SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Payback,” “The Only Man in the Sky” and “Barbary Coast,” the three episodes that are part of the June 3 launch of “The Boys” Season 3.
Within the first three episodes of Season 2, “The Boys” blew up a whale by having Butcher (Karl Urban) crash into it with a speedboat. In the Season 3 premiere, the Amazon Prime Video show exploded a smaller, but much more graphic, object in an even more bizarre way.
As “The Boys” showrunner Eric Kripke previously promised variety, within the first 15 minutes of the Season 3 premiere, a moment occurs that is “a thousand times crazier” than the whale scene: A superhero named Termite shrinks down and climbs into the urethra of his significant other in order to pleasure him from inside his penis. Termite accidentally sneezes, causing him to quickly grow back up to normal size and fatally rip through the pelvis of his partner, killing the man and leaving Termite a bloody traumatized mess before he goes up in a fight against Frenchie (Tomer Capone), Kimiko ( Karen Fukuhara) and Butcher.
“Craig Rosenberg wrote the script and deserves most of the blame for it,” Kripke said. “These evolve in a writers’ room and the evolution of that sequence started with, ‘We need The Boys to fight a superhero.’ So then we ask, ‘What big superhero haven’t we done yet?’ Someone says, ‘We haven’t done Ant-Man.’ And then someone else says, ‘There’s that meme of Ant-Man climbing up Thanos’ butt and blowing him up. So we should do that. We should give the audience the thing that Marvel can’t give to them.’ Then someone else raises their hand, hilariously, and says, ‘Didn’t we already do an ass explosion?’ Which we did, in Season 1, with Translucent, which is hilarious.”
Kripke continued: “And so, once you take butts off the table, there’s really only so many orifices you can go in. And it was Craig who mounted that argument. He’s like, ‘Look, the mouth isn’t funny and the butt has been done.’ So we’re going to blaze some new trail through the eye of the needle, as it were. And it was so funny.”
For fans wondering, that penis set was “parallel” in cost to the whale-sized set in Season 2.
“Even though it was very much sweetened by the effects, that is a practical penis,” Kripke said. “That is an 11-foot high, 20-foot long penis head that has a urethra, a tunnel in it, and built at great expenses. We got Sony and Amazon to pay so much money to build this set. And it’s just another reason why I love my job.”
On set, Fukuhara was amazed, describing it as “a scene from a cartoon where you’re just looking and you’re like ‘Wow this is crazy.’”
Meanwhile, Urban “did not feel the need to go and look at that set,” adding: “I just remember opening the script and reading it, ‘Oh yeah, that tracks.’ Driving a speedboat into a whale last season and this season it’s exploding inside what is comparatively a giant urethra. That’s the world of ‘The Boys.’”
Elsewhere in “The Boys” Season 3 premiere, there was a cameo that rivaled the ones Marvel is famous for pulling during its post-credits scenes — because it actually featured an actor who just did a very splashy spot at the end of “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.”
In the opening scene of Season 3, Charlize Theron shows up in “Dawn of the Seven,” which is an in-universe movie produced by Vought about Homelander (Antony Starr), Starlight (Erin Moriarty) and the other members of the Seven, going up against Nazi supe Stormfront, who is normally played by Aya Cash, but was portrayed in the Vought film by Theron.
“Like most cameos on our show, it follows the rigorous and stringent screening process of whoever returns Seth Rogen’s phone calls,” Kripke said. “And to her immense and everlasting credit — she had just made ‘The Long Shot’ with Seth — and to her incredible credit, she agreed to come on and help us out. I actually feel kind of bad about it, because I’m sure he positioned it like, ‘Hey, do us a favor, pop on camera and it’s a cameo.’ Then the next call is our costume designer, ‘OK, you need to come in and we need to design this super suit.’ She shows up on a whole big day of shooting with several camera crews and everything. But she was such an immensely great sport and is so funny. I mean, obviously she’s in comedies, but watching her work up close and in person, the level with which she commits to the most ridiculous dialogue that anyone has ever said, it’s absurd. The heart and soul with which she delivers it is so funny and stunning. We were really lucky to have her.”
As fate would have it, Kripke says it was just a fortunate accident that Theron also has a cameo as the Marvel sorceress Clea at the end of “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” — because that was not the reason Kripke and Rogen asked her to do the spot in “The Boys.”
“I did not know this ‘Doctor Strange’ thing was happening. My assumption is we asked her before,” Kripke said. “But I was in the theater watching ‘Doctor Strange’ with my kids and then that cameo came up and I was like, ‘Yes!’ Anything we can do to draw a line between us and Marvel is a good day.”
By the end of the first three episodes of “The Boys” Season 3, which were released Friday on Amazon Prime Video, it’s revealed that the real Stormfront has killed herself by chewing off her own tongue, much to the disappointment of her boyfriend Homelander. But seeing as many fans thought she was pretty close to dead at the end of Season 2, is she really, truly dead now?
“I don’t know. I’ve always said, until you’re really staring at a body that is dead, you can never truly say, in television, if someone is dead,” Kripke said. “But I guess time will tell.”
The third season of “The Boys” is just getting started, with the remaining five episodes rolling out in the coming weeks, including the much-anticipated superhero-orgy installment “Herogasm.” Kripke says that he doesn’t think the fatal penis accident in the premiere episode will overshadow what’s to come.
“I certainly worried about it that; if we open the show in such a completely bananas way, what is that going to do to the rest of that episode and when we get to ‘Herogasm’? Will people feel like it’s a disappointment?” Kripke said. “I’ve found that is not the case. Even though that’s an insane moment, I think we continue to delve into the characters, dramatize what they’re going through in these shit-bird-insane-bananas moments, and, to me, luckily the shock of it just never quite wore off .”
For Kripke, “Herogasm” isn’t just about the giant superhero orgy, anyways: “As much as we talk about all the shock and the crazy, I think ‘Herogasm’ works not because it’s a major superhero orgy, because that’s all really funny. It works because of the confrontations that are happening there and the emotion, weirdly, and the heartbreak and the pathos. These characters who you thought would always stay together are falling apart, other characters are coming together, and it was more of a huge opportunity to bring almost all of our characters crashing into each other. I think that gives it weight that if it was just a bunch of naughty superheroes having weird superhero sex, it probably wouldn’t have worked or been good. But I think that episode really lands because, not only are there crazy moments, but there are many, many emotional moments.”
Jordan Moreau contributed to this story.