The Boys season 3 ended with a dramatic finale – and with so many characters’ stories needing to wound up in the final episode, there’s a lot to unpack. Therefore, you’d be forgiven for having a few lingering questions as the credits rolled on the third season of Amazon Prime Video’s superhero show. To help you digest the finale – as well as prepare for the already commissioned The Boys season 4 – we’ve broken down all of the major plot points.
And there were some pretty huge reveals in the climatic moments of season 3, from a few major departures, as well as plenty of unresolved moments for the characters. So, let’s dive into The Boys season 3 ending in detail to work out where we might be heading next. Of course, we’ll be getting into MAJOR spoiler territory here. So make sure you’ve watched The Boys season 3, episode 8 before venturing any further into this article.
The Boys season 3 ending explained: a recap *spoilers!*
The Boys season 3 finale begins with Soldier Boy and Homelander reeling from the reveal that they’re actually father and son. Antony Starr’s Supe deals with this by tracking down his own son Ryan, who’s been staying with Mallory under Billy Butcher’s orders. However, after Butcher’s rejection of Ryan earlier in the season, the young lad is quite susceptible to any parental affection, so he heads off with dear old dad Homelander.
Homelander isn’t ready to just let go of the news of who his real dad is just yet. When Black Noir returns to aid him in the final fight, the leader of the Seven discovers Noir knew his secret all along. He guts him and leaves him to bleed out after the betrayal. Homelander then tells the dwindling members of the Seven what to do next. The Deep has to take down the existing Vice Presidential candidate, while A-Train heads to try and reconcile – without much luck – with his brother.
Meanwhile Butcher, Hughie, and Soldier Boy are on the road to take down their final Payback member Black Noir, not yet realizing he’s already been dealt with. But Butcher soon boots Hughie out of the team amid the worry that it’s too dangerous to keep him involved. We learn Temp V is actually fatal, as Starlight picks up Hughie and brings him back to convene with The Boys.
At the Flat Iron headquarters, Kimiko, Frenchie and MM are strategizing about how they’ll help neutralize Soldier Boy due to the danger he poses. And they have some help from Queen Maeve too after she escaped from Vought Tower. But Maeve isn’t on board with their idea, liaising with Soldier Boy and Butcher to use the opportunity to take down Homelander as they head back to the tower for the final showdown.
When Homelander and Soldier Boy come face-to-face, the former presents a proposition to become a superfamily. He brings out Ryan, complicating matters for Butcher, as he appeals to Soldier Boy. But he’s having none of it as he brands him a coward, rejecting him as his son.
A fight ensures but Butcher changes allegiances at the last moment to try and keep Ryan safe. He turns his laser eyes on Soldier Boy while Maeve tackles Homelander. Despite the minor setback of being locked in a safe by Maeve, the rest of The Boys soon join the fight too as Frenchie works on brewing some novichok while Hughie takes charge of the control room.
Starlight, MM and Kimiko are up against Soldier Boy – but he’s still winning. Hughie sees his chance as he turns on all of the lights in the newsroom they’re fighting in, boosting Starlight’s power to give the others a chance to novichok Soldier Boy. But nothing’s working. He starts glowing, leaving Maeve to make the choice to save Ryan and the others, even if it means Homelander surviving. She leaps out of the window with Soldier Boy as they both explode in the skies above New York.
But don’t worry, Maeve somehow survives the onslaught as she tells Starlight she and her ex-girlfriend Elena are heading off to live in hiding. Soldier Boy also survives as he’s sealed back in a cryogenic chamber.
The remainder of the finale is dedicated to rounding up further plot points – and setting up season 4. Starlight has joined The Boys (officially) as the team set their sights on a new enemy. Victoria Neuman is now the Vice Presidential candidate after the Deep’s drowning of her opposition. In Butcher’s words, she’s got to go. But he’ll also be dealing with a lot come season 4 after Temp V has irrevocably damaged his health and the doctor tells him he’s literally got months left.
We end the series with Homelander introducing his son – and his impressive powers – to the world. Ryan demonstrates his skills as his adoring fans cheer him on. However, there’s one protestor who Homelander zooms in on, lasering him in a brutal death. There’s a beat as the crowd takes in what’s happened before they erupt into applause, proving the psychotic Supe can do just about anything.
Is Black Noir really dead?
The superhero genre tends to play fast and loose when it comes to death – when you factor in things like multiverses and alternate timelines, is someone ever truly gone? The Boys hasn’t concerned itself with anything like that (yet) though, so the image of Black Noir lying on the floor with his intestines hanging out is a pretty big indicator that he’s dead.
After some cartoon-enabled soul-searching, Black Noir returns to Vought Tower in the season 3 finale and insists to Homelander that they have to kill Soldier Boy. “So you were in his team, you knew him. What was he like?” Homelander asks the silent assassin. “Bad,” Black Noir writes on a piece of paper, before Homelander tells his fellow Seven-er that Soldier Boy is his father. “I didn’t believe him at first, but I ripped apart the company archives, and it’s true. They lied to me my whole life. Surprise. The thing I needed most as a kid and they kept it from me?” he scoffs, before telling Black Noir that he’s not keen on the idea of popping off his pops. “Did you know that I had a father out there? Alive this whole time?”
Black Noir admits that he did know Soldier Boy is Homelander’s father, which results in Homelander plunging his hand into Black Noir’s stomach and pulling out several of his internal organs. Yikes… We’re not sure what’s worse; having your head incinerated by laser eyes (à la Madelyn Stillwell) or being gutted.
How did Maeve survive? Where has she gone?
We’re going to level with you here, we’re not entirely sure how Maeve survived Soldier Boy’s blast. In an earlier episode, Kimiko lived to tell the tale after a run-in with the Captain America wannabe, so it’s entirely plausible for Maeve, a fellow Supe, to walk away from a fight with him, too. But Kimiko lost her powers after she was exposed to Soldier Boy’s nuclear energy – and if Maeve also lost her superhuman abilities, how could she be okay after falling from the top of the Vought Tower?
If we’re being generous, we’d argue that it has something to do with the fact that Maeve has been a Supe since birth – her mother having been injected with Compound V when she was pregnant – while Kimiko was shot up with the substance as an adult. For that reason, she might have been slightly more powerful than Kimiko, or her powers took longer to be zapped.
With the world believing she’s dead, Maeve reveals to Annie at the end of episode 8 that she plans to shack up with her on-off girlfriend Elena and live a quiet life as a “powerless schmuck”. Annie asks her where she’ll go, to which she replies: “Somewhere where Homelander won’t find me.” A farm, “ideally”, if Elena has any say in it. Before saying goodbye and walking out the door, Maeve reflects on her first meeting with Annie, as Starlight, and admits that the latter “saved” her. “Truth is, you don’t need me anymore. I could jump, but you can fucking fly.”
What happened to Soldier Boy? Is Soldier Boy dead?
Maeve saved the day by booting an exploding Soldier Boy out of the window of Vought Towers at the last moment. We don’t see what happens directly in the aftermath of this, but Mallory manages to find the nuclear Supe before he can fight back – probably thanks to Frenchie’s novichok neutralizer. The last we see of Jensen Ackles’ villain, he’s been put back on ice.
While he’s out of the way for now, we wouldn’t count on Soldier Boy staying down for long. Ackles and The Boys showrunner Eric Kripke have yet to comment on if he’ll be returning, but our money is on Homelander’s daddy causing some more problems yet. And The Boys has a history of bringing back villains, just as they did with Stormfront at the start of season 3. However, we’d bet Soldier Boy will not be subdued so easily.
Is Billy Butcher dying?
What’s the opposite of diabolical? Billy Butcher is dying, as revealed during the season 3 finale. His continual use (and misuse) of Temp V – which Starlight mentioned in the previous episode was a “death sentence” – has caught up to the sweary Brit.
According to the doctors, the prognosis isn’t great: Butcher is given 12 months to live, 18 months tops. That means he’ll need to speed up any revenge plot against Neuman and Homelander – and is likely the reason why he came crawling back to the rest of the gang at the episode’s end. The clock is ticking, and Butcher knows it. Expect a death scene in season 4 at this current rate.
What happened with Starlight? Can she fly now?
During the season 3 finale’s big battle sequence, Soldier Boy sets his sights on Annie, which panics Hughie, as he watches from Vought International’s surveillance room. He thinks about sipping some V and saving her but chooses not to, evidently thinking back to their argument about his patronizing need to save her all the time. Instead, he turns up all the lights in the room where Annie/Starlight, Soldier Boy, and the others are, which enables Starlight to absorb all of their energy. The boost causes her to levitate, suggesting she can fly now, just so long as there’s electricity around that she can channel. Rad.
At the end of episode 8, Annie dumps her Starlight costume in a trash chute, claiming that it “never gave her any power” anyways. “And Vought sure as shit didn’t,” she adds. “It’s always just been me.”
With that, Mother’s Milk offers her a spot on the Boys team. “Butcher isn’t going to like it,” Annie argues, but Frenchie, Kimiko, and Hughie vote her in, declaring that the group are going to be a democracy from now on. Stuff that, Billy!
What’s happening with Ryan?
Poor Ryan! Homelander’s son has had rough time of it. Not only did he accidentally kill his mother, but Butcher then callously rejected him in a misguided attempt to keep him safe. Is it any wonder then that when Homelander comes calling with a bit of affection, he gravitates to him? He’s joined his real dad’s team and is even introduced to the public later in the finale. It’s not yet clear what the leader of the Seven is planning for him, but Butcher is probably the only one who can save Ryan now.
What’s Homelander’s plan?
We don’t know exactly what Homelander is planning with young Ryan yet. But one thing is for sure – by the end of the season he knows he’s still got a lot of influence. He’s also in a more powerful position than ever before with an ally heading to the White House (more on that in a minute) as well as being the head of Vought. Given the psychotic path he’s already been on so far in season 3, whatever he’s up to next will surely have some huge consequences for everyone involved.
Will Victoria Neuman become Vice President?
The Boys had one more surprise up its sleeve in the finale. Victoria Neuman was picked as Robert Singer’s running mate, meaning she will be in line to become the next Vice President of the United States. It should be a foregone conclusion, too. The narrative is all set up for it: there’s been no talk of the opposing challengers (or incumbent president) and Neuman’s rival to become Vice President Lamar Bishop was bumped off by the Deep at Homelander’s orders. In one fell swoop, the Homelander/Neuman pact means Homelander will have a direct line to the White House.
Another interesting wrinkle is the succession of power. If Singer becomes President – which is looking likely – then Neuman would be next in line should anything happen to him. As she just so happens to have head-exploding powers, there’s a fair chance that she’ll be sitting in the Oval Office sooner rather than later without much of a fuss. Is she being lined up to be the show’s ultimate Big Bad? It’s certainly looking that way.
Does The Boys season 3 have a post-credits scene?
Given that The Boys sends up superhero tropes pretty much every week, it stands to reason that you should be expecting a meta post-credits scene to go along with it. Unfortunately for us, theirs is no post-credits scene in The Boys season 3 finale. Once the credits have started rolling, that’s it.
Will there be a Boys season 4?
The Boys isn’t ending with season 3. A fourth season has been officially commissioned by Amazon, though we won’t have a release date (or even a release window) just yet.
“We’re thrilled to continue Butcher and the Boys’ fight against Homelander and the Seven, as well as comment on the insane world we’re living in,” showrunner Eric Kripke said in a statement at the time.
Still want more from The Boys? Check out our breakdown of The Boys season 3 episodes as well as the mixed response to Black Noir’s death in the finale.