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The Ending Of The Boys Season 3 Episode 5 Explained

Contains spoilers for "The Boys" Season 3 Episode 5

If Episode 4 of "The Boys" Season 3 teased major changes in the show's status quo, Episode 5 makes clear that things are in much more turmoil than the viewer might have guessed. Homelander (Antony Starr) and Victoria Neuman (Claudia Doumit) have indeed managed to oust Stan Edgar (Giancarlo Esposito) from Vought, and the former now looms large over a nervous board and the extremely terrified new CEO, Ashley Barrett (Colby Minifie). 

Meanwhile, the Boys and their allies have their own host of problems. Starlight's (Erin Moriarty) hands are tied after Homelander murdered Supersonic (Miles Gaston Villanueva) and threatened to do the same to Hughie (Jack Quaid) if she continues to act against him. Mother's Milk (Laz Alonso) continues to be far and away the least happy camper among the Boys. He's very angry about Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) and Hughie dabbling with the temporary Compound V. Though the emergence of Soldier Boy (Jensen Ackles) forces him to continue his uneasy alliance with them, MM will probably be even more furious when he wakes up after Butcher drugs him at the end of the episode.

Episode 5 might start by showing the immediate aftermath of the monumental aftershocks of the last episode's various plot twists. However, things soon start moving in truly surprising directions, and many characters end up doing things that you might not have expected. Let's take a moment to unpack the ending of "The Boys" Season 3 Episode 5.

Homelander is more powerful and insecure than ever

From the moment Homelander walks in the Vought board meeting, it's clear that behind his victorious bravado and confident facade, he has absolutely no idea what he's doing. As a result, he deals with complex corporate and publicity problems by either intimidating his underlings or denying that there's anything wrong.

After Homelander's "tell it like it is" speech in Episode 2 and his subsequent ratings spike, the show has seemed to ease him into a populist leader role this season. In fact, despite privately expressing discomfort with Stormfront's (Aya Cash) politics early in the season, he now seems to low-key pander to her key demographic without expressly allying himself to them, as seen in his TV interview. This might lead him down a pretty dark path, even by his standards. Ironically enough, Stormfront would probably be quite proud to see him walk it.

Elsewhere, the smoking ruins of Homelander's personal life keep crumbling. Maeve's one-night stand with Butcher — as well as her subsequent defiant words when Homelander confronts her — clearly take a heavy toll on the world's strongest Supe. As a result, Maeve may or may not be seen again. 

Homelander's always been low on reliable allies, but after losing Stormfront and Maeve within the span of a few episodes, he may finally have started to fully realize just how profoundly alone he's always been. This is not the optimal mindset for a psychopathic manchild with newfound corporate and political powers that might be a match to his vast V-induced ones.

Rough waters ahead for Starlight and Hughie

Starlight and Hughie's relationship-saving agreement to share everything with each other falls apart quite phenomenally in this episode. The couple is already in a pretty volatile place after Homelander's machinations and Hughie's confession that he took temporary compound V. However, the final moments of the episode might be the beginning of the end for the pair.

As Mother's Milk summons Starlight to help Hughie at the Crimson Countess' (Laurie Holden) place, she's less than delighted to discover that he's taken more V without telling her. What's more, Hughie admits that he loves being powerful enough to finally save Starlight when needs must, which is very much not what Starlight wants. She likes Hughie for what he is, not for what powers he may or may not have.

Starlight's even less delighted to find out that unbeknownst to her, Hughie is in on Butcher's plan to weaponize the murderous Soldier Boy against Homelander. Despite her pleads, Hughie decides to follow Butcher, and the episode ends with Starlight's shocked and disappointed expression.

In the comics, Starlight and Hughie have a fairly rocky romance, with most of the bumps in the road coming from Hughie's deep-set insecurity issues. It seems that their live-action counterparts are doomed to follow the same path, and even if they manage to navigate this latest crisis of trust, the constant threat of Homelander means that a "happily ever after" scenario might not be on the cards.

The Boys, featuring Soldier Boy

One of the biggest moments in "The Boys" Season 3 so far is the Episode 4 revelation that the secret in Russia isn't a weapon that killed noted horrible rapper Soldier Boy. Instead, it's Soldier Boy himself. Given the character's prominence in the promotional material, his emergence isn't exactly a surprise, but the way the show handles the character certainly is.

In Episode 5, Soldier Boy has quietly made his way Stateside, only to inadvertently level a building after a Russian song triggers his PTSD. This informs the Boys that he's back on their home soil. With the help of the highly connected Hollywood producer known as the Legend (Paul Reiser), they figure out that Soldier Boy is heading to meet the Crimson Countess -– and that he isn't happy.

The Boys get there before him, but fighting's not in the cards today. Instead, Butcher renders MM unconscious so he wouldn't object, allows Soldier Boy to kill the Countess, and offers to join forces with him. The arrangement is that Butcher helps Soldier Boy to track down and kill his treacherous old team –- and in exchange, the Supe will help the Boys to take down Homelander.

Up to this point, Soldier Boy has been presented as a particularly dangerous and nefarious Supe, with some terrifying — yet possibly unfounded — implications of how he treated his sidekick, Gunpowder (Sean Patrick Flanery). While he's still definitely a murderer many times over, this episode presents him as a traumatized figure who genuinely loved the Crimson Countess, and who's heartbroken that his old team sold him to the Russians. Could "The Boys" be setting up the biggest twist in the show's history by actually making Soldier Boy a good(ish) guy? Unlikely, but it's weird that the option's even on the table, isn't it?

Kimiko's life is a bag of chocolate limes ... for now

Kimiko has lost her powers after Soldier Boy's attack, but unlike many superheroes in a similar situation, she couldn't be happier. Her delight to get a new lease in normal life is illustrated through a cheerful musical scene set to Judy Garland's "I Got Rhythm," and she ends the imaginary show by giving a very real kiss to Frenchie (Tomer Capon). She even gets a bag of chocolate limes, her favorite treat from the comics. Truly, life is good.

Unfortunately, that's where it ends. While Frenchie obviously cares deeply for Kimiko, he's extremely taken aback by the surprise kiss, and immediately retreats from the room. Since the pair's relationship is close, yet platonic in the comics, it's anyone's guess where "The Boys" plans to take this particular plotline. Right now, though, there's a very good chance that Frenchie's mind is with another woman –- who, incidentally, also gifted those chocolate limes. Little Nina (Katia Winter), the mobster who has a past with Frenchie and helped the Boys to Russia, intends to bring him back under her heel by calling in the assassination favor Butcher promised. Frenchie would clearly prefer to focus on Kimiko, and recoils when he sees that the target is a child, but Nina doesn't seem to be the type to let things go.

It appears that before Frenchie and Kimiko can fully return in the fold –- let alone figure out their feelings for each other -– they have a Russian mob to deal with. Since Kimiko is freshly depowered, this might be a surprisingly major challenge for the two.

A-Train has a Black Lives Matter moment

A-Train's (Jessie T. Usher) contribution to the show's larger plot adds up to a minor confrontation with Starlight in this episode. However, he probably couldn't care less, because he runs into even bigger problems.

As a reward for snitching on Starlight and Supersonic, Vought allows A-Train to meet Blue Hawk, the law enforcement-themed vigilante superhero who's used excessive force against innocent Black people in the neighborhood A-Train's brother Nathan (Christian Keyes) lives in. Blue Hawk seems unrepentant and complains about being cancelled, but recognizes the pickle he's in and agrees to give a public apology.

Unfortunately, Blue Hawk's scripted apology is as insincere as they come, and the situation soon escalates with chants of "Black Lives Matter." Blue Hawk responds with his own screams of "All Lives Matter" and "Supe Lives Matter." Before A-Train can defuse the situation, the vigilante brutalizes numerous Black people attending the meeting, and badly injures Nathan. 

Later, we see A-Train standing next to his brother's bed while Blue Hawk appears on TV, with the chyron stating that he's standing up to Antifa. As his earlier attempts to embrace his culture show, A-Train has been almost completely detached from things like this for much of his life. This makes him an interesting viewpoint character to explore these heavy issues.

There are lots of themes here that have made waves in the real world in recent years. Combined with Homelander's populist antics and the way the episode seems to be setting Monique's (Frances Turner) new boyfriend Todd (Matthew Gorman) up as the kind of guy who eschews mainstream media "fake news" in favor of the narrative Vought and Homelander are pushing, it's clear that "The Boys" doesn't intend to take its foot off the pedal when it comes to social commentary.