Review: The Boys Season Three

By David T. Valentin


After eight action/gore/political packed episodes, The Boys ends Season Three with our favorite characters facing the consequences of their actions all while giving a somewhat happy ending to most characters. And although the stakes were high with many lives on the line, The Boys beautifully intertwined the political, the personal and the ass-kicking seamlessly into one cohesive story with a sum greater than its parts.


The plot of Season Three of The Boys follows The Boys finding Soldier Boy, an old American Hero thought dead, who just so happens to have the power to fry out the powers—compound V—from pretty much any supe in the show. Soldier Boy is a promising solution to The Boys’ Homelander problem. But when moral and ethical lines get crossed and characters realize the ends do not justify the means, The Boys must put an end to Soldier Boy before they put an end to Homelander.


I thought this season was the best The Boys had to offer so far, coming out of the gates with even less subtle political commentary than ever presented in the first two seasons. Sure, it rustled some feathers of right-winged fans, but let’s be clear: The Boys was always a critique of The United States and its financial and imperialist end-goals with Homelander as their mascot and their conduit to such political commentary. From the subtlety of supes to the controversial Soldier Boy to even the smallest of jokes, were all political commentaries of something.


In a strange way, through the political commentary and the gory mess that is the plot of The Boys, the show found time to invest a critique of toxic masculinity, and, even broader, the patriarchy. In a way, The Boys is just as much a commentary on the legacy you pass down and the consequences of your actions. Through tying that to masculinity and the patriarchy, The Boys offers alternatives on how to be a man, a boyfriend and a father through various characters like MM, Frenchie, Butcher and even more specifically Hughie by presenting what the alternative to each are.


In a way, The Boys offers a critique to Feminism as well through the conclusion of Starlight’s relationship to Maeve from Season One to Season Three. For Starlight, Maeve was always her hero. Unfortunately, Maeve hasn’t always seen it that way and on occasion finds Starlight to be a bit soft as Maeve sees the sexual harassment, the gendered double standards and all of Vought’s bullshit as something women simply have to endure to get to the top even if it means screwing someone over.


But Starlight prevents an alternative to Maeve, the alternative of eliminating the system that perpetuates harming women with the excuse and promise of power almost equal to men. By Starlight showing Maeve that they will never be equal to the men at Vought, the two superheroes seek to find their strength and power elsewhere through different means.


For Starlight, it’s in her strong conviction to help the everyday person, to find different paths when it seems the most violent is the clearest answer.


For Maeve, it is realizing she no longer has to define herself through her guilt in not doing anything to end Homelander’s cruelty. Eventually, Maeve realizes that even the smallest actions are sometimes enough to create change.


And in a way, the two realize that true strength is not in the proximity to the power men hold, but by creating and demonstrating new ways to be strong; once again another way the show shows that the systems in place are not the only ways we must live.


This ending of cycles of trauma repeat themselves through almost every character: MM, Frenchie, Kimiko, A-Train and even Ashley to some extent.


Some fans might find the ending of The Boys to be circular, placing our characters right at the start of where they were at the beginning of Season Three. But I’d disagree. Just in the same way each and every character ends some cycle of trauma, the show now presents each character with new ways to create change without it always having to be “scorched earth.”


At the end of Season Three, the journey is worth more than the destination in the same way that the means do not justify the ends.


Review: The Boys Season Three

By David T. Valentin


After eight action/gore/political packed episodes, The Boys ends Season Three with our favorite characters facing the consequences of their actions all while giving a somewhat happy ending to most characters. And although the stakes were high with many lives on the line, The Boys beautifully intertwined the political, the personal and the ass-kicking seamlessly into one cohesive story with a sum greater than its parts.


The plot of Season Three of The Boys follows The Boys finding Soldier Boy, an old American Hero thought dead, who just so happens to have the power to fry out the powers—compound V—from pretty much any supe in the show. Soldier Boy is a promising solution to The Boys’ Homelander problem. But when moral and ethical lines get crossed and characters realize the ends do not justify the means, The Boys must put an end to Soldier Boy before they put an end to Homelander.


I thought this season was the best The Boys had to offer so far, coming out of the gates with even less subtle political commentary than ever presented in the first two seasons. Sure, it rustled some feathers of right-winged fans, but let’s be clear: The Boys was always a critique of The United States and its financial and imperialist end-goals with Homelander as their mascot and their conduit to such political commentary. From the subtlety of supes to the controversial Soldier Boy to even the smallest of jokes, were all political commentaries of something.


In a strange way, through the political commentary and the gory mess that is the plot of The Boys, the show found time to invest a critique of toxic masculinity, and, even broader, the patriarchy. In a way, The Boys is just as much a commentary on the legacy you pass down and the consequences of your actions. Through tying that to masculinity and the patriarchy, The Boys offers alternatives on how to be a man, a boyfriend and a father through various characters like MM, Frenchie, Butcher and even more specifically Hughie by presenting what the alternative to each are.


In a way, The Boys offers a critique to Feminism as well through the conclusion of Starlight’s relationship to Maeve from Season One to Season Three. For Starlight, Maeve was always her hero. Unfortunately, Maeve hasn’t always seen it that way and on occasion finds Starlight to be a bit soft as Maeve sees the sexual harassment, the gendered double standards and all of Vought’s bullshit as something women simply have to endure to get to the top even if it means screwing someone over.


But Starlight prevents an alternative to Maeve, the alternative of eliminating the system that perpetuates harming women with the excuse and promise of power almost equal to men. By Starlight showing Maeve that they will never be equal to the men at Vought, the two superheroes seek to find their strength and power elsewhere through different means.


For Starlight, it’s in her strong conviction to help the everyday person, to find different paths when it seems the most violent is the clearest answer.


For Maeve, it is realizing she no longer has to define herself through her guilt in not doing anything to end Homelander’s cruelty. Eventually, Maeve realizes that even the smallest actions are sometimes enough to create change.


And in a way, the two realize that true strength is not in the proximity to the power men hold, but by creating and demonstrating new ways to be strong; once again another way the show shows that the systems in place are not the only ways we must live.


This ending of cycles of trauma repeat themselves through almost every character: MM, Frenchie, Kimiko, A-Train and even Ashley to some extent.


Some fans might find the ending of The Boys to be circular, placing our characters right at the start of where they were at the beginning of Season Three. But I’d disagree. Just in the same way each and every character ends some cycle of trauma, the show now presents each character with new ways to create change without it always having to be “scorched earth.”


At the end of Season Three, the journey is worth more than the destination in the same way that the means do not justify the ends.