The Boys Season 4 Review – A Diabolical Slow Burn

It has taken two years, but it is finally time to suit up and dive back into the satirical world of The Boys. Eric Kripke’s take on corrupt superheroes and the titular vigilantes determined to take them down returns for Season 4 on Prime Video this week, and it promises to be gory, outrageous, and to make you never look at a Carvel ice cream or German chocolate cake the same way ever again.

Season 3 delivered an explosive end (literally) with Homelander (Antony Starr) exploding the head of a Starlighter after the protester threw a plastic bottle at Homelander’s son, Ryan (Cameron Crovetti). The new season picks up months afterward as Homelander prepares for trial over the incident and struggles to find someone he believes is on his intellectual level within the Vought Tower who isn’t absolutely terrified of him. Homelander’s trial doesn’t take up as much of the season as expected, considering how The Boys loves holding a fun-house mirror up to our real-world headlines. Instead, both supes and the Boys are focused on election night and the Jan. 6 certification of the election, with both sides going to extremes to ensure their respective desired outcomes.

With the Season 3 finale being a transparent metaphor for Donald Trump’s 2016 “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and wouldn’t lose any voters, ok?” boast, The Boys ditches any remaining subtlety in its political undertones in Season 4. Starlighters are the “woke left” mob, and Homelander supporters are stand-ins for the “MAGA” crowd. The season underscores the tensions between the two groups that we’ve all felt building up, especially in an election year. Vought News Network is essentially Fox News with broadcasts about the war on Christmas and covering Homelander’s trial as a miscarriage of justice. At one point in the season, a member of the conservative elite paraphrases former Congressman Todd Akin’s “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down,” viral statement to Victoria Neuman (Claudia Doumit). It’s so on the nose that it can be distracting from the fictional story we are watching.

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