Amazon Prime Video’s The Boys wrapped up its third season on July 8 with typical bluster, bombast, and gore. Prime Video actually released the finale episode Thursday night, allowing fans to get an early start on all the discourse on Homelander’s (Antony Starr) latest sociopathic turn and spitballing theories about who’s actually dead after the big showdown at Vought Tower.
[Ed. note: This post goes into detail about the end of season 3 of The Boys. Consider joining Soldier Boy in his deep freeze if you don’t want to be spoiled.]
Now that the dust has settled and Soldier Boy (Jensen Ackles) is back in the hands of the Russians — though not before making some crass joke about Jane Wyman that reintroduced the Oscar winner to the masses — it’s time to go over the body count. Every season has one, but this latest installment claimed a member of the Seven, a politician, and maybe even the Boys’ hopes of stopping Homelander.
The end of the road for Black Noir
For much of the first two seasons, Black Noir seemed almost as invulnerable as Homelander. He was certainly as threatening, at times — an immovable murder machine who terrorized the Boys and any member of the Seven who might be plotting against Homelander. In the season 2 finale, he was seemingly taken out by Queen Maeve (Dominique McElligott) and an Almond Joy (thereby irrefutably proving its status as the worst candy bar, no matter what Starlight says). But Black Noir was back in action at the start of season 3, and we eventually learned more about his backstory: Before he was Black Noir, he was Earving (Nathan Mitchell), a member of Payback, the superhero team led by Soldier Boy.
After being freed from some Winter Soldier-like deep freeze, Soldier Boy was out for revenge against his old team, who turned him over to the Russians — a move sanctioned by Stan Edgar (Giancarlo Esposito), who was ready to replace Soldier Boy with his own son (a baby Homelander, in one of the season’s more shocking revelations). Black Noir briefly goes into hiding, but returns to Vought Tower to take on Soldier Boy, with some help from Homelander (and Noir’s animated animal buds). But Homelander had his own change of heart: He no longer saw Soldier Boy as an enemy, but instead as the family he’s always wanted. After confirming Black Noir kept this info from him, Homelander defenestrates his former teammate, leaving him to bleed out with his intestines out. There’s probably no coming back from that.
R.I.P. Maeve(’s eye)
Maeve started off the season working with Billy to take down Homelander, providing him with Temp V. Things didn’t quite go according to plan, though, and Maeve eventually ended up imprisoned by Homelander in Vought Tower (where he was going to harvest her eggs against her will, because he is just the worst).
In the finale, Starlight’s (Erin Moriarty) very public disclosures against Homelander and Vought create an opportunity for Maeve to free herself, and she comes back ready to do what it takes to end things. Maeve gets into a third-act slug fest with Homelander, and she mostly holds her own. She does lose an eye, but she’s still prepared to sacrifice herself to stop Soldier Boy from killing Starlight and the Boys, becoming a hero once more. The final moments reveal that Maeve survived the blast, though she’s lost her powers. But she has Elena again, and another chance at a normal life — well, as long as Ashley (Colby Minifie) actually deleted the security footage of M.M. (Laz Alonso) and Kimiko (Karen Fukuhara) rescuing Maeve after the explosion.
The Deep takes out Lamar Bishop
We know what you’re thinking: who?? But Lamar Bishop (Graham Gauthier) ends up playing a key role this season. Bishop was poised to join Secretary of Defense Robert Singer, aka Dakota Bob, as his running mate in the presidential election. But in the finale, Homelander sends The Deep (Chace Crawford) to assassinate Bishop, whose death is reported as an accidental drowning. This creates a chance for Victoria Neuman (Claudia Doumit) to step in and become the vice presidential candidate, putting her on a whole new level of untouchable. Not only has she teamed up with Homelander, she’ll also have the kind of security that’ll make it impossible for the Boys to get to her.
So long to the Boys’ chances of taking down Homelander (for now)
Let’s face it: Temp V was no silver bullet against Homelander. The temporary version of Compound V may have given Billy and Hughie enhanced abilities for a while, but it turns out it’s lethal after a few doses. It looks like Hughie stopped just in time, but Butcher gets a bleak diagnosis in the finale: He only has 12 to 18 months to live. It wasn’t a total wash, we suppose — Butcher has maybe, finally, realized the dangers of becoming that which he hunts. And, though he doesn’t have much time, he’s ready to work with a team again, including Starlight, who’s now just known as Annie.
As a result, the Boys’ odds look more dismal than ever: They’ve lost a superpowered ally (Maeve) and the advantages of Temp V. Plus, Victoria Neuman traded Ryan’s location for a political assassination, which suggests she’s just as cutthroat as her new partner in awfulness, Homelander. And while Ryan (Cameron Crovetti) was able to convince Homelander to temporarily leave Billy and the gang alone, father and son are looking more threatening than ever after Homelander delivers his version of “shooting someone without losing votes.” What’s even scarier is the way Homelander’s supporters (including creepy Todd, Janine’s stepdad) cheer and applaud cold-blooded murder.
After the finale’s climactic melee, The Boys returns to the status quo yet again; only this time, the eponymous supe-hunters no longer have any leverage against Homelander. He’s got Ryan by his side, as well as a frenzied fan base — and, somewhere, his dad, Soldier Boy. The Seven may be the Three now — The Deep and A-Train (Jessie T. Usher) are sticking around — but Homelander’s hardly at a loss.
There are some big questions looming: Is Ryan a lost cause now that he’s going to be raised by Homelander? Will Billy have to break his promise to Becca in order to protect the world from her superpowered son? Will A-Train’s new heart (“donated” by the racist, now-dead Blue Hawk) hold up? How on earth can Homelander become even more “sociopathic”? Amazon’s already ordered a fourth season of The Boys, so we’ll have answers soon enough.