The Boys season 4: Reflecting on the show's most polarizing season so far

The Boys season 4 spotlights a number of issues that are extremely relevant in today's society.
The Boys season 4 on Prime Video
The Boys season 4 on Prime Video /

Season 4 of The Boys dives headfirst into some of the most pressing issues of our time, including the stark divide in American society. This season pits supporters of Homelander, representing the “real-blooded Americans” and the political right, against those who back Starlight, symbolizing the political left. The show cleverly mirrors our real-world political landscape, highlighting the polarization through media manipulation, rallies, and public opinion, leaving it up to the audience to decide which side they align with. Spoiler alert: there are no winners here, folks.

This season doesn’t shy away from exploring popular conspiracies and government distrust. We get to meet another deep state government operative with Jeffrey Dean Morgan playing Joe Kessler, a man who fears for humans in this new world where Homelander is unleashed.

"The whole world is about to burn. We need someone like you, Billy. Before the Supes start roundin' us up and dumpin' us off in camps."

Joe isn’t the only new character of note. We get introduced to new members of The Seven like Sister Sage, the smartest PERSON in the world, and Firecracker, the mouthpiece for all the tinfoil hat-wearers. This season fuels the rumors and theories that many viewers might recognize from real life… You know, deep-state conspiracies and media bias.

While it may be fun for some, critics, like Paul Tassi of Forbes, justifiably argue that the show’s political satire can sometimes feel too on-the-nose, even going as far as to compare it to an SNL skit. Tassi writes:

"“The Boys is going full Qanon this season, diving deeper into the far-right movement in a way that…just…come on, man. They do Pizzagate. Like literally Pizzagate.” "

While Tassi acknowledges that the show’s politics align with his own, he feels the execution can sometimes be too exaggerated. But hey, subtlety was never The Boys’ strong suit. Though, his take is 100% understandable. 

However, it’s precisely this bold and direct approach that makes The Boys so compelling. The show doesn’t just critique power and corruption in an abstract sense; it draws clear parallels to current events and societal issues, forcing viewers to confront uncomfortable truths. 

There’s no denying that The Boys pushes the boundaries with its style that highlights the absurdity and danger of unchecked power and conspiracy theories. It’s like looking at our world through a funhouse mirror—distorted, exaggerated, and terrifyingly accurate.

One of the less controversial narratives this season is the internal conflicts of its characters, showcasing their growth and shifting motives. We witness the duality of Butcher’s self-destructive side as he hangs on for dear life, we get to see him question his purpose, mirroring a similar internal struggle within Homelander who questions his own existence. Both characters grapple with their darker impulses and the consequences of their actions, highlighting the theme of power and its corrupting influence. It’s like watching two bulls in a china shop, except the china shop is the world, and the bulls are homicidal maniacs.

The Boys Season 4
Antony Starr (Homelander) - Credit: Jasper Savage/Prime Video /

A-Train’s storyline continues to explore his struggle with not truly being a hero, torn between his desire for redemption and his fear of irrelevance. This internal conflict adds depth to his character, making his journey one of the more poignant arcs in the series. Just when you think he might finally get his act together, he proves that old habits die hard—especially when those habits include a penchant for speed and a fragile ego.

Another character battling internal demons in a disturbingly unique way is The Deep, a.k.a. Kevin. He is keeping a secret from his team, and his desperate need for their love and acceptance leads to some of the season’s most unsettling moments. His storyline underscores the themes of desperation and the lengths individuals will go to to belong. It’s a fishy tale of loneliness, bad decisions, and really weird relationships with marine life. If you know, you know.

Characters like Ashley are struggling with her place with Vought, and it’s a joy to watch. While Frenchie and Kimiko find themselves drawing on their pain in destructive, yet paralleling fashion.  

We all know The Boys will not overstay its welcome, and season 4 is the perfect prelude to the final season. We love The Boys for its dark humor and brutal honesty that provide a compelling narrative that for better or worse mirrors our current political climate, making it a must-watch for those who enjoy a mix of action, drama, and real-world relevance. The evolving dynamics between characters like Homelander and Starlight add depth to the story, showcasing the personal toll of living in such a divided and corrupt world.

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