Warning: The following contains major spoilers for The Boys Season 3 finale. Proceed at your own risk!
The Boys‘ Season 3 finale left us with a disturbing thought: Is the worst supe yet to come?
Soldier Boy proved himself to be an even more terrible person than Homelander during the episode, purposefully striking and wounding Ryan during a climactic battle. Homelander actually showed concern for his son and rushed to Ryan’s side, while Butcher turned on Soldier Boy. In the end, Maeve jumped out the tower window with Soldier Boy so he wouldn’t kill everyone with his blast (get more scoop on her departure here), and the original celebrity supe was put back in a cryochamber.
But even though Soldier Boy is no longer a threat, his grandson Ryan might be cause for concern. In the episode’s final scene, Homelander introduced Ryan — who had chosen him over Butcher at the end of the big fight with Soldier Boy — to a rally of Stormfront supporters. When a Starlight believer threw a cup, striking Ryan, Homelander lasered his head right off. The crowd stood in silence. Then MM’s daughter’s stepdad started cheering for Homelander and everyone quickly followed suit, even stunning Homelander with their show of support. Ryan watched the boisterous crowd with a disturbing little smile.
That unnerving last image is meant to convey “the danger that Ryan is in,” showrunner Eric Kripke tells TVLine, “and it’s really danger for everyone in that world because if Ryan turns into another little sociopathic Homelander, that’s apocalyptic. But on the other hand, if Butcher’s able to pull him away from that, then you might have the only person who can actually fight Homelander.”
“So much of it hinges on Ryan and the battle for his soul, which will be a big concern of Season 4,” Kripke continues.
But given the grave diagnosis that Butcher received as a result of all the V-24 he took, “he has his work cut out for him to try to rescue that kid when he has less than a year to live,” Kripke adds.
As for this season’s main foe, Soldier Boy, he’s been thwarted, but he’s not out of the picture for good. Although his portrayer Jensen Ackles is moving on to a series-regular role on ABC’s Big Sky next season, Kripke is leaving the door open for Soldier Boy to resurface down the road.
“He’s probably not going to show up in the short term. But there’s a very specific reason we didn’t kill him,” Kripke says. “The series is not going to end without Soldier Boy popping up again. For the story to go where we need the story to go, sometimes you have to put characters on the bench for a minute. But just because they’re on the bench doesn’t mean they’re not getting back in the game.”
The Boys fans, what did you think of the final scene? Grade the finale, then hit the comments!