Review: ‘The Boys’ season 3 gets dramatic in between decapitations

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Review of: Review: 'The Boys' season 3 gets dramatic in between decapitations
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Martin Carr

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On June 2, 2022
Last modified:June 2, 2022


Decapitations, drama and darkness await audiences in The Boys season 3.

Review: 'The Boys' season 3 gets dramatic in between decapitations

Ever since it debuted on Prime Video in 2019, The Boys has been making waves, bringing biting satire and social commentary to the forefront of its storytelling. Adapted by Supernatural showrunner Eric Kripke from the Garth Ennis graphic novel, the deconstruction of the superhero genre is now into season 3, which launches globally on June 3.

For fans of the show, the third go-round will feel like a homecoming, as our mismatched group of anti-Vought vigilantes try once and for all to level the playing field, using nefarious methods to infiltrate a top secret location and obtain an artifact capable of laying Homelander (Antony Starr) low. It’s a mission which is destined to fail, since the titular team are somewhat separated as the season starts.

With Billy Butcher (Karl Urban), Hughie Campbell (Jack Quaid), Frenchie (Tomer Capone), and Mother’s Milk (Laz Alonso) seeking normal lives in the aftermath of season 2, it’s far from business as usual. Things certainly feel fragmented, with Butcher grieving after the revelations of a finale that saw him lose his wife, while Hughie has gone respectable and now moves in government circles.

At Vought headquarters, the Seven are faring no better, as an increasingly off-kilter star-spangled Homelander is quickly coming unstuck. With his approval ratings coming under fire following the Nazi affiliation he seemed to advocate in season 2, public opinion has him lashing out indiscriminately, behavior which creates unwanted friction between other team members, as Starlight (Erin Moriarty), A-Train (Jessie T. Usher), and Queen Maeve (Dominique McElligott) are forced to walk on eggshells.

Elsewhere, Victoria Neumann (Claudia Doumit), a Senator who works for the Federal Bureau of Superhuman Affairs, is also creating waves by legislating everything Supe-related. A situation which only exacerbates problems, as public safety and corporate self-interest clash, leaving off-the-shelf costumed crimefighters to fend for themselves.

With flagrant side swipes at superhero cinema in titles such as Dawn of the Seven, the scathing satirical attacks on mainstream marquee films (especially those made primarily by Marvel Studios and DC Films) are just one element of a show which seeks to move beyond the more obvious targets to dive more deeply into the drama, as these characters start to come apart at the seams.

With Homelander and Butcher especially, there now seems to be a psychological link that brings them closer together in terms of objective. These two men share common ground as well as a son, meaning that their lives will forever be linked by blood. Their connection proves to be the catalyst of the third season, as both Urban and Starr really live and breathe this relationship, upping the ante on numerous levels while events play out, and giving the latest run of episodes an edge over its predecessors, which relied more on shock value and hard-edged comedic violence to maintain audience interest.

However, on more than one occasion, The Boys likes to remind viewers where the line is when it comes to visual obscenity, either through inventive executions involving less-than-savory weapons of a sexual nature, or alternatively, by simply having people burst with no warning. This is, after all, a project ushered into existence by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, neither of whom would be considered subtle in their creative choices.   

With a talent show element being introduced this season as well, the satirical buffet car is open for business once more, while crass reality formats also take a critical hammering, giving Kripke and company ample opportunity to revel in the paper-thin personae which pass for credible superheroes in this latest offering.

However, fans of Supernatural also have another reason to tune in; Jensen Ackles makes an intriguing debut in season three as Soldier Boy, a deep-frozen deterrent from decades passed who makes Captain America look unpatriotic, representing as he does the endgame scenario for any enhanced human being who thinks that Compound V makes them infallible.

For fans of the first two seasons, The Boys 3.0 is unlikely to disappoint, even if some viewers might not be so keen on Butcher and his cohorts getting serious as they head into their past to save an uncertain future, haunted by a homegrown hero who seeks to desecrate the star-spangled banner.

Review: 'The Boys' season 3 gets dramatic in between decapitations

Decapitations, drama and darkness await audiences in The Boys season 3.