Prime Video’s The Boys (Season 3) The Instant White-Hot Wild (Season Finale) Review
*This Review Contains Full Spoilers*
The Boys’ season three finale is one of the most brutal episodes in the series not only for the bloodshed that occurs as the biggest heavy hitters collide, but also for the emotional fallout of choices made throughout the season.
All through the finale, there are two prevailing themes and conversations unfolding that really weave all the characters together. One theme we’ve been dealing with throughout the season of how to achieve meaningful change and another that’s really developed in the last episode or two that deals with familial ties. Although the series doesn’t create this perfect, one size fits all definition of change in its finale, that’s kind of the point. Rather than make a singular viewpoint correct, it instead showcases how challenging change can be leading to some very emotional and meaningful character arcs.
Through M.M. (Laz Alonso) and Frenchie’s (Tomer Capone) personal anguish from prior choices, there’s actually a great message built that delves into not withholding feelings. M.M. is still reeling from punching Todd (Matthew Gorman) in front of Janine (Liyou Abere) and Frenchie is going through a coke-bender after his and Kimiko’s (Karen Fukuhara) escape plans fell through. However, they’re able to turn the corner and change things in their lives by growing to understand what strength is. Part of why they’ve been stuck in compromising positions is their fear of consequences and losing the people they love. However, through Frenchie talking with M.M. and Kimiko talking to Frenchie, they’re able to actually create real change in their lives. M.M. is able to grow closer to Janine by being open with her about his pain and Frenchie is able to let his voice be heard and create a democracy within The Boys.
These two simple storylines do a great job showing why its important to speak up and take action and it’s even better how we also get the reserve-side of this mentality in doing “whatever it takes.” While the “whatever it takes” mentality might get the job done it has consequences of its own. For A-Train (Jessie T. Usher), he’s forced to face his actions for killing Blue Hawk as his brother Nathan (Christian Keyes) now sees him as a murderer and cites how he took away the opportunity to for real justice to be seen. Nathan’s point is actually very impactful as it highlights the reality that all A-Train did was meet violence with more violence and teach younger generations the wrong things.
The same lesson is felt by Butcher (Karl Urban) when the time finally comes to face Homelander (Anthony Starr) and his and really Maeve’s (Dominique McElligott) realization about going “all-in” leads to them seeing that they’re no better than Homelander or Soldier Boy (Jensen Ackles). It all stems from a great story that Hughie (Jack Quaid) has about his father showing real strength in putting his feelings of his wife leaving aside to keep what’s important in mind. It’s all about not losing sight of what’s important when creating change and Hughie’s arc in this season is just one of many that show this season’s story as a true cautionary tale.
Alongside these arcs about change are some strong story threads for Soldier Boy and Homelander dealing with the news that they are father and son, respectively. Even for Soldier Boy being despicable, it is great to see a more emotionally open side to him as he talks about his father mistreating him and wishing he could’ve had a real family, just like Homelander does. As for Homelander, he continues to have a downward spiral meltdown, which Black Noir (Nathan Mitchell) gets the bad end of. While Noir has been a trusted ally for Homelander, things change once they start talking about Soldier Boy. Noir’s sudden death is a little anti-climactic given how we really just got to know him but feels fitting for Homelander who now feels more alone than ever.
Once the two come face to face, you’re definitely worried that their shared feelings will lead to a team up. The episode excellently builds up suspense and concern that Soldier Boy and Homelander could work together but shuts all that down when they finally meet. Although Homelander tries to tap into Soldier Boy’s desire for a family, he meets his hard, toxic masculinity shell that still seeks to take him down. Homelander even tries to bring Ryan (Cameron Crovetti) into the mix to show that Soldier Boy even has a grandson, but it doesn’t work and instead leads to a brutal and bloody finale fight sequence.
This final act fight is an absolute fight to the finish filled with tons of epic moments and jaw-dropping consequences. While Maeve is mostly able to fight Homelander on her own, losing an eye in the process but causing Homelander to bleed, it takes everyone to take down Soldier Boy. The entire fight is wholeheartedly epic from start to finish and seeing Starlight (Erin Moriarty) start to fly with power felt incredibly fulfilling. It’s the ending that’s most pivotal though as Maeve makes a fitting sacrifice to tackle Soldier Boy outside before he explodes with power, draining of her of her powers but saving everyone. Luckily, Maeve still lives and now gets to live out the powerless days she wants to, and Soldier Boy is put back in containment.
Things still don’t end that great for The Boys though, even though no one dies. Homelander has now convinced Ryan to be by his side making Butcher have to face the consequences of cutting himself off from Ryan earlier in the season. It’s a devastating moment not just because of how Butcher rushes to protect Ryan during the fight, but also how Homelander is more fearless in showing his power. His following has dangerously grown to the point where he publicly executes a protestor and Ryan seems to be taking a liking to it. Homelander now is fearless making him more dangerous than ever and even worse is that Neuman (Claudia Doumit) is now heading to the White House making it tougher to take her down. Butcher also has a new problem on his hands as his excess use of Temp-V has shortened his life span with only a year left. It’s a heartbreaking reveal and makes it more important than ever for them to take Homelander and Neuman down. Thankfully though, The Boys are back together and have a new member in Starlight.
Season three of The Boys has shown its strongest story and character work yet in creating a captivating and cautionary tale of change that’s been an emotional rollercoaster. Its finale feels like a fitting endcap for both the conflicts and consequences that are shown and the intriguing direction it establishes in The Boys now having to work on fighting an empowered Homelander and Neuman while on borrowed time. Once again, The Boys continues to be one of the best tv shows out there.
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