What to Expect from The Boys in Season 3

The official release date for the 3rd season of Amazon’s critically acclaimed superhero series The Boys was recently announced as June 3rd (coincidence?), and with it comes a great deal of anticipation, not to mention more than a dash of speculation.

I could speculate all day about what may or may not happen, but if The Boys has proven anything thus far in its two-season run, it’s that anything can happen. Not to border on hyperbole, but it is essentially the Breaking Bad of superhero shows. 

No, seriously, hear me out.

The writers of Breaking Bad thrived on seemingly writing themselves into a corner. And sometimes they actually did. While I can’t comment on the process for The Boys‘ writers, what I can say as a viewer is that the show’s characters occasionally find themselves in some real batshit situations with seemingly no way out, only for the writers to think up a clever way of turning the tables while constantly moving the story along, albeit without being tied down by the more grounded tone of Breaking Bad.

If you still don’t believe me, just look at the similarities between Hughie (Jack Quaid) and Walter White (Bryan Cranston). Both begin mild-mannered, before one tragic moment changes their lives, becoming more and more badass from then on. A key part of this development is exploring their respective characters’ morality to make them even more relatable to the audience in spite of their actions, and no moment is more significant to both than when they take their first life. Their methods might differ – Walt strangles Krazy-8 with a bicycle lock, while Hughie triggers an explosive in Translucent’s (ahem) rectum – but their place in the narrative overlaps in key ways. Thus, I am sure we can expect further exploration of this aspect of Hughie’s character as the series goes on, and who knows, maybe it will turn out that Butcher (Karl Urban) was his Jesse Pinkman all along. 

However, like I said, I’m not here to speculate (despite veering dangerously close) or argue that The Boys is the second coming of Breaking Bad. Instead, I want to focus on what we know, and as it turns out, it’s a surprising amount considering the only trailers we have thus far is Homelander (Anthony Starr) looking unhinged as ever for fifteen seconds and a douchy commercial featuring Deep (Chace Crawford).

The storyline will, at least in part, adapt the Herogasm arc from the comics, of which I have remained deliberately ignorant (even though the show tends to deviate from its source material in significant ways anyway). All I know is that it involves an island, a party on said island, and the most outrageous event in the entire graphic novel series, which says an awful lot. There are those who would deem it “unadaptable”, apparently, because of its extreme nature. Showrunner and series creator Eric Kripke seemingly never met those people, as he tweeted on January 17th an image of the script for an episode they named after the arc while saying “From day one, everyone dared me to make this episode. CHALLENGE MET MOTHERFUCKERS”. Indeed.

Then, there’s the newest additions to the cast in season 3. Most notable among them is Jensen Ackles, who had previously worked with Kripke on Supernatural, in which Ackles played a lead role while Kripke was the series creator and showrunner for the first five seasons. Here, Ackles will be playing Soldier Boy, whose statue has actually appeared in the show already, though it is of his predecessor, who is long dead. It is uncertain how exactly they will approach his character, but in the graphic novels Soldier Boy is a parody of Captain America and the leader of a team of supes called Payback, but he actually longs to join The Seven. Only problem is that he is a complete coward, with the cover of one issue of the comic series being Soldier Boy on a battlefield, quivering as he simultaneously wets himself. All we know of his character in the show is that he will begin in captivity and is something of a “jackass”, as put by Ackles himself, though this is hardly surprising considering the supes we have seen in the show so far.

The other notable addition to the cast is Laurie Holden, who grew up in Toronto, which is where the show is shot. Holden will be playing another member of Payback, Crimson Countess, though less is known about her role other than it being a recurring one. In the comics at least, the first woman to take up the mantle of Crimson Countess was killed in World War II and was in fact the lover of the original Soldier Boy honoured by the aforementioned statue. Unlike Soldier Boy, it is not yet clear if Holden will be playing the Crimson Countess of World War II or her modern-day rendition, as Kripke has spoken of the upcoming season’s exploration of the Payback team, and the actress has been more tight-lipped than Ackles. 

Bear in mind, though, that Kripke and co. have proven themselves to be quite ballsy when it comes to offing characters at the drop of a hat, yet they always manage to somehow leave their mark. The casting of Sean Ashmore as Lamplighter in season 2 is the perfect example, as he stole the show in his debut before being unceremoniously offed in the very next episode, which hurt, but at least the creatives behind the show, as well as Ashmore himself, made the most of Lamplighter’s appearance.

And there you have it, all the relevant information we have on season 3 of The Boys as June slowly but surely rolls around. There are of course plenty of surprises that Eric Kripke, Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, and other creatives involved have kept under wraps, as it is always wise to tease audiences, but not to the point of taunting them. Jensen Ackles and Laurie Holden are excellent additions to this twisted universe and given that a number of storylines seemingly wrapped up in season 2, while still leaving some tantalizing arcs up in the air, there is plenty of room to work these new characters into season 3, for what has the potential to be the best season of The Boys yet.

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