The Boys: Season 4 Review

The Boys: Season 4
With head-popping supe Victoria Neuman (Claudia Doumit) now a hair from the Oval Office, time is running out for The Boys stop her and Homelander (Antony Starr) for good.

by Amon Warmann |
Published on

Streaming on: Prime Video

Episodes viewed: 8 of 8

At this point, the formula for The Boys is well established. Take one helping of superpowered mayhem, add a side of relatable human drama, season with a generous amount of social commentary, and voilà — you have one of the best dramas on TV over the last five years. It’s a testament to series showrunner Eric Kripke that the recipe hasn’t yet grown stale. In its fourth season, the capacity to shock hasn’t dimmed, the political and cultural satire remains razor-sharp, and the character drama excavates new depths. The titular team may be as dysfunctional as ever, but make no mistake: The Boys is at the top of its game.

The Boys: Season 4

In part, that’s because of the recent additions. As the smartest person on the planet, Sage (Susan Heyward) is easily Homelander’s (Antony Starr) most dangerous new ally. And though he would never admit it, she’s also valuable — to him and the audience — as the rare person who can tell him the truth without getting a laser blast to the head. Heyward plays her with a superiority complex that shines through in subtle, knowing fashion.

There’s little that’s subtle about the other new recruit, Firecracker (Valorie Curry), a self-interested conspiracy theorist who quickly becomes one of the show’s most hateable characters. Even still, Kripke makes sure to dig under the surface to unearth slivers of relatability, and Curry’s committed performance yields compelling results as the season progresses. The social commentary is as clever as it is aware, too; satirical shots are taken at everything from January 6 to studio slate announcements, and more.

This season doesn’t skimp on the carnage.

Our returning anti-heroes and villains don’t get short shrift, either. The war for Ryan’s (Cameron Crovetti) soul between his biological father, Homelander, and Butcher (Karl Urban) heats up, while the traumatic pasts of Kimiko (Karen Fukuhara, doing more than ever before with no verbal dialogue) and Frenchie (Tomer Capone) impact their present-day lives in unexpected ways.

Indeed, from Starlight (Erin Moriarty) to A-Train (a well-utilised Jessie T. Usher) and more, hard questions are asked of several characters that push them to their breaking points as they reckon with past actions and ponder who they are and what path to take. Such themes have been broached by the show before, but this is far from monotonous storytelling. Everything feels earned, with more than a few twists that are wonderfully unpredictable.

One foreseeable aspect of The Boys is that blood will be spilt in gruesome style, and this season doesn’t skimp on the carnage. At least one moment per episode is guaranteed to either make you squirm, swear, or both, whether it’s a gross use of a superpower or a set-piece on a farm that’s sure to linger long in the memory. There is a question of how long The Boys can keep its main players on the board without things becoming tiresome or worse, unfeasible. But for now, with storytelling this balanced and considered, it’s a pleasure to watch it all play out.

The Boys’ latest season is its best yet, finding new ways to up the ante for both superpowered outrageousness and meaningful character drama. Wherever it goes next, we will gladly follow.
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