This article contains spoilers for The Boys season 3 episode 1.
When The Boys’ showrunner Eric Kripke stopped by the Den of Geek studios at this year’s SXSW festival, he had a bold proclamation to make about the show’s third season.
“The very first 15 minutes of episode 1 is by far the craziest thing we’ve ever done…like, by a mile.”
Naturally, when we had a chance to speak with Kripke again the week of season 3’s premiere on Prime Video, we decided to remind him of that statement, to which he responded “Did I oversell it?”
No, Eric. No, you did not.
Anyone who has watched the first 15 minutes of The Boys season 3 now knows that the show has outdone itself in terms of pure shocking sexual depravity and violence once again. Kripke likes to describe the beginning of each Boys season as a sort of James Bond opening setpiece. For three seasons in a row, the show has featured a moment early on that is seemingly unconnected from the rest of the season’s main plot and instead establishes what life is like on the ground for Billy Butcher’s Boys as they try to take down errant supes day-by-day. The case presented in the opening moments of season 3 episode 1 “Payback” is by far the most extreme and gruesome example yet.
Butcher (Karl Urban) and his two remaining Boys teammates, Kimiko (Karen Fukuhara) and Frenchie (Tomer Capone) have a lead on a sure-to-be wild party thrown by the shrinking superhero named Termite. As Kimiko and Frenchie infiltrate the party, they find all the usual signs of Vought hero degeneracy: copious amounts of cocaine, simulated sex with Barbie dolls, the whole nine yards. But they also walk in on something that they, nor anyone else, could have ever wanted to see.
After a generous bump of cocaine, Termite shrinks down to the size of an insect and then…well, he crawls into a human penis, you see. Unfortunately for that human penis, Termite sneezes, accidentally enlarging himself and exploding the penis owner’s body to smithereens.
It’s a bold, grotesque opener to a season that no one could possibly have predicted. But of course, the internet hive mind already did kind of predict it, just in a different, not Boys-related context. Kripke confirms that Termite’s mishap was partially inspired by the Marvel fan memes generated before the release of Avengers: Infinity War that mused as to what would happen if Ant-Man shrunk down, entered into Thanos’s butt, and then expanded.
“We wanted them to fight a superhero and (that concept) just evolves organically, weirdly,” Kripke says. “It starts with ‘well we haven’t done Ant-Man yet’ and then someone says “you know that meme of Ant-Man climbing up Thanos’s butt? We should do that.’”
Of course, The Boys had already pulled off one instance of sudden rectal violence when they dispatched Translucent with an ass grenade in season 1. That observation brought them around the corner of the human body.
“Once you take the butt off the table there’s truly only so many more orifices you can go with,” Kripke says.
Ah, the magic of artistic creation! For as excited as Kripke is for an unsuspecting audience to experience the madness of the scene, he does have one reservation.
“Last season, President Obama said he was a fan. Oh my god, I wonder if President Obama is going to watch that. What’s he gonna think?”
The first three episodes of The Boys season 3 are available to stream on Prime Video now. New episodes arrive every Friday through July 8.