THE BOYS Season 4 Episode 1 – 3 Breakdown...

THE BOYS Season 4 Episode 1 – 3 Breakdown & Ending Explained | Review, Comic Easter Eggs And More

THE BOYS Season 4 Episode 1 - 3 Breakdown & Ending Explained | Review, Comic Easter Eggs And More


Welcome to the Heavy Spoilers show, I’m your host Paul, and in this video, we’re breaking down The Boys.

Season 4 is now here, and over the next two months, we’re going to be analyzing it and breaking down all the Easter eggs, hidden details, and things you might have missed. I’ve re-read the graphic novels, and hopefully, this will be your go-to for in-depth reviews of the series each week. The first three episodes are now out worldwide, and in this video, we’re going to go through them all.

Now, it’s a bit difficult to talk about The Boys without touching on politics, but I’m going to keep my opinions out of the breakdowns because I don’t know if you want a British dude derailing the video to tell you to vote for Count Binface. Yes, that’s a real politician in the UK, but we’re going to navigate this as best as possible by pointing out what the show says rather than what we think.


I always think that The Boys critiques both the left and right, and it touches on the cultural divisions present in the West. The series also ties in heavily to Gen V, and in case you missed it, it centered around Godolkin High Schools experimenting on Supes in the woods. That was their hidden basement base where they developed a virus capable of killing them. After a super uprising led by Cate Dunlap and one of the woods’ captives, Sam, the truth behind Dean Shetty’s plan was revealed. Her family had died in the plane crash in season 1, and she sought revenge on the Supes. Though she was brought down, the season ended with Butcher discovering the woods. He now knows about the virus. On the other side, despite Cate and Sam attacking the school, Homelander helped cover up their crimes.

At around 20 minutes into episode 1, Ashley brings up how Homelander saved her life, with him arriving at the end of the season. The pair are two characters we will talk about later on, but that should catch you up with the show. You guys are the real heroes, mate.

These first three episodes are named after comic issues. Firstly, there’s “The Department of Dirty Tricks,” next, “Life Among the Septics,” and lastly, “We’ll Keep the Red Flag Flying Here.”

We begin with a rendition of “God Save The Queen” by the Sex Pistols. Highly controversial at the time of its release, it was a send-up of my country’s national anthem. The song applies perfectly to Victoria Neuman, who the song accompanies. It described the queen as having a fascist regime and being not what she seems. This works brilliantly with Victoria as she’s a bought Supe puppet masquerading as a left-wing politician.

Banned by the BBC, it still charted at number 2 around the Queen’s Jubilee and was a massive talking point at the time. The idea of “God saving the queen” is mirrored in Neuman, who says “God bless America.” This is further accompanied by a Homelander poster outside which says “saving America.”

As we know, most of the problems in the show are created by the Supes and Vought, but their figureheads are now presenting themselves as the only way to fix things.

In what feels like Fight Club, we then catch Kimiko wearing a tux. Tyler…or well, the Narrator…spoiler alert there. They infiltrated a party disguised as guests, which The Boys are doing.

Taking some orders out to their surveillance van, we see a sign that says “Mr. Marathon Catering.” This is a super that originally comes from both the show and comics, being a flash parody. In the source material, he was killed during the plane scene, whereas in the show, we learned that he was still alive. In both versions, he’s the speedster that preceded A-Train, with Ashley mentioning that the pair had a canceled race against each other.

THE BOYS Season 4 Episode 1 - 3 Breakdown & Ending Explained | Review, Comic Easter Eggs And More
THE BOYS Season 4 Episode 1 – 3 Breakdown & Ending Explained | Review, Comic Easter Eggs And More

Kimiko taking food out to Mother’s Milk and saying he needs to eat might also be the show acknowledging his weight loss. Chadwick Boseman kind of showed you shouldn’t really talk about this stuff, as you never know what’s going on in someone’s life. I completely avoided bringing it up in the trailer breakdowns because I didn’t know, just felt like it might be a sensitive topic. However, Laz Alonso has addressed it publicly and said that everything is cool; he just needed to lose weight. He said he had a rich DNA test which identified nutrients in his body and that he was putting it under a lot of stress staying big. So he just cut that out and lost the weight, and I feel like this may be acknowledging it as being down to the job in the show.

These stakeouts are also pulled directly from the comics, with The Boys carrying out one on Teenage Kix in the first omnibus. That had Hughie in a van watching all the stuff they got up to, which was a bit messed up.

On top of this, Frenchie dons some goggles that look akin to his ones from the comics.

Now we then cut to Butcher vomiting outside.

Throughout these three episodes, we see the pair dealing with the idea of their own mortality. Butcher is, of course, dying from his V24 overuse, and Homelander is beginning to get older.

A couple of weeks ago, mate, I went on a stag do to Ibiza with the lads. Then I realized that it had been 18 years since we’d properly hung out. It’s kind of scary how quickly time goes, and the older you get, the quicker it seems to pass.

I’m not pulling out gray hairs just yet, mate…from down there anyway, but yeah, it’s a shock when you realize you’re one of the old dudes. Even Ryan, mate…bloody Ryan, you look different from the last time I saw you.

Vought clearly wants some new blood as well, with them spending 9 million on VFX to airbrush Homelander’s wrinkles. Thus, he could be getting pushed out, and he might even screw over his son to remain in the spotlight. This is kind of what I felt with him arriving at the PR stunt later on, and yeah, let me know how you think it’s going to go.

Butcher’s now at the end of his life, and Homelander is watching the new generation coming in. The lad’s got gray hair…down there…an enlarged prostate, and they’re both dealing with similar things. They’re also worrying about their legacy, which for them comes in the form of Ryan.

He’s the real battle they’re fighting, with the future being determined by what happens with him. Depending on which of these two wins will vastly affect the future and either usher in another Homelander or someone who wants to do good. It’s fascinating stuff and basically works as a metaphor for the world. As a generation, we all have influence over the youths in how we raise them, and it can really go one of two ways.

I believe that children are our future; teach them well and let them lead the way. Beyond that, though, Ryan lived a sheltered life, and he’s way more naive than most kids his age. Homelander was raised in a lab, and he was actually the reason Ryan got let out into the world. Now, though, he’s kind of going too far with him, and when he’s killing, you know a line’s been crossed.

Homelander has drilled into his head that humans are toys for their amusement, and thus he’s gaining a superiority complex. Ryan is against this, though, and we see how treating people like this weighs on his soul.

Now, I feel like this is mainly down to Homelander’s detachment from humanity due to how he was raised.

During Season 2, Episode 7, Butcher visited Vogelbaum, where we learned about Homelander as a kid. He said he’d cuddle up to him and listen to his stories, but Vogelbaum treated him like a test subject.


He’s exactly what humanity made him, so if he didn’t have that human connection, he now can’t have a connection with humans. Becca, on the other hand, showed him how to love and care for humans, which is the opposite of how Homelander was raised.

Vogelbaum ended up experimenting on him, which led to what we have today. I genuinely think all that Homelander is, is a scared little boy desperate for a mum, and that’s why he loves the breast milk.

Now, Homelander being at the party throws a bit of a spanner in the works on both sides. The Boys aren’t happy with it, and Homelander is on trial for murder. If you’ve been following the social media accounts since season 3, then you’ll know they’ve done a lot of coverage on the story. The Vought International YouTube, mate…gonna be real, I think it’s the best-run social media for a show, and Ashley dropped a video giving us some updates. They’re going with the story that Homelander was protecting his son, and make sure you tweet #HomeFree if you support it.

Now, they’re obviously basing things on certain real-life trials going on at the moment across the pond.

We then see as Ryan is taken to the kitchen by Zoe Neumann. We’ll talk about a reveal with her later on, but it gives Butcher a chance to talk to him. Ryan excuses the death of the Starlighter because it turned out he was a pedophile, which might be the show playing on the discourse brought up during the Kyle Rittenhouse trial.

We then get Homelander saying, “it’s not the Neverland Ranch, and no means no.” This is obviously a nod to the accusations leveled at Michael Jackson and…pffft…no way this video is staying monetized.

As we know, he has x-ray vision, and this is how he’s able to spot his tumor.

Homelander taunts Butcher for his borrowed time, but this reveal clearly sits wrong with Ryan.

Homelander says he doesn’t want to miss Smash Mouth, and we then hear their song “Walking on the Sun.” Now, I had no idea about this until doing my research, but this has racial and political undertones laced throughout it. Written in the wake of the Rodney King attack, it was supposed to push the idea that we should all learn to get along. The band pitched the idea that the planet was so messed up that we might as well be walking on a big ball of fire.

That’s definitely something that feels like it fits the show and the world today, as things would be better if we found a way to co-exist rather than being crabs in a bucket.

However, beyond that, there was also some controversy surrounding them when the singer apparently did a racist salute at a concert.

Upon returning to her mother’s room, Zoe finds The Boys and their helpers there, and we see the full extent of her powers. She was injected with Compound V earlier in the series and now possesses four snake-like tentacles that come out of her mouth. We have lots of tentacle-based characters in the comics, with mechanical ones like Omega Red and Doctor Octopus being big mainstays.

THE BOYS Season 4 Episode 1 - 3 Breakdown & Ending Explained | Review, Comic Easter Eggs And More
THE BOYS Season 4 Episode 1 – 3 Breakdown & Ending Explained | Review, Comic Easter Eggs And More

These even pull Kimiko’s arm off, but due to her healing factor, she’s able to grow it back. This is something we’ve, of course, seen with Deadpool and Wolverine, with the baby arm thing being brought across here. Diving out a window, we then get a slow-mo scene that’s akin to the opening of The Matrix Reloaded.

Hitting the ground, Kimiko’s face ends up coming off, which might be a nod to her debut in the comics. There, she tore several guys’ faces off, which was then also adapted into the series during season 2.

Confronting Hughie in the van, we get a great scene between him and Victoria. He feels betrayed by the fact they actually had a friendship, but she kept the truth from him. The pair are actually dating in real life, and I might be reading into it, but they give a really genuine performance about how much they mean to each other.

Hughie tries to basically Wizard of Oz her and tip water on the Wicked Witch. Here it’s acid, though, and other than ruining her jacket, it does very little damage. Butcher tries to put a bullet in her too, but yeah, she’s harder to get rid of than Ryan Arey.

This could be another nod to The Matrix, with it being akin to the “dodge this” bit by Trinity.

It’s clear she just wants a truce, and after seeing how indestructible she is, it might be worth it. This kind of plays off a bit in the comics, namely when The Boys and Seven called a truce. This came in the wake of Lamplighter’s attack, and it was years before they butted heads again.

Now, from here we cut to her and Robert Singer, which brings us to our favorite Easter egg that we talk about every season. In case you don’t know, Robert Singer is played by Jim Beaver. Now, Beaver also played Bobby Singer during Supernatural. Supernatural’s showrunner was Erik Kripke, who, of course, also is the showrunner of The Boys. Jensen Ackles also appeared in both, so we have lots of little nods to the Supernatural world. Now, Singer’s nickname is Dakota Bob, who in the comics was the president.

We learned from Butcher early on that Dakota Bob hated the Supes as he knew how dangerous they were. However, Vic The Veep was his VP, and he was secretly a Vought plant. Vic’s full name was Victor Neumann, with Victoria Neumann, of course, being based on him.

We then cut to a plaque of Angela Rayner, who ironically was killed by Victoria.

Singer has hired The Boys to take out Victoria, with this being a flip on the assassination plan in the comics. There, it was Vic who was assigned to kill him so that he could replace him as the President. This would then mean that Vought owned the government and could allocate funding directly to the company.

In the work, it was during September 11th where Dakota Bob immediately halted the attacks. However, Vic had some input and knocked Bob out before he enlisted the Seven to go and stop a plane, which led to it crashing. Obviously, you can see how that got adopted into the show, and in both cases, it was a complete disaster.

Bob was then torn apart by a wolverine, and Vic the Veep assumed the position in the Oval Office. Now, obviously, the comics aren’t 1 to 1 with the show, and they end up doing something different. They want to stage a coup that will allow Neumann to become the President.

In exchange, they want Critical Supes Theory taken out of schools and a hero in every town with authority over the police.

Obviously, this is based on real-world political things, with The Boys clearly trying to frame it like January 6th.

Singer wants to ban Supes from the military and police, which is what the entire first season was about. There, Stillwell was trying to get them as part of it, and this will undo all of their plans.

Now, at this point, we meet Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s character, who is Butcher’s mate from the CIA. Named Kessler, I couldn’t believe who he was playing from the comics. That is Monkey, one of the most mental parts of the series, who’s basically Butcher’s bish.

He got the nickname Monkey because on a mission, he was f’d in the ear by some. These were thought to be monkeys carrying the AIDS virus, and yeah…kind of mental thinking about them explaining this character to JDM when casting him. During the trip to Russia, we also cut to Monkey at a Special Olympics event where he was getting turned on by some of the paraplegic athletes.

Kessler makes a joke about how bad The Boys’ name is, and it was Butcher who coined it. In the comics, it was what his old team was called in the FBI and CIA, and thus he brought it over to this. It’s kind of like before how I said I was out with the lads, you know, in England, you’re going out with The Boys, it means you’re hitting town to cause some mischief. That’s why it’s been brought into this, as they’re informally going out to get messy.

Kessler also mentions how the Supes will put them in camps, which is sort of a reverse Days of Future Past.

Meeting up with his ex, we learn Janine has gotten into a fight at school. This daughter plotline was a big part of the comics, with Janine getting in with the wrong crowd. Butcher had a stern word with her outside, and she ended up stopping her rebellious side. Mother’s Milk has a lot invested in his daughter, with even his CIA password being Janine 2012.

Cutting to Homelander waking up from a nightmare, we see the nightmare that his life has turned into. He’s on trial, berated by Starlight…sorry, Annie, who’s now going through a bit of a reinvention. Severing all connections to the Seven, she’s now using her real name and appearing out of costume. It shows the contrast between the two sides, as Homelander is always in his and never goes by John. Everyone in the tower is having to do damage control, including The Deep. Denying her accusations of him and an octopus, he says that she pooped in his bed. No prizes for guessing what that’s over, with it being a big celebrity trial that we now seem to get demonetized for every time we bring it up. Not even kidding, mentioned them in our Aquaman 2 breakdown and had to re-upload it because it got hit with a yellow dollar icon.

We then get the arrival of Black Noir with a theory about him eventually being debunked. There were theories that Sam from Gen-V would replace him, but we know that’s not really what happened.


Now, the theory that Black Noir would be replaced by Sam is incorrect, and we now know exactly what’s happened. Noir has been replaced by a Super who’s a stand-in for him, once more played by Nathan Mitchell. What I mean by that is that Mitchell played him originally, being the man under the mask in the first couple of seasons. We then saw a younger version of him in season 3 before he was killed off by Homelander at the Seven Tower.

During Gen V, we suspected that it hadn’t been announced that he was dead, as people would start to ask questions. So Noir’s been replaced, with Mitchell once more playing him. However, technically it’s a different character, but it means that Mitchell gets to voice him now.

I think because of this, we can also spoil what happens in the comics because they clearly aren’t going that way. It’s a topic we’ve shied away from covering in the past, but I’m going to save it until the end of the video in case you’re reading them.

Anyway, they have new candidates which we’re going to go through now, and we’ll drop in images from the comics and shows if that applies. There’s Talon, Europe, Hyperion, The Standard, Lady Arklite, Dogknott (who in the comics was a Beast parody), Malchemical, Big Game, Tek Knight (which I know he could fill a hole), Sister Sage, The Divine, Incineron, Dr. Peculiar, Shot Out, Stacker,

Airburst, Luckless, Jetstreak, Pit Stop, Black Helmet, Holy Mary, Lord Horus, Wrangler, Pinwheel, Ground Hawk, Invisi-lass, and Jimmy the One. Next to them are also team names from the comics, including Teenage Kix, Super Duper, G-Men, Young Americans, and Team Titanic. The G-Men were an X-Men parody led by Godolkin, with Godolkin being the basis for Gen-V.

Talon is a Lady Deathstrike-like character with long nails. Hyperion is based on Hyperion from Marvel, and DogKnott…I don’t know, man…

Wrangler is a Punisher-based hero, but who catches Homelander’s eye is Sister Sage. Described as extremely intelligent, she’s someone who can work the media.

She’s basically like a Sherlock Holmes-type figure who’s able to completely cold-read people. This allows her to work out everything about them and plan accordingly.

Now, there are a lot of super-intelligent characters in the comics, with Reed Richards being labeled the smartest man on Earth. Sage is upping this, though, by being the smartest person.

An obscure character I feel like she builds off is someone we meet during Civil War 2. There, we had a character, Ulysses, who was thought to see into the future. However, we learned he was basically just a human algorithm that used his intelligence to predict probability based on the facts around him.

She comes from A-Train’s old group, Teenage Kix, as we mentioned they come from the comics.

This was the first group The Boys took down, with Popclaw also being a member. She appeared in season 1 and was the girlfriend of A-Train before he took her out. Like, took her out, not in a date way.

Unfortunately, she’s brutally honest, saying things people often don’t want to hear. This includes Ashley pulling her hair out before she ends up like Madelyn Stillwell.

In the group was also the Judge Dredd parody Gunpowder. He appeared during season 3 and was sort of a Judge Dredd and Punisher parody as well. Gunpowder clearly had some inspiration on Firecracker as well. She’s a Jubilee parody who can create sparks from her fingertips, but she clearly can’t rely on her abilities. Carrying a Glock 17 as her signature weapon, she’s clearly meant to parody a reactionary personality.

Now, whenever I say reactionary, these kids, mate, these bloody TikTok kids, they think I mean like Greg Alba reacting to trailers or something.

What I mean, though, is a reactionary in the political sense of the word. These are people who typically want to return to traditions. We can also see she has a DeSantis poster as well.

Running a DIY media outlet, we see how this has even infected Annie’s workforce. She’s clearly a parody of several pundits, with them really leaning into the political push that comes from these independent outlets.

As we learn throughout the episodes, she’s got beef with Starlight, which we’ll talk more about later on.

Homelander instructs The Deep to blow A-Train, which too is a play off what he wanted Annie to do. Though they touched upon this in season 1, the dialogue here is exactly the same. Annie was forced by the group in order to keep her place in the Seven, with it being done as a demeaning thing here to show how Homelander is surrounded by yes-men. I mean, The Deep there…he was literally gonna go down and suck his…

Cutting to the TV, we see you can donate to Homelander’s legal defense and also Vought on Ice, which becomes important later on.

Jumping to the Flatiron, this was also the base of The Boys in the comics.

The Boys want to get rid of Butcher, and we later see as he lifts Hughie’s key. This has a Billy Joel keyring on it, with him wearing several of his shirts in the show. He and Annie also bonded over his music on the road trip down south, and it was the last thing that he and Robin talked about.

In episode 2, we learn the last thing his mother promised him before leaving was getting tickets to Billy Joel.

We then join Butcher at Vought Video, which is, of course, a parody of Blockbuster. They were sent out of business by Netflix, with Vought Plus probably shutting down these stores. Next to it, we also see a Church of the Collective reading room.

This Scientology parody has appeared in the series before, with Victoria taking out its leader. So it seems like the church has now fallen apart, and these fossils of the past perfectly sum up Butcher. The Boys want to cut him loose, but Hughie refuses to do it.

Inside, we see a movie poster for Polarity, with him being a hero that we met in Gen-V.

His son also took on the mantle and was played by Chance Perdomo. Chance unfortunately passed away recently, which was so sad to hear because he was really starting to make his mark. Gen-V season 2 is still going into production, but yeah, I feel like his absence will be felt.

Victoria then arrives, and as she walks around, we see a poster for Soldier Boy’s film.

Butcher says that the virus isn’t strong enough to kill Homelander yet, but he teases that it will be one day. In order to form an alliance, Vic wants the files from Red River, which she talked about during Gen-V. Hughie currently has them, and they could potentially expose her past.

Cutting back to the Flatiron, we see faded signs of Jitter Bean, which is the in-universe Starbucks parody. Boxes of it show up later on in episode 3 at the factory when Frenchy trips baws. Jitter Bean is also where Black Noir attacked Starlight in season 2, and they’ve appeared a lot throughout the shows and spin-offs.

Now, throughout the episode, Hughie’s been blanking calls from his dad, but we finally discover what’s going on. He’s had a stroke and is cooped up in the hospital. He tried to call Hughie right before it happened, and now Hughie blames himself for ignoring his call.

Simon Pegg returns as Hughie’s father, and we also meet his mother as well. Hughie in the comics was based on Simon Pegg, with him initially being intended to play the part. However, he ended up aging out of the role, so instead, they cast him in the role of Hughie’s dad. It’s an old Easter egg, but it checks out, and apologies for bringing that one up again, we’re just trying to be thorough.

Hughie’s parents also appeared in the comics, and they showed up when he took Starlight to Scotland. There, they had some time away from America and actually could live a life of peace. However, they returned home, but we have met his parents in the source material.

His mother hasn’t seen him since he was six, and she’s involved with Voughtality. She works as a metaphor for the company, appearing kind but, of course, having a twisted past.

Now, we then get a love triangle I wasn’t expecting to see in the form of Frenchy, Colin, and Kimiko. This clearly is getting to the latter, and she’s attending therapy to try and work through it.

Now, with Frenchy, we discover that he killed Colin’s family when working for Little Nina.

Nina came from the comics, with her being a Russian asset for Vought. They were planning a coup and to use Supes to take over the Kremlin. Nina would then come in with a device that blew their heads off, and eventually, this was developed into a way to potentially wipe all the Supes out. This has shifted into the show to become the virus, which is a really interesting way to build off the back of that.

Back with Homelander, we see he’s kept some of Stormfront along with a photo of her from season 2. Bit weird, mate.

But this could be highlighting what he wants to do. Stormfront didn’t age, and thus he could have kept this to see if there’s a way to keep himself young.

Returning to the candidates, we see that Hyperion is the 1st runner-up after Homelander for Sexiest Sup Alive. This could be a nod to how the original Hyperion was a Superman copy, with even his origin story being beat for beat the same. She also was on Vought’s Next Top Supermodel, which is a parody of America’s Next Top Model.

It’s here we segue into meeting Sister Sage, with Homelander going lowkey. This is a similar disguise to what Captain America donned in Winter Soldier. This was then spoofed in Ant-Man and the Wasp, with it being a pretty crappy costume.

We also get a nod to The Palace of Auburn Hills. This was a stadium that eventually got demolished, and it builds off the back of how Detroit has been left. Sage being here shows how ostracized she is.

Wanting to go by just Sage, we learn Vought added the Sister part to give a racial element to it. It’s kind of a comment on recent social commentary that often points out how black characters in fiction also have to be used as a way to discuss race. The criticism is that studios don’t really just make characters who are black anymore, and that they always have to deal with racial stories rather than getting their own stories without it.

I think it’s an interesting topic whether you agree or not, and that’s what the comments are for. Either way, Homelander still calls her Sister, constantly showcasing he doesn’t really give a sh**.

Homelander just sees his life as no longer having a challenge, and now he’s reached the top, he sees how lonely the throne is. He

kills people, there’s no repercussions, and no one can stand up to him. I think people have definitely felt that hollowness in victory and how it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

She paints him with a clear roadmap and very much becomes an advisor.

I do wonder, though, if Homelander’s going to end up killing her because, ey, maybe he really does like being unchallenged. I don’t know, but the guy clearly doesn’t know what he wants. All he knows is that he wants something more.

Now, at this point, Mother’s Milk finally tracks down Todd, who’s gone AWOL. Frenchy says he must be packing like Pete Davidson, which apparently Ariana Grande backed up.


Turns out Sage has called together a group so that Homelander can kill his three biggest fans and blame it on Starlighters.

Honestly, I just love the reactions when you see everyone is thinking, “Is he being serious?” and yeah, Homelander has truly gone off the deep end. It’s kind of a comment on how idols actually view those infatuated with them and how they would rather they serve a selfish purpose than be actual people.

There’s not really much you can do, though, when it’s people with power, and this metaphorically works as a criticism on blind devotion.

At the trial, we see a play on the “We Can Do It” poster and also clear division between the left and right. Homelander is found not guilty, and it descends into a riot.

This was Sage’s end goal, as she said Caesar arrived in a similar fashion to save the day. Homelander shows up, but he’s greatly ignored, and it takes Annie showing up to really break things up.

Celebrating with a glass of milk, it’s clear Ryan’s still torn up about Butcher. Homelander lies and says he abandoned him and said awful things about him. I’m sure any kid who’s been through a messy divorce can relate to it, and we sort of have these two parents trying to win the kid over.

Relationships are a big thing in the show, and we then cut to The Deep and his octopus. He promised earlier in the season that she’d be gone, but Ambrosia’s got that suction that you never want to leave. I do feel like she’ll be killed, and The Deep’s watched the death of several of the marine life he cares about.

This is then reflected in Frenchy and Colin, with the latter’s family clearly weighing on him. He’s tried to fill that void in his life, but he knows he’s living a lie by not telling him.

It’s a really dour way to end the episode, which is to match with Hughie sitting at his father’s bedside. Everyone is facing pain, and it’s reflected in all of the characters at the end. Todd’s death will be something Mother’s Milk has to handle with his daughter, Frenchy dishing out death is an aspect he’ll give to Colin, and this idea of death is personified in Becca. A specter of her visits Butcher, with him failing to live up to the promise that he’d stop him from becoming Homelander.

This plays upon her dying words in the finale of season 2.

THE BOYS Season 4 Episode 1 - 3 Breakdown & Ending Explained | Review, Comic Easter Eggs And More
THE BOYS Season 4 Episode 1 – 3 Breakdown & Ending Explained | Review, Comic Easter Eggs And More

Ghosts and visions have appeared to Butcher in the past, and one of Lenny showed up in season 3 (season 3 episode 2, 2 minutes). There’s a further mention of Lenny and them going to a pub, which was touched upon in the b

Now, if you want to support the channel, then definitely check out our Boys-inspired t-shirt at the merch store below. “Me and the Boys,” it’s a classic bloody meme, and give that a gander. We’re working with a great company handling our merch who’ve made the clothing even better. Each shirt accentuates the best parts of your body, and it’s tight around the pecs while being loose around the waist. It’s gonna make you look great for the summer, and thank you to everyone who’s picked one up.

Anyway, that takes us into episode two, which begins with “Hypnotize” by The Notorious B.I.G. This song’s been used in a lot of TV shows and movies, with it being no different here.

Joining a movie that tells the apparent origins of A-Train, we get a cameo by Will Ferrell. Now, this is all clearly playing off The Blind Side. Based on the book of the same name, this saw Sandra Bullock picking up the award for Best Actress.

Released in 2009, it told the story of Michael Oher, who, with the help of his apparent adoptive parents, went on to become a player in the NFL.

However, it became a big point of controversy during 2023. Oher said that the pair had tricked him into a conservatorship instead of legally adopting him. This meant that they controlled his finances and made millions from his career.

It was also criticized for presenting a white savior trope, with his life only improving when he’s helped out by white people.

As we now know, he was used to make money, so it’s a bit of a controversial point.

That definitely feels the case here, with Will’s character promising a better life in the suburbs. Here he’s the coach, whereas we know in the show it was A-Train’s brother, showing some literal whitewashing of the past.

The movie story is what most people remember, but most of it has since been disputed. Oher has been critical of the performance in it, too, with it painting him out as being stupid. Instead, he’s said his education was disrupted by inconsistency rather than him lacking the IQ.

A-Train’s wants and desires are brushed to the side, too, with him clearly phoning it in. Adam Bourke seemingly loves it, though, with this mainstay director being behind a lot of the movies in the Vought universe. “Release the Bourke Cut” was a play off the Snyder Cut. The new Black Noir is clearly having difficulty with what he’s been tasked with doing, too. He’s playing it like an actor, though, and clearly disconnected from what’s really going on. I do wonder if Homelander might even end up killing this second version, and then we could just keep getting replacement Black Noirs without anybody realizing.

Race plays a big part in this opening, and we learn that two black men have been blamed for the attack at the courthouse.

Cutting to the Flatiron, Butcher tells them the truth about the issues with V24. We also see Mother’s Milk is wearing an Eric B. & Rakim t-shirt, with him often sporting hip-hop acts throughout the series. This includes OutKast, who he wears at the end.

Finally kicking Butcher out, I feel like the theme about this episode is based around the past. Frenchy contains guilt over Colin’s family, and we end with Butcher recounting how he has a wealth of mistakes in his past. We have A-Train having to alter his to have broad appeal and Kimiko discussing it at therapy. Butcher is now out in the open with his, and Ryan too is having a movie made about his life.

As we know, he lived a sheltered life, and it’s akin to the fake childhood story they created for Homelander.

That was discussed during season 1, with them completely fabricating his past. They’ve even created a moniker for him called Homeboy, which is a mix between Homelander and Soldier Boy.

This costume is based on sidekick characters, and sons like Damian Wayne and so on clearly inspired the design. Sage says it blows, though, and we get a shoutout to the throat goat, Nancy Reagan.

They’re clearly rewriting the past to change things, and again, it ties into that theme. Kimiko has flashes of her past as part of the Shining Light group. We also have Firecracker’s past ties in with Starlight. She taunts her for blowing people to retain her position, and we later learn exactly what went down.

Starlight wants to let go of the past and step away from being her moniker, but Hughie says she’s more like a symbol. A-Train lies about the past to impress his nephew, whereas his brother unveils it and shows he’s a fraud.

We also have the return of Hughie’s mother, and it’s those who confront their past trauma who deal with it the best.

Homelander also denies crying as well, which is him sort of changing history. However, in season 2, episode 8, he talked about running away and crying as a kid to Ryan.

Thank god I went back and did that rewatch. Later on, we see rehearsals for his arrival, with it looking like it’s ripped out of the behind-the-scenes stuff we had on The Matrix. Just done a big breakdown compiling all that stuff, and it kind of riffs off the stuff we saw in the BTS stuff for Moon Knight.

They’re trying to control the image, plus Ryan…Ryan can’t even act. It’s pure nepotism, and being told he has to sell it is what leads to him killing the stunt guy.

Now, Ryan killing someone by accident symbolically shows the kind of path that he’s going on and the complications it could cause. When you think back to this series, it all started off because a Supe killed someone by accident. A-Train running A-Train on Robin and smashing Robin like Joker and Jason Todd is what started this whole thing off.

Clearly, this is gonna cause shame for Ryan down the line, as we see now how PR stunts cause shame for A-train. That’s even before he’s killed anyone, and being exposed for not being a hero highlights he’s a liar.

Billy weaponized this to recruit Hughie, but now it’s Ryan who did it. It’s something he’s gonna have to rationalize differently. I think it’s sort of like poetry; they rhyme. Billy started this whole thing because he wanted to use a Supe killing someone to rally people to his cause. However, in doing this, he’s caused the events that have now led to the kid he was entrusted with killing someone by accident.

Now, obviously, this didn’t happen in the comics, but we did learn about the casualty allowance. Butcher explained that when in a hostage situation, police tend to have an allowance of 20% deaths. This means that when they’re rescuing groups of hostages, there’s the expectation that statistically 20% are probably gonna die. In the case of the Supes, it’s as high as 60% because they don’t know what they’re doing. None of them have been trained and are corporate puppets, so they don’t have any idea what they’re doing.

Deep even stumbles over his lines on the day, which I think is such a funny little character detail.

Either way, that’s what I feel here with Ryan, and obviously, when he’s thrust forward like this, accidents are gonna happen. They’ve basically turned a kid into a weapon of mass destruction, and it shows all Vought cares about is PR. They don’t even care that someone’s died; they just want to protect their product.

The stuntman t-shirt in rehearsal even says “Brand Stunts,” with it being a branded PR stunt mixed with an actual stunt.

However, this stuff is seeping into real life with it possessing real-world consequences. This extends to Homelander telling The Deep to stand up for himself. He berates Ashley and scares the crap out of her, with this mindset being something he did in the comics. During the events of Herogasm, Homelander hired a lady of the night to distract the Vought CEO James Stillwell. While this was going on, he called the Supes together and told them they were the supreme beings and shouldn’t take it anymore. Eventually, this led to his endgame, which we’ll talk more about in that spoiler section later.

Arriving at Truth Con, the con here has a double meaning as it’s all about conspiracies. Episode 3 has her discussing vaccines, and here we get artwork that plays off the flat earth theories. There’s also the blood of kids being used to keep the president young, aliens, climate change, pentagrams on hands, and also Soldier Boy and Liberty being secret lovers. The latter is, of course, the moniker Stormfront had, with that being revealed in season 2. They also believe that Stormfront is alive, and ey mate….not to get all theory time theory time theory time, but I actually think she might be.


Kimiko also has flashes of her past here, including how she was trained. This is triggered by the photo of a child in a cage, with this also being what she was confined in during her show introduction. We also get flashes of her brother, who was too killed by Stormfront.

Hitting a vending machine, we see A-Train’s drink is now called Speeding Bullet Ale instead of Turbo Rush. Guessing that Kylie Jenner advert caused some trouble, and here we go to Firecracker’s speech. You might notice that her assistants are all the same person, with it later being revealed they’re a play off Multiple Man.

He recently appeared in X-Men 97 and has the power to multiply himself. There was also originally a movie in the works which was gonna star James Franco. However, that’s now out of the way, so what we’re left with here is a guy who brings a new meaning to the phrase self-love. Sort of a bit like Doctor Manhattan in Watchmen, with The Boys always taking it to that level.

She goes through the codewords like tacos and hot dogs, which are used within a cabal. This is playing off Pizzaga….dear me man…trying here, trying not to get demonetized.

Now, huge shoutouts to our editor Matt for pointing out this is a nod to a real-life case in which someone stormed a pizza restaurant after becoming indoctrinated in conspiracies.

THE BOYS Season 4 Episode 1 - 3 Breakdown & Ending Explained | Review, Comic Easter Eggs And More
THE BOYS Season 4 Episode 1 – 3 Breakdown & Ending Explained | Review, Comic Easter Eggs And More

She says she’s revealing the truth, but the Supes revel in lies. Firecracker is basically a grifter who knows it’s BS but still pushes a narrative. She sells the idea of purpose to those people without it and makes them think they’re fighting in a war.

A guy eventually shows up at the Starlight headquarters, showing how dangerous it can be peddling this stuff.

I’ve always said they’ve got you fighting a culture war so you won’t fight a class war, and it’s crazy how many people focus on the wrong things.

However, this makes them believe they’re fighting against great evil, and in turn, it helps Firecracker gain profit. However, she knows it’s built on lies, and this again is highlighted in A-Train, who lies to his nephews.

Outside, Mother’s Milk and Butcher butt heads, but the latter can’t get knocked out with one hit like Todd. Inside, Kimiko ends up lashing out as well. Cutting to the Flatiron, we see a poster for Singer and Neuman and also some foreshadowing of Vought on Ice. I love how it’s kind of laced through these first two episodes before we finally get it in episode 3.

Now, A-Train has had a change of conscience, and he’s decided to be the hero he’s been pretending to be. Handing over proof that exonerates the two Starlighter murder suspects. We later learn this was taken from Crime Analytics, which is a department we’ve visited before. We even have Anika returning from it too. They bring up how she shared an Almond Joy, which we saw her eating when she met the original Black Noir.

However, The Boys have a target on their back, which we see at Truth Con. It leads to a big fight that segues into a party based around The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. This is, of course, a big show on Amazon, with this being a Bar Mitzvah for a girl called Rachel.

Due to the Jewish characters in the show, Firecracker ends up using it to further her conspiracy theories. They kill my guy Prime Multiple Man with a crowbar through the head in what’s potentially a nod to the same action in both the Dawn of the Dead and its remake.

In his dying breath, he admits to loving Firecracker before all the bodies lose consciousness.

He stepped up to the mark in his death, and speaking of that, we see as Annie embraces her Starlight. Seeing A-Train do the right thing makes her step up too. Eventually, he turns informant and changes his ways. Later on, Mother’s Milk mentions Blue Hawk, who A-Train ended up killing earlier in the show. A parody of Black Hawk, the name Blue Hawk was a play on Blue Falcon. That’s a slang term in the military for someone who betrays their team. That’s kind of what’s happening here with A-Train; however, he’s doing it to make right the wrongs of the past.

Who isn’t, though, is Mother’s Milk, who denies Butcher’s pleas for help. He can’t get over the past, and that closes out the episode.

Episode 3 then takes us to a rally at Vought, akin to the ones Homelander used to have with Stormfront. We hear “I Wanna Rock” by Twisted Sister, and it drowns out the Starlight chants. Homelander is weaponizing fear and the idea they’re being replaced to get his followers behind him. It’s something we really touched upon in our Invasion of the Body Snatchers breakdown, with that being such a well-thought-out political movie. In the video, I said it was universal because everyone thinks the other side is trying to suppress them. We did a thought experiment, and I kind of went into the psychology behind division.

If I’ve done my job correctly, then if you’re right or left, then you can potentially apply that to the other side. Figureheads and politicians weaponize these universal baser instincts, and yeah, I think that’s why these kinds of parodies pop up time and time again.

Cutting to Kessler and Butcher, we learn the former wants Ryan brought in line; otherwise, they’re gonna have to kill him. I feel like Butcher might have to take Kessler out because, at the end of the day, he’s gonna have to protect Ryan.

He plays a Mortal Kombat parody, which has notable figures from over the show’s history. This includes Lamplighter and Crimson Countess and some brutal fatalities. Ryan’s voice is breaking bad like Walter White, and I feel like the season’s kind of turned into a coming-of-age story. Ey, I remember my voice going like that, mate, and you’re gonna smash it, mate. All part of growing up.

Now, Mortal Kombat itself has somewhat ties to the show, as Homelander’s now a playable character.

Anyway, it’s at the Seven Tower that the tables have really turned. Whereas in the past, it was the Seven that were the company mascots and puppets, we see how this is now given to Ashley. She’s completely lost control, and the clowns are now running the circus. This demonstrates the power switch with her literally being shut out of the boardroom. I might be wrong, but I think this is the first time the doors have been closed. Let me know if it’s not, but yeah, symbolically, it shows what’s going on. In the comics, these seven boardroom meetings used to happen quite a lot, but the company heads were always respected.

We also learn that Ryan has received an offer from Capes for Christ, which is the group Starlight started off in.

The Starlighters are trying to save him, and this is mirrored in Butcher. We see him cooking at home and also catch a British bulldog cookie jar. This is a nod to Butcher’s dog, Terror, who showed up in the comics. He also appeared in season 2, though he’s way more of a mainstay in the source material.

This cookie jar also appeared at the end of season 3, episode 1, and it’s where Butcher hid the V24 when Homelander showed up at his.

This is where the plan is to knock out Ryan, but he ends up going against it.

Attacking a base of the terrorists, Kimiko comes across a girl from her past who we’ve seen her fighting against in flashbacks. We don’t learn exactly what’s going on with her, but it could act as a redemption arc for her brother. Either way, it keeps the pair at a distance, and it doesn’t look like they’re gonna work it out anytime soon.

Doing some good cop, bad cop interrogation…well, a lot of bad cop…Ashley ends up shredding her resignation after Homelander kills Anika. I do think she’ll end up helping The Boys eventually, but maybe not, ’cause she’s seen what happens to leaks.

Cutting to Starlight confronting Firecracker, we see a play off the woman riding a bomb poster.

This was often used for propaganda in warfare, and Firecracker, of course, sees this as a war. Raptor poster and golden AK-47s as lampshades.

Here, we learn of her childhood as Sparkler, in which Starlight spread rumors about her that….pffft, demonetization. Upon confronting her, Starlight shut her down, and it completely ruined her reputation. I think it’s in lies like this that Firecracker realized how much they can damage a reputation, and now she’s fighting fire with fire by spreading them about Annie.

Annie admits it was jealousy, and this clearly exists in Firecracker. She’s even moved into her old room, and the pair both make sparks fly.

We then get Vought on Ice, which begins with a play on Maeve, Jitter Bean, and Homelander. They recreate the Holy Nativity, and it leans into the idea that the Supes are like gods. This is something that was really hammered home in the trailers. Though it hasn’t hit the show yet, it’s a theme that they’re clearly building towards.

They make a big song and dance about how companies say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas,” but also have a crucified Jesus, which is Easter. Christ was a messianic figure, which the show could be reflecting in Ryan. Ryan has the potential to destroy the world, and he’s seen as the son of a god. He’s the first natural-born Supe, which also makes him different from the others. Homelander is like a devil trying to tempt him, and he has the potential to destroy the world.

We then get a nod to another Christmas classic with Hughie crawling through a vent like John McClane in Die Hard.

Spying on them, he learns the plan and how they want her to disband the anti-Supe government policies and then come out. A bead of sweat drops down from Hughie, which is riffing off of when a drop of blood fell from Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man in the first film.

It leads into a blood bath on ice with Homelander desperately trying to kill Hughie. Don’t know why he didn’t use his x-ray vision, but I guess the fight would be over pretty quick.


What it does show, though, is that Homelander’s off the leash, and he doesn’t care who he hurts.

Later, we learn this disaster at the Voughtcoin arena is blamed on an electrical fire. Voughtcoin is a play on Bitcoin, showing how they have their hands in cryptocurrency.

Saved by A-Train, Hughie returns to the hospital to find his mother still sitting there.

Above her on the poster is A-Train, highlighting the two people in his life who’d hurt him in the past. However, they’re both now trying to make it right.

Explaining her depression, it adds a real human side to her. Obviously, it’s difficult to forgive her, but it adds a new layer for Hughie he never considered before.

We end with several scenes of two characters hashing it out. Kessler saying there’s one of two options with Ryan. Either Ryan kills Homelander, or they kill him. Deep then visits Sage, and we have basically the world’s smartest person interacting with the dumbest. Grace Randolph did a brilliant interview with Chance Crawford and Anthony Starr, and in it, they touched upon this. Definitely go check that out, and I love the dynamic that the pair have here. They’re kind of the Ying to each other’s Yang and complete each other. Deep also mentions how he’s mates with Shia, who too has been canceled for his actions.

THE BOYS Season 4 Episode 1 – 3 Breakdown & Ending Explained | Review, Comic Easter Eggs And More

This could be a reference to season 3 when The Deep said he used the same ghostwriter as Shia LeBeouf for his book.

While they’re getting closer, though, we see the rejection with Ryan and Homelander as the former goes off to see Butcher. Homelander ends up breaking a mirror, and his other side ends up coming out. This is someone we haven’t seen for a while, but it manifests in times when he’s feeling rejected.

It’s his ego now splitting further, with the arguing sides being like Gollum’s. One voice breaks through it all, though, and tells him he needs to go back to the start.

This lab is something that appeared in his nightmares in episode 1, and it’s now coming full circle here. It brings together the main theme of these three episodes, which is about confronting the past. It’s a great way to tease the future. Though we’ve had some of Homelander’s backstory filled in, we haven’t fully gone in-depth into it, and it feels like it’s time to unpack it.

In confronting his own childhood, we’ll also explain why he’s so adamant to lead Ryan down a certain path, and yeah, I am excited to see what happens.

Now, as we talked about earlier, Black Noir is going in a different direction from the comics. Full spoilers for that from here on out, but it’s just so you get an idea of how it’s changed.

If you don’t want to know, then do one, mate, but hit the thumbs up on the way out.

So, anyway, in the comics, it’s revealed that Black Noir is actually a clone of Homelander. He was created solely to be kept as a contingency plan in case Homelander ever went rogue.

However, Homelander was a company puppet, and slowly this sent Black Noir insane. The one purpose he had in life was never gonna happen, and thus he had to justify his existence.

He carried out horrendous acts like eating babies, not subscribing, and leaving comments saying Screen Crush is better. He then took photos of these and sent them to Homelander. Because he was a clone, Homelander thought it was him, but he believed he had blackouts.

This made him question his own sanity, and slowly he started to go crazy.

Realizing that he wasn’t getting in trouble also emboldened the character.

This then led to him causing a super uprising and thus Black Noir let off the leash.

Anyway, they’re not doing that, not doing that, so I’ve wasted your time, and yeah, just makes you wonder what way it’s gonna go.

Anyway, I’d of course love to hear your thoughts on the episodes, so make sure you drop them below.

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