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Whatever Happened To Jennifer Esposito's Susan Raynor On The Boys?

"The Boys" is a series that's known for humorous but nuanced writing, relevant social commentary, and an action-packed narrative, as well an incredible ensemble cast populated by distinct characters that help to ground the outlandish setting in reality. One of the show's main themes is that anyone, regardless of whether or not they have superpowers, can create change. Even a character like Robin (Jess Salgueiro), who dies almost immediately in the series premiere, plays a significant role in the story — because it's Robin's death that compels Hughie (Jack Quaid) to team up with Butcher (Karl Urban), Mother's Milk (Laz Alonso), Frenchie (Tomer Capone), and Kimiko (Karen Fukuhara), a decision that completely changes his life and sets the tone of the show right off the bat.

Since a number of main characters have powers, genre-classic abilities like flying, super strength, invisibility, and super speed, it's interesting to examine the kind of people who are willing to tackle Vought International's corruption head-on. One such character is CIA Deputy Director Susan Raynor. Played by Jennifer Esposito, who was cast for a five-episode arc on the show in 2018, Director Raynor is a key ally for Butcher and his team throughout Season 1. 

Let's take a look at the trajectory of Raynor's storyline and see what it might mean for the series, moving forward.

Susan Raynor in Season 1

Although she's a secondary character, Deputy Director Raynor plays a significant role in Season 1 because she's one of the few people that straddles the line between the legal system and the vigilante justice going on behind the scenes. Raynor needs to get concrete evidence of Vought's wrongdoing, but someone else has to do the dirty work. Butcher is more than happy to oblige, but in exchange, he wants a guarantee that the federal government will prosecute Homelander (Antony Starr) to the fullest extent of the law. Clearly these characters have a history together, and their interactions hint at Grace Mallory's (Laila Robins) importance in the narrative. However, both of them know it's not that simple.

Homelander is nearly untouchable and going after him would be a death sentence. Thankfully, Butcher and his team aren't easily deterred. They're able to secure proof of a dark secret that Vought's been trying to keep under wraps for decades: Superheroes aren't ordained by some higher power, they're just people who were illegally injected with Compound V as infants. This finally gives Raynor enough proof to officially level charges at Vought, though she still doesn't see any point in going up against Homelander. Esposito does a great job at portraying Raynor as commanding and capable, though she's clearly rattled when a supe terrorist kills a group of American soldiers abroad. Unfortunately for the CIA, there are quite a few more super-powered individuals out there than they thought.

Susan Raynor in Season 2

Director Raynor's character appears in a much smaller capacity in Season 2, though her one and only scene lays the foundation for a shocking twist that not even the cast saw coming. Following the tumultuous first season finale, Frenchie, Hughie, Kimiko, and MM are on the lamb after Homelander frames Butcher for Madelyn Stillwell's (Elisabeth Shue) murder. Things are looking pretty bleak and to make matters worse, the Boys discover that a telepathic supe has been smuggled into the city. The team decides to bring the information to Raynor, hoping that it will give them leverage to clear their names. 

This new intel is the final piece of the puzzle for Raynor, who suggests that there's an even bigger conspiracy brewing at Vought. However, the conversation abruptly ends when Raynor's head mysteriously explodes, and the Boys flee in terror. 

Raynor's death forces them to confront the fact that they have a quickly growing list of enemies and a dwindling amount of resources. Reynor was their main connection to official channels and her authority within the CIA was their best chance at taking down Vought. It's ultimately revealed that the smuggled supe they're chasing is Kimoko's brother, Kenji (Abraham Lim), though the individual behind the head explosions is someone else entirely: Congresswoman Victoria Neuman (Claudia Doumit), secretly a superpowered being herself, is behind Raynor's death. She's been using her secret powers to advance her political career, a plotline that will see even more development when "The Boys" returns for Season 4.