Buckle up for a wild ride: The Boys returns for a third season of startling gore, dark humor and psychotic superheroes – and it’s one hilarious ride.
Almost two years have passed since Season 2 of The Boys aired on Prime Video, ending with Nazi superhero Stormfront (Aya Cash) being burned to ashes and narcissistic, murderous Homelander (Antony Starr) – leader of the Seven – snaking further and further into his unbridled madness.
There’s a quick catch-up tutorial in the Season 3 opening episode, and once that’s gone we’re headed straight back into the fire with our “supes” and the mere mortals plotting their demise – starting with a clip from “Dawn of The Seven,” Vaught’s big-budget film, which rewrites Homelander’s story using Stormfront (portrayed by Charlize Theron in a meta-twist) to bolster its declining public ratings.
He’s also on an apology talk show where he goes all out, but he’s further thrown off track when Starlight (Erin Moriarty) is made co-captain of The Seven. It’s a “touché” moment, not just for Starlight, but for evil Vought boss Stan Edgar (Giancarlo Esposito), who’s fed up with Homelander and all that stuff.
It’s now a year later and Hughie (Jack Quaid), who is still in a relationship with Starlight, wears a suit, and runs the Federal Bureau of Superhuman Affairs along with Congresswoman Victoria Neuman (Claudia Doumit) — who is not who or what she appears to be.
The Butcher Who Takes No Prisoners (Karl Urban) remains relentless in his quest for justice, and the rest of the team is scattered to the winds: Mother’s Milk (Laz Alonso) tries to adjust to life as a single father (his ex-wife Monique is linked with the nebulous “Dawn of the Seven” director), but he can’t shake his visceral obsession with chasing down Supes. Frenchie (Tomer Kapon) and Kimiko (Karen Fukuhara) are still together and communicate using sign language, but otherwise hang around waiting for something to happen.
You don’t have to wait long.
I could go on, but that would ruin a lot of the surprises fans of The Boys are in for. Jensen Ackles joins the cast as Soldier Boy – believed to have died in a meltdown in the ’80s – but that’s just the tip of the surrealistic iceberg. Trust me.
The series closely adheres to its mission of outrageous entertainment with tongue-in-cheek references and pop culture nods: Vaught’s Lifetime-y VTV network has the slogan “Television for Women”, there are shouts out to Dame Judi Dench (!) and the cast of Riverdale and Starlight is hosting a reality television competition series, American Hero, to choose the next member of The Seven.
It is the weird and spot on, with some of the sharpest lyrics on television that leave virtually no odd stone unturned. It’s compelling, with the show’s trademark cartoonish violence that’s more humorous than disturbing.
Fans of The Boys will understand; If you’re watching for the first time, you’ll quickly understand what all the fuss is about.