It is Friday once more, which means a new episode of The Boys, we are already past the middle point of this season’s story and things are getting more complicated, and exciting by the minute. It is really commendable how the show has been able to tie all the diverse storylines into one that promises to lead to an explosive end. The drama is increasing as the characters find themselves more and more often in the middle of crossroads that are completely life changing.
In episode five, more than in any other episode before, the writers put our main characters in the most complicated of dilemmas. Which led, of course, to some very awful outcomes, it wouldn’t be The Boys if these important decisions led to happy endings. This might not be the most impressive of episodes when it comes to the display of violence, but it is definitely one of the most impressive episodes when it comes to character development.
The episode is directed by Nelson Cragg, a veteran director that has worked in countless TV shows, and by this point is an expert in creating high-level drama from just two people talking. That is what this episode is, a long list of conversations that display great dominion over the craft of filmmaking and that thanks to also some excellent drama it delivers on what we wanted all along. The developments come quick, but also without mercy.
The highlights from the episode absolutely come not from Homelander as usual, but from all the characters surrounding him. For the first time in the season, the storylines concerning The Boys become more important, and relevant for the situation at hand. While Homelander seems to be stuck, for the moment, in his usual game of cat and mouse with anyone that dares to talk to him or look at him. Starr’s performance is still quite magnificent, but in this episode, he takes a back seat to let others shine.
A-Train, who has definitely been one of the characters that have seated the longest on the sidelines, for example, receives a great sequence involving him trying to help the black communities that have been targeted by superheroes. The outcome of the storyline is dreadful, of course, but it really feels like it was something A-Train needed in order to stay relevant in the show. While The Deep, still meanders more and more around Homelander and his purpose this season is still on the line. Do we really need him in the show?
Karl Urban is one hell of an actor. In this episode, the actor really pulls off quite a bit of a feat. By managing to deliver a performance as the biggest jerk on the show, betraying people left and right, and still carrying the show on his shoulders by pure force of will. The actor’s charisma goes through the roof, and it is understandable that Butcher is such a fantastic character because of it. When Hughie lets know that he will follow Butcher wherever he goes, you kind of understand where he is coming from.
Talking about Hughie, Jack Quaid offers a great performance in this episode. And towards the end the actor has maybe the best scene he has delivered on the show thanks also to his scene partner Erin Moriarty, they both kill it in that scene. The relationship between their characters has never been more complicated than now.
The episode also finally finds the time to make Soldier Boy an integral part of the story. However, it feels like a disappointment. While Soldier Boy definitely has a presence, and Jensen Ackles does deliver quite a bit of an intimidating performance, the character is still very shallow, and the plot uses him more like a plot device than anything else. Let’s hope the next episodes can dwell a bit more inside the character’s mind, so we can get to know him better.
Sadly, Frenchie, and Kimiko are still the worst characters this season. Not because their actors are doing a bad job, but because the characters are in a sort of limbo, and their stories don’t seem to be going anywhere. Every other character is already on a road that feels relevant and exciting, while these two are going who knows where. The actors are doing as much as they can with the given material, but they deserve so much better than this.
Season 3, Episode 5 is an amazing episode that puts all the chess pieces in their right place, and the setup for the final confrontation at the end of the season seems to be quite epic. Let’s hope the creators can manage to stick the landing and let this setup pay off in the most satisfying of ways.
There are just three more episodes this season, and we wish we could just binge-watch them all together. But that is how Amazon gets you to be subscribed for a longer period of time. With the revelation that The Boys has been renewed for a fourth season, it seems we will be doing this once more next year.