It’s a difficult thing, in today’s creative world, to present a unique story using a superhero concept. It’s an even more difficult thing to keep that concept interesting throughout three full seasons — and yet Amazon’s “The Boys” is still going strong. Season 3 manages to raise the stakes while deftly avoiding the classic superhero pitfall of bloating the show’s universe with greater and greater threats using one simple trick: disrupting how the characters address the conflicts before them.
As a series of interpersonal conflicts fracture the teams of heroes and villains alike, the cast is given new opportunities to shine as the spotlight falls on individual characters. As always, Antony Starr steals the show in his spectacular portrayal of Homelander. However, less prominent characters are given their time to shine, too; Nathan Mitchell does a remarkable job of communicating emotion in a near-silent role, and newcomer Jensen Ackles fits so smoothly into the tone and dynamics of the show that one might think he’s been there from the start.
The writing of “The Boys” continues to impress as well. The writers provide the characters with meaningful arcs, all of which effortlessly weave together to deliver evocative moments. While the season wraps up fairly neatly in the finale, it’s clear that the writers are setting up the fourth season to be the true climax, moving the pieces into place to deliver something even more extraordinary.
“The Boys” Season 3 is not flawless; as with the previous seasons, it reveals perhaps a bit too much in its gratuitous use of violence, and certain plot points are a touch too convenient or contrived. Nevertheless, these flaws are far overshadowed by the show’s virtues, and are an acceptable price to pay for a deeply enjoyable superhero drama.