The Boys‘ are back for the darkest and bloodiest season yet

They’re back

Any show that opens with a montage of the series’ most bloody, messed-up, and downright brutally hilarious moments so far, means you’re in for a good time to come, as The Boys has now become a show that infamously has been attempting to outdo itself on the insanity spectrum for a while now.

Or if gratuitous gore, nudity, and naughty words isn’t your cup of tea, The Boys is at least blatantly showing its hand early on enough for you to bail!

Picking up not long after the third season’s finale, the bat-shit crazy, superhero satire show known as The Boys comes into Season 4 at possibly the darkest moment in the series. Butcher (Karl Urban) has been given only a few months to live after his abuse of Compound V. And on top of that, his actions have led to The Boys, now run by Mother’s Milk (Laz Alonso), to drop Butcher from their missions due to his volatility.

Butcher’s attempts to reconnect with his stepson Ryan (Cameron Crovetti) fall short as Homelander’s (Toni Starr) grip tightens when Ryan is summoned to join The Seven. And it’s not just Ryan who is feeling the pressure from Homelander, as his descent into madness and right-wing leaning ideologies begin to clash with Victoria Neuman (Claudia Doumit), who is etching closer and closer to being the first Supe (although that hasn’t been revealed to the public yet) to be in power in The White House.

Meanwhile, Hughie (Jack Quaid) is forced to deal with problems in his personal life as an old relative re-emerges. While his relationship with Starlight (Erin Moriarty) finally begins to strengthen once again, but during a time where Starlight must reclaim her influential status as a Superhero speaking out against Vought to be a voice for those who wish to see the maniacal Homelander removed from power.

Let’s not wait any longer to talk about this. The violence this season is truly maniacal. It’s the bloodiest, goriest, and most brutal season yet. And not just in the sense of one-upping some of the kills seen in the opening montage, but in frequency too. There is some form of bloodied battle in every episode, often containing some cringeworthy mutilations. It’s absolutely par for the course now for The Boys to have some shock and awe brutality, but somehow, it still manages to keep that comedically dark undertone which involves cloned naked men fighting, an ice-skating dance routine gone wrong, and even injecting some fun body-horror in the mix too.

The scale of the show has also expanded. The Boys has never felt any less than a high-quality television show, but some of the sets and effects in Season 4 have a truly cinematic quality to them. All out 100-person battles are shot with such visceral, intense energy, but can also share the same cinematic feeling as discovering more areas of the Vought Tower for example. It’s exciting as a view to see the world continuously grow from season to season.

Not a show for any form of subtlety, the core themes of the show are all to relevant and comparable to the current state of American politics. Homelander’s supporters all seem to stem from the crowd of Q-Anon, conspiracy theorist, anti-vax, shitposters, as seen in the latest addition to The Seven in Firecracker, an online commentator who outwardly speaks about all the aforementioned, and can create little, tiny sparks when she clicks her fingers, being enough of a skill to be deemed “superhero” worthy by Vought. And by the way these people are portrayed in the show, it’s obvious that they are not nice people… at all… if that wasn’t obvious.

As Homelanders support from his incel-like following begins to clash with Starlight’s more liberal supporters, the allegories and even direct comparisons to the left-vs-right win war of ideologies within America’s political climate are at the forefront of where Season 4’s path is going to lead down, and there is no shying away from how devastating some of the impacts to this ideological clash can be.

However, The Boys isn’t just a doom-and-gloom satirical look at the world’s decaying political climate, the deconstruction of consumerism and superhero culture brings a barrage of laughs throughout the season, as the marketing tycoons at Vought continue to churn out toys, advertisements, beers, and of course, the superhero-mandated starring role movies, of which A-Train (Jessie T Usher) is currently in the middle of shooting with another brilliant, on-the-nose, celebrity cameo.

With a large group of characters that has grown over the course of three seasons, now going into the fourth, it’s interesting to see how dynamics have shifted and where the narrative focuses lie. While still a part of the show in a main role, Hughie has a far more personal arc at the beginning of this season, taking him out predominantly out of the superhero action. However, it’s the moments like this that bring a decent sense of humanity to the show.HoH

As always, the constant cat-and-mouse showdowns between Butcher and Homelander are highlights, with Karl Urban and Toni Starr respectively bringing out this macho-psycho energy as two men who rather than just murdering each other, want to play this Batman-Joker game of outwitting one another, and that’s never felt more prevalent than the fight over their “son”, Ryan, who himself is struggling between finding the right moral path to follow on his own superhero journey.

Toni Starr is the main reason The Boys is so interesting, and his performance as Homelander just continues to improve and expand from episode to episode. Starr’s ability to relinquish all sanity and allow this instability of this psychopath to be seen through some of the most impressive eye acting ever, adds such substance and dimension to such an evil, yet complicated character.

The Boys fourth seasons comes crashing in with explosive gusto. The narrative is as tense as ever, the action is exciting, the violence is gratuitously entertaining, the shock humour is at an all time high, and it’s so exciting to see Butcher and Homelander continue to go at each other, while all the other characters have their own strong arcs to. It’s bigger, badder, and bloodier. It’s The Boys.

The first three episodes of The Boys Season 4 will premiere on Prime Video on June 13. Weekly episodes will be released until July 18.

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Nick L'Barrow
Nick L'Barrow
Nick is a Brisbane-based film/TV reviewer. He gained his following starting with his 60 second video reviews of all the latest releases on Instagram (@nicksflicksfix), before launching a monthly podcast with Peter Gray called Monthly Movie Marathon. Nick contributes to Novastream with interviews and reviews for the latest blockbusters.

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They’re back Any show that opens with a montage of the series’ most bloody, messed-up, and downright brutally hilarious moments so far, means you’re in for a good time to come, as The Boys has now become a show that infamously has been attempting to...'The Boys' are back for the darkest and bloodiest season yet