Billy Butcher and Agent Kessler staring at each other in The Boys Season 4 | Agents of Fandom

‘The Boys’ Season 4 Takes the Series to Raunchy but Predictable Heights

It’s time for ‘The Boys’ to evolve.

This review is made possible by advanced screeners of The Boys Season 4 Episode 1-8, provided to Agents of Fandom by Prime Video for review purposes.

The two-year wait for the fourth chapter in the story of Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) and his gang of Supe-hunters is coming to a close. The first three episodes of The Boys Season 4 premiere on Amazon Prime Video this week, and the violent, over-the-top, and raunchy superhero series features all the qualities that fans of the show have come to adore over the years. However, The Boys Season 4 also faces a problem that it needs to address, and quickly.

Homelander (Antony Starr) has been the feature villain in The Boys for four full seasons now. Although his villainy and sinister nature were much more subdued in Seasons 1 and 2, there’s no hiding it now; the world sees him for who he is after murdering a civilian with his laser eyes in broad daylight in the Season 3 finale. Homelander is as much of a main character as anyone in The Boys, but how much longer can the series keep him in the spotlight?

It’s Time for ‘The Boys’ To Move On From Homelander After Season 4

Homelander with his arm around his son Ryan standing in the street in The Boys Season 4 | Agents of Fandom
While Homelander is an undeniably menacing presence, his evil tone is starting to wear off after four seasons, despite Starr’s brilliant performance. Image Credit: Prime Video.

One of the many things that makes the original Avatar: The Last Airbender such a great series is its ability to evolve, particularly when developing its antagonists. Imagine if Fire Lord Ozai had been the central villainous figure for all three seasons, instead of going from Zhao to Azula and then finishing with Ozai as the final boss. This is the problem with The Boys Season 4, as there’s only so much you can get out of one character before the well runs dry.

Bringing Homelander along slowly by using other characters such as Stormfront (Aya Cash) and Soldier Boy (Jensen Ackles) worked well for three seasons, but this was the time to finish him off. Homelander isn’t in the shadow of a less powerful but more menacing figure in Season 4 — he has the spotlight all to himself, and while Starr does take advantage of his feature screen time by turning in a brilliant performance, it’s been prolonged so much at this point that it’s much harder to appreciate.

This flaw doesn’t mean there isn’t still a lot to love about The Boys Season 4. The series refuses to stop pushing boundaries with fight scenes, new Supes, and political commentary that is much less subtle now than it was in seasons prior. The show shines with its brilliant writing, flawless pacing, and execution from start to finish, even sticking the landing more so than the Season 3 finale, but it’s largely thanks to the cast of characters that everyone works in unison so well.

Mother’s Milk Steals the Show in the Latest Season of ‘The Boys’

Mother's Milk standing with Hughie, Annie, Frenchie, and Kimiko behind him in The Boys Season 4 | Agents of Fandom
Mother’s Milk has mostly taken a back seat to Butcher in seasons past, but he steps into his own in the latest entry. Image Credit: Prime Video.

The true star of The Boys Season 4 has been criminally underutilized in the past but finally gets the chance to step into the spotlight. Mother’s Milk (Laz Alonso) was, at one point, no more than a punching bag for Butcher, subject to his orders regardless of how much he disagreed. In the fourth season, MM steps into a much larger role and portrays authoritative power but also earnest and often-reluctant mercy with grace, proving himself to be one of Season 4’s true standouts.

However, just because MM steps out of Butcher’s shadow in The Boys Season 4 doesn’t mean Butcher is any less compelling. The once-great leader of The Boys has become a shell of himself, constantly fighting with inner demons that won’t let him know peace. Billy Butcher has always been a man plagued with personal turmoil, and Urban’s portrayal of Butcher in Season 4 is his best work in the series yet — ultimately turning in one of his strongest performances ever.

There are also several new additions to the cast who shine as bright as Starlight (Erin Moriarty) herself. The Walking Dead veteran Jeffrey Dean Morgan delivers a charming but rigid performance, playing off Urban’s Butcher as another side of the same coin. Additionally, Susan Heyward and Valorie Curry are exquisite in bringing to life the newest members of The Seven. They portray Sister Sage and Firecracker — two characters who could not be more different — with an effortless flow that fits into the larger group but also stands out and elevates them as worthy additions to the ensemble.

Flaws Included, ‘The Boys’ Season 4 Is a Riveting, Well-Executed Ride

Sister Sage and Firecracker standing on the top floor of Vought Tower smoldering at each other in The Boys Season 4 | Agents of Fandom
Each season of The Boys introduces several new characters, and both Sister Sage and Firecracker are some of the best the show has to offer. Image Credit: Prime Video.

Make no mistake, The Boys Season 4 is still high-level prestige television, and will very likely be subject to more Emmy Award nominations, if not more wins. The series uses its pieces to perfection; its only flaw is that some are just less appealing than others. Regardless of your stance on Homelander, if you’ve enjoyed the first three seasons of The Boys, the likelihood is you’ll love the fourth season too.

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'The Boys' Season 4 Review

'The Boys' Season 4 Review
4 5 0 1
4.0 rating
Total Score

The Good

  • The entire cast turns in brilliant performances, particularly Urban, Starr, and Alonso.
  • The fight scenes and new powers are even more wild than you can imagine.
  • The overall execution and pacing are nearly flawless.

The Bad

  • The Homelander stuff is starting to feel repetitive.
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