The Boys season two concluded as it began (and continued throughout), full of bangs and whimpers as the titular team of superhero-stompers finally took on Stormfront (Aya Cash) in a climactic final clash.
But what exactly happened in The Boys’ season two finale? What does that explosive twist mean for any future episodes, and where do we leave the characters as episode eight’s credits roll?
Check out our ending breakdown below to find out, but beware – we’re dealing with some serious finale spoilers, so if you haven’t checked out the episode yet, you’d better go do so first…
What happened in The Boys finale?
OK, strap in – because this is fairly complicated.
The Boys season two ended with a lot of violence (quelle surprise) as Stormfront was finally taken down by Starlight, Queen Maeve and Kimiko after her Nazi secret was exposed to the world earlier in the episode.
“Girls get it done” indeed – though it was actually someone else who took her out of the equation for good. When Stormfront flew off to confront Becca Butcher (Shantel VanSanten), Becca and Homelander’s son Ryan (Cameron Crovetti) accidentally used his latent heat vision, barbecuing Stormfront (and removing her limbs) and inadvertently killing his mother.
Enraged, Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) was about ready to take Ryan out of the equation for good – but when Homelander arrived to claim his son, Butcher defended him instead, remembering his promise to Becca to protect her child.
And with Queen Maeve on hand to blackmail Homelander into submission, a new status quo was reached – Starlight, Maeve and A-Train are back in the Seven, The Boys’ records have been expunged, and Ryan is in the productive custody of the CIA.
Butcher is offered a job by Mallory taking down supes in a more official capacity (in a mirror of his position in the source comics), while Hughie (Jack Quaid) also gets a new gig on the campaign team of principled politician Victoria Neuman (Claudia Doumit).
Oh, and Homelander stood on a skyscraper, pleasuring himself and shouting that he could do whatever he liked. Business as usual.
All’s well that ends well, then – except for the fact that it’s also revealed that Congresswomen Neuman is behind the spate of mysterious head-explosions throughout the series, murdering various characters for some unknown agenda. Clearly, Hughie’s gone out of the frying pan and into the fire…
The Boys season 2 ending explained
While a lot of loose ends were tied up in The Boys’ season two finale, the reveal of Neuman’s machinations pulls out a whole new mess of threads as we head into season three. Why did she murder so many using her abilities, including her Chief of Staff, during the Congressional Hearing for Vought? Where did her abilities come from anyway? And what were her overall motives?
Well, some clues can be found by just who had their heads exploded by her. The earliest example, the CIA’s Susan Raynor (Jennifer Esposito), was about to tell the Boys part of the terrible truth about Stormfront before her noggin became nougat – clearly, then, this was a secret Neuman didn’t want out there.
Later, it was those about to blow the whistle on Vought at the congressional hearing who had their heads popped like bubblewrap, taking the pressure off the multinational corporation in their hour of greatest need.
Still later, Homelander and Stormfront speculated that it was Vought boss Stan Edgar (Giancarlo Esposito) who was behind the attack – so what if they were right? What if Neuman is a sleeper agent groomed by Vought, given powers at a young age and sent through the political system to help advance the company’s schemes from the inside?
Neuman’s liberal credentials and anti-superhero, anti-Vought credentials make her the last person anyone would expect of carrying out their agenda, after all, and Edgar clearly isn’t beyond such back-room dealing.
Everything Neuman does in the series obliquely seems to help Vought’s motives at the time (hence Stormfront’s secret becoming something they wanted leaked later in the series), right down to murdering Church of the Collective founder Alastair Adana (Goran Višnjić) to remove his hold over her after he passed on some sensitive documents.
Looking back, we can remember Agent Raynor’s final words before she spoke no more – “It’s Vought! It’s a f**king coup from the inside.” With hindsight, she was really onto something – and maybe Neuman knew that.
Of course, it could be that Neuman has other motives, which we’re sure we’ll learn more about in season three. Maybe she’s not entirely beholden to Vought, and has her own agenda that will only become clear as Hughie unknowingly joins her team.
One way or another, though, we’re sure this big twist will inspire a lot of discussion over the coming months and years before The Boys returns. Roll on season three…
For more on The Boys season three, read our guide to Soldier Boy, the new character played by Jensen Ackles.