With this season 3 finale, The boys easily proved once again why he is one of the the greatest superhero shows ever on TV. The packed episode managed to juggle a brutal clash of superheroes, several twists and turns and teased the next big issues for Butcher and The Boys for future seasons.

It was a satisfying season finale on many levels, mainly for the often underserved Queen Maeve. Absolutely everyone experienced intriguing development, from Starlight’s new powers to Homelander’s new apprentice. Let’s dive into everything that happened.

Read more: The Boys is still the perfect antidote to Marvel fatigue

Not surprisingly, Soldier Boy had a troubled upbringing.

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What is Soldier Boy’s true identity?

What better time to find out how Soldier Boy first became Soldier Boy from the finale. As a young man, he emulated Ben and wanted nothing more than to prove himself to his father. So, naturally, he visited his “dad’s golf buddies in the military department” and signed up for the trials of Union V. Is it working to become America’s greatest hero? Unfortunately no. His father still hated him, refusing to even let him take his name.

We later find out that Vought scientist Jonah Vogelbaum used Soldier Boy’s DNA to create the Homelander. According to Homelander’s twisted idea of ​​how families work, Soldier Boy is his father.

What really happened in Nicaragua in 1984?

Thanks to Vought’s propaganda and Payback’s lies, it was unclear what happened on that fateful day in Nicaragua in 1984. Dubbed “Operation Charlie,” President Reagan’s secret project was designed to help counterinsurgents fight against the supported from Russia Sandinistas in the country. Lt. Col. Grace Mallory was accused of trafficking cocaine into the U.S. and using the profits to buy weapons for the rebels.

But when America’s greatest superhero team intervened in the mission, failing to prove that they would be compatible with the military, the rebel camp was compromised and all of Mallory’s soldiers were slaughtered. This prompts her to create The Boys and go after Vought. That was the day Soldier Boy disappeared into the hands of the Russians, but no one but Payback knows exactly how. It’s all about Black Noir…

Members of the Payback team stand side by side in Nicaragua.

Before The Seven, the biggest superhero team in town was Payback.

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The Mystery of Black Noir

The silent killer from The Seven and The Reckoning always got the job done, no problem. But when Soldier Boy returns to the US after decades locked away in a Russian lab, Black Noir inexplicably pulls a runner.

In the finale, we find out exactly why. In Black Noir’s cartoon hallucinations, we discover that Stan Edgar made a deal with Black Noir to kill Soldier Boy because years earlier scientist Vogelbaum had created a superior flying superhero, the next best model: the Homelander. Vought wants Homelander to take on the role of a leading superhero beloved by America. Soldier Boy had to get out of the way.

It helped that Gunpowder, Swatto, Mindstorm, Black Noir, the TNT Twins, and Crimson Countess, Soldier Boy’s girlfriend, all hated Soldier Boy. Black Noir, who hated Soldier Boy even more after he brutally beat him up over a stolen movie role, agreed to Edgar’s terms. Grace Mallory missed everything that happened after she was knocked unconscious during the Russian attack on the rebel camp. When she came to, it was the Crimson Countess who claimed that the Russians had created “some kind of gun” that killed Soldier Boy.


Black Noir is no longer a mystery.

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But Black Noir and the rest of Payback – especially Mindstorm – were able to band together against Soldier Boy and subdue him before turning him over to the Russians. Black Noir was badly injured in the fight, half his face disfigured. Black Noir never reveals to Homelander what happened. When Homelander reveals the truth that Soldier Boy is his father and that Black Noir has been keeping it from him, he guts Black Noir. Black Noir’s cartoon friends wish him peace and bid a tearful farewell as he dies.

Homelander finally wins over Ryan

This season opened with Butcher struggling with his feelings about whether to take care of Becca and Homelander’s son, Ryan. On the one hand, it was his wife’s dying wish. On the other hand, it’s the son of an evil psychopath. But Butcher gives Ryan a chance, sending him into the safe hands of the CIA and “Aunt Grace.”

But mentally! In one of many twists and turns, Ryan ends up accepting Homelander as his father again. Homelander finds Ryan thanks to an inside tip from Congresswoman Victoria Neumann, who works with Grace at the Bureau of Superhuman Affairs. Homelander gives a moving speech, convincing Ryan that the boy who killed Becca was a mistake. Homelander isn’t mad because that’s what Supes do: cause tons of unfortunate, often horrible accidents.


Queen Maeve is doing a lot of heavy lifting (with minimal screen time) this season.

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Maeve is not dead. Hooray!

You’d be forgiven for thinking Maeve was gone this season. It looked like she was going to be killed not once, but twice. Although the first time was not convincing. It was no surprise to see Maeve still alive and held captive by the Homelander in a white cell 12 stories below Vought’s Tower. Thanks to Starlight’s #FreeMaeve social media campaign, which prompted “every LGBT teenager in the world to make Vought an ass,” a search warrant was issued for Vought. Maeve, too strong to be sedated, woke up as she was transported to another location and fought her way to freedom. “Free Maeve” mission complete.

Boy soldier, meet Ryan

In another clever twist, Soldier Boy decides to keep his word and (attempts to) kill Homelander. After Mindstorm told Soldier Boy that he was technically Homelander’s father, it seemed that Soldier Boy would change his mind and take Homelander under his wing, parenting him like his own father never did. But when he, Butcher, and Maeve confront Homelander, Soldier Boy makes his feelings about Homelander clear, calling Homelander a “weak, attention-hungry hiccup cat.” Homelander then played his trump card, taking out Ryan. “Hey, grandpa.”

This throws a wrench in the works, turning Butcher against Soldier Boy after Soldier Boy attacks Ryan. A great battle begins…


Starlight levels up.

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The starlight shines even brighter

Starlight, Kimiko, Frenchie, and Mother’s Milk arrive to provide support against Soldier Boy. (Meanwhile, Maeve unleashes her anger on Homelander – it’s about time.) Throughout the season, Huey struggles with feelings of inadequacy and powerlessness – he has a super-powered girlfriend who he can’t protect without the help of Temp V (the green vial of compound V that gives people superpowers for 24 hours). But, finally, Huey sees the light. Instead of using a spare cup, he turns on every single light in the Vought News Network studio and powers Starlight’s powers. He helps her to save herself. For the first time, she levitates and unleashes a powerful bolt of lightning to stun Soldier Boy.

Mother’s Milk gets her moment to use Frenchie’s concoction of a deadly nerve agent to sedate Soldier Boy. But it’s not enough…

Maeve saves the day

This episode epitomizes how Queen Maeve is the unsung hero of The Boys. Not only does she horribly lose her eye in a fight with Homelander, but she realizes that Soldier Boy is about to detonate radiation that will kill everyone. Proving her hero status once again, she tackles Soldier Boy through the window and they dive into the air. Somewhere around the middle of Vought Tower, Soldier Boy blows up.

Only this time, everyone (important) lives

But, surprisingly, both Queen Maeve and The boy soldier survives. Maeve, now powerless (Soldier Boy’s radiation removed Compound V from her system, just as it did with Kimiko), is also free to live the life she always wanted with her friend Elena. News reported her death as having sacrificed herself to defeat a “Russian-radicalized boy soldier.” Even Ashley deletes footage of Maeve being found alive in an alley next to Mother’s Milk. (Well done, Guys, for not committing “Bury your gays” trope.)

Soldier Boy was also picked up and taken to another organization’s secret room. Grace neglects to move Soldier Boy into a new cryo chamber.


Victoria Neumann is playing a long game.

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These teasers for the future

Not only does Homelander continue to stir up his particular demographic – mainly Nazi Stormfront supporters – at a pep rally, he introduces his followers to his son Ryan. When a Starlight supporter throws a can at Ryan, Homelander teaches his son that it’s okay to kill people with a laser. Ryan leaves us with a creepy childish grin, indicating that yes, he will probably follow in his disturbing father’s footsteps.

On top of that, the Boys, now permanently joined by Starlight, have to deal with the fallout from Victoria Neumann becoming a running mate of presidential candidate Robert Singer (his former colleague drowned during an evening swim in a pool from The Deep , by order of Homelander) . This could lead to Neumann becoming America’s new Vice President, unless the Boys take down the head-turning Supe, something Butcher fully intends to do.

Continuing questions…

Will we see Maeve again? Will she be the last point of call when the Boys run out of ideas? Will Grace Mallory start her own experiments with Soldier Boy and use him against Vought? What wonderful father-son destruction will Homelander and Ryan devise? Will everything The Boys do again be bigger and more graphic than Herogasm in episode 6?

The good news is that Amazon Studios has already renewed The Boys for a fourth season. After this chapter, there’s no doubt that the show will continue to offer some of the smartest and most radical superheroes on television.


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