Warning: This review contains major spoilers for the boys season 3episode 6. If you haven’t seen the new episode on Prime Video, turn around now!
Is here. Ever since The Boys showrunner Eric Kripke announced that the series would adapt one of the wildest scenes in comics, Herogasm, everyone has been wondering how this main show will tackle the infamous superhero orgy. After all, how do you bring that debauchery to the screen without literally producing porn?
The Boys’ skirts, almost, on the right side of good taste. The show’s version of Herogasm scales things up from the comics, in which Vought invites superheroes from around the world to an island for a convention of depravity, all while telling the audience that their heroes are fighting a common enemy to save humanity. Instead, the masterminds behind the live-action rendition are The Twins, Soldier Boy’s former Payback teammates. There are still plenty of supers enjoying Herogasm at home in Vermont, but very few of the core players participate.
That’s not to say The Boys are holding back: this is still a superhero orgy after all. Most of the details are enjoyed in the background: Love Sausage, and her long appendage, return after appearing last season; The Deep becomes very familiar with an octopus; and MM is drenched in bodily fluids, the funniest moment in the whole sordid affair. Those who wanted the Herogasm front and center may be disappointed, especially since the event doesn’t take place until halfway through the episode. Bolder still is the decision that the superhero orgy is not the most shocking moment of the moment; that honor goes to A-Train, who kills Blue Hawk by dragging him along the ground at super speed for a very grisly death.
This is, I would argue, the only way Herogasm could have really worked on screen. The show has always suffered when it hits for the sake of hitting, and having the orgy more prominent would have distracted too much from the main story. Instead, it becomes a bold backdrop for the season’s best confrontation yet, as Soldier Boy and Homelander collide.
“You’re a cheap fucking knockoff,” superintendent Jenson Ackles tells Homelander. “I’m the improvement,” he replies dryly. They are two sides of the same coin, each of whom has been Vought’s golden child at different times. Now, we finally have a super that can match Antony Starr’s scene-stealing villain, and the fight only gets more epic when Billy Butcher gets involved. While the pair fail to defeat Homelander, there is someone who poses a real threat to the leader of the Seven. The stakes have gone up.
The episode is not all sex and violence. In a particularly emotional scene, Mother’s Milk reveals to Starlight why he hates Soldier Boy: the super killed MM’s family by throwing a car at his house during a robbery gone wrong. Worse still, the super hunter is haunted by the fact that his parents wouldn’t have been in the line of fire if he hadn’t woken them up to see what Soldier Boy was doing on his street. Laz Alonso’s vulnerable performance is heartbreaking, as his character wonders where the responsibility lies, him or Soldier Boy. Kimiko suffers from a similar dilemma. She and Frenchie manage to escape Little Nina’s clutches by killing her in a shocking display of violence, all without the use of Kimiko’s powers. She questions if she was the “monster” after all, not the V that made her one.
The theme also runs through the story of Starlight and Hughie, when they come to blows over their use of the V-24. “I thought the drugs fucked you up, Hughie,” she tells him, “but this is you, this is all you.” Everyone is grappling with the question of responsibility: are they bad or is it just what Vought made them become?
‘Herogasm’ ends with a potentially hopeful response. Starlight chooses to take her fate into her own hands, regardless of the personal consequences. She becomes a whistleblower for Vought, revealing that Soldier Boy is alive and that Homelander has been lying to the public on an Instagram live. Standing in front of the Herogasm massacre, she tells the world that she resigns.
One thing is for sure as the credits roll: this episode is The Boys at its best. There’s so much excitement present throughout, along with a tantalizing tease for the upcoming episodes, and all, miraculously, set against a backdrop of an orgy of superheroes (those aren’t words I was hoping to write). It is daring, heartbreaking and very funny. The Boys continues to break new ground, and no other show matches its audacity.
Check out our The Boys season 3 release schedule guide to make sure you don’t miss a minute of Prime Video’s superhero show.