It is Friday once again, which means a new episode of The Boys on Amazon Prime Video. Season 3 has arrived at its middle point and with it, a ton of new developments raise the stakes for our heroes and also for our villains. Things are moving at a very fast pace at the moment, and the show seems to be setting up a major confrontation that will probably occur at the end of the season. It is not surprising that such conflict will probably end up in a bloody fashion.
Episode 4 is without a doubt the best episode of the season so far. It works as a sort of turning point for the story as it places the characters in very different situations that will test their mantle both physically and mentally. This is The Boys at its best, when it uses its characters and makes their motivations the driving element of the plot, instead of trying to be as political as they can be. Social commentary is important, sure, but it shouldn’t come before good storytelling.
The episodes particularly make a case for Homelander being more than just a tool. Stan Edgar, Vought’s President, definitely learns in this episode that the character that he has been humiliating for the whole show’s running time took a lesson from Edgar’s own book and delivered a low punch to Edgar’s credibility. Edgar, of course, warns Homelander not to get too ahead in the game, but here we are and Homelander will have to face the consequences of his actions.
Anthony Starr really delivers a wonderful performance throughout this episode. More than in any other, Homelander really feels like an episode here, as he makes move after move to consolidate his power behind Vought and The Seven. This guy is really not resting on his laurels, and Starr’s performance for the first time gives us a glimpse of a more methodical and therefore dangerous Homelander. He gambled and it paid off.
The rest of the episode, outside the Homelander scenes, sees our characters, The Boys, on a mission to find the precious secret weapon that will help kill Homelander once and for all. Kimiko especially is given the chance to perform in an incredible action sequence that encapsulates all the best that The Boys has to offer. Excellent choreography and some really cool gore enhance the scene and give it weight.
The scene is not only there to give the character of Kimiko a cool action sequence, but it also serves in favor of her plot this season. Kimiko and Frenchie are tired of the whole hunting superheroes kind of thing, and they are ready to leave after they finish this job. The action scene then only enhances the fact that Kimiko doesn’t want to be used as a weapon anymore, even if she is really good at it.
Visually, the show stills let us know that it doesn’t have the necessary resources to present the world in the best way possible. Every single conversation so far is executed inside a building with very few or no windows at all in order to save on those pesky visual effects, they are so expensive. And yet, we need those visual effects for the world to feel and look believable. The Boys is one of Amazon’s biggest hits on their streaming platform, it deserves a bit more budget for sure.
When it comes to social commentary, the episode really pushes forward that annoying celebrity awareness that we often see on television and on social media. Huge celebrities trying to act like normal people and totally missing the point of what they should really be saying or acting. A-Train commercial is hilarious just because it is true, you have seen examples like this one in real life, and they are sometimes even worse than what the show presents them as.
Towards the end of the episode, Soldier Boy is finally on the board as a character, and what he does really opens the doors for new exciting, and dangerous stuff to happen on the show. Jensen Ackles is a fantastic actor, everybody who has seen him in his main role as Dean Winchester in Supernatural knows that the guy has the acting chops. Let’s just hope that the series can use him properly in these last four episodes of the season.
Could it be that Soldier Boy is arriving too late to show? It could be. Ackles was used extensively during the promotion period for the show, and yet, he is only arriving now. It would be a waste if his role is only minor and only for this season. We’ll have to wait and see, but if the show really pulls it off in creating a character that can face Homelander in terms of raw power, then things would be getting a ton more interesting.
Episode 4 should be the standard for every other episode of The Boys, with contact developments in each storyline, great acting, and just the wonderful and outrageous sense of humor that separates the show from so many others. Things are getting complicated, we’ll see how they begin to resolve in next week’s episode.