The public discourse of whether we’re all collectively in a stage of superhero fatigue might still be at odds, but there is one thing most of us can all still agree on: we love The Boys. After three balls-to-the-wall seasons of drama, gore, and outright insanity, fans have been waiting for the return of the beloved comic adaptation. Shortly after the first teaser dropped for Prime Video's The Boys Season 4, the WGA strike hit. 

After the release of Season 4 was slowed down by the 2023 strikes as additional dialogue and other items could not be completed, the new season is finally here. And while the over-the-top atmosphere of the series is something to behold, the continuing social commentary and heartfelt drama at the core of the story is intact and as sharp as ever.

The Boys Season 4 review

The Boys.
A still from The Boys Season 4 courtesy of Prime Video.

Homelander (Antony Starr) eviscerated a member of the public out in the open with his son Ryan watching and seemingly enjoying it. Starlight (Erin Moriarty) has officially left the seven and has joined the Boys. Victoria Neuman (Claudia Doumit) is aware that Hughie (Jack Quaid) and his pals are all aware of her being a closeted member of the Supes.

At the start of season 4, for the first time, all the cards are on the table. Each character may not know what the next move for the opposition is, but the cats are all out of the bag.

Sticking to what it does well

The Boys Season 4 doesn’t pull away from what it does well, though. The big difference now is that while all of the social satire in the previous seasons felt like a commentary on past events (though all still very recent), now it feels like it runs parallel to our current existence.

While Homelander’s trial to decide his innocence or guilt for heat-beaming a man in half for throwing a can at his son might have been built off a past trial run for Donald Trump, it feels more like an instant reactionary result of his recent felony trial. 

But this isn’t a season filled with courtroom drama and singularly social commentary. While the personal issues of each character have always played a part in the full run of the first three seasons, Season 4 takes that to another level. Butcher (Karl Urban) has a new pal to sneak around with, Hughie has new family issues that take center stage for him, Annie has some personal power struggles that affect her performance, Frenchie and Kimiko’s relationship take some unexpected turns…we’d be here forever pinpointing all personal issues being worked out.

I mean, I didn't finish talking about all the Boys, because the Supes have just as much personal trauma to deal with.

Does the story fly?

All of the intertwining and private tales of these character’s lives, while interesting, do feel like they applied the brakes on the story. The storyline moves forward, but there is a sense of unnecessary elongating that slows the process down a bit.

Butcher’s side of the story needs to be told to bring his character a little more in line with the comic version of the twisted mastermind if we’re going to get even somewhat close to his final moments in that version. But Hughie’s emotional rollercoaster, while very important to his decision-making and growth, felt like it could have taken a bit of a less spotlighted approach. 

To be fair, The Boys has never been a show that keeps all of its characters on the same page all the way through. This go-around though finds them all just a little too disconnected in ways. This is much more a “32 Short Films about The Boys” atmosphere than “The Boys: Part 4.” Some of the stories are purposely more ambiguous but seem like the items more fans would be interested in exploring. 

Heading into the season, fans had a lot of theories as to what would happen next for some characters. Some of the most popular ones turned out to be very different from what audiences were expecting. And answers might be offered to help explain the current situation we find some characters in; the unanswered details surrounding those characters feel a lot more exciting than some of the answers we do get.

It’s All in the Family

The Boys Season 4.
A still from The Boys Season 4 courtesy of Prime Video.

The new season also brings in new characters and some old ones. Susan Heyward joins the cast as Sister Sage, the smartest person alive. Valorie Curry also jumps into the fray as Firecracker, an Alex Jones-style Supe with more than a few chips on her shoulder. Both bring interesting twists to the events between the Boys and Vought, but they too bring extra baggage that needs exploring.

Some faces from the past and some adjacent programming (I’ll avoid mentioning specific characters to avoid any spoilers) join in the fun and they contribute to most of the fascinating sections of Season 4. Again, to avoid spoilers, but sheep and sex dungeons (NOT TOGETHER) really pull out the crazy of this year’s The Boys madness.

As much as Supernatural fans are thrilled to have Jeffrey Dean Morgan join the cast, they will eventually understand just how important his addition to the cast/story is. By the time everything unfolds, it is easy to understand how the character’s addition is made all that more important by Morgan’s portrayal. Again, no spoilers for you!

Should You Watch The Boys: Season 4? 

The Boys
A still from The Boys Season 4 courtesy of Prime Video.

Let’s not kid ourselves — if you’re reading this or watched the show up until now, you will watch The Boys Season 4. There are some things early on that might upset some rabid fans trying to ship their favorite characters, you need to stick with the season through every step.

And you might find yourself fighting even more with feelings you should not have for someone like A-Train (Jessie T. Usher). But, that is what a good storyteller does.

The Boys Season 4 is still fascinating and fun with a lot to offer, but even with my continued support and adoration for the new season, it probably stands as the worst season so far.

Grade: B

The Boys Season 4 will premiere on June 13 on Prime Video.