Well this was another level.
First, an important tangent. The Boys had a weekly episode launch, which means you need to wait if you want to binge. The positive side effect here is that you have more time to digest each episode, and each one therefore has more impact. The standout portion here is that this highlights episodes that are pure filler. The Boys has no filler, each episode is full of content. This is a high contrast to nearly everything on Netflix and most of Disney+(MCU in particular). This is not an 8 hour movie, which is refreshing to a point I forgot what it felt like.
The season itself is interesting for a multitude of reasons. The parallels to the Trump era of US politics is extremely pointed in its insanity. The fact that Soldier Boy is somehow worse than Homelander and Stormlight is impressive. The special effects and gore make some of the scenes stand out something fierce. Episode 6 in particular is a standout in “WTF did I just see?”. And cap this off with ridiculously strong performances by Karl Urban (Butcher) and Antony Starr (Homelander), give each scene a tremendous amount of nuance. Finally, the writing/pace of the storyline feels hectic, and time just seems to fly by in each episode.
The “scorched earth” approach here is certainly an interesting twist to the typical storyline, where there’s a much larger highlight that all superheros are essentially flawed humans without consequences. There’s a flaw in the MCU space where heroes are somehow idealistic, where in reality if there were no consequences for actions, then what’s really going to motivate people to be socially “good”?
I don’t want to spoil the storyline, as there are some interesting twists and turns that hit quite well. I will say that the Maeve storyline finally comes to a close, where it was clear that the team didn’t know what to do with her.
I can see where Season 4 would go, and ideally this will close out the larger chapter of the story. There’s a ticking clock on how this can keep going, but at the same time, The Boys is what the future of streaming should be.
I’m still digesting what I watched, and recommend that folks don’t binge the series, but take some time between episodes to find some sanity. Still trying to figure out what I just watched… and strongly recommend you do the same!