In the latest season of the irreverent superhero series, the gang discovers that Soldier Boy (Jensen Ackles), the very first Supe, might hold the key to stopping Homelander (Anthony Starr) for good

“With great power comes the absolute certainty you’ll turn into a right cunt.” That line, delivered with a weary sigh by Karl Urban’s Butcher in the new season, has been more or less The Boys‘ thesis statement from the beginning.

the world of this Amazon series, special abilities haven’t made superheroes more noble — just better able to get away with sordid or sadistic behavior,

secure in the knowledge that they can punch their way out of any mess and leave their bosses at Vought International to deal with the cleanup.

That hasn’t significantly changed in season three. The Boys is still the show that’ll serve up exploding bodies with a smirk and make time for a field trip to a superpower-fueled orgy.

But buried in all that carnage, it also finds something approaching a heart — and in doing so, brings the more thoughtful aspects of its story to a riveting new chapter.

Season three picks up roughly a year after the events of season two, and initially, things look downright balmy for our central players.