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Overcrowded plot derails fantastic story, cast additions

The public debate over whether we’re all collectively in a phase of superhero fatigue may still be at odds, but there’s one thing most of us can still agree on: we love The Boys . After three nail-biting seasons of drama, gore and downright madness, fans have been waiting for the return of the beloved comedy adaptation. Shortly after the first teaser for Prime Video’s The Boys season 4 dropped, the WGA strike struck.

After the release of Season 4 was delayed by the 2023 strikes due to additional dialogue and other items not being completed, the new season is finally here. And while the over-the-top atmosphere of the series is something to behold, the ongoing social commentary and heartfelt drama at the heart of the story is intact and as sharp as ever.

Review of season 4 of The Boys

The boys.
A still from The Boys season 4 courtesy of Prime Video.

Homelander (Antony Starr) eviscerated a member of the public in the open while his son Ryan watched and apparently enjoyed it. Starlight (Erin Moriarty) has officially left the Seven and joined the Boys. Victoria Neuman (Claudia Doumit) is aware that Hughie (Jack Quaid) and his friends are all aware that she is a secret member of the Supes.

At the start of season 4, all the cards are on the table for the first time. Each character may not know what the opponent’s next move is, but the cats are all out.

Stick to what works well

However, The Boys Season 4 doesn’t abandon what it does well. The big difference now is that while all the social satire in the previous seasons felt like a commentary on past events (although all very recent), now it feels like it’s paralleling our current existence.

While Homelander’s trial to decide his innocence or guilt for blasting a man in half for throwing a can at his son may have grown out of an earlier lawsuit against Donald Trump, it feels more like an immediately reactionary result of his recent crime trial. .

But this isn’t a season full of courtroom drama and special social commentary. While each character’s personal issues have always played a role throughout the entirety of the first three seasons, season 4 takes that to another level. Butcher (Karl Urban) has a new boyfriend to sneak around with, Hughie has new family issues at his center, Annie has a personal power struggle that affects her performance, Frenchie and Kimiko’s relationship takes some unexpected turns… here forever pinpointing any personal issues being worked out.

I mean, I’m not done talking about all the Boys yet, because the Supes have just as much personal trauma to deal with.

Does the story fly?

All the intertwined and private stories about these characters’ lives, while interesting, feel like they put the brakes on the story. The storyline moves forward, but there is a sense of unnecessary prolongation that slows the process down a bit.

Butcher’s side of the story needs to be told to bring his character a little more in line with the comic version of the twisted mastermind if we want to get even remotely close to his final moments in that version. But Hughie’s emotional rollercoaster, while very important to his decision-making and growth, felt like it needed a slightly less prominent approach.

To be honest, The Boys has never been a show that keeps all the characters on the same page all the time. However, they all find this restart a bit too disconnected in some way. This is much more of a “32 Short Films about The Boys” vibe than “The Boys: Part 4.” Some of the stories are deliberately more ambiguous, but seem to be the items that more fans would be interested in.

Heading into the season, fans had a lot of theories about what would happen next for some of the characters. Some of the most popular ones turned out to be very different from what audiences expected. And answers can be offered to help explain the current situation in which we find some characters; the unanswered details surrounding those characters feel a lot more exciting than some of the answers we do get.

It’s all in the family

The boys season 4.
A still from The Boys season 4 courtesy of Prime Video.

The new season also brings new characters and some old ones. Susan Heyward joins the cast as Sister Sage, the smartest person in the world. Valorie Curry also jumps into the fray as Firecracker, an Alex Jones-style Supe with more than a few chips on her shoulder. Both bring interesting twists to the events between the Boys and Vought, but they too bring additional baggage that needs to be explored.

Some faces from the past and some adjacent shows (I’ll avoid mentioning specific characters to avoid spoilers) join in and contribute to most of the fascinating parts of season 4. Again, to avoid spoilers, but sheep and sex dungeons ( NOT TOGETHER) really brings out the madness of this year’s The Boys craze.

As much as Supernatural fans are excited to see Jeffrey Dean Morgan join the cast, they will ultimately understand how important his addition to the cast/story is. By the time everything unfolds, it’s easy to see how the character’s addition is made all the more important by Morgan’s portrayal. Again, no spoilers for you!

Should you watch The Boys: Season 4?

The boys
A still from The Boys season 4 courtesy of Prime Video.

Let’s not kid ourselves: If you’re reading this or have watched the show so far, you will watch season 4 of The Boys. There are a few things that may upset some avid fans at first when they try to ship their favorite characters. with the season through every step.

And you may find yourself struggling even more with feelings you shouldn’t have for someone like A-Train (Jessie T. Usher). But that’s what a good storyteller does.

Season 4 of The Boys is still fascinating and fun and has a lot to offer, but even with my continued support and admiration for the new season, it remains probably the worst season yet.

Grade B

Season 4 of The Boys premieres on Prime Video on June 13.