"Never meet your super heroes". In 1986 Alam Moore and his Watchmen made school by turning around this concept as simple as it is cynical and realistic.. Both the original comic and the subsequent film by Zack Snyder deconstructed the figure of the superhero in the mask, making him closer to us as human beings, proposing characters who still today have remained in our imaginaries thanks to their being unique within. a comic / film genre that tended to immortalize superheroes as infallible or at least morally just beings. And in my naivety, a few weeks ago I projected these same expectations onto The Boys. Oh joy, I had no idea. To put it mildly, "It's a sensational urination in the world of superheroes".
Unlike Moore, the world created by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson for the comic and adapted in the next TV series immediately shocked me for his rough and violent style, and which brings a scenario to the table "Hypothetical" interesting and much more contemporary: what would happen if a super hero like Captain America was it the leading mascot of listed companies and therefore also subject to the changes and rules of a turbocapitalist society? The answer is a mix of blood, satire and suspense that in just over two weeks he managed to keep me glued to the chair, despite the fact that I - in terms of taste or sensitivity - did not turn out the ideal target for this product.
And after two seasons of fire lived one after the other in mode Binge, I was "ready" to get on the hype train and live with the community the highly anticipated third season of one of the (in my opinion) best series offered by Amazon Prime. Will it have exceeded expectations? Will Eric Kirpke's team be able to put together another satisfying season? Let's find out!
Calm after Stormfront
This third season started with the premises capable of bringing a certain sense of freshness. After the events that saw the protagonist Stormfront, the levels of power within the Wanted were questioned: Patriot (Antony Starr) continues to lose consensus while Starlight (Erin Moriarty) she is even named co-captain. "The most powerful man on earth" he lived a year in autopilot mode and in an evident state of confusion, distant from reality and ready to explode. Yet, for some reason this moment is slow in coming.
On the front of Boys, the only one who seems to be dissatisfied is his own Butcher (Karl Urban). Because although he managed to corner Patriot and get the affection of Ryan (Cameron Crovetti), he still lost Rebecca, the person he loved and for whom he began to fight, failing to show the world what lies beneath the mask of his rival. He too is waiting for something, for a reason to return to "live".
In all this Hughie (Jack Quaid) is in an apparent state of grace. She found a way to fight for Robin in his own way, without bloodshed and without looking like the last wheel of the wagon. In short, a quiet life away from Butcher's bully orders and attitudes and without having to hide the closeness to Annie anymore.
Sounds like the perfect ending, right? But here comes, a few minutes after the end of the first episode, the usual one cold shower cynical and realistic that brings everyone back to reality. At any moment, Hughie realizes that he has acted as Victoria Neuman's pawn (claudia doumit), the super pulp heads of the attack on Congress; and on the other side of New York Butcher and Patriot vow to fight to the death. From now on, the third season of The Boys will do nothing but play around this triangle of so varied characters, deepening them and showing us sides of them that I never expected to see.
I liked the way the writers have deconstructed the character of Butcher. During these 8 episodes, we witness a slow and tortuous disintegration of ideals which founded the figure of "Boy plus Boy of The Boys". He hates super, but is still willing to use a dangerous substance like V Temporary to get the strength needed to investigate Soldier Boy (Jensen Ackles) * despite the turbulent past that links it to Maternal Milk (Laz Alonso); or even abusing the powers of Kimiko (Karen Fukuhara) to the point of bringing the latter to an identity crisis.
* No: I categorically refuse to use the name "Soldier".
The dispute with Patriot leads him to act in ways that corrupt everything around him, and what makes it all the more intriguing is his awareness of it. The message of the writers is clear, there is no turning back and Butcher will think of nothing but the destruction of the one who ruined his life, fleeing in turn from the responsibilities of his past. From his "collateral damages".
Hughie's path, on the other hand, is perhaps one of the most understandable developments, able to make the viewer identify with each of his choices. In the first two seasons, he has always acted rather passively at events, and even when he was called to rescue Annie, he always needed a super in between him. The existence of a shortcut in the Temporary V and the (fictitious) pressures between Patriot and Supersonic for his beloved, they lay bare a fragile character in the throes of an inferiority complex.
Once the thrill of power is experienced, the glue of the group falls and is replaced by a layer of selfishness and adrenaline, showing a new dimension of character that will glorify his redemption even more during the next story arc. Hopefully.
The only man who latheres but is not soap in Manhattan
The last focus of this review could only go to him. And this time I want to use his original name because this time, also this season, Homelander managed to bring home another stratospheric performance. If in the first two seasons the interpretation of Antony Starr perfectly represented a god on the point of sinking into madness, in these 8 episodes the latter is gradually embraced and staged like an evening suit.
Leaving aside the exquisite monologue in "The only man in the sky" - much better than the evergreen critique of American consumerism made in comics and above all in line with the character - what is staged in "Eroegasm" it could certainly be worth some awards to the actor. In less than 60 minutes, we see a Starr who merry-go-round on various emotions: dismay, joy, fear, anger, despair at seeing how Soldier Boy, the only person on whom he shows genuine admiration, can not only stand up to him, but even overcome it in strategy, skill that certainly - from the height of his omnipotence - has never had the need to refine. Result: her pride is trampled on. The dialogue between his two personalities is the symbol of a broken character, a big kid who has never received the affection that perhaps would have made him a better person.
The ensuing battle, with the interventions of Butcher and Hughie in super mode, are the meeting point of these three paths described and which in most cases could have led to an explosive ending. But…
Super coitum intermissum
I've talked a lot about these three characters, but the third season of The Boys is much more. Finally, space is given to supporting characters such as Black Noir, Kimiko, LM, Franchie, deepening not only their past but also their personalities. Not to mention Stan Edgar, a character who continues to be even more enigmatic not only thanks to the acting performance of Giancarlo Esposito, but above all also after the revelations presented and which with great probability led him to the rise of the ranks of Vought. Even hateful characters like A-train e Ashley they had a small space to shine with their own light, especially the latter when perhaps in the first two seasons we would not have given them even a cent.
Also in terms of entertainment we have seen all the colors: comedy, drama, blood, a small musical segment and although many have criticized the massive presence of funny skits or interludes that go to break the rhythm of the narration, I allow myself to justify them and consider them necessary to more easily digest even the most demanding sequences. In short, so much good that surely it will have led to a satisfying ending, right? Nì?
Let's make one thing clear: despite the very much anticipated announcement of the fourth season made my expectations drop for the rest of the season, I kept hoping for a conclusion that would be able to untie all the knots from the comb, in preparation for a fourth season that would open the doors to a new phase. This thing happened, but not as smoothly as possible.
THE BOYS FINAL SPOILER BETWEEN 3… 2… 1…. YAHTZEE!
Ryan's inclusion in the showdown dynamics seemed very hasty to mea, to the point of having made it counterproductive for the purposes of suspense. We have seen too little of him and his destructive powers and even if in the first episodes there was an effective construction of the "final swervon", with the definitive rupture of the relationship between the child and Butcher, we have not seen any deepening and that single event is "dead in the bud" as far as I'm concerned. What do I know, maybe mood swings that lead to small damage in the house, but that show the child's propensity to become a Homelander 2.0, which for now seems to be the focus of the next arc. It would certainly have made the father-son talk even more engaging.
The final battle in the Vought Tower also seemed very subdued to me. I understood that the directorial peaks of “Eroegasmo” have set very high expectations for the finale, but here we have not even reached the levels of what we have seen in recent seasons. The action is too hectic and sparse, the editing goes back and forth between Soldier Boy vs the Boys and Queen Maeve vs Patriot in a clumsy way and making clear the director's will to lengthen the broth until Maeve's sacrifice. And in all this patatrak, Frenchie manages to synthesize one of the deadliest poisons in minutes, without the script showing the viewer why.
And finally, perhaps even more serious, it is the lack of "great revolutions" in the world of The Boys. For much of the second and third seasons they gave us a little taste of a homicidal Patriot and the reaction the people might have shown. Yet, that final scene with the laserone towards a Starlight fan, the violin solo accompanied by the screams of the fans of the superhero and the evil smile of Ryan. they didn't have that great visual impact that he deserved and that would have made this season almost perfect. The same impact from "What the fuck?" unfortunately it was missing from the previous finals.
Or it's simply my protest against stepfather Todd. Fuck it.
In general, the third season of The Boys proves once again the "peak fiction" for superhero themed TV series, but at the same time he swerves at the last corner of his race in the usual flaws that distinguish the end products The Marvel movies: a hurry to conclude everything, to then perhaps resume the discussion later.
Will we see something more in the next one? Sure, but in the meantime we will have to wait a few years.