The Boys Season 3 Review - Let's Hear It For The Boys

  • First Released Jun 3, 2022
  • television
Mat Elfring on Google+

Season 3 of The Boys on Prime Video is one of the best yet--it's also one of the dirtiest.

Prime Video's original series The Boys arrives for Season 3 on June 3, and the upcoming slate of eight episodes takes the series in numerous directions. Much like previous seasons of the show, The Boys continues to be a wild, very adult story about superheroes who go too far and the people trying to stop them, and somehow, even in Season 3, the show continues to get better and better.

Throughout the eight episodes, the show continues the narrative that Homelander (Antony Starr)--and many superheroes in general--is corrupt with power, and The Boys want to stop him, the company supporting him (Vought), and bring accountability to the supes for their actions. Season 3 continues to raise the bar by introducing Soldier Boy (Jensen Ackles), a hero from the past who could be The Boys' greatest asset--or their greatest nemesis.

As for Hughie, things are going well for him. He's with Starlight and working for the government in order to keep supes in line, and in that department, he's a bit of a celebrity--because he helped take down Stormfront.

Without getting into too much detail, the show has established the world--superheroes exist, a company created those heroes and really runs the show, and some of these superheroes get away with literal murder. There's a group of people who are fed up and trying to stop it. Because the basics for this series are so simple and easy to understand, branching out to make new stories and new lore that fits within the already presented narrative feels simple and because of this is easy to digest by the viewer. So while Season 3 tosses in a superhero group that existed decades prior, an annual sex party for heroes, and a plethora of other new and interesting concepts, it all fits easily within the basics of the world--because the basics of the world are so, well, basic. As a viewer, you feel like you're along for the ride, rather than trying to piece together multiple, smaller stories that barely fit into an overly-complex world. Season 3 may have a lot going on, but it's all very inviting.

In the broadest strokes, The Boys is all over the place, in the best way possible. Each character has its own, distinctive story, and at times, those stories cross over with each other. This is pretty much par for its course for any ensemble show, but The Boys stands above the rest because of the dynamic characters and stories. The worldbuilding is built into the stories, rather than the stories being squished into a box in order to fit what's already been presented the past two seasons.

The way the show really brings the viewer in is through comedy. Yes, there are a lot of low-brow, low-hanging fruit bits throughout the season--lots of "dick jokes" type of humor--but The Boys delivers exactly what you expect. Are people going to explode because of a wacky accident? Of course. Will you see nudity presented in an unexpected, comedic way that will be burned into your head for the rest of your life (just wait until Episode 6, seriously)? Absolutely. It's all very funny, it's shocking and will take you by surprise, and the vast majority of the time, it's a nice break from the horrors of the real world--even if some of those horrors are being mirrored on the show.

Homelander's journey to where he's at in Season 3 is an incredible. He was once this stoic, important member of The Seven, and icon to the public. However, that facade has been crumbling and within this season, he's on the brink of losing it--and does unleash himself at a few points. This leads to one of the most disturbing moments in the entire season in a sequence where he's psychologically torturing someone else. Homelander proves once again he's diabolical, and while it's easy for him to kill someone with the flick of his wrist, it's better for him in the long run to control others. Watching Starr's slow, torturous breakdown and descent into madness is one of the best parts of the season. He is producing his best work on the series this season. Homelander is in pain, and Starr makes you believe it.

But more importantly, Homelander's journey--and most supes' journey--is about public appeal. Doing good for humanity is one thing, but it's not as important as looking like you care about humanity and make moves that will score points with the public. In The Boys, that's what being a superhero is all about--and it's been about for a while.

On the flip side of the coin is Starlight (Erin Moriarty), the virtuous, just as stoic superhero who sticks to her morals no matter what. And just like Starr, Moriarty is also doing her best work this season. She's on a path to becoming the change the world needs. And while we won't be diving into specifics here, as there is a lot to spoil, she's the character you'll find yourself rooting for the most, especially during the midway point of the season. She wants to change the world but also, she needs the public on her side to do this. Remember, The Boys is just as much about being a superhero as it is about portraying yourself as something bigger and better than you are to the public.

Every member of The Seven goes through this at one point or another throughout the season. Homelander is constantly dealing with this, and A-Train has a few moments where he's really trying to appeal to the public, to regain his popularity--in one of the funniest faux commercials to date, mocking an infamous beverage ad from a few years back. A-Train may take a bit of a backseat this season in terms of screentime, but his story is one of the most compelling, as he has a turning point, in order to stand up for what's right rather than keep pushing the status quo.

One of the things that people were intrigued about with this current season was how the "Herogasm" story would be handled. In the comics, it's a getaway where the supes have sex, do drugs, and let off some steam. It's a limited series that works in a lot of government intrigue as well. This story has been slimmed down to a single episode of the show, primarily taking the setting and Herogasm event as a background to the larger story involving Soldier Boy, Homelander, The Boys, and Starlight. Herogasm being merely the backdrop here is perfectly fine. It fits within the season very well, and even those who are purists of the source material will find the adaptation serviceable.

There is one bump in the road later on where some characters resemble certain real-life politicians a bit too closely. It gets to the point where The Boys really hits the nail on the head, and when that happens, it takes away from some of the fun leading up to that moment. Thankfully this isn't an issue for the entire season or even too big a piece of it, but there are moments where it echoes the real world just enough that it becomes hard to get lost in the story.

The Boys continues to be one of the best superhero TV shows. It's a series that knows its identity and leans in hard to it every single season. It continues to grow and evolve the world it lives in without losing that identity either. The cast is delivering some of the best performances of the series here as well. The Boys Season 3 is a must-watch for summer viewing.

Mat Elfring on Google+
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The Good

  • Antony Starr and Erin Moriarty are doing their best work in Season 3
  • The adaptation of Herogasm works exceptionally well for the story

The Bad

  • Certain characters reflect real-life politicians and their cult of personality to a point where it's hitting the nail on the head a bit too hard

About the Author

Mat Elfring is an entertainment editor at GameSpot. Prime Video provided him with all eight episodes of Season 3 for review.