While the much anticipated fourth season of The Boys – arguably the best satire on TV right now – wrapped its filming in Toronto in April, as confirmed by series creator and showrunner Eric Kripke, there has yet to be a release date announced as it goes through post-production, though it is slated for late 2023. Nonetheless, this shouldn’t stop the supe(r) fans like me from speculating what season four might bring, especially when there have been some notable castings and narrative titbits thrown out to the pop cultural ether by people working on the show.
Before I continue, note that I will occasionally compare the show to the graphic novel source material, and as such I will be discussing events that have not occurred in the show, but may still happen in the future. You have been warned!
The most notable loose thread left by a tidy season three finale is the fate of Ryan Butcher, Homelander’s (Anthony Starr) son. He is now far more comfortable by the crazed supe’s side, especially given that Homelander has gained newfound freedom in his public actions (more on that in a moment), and as it stands, Ryan is heading down an incredibly dark path. One Homelander is bad enough for humanity, but another could be utter carnage. Of course, Billy Butcher would have something to say on the matter, and Kripke himself has confirmed that a big focus for the upcoming season will be the two fighting for Ryan, while saying that they’re more alike than they care to admit, comparing their relationship to Batman and the Joker.
However, facing off against the seemingly invincible Homelander may prove even more difficult than before, as his brand of scaremongering and toxic nationalism, which is an indisputable satire of Trumpism in the U.S., has reached a new, unchartered height as he publicly murdered a protester for throwing an object at Ryan. The ecstatic response from the crowd at the vile act, along with no apparent consequences (as of yet) have clearly emboldened Homelander, and while it will undoubtedly make the lives of Butcher and the boys all the more difficult to contain him, Vaught itself may have to reckon with a Homelander that has shaken off his leash.
This is all without mentioning Victoria Neuman, who is still an ongoing and deadly player now that she is campaigning for Vice President after having her predecessor murdered by The Deep. A similar fate surely awaits the President himself once Neuman has secured her position as Vice President, which she in all likelihood will.
While this is all we can draw from the story of season four without delving into pure speculation, there have been some notable developments in casting following the conclusion of season three. The most significant addition is veteran Jeffrey Dean Morgan, best known as John Winchester in Supernatural (which Kripke also created and served as showrunner for its first five seasons) and Negan in The Walking Dead. His role in The Boys has been kept a secret so far, which only further adds to the intrigue as fellow Supernatural alum Jensen Ackles was announced as Soldier Boy relatively early in pre-production of the third season. Whose role has been confirmed this season, though, is Rosemarie DeWitt, who will be playing Hughie’s (Jack Quaid) mother, while there will be two new supes introduced this season, Firecracker and Sister Sage, played Valorie Curry and Susan Heyward, respectively. Their larger roles and affiliations have yet to be revealed, but given the show’s track record, it’s more likely that they will feature as antagonists, or at least fodder for the show’s over-the-top violence. That being said, The Boys has certainly surprised me before.
There is one particularly interesting returning actor, Canadian Nathan Mitchell, who has portrayed Black Noir since season one (behind the mask, at least). While it is tempting to assume that Noir survived being impaled by Homelander’s arm, Mitchell will in fact be playing a new version of supe, with the original Noir having died at his best friend’s hand (literally). What’s even more fascinating here is that in the comics, Noir turned out to be a clone of Homelander created to eliminate him and take his place should he ever go rogue. The timing of bringing in a new Noir just as Homelander starts to break away from Vaught is a little too convenient, and it seems that Kripke and his writers may yet follow that storyline, albeit in a more roundabout manner fitting to the show.
That’s all there is to know at the moment, though I will continue to cover The Boys as we approach its release sometime later this year.