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The Ending Of The Boys Season 3 Explained

Amazon Prime's "The Boys" is finally back and ready to wow fans with more satirical violence, pop culture references, rich character development, and plenty of Billy Joel tunes. After a two-year hiatus, "The Boys" Season 3 starts with a bang and reveals just how far Vought International's corruption reaches while allowing its main characters to travel down the path of self-discovery. We learn more distasteful truths about the Seven and discover deeper backstories of our protagonists. New villains are unveiled, and Homelander rages in his narcissistic psychopathy.

The superheroes, or "supes," parade the flaws of corporate, man-made superheroes, and the satire eerily reflects the current U.S. political and celebrity climate. "The Boys" creator Eric Kripke spoke with GamesRadar about Season 3 and where he gets his inspiration for storylines, stating, "In terms of what subjects we choose, it really is what's happening in the news at the time that we're writing it." When "The Boys" premiered in 2019, Amazon found itself with a bonafide hit on its hands. According to Variety, Amazon reported the global launch of the series' second season brought in a staggering 89% increase in viewership. There's even a boundary-pushing animated spin-off featuring an anthology of supes called "Diabolical," which debuted in March 2022.

To fully grasp the ending of "The Boys" Season 3, let's look at the events that pit the ragtag group of human heroes against the mostly villainous superheroes.

A look back at the first season

Season 1 of "The Boys" opens with lovable slacker Hughie Campbell (Jack Quaid), who lives below his potential, shares an apartment with his hapless dad, Hugh Sr. (Simon Pegg), and works in an electronics store. The first gory shock of the show occurs within minutes of the series' start while Hughie enjoys a romantic moment with his girlfriend, Robin (Jess Salgueiro), when the world's fastest superhero, Reggie "A-Train" Franklin (Jessie T. Usher), runs through her. Literally. A-Train eviscerates Robin and doesn't even stop to apologize. After he's left horrifyingly covered in his girlfriend's guts, Hughie's fight against the supes begins.

Hughie teams up with Billy Butcher (Karl Urban), a surly British CIA affiliate. Butcher introduces Hughie to his team: Mother's Milk (Laz Alonso), an ex-Marine, and Frenchie (Tomer Kapon), an ex-hitman for the Russian mob. The group plans to take down the Vought-backed A-list of the supes, the Seven –- led by Homelander (Antony Starr), the most powerful superhero of all. Each member of "The Boys" has a personal reason for going after supes, but collectively, they want to expose the truth — and maybe kill a couple of villains masquerading as superheroes along the way. Hughie soon connects with the only pure member of the Seven, Annie "Starlight" January (Erin Moriarty). After she's sexually assaulted by fellow supe, The Deep (Chace Crawford), Starlight realizes the truth about her fellow "heroes" and joins the fight.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Season 2 revisited

Season 2 of "The Boys" doubled down on the political satire of Season 1. We meet the scary supe who becomes Homelander's lover, Stormfront (Aya Cash). Publicly, Stormfront is a patriot and seems like one of the good guys. However, Stormfront is soon unmasked as a Nazi. Born in 1919 and once married to Vought International founder Frederick Vought, it turns out that Stormfront is straight out of Hitler's regime. She wants to use Homelander to build a master Aryan race of superhumans. The Deep is ousted from the Seven, and joins the Church of the Collective -– a cult with echoes of NXIVM. The world learns that Compound V (a super drug manufactured by Vought) creates the supes and that supernatural abilities are only inherited if the child's parents were also supes.

Hughie and his friends work with CIA Director Raynor (Jennifer Esposito) to expose Vought, but her head mysteriously explodes. A multitude of congressional heads explode shortly after that. Homelander discovers the son he shares with Butcher's ex, Becca, is alive. Becca's son Ryan doesn't know he's Homelander's son until the head supe pays him a visit. In the season finale, Ryan accidentally kills his mother with his newfound superpowers and manages to horribly maim Stormfront too. IGN declared the season as a demonstration of "how effective showrunner Eric Kripke and his team are at crafting an engaging story that has plenty of stylized drama and shocking surprises, but also tons of heart."

Congresswoman Head Popper

"The Boys" Season 3 opens with our characters in vastly different spaces than where Season 2 left them. Yet the celebrity of the Seven remains strong as the action-packed film, "Dawn of the Seven," opens in theaters. Butcher teams up with the Seven's Queen Maeve (Dominique McElligott), who wants revenge on Homelander and longs to ruin Vought's world. Frenchie and Kimiko (Karen Fukuhara) enjoy a blossoming romance and dream of escaping to Marseilles. Mother's Milk re-enters his daughter Janine's life and strives to become an excellent dad.

However, out of all of The Boys, Hughie's life has changed the most. The newly-confident protagonist and Starlight have gone public with their romance, and Hughie co-heads the Federal Bureau of Superhuman Affairs alongside Congresswoman Victoria Newman (Claudia Doumit). He enjoys a tight workplace camaraderie with Newman and feels like they're accomplishing much in their mission to capture errant supes with the help of government funding. Alas, as always in "The Boys" universe, nothing good can last. Hughie Campbell soon discovers that Newman is actually Nadia, a supe who grew up in an orphanage for superhumans. Video footage from Newman's childhood home exposes her as the Head Popper from Season 2 and that she's been groomed since childhood by Vought CEO Stan Edgar (Giancarlo Esposito). Hughie feels like a weak loser once again and sets out on his darkest path yet.

Starlight breaks new feminist ground

Annie "Starlight" January remains the only known supe with entirely pure motives. Starlight yearns to change the Seven from the inside until she realizes this mission is fruitless. She sees the psychotic nature of Homelander growing more threatening, and she's scared. Alas, Hughie tells Starlight she needs to continue her tenure in the Seven until they can figure out a way to kill Homelander.

When Starlight and Homelander attend a meeting with Stan Edgar, he informs them that Starlight's popularity points are up while Homelander's have plummeted. The already-threatening stance Homelander has toward Starlight grows fiercer and more ominous. Edgar tells Starlight that she will become the first-ever female co-captain of the Seven. She fears what Homelander will do to her and must discern how to harness her newfound corporate power to take the psychopath down. 

Starlight recruits new Seven member and former boy-band superstar (and her ex-boyfriend), Alex, aka "Supersonic" (Miles Gaston Villanueva), to help her fight Homelander but she must learn to stand tall in the face of her mounting fears. Starlight's new role as co-captain of the Seven presents many obstacles on her Season 3 journey.

Homelander faces public rejection

In "The Boys" Season 3, for the first time, Homelander finds the public tides turning against him. As Stormfront's Nazi past is exposed, Homelander must explain his relationship with her, exposing cracks in his veneer. Homelander's narcissism soars in Season 3, too, as he sees the weaknesses of other members of the Seven as a reflection on himself. He attempts to demean Starlight by demanding she sing a Marilyn Monroe-style "Happy Birthday" to him on his televised birthday special–and is incensed when she refuses. Homelander hasn't dealt with rejection before, and secretly it's his greatest fear.

The head supe falls into a dark space when Stormfront finally dies. He realizes he didn't buy into her plan of building a master race because he is the master race, in his mind. Homelander believes he's better than anyone else. When Starlight leaks a damning video of Homelander on Instagram, he decides to drop his "good guy" charade. He reveals the true disdain he holds for people, and gains fans in the worst of humanity, who feel represented by him. Homelander no longer has a reason to hold his darkest self back. Antony Starr plays Homelander with subtle malevolence that gives the character authentic humanity, making him truly terrifying.

A temporary Compound V

For characters like Butcher and Hughie, the introduction of a 24-hour, temporary Compound V serum proves to be a game-changer. Queen Maeve secretly gives a few vials of the superhuman serum to Butcher, in case he needs to use it against Homelander. "Temp V" causes a user to develop temporary superpowers that wane within a day of the drug's injection. While the initial high of Temp V allows for superhuman strength and other powers, the detrimental side effects are equally as strong.

Butcher initially hesitates to use the drug but eventually succumbs to its lure -– as does Hughie. Graphic scenes depict drug use that appears similar to heroin, and Butcher and Hughie both become hooked. The two experience horrific hangovers and personality changes after using Temp V and soon discover that prolonged use of Temp V will kill them. Temp V opens up a plethora of storyline possibilities and may play a pivotal role in future seasons. By the season's end, the prolonged negative effects of the superhuman drug become apparent for Butcher.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Soldier Boy comes back

Season 3 of "The Boys" ushers in the long-anticipated arrival of Jensen Ackles as Soldier Boy. Ackles plays Soldier Boy with sarcastic bad-boy appeal, sans the good heart beating underneath. Once the greatest supe in the world, Soldier Boy was once the leader of a mega-supe team called Payback. The group included future Seven member Black Noir (Nathan Mitchell), Soldier Boy's lover Crimson Countess (Laurie Holden), and Gunpowder (Sean Patrick Flanery), among others. The world believes Soldier Boy died in 1984 while saving the world from nuclear annihilation –- the truth is far more dark and complicated.

Billy Butcher thinks the weapon that killed Soldier Boy may be the only thing that can end Homelander. His crew attempts to steal it from a clandestine Russian lab, only to find a very much alive Soldier Boy imprisoned in suspended animation. After Butcher and Hughie take Temp V, they free Soldier Boy and recruit him to help them kill Homelander. However, the team quickly learns that Soldier Boy is perhaps as psychopathic as their nemesis. Yet, the radioactive supe can render another supe powerless by blasting them with his energy, so the Boys need him to take down the Seven.

Alas, Mother Milk has personal reasons to want Soldier Boy dead, and once again the group breaks apart. Hughie and Butcher accompany Soldier Boy as he locates his former Payback teammates. The supe makes up for lost time by ingesting hardcore drugs and reminiscing about his heyday.


Season 3 of "The Boys" may introduce us to new characters, but the corruption of the new supes mirrors that of those we already know. Through almost 40 years of torture at the hands of the Russians, Soldier Boy discovers that his former Payback team betrayed him. In 1984 Nicaragua, the team is sent by Vought to help new CIA agent Grace Mallory (Laila Robins) in the historical Contra battle against the Sandinistas (the spark of the Iran-Contra Affair scandal involving Oliver North). Crimson Countess, the woman Soldier Boy once loved, quickly hatches a plan to hand Soldier Boy over to the Russians during the height of battle. The entire Payback team is in on the plan, and Soldier Boy has nearly four decades to plot his revenge.

Soldier Boy won't rest until he can torture and murder his traitorous team. The betrayal by the members of the Payback team, not to mention Soldier Boy's egomaniacal ways, once again proves even the best supes in history were terrible people. Butcher and Hughie set up Crimson Countess by trapping her in the trailer where she now lives to make her easy prey. The Countess seems to have a part-time porn site where she communicates with Seth Rogen in a humorous cameo appearance. The Countess is also a fierce advocate for chimps and has released the sappy ballad "Chimps Don't Cry" in their honor. The rest of the Payback team proves easy for Soldier Boy to track down.

Herogasm extravaganza

In Episode 6 of Season 3, an exclusive supe event called "Herogasm" occurs, and it is exactly what the name implies — an invite-only festival of debauchery for supes. The event, hosted by the TNT Twins (Tessa and Tommy, former members of Payback and middle-aged siblings with vague powers), gives us a visual of the insane sexual positions supes utilize. Soldier Boy, Hughie, and Butcher head to Herogasm to kill the twins, but Starlight shows up with Mother's Milk to stop them. Suffering from PTSD, Soldier Boy is unable to focus his radioactive energy and ends up killing or grievously injuring a myriad of supes.

The build-up to the Season 3 finale really starts here as character arcs and storylines begin to converge. Homelander shows up to battle Soldier Boy and expresses true fear for the first time. Starlight publicly quits the Seven and shows true bravery by attempting to stand up to Soldier Boy. She livestreams a video where she calls out most supes for only caring for themselves. We're looking at a new Starlight, and she is fierce. The pieces continue to fall into place for a final showdown between the good and bad guys.

A-Train wrecks

Any glimmer of hope we held for the redemption of A-Train gets knocked to the curb in "The Boys" Season 3. Unable to run due to his addiction to Compound V, which causes heart issues, the fastest superhero decides to rebrand himself. A-Train commandeers his race to promote a self-serving and tone-deaf brand of energy drink, Turbo. In a mockery of the infamous 2017 Kendall Jenner Pepsi commercial, A-Train stars in an ad where protesters and police unite to gulp down his new soda.

When A-Train decides to confront a C-list Vought supe named Blue Hawk (Nick Wechsler) for his racist patrolling of New Jersey, a tragedy ensues that leaves his brother, Nathan, with irreparable damage. A-Train uses the tragedy to serve himself, and when given a chance to do the right thing, he fails. Although he suffers constant abuse at the hands of Homelander and the Deep, A-Train continues to seek their approval and betrays others to get back into Homelander's good graces. A-Train thinks he cares about others but remains focused on what will benefit him alone.

The love of Frenchie and Kimiko

If Season 2 of "The Boys" brought us relationship goals to aspire to through Frenchie and Kimiko, then Season 3 solidifies the depth and authenticity of their romance. The love that Frenchie and Kimiko share grows as they become more vulnerable with one another. Although Kimiko still can't speak, the first episode of Season 3 showcases her singing voice as the former weapon of the Shining Light Liberation Army belts out "Dream a Little Dream." Music provides an outlet of healing for Kimiko, as she and Frenchie often snuggle up to watch old musicals, and the couple is showcased in a phenomenal musical episode.

Kimiko realizes she blamed Compound V for making her a monster, but in reality, it's her life-long conditioning by the Shining Light Liberation Army and personal choices that caused her to become a killing machine. In the season finale, Kimiko tells a downtrodden Frenchie, "Our past is not who we are. I thought I'd always be broken, but you saw something in me. I see it in you." Cue the tears and all of the feels.

Ryan becomes his father's son

In Season 2 of "The Boys," Billy Butcher does everything within his power to protect his ex-wife, Becca, and her young son, Ryan Butcher (Cameron Crovetti), from Homelander. When he finally stands up to his biological father at the end of Season 2, Ryan shows his first signs of superpowers to a tragic end. Butcher stows Ryan away with ex-CIA Deputy Director Grace Mallory. However, Homelander finally finds them and tells his son that he loves him unconditionally. The leader of the Seven even means it, as much as Homelander can love someone other than himself. Ryan has longed to hear those words from Butcher, but Homelander will suffice.

Ryan's loyalty to his supe dad grows in the final episodes of "The Boys" Season 3. He sees Butcher and his friends as the enemy. After the showdown with Soldier Boy, Ryan flies away with Homelander. Alas, Ryan's psychotic grin in the last scene of the season finale does not bode well for his future.

Showdown at Vought tower

The last action-packed scene of "The Boys" Season 3 takes place in Vought Tower — the home of the Seven. Everything has led to this showdown, and it's epic. Butcher and Homelander even share a cool eye-laser battle reminiscent of Harry Potter's final battle against Voldemort. Soldier Boy gets the edge on Homelander, but when Ryan intercedes, he turns his sights on the boy. Butcher will still do anything to protect Ryan and can't let Soldier Boy hurt him. For a singular moment, Butcher and Homelander join forces against the mega-superhero. Ultimately, though, it's Maeve who loses the most in the fight, as she is rendered powerless. Homelander and Ryan fly away, and closure in this battle proves elusive. Both villainous supes survive the showdown, leaving future storylines wide open.

In Season 3, "The Boys" storylines feel as timely and politically resonant as they did in previous seasons. The ending of Season 3 sets up the possibility of a Season 4 but also produces such growth in the series' protagonists that the door could close here with some loosely tied-up ends. We'll just have to tune into Vought News Network to find out what's next.