The Boys Season 4 Review

This is a spoiler-free review of season 4 of The Boys, which premieres Thursday, June 13 on Prime Video. Reviews for new episodes will be posted Thursday afternoons through July 18.

If the scandalous herogasm of The Boys has taught us anything, it’s that there’s no high without a fall. Season 3 of the Prime Video series was a masterclass in political satire filtered through the prism of outrageous shenanigans, its excellence continuing into the first year of its fantastic college spinoff, Gen V. After so much bullshit, the Season 4 ushers in a time of discovery – sometimes too much discovery, as showrunner Eric Kripke and his team pack plots like sardines in the can of these eight episodes. The Boys’ unresolved problems have pushed Kripke into a corner, now intensified by the big reveal of Generation V: a virus that threatens the lives of Vought International’s team of not-so-good people in capes and masks.

Season 4 introduces super-hunting vigilante Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) and his stars-and-stripes-clad nemesis, Homelander (Antony Starr), with the realization of their ultimate goals – but both men are unusually pensive and exhausted by a possible victory on the ground. horizon. Urban effectively presents a more squishy, ​​compassionate side to Butcher, who brushes off a near-death cough due to a nagging Temp V-induced tumor in his brain. Starr remains focused on his task as Homelander continues to fight his way to the top of Vought (and then the world), but he often finds himself staring into nothingness, overwhelmed by what happens next. There’s no turning back their rivalry when Butcher’s days are numbered, but the mutually assured destruction of their conflict looms larger than ever.

The same goes for The Boys’ lack of political subtlety. Season 4 triples down on the corruption that feels uncomfortably familiar in a real-life election year. Homelander’s rise as a superhuman dictator directly references January 6, insurrectionists, and dissident lists with justified urgency. The Boys has never been secretive about who the show’s “Big Bad” is, and Kripke has no choice but to state the obvious about Homelander’s MAGA tactics, which he does without question. sacrificing the values ​​of the series: they fit too well. The threat Homelander poses to the United States must be spelled out in massive, easy-to-read letters. because some viewers still can’t accept that he’s a bad guyand it’s more important than ever to make sure The Boys’ message is crystal clear.

Season 4 is locked in a black box of sadness, manipulation and despair. Butcher’s terminal diagnosis makes him more docile. Marvin “Mother’s” Milk (Laz Alonso) steps in as the Boys’ commander, but he’s plagued by his own bouts of anxiety. Homelander continues the “cleansing” of a super-first nation, but finds his mind clouded by fatherhood duties and abusive childhood memories now that Ryan (Cameron Crovetti) lives in Vought Tower. Frenchie (Tomer Capone) dreams of happiness but finds only pain, Annie January (Erin Moriarty) runs away from her alter ego Starlight because of what she is responsible for, and Hughie (Jack Quaid) is mercilessly put to the test – this is not another high-energy film. season. This is a result of the story’s trajectory and while there are plenty of interesting arcs that end in satisfying ways, the melancholy can become suffocating.