Homelander, The Deep, and Black Noir sitting at the table at The Seven's HQ on The Boys
(Prime Video)

Despite Its Issues, ‘The Boys’ Was Never Boring. Until Season 4 …

Fingers crossed for the rest of the season!

For three seasons, Eric Kripke’s The Boys on Prime Video has been that irreverently fun show you could rely on to be bang on—a perfect antidote to any superhero fatigue, if you will. And while it had its issues, it was never, not even for a minute, boring. That is until The Boys season 4 happened.

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Spoilers ahead for the episodes that have aired so far!

Yeah, I know. I am just as shocked as you. The first three episodes of The Boys season 4 are out, and so far, the show’s doing strictly okay. The political satire mostly lands. The show has its funny moments. Antony Starr is still giving us the one of the best villain performances of our time. And it has thrown a couple of outrageous moments at us, straight from its a** (even if these moments are censored in your country).

Kimiko and Frenchie on The Boys

But as an Erick Kripke fan, riding high on expectations after that phenomenal season 3, it almost feels blasphemous to say that this season has started off a little boring. Of course, you could say it’s too early to pass judgment, and here’s hoping I have to take back my words. But this has never been an issue before with a show that has only gone from strength to strength, right from the first episode of every season.

Even with its spinoff, Gen V, the creative team was able to recreate the same zing, yet now, with The Boys season 4, that seems to be missing. What could be the reason for it? Let’s analyze.

Spoilers ahead for The Boys season 4 episodes 1–3!

The Boys’ internal drama doesn’t hold attention

This has turned out to be a particularly somber season. Butcher is dying, Hughie’s dad is in a coma, and after building Frenchie and Kimiko’s romance for three seasons, they’ve suddenly introduced a new love interest for Frenchie. The scenes with The Boys’ internal drama feel like a drag, bringing the collective energy level and the show’s pace down. 

On the other hand, humanizing Homelander and having him go through aging, feeling jealous of his own son Ryan yet loving him enough to be jealous of Ryan’s relationship with Butcher, makes for an interesting cocktail. More of that, please.

Homelander sitting with Ryan and drinking milkshakes on The Boys

The political commentary is a bit too on the nose

The Boys usually does a fantastic job of balancing the wackiness of superheroes in the real world with political commentary. When someone gets killed on the show and you hear those exaggerated splatter and smush sounds, it’s to impress upon us how ugly it can be for someone to actually wield the kind of power superheroes are known for.

It’s not that the political commentary is new (not even close), but this season, the satire is less subtle, the commentary too on the nose. Whether it’s the introduction of Sister Sage and Firecracker, the mob scene, or the jabs that Homelander makes, you can instantly connect everything to real-life incidents and events, leaving it all feeling a bit predictable and more like an SNL recap of current events than the biting satire we’re used to.

sister sage and firecracker talking in the boys season 4
(Prime Video)

The supes feel … tame?

Speaking of fun, the supes feel rather tame this season, as if they have suddenly developed great impulse control. Victoria Neuman, who went ahead and exploded some important heads in earlier seasons without a second thought, seems to be tiptoeing around The Boys. Why? Because she cares for Hughie?

Take Sage as another example. She’s the smartest person on the planet, and yet her plans for Homelander feel largely obvious to viewers. Despite an underrated performance by Chace Crawford, The Deep is stuck with the same old issues, and Black Noir is dead, a major deviation from the comic books where he isn’t a joke but actually quite powerful. 

With the stakes this low, the season so far has the energy levels of an exhausted A-Train. It still has powers, but it’s barely fighting back. Homelander wasn’t wrong; his character does seem to be carrying this season on his shoulders right now.

After the firecracker that was season 3, with Jensen Ackles as Soldier Boy giving it a boost, The Boys has upped the ante to a level that season 4 isn’t close to matching yet. We haven’t seen much of Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s character yet, and I hope the remaining episodes crank things up a bit so that at least it’s not boring!

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Jinal Bhatt
Jinal Bhatt (She/Her) is a staff writer for The Mary Sue. An editor, writer, film and culture critic with 7+ years of experience, she writes primarily about entertainment, pop culture trends, and women in film, but she’s got range. Jinal is the former Associate Editor for Hauterrfly, and Senior Features Writer for Mashable India. When not working, she’s fangirling over her favourite films and shows, gushing over fictional men, cruising through her neverending watchlist, trying to finish that book on her bedside, and fighting relentless urges to rewatch Supernatural.