The Boys Season 4: first review

For most shows, a three-episode season premiere would be too much to handle in one go.

For the boys ? It’s barely enough.

A lot can happen in two years, but this season picked up where it left off in 2022, and the continuity was kind of comforting, in a way.

There’s much more to the story, of course. Between seasons 3 and 4, the creator of The Boys offered us a spin-off in Gen V, focused on a young generation of supes.

But don’t worry, if you haven’t had a chance to get acquainted with Gen V yet, that’s okay. The Boys season 4 has enough going on to keep you busy.

This premiere was one for the books. There was everything.

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We started with Episode 1 of Season 4, titled “Department of Dirty Tricks.”

The episode could easily have been titled “An Hour of People Threatening Victoria Neumann Even Though She Could Make Their Heads Explode in an Instant.”

Seriously, three separate instances of men threatening Neumann occurred in that first hour, and that is truly mind-boggling.

Imagine having the power to literally blow people’s heads off without ever touching them, while somehow caring about their threats?

Homelander, Hughie, and Butcher all have dirt and/or influence on the new Vice President, but again…she can explode heads.

Presumably, she’ll remember this at some point and people will start treating her with a little more caution.

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Maybe Singer should have picked Buttigieg as his running mate, like people asked him to do. At least Pete has a backbone.

Homelander is really doing his best to step up and be Ryan’s dad this season, which is deeply concerning to say the least.

Poor Ryan has had a rough time, and deep down he’s just a sweet kid looking for acceptance and love from a current father.

Unfortunately, his current father is Homelander, and this guy has some serious parenting issues. Okay, in all departments.

Ryan also turns to Butcher for support, but with Butcher now terminally ill following the administration of Compound V last season, old Billy is otherwise occupied.

Plus, he teams up with Kessler, played by the always incredible Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and surprise: Kessler has an agenda.

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We know Butcher though, and Kessler can push him all he wants, but there’s no chance Butcher will do anything to hurt Ryan. If it kills him, he will protect this child.

In the second episode, “Life Among the Skeptics,” things got weird, even for the boys. (The first episode ended with a shot of Butcher’s asshole, so the bar is low.)

At least, if you consider a sauna orgy at a conspiracy theory convention or a Will Ferrell appearance in a vaguely racist movie weird.

A sauna orgy in itself wouldn’t even be that weird, at least not by this series’ standards, but this one felt more like a scene from The Human Centipede.

Oh, and instead of multiple people, it was just multiple variations of one guy.

This guy played God on Supernatural, while Rob Benedict joined the growing number of cast members from The Boys and Gen V who also worked on Eric Kripke’s CW hit.

Related: Gen V Season 1 Episode 8 Review: Godolkin’s Guardians

So it’s fun.

The episode also featured a dozen versions of the same guy running around naked during a huge fight scene at a bat mitzvah, so things didn’t really get any less weird at any point.

Ryan is brought further into the Vought fold, and the poor kid accidentally kills someone during a staged save.

We’ve already seen how sensitive Ryan is, and Homelander is definitely not the warm source of comfort he needs. Luckily, Butcher is ready and willing to step in.

In the third episode, “We’ll Fly the Red Flag,” Butcher and his CIA friend Kessler came up with a plan to deal with Ryan.

Obviously, Butcher is also a huge sentient teddy bear (which we love) and can’t bring himself to drug Ryan to make him come.

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Kessler’s declaration that they will either have to train Ryan or kill him was met with one of Butcher’s signature dark looks, so it looks like we’re in for some strongly expressed disagreements between the old friends at some point this season.

There’s so much going on with the rest of the characters that it’s hard to keep up with them.

Frenchie met a guy he likes and started dating him, but since the poor guy can never have nice things, his new flame is the surviving member of a family on the wrong side of Frenchie’s gun.

Deep cheats on (and I can’t believe I’m saying this) his octopus girlfriend with one of the new members of the Seven.

And who can really blame him? Sister Sage is gorgeous and literally the smartest person in the world.

The other new member of the team is Firecracker, the southern-drawn redhead of YouTube conspiracy theory fame, who has an interesting history with Starlight.

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I’m actually really happy with this “Starlight was secretly a bad girl in her past” reveal.

This brings a little depth to the character that we were missing. After all, the women of The Boys deserve to be as three-dimensional as the men.

We’ve had to say goodbye to some of the show’s biggest female characters in seasons past, so it’s nice to see a few new women added to the fray.

Kimiko has more and more flashes to her past while trying to work through her trauma in therapy, which is a big deal.

A stranger recognized her during a fight, so now we wait to see what secrets from Kimiko’s past she will uncover.

Oh, and can we talk about Vought on Ice for a second? Not the blood and the cut fingers, but the absolutely hilarious musical number that we got to witness.

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Speaking of this scene, Neumann invites Zoey to go get a “frozen hot chocolate” as he leaves. What exactly is frozen hot chocolate and how can it be both frozen and hot?

Actually, don’t tell me. It’s better that way.

We’re also seeing a major change with the A-Train, and we’d better pay attention to it.

He begins to question his own loyalties.

Between saving Hughie’s life while Homelander was chasing him and delivering footage that cleared the Starlighter protesters of murder, the fastest supe of the Seven could switch sides.

This isn’t so shocking, because we’ve been shown that A-Train has a good heart. But it will certainly have serious consequences for him and for anyone close enough to be involved in his migration.

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This season is already shaping up to be explosive, and we can’t wait to see where the next few weeks take us.

What were your favorite moments in the first three episodes and what do you hope to see in season 4?

Let us know in the comments and we’ll see you next week for the next installment!

Haley Whitmire White is a staff writer for TV Fanatic.