Season 3 of The Boys has come and gone, but viewers are still reeling from its finale, and really, the entire third season, which I think most would argue was the series’ best so far.
The season ends on a very memorable note, one where after Homelander introduces his superpowered son to his fans, a protestor yells and throws something that harmlessly bounces off Ryan. Homelander responds by lasering the guy’s head in half, which in past seasons, might have been some sort of dream sequence where he “wished” he could do that, but here he…actually did it.
However, as everyone sits around stunned, MM’s daughter’s idiot stepdad starts cheering, which causes the entire crowd to cheer. I believe I heard someone yell “that’s how we do it in America!” Homelander smiles, realizing he can now be his “truest self” in public, and even Ryan seems to be grinning, which is the frame the finale ends on.
If you watched this, and are at all politically aware, you probably thought of a very specific Donald Trump quote while watching this unfold. And it turns out yes, that very much was the intention, as showrunner Eric Kripke has now confirmed this scene was crafted to try to bring that quote to life.
Here’s what Donald Trump said back when he was still a candidate about the kind of die-hard support he has:
“I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters, OK? It’s, like, incredible.”
That proved to be somewhat prescient, as between comments and actions as a candidate and as President, it really did seem to be the case that there was nothing Trump could do to lose his ultimate core base of support, which exists to this day. He didn’t shoot anyone, but The Boys wanted to see what might happen if his superhero equivalent…did. Here’s Kripke to Deadline:
“Could we take Homelander so far as to literally kill somebody on Fifth Avenue and then be applauded for it? It’s funny. It’s like at the time we wrote it, we felt it was like a little satirically pushed, but it is true that the more awful politicians are behaving, you know, the more popular they’re becoming with their fan base.”
It wasn’t just Trump used as reference, it’s also the recent trend of Republicans posing with guns and appearing to threaten their political opponents in campaign ads. Kripke cites former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens, who encouraged “RINO hunting”:
“Hunting people and offering his followers to get a license to hunt those people. It’s just things are getting scarier and scarier, and people seem to be applauding it. So, I think that is definitely the point we’re making.”
Now, The Boys is not just doing political allegory, it has a literal political plotline with sleeper Supe agent Victoria Neumann poised to win the Vice Presidency, and then probably takeover as President should an “accident” befall her running mate. This season, Homelander directly paralleled Trump in going after the media for their “lies” and embracing conspiracy theories put forth by his supporters. Previously, The Boys had Homelander directly quote George W. Bush’s post-9/11 speech.
So yeah, expect season 4 to continue to be a pretty direct parallel to what Kripke views as an increasingly scary America, and we’ll see what form that takes next.