The Boys Episodes 5 to 8 [7/10]

Captivated by Episodes 2 to 4 of “The Boys,” after an opening episode that titillated rather than thrilled, I approached the second half of Season 1 (the second season is on the way) with caution. What I experienced was nothing cathartic but rather a chaotic ride through a careening plot that smacked of impromptu decisions but nonetheless worked really well. Each episode advances the complex tale while developing a few of the characters’ stories. The acting remains consistent throughout and action scenes are spectacular. At the start of the series, the core character was reluctant anti-superhero battler Hughie (acted so well by Jack Quaid), in the middle the story of head vigilante Billy Butcher (Keith Urban in fine, roughshod form) took over, and what surprised me is that the arch villain of the overall tale, the king superhero Homelander (played with icy subtlety by Antony Starr) comes into his own towards the end, revealing subtleties in his character that ensure the climax is spectacular and surprising. Overall, the eight-episode Series is neither slick nor wholly realized, but is a striking, leftfield, adventure-filled ride. Recommended.

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