Written by Ronnie Gorham
The Boys Season 3 is eight blissfully insane episodes of sweet chaos, and I mean that in a good way. This latest season finds our band of merry misfits Hughie (Jack Quaid), Mother’s Milk (Laz Alonso), Kimiko (Karen Fukuhara), Frenchie (Tomer Capone), and Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) searching for a thought-dead supe named Soldier Boy (Jensen Ackles). Soldier Boy could be the key to killing the show’s main antagonist, Homelander (Anthony Starr), if Butcher and his crew don’t murder each other first. It’s a season filled with broken friendships, consequences, daddy issues, and other crazy elements too gross to mention.
Season 3 starts a year after the head-exploding events that closed out Season 2. Butcher, Frenchie, Kimiko, and Hughie are working for Victoria Neuman (Claudia Doumet) at the Federal Bureau of Superhuman Affairs, while Mother’s Milk is trying to spend more time with his daughter Janine (Liyou Abere) and tolerate her stepdad, who is an avid supporter of Homelander. A monkey wrench gets thrown into the mix when Queen Mauve gives Butcher a drug called B-24 which can give a person powers for 24 hours. Meanwhile, at Vought, Homelander is trying to salvage his reputation after the public discovers that his teammate Storm Front was a Nazi.
This season is all about choices and the consequences of those choices. The writers do an impeccable job at giving each character their moments to shine and deal with their issues while still tying it all to the story’s overall plot. For example, Hughie feels defenseless in his relationship with supe Starlight (Erin Moriarity). Meanwhile, Starlight is standing up to Homelander at Vought. Mother’s Milk has to relive his family’s trauma, and Kimiko and Frenchie face their identities. And ironically, Butcher, thanks to becoming addicted to the B-24 drug, becomes the one thing he’s always hated the most, a supe.
But this season’s breakout Emmy-worthy performance has to go to Homelander. We’ve watched him do some of the most sinister things a superhero would never do to people, like leave a plane full of innocent people to die. We’ve watched him mentally start to crack since the first season. But this time, we not only see him lose his shit but be afraid for the first time in the show. Soldier Boy poses a threat to him, and he doesn’t know how to handle it. In these scenes, we see some of actor Anthony Starr’s best performances as Homelander, a performance that at times almost makes you feel empathy for Homelander.
Newcomer Jensen Ackles, the anti-Cap of this season, fits into the chemistry and character dynamic of the series with ease — which was kind of a no-brainer given he worked with Eric Kripke for 15 seasons on Supernatural. So I’m sure it wasn’t too hard for Ackles to know the direction Kripke wanted him to go with the character. What’s great about his portrayal of Soldier Boy is that he proves to you with every action that he’s everything Captain America stands against.
The Boys Season 3 is the best, hands down. Showrunner Eric Kripke and executive producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg have taken the source material from Garth Ennis’ comic book and created a clever and well-thought-out live-action adaptation. Although they can’t bring every controversial moment from the comics to life, what they’ve given us so far has long deviated from the book but has still been a compelling story that I’m sure Garth Ennis is proud of.
The Boys is a magnificent television show that finds its core strength in its characters and tells a progressive story that’s not afraid to touch on political and humorous topics from a real-world perspective. Nothing against Marvel or DC, but it’s a refreshing break away from the average form of superhero storytelling and worth checking out.