The Boys Season 3 arrives today at Amazon Prime Video and with it brings all the great characters that we have come to know, and love, and also love to hate during these three seasons. The show has made waves around the superhero and comic book communities thanks to its willingness to be irreverent, violent, and just willing to go to places no other superhero show or movie, for that matter, is willing to go.
This capacity to be challenging, funny, and serious at the same time, makes The Boys a unique show in today’s TV landscape, but also might turn off some members of the audience looking for something a bit more traditional. However, for those looking for something that will of course go beyond what is expected, The Boys is still one of the most entertaining shows on TV right now. Season three isn’t perfect, but it doesn’t need to be.
The following paragraphs contain spoilers for episodes 1-3 of the third season, so read at your own risk.
What Happens With Butcher And Homelander In Season 3?
The Boys is one of those shows that has a very expansive cast of characters. Because of it, the show lays out multiple storylines, which provide a lot of diversity when it comes to themes and plots. As a result, some storylines are better or more relevant than others, and in these three episodes. The show displays that the core characters, Homelander, Butcher, Starlight, and Hughie, still have the most to do, and their storylines will be the ones that define the rest of the season.
For example, Homelander is suffering a lot from the discovery that his former girlfriend, Stormfront was a Nazi in Season 2. Stormfront finds herself mutilated with an arm and both legs and completely disfigured. And yet, Homelander goes to her in order to get the approval that he seems not to be found at work.
You see, Homelander’s approval ratings have been going down quite a bit and his standing as the most popular superhero in the company is put into question. Stan Edgar, the big boss of Vought Company, basically demotes him when she raises Starlight’s status to that of co-captain of The Seven. This is a big humiliation for Homelander. Stormfront commits suicide and on his Birthday, Homelander just snaps, and during live television, he says what he wants to say.
Homelander feels better than anyone, and he wants to be free from his owners, who have basically ruled his life since he was a small child. The honesty of his speech makes him popular once again and Homelander finds a new purpose as he chooses Starlight to be her new girlfriend, as together, their approval rating is just through the roof.
Butcher finds himself in a similar position, wanting to be free but also finding himself being on the government payroll as it protects him from him going around killing supes left and right. Butcher finds himself on the trail of finding what really happened to Soldier Boy, a superhero just as powerful as Homelander that was killed years ago. The rumors say he was killed in an accident, but in reality, it was a weapon that killed him.
The trail leads Butcher to find out that it was the Russians who killed and took Soldier Boy’s body. So, his next stop is Russian itself. Butcher also gets his hands on compound V-24, a substance that will give him powers similar to Homelander’s but only for 24 hours. Butcher uses it, and he uses this newfound power to kill Gunpowder, a low-level sup, with his bare hands. At the same time, Butcher is having a hard time dealing with Becca’s son, who has taken to seeing him as a father figure.
Hughie and Starlight are also having some problems. Their relationship seems to be going well, but when Hughie discovers that his partner Neuman is actually a Sup that works for Vought everything crumbles down. Everything is rigged and Hughie decides to follow Butcher’s philosophy as nothing they do the legal way will have any effect.
Starlight has her own concerns at work. Her popularity has made her co-captain of The Seven, but of course, Homelander hates this with all his being. Starlight needs to find a way to bring Vought down while working from the inside and also protecting her relationship with Hughie from going under.
What Are The Themes In The Boys Season 3?
These first three episodes show us that the big theme for this season is power. Stan Edgar, who without a doubt is the most powerful character in the show, teaches Starlight a valuable lesson. Power is not being able to bring down buildings or fly, but to impose your will on the surrounding reality. And so, power comes not only with a superpower or special abilities. But also comes in the form of advertisement, ideologies, art, and of course, money, and any of those can rival the power of having lasers coming out of your eyes.
Butcher finds himself in a special dilemma, as he is basically becoming everything he hated in the first place. When he uses Compound V-24, he transforms into sup, and he might be losing his grasp on reality in the same way that has occurred to someone like Homelander. Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and it seems that Butcher might not have even realized that this is what is happening to him.
The rest of the storylines also work along the theme of power in his different forms. The Deep, for example, wants so badly to be part of The Seven again that he will do anything in order to achieve this goal. This leaves Homelander in a position of power over him that makes Homelander feels, at least for a bit, as if he is back to being the alpha in his life.
How do these power dynamics develop? We will have to wait and see for the final episodes of this season. In terms of plot, the season runs in circles quite a bit, but at least on a thematic level, the show really knows what it is doing.