The Boys Season 4

The news hit fairly recently that The Boys will end with season 5, a decision you’ll understand when you finish this season. By all accounts season 4 is the series’ darkest, serving as a sociopolitical commentary poking fun of, as M.M. calls it, those “Tin foil hat Nazi motherfuckers”.

Homelander is an allegory for Trump and the season features some recreations poking fun at real-life alt-right ideology. There are a few court trials and direct references to Pizzagate and the far right, which, while funny, has also hit an inflection point where it’s just replaying real-world events. Showrunner Eric Kripke has even on the record and said, “Go watch something else” regarding right-wing fanaticism and how the show was meant to be satire and not a celebration of Homelander’s terrible behavior.

Photo: Jan Thijs/Prime Video

That said, season 4 pokes fun at Americana’s obsession with itself, with commentary that slaps mostly because it’s based on real-life events. Court trials, one-percenters, and movie franchises up on their umpteenth phase or reboots: what this season does well is poke fun at American culture, including fandoms, politics, and us versus them groupthink extremes – all highlighted in feature as the idiocracy that keeps Homelander’s agenda moving. Replace the word AMERICA with SUPES and it’s 1-1 in terms of MAGA.

In terms of tone, this is very much the Empire Strikes Back of the series. The darkest before the dawn season before the finale of the series in Season 5. The emotional journey is well-paced this season in terms of giving everyone an arc to experience this year, though the plot points are a little bit much in terms of jumping chaotically everywhere.

Still, it works because the format allows for some seriously tear-jerking episodes that serve as cap offs for some final arcs and characters that sadly, won’t be seen ever again. It seems that everyone’s past comes back to haunt them this season and beloved figures you’ve followed since season one will not make it all the way through. 

In terms of shock, the series can’t really outdo itself it seems and so in lieu of a “Herogasm” there’s just a lot more of what you’ve seen than ever before. In first few episodes of The Boys season 4, expect some clone-on-clone analingus with a side of floppy dick, along with a picstagram featuring everyone’s favorite arsehole (‘s arsehole). In fact, this season is full of butt shots, and a general abundance of butt play and excess sexual fetishization with Supes, along with a strange amount of bodily fluid.

The show can go from funny to uncomfortable real fast if you’re binging all at once, like I am for this review, so I highly suggest following the weekly release method as it works better in terms of pacing. 

Photo: Jan Thijs/Prime Video

As for what’s happening with The Boys, Butcher is dying of a brain tumor and is struggling to make things right in his life especially with Ryan. Ryan meanwhile, struggles to fit in and accept Homelander’s ways or the the B.S. propaganda he’s being groomed into. Hughie has got parental issues in abundance this season. Starlight struggles to be the face of a resistance that’s an allegory for leftmost politics. Frenchie has a guilty romance arc.

Kimiko deals with her traumatic legacy of death. The Deep falls in love with his Octopus. Black Noir struggles in understanding… Black Noir. Mind you, all of this is happening during the backdrop of an election year (just like our real-life), and the only character that’s honestly somewhat relatable to the audience is M.M., who’s about one disaster away from saying,“I’m getting too old for this shit”.

Susan Heyward as Sage and Valorie Curry as Firecracker.
Susan Heyward as Sage and Valorie Curry as Firecracker. Photo: Amazon MGM Studios

Most surprisingly, the newcomers to the series are fantastic despite being introduced this late in the show. Former The Tick star Valorie Curry, who plays “Firecracker”, is a female Alex Jones conspiracy theorist and Homelander sycophant you almost feel sorry for and the best surprise hit that everyone will be talking about will be Susan Heyward’s “Sister Sage,” a Black woman supergenius about as conniving as a Lex Luthor. Also, without spoiling it, the no-stranger-to comics-adaptations actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan is incredible. Previously as Watchmen’s Comedian and The Walking Dead’s Negan. The actor is just great for comic book adaptations.

Now I must say, as a fan of The Boys who’s watched the show, read the source material, and has spoken with and interviewed its comics creators, I can’t help but feel like Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson deserve a bit more of a shout out.

The comic itself obviously has its own problems regarding subject material as culture is vastly different than when it debuted and the show has done quite a lot to characterize much as possible. Yet, this season goes full-blown Supes parody and it’s hard to divorce the style of the source material from what’s about to happen by the season’s end. 

Photo: Jasper Savage/Prime Video

For those who don’t follow the comics, Billy Butcher is very much The Punisher, The Seven were the Justice League, and Victoria Neuman, known as Vic in the comics, was a George W. Bush parody. For the show they also took liberties to change Neuman as a woman that’s an allegorical representation of AOC. The show takes liberties of course, and does more to address some problems like by tackling the original comic’s more R-rated material.

Issues about rape and corruptive power dynamics are explored and understood better, and for what it’s worth, this season actually does a lot to highlight how this horrendous act is really all about power. As Homelander in particular, being the alpha villain to quite literally everyone on the show, shows some terrible colors yet again.

These comic roots, without spoiling, are where we the viewer end up encircling together by the season’s end as the show makes its grand finale move towards something familiar to comics fans. Again, I cannot spoil this but causing this satire of extreme nationalism and the hostile sociopolitical climate, especially in this season, crosses that threshold from satire to just shitty meat hook reality, making a powerful statement of our times. Especially when we replace with the name Homelander with just outright the name Donald Trump.

Overall, The Boys season 4 is a great season and a terrifying testimony of our times. A great setup for the final stretch.

Photo: Amazon MGM Studios

The Boys season 4 episodes one through three begin streaming on Prime Video today, June 13, 2024, with new episodes on a weekly basis thereafter.