Black Noir's Fate In The Boys Season 3 Was Decided At The Last Minute

If you're not caught up on "The Boys" season 3 yet, be forewarned: there are spoilers here for the fate of Black Noir.

As a character who is mute and has brain damage, Black Noir (Nathan Mitchell) hasn't always read like an open book to viewers of "The Boys." It wasn't until season 3 that the audience really started to get to know him in a meaningful way, as we learned some of his back story with Soldier Boy (Jensen Ackles) during the Korean War, and saw the world from his perspective, complete with hallucinated cartoon animals. This being "The Boys," Black Noir was not long for this world after that.

After returning to the headquarters of Vought International in season 3, Black Noir came face to face with Homelander (Antony Starr) again, hoping to team up with him against Soldier Boy. Unfortunately for him, Homelander felt rather betrayed, since Black Noir knew that Soldier Boy was Homelander's long-lost father but had never told him. Ashley (Colby Minifie) and The Deep (Chace Crawford) could read the room enough to leave post haste, leaving Black Noir alone with Homelander, who promptly ripped his guts out.

When asked why Black Noir had to die, "The Boys" showrunner Eric Kripke said it was "because actions have consequences." He told Insider, "We needed something really shocking and momentous, and I know he's a fan favorite, but it just came really naturally."

"I don't think we walked into the finale knowing we were gonna do it," Kripke added. "It was just as we were tracking Homelander and watching him unravel, I couldn't understand a version where he wasn't gonna have some sort of huge reaction to Noir, who's been lying to him his entire life about the thing Homelander needed most in the world."

When they knew Black Noir would die

Black Noir's chief cartoon compatriot in "The Boys" season 3 is Buster Beaver, who acts as the buck-toothed liaison for the animated Chuck E. Cheese-like critters that only live inside his head. Since Black Noir himself functions as the show's silent but deadly Batman analog, it's not a stretch to see Buster Beaver as the Bat-Mite of "The Boys" universe. In a perfect world, maybe, we'd have a Black Noir and Buster Beaver spin-off, but alas, Kripke and company realized in the eleventh hour that they had to kill off Noir:

"As we were mapping out the story for the finale, we realized it. The way this process goes, is you're outlining episode eight while you're writing episode three or four. So, we said, 'OK, well, if we're heading in this direction, let's really give everybody who Noir is, where he comes from.' And the fact that we're definitely implying that he sees animated characters everywhere he goes and that there have been animated characters all around him for three seasons now, which I sort of love. We got to know what we needed to know about him, and then it was time for him to head off with Buster Beaver to the Buster Beaver Pizza in the sky."

For anyone still mourning the loss of Black Noir on "The Boys," there's reason to hope. In the wake of the season 3 finale, Kripke mentioned that the show would bring back Mitchell, the man behind the mask, as "a different character who wears the Black Noir suit" in season 4. So it seems we haven't seen the last of the actor or his costume, at least. For Buster Beaver, however, season 3 of "The Boys" may be the end of the line.