Movie Reviews

The Boys' New Episode Directly Responds To Season 4's Biggest Criticism

The following contains spoilers for The Boys season 4, episode 5, “Beware The Jabberwock, My Son,” now streaming on Prime Video


  • The Deep’s line in The Boys season 4 tackles backlash against the show’s politics and themes.
  • The show anticipated divisive reactions from fans and is unapologetic about its political satire.
  • Criticism of The Boys going “woke” misses the show’s longstanding political commentary and societal critiques.

The Boys directly comments on one of the biggest criticisms of season 4, and underscores the flaw with that complaint. The Boys has been a grisly hit for Prime Video, with the fourth season earning rave reviews. The strength of The Boys season 4 highlights the potential of the franchise, which has expanded to spin-offs like Gen V while heading towards a conclusion with season 5. However, the show has also increasingly been targeted by some portions of the fanbase, who believe the series has become too overt in its themes and commentary.

On the surface, The Boys is a bloody remix of the superhero genre, playing many of the costumed crimefighters as flawed at best and outright monstrous at worst. The Boys‘ true villains are grim reflections of society’s worst impulses, filtered through capes and costumes. However, the show has used this set up to become an increasingly pointed satire about media and politics, and it seems firmly aware that some fans are resisting that aspect of the series.


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The Deep’s “Go Woke” Line In The Boys Season 4 Is A Direct Response To The Backlash

Vought Is Trying To Turn “Woke” Into Another Thing They Can Profit Off Of

Black Noir and The Deep stand in fighting position in The Boys season 4.

The Deep’s reference to Vought going woke highlights how The Boys anticipated the negative criticism of some fans to the show’s politics. During a fan expo to announce new shows and movies starring Vought’s stable of superheroes, the Deep takes part in announcing “Black At It,” an initiative focusing on BIPOC characters like Sister Sage and A-Train. The Deep comments that while some may say that you “get woke, go broke,” Vought believes that if “get woke, get yoked.”

This moment highlights how Vought is more than willing to appropriate the phrase as part of their business initiative, trying to appeal to a larger audience in obvious and tone-deaf ways. The Deep’s reference to going woke is also a direct comment towards the negative reception The Boys has increasingly received from a portion of the show’s audience. Some conservative fans of the show have claimed the show has “gone woke” in season 4, largely due to the inclusion of a queer romance, more overt political commentary, and clear criticism of the Far-Right.

The Deep’s Line Proves The Boys Anticipated Season 4’s Divisive Reaction

The Boys Saw The Right-Wing Critics Coming

Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Karl Urban stand face to face in The Boys season 4

The fact that a character in The Boys is commenting on the reaction the show has been receiving highlights how the show’s producers and creatives expected a portion of the audience to react. Season 4 of The Boys has been review-bombed on sites like Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB. Many claim the show has become too “woke” and overt in anti-Donald Trump rhetoric. The show has made no secret about its content or the intent behind it, with much of the political satire baked into the show that shines a spotlight on capitalism, war-profiteering, and the whitewashing of history by media.

Season 4 has only amplified those elements of the show, drawing clear attention to the political ambitions of Victoria Neuman and the rising conspiracy to install the show’s ultimate strongman Homelander as the leader of the free world. The Deep making a joke about companies stealing and profiting off of ideologies like “wokeness” for their own benefit highlights how the show expected to be called “woke” for its narrative choices.


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The Boys Has Never Been Subtle With Its Satire

People angrily commenting on The Boys going “woke” have been missing the point of the show all along. The first season of The Boys incorporated political themes front and center, especially in regards to Starlight’s #MeToo inspired storyline with the Deep and attempts by Vought to bring Supes to the military. Season 2 directly confronted many supremacist views held by members of the Alt-Right with Stormfront, an openly discriminatory “super hero” who is eventually discovered to be an actual Nazi. Season 3’s Soldier Boy storyline underscored dated ideals, while drawing attention to Homelander as a dangerous megalomaniac.

The Boys has always been political, with much of its criticism of society hidden just under the surface of the more overt superhero parodies. That helps make The Boys compelling and complex, and gives it the necessary depth to balance out the more gross-out humor and bombastic action beats. The Deep bringing up the comment in-universe highlights how the creatives have gotten used to audiences misinterpreting their intention. The Boys has never been afraid to poke fun at that portion of the fan base, and is becoming more overt with it in season 4.

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