertain in equal measure, setting things up for a very interesting final three episodes.
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Web developer by day, with a movie and TV watchlist that continues to grow as much as my spare time reduces! My favourite movie is Inception and, despite what everyone says, I do not have a man-crush on Tom Cruise.