Our Biggest Questions After Watching The Boys' Season 3 Finale

Another season of "The Boys" has come and gone, delivering more grotesque moments of depravity, incredibly bloody action, and sick humor, all while delivering one of the greatest TV satires in years. It is a testament to the writing team that each season manages to hit a chord with our cultural zeitgeist in new and shocking ways. 

With another season over, we get another finale that is full of shocking reveals and deaths, and some small moments of joy followed by incredibly dark and nihilistic developments for the future, as we come to the end of the Soldier Boy chapter of the story. With season 4 already on the way (in addition to several spin-offs), here are our biggest questions following the season 3 finale.

What will happen to Butcher?

Well, it happened. After Karl Urban teased some karmic consequences for his scorched earth strategy, the season 3 finale confirmed that all the Temp V he was poisoning himself with is killing him, and he has just months to live. As sad as this is, it is the best place to take Butcher's story, with the show doubling down on its argument that all powers are bad and they bring nothing but pain. Butcher killed some supes, yes, but they were mostly retired folks who didn't matter. He failed to kill Homelander, he unleashed Soldier Boy on the world, he ruined any friendship he had with the rest of the boys, and he also failed at the one thing he promised Becca, by making Ryan feel guilty about his powers and helping turn him to Homelander. In his quest to get rid of all superheroes, Butcher may have given the world its biggest villain yet, but what now?

There are two possible ways this could go. Either Butcher learns to live with his decisions and finally changes for the better, or he doubles down. There's a chance he could take proper, permanent V that could cure him and grant him his powers back, but there's little chance that doesn't deeply affect him and eradicates any chance he has at redemption. Then again, that could lead to Butcher's fate from the comics.

Is Ryan beyond saving?

Oh, Ryan. In a show about bad dads, you went ahead and chose the worst possible father on the planet. I wrote at the end of last season that Ryan could be the boys' best hope of defeating Homelander, a supe who could be raised right and maybe could turn out like Superman as originally imagined in the comics, giving the show an opportunity to lean into the nature vs nurture debate. Well, all of that is gone after this episode, because not only is Ryan on team Homelander, he even smiles when his dad executes a guy in public. Sure, there's a chance the kid will grow up and realize that Homelander is a pathetic psychopath, but will Ryan just become a worse version of him? We don't know, but his storyline is one of the most exciting in the show.

How far can Homelander go?

Speaking of supervillains, Homelander went through a rollercoaster of emotions in the finale. He found out his "best friend" Noir betrayed him and kept the knowledge that Homelander has a father hidden from him, killed said friend, was called a "f***ing disappointment" by Soldier Boy who rejected his suggestion of becoming a real family, and is now hated by most people for being a psychopathic killer.

Then again, that was all before Ryan embraced Homelander as his dad, and before his extremist followers cheered at the sight of Homelander executing a guy in public. This now makes Homelander the most dangerous he's ever been, and the show better follow that up by completely changing the status quo. With Homelander now an out-and-open killer with a cult following, it wouldn't be surprising if Grace Mallory fully backs the boys to take him down. But wouldn't the government (or at least the new presidential candidate) want to help? Otherwise, what's stopping Homelander from outright executing the president and taking over? The show cannot keep Homelander around forever, which leads us to...

Will anyone stand up to Homelander?

The finale ends with Victoria Neuman now a vice-presidential candidate, with Ashley Barrett finally finding her humanity and doing something good by deleting the file showing Maeve's survival, and with A-Train looking mighty concerned over Homelander's comments about not needing any of the other supes. Now that Homelander is openly campaigning against the world, maybe those he left behind at Vought will finally do something and stand up to him? At the very least we have to imagine Neuman will come into play in a big way, probably in support of Homelander at first, but she has to realize she can't help him forever, can she? As for Ashley, if she could see the footage of Maeve surviving, she can surely also see the footage of Maeve kicking Homelander's butt, and could realize that he can actually be beat. The question is, will anyone dare do anything to stop him?

How will Annie change The Boys?

A big part of the season finale of "The Boys" dealt with the realization that you cannot simply win with violence. This was a season that started with a big "whatever it takes" banner being raised by Butcher and Hughie, but by the end, they all realized that's not going to work. Hughie had a big breakthrough in the finale when he realized that there are other kinds of strength and that you don't need violence or powers to be a hero, and he learned that because of Annie.

Annie, who tossed away her superhero costume and renounced Starlight, is the best weapon the boys have right now, as they officially welcomed her as part of the team. With what appears to be even greater powers than we initially thought, and with Maeve powerless, Annie is the only character who actually stands a chance against Homelander. More importantly, she is the moral center of the show, and has the potential to find a better way to fight Homelander than the rest of the team. She already did more to expose Vought and Homelander than anyone else on the show, and she did it without violence, so can she change Butcher and find a better path? We already know that they have set their sights not on Homelander, but changed to target Neuman in the final moments of the season, so how will Annie affect things? We'll find out next season.

"The Boys" is streaming on Prime Video.