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Why Fans Of The Boys Think The Finale Ruined Season 3

"The Boys" Season 3 certainly upends a lot of the established plot points in the well-received series. For example, with the addition of temporary superpowers from a version of Compound V, characters who never knew what it felt like to be a superhero became intimately familiar with its addictive properties. Hughie (Jack Quaid) starts off on the acclaimed Prime Video series as relatively naïve and powerless, but he quickly takes a shine to the temporary Compound V and craves the abilities and sense of worth provided by the deadly liquid.

Season 3 also spends a lot of time establishing the backstories and motivations of its characters. Seeking a way to finally defeat Homelander (Antony Starr), Butcher (Karl Urban) and his group of friends find and release Soldier Boy (Jensen Ackles), one of the very first superheroes. Unfortunately, Soldier Boy can be just as lethal and erratic as Homelander. The season culminates in an epic battle between Homelander, Soldier Boy, Queen Maeve (Dominique McElligott), Butcher, and Starlight (Erin Moriarty). 

Over on Rotten Tomatoes, Season 3 of "The Boys" has a critical response of 97%, but the audience score is 86%, which highlights somewhat of a disconnect between critics and fans. So why do fans of the show think it has stumbled, and why do they think the finale of Season 3, "The Instant White-Hot Wild," may have ruined the show?

Fans think The Boys spent a lot of time developing plots that go nowhere

Following the Season 3 finale, fans of "The Boys" took to Reddit to express their thoughts and opinions across multiple subreddits. It seems some have rather spicy takes that involve the show being proverbially ruined by the final moments of "The Instant White-Hot Wild." Redditor u/RomeosHomeos lamented how Black Noir (Nathan Mitchell) has a story arc that builds up over the course of the season, only to be killed by Homelander without any sort of resolution. They also added how a Season 3 plot thread revolves around Butcher using Solider Boy to kill Homelander, but at the end, Queen Maeve steps into action. As a result, "The Boys" is left without any leads or clear direction and is basically back at square one.

U/Alert_Narwhal_4673 replied, "The worst part is that 'The Boys' accomplish NOTHING, Homelander has Vought under his thumb, he has his son back, and he now no longer needs to even worry about his public image which was their only real leverage. The strongest supe on their side is now neutralized again thanks to them and the second strongest got depowered and rode off into the sunset with her GF. Their [sic] literally right back at the point where they started but now with Starlight. Their [sic] honestly just as incompetent at stopping bad heroes as the heroes are at being heroes."

On a separate Reddit thread, u/callam461 stated that they felt like Season 3 was vast improvement over Season 2 and wondered why they just couldn't stick the landing. Elsewhere, u/War_NeverChanges felt the same and said that they were generally impressed with Season 3, but have reservations about its finale and the future of the show.

The series creator of The Boys has spoken about the future of the show

Explaining some of his motivations while writing "The Boys," series creator Eric Kripke told Deadline that we will see Maeve again, and hopefully Soldier Boy as well. He added, "You know, for instance for Maeve, we really felt like for Annie-Starlight to truly grow, we needed to take away her protector." He continued, "It started to become sort of narratively difficult because every time she was really in a tight spot, you know, Maeve could show up and kick some a**, and we sort of need Annie to be in a position where she might be in real danger if she can't figure it out for herself."

Kripke then spoke about what other plans they have for the future of "The Boys" and elaborated on plot points from the comic book version that they have been building on the show, which involves corrupt politicians and the President of the United States ending up in mortal danger. Although some fans think that "The Boys" is back to where they started, upon closer inspection one may be able to see the growing threats on the periphery of the show, and the fact that the series is building towards something — even if the finale of Season 3 left some fans a bit dissatisfied.