The Boys Return with Season 4: Season Premiere Recap

S4E1, “The Department of Dirty Tricks,” S4E2, “Life Among the Septics” & S4E3, “We’ll Keep the Red Flag Flying Here”

Homelander looking at Victoria in The Boys Season 4
Credit: Jan Thijs/Prime Video

The following recap contains spoilers for the first three episodes of The Boys Season 4

Amazon has dropped the first three episodes of The Boys season 4, which is a lot to unpack. To be expected there was a plethora of gore, genitals, and WTF moments. The show has also brought on a few new characters to join the Seven and a fun cameo from Will Ferrell. Since it is a lot, let’s break it down by character, shall we?


At the end of Season 3, it was revealed that Butcher (Karl Urban) only had six months left to live due to his excessive use of Compound V. It becomes apparent this season that Butcher never told the rest of The Boys his plight and has continued business as usual. The team is still hard at work trying to bring down Homelander (Antony Starr). The first episode opens with the team staking out an election event where VP-elect, Victoria Nueman (Claudia Doumit) is giving a speech. As usual, things don’t go according to plan. Instead of following the plan, Butcher spots Ryan there with Homelander and manages to find an opportunity to get the kid alone, where he tries to persuade him to leave Homelander and go with him. Homelander shows and is disappointed to learn that Butcher will be dying soon. So much for their grand battle.

Butcher and others under a banner for TRUTHCON
Credit: Jan Thijs/Prime Video

Butcher finally tells the team that he will die soon, but it doesn’t stop Mother’s Milk (Laz Alonso) from kicking him out of the group once again due to the chaos he brings and his disobedience. Desperate to get Ryan away from Homelander, he turns to Neuman for help. She agrees to help get Ryan away if Butcher gives her the file that Huey has on her. He agrees. However, hallucinations of his dead wife are now a common occurrence for Butcher. As he is about to send the file to Neuman, his wife can speak to his conscience and he sends Neuman a photo of an asshole (yes, a literal asshole) instead. Thus, leaving him back to the drawing board on ways to get Ryan away from Homelander.

He then opens up to Mother’s Milk about all the times he’s fucked up in life but how it’s too late now to fix any of it. The only good thing he can do now is to free Ryan, but he needs MM’s help to do it. MM shuts him down.

As a last resort, he turns to his old pal and current CIA agent, Joe Kessler (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). Kessler has his agenda in wanting Ryan away from Homelander. He hopes to train him as a weapon against Homelander and others like him. Kessler gives Butcher a powder to drug Ryan. All Butcher has to do is find a way to give it to him. Butcher can reach Ryan through a video game and invites him over. Butcher bakes his wife’s famous cookies laced with that special powder. Ryan shows up but doesn’t want the cookies. They play foosball instead. Ryan and Butcher have a heartfelt conversation. At this point, Butcher throws the cookies away. It’s clear that Ryan isn’t happy and it may not take much to persuade him away from Homelander without drugging him, much to Kessler’s dismay. Butcher reminds Kessler that he doesn’t want Ryan to be trained for anything. Kessler says they will one day train him or kill him. There are no other options.


At the end of last season, Homelander introduced the world to his son, Ryan. A protester in the crowd threw a bottle at Ryan, at which point Homelander lasered the guy to pieces. Both the crowd and Ryan seemed pleased. This season, Homelander is on trial for the man’s murder, but as he explains to Nueman, he won’t be going to jail. Homelander has a large following known as the Hometeamers, but he also has a group of opposition known as Starlighters. While at Vought, there is a meeting to try and find new members to fill the empty spots of the Seven. One of the candidates is a woman named Sage (Susan Heyward). She is the smartest person in the world. Her files are glossed over at the meeting, but Homelander takes an interest and shows up at her house. He explains that he’s tired of everyone agreeing with him and that there is no one left to challenge him due to their fear of him. He needs someone like her.

With Sage now working with him, they start the first part of their plan. Sage gathers three of Homelander’s biggest fans and brings them to a building where The Deep (Chance Crawford), A-Train (Jessie T. Usher), and Black Noir II (Nathan Mithcell) are waiting. Homelander hands the team baseball bats and instructs them to beat the fans’ brains in as he heads out to his court hearing. All comply, except for A-Train who stands in disbelief as the other two murder the innocent fans.

Back at the courthouse, Homelander is found not guilty. Sage, dressed as a Starlighter, incites a fight with the Hometeamers. Both groups go wild and begin attacking one another. Homelander exits the courthouse and watches with a smile on his face. He then sends A-Train a text that presumably instructs him to move the three bodies to the courthouse amid the battle outside. Starlight (Erin Moriarty) shows up and watches as her friend is beaten and broken. The crowds then disburse as they notice the bodies of the three fans on the ground. Everyone assumes that the Starlighters killed them, which was Sage and Homelander’s plan all along. Thus, taking credibility away from Starlight and strengthening the people’s love of Homelander.

Homelander is going through a sort of mid-life crisis as he begins to notice he is aging. Not just because of the grey pubic hairs he keeps plucking (and saving), but because of the way people around him speak of his son Ryan and his youthful looks. At first, Homelander was excited to have Ryan thrust into the spotlight, but eventually, he made sure that he was in the spotlight with him. During a fake rescue, Ryan is instructed by Homelander to stop the villain, but he accidentally shoves too hard and kills him instead. This leaves Ryan conflicted, as he never wanted to hurt anyone. Homelander, being the great dad he is, urges Ryan to get over it and reminds him that they are just people and they are powerful. This lack of empathy pushes Ryan to that meeting with Butcher.

Homelander smells Butcher on Ryan when he returns and questions why he isn’t good enough for Ryan. That he has given Ryan everything. Ryan runs off upset and it may be the last straw for Homelander as he seems to go a tad nutty after as he argues with himself in the mirror.

Everyone Else

Hughie (Jack Quaid) has been avoiding his father’s phone calls because he’s tired of his father wanting to talk about the latest novel he’s been reading. Sadly, his father had a stroke and is now in a coma. This leaves Huey with an overwhelming guilt and he begs his dad to wake up. Then he can read him the “whole fucking book.” To Hughie’s surprise, his mom, who left him when he was a little kid, shows up to the hospital and has power of attorney over his dad’s medical care. Hughie spends the first few episodes angry at his mom, but eventually, they have a talk and he finds out that she left because she was suffering from severe depression and even attempted suicide. She felt leaving was best for them all.

In the midst of all that, Hughie was helping MM at the stadium where Vought on Ice was rehearsing. Going on a tip from A-Train, they were setting up surveillance for a meeting between Homelander, Sage, and Neuman. Hughie is up in the vents setting up the device, but he’s stuck as the meeting has begun a little early. A drop of sweat falls from his face down to Homelander, and Homelander knows immediately who it belongs to. He flies up to the vent but Hughie is gone and now running through the stadium. Homelander almost has him but is blinded by a spotlight, lasering the wrong person. Hughie makes it out alive thanks to A-Train who has rushed him far away.

A-Train is getting tired of Homelander’s shit and being a bad person. He does a few good deeds throughout the first few episodes. He gives Hughie and Starlight footage of the three fans who got killed, being at the building and not in the crowd. Which they can use to exonerate the Starlighters who were arrested for their death. He then meets with MM, giving him the information about the meeting, and then rescues Hughie.

Then we have our random storyline with Frenchie (Tomer Capone). He begins a relationship with a man named Colin who he met in Narcotics Anonymous and who now works with the Starlighters. It was alluded to early in the show that Frenchie was bisexual, so that’s not much of a surprise, but it’s a little jarring how fast they throw him together with Colin. The show pushed the chemistry between them, but it felt completely off since most of it must have happened off-screen between seasons. Plus, they spent three seasons building the relationship with Frenchie and Kimiko which turned out after their kiss to be just best friends/sibling dynamic. Which is cool, but we just got over that and now he’s with this guy we’ve never really seen before. It just felt forced. That aside, they do sleep together and we learn later that Frenchie is responsible for killing Colin’s family in the past, leaving him an orphan. He’s now struggling with this and avoiding Colin, which also seems to be causing him pain.

Servers coming through a door
Credit: Jan Thijs/Prime Video

Kimiko is also struggling with her past. She sees a therapist and it is implied that she has also seen a speech pathologist. The therapist encourages her to come to terms with her past as the mutism is due to trauma. Kimiko doesn’t like this and leaves.

Not much is going on with MM other than him leading The Boys now, and he looks like a different person without his beard. Please bring the beard back.

Starlight starts the season just being Annie. She wants nothing to do with her Starlight image, but by the end of Episode 3, she is back in her suit and ready to lead the Starlighters against Homelander.

Besides Sage, we get another new character and member of the Seven, Firecracker. She can shoot little firecrackers from her hands, but her real power is her ability to talk and make people believe the most outlandish shit. She had a podcast that gained her a huge following. Think flat-Earthers and fake moon landing believers. Those are her followers. Her ability to talk nonsense into truth will help rile up the Hometeamers for sure.

Firecracker stands in front of a portrait of herself that includes a dinosaur
Credit: Jasper Savage/Prime Video

The most amusing part of all of this is that we learn The Deep’s octopus girlfriend’s name is Ambrosius and is voiced by Tilda Swinton. Genius. Oh, and The Deep and Sage end up f*cking after she lobotomized herself (her way of relaxing). I’m excited to see where this whole triangle leads.

And that’s it, folks. I love The Boys and was not disappointed in the Season 4 premiere. It’s going to be exciting to see where the Sage/Homelander plan goes. I believe Sage has her agenda and I don’t believe for a second that she is helping Homelander without an ulterior motive. She is, of course, the smartest person in the world. I’m pretty certain Ryan will be Homelander’s downfall, but whether he ends up being a good guy or not is yet to be seen. He’s still young and easily manipulated. Perhaps Kessler will get his hands on him. I’m a little tired of Starlight. I know she has a purpose, but she feels unimportant at the moment. Hopefully, that picks up soon. Then there’s Butcher. I thought that a cure might present itself at some point, but since next season will be the last, I think he may just die defeating Homelander/saving Ryan/doing the right thing.

We will see what the season brings.

Written by Felicia Nickens

Lover of television, film, & the macabre.

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