Why “Herogasm” is THE BOYS at its Best
Third season of The Boys, I believe, was extremely successful and confirmed that Amazon’s production is still one of the most interesting titles currently being broadcast. At the same time it offered an episode that can be safely included among the best achievements of the entire series.
But first, a few words about the series itself. The Boys, based on the comic book by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, already at the level of the initial idea, is a great departure from today’s standard superhero productions, especially those that fit into the MCU. It’s hard to find crystal clear heroes in Eric Kripke’s series. On the contrary – they are mostly an egocentric, narcissistic, power-loving gang at the service of a large corporation, for whom saving civilians is only a way to raise public opinion, not something resulting from noble motives. Not agreeing to this state of affairs, they face the titular group of The Boys, whose members have – to put it mildly – unpleasant experiences with the so-called supes. Suffice it to say that in the prologue of the series, one of the superheroes accidentally turns the beloved girl of the main character into a bloody pulp.
Approaching the third season, we already know what we’re dealing with. The Boys has no limits of decency, and the creators of the series are not afraid to go wild and shock, which they quickly confirm in the opening of the third installment. At the same time, they create the presented world perfectly – so much that it’s easy to believe that if superhuman beings existed, they would be like the heroes in the service of the Vought corporation, not Captain America or Iron Man. The creators of The Boys sometimes openly mock the mainstream adaptations of Marvel and DC comics, even touching on a parody of Justice League and confusion around the theatrical and director’s cut of Zack Snyder.
With all this, the screenwriters fantastically manage to find a place for a lot of humanity, moral dilemmas and outlining the tragedy of some of the characters, including those portrayed as negative. The leader here is Homelander, the most powerful of the superheroes, to whom the creators devote a lot of space in the third season, also entering the areas of what his desires, needs and what shaped him the way he is. He is the show’s most interesting character, thanks in part to the difficult but excellent performance of Antony Starr.
All the best of The Boys is accumulated in the sixth episode of the third season – Herogasm, which was loud at the stage of production.
Contrary to expectations
The comic book issue of this title told the story of how the Boys find themselves at a party organized on a tropical island by the Vought corporation. There, the heroes indulge in various legal and illegal activities and organize an orgy. The absence of superheroes was explained to the citizens by the fact that they went into space to fight alien life forms.
Although the TV series Herogasm was viewed before the premiere mainly through the prism of the comic book original (and was promoted in this way), in the episode itself the orgy thread is only a background for the rest of the events and is presented in a completely different context. This does not mean, of course, that the creators do not devote time to the erotic games of superheroes (to the point that one of the characters ends up being splashed from head to toe with semen), using this opportunity to present some funny gags. However, they are not the essence of the episode and they do not make it so memorable. Herogasm culminates in several storylines, either from the beginning of the series or during this particular season – and this is its strength. In terms of effectiveness, the Homelander’s clash with Butcher, Soldier Boy and Hugh is the leader here, and it is actually a milestone in the history of the series – for the first time someone faces this superhero with fists. In addition – apart from Soldier Boy, who is a permanent supe – Butcher and Hughie do it strengthened with a temporary dose of the compound V, each driven by personal motivations. As a result, the fight of these four is a dynamic, exciting action scene that will surely be one of its brightest spots until the very end of the series.
The beauty of Herogasm, however, is that it’s actually a very emotional episode, and that’s because most of the characters face their demons and show their other side. In the case of Homelander literally, because he got a scene of a conversation with himself (strongly associated with scenes with the Green Goblin in Raimi’s Spider-Man), which sheds new light on his character and what he is like deep down, and even makes him a little we feel sorry for him. This is another acting show of the already mentioned Starr.
Apart from that? A-Train and Hughie, Hughie and Starlight, Marvin and Soldier Boy, Soldier Boy and TNT Twins, Marvin and Butcher, Frenchie and Kimiko, Ashley and A-Train, Starlight and Deep – it’s amazing how much interaction writer Jessica Chou managed to type in this episode and how loud she let each of them sound. Make the characters explain their motivations, settle accounts with the past, but also fight for the future, sometimes in a surprising way. Given the scale of events, twists and the ending of the episode, Herogasm could easily function as the end of the season (and I think it’s an episode better than the actual finale, although I was satisfied with this one too).
In Herogasm, there was even room for The Boys‘ typical mocking of reality, and in the best style – the episode opens with a parody of Gal Gadot’s infamous initiative with celebrities who created a cover of Imagine and sang from their mansions about imagining the lack of possessions, which was to help the victims of the pandemic. The parody of The Boys is as subtle as any show in that category, so the superheroes and stars who cameo here sing exactly the same song.
If I had to choose my favorite episode of The Boys, I would choose Herogasm without hesitation. Let me repeat – this is the accumulation of everything that is best in this series: uncompromising, absurd humor, violence, but also emotionally charged relationships between the characters, which can particularly shine here (including Soldier Boy, introduced in the third installment, played by Jensen Ackles ). At the same time, it is a great summary of the entire season, which also focused heavily on heroes. A real gem. Fuckin’ diabolical.