The Boys Season 4 Episode 1 review, What’s Next for Butcher and Homelander

'The Bos Season 4 Episode 1 review as we explore explosive starts, shocking alliances, and what the future holds for Butcher, Homelander, and The Boys. 

The highly anticipated fourth season of 'The Boys' has finally arrived, and it starts with a bang, quite literally. Episode 1, titled "Department of Dirty Tricks," sets the stage for another season of chaos, dark humor, and unrelenting action. If you thought the previous seasons pushed boundaries, brace yourself because this season seems to be taking it even further.

The Boys Season 4 Episode 1 review

Recap of Season 3 and Gen V

Before diving into the new episode, let's quickly recap where things left off. Season 3 concluded with Soldier Boy causing massive destruction, and Butcher's dangerous flirtation with Temp V left him with only months to live. Hughie and Annie rekindled their relationship and rejoined The Boys, while Victoria Neuman climbed the political ladder, now poised to become the Vice President alongside Robert Singer. Meanwhile, Homelander’s public murder spree has bolstered his fanbase, and he’s formed a twisted alliance with Neuman, with his ego bigger than ever.

Main Plot Points

In Episode 1, we see Homelander spiraling further out of control, preparing new schemes with Ryan by his side. Butcher is grappling with his impending mortality, trying to keep his illness at bay while leading The Boys on a new mission. The episode kicks off with Neuman making a public appearance, hinting at her significant role this season.

Opening Scene Breakdown

The Boys Season 4 Episode 1 review

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The episode opens with Neuman (Claudia Doumit) basking in the applause of the crowd as Sex Pistols’ "God Save the Queen" plays ironically in the background. Her campaign is on fire, and she announces wins in Colorado and Nevada, projecting a confident image for the future. However, The Boys have already infiltrated the event, with Kimiko (Karen Fukuhara) undercover as a waiter, and the rest of the team working from behind the scenes.

Character Developments

Homelander (Antony Starr) continues to assert his dominance, bringing Ryan (Cameron Crovetti) into the public eye. His indoctrination of Ryan is both chilling and telling of his plans to mold the boy in his image. Butcher (Karl Urban), on the other hand, is seen struggling with his illness, talking to himself (or perhaps hallucinating Becca), and barely holding it together.

The Boys’ Plan Unfolds

The Boys Season 4 Episode 1 review

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Kimiko and Frenchie (Tomer Capone) are tasked with a critical mission: infiltrate Neuman’s inner sanctum and swap her eye drops with a deadly concoction. Meanwhile, Butcher is left outside, fighting his own demons and trying to maintain some semblance of normalcy despite his worsening condition.

Homelander and Neuman’s Alliance

Homelander’s meeting with Neuman is tense. She’s reluctant to partner with him due to his murder trial, but Homelander’s confidence and charisma win her over. He publicly declares their alliance, much to the crowd’s delight, signaling a dangerous new partnership.

Butcher’s Attempt to Save Ryan

Butcher finds Ryan alone and tries to convince him to leave with The Boys. However, Homelander intervenes, mocking Butcher’s condition and reinforcing his control over Ryan. The emotional tug-of-war between these characters adds depth to the storyline, highlighting the complexities of their relationships.

Action-Packed Moments

The Boys Season 4 Episode 1 review

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The episode doesn’t shy away from action. Kimiko and Frenchie’s encounter with Zoe, Neuman’s daughter, who has developed terrifying new powers, is particularly intense. Kimiko loses an arm and part of her face, showcasing the brutal realities of their world, but manages to regenerate and escape.

Grace Mallory’s Involvement

Grace Mallory (Laila Robins) is furious with Butcher for failing to retrieve Ryan and for the botched mission. Singer’s connection with the CIA and their directive to eliminate Neuman adds a new layer of intrigue, revealing the high stakes and the desperate measures being taken to control the supe threat.

Joe Kessler’s Debut

The Boys Season 4 Episode 1 review

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Joe Kessler (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) makes his debut, offering Butcher a way out of The Boys. Their conversation hints at a deep history and presents Butcher with a moral dilemma: stay with The Boys or join Kessler in a more extreme approach to dealing with supes.

MM and Monique’s Subplot

MM’s (Laz Alonso) personal life is also in turmoil. Monique (Frances Turner) seeks his help to track down Todd, who has become deeply involved in a right-wing movement. This subplot adds a personal dimension to MM’s character, showing the balance he tries to maintain between his family and his fight against the supes.

Homelander’s Inner Turmoil

The Boys Season 4 Episode 1 review

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Homelander’s internal struggles are highlighted through a series of disturbing flashbacks and nightmares. His meeting with Sister Sage (Susan Heyward) reveals his existential crisis and his growing dissatisfaction with his life, despite his immense power and influence.

Vought’s PR Machine

Vought’s PR efforts are in full swing, with fundraisers and media manipulation shaping public perception. New characters like Firecracker (Valorie Curry), who hosts a right-wing podcast, are introduced, adding to the narrative’s complexity and reflecting real-world media dynamics.

The Boys’ HQ Dynamics

The Boys Season 4 Episode 1 review

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Back at The Boys’ HQ, tensions run high. Butcher’s secret meeting with Neuman, where he offers to trade Hughie’s information for Ryan’s return, underscores his desperation and the fractured trust within the team. The dynamics between Hughie, Annie, Frenchie, and the rest of The Boys are strained, with internal conflicts threatening their unity.

Homelander’s Trial and Verdict

The trial’s outcome is a pivotal moment. Homelander is found not guilty, sparking chaos outside the courthouse. Sage’s incitement of violence further fuels the conflict, leading to a brutal showdown between supporters and detractors. This sequence is a stark reminder of the series’ commentary on societal division and the power of media influence.

Personal Moments

Amidst the chaos, personal moments ground the characters. Hughie faces a family crisis as his father suffers a stroke, and Frenchie’s budding relationship with Colin offers a glimmer of hope and normalcy. These scenes add emotional depth, making the characters more relatable and their struggles more poignant.

Climactic Confrontations

The climax sees MM, Frenchie, and Kimiko on a mission to stop Todd and his allies. The brutality of Homelander’s orders, forcing his team to commit murder as a loyalty test, is shocking and sets up future conflicts. The episode ends on a cliffhanger, with Neuman poised to become Vice President, setting the stage for the next chapter in this gripping saga.

Conclusion and Cliffhanger

Episode 1 of Season 4 of 'The Boys' delivers on its promise of high-octane action, complex character developments, and biting social commentary. With new alliances, personal struggles, and escalating conflicts, the season is off to a diabolical start. As always, 'The Boys' continues to push boundaries and challenge viewers, making it one of the most compelling shows on television.


  1. When was 'The Boys' Season 4 Episode 1 released?

    • The episode premiered on June 9, 2023.

  2. Who are the new characters introduced in this episode?

    • New characters include Joe Kessler (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), Firecracker (Valorie Curry), and Sister Sage (Susan Heyward).

  3. What is the significance of Homelander’s alliance with Neuman?

    • Their alliance represents a dangerous consolidation of power, with significant implications for the political and social landscape of the series.

  4. How does Butcher’s illness affect his role in The Boys?

    • Butcher’s illness adds a layer of urgency and vulnerability to his character, influencing his decisions and interactions with the team.

  5. What are the main themes explored in this episode?

    • The episode explores themes of power, corruption, family, and the consequences of unchecked authority.

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