Home Television Recaps ‘The Boys’ – ‘Payback’ – Review
‘The Boys’ – ‘Payback’ – Review

‘The Boys’ – ‘Payback’ – Review


The Boys are back for Season Three, with the crazy, diabolical fun of Prime Video’s must-watch superhero satire. And this takes things to a new level of depravity, and audiences will love it. It all kicks off with Season Three opener, ‘Payback’, and this first episode promises one hell of a crazy season to follow.

With the release of the biggest superhero blockbuster of all time, Dawn of the Seven, things are looking up for Homelander (Antony Starr), Annie January/Starlight (Erin Moriarty) and Vaught, with their stock skyrocketing. But in reality, following the fallout of his relationship with fascist superheroine Stormfront, Homelander is left reeling, and he’s beginning to lose it. And his rage is about to boil over. Then there’s Billy Butcher (Karl Urban), who is now in service to the Federal Bureau of Superhuman Affairs as its general fix-it man, under the supervision of his new ‘boss’ Hughie Campbell (Jack Quad). And Billy’s none to pleased with the arrangement. But rules never stopped this psycho from stomping supes, and it’s about to get very gory.

When you thought that The Boys couldn’t take it to a new level of crazy, this show goes there with Season Three opener, ‘Payback’, and the statement is clear: it’s about to get messy. While Hughie Campbell (Jack Quaid) and girlfriend Annie January/Starlight (Erin Moriarty) are on top of the world, others aren’t, especially mortal enemies Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) and Homelander (Antony Starr). And this spells something diabolical to come. Things get wild quickly, and it’s not just the supes or Billy’s crew who have fun with the depravity of this superhero world, even uptight PR executive Ashley Barrett (Colby Minifie) gets in on the warped fun that only comes with working for Vaught international.

‘Payback’ begins with the world’s premiere hero Homelander (Antony Starr) having to deal with the fallout of his relationship with former Nazi girlfriend Stormfront (Aya Cash). And while Vaught’s PR team has been able to spin the narrative in mega-blockbuster Dawn of the Seven, which is smashing records, Homelander is a shell of his former self. Already irrational, paranoid and psychopathic at the best of times, Homelander has been brought low by the Stormfront incident, and he’s now even more unpredictable in his behaviour. Starr does a terrific job of showcasing the snappish personality of a now even more deranged Homelander, and it’s clear that he’s a ticking time bomb just waiting to explode. A new development in Vaught’s structure pushes him even further over the edge, and he’s not happy about the changes to come.

Then there’s Billy Butcher (Karl Urban), founder of ‘The Boys’ and resident supe-basher, who has left the shadows and has now gone legit as a bagman operative for the Federal Bureau of Superhuman Affairs, under new ‘boss’ Hughy Campbell. And Billy is finding it hard to exist between the lines. Just as mental and bloodthirsty as Homelander, Billy now finds his hands tied, and he’s also not happy with having to let his plans for vengeance go to waste. But old habits die hard, and Billy’s still working to put the pain on Homelander, and Maggie Shaw/Queen Maeve (Dominique McElligott) is helping him do it by introducing him to a new form of Compound V, V24, intended for military use, that offers its users superpowers for a twenty-four hour period. It’s an intriguing possibility, and star Karl Urban plays it coy, but it’s clear that Billy is thinking about what’s next. And it’s not going to end well.

‘Payback’ is exactly what audiences want from Season Three of The Boys, and damn does it bring the derangement. Gore, gore and more gore is the rule in this series, and ‘Payback’ delivers on it. All I can say is be prepared to be shocked because damn does showrunner Eric Kripke turn on the blood. And it gushes everywhere. But this isn’t just blood and guts for mere shock value, no, there’s a narrative intention to this splatter show, and this sets the stage for one hell of a mystery, and poor Hughy Campbell finds himself right in the middle of it….AGAIN!

The Boys Season Three gets off to a hell of a crazy start this season, and it’s anyone’s guess as to where the crazy is going to go from here. But one thing is certain. It’s about to get messy!

The Boys streams every Friday on Prime Video

Image: Prime Video