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Should You Be Keeping Up With ‘The Boys’ in Season 3?

Yes, that is a real-life, giant prosthetic penis that actor Brett Geddes (and his stunt double) navigate in season 3 of The Boys, streaming now on Amazon Prime.

“For those wondering… the dick is real,” actor Geddes captioned on Instagram along with a pic of himself and stunt double Alex Armbruster covered in white powder and posing in front of the 11-foot high and 30-feet long dong. As Termite in the antihero show, the young man was only trying to reach his friend’s prostate for a friendly tickle before a coke-fueled sneeze accidentally returns him to normal size… and his poor pal into mincemeat.

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Hughie, Butcher, and Mother's Milk look down into a mysterious car trunk in "The Boys"
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Welcome to the wonderful, grotesque world of The Boys, the series that doesn’t spare any of its viewers the monstrosities that “supes” purport when not posing as heroes in front of television cameras.

Despite the fact that it likes its humor inky black, The Boys has been a hit since it dropped in 2019. Earning critical acclaim for its writing, storyline, humor, and excellent cast, the show upped its game in season 2, earning six 2021 Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Drama Series. It’s been two years, but the long-awaited return of The Boys dropped on Amazon Prime last week. After Termite’s poor friend bites the dust, things begin a bit slow for the show in season 3, but that’s where The Boys flexes, carrying multiple characters all bobbing and weaving through the current political climate toward one end: Homelander’s destruction. (Spoilers ahead!)

The show finds a familiar rhythm in its third iteration, following up shocking violence with a slow burn and backstory. Annie and Hughie have achieved a domestic rhythm, blissfully ignoring the brewing storm around them. After his wife’s awful demise from friendly family fire, Butcher finds direction, not in bloodletting (or too much of it), but in the care of his son, Ryan, fleeing now, from safe house to safe house, and hiding from Homelander’s wrath.

For his part, Anthony Starr’s happy-go-lucky psychopath has lost his edge as well, dwindling in popularity after his ex, Stormfront, was outed as a Nazi. Annie as Starlight, who is trending much better, is brought as co-captain of the Seven, further undercutting his authority. While we’re lulled into a bit of a torpor, we find that these are all false trails, wicks all lit and tied to one explosive end.

While Homelander is Butcher’s White Whale, Mother’s Milk has a much easier time moving on from the man. It’s Homelander’s predecessor, Soldier Boy, who won’t leave his psyche alone. While Milk is struggling to hold his current family together, the past keeps creeping up to crack the cocoon he’s surrounded himself in.

It’s this ancillary character development that keeps what could be a redundant plot interesting. Turns out show creator Eric Kripke uses each actor’s real-life experience to give more credence to their depiction in the show. In an interview with Geekset Podcast, Milk actor Laz Alonso said Kripke encouraged him to flesh out his character’s backstory instead of reciting lines word for word from the script.

“Eric Kripke has given me the trust to be able to rewrite some of my Mother’s Milk dialogue in scenes so that it is as authentic as possible,” Alonso said. “Now that Season 3 is getting deeper into the Mother’s Milk backstory, we’re going to find out a lot of things about him. (Kripke) allows me that license to translate what they want to say but in a way that when (the Black) community watches it, they’ll believe it.”

A potent plot stew thickens in season 3 as compound V is now an ingestible drug that’s supposed to grant soldiers a day of superpowers before returning to normal. This is Vought’s Eternal Font, selling vial after vial to the U.S. government for $10,000 a pop. When Butcher finally heaves a vial of green goo on Hughie, however, it’s obvious that the product is not quite ready for regular consumption.

A narrative thread carried through three seasons would threaten to get stale in less deft hands, but The Boys continues its combination of intense violence, graphic humor, and slow drip development to craft another magnetic series story.

Episode 4 of The Boys eight-episode third season drops late tonight (Thursday) on Amazon Prime. And if you haven’t seen the first 16 episodes yet, you need to catch up on the bloody anti-supe action.

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