My five favorite things about Season 4 of ‘The Boys’

the boys season 4 five things we love mttg

(No spoilers. This review is made possible by advance screeners of “The Boys” Season 4 for review purposes).

The new season of Prime Video’s hit streaming show “The Boys” premieres this Friday with the first three episodes after an almost two year wait. I’ll be back with episode reviews, but overall, I loved the entire season. Without any spoilers – because that would ruin all the fun – here are five reasons why.

  • 5. Rob Benedict. I can’t spoil anything, but I just have to say that although his character is only in one scene in one episode, he really made an impression! Full disclosure, I love Rob Benedict. I loved his character Chuck aka God on “Supernatural” – he’s a talented actor and a talented musician and a talented writer too. But perhaps I had never seen the full extent of his talent until this role. So many facets of his character in one scene (it’s actually a fairly complicated series of scenes that all run together). Rob even made me feel a mix of emotions for his character – I laughed, I covered my eyes, I even felt a bit bad for him. I chatted with Rob on the weekend and told him my mixed reactions. Let’s just say he can’t wait to hear everyone’s thoughts on what he brings to this portrayal…
Jeffrey Dean Morgan laying back with Karl Urban in homage to Supernatural Baby Nova
Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Karl Urban: Two of our favorite things on The Boys Season 4. Images courtesy of Amazon Prime
Karl Urban with Jeffrey Dean Morgan The Boys Butcher Season 4
  • 4. Jeffrey Dean Morgan. I can’t spoil anything about his character either, but suffice it to say that JDM and Karl Urban together eat up the screen like a couple of movie stars. They play off each other perfectly – in fact, I would bet money that the two had a blast working together. Butcher is, if anything, an even more fascinating character in Season 4, which is saying a lot because he’s been pretty fascinating all along. Urban and Morgan have the same sort of rough-hewn charm even when their characters are violent, like Butcher or Neegan on “The Walking Dead” often are, and the two in a scene together are doubly charming (and sometimes doubly disturbing).
  • 3. The continued parallels to real life, are brilliantly interwoven into the plot. Sometimes it’s a throwaway line here and there that makes you go OOOF. Sometimes it’s a story arc that has so much to say about something that isn’t just fiction. There’s so much validation to knowing that someone else is seeing the insanity around us too, and then putting it on our screens in a slightly displaced fictionalized form so we can all look at it without cringing too much.
  • 2. The new supes. Sister Sage and Firecracker energize the Seven and the show. They each have parallels to real life that make them extra interesting, but it’s their dynamic with both the existing characters and with each other that really make this season pop. Susan Heyward and Valorie Curry sizzle when they’re onscreen together. Both are unlikely choices for the Seven and both have unexpected twists and turns to their story arcs that took me by surprise – I love when a show can surprise me! Both also have an interesting relationship with “the truth” which offered a lot of real life commentary options.
  • 1. The deep stuff. Not The Deep stuff, though his story arc in this season is part of it. Almost every character has an evolution over the eight episodes, going in vastly different directions. Much of that evolution is driven by something universal and ultimately very human – the need to figure out who we are and define ourselves in some coherent way. To discover our identity. To “go home” and figure out how and what and who shaped us, whether we wanted them to or not. Sometimes that means breaking away from an identity foisted upon us and remaking ourselves the way we want to be.

Sometimes that means trying to break away from the constraints and traumas of the past to be free of them, only to be sucked right back into the chains that has left around us, keeping us from being someone different. Sometimes that means not being able to figure out who the real you is at all. You can follow each character’s journey, sometimes cheering for them and sometimes despairing when the journey is downhill not up. It’s quite a feat to afford each character that room to evolve and enough screen time to follow their journey when you have so many characters!

I was also thrilled to see that the show is continuing its exploration of many of the themes that are included in the new book ‘Supes Ain’t Always Heroes: Inside the Complex Characters and Twisted Psychology of The Boys’. Toxic masculinity, breaking the chains of generational trauma, personality disorders, PTSD, racism, sexism, social media. The book delves into all of those, and takes apart all the complicated characters to see what makes them tick, with exclusive interviews and insights from the actors as well as media experts and psychologists. If you haven’t checked it out yet, catch up on everything about the first three seasons with Supes wherever you buy books, and then get ready to dig into Season 4.

I’ve loved this show since its very first episode, and it hasn’t disappointed me yet. I love that its characters keep slogging it out, every kind of obstacle – physical, psychological, emotional, societal – thrown in their way.

Beaten down, halfway to giving up, struggling to hang onto themselves, but they keep fighting. Along the way, there are some unlikely heroes, and some tugs at my heartstrings.  It’s an oddly hopeful commentary on humanity at a time when the struggle is more real than ever, and I appreciate it.

The Boys Season 4 Truthcon image

Be sure to watch the first three episodes of Season 4 of “The Boys” on Prime Video this Thursday! Showrunner Eric Kripke has already announced that Season 5 will be the final season of “The Boys” so enjoy while we can!