Is The Boys Taking Its Aquaman Joke Too Far With The Deep?

There seems to be a common thread with The Deep's storyline this season on "The Boys," and arguably his entire storyline across all three seasons of the show. The show has offered a lot of jokes at The Deep's expense, usually delivered wonderfully with actor Chace Crawford's on-point comedic timing.

The third season of the show really seems to be taking the jokes to another level. It has always been hinted that he has a fetish for the sea creatures he can communicate with, but the subtext has fully become text. Of course, this is a joke that has been made about Aquaman, the DC character of which The Deep is a parody, for years. Even DC has acknowledged the possibility that Aquaman has done the dirty with fish.

However, one has to ask whether or not all this is really necessary. Was it funnier when it was only hinted at rather than explicitly shown, like during the infamous "Herogasm" episode? The answer is a bit complicated, but we're happy to unpack it.

Why it's tired

Need we say any more? The original Aquaman joke never evoked side-splitting laughter, as it's pretty childish. This doesn't magically change for The Deep. Sure, he has never been the most complex or layered character, but honing in on his perversion toward fish seems very dumb. Besides, he's a pervert in other ways, which we'll discuss shortly.

"The Boys" isn't exactly the most highbrow show in the world — hell, its first season 3 episode involved a brief moment where a shrinking superhero attempted to climb into a main character's butt. And it was hilarious because everyone in the scene played off each other.

Usually, with the fish sex jokes, The Deep is the only one involved, excluding even his wife, Cassandra. The show works best when it remembers it's an ensemble show, one that doesn't rely solely on one character to work, and it's why the show has maintained the following it has. Jokes like the ones made toward The Deep seem to cheapen this, which in turn cheapens the usually terrific humor and satire the show is known for.

Why it's deserved

Let's get one thing clear: The Deep is a predator. Him forcing himself onto Starlight (Erin Moriarty) is the catalyst for her disillusionment with The Seven and with being a Supe in general. No matter what he says, he has never shown true remorse for the assault and likely never will. Sorry, but it's the truth.

This unforgivable act coupled with his lack of empathy is why it is so satisfying that The Deep constantly gets humiliated throughout the show. Think about it. He's had his worst sexual desires exposed; he found his way into a cult; and he has done everything he could to suck up to Homelander (Antony Starr). There is perhaps no unluckier person in the entire show than him, and that's because the show wants you to remember how awful of a person he is. What he did to Starlight will never be forgotten, and the string of sexual jokes and humiliating situations The Deep is involved in can easily be considered karmic justice in a weird way.

Where can they go from here?

This isn't an easy question to answer. For starters, The Deep's arc on the show arguably isn't going anywhere. He's back on The Seven, he's out of the Church of the Collective, and he's finally lived out his dreams of getting sucked on by an octopus. So what's the point? He shouldn't necessarily be killed off, but maybe he should at least be a recurring character rather than a lead.

Then again, we can't deny that Chace Crawford is a standout in the cast. Despite The Deep being a straight-up POS, he carries a naive, boyish energy in every scene that is impossible to ignore. This, coupled with his comedic timing and straight delivery of even the most ridiculous lines, makes him a wonderful part of the cast that would be sorely missed if The Deep were to get killed off.

Perhaps the best compromise is that The Deep simply gets phased out of the show. Have him for key events or interactions with characters, and then have him go work on himself and his marriage off-screen. At the same time, however, he's just a scumbag at the end of the day that permanently ruined Starlight's perception of the power Supes hold. Maybe the final humiliating event he has to endure in his life is a painful and agonizing death. We're not entirely sure, but no matter which approach the writers end up choosing, we're desperately hoping it doesn't involve fish sex.