The Boys Season 4

The Boys Season 4 – Episodes 1-3: “Department of Dirty Tricks”/ “Life Among the Septics”/ “We’ll Keep the Red Flag Flying Here” Review

WARNING: Spoilers included from the first three episodes of The Boys Season 4.

The Boys are back in town, and in true, illustrious, brutal fashion.

Homelander and Ryan in The Boys Season 4

A Tale of Two Fathers

Prime Video’s superhero-hyped hit, The Boys, has returned, and it comes packed with plenty of bloodshed, middle fingers, real-world parallels, and above all, heart-tugging human storytelling that is, debatably, some of the finest interpersonal narratives of any show in recent memory. Between Homelander’s thirst for power and ultimate dad of the year quest, a looming campaign with a supe coming into a political office of power, and Butcher’s ticking clock of longevity, season four of The Boys has kicked off and set the stage for a season that is sure to be just as memorable as the prior ones have been.

Kessler and Butcher in The Boys Season 4

Old Friends, Familiar Faces

The first episode of season four picks up roughly six months after season three came to an end. Butcher is suffering from his usage of V24, the crew is now being headed by Mother’s Milk, and Homelander is courting his son to be the next big superhero Vaught can capitalize off of. Kicking things off with a botched job, some new faces, and setting the stage for what is to come, the first episode also continues to demonstrate what makes The Boys such an endearing and captivating watch – the interpersonal relations between two people and the ramifications it can have on things down the line. The setup and payoff within this show have always been top-notch, and showrunner/executive producer Eric Kripke has continued that formula in the opening premiere. With new members entering The Seven, Homelander devises a way to manipulate public perception in his favor, which sets Butcher on a crash course to save Ryan from Homelander’s clutches.

Sister Sage and Firecracker in The Boys Season 4

New Heroes, Same Old Vought

Joining Vought’s superhero squad this season are Sister Sage (played by Susan Heyward) and Firecracker (Valorie Curry), who are brought in for their talents. Not only filling the void left by Queen Maeve and Starlight, Sage, and Firecracker shake up the status quo in a number of ways. Sage was brought in deliberately by Homelander to help plot and map out a road to success to become, essentially, a worldwide ruler. Given Sage is labeled the “smartest person on the planet,” she challenges Homelander in a way that no one else has done to this point but also sees an ample opportunity for herself to become something she’d never been given the opportunity to showcase, and it very well might be a perfect foil for Homelander by season’s end.

His ego is too big NOT to be the only one who’s right all the time but he convincingly lets her in BECAUSE of her intellect. By the end of the third episode, Sage is even effectively made CEO of Vaught with Ashley being reduced to a puppet head for the public. Firecracker, on the other hand, is brought in to fill in a space left by Starlight and is very much the anti-Starlight. So much so that she’s the opposite in nearly every single way. Between utilizing social media to influence individuals with false news and conspiracy theories all the way to having a lackluster ability that amounts to creating literal sparks flying at the snap of a finger, Firecracker is everything you could’ve asked for in terms of everything Starlight isn’t. However, she has a very deep and personal reason to tarnish Starlight’s image that even makes Starlight admit to her own faults, which in of itself is a very strength of this show in that not every character is perfect, and is flawed in some way.

Ryan and Homelander in The Boys Season 4

Father of the Year

Homelander also has other plans in store this season, which include trying to turn Ryan into the biggest Vought commercialized hero the world has ever seen. However, by the time we get to the third episode, it’s very clear that Ryan is struggling with this. He is forced to take part in a fake robbery which ends in him killing a stunt coordinator for Vaught, leading to a very emotional conversation with Homelander in regards to killing people. While Homelander looks at human beings like toys to play with, it’s clear the humanity within Ryan, which he obviously inherited from his mother, Becca Butcher, has clear implications of where he feels with all of this as the 12-year-old, first, natural born superhero. It’s almost like a very twisted take on Superman and Spider-Man rolled into one character – “With great power comes great responsibility.” / “You have to decide what kind of man you want to be.” It will be interesting to see where Ryan will end up by the end of season four, but given that Erik Kripke has confirmed the show will end with season five, I’d be shocked if Ryan embraced the Vought way of a supes life by season’s end.

Black Noir and Deep in The Boys Season 4

What’s In Store for Season Four?

Between the blood-spattered action, the emotional character moments, and surprising new faces, The Boys returns to our screens and has a lot to say this season, but it also has some questions of its own to ask. Who is the new Black Noir? Will Butcher bite the dust by the end of the season? Is Hughie’s dad going to recover from his stroke-induced coma? What side of the fence will Ryan ultimately end up on? Will Homelander’s head be half-gray by the end of it? Who’s head will Neuman pop next? Most of these are likely to be answered by the end of the season, but I’d say it’s off to a smashing start. This show has been consistent in terms of writing, directing, set design, thematic resonance, and just plain fun for anyone who is a fan of superheroes and wants a taste of something on the satirical side.

New episodes of The Boys premiere on Thursdays on Prime Video.