Well that was certainly a graphic couple of episodes. Ever since the Boys first debuted on Amazon Prime in 2019, it has become one of the streaming services biggest hits. Along with its refreshing take on superheroes, the Boys features a fantastic cast with Karl Urban, Antony Starr, Erin Moriarty and Giancarlo Esposito amongst others. So before I get into the list properly, here is some history about the show.
The Boys first debuted on Amazon Prime in July 2019 and is currently in its third series. So what is the show about? Well, it’s set in a world where superheroes are celebrities with an incredible amount of skeletons in their closets… and they are all terrible people. Oh, also the Boys is about a group of ordinary citizens attempting to take down superheroes once and for all. The Boys achieved critical and commercial success through its cast, tone and different approach to superheroes. Oh and also everything that Karl Urban does in the show because he’s awesome. With the history out of the way, let’s get into the list properly.
10: Get Some (S1, E3)
Kicking off the list of the best The Boys episodes is Get Some. I suppose the real question is who gets some? Well I can’t say exactly as it’d spoil the episode but it does feature a race between two parodies of the Flash: Shockwave and A-Train. This is to determine whether A-Train is still the fastest man alive and worthy of being in the Seven (Parody of the Avengers/Justice League). Oh also this episode continues the Hughie/Starlight romance as well as showcasing Butcher at his most annoyed. With what? Everything…..
9: The Female of the Species (S1, E4)
Now before she becomes more important later on, Kimiko was a target for both the Seven and the Boys. This brings the Boys into conflict with Hughie’s favourite hero, A-Train, and the stealthiest member of the Seven, Black Noir. All this leads to a fantastic fight between Black Noir and Kimiko. Oh, also this episode continues the tensions between Homelander and A-Train over his drug usage. I mean if those two fought, it’d be like Superman Vs Flash in Justice League. Anyway, in yet another example of Homelander being morally bankrupt he uses a plane crash he somewhat caused to push for superheroes in the military. Oh, all of this takes place while Queen Maeve is grieving for the dead passengers she was forced to leave. Damn, Homelander is cold…..
8: The Bloody Doors Off (S2, E6)
So what are the Boys up to in this episode? Well they are breaking into Sage Grove psychiatric hospital to track down Compound V and its connection to superheroes. Naturally this brings some unwelcome past connections for the Boys in the form of Lamplighter. Oh also Stormfront shows up because she might be behind the entire operation because of course she might be. Overall a great episode because of the emotional backstory it builds for the characters.
7: What I Know (S2, E8)
But what do I know? Well a lot about the Boys but that’s besides the point. Anyway this episode shows just how much Butcher cares for his family by initially selling them out to Stan Edgar, head of Vought (The Superhero Company)….only to immediately renege on the deal to save his family from Stormfront. However, tragedy strikes when Ryan attempts to intervene to save his mother, Becca, from Stormfront. Oh and also the fact Homelander finally gets brought down a peg by Queen Maeve is a wonderful ending with Butcher able to see Ryan finally also being great.
6: Over the Hill with the Swords of a Thousand Men (S2, E3)
In what is going to become a trend on this list, welcome to another example of Homelander is a terrible person. In this episode, he pushes his son, Ryan, to use his powers as he considers him to be weak. Oh also this episode lays the foundation for the Homelander Stormfront relationship through a violent chase scene between the Seven and Kimiko’s brother: Kenji. On top of this, Giancarlo Esposito’s performance where he outwits Homelander is phenomenal and scary. This is because in the first series we rarely saw Homelander being so comprehensively broken down.
5: The Name of the Game (S1, E1)
At the halfway point of the best episodes of the Boys is The Name of the Game. So what makes this episode so good? Well apart from the fact this is the first episode of the Boys it’s also an excellent introduction to the characters. We see Hughie struggling with grief and anger after A-Train literally runs through his girlfriend. Oh also the fact Simon Pegg was cast as Hughie’s dad is a wonderful touch. But the reason this episode places where it does is because of the introduction of Karl Urban’s violent sarcastic vigilante: Billy Butcher. Man, I love Butcher.
4: The Self-Preservation Society (S1, E7)
Narrowly missing out on the top three best episodes of the Boys is the Self-Preservation Society. What makes this episode so good? Well, Homelander finally thinks he’s caught Starlight for co-conspiring with Hughie to extort Ezekiel. Oh and the small fact Homelander knows about the Boys and the fact they killed Translucent ramps up the stakes significantly. If that wasn’t enough then we also see Homelander find out that his son and Butcher’s wife are alive after he previously thought them to be dead. Oh and then just because he can he creates super villain terrorists to make himself look better…
3: Payback (S3, E1)
Kicking off the top best episodes of the Boys is one of Butcher’s favourite things: Payback. Oh and also it’s the Series 3 opener but that’s less important than Butcher throwing a superhero into a pile of drugs. Anyway, this episode centres around Queen Maeve giving Butcher a lead on where to find a weapon to kill Homelander for good. Oh Payback also features a nightmare sequence where Butcher debates becoming a superhero using Compound V whilst hearing Homelander and Ryan mocking him. And if that wasn’t enough the scene of Homelander and Butcher talking about how this life isn’t for them is really well done and provides emotion to an already emotionally charged rivalry.
2: The Big Ride (S2, E1)
Narrowly missing out on the top spot in the best episodes of the Boys is The Big Ride. With the series 1 opener done, why not look at the series 2 opener? So the Big Ride sees the Boys convince Butcher to re-join them. Why? To take down Vought and Compound V for good. Naturally, this annoys Hughie but at this point what doesn’t? Also, remember what I said earlier about Giancarlo Esposito? Well, take that point and multiply it by 10 as once he shows why he is so good at bossing Homelander around.
1: The Only Man in the Sky (S3, E2)
And the best episode of the Boys is… The Only Man in the Sky. Now this features a massive revelation about Victoria Neuman, Hughie’s Boss, and Stan Edgar. Also, this episode sees Butcher taking Compound V to take down a superhero called Gunpowder. And in the most Butcher way possible, he does this after telling Hughie he isn’t going to be violent anymore. Oh and also Homelander’s emotional breakdown at the end where he reveals how Vought treats superheroes and vows to become the world’s hero as they need him more. If there’s one thing the Boys is fantastic at, it’s making you feel sympathy for characters who really don’t deserve it.
What are your favourite episodes of the Boys? Let me know in the comments below!