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Why The Boys Season 3 Premiere Episode Title Has Fans Hyped

The Boys has opened up a whole new extended universe of grit, grime, and spandex for Amazon Prime, boldly asking the question, "What if superheroes were a bunch of edgelord Jerk McGurks?" Audiences, it seems, couldn't be more thrilled, as the series continues to dominate the field of streaming media. When the show concluded its sophomore season in early October 2020, fans immediately started clawing at their screens for more.

Luckily, The Boys had already been renewed for a third go-round before season 2 was even done cooking. Now, viewers have a potential glimpse at what year three has in store, thanks to a photo released by showrunner Eric Kripke. 

Confirming that the show would resume filming in early 2021, Kripke posted to his Twitter a picture of episode 301's script cover page. There were a couple of choice details to pick through. First off, the episode was written by Craig Rosenberg, who's been penning scripts for the series since 2019 and has also contributed to AMC's Preacher. But what really struck fans was the episode's title: "Payback."

In a series so focused on revenge stories, a moniker like "Payback" might seem innocuous enough, but fans of Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson's comic book source material know that the episode title points to a big addition to the franchise.

Warning: Spoilers for The Boys' comics (and possibly TV series) to follow.

The Boys is bringing in some gross Avengers

The bad news: In the original comic book series, "Payback" isn't the name of a Supe who hasn't yet been in the television series. The good news: In the original comic book series, "Payback" is the name of an entire team of Supes, many of whom could make their debut in The Boys' third season.

Billed as "the second most popular superhero team" in The Boys' universe, Payback is the Avengers to the Seven's Justice League. Like the familiar-looking cast of characters already introduced on the streaming series, the members of Payback all take cues from existing comic book franchises. There's Soldier Boy, the Captain America analogue set to be played by Supernatural's Jensen Ackles. Swatto, the insect-inspired size changer, takes his cues from Ant-Man, while Crimson Countess brushes right up against infringing on Scarlet Witch's trademark look. Mind-Droid looks an awful lot like Vision, and Eagle the Archer has both the anachronistic sidearm and the bird imagery of your standard Hawkeye.

The Boys fans are freaking out about the possibility of Payback being added to the show

Considering that season 3's premiere episode bears the title "Payback," many fans of The Boys are thinking that the team will be introduced right at the start of the new season, which would track with the series' all-killer, no-filler style of storytelling. Understandably, this has everyone throughly hyped for The Boys season 3 — even more so than they already were prior to the episode title reveal. 

"Can't bloody f***** wait," one fan wrote in response to Kripke's tweet. "#TheBoys is the best show of this generation." Another added, "I NEEEEEEED IT! Can't wait to see this!" And, speaking for the entire Boys fandom, user @ImpalaCharlie exclaimed, "Yesssss! Cannot wait to see what crazy you bring to season three! Woo!!"

In the comics, the members of Payback came to a characteristically gruesome end at the hands of Billy Butcher — the kind of gory, blood-soaked stuff that Boys enthusiasts can't get enough of. However, that shouldn't dump rain on anyone's parade: If The Boys is to introduce Payback at the top of season 3 — and it certainly seems like it will given the entire flippin' episode is named after the team — there's a chance that they'll play a larger part in the TV series' narrative and stick around for longer. The series could very well decide to take liberties with the source material and prolong Team Payback's demises for a few episodes. Could we get a Payback-versus-Seven sequence? Or will the show jump straight into Karl Urban smashing super-powered heathens with a crowbar? We'll just have to wait and find out.