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The Best Time Homelander Ever Broke Character On The Boys

In the universe of "The Boys," there's a pretty clear delineation between how the show's superheroes want to be seen and what they're actually like. The Deep (Chace Crawford) is framed as a heroic, charming do-gooder, but is actually a serial assaulter who also happens to be an idiot. Queen Maeve (Dominique McElligott) is sold by Vought International as someone who is brave and true, but she spends most of her time worried about what Vought or Homelander (Anthony Starr) might do to her. 

The distinction between public image and reality is likely most clear with Homelander himself, though. Homelander is "The Boys" version of Superman: he's a symbol of America's greatness and he is always gentle and kind, at least in public. In private, though, we know that Homelander is not at all heroic. In fact, he's a sociopath who doesn't care one bit about the people he spends his days saving. Occasionally, his public and private personas mix, and there's enormous devastation when they do. 

Homelander fails to save a plane full of people

Perhaps the best example of Homelander suddenly breaking character comes in Season 1 of "The Boys." Vought finds out that a plane has been hijacked by terrorists, so Homelander and Maeve attempt a rescue to save the passengers. Their real goal is to prove that Supes are vital tools that can be used by the military, and they hope to stop a terrorist attack to prove how essential they are. 

Instead of stopping the terrorists peacefully, though, Homelander uses his laser vision to kill them, and inadvertently damages the plane in the process. As a result, it quickly becomes clear that the plane is going to crash, and all of the passengers will die. Homelander ultimately decides to condemn the passengers he came to save to their fate, hoping that no one ever discovers the fact that it was his screwup that ultimately led to their deaths. 

Homelander refuses to save anyone

Homelander's blunder on the airplane would be bad enough on its own, but it's made even worse when he refuses to save even a single passenger on the plane. Maeve begs him to do so, singling out a mother and daughter, but Homelander is worried about what could happen if they survive and leak the story of what really happened on the plane. The second it becomes clear that everyone on the plane is doomed, Homelander's personality totally shifts. He's no longer the kind hero ready to save the day. Instead, the cold, uncaring person he really is comes out, and it becomes clear that that's who he always is, regardless of the veneer he may put on. 

Homelander's rapid break in character is certainly shocking for the passengers, but viewers of "The Boys" have come to expect it. Homelander may look like Superman, and he may have some of the same powers, but he's not even close to a virtuous hero looking out for the common man.