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On The Nose, But Plenty To Love — The Boys Season 4 (TV Review)

2 min read
Karl Urban, Tomer Capone, and Laz Alonso in The Boys

are back and bloodier than ever as the hit superhero satire returns to Amazon for a fourth season. Since The Boys and the superheroes of Vought burst onto our screens five years ago, audiences have been captivated by the show's bold, brutal, and brilliantly tongue-in-cheek humour — so much so, that it's hard to understand how the creators will top each instalment. And with only one season left to go after Eric Kripke announced The Boys will end with Season 5, a lot is riding on these penultimate episodes.

Picking up where we left off at the end of Season 3, Butcher (Karl Urban) is coming to terms with only having months to live while also losing Becca's (Chantel VanSanten) son Ryan (Cameron Crovetti) to his biological father, Homelander (Anthony Starr). Homelander, meanwhile, is growing tired of everyone around him never challenging his power while also battling the law in a high-profile court case that grips the nation, Victoria Neuman (Claudia Doumit) is closer than ever to taking a seat at the Oval Office, and The Boys continue to bring down Vought and their illegal activities.

Season 4 of The Boys has all the same gore, gratuitous violence, and bizarre sexual acts that we've come to love the audacious show for, but with a far darker tone. The show has always had its finger on the pulse of current affairs — from the corruption of big business to our obsession with social media and celebrity culture – but the latest episodes feel almost painfully relevant as we see a political figure dragged through the courts, conspiracy theorists sharing dangerous, bigoted views, and riots used for the personal gain of prominent figures. It's sure to be a raw topic for many, and as such, The Boys tackles it with a sobering seriousness that contrasts starkly with its usual caped escapades.

While there's less fun to be poked this time around, there's still plenty of blood-soaked action sequences, twists and turns to keep fans happy throughout the eight-episode run. Anthony Starr's Homelander is as deliciously unhinged as ever as he struggles with the ravages of age and the shifting power struggles at Vought, while Urban's Butcher is another shining star of the bunch as he is forced to take a step back in the gang he founded. Jack Quaid's Hughie provides some of The Boys' most emotional moments this time around, and newcomer Sister Sage (Susan Heyward) offers a fantastically unemotional, scheming villain as the smartest person alive.

The Boys Season 4 often feels like it's setting up something big, and that may well be the case as the beloved show comes to a close in Season 5. Despite this, and often feeling too on the nose in its references, it has plenty to love with its signature blend of ridiculousness and real-life horror.

 

The Boys Season 4 streams on Amazon Prime Video from June 13.