The Boys became a hit for Amazon when its second season dropped on the Prime Video platform in the summer of our discontent (a.k.a. summer 2020).
The R-rated superhero satire from Supernatural creator Eric Kripke still holds the title for most-watched global launch out of any Amazon original series, it gave Netflix some competition by breaking into Nielsen’s top 10 streaming ratings chart for the first time, and its popularity gave way to a spin-off series to further explore this world of corrupt, out-of-control supes. So, where does the show go from here? Towards more mayhem, of course.
With a season 3 order already in the bag, here’s what we can expect next.
A premiere date is not currently known at this time. First things first, the cast and crew have to get through filming. The stars are quarantining in Toronto for two weeks in early January before commencing with a full-on production with safety measures to contain any potential spread of COVID-19. Many live-action productions have experienced delays in trying to get back to work during the pandemic, while others found what you would call success in this new normal. Depending on how the schedule proceeds from here could determine whether we will see season 3 before the end of the year.
The Boys — and the Seven — are back in town. That means Karl Urban (Billy Butcher), Jack Quaid (Hughie Campbell), Karen Fukuhara (Kimiko), Laz Alonso (Mother’s Milk), and Tomer Capon (Frenchie) will return as the covert militia group fighting to keep supes in check with their woman on the inside, Erin Moriarty (Starlight). It also means Antony Starr (Homelander), Jessie T. Usher (A-Train), Chace Crawford (The Deep), Dominique McElligott (Queen Maeve), and Nathan Mitchell (Black Noir) — nut allergy be damned — are also returning as members of the Seven, the world’s premiere team of superheroes.
Claudia Doumit, who appeared as Congresswoman Victoria Neuman in season 2, will have an expanded role in season 3. Doumit and Colby Minifie, who plays Vought’s frazzled head of Hero Management, Ashley Barrett, have been upped to series regulars.
While it seems Aya Cash’s Stormfront was defeated in the season 2 finale, losing your limbs doesn’t necessarily mean death these days. Cash teased to EW, “I think they’ve left the door open, but I also feel like there’s not much left of her. She’s not technically dead, but I think you’ll just have to see season 3 to find out what happened to her, [or] if she’s going to be around at all in her smaller form.”
Among the cast’s newcomers is Supernatural star Jensen Ackles. With the CW drama past its series finale, Ackles moves on over to The Boys in the role of Soldier Boy, dubbed the original superhero who was active during World War II. Another Supernatural veteran, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, was supposed to have some kind of role in season 3, but the pandemic is making that seem less and less likely. Actors must quarantine before interacting with the rest of the crew on set.
Kripke confirmed to EW that someone in the writers room “successfully pitched, not an extended return but a return of Love Sausage in season 3. So, there’s more Love Sausage on the horizon.” Actor Andrew Jackson played the supe with the super-extendable… ahem… love sausage in season 2, episode 6.
We can probably expect other actors to appear, like Giancarlo Esposito’s head of Vought International, Stan Edgar, and Laila Robbins as Boys founder Grace Mallory, but that is the confirmed casting.
If Soldier Boy arrives on the scene, then certain other supes aren’t far behind. Kripke confirmed to EW that the superhero team Payback will be a major part of the season 3 story.
In the original Boys comics from writer Garth Ennis and artist Darick Robertson, Payback was the world’s second most popular team, operating at the same time as the Seven. Soldier Boy, a Captain America-esque character, was technically team leader, but he was constantly disrespected and overpowered by teammate Stormfront, the electrical-powered Nazi supe who’s male in the comics but female in the show. Soldier Boy was kind of a weakling in comparison and spent all his time pining for a spot on the Seven.
In season 3 of the show, Payback fills a different function. “[Payback] was the Seven before the Seven,” Kripke said. In other words, they were the world’s first premiere superhero team during WWII. “We will be exploring the history of that team and all the members in it.” Those members from the comics included Stormfront, Eagle the Archer, Crimson Countess, Tek Knight, Swatto, and Mind-Droid. Already we’ve seen how some of these characters have taken on various roles in the show. Season 2 saw Eagle the Archer (Langston Kerman) in the present day as a member of the Church of the Collective who recruited The Deep. Stormfront, who married Vought founder Frederick Vought, was active during WWII when she received the first successful Compound V injection. With her supe powers and extremely long lifespan, she became known as the superhero Liberty during the ’70s, but then disappeared from the public. She reappeared decades later under the name Stormfront when she became the latest member of the Seven. Tek Knight was also name-dropped by Ashley when she referred to a Tek Knight movie premiere. It’s unclear how or if these same characters will be depicted as members of Payback in season 3. Soldier Boy himself was said to have lived till 1982 fighting Nazis in Germany, according to a memorial statue spotted in the second season. Flashbacks seem like the way to go, but as we’ve learned from Stormfront, supes can sometimes live much longer than we might expect.
The season 3 premiere episode, written by Craig Robertson, takes its name from Payback.
#TheBoys Will Return.#Season3 Begins Filming Early 2021
You’re Not Fucking Ready.#TheBoysTV @TheBoysTV @PrimeVideo @SPTV #SPNFamily @Sethrogen @antonystarr @JackQuaid92 @KarlUrban @ErinMoriarty_ @lazofficial @KarenFukuhara @The_JessieT @itsNateMitchell pic.twitter.com/sg0CdD74Pc
— Eric Kripke (@therealKripke) October 14, 2020
Through Stormfront, The Boys season 2 tackled the current climate in America with the public resurgence of white supremacy and alt-right extremism. Through Payback and Soldier Boy, season 3 will explore how the world got to this point.
“There’s always been systemic racism and conflict and a lot of ugliness, yet always a fight to make things better,” Kripke said. “Certain politicians like to pitch this somehow idyllic ‘good old days’ where everything was perfect and calm. That is complete and utter bulls—. It was never that way. So, by exploring the history of Vought in the history of America, we get to make some of those points. There was never an America when they say ‘Make America Great Again.’ It was always a struggle. That’s the point. It’s a struggle to make things better.”
Aside from Soldier Boy, the big twist in the season 2 finale will give way to the main plot for season 3.
In a scene that saw the assassination of Church of the Collective leader Alastair Adana (Goran Višnjić), Victoria was revealed to be a supe. And not just any supe. She was the one who killed C.I.A. Deputy Director Susan Raynor (Jennifer Esposito), as well as all those people in court when their heads spontaneously exploded. She’s now in a greater position of power as the appointed czar for the government’s Office of Supe Affairs, and she’s sneaking funds to Grace to create a task force designed to keep tabs on the supes. So, what the Boys were already doing, just with more government support.
“I don’t want to say too much because there’s a certain mystery in season 3 about exactly why Victoria is doing what she’s doing,” Kripke said. “But, yeah, I think the overall theme of the show is you need to have a healthy suspicion of your authority figures, and that goes for all of them.”
The Boys, meanwhile, have since gone their separate ways since all of their crimes were pardoned. Hughie went off to work for Victoria, not knowing her true supe nature; MM reunited with his wife and daughter; Frenchie was determined to take Kimiko out dancing; and Billy is “on the edge as a really fraught character,” Kripke teased.
The Seven is also a much different team. Starlight was publicly exonerated and welcomed back after Queen Maeve blackmailed Homelander with a recording from the Flight 37 tragedy. A-Train was brought back, too, but The Deep is still on the outs. With Stormfront gone, Vought will likely look to fill some spots.
“[Homelander’s] totally betrayed, insecure, and emasculated,” Starr said. “He’s been opened up emotionally and burned.” Heading into season 3, the only words Kripke gave Starr were “homicidal maniac.” “[Homelander’s] a homicidal maniac anyway, so I’m not sure what that means,” the actor joked.
The Boys cultivated a reputation for bringing some pretty extreme stuff to the screen. Season 1 went inside a club for supes where one Ant-Man-esque hero shrunk down to size and jumped between a woman’s legs, while off in the corner a supe with extendable limbs partook in a hot and heavy make-out session with multiple other guys. But nothing compares to what awaits us in season 3 with Herogasm.
Writer Jessica Chou penned the script for the sixth episode, which will adapt the provocative miniseries from the Boys comics.
— Eric Kripke (@therealKripke) January 17, 2021
In Herogasm, Homelander announces to the world that earth’s teams of superheroes are joining forces to take on an alien invasion in space. In actuality, they all fly to a remote island for a days-long orgy and drug-fueled party. The Boys must infiltrate this sex haven on a mission. It’s unclear how exactly this will translate to the screen, but Kripke feels confident that they pulled it off.
“I’ve really wanted to do it, but needed to figure out our twist on it, so it’s not just an hour of hardcore porn,” Kripke wrote on Reddit back in 2019. “But I think we got it!! Super excited about that.