The Deep’s Seven Return Twists His Season 1 Starlight Controversy

Caution: spoilers ahead for The Boys season 3

The Deep might achieve his goal of rejoining the Seven, but The Boys season 3 turns success into punishment by flipping his transgressions against Starlight. Played by Chace Crawford, Deep was your archetypal Vought supe during The Boys' early episodes, exploiting his lofty status to get away with preying upon women. When the hopeful and bright-eyed Starlight joined the Seven, Deep's ritualistic sexual abuse found another target. The aquatic menace forced his new colleague to perform a sex act, threatening her dream job would be at risk if she didn't comply.

While Starlight's harrowing experience derives straight from Garth Ennis' The Boys comics, Amazon's TV adaptation took a massive detour when Annie publicly outed Deep's crimes. Vought was forced to exile their fishy friend from the Seven, and Deep has been on what he might refer to as a "journey of self-discovery" ever since. Though The Deep has certainly been humbled by his fall from grace, Crawford's character hasn't shown a slither of genuine remorse for attacking Starlight. His one and only goal has always been swimming back up the Seven's shaft, and that dream becomes reality in The Boys season 3, episode 3 - "Barbary Coast."

Related: The Boys’ Saddest Ending Could Bring Back A Cut Comic Murder

Homelander's motivation in insisting Deep rejoin the Seven is purely to torture Starlight after her co-captain promotion. The pernicious patriot has resolved to make Starlight's life hell, and her reaction to Deep's return is the fearful one Homelander would've hoped for. Still carrying the scars of The Boys season 1, the prospect of working alongside The Deep - and, even worse, having to publicly forgive him - is understandably crushing for Starlight to endure. On one hand, The Boys appears to be rewarding Deep for past misdemeanors, letting him off the hook (no pun intended). But here's where season 3 does something clever. By throwing Deep's wife, Cassandra, into the mix, the sea-faring supe goes from exploiter to exploited.

Introduced in The Boys season 2, Cassandra is an ambitious woman hunting social ascendancy, and her fallen Seven hero husband is the unwilling elevator. Fast-forward to The Boys season 3, Cassandra is essentially Deep's puppet-master. She chews him out for showing weakness in front of Homelander, forces Deep to eat his own underwater friends, and generally appears to be dictating season 3's career resurrection for her own ends. Cassandra's controlling influence and her husband's obvious discomfort completely flips Deep's murky past on its head. In The Boys season 1, Deep took advantage of his Seven status to get away with hurting Starlight and numerous others; in The Boys season 3, others are taking advantage and hurting Deep in order to reap the benefits of his Seven status.

There's a sense of poetic justice in Deep's stark reversal of fortunes upon rejoining the Seven. That's of little comfort to Starlight, of course, who now has to wake up every day and face working alongside the man who abused her. Real justice (i.e. not the poetic kind) would involve a jail sentence and permanent removal of superhero status. However, in a story like The Boys where dramatic license rarely allows "real" justice to happen, Deep getting a very small taste of the powerlessness he spent years inflicting on others might just soften the sting of his Seven comeback. The Deep has spent every waking day since his Starlight controversy clawing for a second chance at the top. Now he's there, The Boys season 3 is going to make damn sure he doesn't enjoy it. One can hope this is just a first step toward true justice for Starlight.

Start Free Trial NowMore: Will Other The Boys Members Get Powers (& What Will They Be)?

The Boys continues Friday on Prime Video.

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