In “The Boys” recap for the season 3 finale, Butcher and Soldier Boy prepare for one final battle against Homelander but The Boys have other plans…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
It’s all come down to this as “The Boys” reaches the end of season 3 with a final confrontation between Butcher, Soldier Boy and Homelander but the collateral damage reaches much further than just those three.
In last week’s episode, Soldier Boy learned that his DNA was harvested and used to create a child that grew up to become Homelander. It was thanks to that child being born that Vought decided Soldier Boy had served his purpose, which led to his former team Payback selling him out to the Russians where he stayed in captivity for more than 30 years.
Learning that he has a son appeared to be a gamechanger, at least based on Soldier Boy’s reaction but he also desperately wants revenge against his former team and that puts him directly at odds with Homelander.
Meanwhile, Annie learned that the V24 — the temporary Compound-V that gives powers to anybody for 24 hours — has deadly consequences for anybody using it more than three times. She passed that information along to Butcher, who promised to tell Hughie the news, but Annie knew deep down that he’d never actually share that information — at least not as long as Homelander was still standing and there was some chance they could combine forces to kill him.
So Annie decided whether Hughie likes it or not, she was going to rescue him from Butcher and the dangers involved with another dose of V24.
And let’s not forget the agreement made between Homelander and Congresswoman Victoria Neuman, who suddenly became useful to each other after eliminating Stan Edgar earlier in the season. Victoria provided Homelander with some valuable information and in return she wants him to help her secure a position of power in the government. By the time all that’s revealed, the problems for The Boys are only compounded.
With that said, let’s get to our recap for “The Boys” season 3 finale titled “The Instant White-Hot Wild”…
Deep, Deep, Deep Inside
As suspected from last week’s episode, Congresswoman Victoria Neuman’s deal with the devil meant that she handed over the location where Homelander’s son Ryan was being housed.
Like clockwork, Homelander arrived at the home where Grace Mallory was trying to keep an eye on Ryan as his powers continued to grow stronger. Ryan is understandably scared when his father first lands unexpectedly on the front lawn but he soon learns that Homelander is taking a different approach this time around.
After threatening to laser Grace in half if she touches her phone, Homelander tells Ryan that he doesn’t blame him for misusing his powers and accidentally turning Stormfront into an overcooked German bratwurst. Instead, Homelander tells Ryan that he just had an accident with his powers — no different than the same kind of missteps he took as a kid as well.
Homelander then promises Ryan that no matter what he does, he’ll always be there for him and he’s not going anywhere. Rejected by Butcher earlier in the season, Ryan embraces the only real family he has left as he hugs his father much to Grace’s chagrin.
Back at Vought Tower with Homelander absent, Ashley and The Deep are left to deal with a shitstorm from the fallout from Starlight’s latest video release. The footage shot where Homelander confesses to killing Supersonic and threatening to slaughter Hughie has a whole lot of people enraged, although there’s an alarming number of folks still very much on his side as well.
Outside the tower, warring factions are protesting with one half taking up for Starlight and her accusations against Vought while the others are tried and true Homelander supporters no matter what he says or does. Inside, Ashley knows the State Attorney General has a search warrant to come look for Maeve and with enough digging, they’ll find her locked inside a prison cell and not at some cushy rehab facility as the company has been saying.
So Ashley makes an executive decision to gas Maeve, knock her out and transport her to a different facility so when the police come looking, she’ll no longer be there.
The only problem is the knockout juice doesn’t completely put Maeve under and she’s able to break free from her restraints, overpower the guards and crash the convoy carrying her to an unknown destination.
When Homelander returns to the tower, he has to learn from Ashley and Deep that Maeve escaped, which just adds to a growing list of problems he’s facing, especially after learning that Soldier Boy is actually his biological father. Before he can get too enraged at Ashley and Deep’s incompetence, he’s first surprised to find Black Noir has returned home with a message that reads “Soldier Boy will come — we kill.”
Homelander appears overjoyed that Black Noir has returned home again as he prepares for a potential battle against his father.
As for Butcher and Hughie, they’re still dealing with the fallout that Soldier Boy learned Homelander is his son because that means the plans they’ve made to kill the star-spangled psychopath might not be as easy now. Soldier Boy has been rather quiet since learning and then revealing the news to his new teammates but Butcher believes he’ll follow through on his promise, especially because he knows how much the former Vought poster boy wants his old teammates dead.
The only one left is Black Noir and Soldier Boy wants him gone.
But after stopping at a gas station to fuel up and likely get more booze for Soldier Boy, Butcher finally grows a conscience when meeting Hughie at the restroom. Butcher remarks how much the lad looks like his little brother Lenny before punching Hughie and knocking him out cold, thus preventing him from joining on the mission but more importantly stopping him from injecting more of the poisonous V24 into his body.
When Hughie finally wakes up, he calls the only person he can count on right now and sure enough, Annie arrives to give him a ride back to the city.
In the car, Hughie apologizes profusely for the way he’s been behaving and then he learns that the V24 was likely going to kill him if he continued taking it but Butcher refused to tell him. Still, Hughie knows that whether Annie or anybody else likes it, Butcher still stopped him from taking any more of the dangerous drug by knocking him out and leaving him behind.
Of course it also means that everything Annie has been warning Hughie about has finally come to pass so she’s entitled to unleash on him at least a little bit.
“Oh my god I fucking told you so! So satisfying, oh my god.”
When they arrive at Mother’s Milk’s apartment, they find Maeve who ran there after escaping Vought custody along with Frenchie and Kimiko. Frenchie somehow managed to secure a single dose of that Russian nerve toxin that can put Soldier Boy to sleep, which makes M.M. very happy.
Sadly, Frenchie’s still dealing with his own demons after realizing that everything Little Nina said about him was true. From his father to her to Billy Butcher, somebody has always been pulling his strings and Frenchie has just bounced and bobbed like a good little puppet.
Kimiko disagrees and slaps some sense into Frenchie so he’ll realize that he can break that cycle but it’s never going to happen so long as he’s dealing with things by trying to snort his problems away.
Back in the living room, Annie attempts to warn security at Vought Tower that Soldier Boy is coming there and with his explosive powers, the entire building could be leveled and the thousands of people working inside will die. They don’t want to listen, which means Annie and the rest of the team are going to have to figure out a way to stop Soldier Boy from unleashing his powers, which could end in catastrophe.
Hughie’s ready to join them but not at the expense of Butcher’s life.
Despite everything that’s happened, Hughie knows that Butcher still ultimately did the right thing where he’s concerned by stopping him from taking another dose of the deadly V24. Hughie refuses to just let Butcher serve as his own one man suicide squad going after Homelander.
“He could have dragged me down with him but he didn’t. There’s still something good deep, deep, deep inside. We save everyone — even if they don’t deserve it. Especially if they don’t deserve it.”
The team assembles and prepares to track down Butcher and Soldier Boy with hopes that they can slow them down before an attack on Vought Tower leaves a whole lot of people dead.
When Hughie, Frenchie, Mother’s Milk, Annie, Kimiko and Maeve arrive to confront Butcher, he’s stunned to see them there but more concerned that his plans to go after Homelander are being threatened. Hughie tries to talk some sense into Butcher while appealing to him about all the innocent people who will die at Vought Tower if there’s a battle between the two most powerful Supes in history.
As much as Hughie wants to believe he can pull Butcher back from the ledge, the wily cunt just isn’t interested in abandoning his plans to take down Homelander.
Butcher soon finds out he’s got more people on his side than he first imagined after Maeve snatches the Russian nerve agent away from Frenchie and tosses it out of the window. Maeve realizes that this is probably her best and only chance to really bring down Homelander and that means teaming up with Soldier Boy.
Of course, Soldier Boy is dealing with his own internal turmoil after coming clean to Butcher about how he lived as a constant disappointment to his father growing up. Even after he jumped at the chance to be a guinea pig for Dr. Vought and his experimental Compound-V drug, which turned him into the most powerful man in the world, Soldier Boy’s father saw it as just another shortcut rather than actually working hard to find success.
Now Soldier Boy appears to be pushing those same inadequacies that he faced onto Homelander as the son he never knew and perhaps he could somehow change him for the better.
But Soldier Boy’s thirst for vengeance against Black Noir still outweighs his own parental guilt.
So when Annie begins firing up her powers in an attempt to stop Maeve from joining this attack squad, Soldier Boy emerges from the shadows and reminds her that he’ll hurt her without pause so she should be careful about whatever move she makes next. Butcher decides to put his team inside a vault that will keep them locked up for the time being while he jacks up with V24, jumps in a car with Maeve and Soldier Boy to prepare for one last fight against Homelander.
Meanwhile, A-Train is finally forced to deal with the injuries his brother suffered at Blue Hawk’s hands even as he’s attempting to celebrate getting a new heart so he can finally run again. A-Train wants his brother to help him prepare again just like the old days but Nate wants nothing more to do with his younger sibling.
Instead, Nate calls A-Train a murderer after he took justice into his own hands by killing Blue Hawk rather than actually seeking real justice against him. In the end, Nate tells A-Train to get out of his house and never come back again — their familial ties are dead and buried.
Things aren’t much better for A-Train back at Vought because Homelander isn’t exactly impressed by the team that’s been formed around him. A-Train killed one of his own when he slaughtered Blue Hawk and The Deep can’t keep a thought straight in his head without thinking about fucking an octopus.
Homelander is also disgusted that Ashley was actually concerned about Annie’s warning regarding Soldier Boy because they always need to express confidence in the face of danger. The only problem is Homelander is surrounded by people he considers to be idiots.
“You’re not my family. I don’t need any of you. Remember that.”
After humiliating Ashley by making her remove her wig, which hid her barely covered scalp after all the hair she ripped out over the past couple of years, Homelander then calls on Deep to do him at least one favor to stay in his good graces.
He whispers instructions into Deep’s ears, which earns him a curious response because the fishy superhero wonders if what’s doing might actually be treasonous. It’s a passing bit of morality because Deep quickly snaps back into place and promises to deliver on the job as requested by Homelander.
It turns out the job involved The Deep hiding in the pool of Lamar Bishop — the man expected to serve as vice president to Robert “Dakota Bob” Singer, who is leading the polls to become the next President of the United States. When Lamar goes for a dip, he gets dragged down underwater until the Deep is sure he has expired.
The Deep has now assassinated a future vice presidential candidate on Homelander’s orders, which gives you a pretty good idea what’s coming but we’ll fully explain later.
As for Homelander, he deals with one last team member when he confronts Black Noir over the fact that Soldier Boy is actually his father. Black Noir comes clean that he knew the truth about Homelander’s parentage this entire time but never told him about it.
That’s all Homelander needs to hear to literally punch through Black Noir’s body, pull his heart out and leave him dying on the floor as Buster Beaver and his other cartoon friends say goodbye for the last time. Black Noir is dead and it doesn’t appear he’ll be coming back.
Back at M.M.’s apartment, Annie is finally able to break down a safe door where she’s been locked along with the rest of the team while Butcher and Soldier Boy headed towards Vought Tower. The plans to stop the assault have failed spectacularly but Frenchie believes if he can get inside one of the Vought labs, he might be able to cook up another dose of that Russian nerve agent that will put Soldier Boy to sleep.
Mother’s Milk seems none too impressed by the strategy, especially considering they’d have to go through heavily armed Vought guards, wait for Frenchie to cook up a batch of Russian nerve agent while they somehow subdue both Homelander and Soldier Boy until they could deliver the dose of sleepy time.
That’s good enough for Hughie to jump on board and soon everybody else joins him — even M.M., who all but confesses that this is a death wish but he’s ready for one last mission if it means going after Soldier Boy.
As Homelander watches an old clip of Soldier Boy on a computer, he’s soon joined by his father, Butcher and Maeve as they prepare for one last battle together.
Before the fighting can begin, Homelander does his best to appeal to Soldier Boy while also revealing that Black Noir is already dead. Homelander says that Black Noir had to die because he failed to give up the secret that Soldier Boy was really his father.
Much like what Soldier Boy faced with Payback in the 1980s, Homelander truly understands what it means to be betrayed by your own team. But Homelander believes if he teams up with Soldier Boy as father and son, nobody could stop them.
In fact, Homelander hopes that he could actually find a family after bringing Ryan out of a nearby room so he can meet his grandfather. Seeing the boy halts Butcher in his tracks because he promised his wife Becca that he’d never allow any harm to come to Ryan and now the kid is standing in the middle of the room between a bunch of Supes who are ready to kill each other.
Homelander tells Soldier Boy that he has a chance to make up for everything in the past by putting this grudge between them to bed so they can actually be a family. Needless to say, Homelander doesn’t get the response he wanted.
“I wish I could have raised you and taught you father to son. Maybe if I’d have raised you, I could have made you better and not some weak, sniveling pussy started for attention but there’s no fixing that now. You’re a fucking disappointment.”
~ Soldier Boy
Soldier Boy grabs Homelander by the throat as Butcher and Maeve take his arms while preparing to unleash the nuclear blast that will finally end him once and for all. Despite pleas from Butcher to run away, Ryan refuses and he ends up blasting Soldier Boy with his laser vision.
The shot hurts Soldier Boy but doesn’t put him down and he then returns the favor by knocking Ryan unconscious. Homelander runs to his son as Maeve realizes that there’s no way Butcher is going to allow Soldier Boy to take them both out at the same time.
Before Soldier Boy can unleash his power, Butcher blasts him with his own laser vision and then Homelander joins in as well to send his father crashing through the other side of the building. Butcher leaves to deal with Soldier Boy while Homelander tends to Ryan, who wakes up after a few moments.
Before Homelander can join the fight, Maeve decides this is the best time to finally get her shot at the man who has made her life a living hell.
Maeve actually starts getting an upper hand during the fight despite Homelander clearly having more strength and abilities but he’s gotten sloppy in his superiority. But even as Maeve gets her shots in, Homelander eventually turns the tables by actually gouging out one of her eyes, which finally slows her down.
As for Butcher, he doesn’t have as much luck against Soldier Boy until he’s aided by a blast of light from Annie, who has arrived with the rest of The Boys to help stop a nuclear meltdown from killing everybody inside the building. Hughie gets to a security room and sends out an alert that a terrorist attack is happening that forces everybody — including Ashley — to evacuate the building.
Downstairs, Frenchie puts together a new batch of the Russian nerve toxin while Kimiko lays waste to Vought security guards while dancing to the song “Maniac.”
Unfortunately during the fighting, Frenchie gets a bullet to the leg but he still has enough time to finish the nerve agent, which he hands off to Kimiko to get upstairs so she can dose Soldier Boy.
Kimiko never gets the chance because Soldier Boy overwhelms Annie and Butcher before snatching her out of the air as she attempts to use the Russian gas on him.
Soldier Boy is now in complete control with no one capable of stopping him as Hughie watches in horror in the security room. Before leaving the home base, Hughie spotted a loose dose of the V24 on the ground and he brought it along with him as backup.
Just as he contemplates taking the drug, which would in all likelihood kill him, Hughie decides to go another route to help the people he loves.
Hughie juices up all of the lights in the TV studio where the fight is taking place, which serves as a power up for Annie as she absorbs all of the energy before unleashing it on Soldier Boy. Butcher and Kimiko then grab him before he can regain his balance as Mother’s Milk applies the gas mask to put him to sleep.
In the room across the studio, Maeve is nearly beaten when she grabs an implement and slams it through Homelander’s ear, which really had to hurt. Just when it looks like she might get her shot to kill Homelander, Maeve sees that Soldier Boy is starting to power up again and his nuclear blast will tear through everybody holding him not to mention the rest of the people inside Vought Tower.
Butcher rushes to cover Ryan in attempt to shield the boy from the blast.
Maeve decides to be a hero one last time as she abandons her plan to kill Homelander and rushes across the room to grab Soldier Boy before jumping out of the window. A second later, Soldier Boy overloads and a huge explosion tears them both he and Maeve with the reverberation crashing into Vought Tower but without enough impact to actually cost lives.
In the room, Hughie and Annie embrace as Butcher stands up after keeping Ryan safe just as Homelander makes his return.
For a moment it appears Homelander might laser through everybody there but Ryan runs over to his father, grabs his hand and asks to leave. Homelander decides to choose family over vengeance as he clutches Ryan’s hand and the two of them leave together despite protests from Butcher to try and save the boy from his father.
At least for now, Soldier Boy has been stopped even if that means Homelander has to live.
In the days following the battle, Vought begins running tributes to a fallen hero in Queen Maeve in just about the cringiest spots you could possibly imagine.
As for Butcher, he goes to the doctor where he receives the unfortunate news that the V24 has torn through his brain like a tornado in a trailer park. He’s given a grim diagnosis that he only has 12 to 18 months left to live and Butcher receives the news in the most Butcher way possible while telling the doctor to fuck right off.
Mother’s Milk finally comes clean to his daughter Janine about the demons that have been haunting him for years, especially with the lifelong vendetta he’s had against Soldier Boy. He tells his daughter that superheroes are rarely actually heroes but her grandfather was as close to one as anybody has ever come without getting dosed by Compound-V. Janine calls her father her own personal hero as they share a hug.
When Maeve arrives at the apartment, we learn that Maeve didn’t die from the explosion caused by Soldier Boy but rather she’s just been injured and left without any remaining powers. Annie wishes Maeve the best as she looks to start a new life with her girlfriend Elena, who has returned to be by her side as they escape to go into hiding together far away from Homelander’s prying eyes.
Back at Vought, Ashley has actually discovered security footage that shows Maeve is still alive after watching Mother’s Milk and The Boys help pick her up off the ground after the explosion. Rather than show this to Homelander, Ashley permanently deletes the file from the server.
Meanwhile, Soldier Boy’s worst nightmares come true because he’s put back into cold storage with a permanent dose of the Russian nerve agent being pumped into his system except this time his captivity is being ordered by Grace Mallory, who personally watches him going back to cold storage.
The Deep is horrified to discover that his now ex-wife has started her own book tour and talk show circuit describing how she escaped him and the abuse she suffered at his hands. He’s left with nothing much except a fish tank and a painted portrait on the wall showing him alongside Homelander.
As for The Boys, they return to their old stomping grounds with a new member joining the team after Annie dumps her Starlight costume in the trash for the last time. The entire team votes her in just as Butcher returns to reunite with all of them.
Just as the tension in the room starts to escalate, Hughie sees a report on TV about the death of the man who was supposed to become vice president. The coverage then shifts to the campaign trail where Robert “Dakota Bob” Singer has announced his new running mate — Congresswoman Victoria Neuman.
The whole team is horrified to think the head-popping Supe who killed several members of Congress could soon hold one of the most powerful positions in the country, which earns a rather fitting response from Butcher.
“Well, that bitch has definitely gotta go.”
Outside Vought Tower, protesters have returned but this time it’s to topple the Soldier Boy statue that once sat near the front steps of the building. The number of Homelander supporters has only grown in size as they begin lashing out even more at the media covering the protests.
That’s when Homelander arrives to meet his adoring fans and he brings along a guest as he introduces the mob to his son Ryan.
When a lone Starlight supporter throws something at Ryan and calls him a fascist, Homelande reacts by lasering the guy’s head in half as it explodes with blood thrown all over the crowd. Rather than look horrified, Todd — the conspiracy theory loving doof who married Mother’s Milk’s ex-wife — starts cheering and the rest of the crowd soon joins him.
Homelander goes from worried about how the people might react to his actions to a big smile creeping across his face when he realizes that he could actually kill somebody in front of his fans and they’d still be right there to support him no matter what.
Perhaps making matters even worse is when Ryan sees the crowd cheering for his father after he just savagely killed a man and a smirk forms on his face as well. Like father, like son indeed.
“The Boys” has already been renewed for season 4 on Amazon Prime so stay tuned for details on that in the near future!