The Boys Has Finally Revealed Homelander’s Father. Surprise! It’s Soldier Boy.
The following story contains heavy spoilers for The Boys Season 3, Episode 7, “Here Comes a Candle to Light You to Bed.”
While The Boys—our favorite superhero satire graphic violence/nudity extravaganza—has spent time in Season 3 spoofing cursed Pepsi ads and fitting in lewd cameos for real-life comedy stars, we’ve now reached the part of the season where the story and the stakes really start to take center stage.
And after the dramatic ending of the “Herogasm” episode, when Homelander (Antony Starr), Butcher (Karl Urban), and Soldier Boy (Jensen Ackles) finally had it out, and Annie/Starlight (Erin Moriarty) exposed Soldier Boy and Homelander to her massive social media following for what they really are, we’re really starting to get somewhere. Episode 7, titled “Here Comes a Candle to Light You to Bed,” wastes no time in picking up right where we left off. Vought is doing all sorts of damage control, painting Starlight is a rogue actor and attempting to save Homelander’s image.
We also get more info on what’s going on with Hughie and Butcher’s use of Compound V, Kimiko (Karen Fukuhara) and her powers, and Mother’s Milk’s (Laz Alonso) season-long mission to balance his personal vendetta against Soldier Boy while still keeping his relationship with his daughter as strong as ever. We also get a rare glimpse inside the psyche of Black Noir, which includes a bunch of hallucinated cartoon characters and a clearly-undiagnosed case of PTSD. That is not somewhere we want to be.
But the story dominating just about everything else in the show centers on the two clashing villains: Homelander and Soldier Boy. These two had been initially set against each other; since entering the present-day world, Soldier Boy has wanted one thing: revenge against the members of Payback, the team that set him up and led to his capture by the Russians. A partnership with Hughie (Jack Quaid) and Butcher meant he would eventually try to take Homelander out, but it wasn’t a face-off of passion.
But after tracking down Mindstorm, the latest member of Payback to meet his wrath, Soldier Boy learned a startling truth—and it’s one that could change the direction of the series.
Is Soldier Boy Homelander’s Father?
It sure is looking that way right now, isn’t it? Soldier Boy’s revenge tour on Payback reached Mindstorm, who has Professor X-style telekinetic powers, and Hughie and Butcher (both Suped up on Temp-V, with potentially deadly side effects looming) were helping out. After Mindstorm put Butcher into a deep trance (which would have eventually led to his death), Hughie had no choice but to briefly act against Soldier Boy to save Mindstorm, teleporting him back to Butcher so he could wake him up and save his life. Hughie had promised to teleport Mindstorm the hell out of there, but he was too slow—Soldier Boy found them and quickly inflicted much pain on the telepath.
He wanted answers—and eventually, he got one. “What? That’s not possible!” we hear the unhinged Supe say. Not long after he got whatever answer he got, we see him completely bash Mindstorm’s head (concealed inside a canvas bad) in, almost exactly the way in which Marvel’s own Bad Captain America (John Walker, as played by Wyatt Russell) bashed in an unassuming baddie’s head in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
As Soldier Boy walks off, Butcher and Hughie both wonder what was just said to him—but they don’t find out. But we, the viewers, are a bit luckier; as the episode ends, we hear a phone conversation between Vought’s current superstar, and their superstar of decades past.
Soldier Boy realizes what happened, has processed it, and has a conversation with his psychotic counterpart. Back in 1981, he was called in, unassuming, to Jonah Vogelbaum’s office for “some shit about genetics,” where he provided a sperm sample (and of course he shares details about the Penthouse magazine he used to supply said sample). “Turns out, Vogelbaum made a kid—born in Spring 1981,” he tells Homelander. “My boy. You know what the bitch of it is? If they would’ve just kept me around, I’d have let you take the spotlight. What father wouldn’t want that for his son?”
Uh, yeah. That means exactly what you think it means. Of course, Mindstorm could have been lying to pit these two psychopaths against each other (or bring them together). But for now, let’s take this all at face value. Soldier Boy is Darth Vader. Homelander, somehow, is Luke Skywalker.
What does this mean? What will happen next?
Well, Soldier Boy sounded like he kind of had a “this could have been nice, but instead I’m still going to have to destroy you,” kind of tone in his voice. He seems to be blaming the entire Payback mutiny—when he ended up turned into a human weapon of mass destruction by the Russians—on Homelander’s very existence. He was replaced because Vought had someone better. And now it would seem that he wants to prove, once again, that there is no one better.
But we can’t rule out other options. If Soldier Boy and Homelander are indeed father and son—The Boys’ Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker—we can’t rule out that they get a Return of the Jedi ending of their own and team up. Keep in mind that Homelander has always been motivated, in part, because he feels alone in his vast power. There’s no one he can relate to; there are other Supes, sure, but there’s no one out there quite like him. Now that’s changed, and both guys know it. And these two Supes working together, well, that’s not going to be fun for anyone. It’s going to be hard for anyone to come out on top if that happens.
Maybe worth remembering that there is a character who can make people’s heads explode. Let’s not forget that. On to the finale.
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