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Why The Boys' New Tolerance For Supes Could Spell Disaster In Season 3

There's a lot going on story-wise on The Boys, but at the end of the day it all circles back to one premise: superheroes (or "Supes") aren't the beacons of hope they appear to be, so the titular Boys want to expose them and bring them down. Each member of the team has personal reasons to join the fight, which viewers learn over the course of the show. Most of those reasons are told through stories or flashbacks, but Hughie's (Jack Quaid) reason is made clear barely five minutes into the first episode: A-Train (Jessie Usher), a speedster, accidentally runs through his girlfriend Robin (Jess Salgueiro). Yeah. It's brutal.

Yet not every interaction between The Boys and Supes is driven by hatred and rage. Hughie falls in love with Starlight (Erin Moriarty), the newest member of the world's greatest Supe team The Seven; friendship blossoms between Frenchie (Tomer Kapon) and Kimiko (Karen Fukuhara); even Butcher (Karl Urban), The Boys' most avid Supe hater, grows a soft spot for Ryan (Cameron Crovetti), who's barely in control of his budding powers. What would a show rife with violence, deception, and corruption be were it not grounded with a bit of humanity, right? There needs to be a balance.

That balance could be upset come season 3, however, thanks to the imminent arrival of another Supe: Soldier Boy (Jensen Ackles). Indeed, if The Boys aren't careful, the patriotic hero could be their downfall.

Tolerant team-up

Homelander (Antony Starr) was indisputably on top of the world until Stormfront (Aya Cash) came along in season 2. His public image begins to slip as hers begins to rise, but together they prove popular with the masses — that is, until it's revealed Stormfront is an ageless Nazi. That puts Vought International, the company that sponsors Supes, in quite a bind: How can the world ever trust Homelander again after such a massive misplay? Well, since sweeping Homelander under the rug isn't immediately possible, why not replace him with a true-blue patriot like Soldier Boy? Fans have already discussed the theory on Reddit.

The Boys doesn't always adapt the comics it's based on to a tee, so it's impossible to tell exactly how Soldier Boy will be handled, but let's assume for the time being that he's as genuinely heroic and patriotic as he is in the source material. Most of the Supes of The Seven are steeped in moral muck, so a goody-two-shoes like Soldier Boy wouldn't jive with them. And you know who else doesn't jive with The Seven? The Boys.

The group is more or less broken up at the end of season 2, but Butcher also gains access to backroom government support, which could allow the operation to expand beyond his wildest dreams. It could even allow him to hire some extra muscle — even some Compound V-enhanced muscle. He's already accepted Kimiko's place on the team. He doesn't begrudge Hughie for loving Starlight quite like he once did. He cares about what happens to Ryan, even if he doesn't shower the kid with affection. Signing Soldier Boy on wouldn't be too out of left field for Butcher, and the Supe is presumably primed to butt heads with Homelander. It's a dream team in the making.

A patriotic betrayal?

Butcher is not the kind of man to count his chickens before they hatch, so he and Soldier Boy probably wouldn't get off to the best of start. Back in season one, however, he would've laughed at the idea of intentionally bringing on a Supe. He only worked with Kimiko at the time because Frenchie kept on insisting that she's a worthy addition to The Boys, and letting her back out into the wild would be a death sentence — for others as much as for her. Times change, though, and any enemy of Homelander's is a potential friend of Butcher's.

Indeed, Soldier Boy has every reason under the sun to hate the world's premiere Supe. It's implied that Soldier Boy (or a version of him) fought in World War II, so seeing Homelander — a deceiver, a rapist, a murderer — disingenuously rep America's colors is likely to make him gag. Butcher is certainly no Homelander fan himself after what the Supe did to his wife Becca (Shantel VanSanten), so the partnership is plausible.

However, Soldier Boy isn't likely going to join The Boys just because of a mutual hatred of Homelander. Assuming Vought truly is planning on replacing its flagship hero with Soldier Boy, an alliance with The Boys could be nothing more than a temporary measure — a step on the path to restoring America's dignity in the wake of Homelander's actions. How easy would it be for him to be Vought's mole, or even to play both sides against one another? Butcher would surely suspect something along those lines no matter how tolerant of Supes he becomes, but if it means Homelander goes down, he may play along — with a contingency plan in his back pocket to manage Soldier Boy just in case.

Characters on both sides could get caught in the crossfire of such a betrayal. Add in the season 2 reveal that Victoria Neuman (Claudia Doumit) is an extremely dangerous Supe, the rogue factor of Queen Maeve (Dominique McElligot), and all the unknowns going into season three ... yeah. The Boys' future isn't going to be cushy.