It’s pretty common in the lead up to new television releases to hear all sorts of hype about how upcoming seasons outdo previous ones, everything is bigger and better than before, and if you miss out you’ll live in obscurity and shame. Stars, producers, and writers hyping up their new show is commonplace, and it often isn’t a great gauge for what the season actually ends up being like.
Except maybe in the case of The Boys. Amazon’s countercultural superhero show has a reputation for being one of the raunchiest, most self-aware shows on TV, and there’s pretty much no doubt season 3 will up the ante. Based on the comic series by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, The Boys is set in a world where superheroes are real and very popular, even if they’re all but owned by corporate interests.
While The Boys has always been edgy, the rumblings surrounding season 3 make it sound like it could be the most outrageous season yet. We know it’ll be adapting the “Herogasm” arc of the comic series, which features of a gratuitous superhero orgy. In the show’s opening episode, there’s apparently a scene where a certain body part does something it never could under normal circumstances. “I’ve only seen some rough stuff, so I haven’t seen its, um, full glory,” star Karl Urban (Billy Butcher) told The Guardian. “But there are things about season three that, once you’ve seen them, you will never unsee them.”
“Herogasm”: Karl Urban recalls the shell-shocked horror of The Boys cameraman
Despite showrunner Eric Kripke’s recent insistence that The Boys doesn’t actively try to outdo itself every season, it certainly feels like that’s what’s happening with season 3. The buzz around Herogasm in particular has fans both eager and terrified to see where the show will go.
“It’s difficult to talk about it without giving away too many spoilers, but I’ll tell you one thing,” Urban said. “Jensen [Ackles, who plays Soldier Boy, a hero in the style of Captain America] walked on set one day when they were shooting Herogasm. He turned to one of the cameramen and said: ‘Hey, buddy, how’s it going?’ The cameraman has this thousand-yard stare and goes: ‘Dude, I’ve seen some shit.’”
We believe it. Ackles, for the record, recently revealed that there was one scene in the script that was so extreme that he refused to do it. “As a father of three, and a son and a husband and a self-respecting human being, I can’t do this. I didn’t know where my line was, but you found it,” Jensen recalled telling Kripke.
Billy Butcher’s powers in season 3 will cause “an extreme amount of pain”
Of course, there’s plenty else to talk about when it comes to The Boys season 3. For instance, we see in the trailers that Billy Butcher will be getting superpowers this season after taking concentrated doses of Compound V that only last for 24 hours at a time. According to Urban, that’s more than long enough to cause some trouble.
“I had a lot of discussions about what having powers might be like,” he says. “And I was like: ‘Well, it’s gonna hurt, right?’ It comes back to the question: what is the cost of power? The cost is that it actually causes an extreme amount of pain.”
The pain of his newfound superpowers won’t be the only thing Butcher has to deal with. By the end of The Boys season 2, Butcher had taken custody of a young boy named Ryan, the child of Butcher’s deceased wife Becca (Shantel VanSanten) and Homelander (Anthony Starr). “It’s a responsibility that Butcher never anticipated, and it’s at loggerheads with his objective,” Urban said. “You can’t be a parent and a superhero-fighting vigilante.”
We won’t have to wait long to find out how Butcher will handle all these competing priorities. Season 3 of The Boys premieres on Prime Video on Friday, June 3. Three episodes will drop on the premiere date, with new episodes following each Friday.