The Boys Will End At The Perfect Time

Prime Video has announced that superhero satire The Boys will end after five seasons.

Frenchie and Kimiko in The Boys season 4.
Photo: Jan Thijs | Prime Video

A long-rumored limited run of five seasons always made a lot of sense for Amazon Prime Video’s comedic hit The Boys. While the show was a critical and commercial success from its premiere in 2019 and onward, the nature of its premise is hard to maintain.

The Boys‘ satire of our current political and social era is so acute that every subsequent season carries with it the potential for audience burnout. Hell, audiences already seem fairly fed up with the superhero storytelling institutions that The Boys parodies in the first place. That’s why it was surprising when showrunner Eric Kripke seemed to intimate that he had rethought his initial plans for a five-season run.

In a May 28 interview with Inverse, Kripke said “No one was more wrong in all of human history about how many seasons their show was going to go than this guy.” While many naturally assumed that referred to his plan for The Boys, it was just as likely referring to Kripke being the creator of The CW’s Supernatural, which ran for a whopping 15 seasons. Indeed, shortly after those comments came to light, Kripke clarified them by tweeting “You guys. If you read the article, all I said is that I won’t speculate on when the show ends. No comment, basically. Trust me please. I got this.”

Now we have a better idea as to why Kripke was confident. That’s because the ending of The Boys had already been decided and the writer confirmed as much on June 11 via his Twitter account.

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The Boys will conclude with its fifth and final season. This is welcome news – not because The Boys isn’t an enjoyable TV experience but precisely because it is. In our spoiler-free review of the show’s fourth season (which premieres its first three episodes to Prime Video on June 13) we noted that this felt like the beginning of the end in several respects. Now it’s clear why … and it also raises our estimation of season 4 in general (mentally bump up that star rating at the end of the review if you feel so inclined).

With this announcement, Kripke, Amazon, and all the other decision-makers involved have identified the perfect moment to call it quits for their trenchant, yet challenging satire. However, knowing when to end is one thing and knowing how to end is another thing entirely. Through four seasons, The Boys has been remarkably effective at depicting one culture’s descent down the reactionary rabbit hole. But does it know how to get that culture out of it?

That’s a question we actually posed to Kripke during pre-season interviews for The Boys this year. He was understandably horrified that someone would turn to a TV writer for a concrete solution to democratic backsliding.

“Oh, Jesus Christ. Oh, that’s horrible. That’s a scary question. No, I have no idea how to defeat [fascism]. All I can say is take care of the people that you love next year. And I can say what doesn’t save the world. What doesn’t save the world are strong men who try to present simple answers to complicated questions. The real way to save the world is through billions of small boring steps in the right direction that are no fun to talk about on social media.”

We look forward to taking billions of small boring steps with The Boys season 5 whenever it premieres.

The Boys season 4 premieres its first three episodes Thursday, June 13 on Prime Video.

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