Here's The Big Difference Between Hughie And Kimiko Wanting Their Powers In The Boys Season 3

This post contains spoilers for "The Boys" season 3.

The power dynamics of the Prime Video series "The Boys" got a major shake-up in season 3, as Soldier Boy (Jensen Ackles) revealed that his chest-beam could remove a supe's powers, and Queen Maeve (Dominique McElligott) helped give Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) and his Boys a type of temporary Compound V that can give them short-term superpowers. Giving some characters powers and taking them away from others certainly levels the playing field, but it also allows for some compelling character arcs surrounding how power affects us all. 

Early in season 3, Kimiko (Karen Fukuhara) loses her powers because of Soldier Boy, but later decides that she wants them back, even though she had longed for a "normal" life for a long time. On the other side of things, Hughie (Jack Quaid) gets a taste of what it was like to be a supe through the Temp V, and he wants to keep that feeling going. They both want superpowers, but for very different reasons, and their motivations are a major part of why things end up going the way they do.

The showrunner weighs in

On Twitter, a fan asked showrunner Eric Kripke why Starlight was comfortable giving Compound V to Kimiko while she discouraged her boyfriend Hughie's use of the temporary version, and Kripke had a pretty great response:

"Thanks for asking! Because Hughie's craving was selfish, to make himself feel macho & save a woman who doesn't want saving. Kimiko's is a selfless sacrifice that's a burden to her, to protect a man who welcomes the protection. Big difference."

The big difference between Kimiko's and Hughie's desire for superpowers is that Hughie's need comes from a place of ego, while Kimiko's comes from a place of love. Throughout the season, we see scenes where Hughie needs his girlfriend to do things for him. She's there to take care of things that would fall to Hughie in a "traditional" relationship, like opening jars of peanut butter or protecting him from danger. As much as Hughie tries to appreciate their unique situation, it's clear that he also feels a bit emasculated. The Temp V gives him superpowers and makes him feel more equal to Starlight, and like he can protect her for once. It's kind of sweet in a deeply misguided way, which tends to be Hughie's whole M.O. But he doesn't want the powers entirely out of a need to "protect" Starlight, because she can clearly do that herself.

A matter of who needs protecting

Meanwhile, Kimiko realized that as much as she loves not having superpowers and being able to hug Frenchie (Tomer Kapon) without feeling like she might break him, she needs to be a supe to keep him safe. After their horrible encounter with Nina (Katia Winter), Kimiko saw just how dangerous the world is without her powers. She was unable to help the person she loved most, and in order to stop that from ever happening again, she took Compound V to regain her powers. It was an act of love, not ego, and one that Frenchie appreciates even if he wishes it weren't necessary. 

In the end, Kimiko ends up permanently powered once more and Hughie stops taking the Temp V and goes back to being human. "The Boys" may not always play nice, but its characters usually get what they deserve

Season 3 of "The Boys" is streaming on Prime Video.