The Boys’ Eric Kripke reveals that episode 7’s Soldier Boy twist wasn’t always part of the plan and was an organic result of the show’s themes.
Warning: Spoilers for The Boys Season 3 Episode 7
The Boys showrunner Eric Kripke says season 3 episode 7’s Soldier Boy twist wasn’t always part of the plan. Based on Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson’s comic of the same name, The Boys season 3 added another deplorable super to its roster in Jensen Ackles’ Soldier Boy. Unlike his comic book counterpart (s), who are incompetent and cowardly, Prime Video’s creation was Vought International’s Homelander before Homelander and the epitome of toxic masculinity.
Season 3 episode 7, “Here Comes a Candle to Light You to Bed,” takes that last sentence to a whole new level. Hughie, Butcher, and Soldier Boys’ hunt ex-members of Payback who betrayed the faux Captain America in Nicaragua in 1984 leads them to Mindstorm — who (presumably) tells Soldier Boy that Stan Edgar wanted him gone because Vought scientist Jonah Vogelbaum’s 3-year -old supe, Homelander, was already showing superior potential. In the episode’s final moments, Soldier Boy calls Homelander and tells him how he shot his squadron of little soldiers into a cup for Vogelbaum, who lied about the experiment’s purpose, citing “some sh * t about genetics“In short, Homelander has Daddy issues on top of his previous Mommy issues. Albeit surprising, Soldier Boy being Homelander’s father makes perfect sense within the show’s narrative and feels like an organic twist. However, The Boys’ creators stumbled upon it in the writing of season 3 rather than planning it from the get-go.
In a recent interview with Variety, Kripke said he and his team of writers did not initially intend to reveal Soldier Boy as Homelander’s father in season 3. It was a creative decision conceived amid the other paternal / familial issues being dealt with by Billy Butcher, Hughie, and Mother’s Milk. . Read what he has to say below:
“There’s the obvious [reason], which is Soldier Boy was like the first Homelander. So, there’s a certain logic that he is the father of the current Homelander. But it was more about really slowing down and paying attention to the themes of the season as they were evolving. And really, in so many ways, this season is about fathers and sons. It’s about how fathers can pass their trauma, generationally, to their children, especially this toxic masculinity of policing that their boys have to be society’s version of masculine. There are all of these themes that are all floating around and it all kind of lands in these father-to-son stories. We talk about Hughie and his dad, Butcher and his dad, Butcher and his son, Homelander and his son. It wasn’t the very first plan from the beginning, but as we were just talking through the mythology of the season, someone pitched it and said, ‘Crazy pitch, but what if…?’ And I jumped all over it. I’m like, of course, because many of our main characters are dealing with issues of their parents and parenting – Mother’s Milk, also – Homelander should have to deal with his dad. So, it all fell together. ”
In an episode where Butcher relives his childhood trauma, risks repeating the same mistakes with Hughie, and Mother’s Milk struggles to protect his daughter from the influence of her stepfather, The Boys’ Homelander twist served as the cherry on top of a well-rounded episode. Ackles also admitted to Variety that, while he was aware of the contextual connection between Soldier Boy and Homelander, their genetic link came as a total surprise. Coming off of “Herogasm,” The Boys’ penultimate episode proves just as effective (if not more so) at developing its characters, themes, and laying ground for the season 3 finale.
Originally, Soldier Boy agreed to help Butcher and Hughie take out Homelander if they helped him locate Payback. However, it seems safe to say that Soldier Boy’s agenda has changed. At the end of episode 7, Soldier Boy acknowledges the irony of Vought wanting to eliminate him so that Homelander could take over — something he says he would’ve been happy to let Homelander do because “what father would not want that for their son?“Even if Soldier Boy sticks true to his word with Butcher, this latest reveal will play right into Homelander’s insecurities and desire to be loved. Furthermore, it also implies that Homelander has a secret biological mother too — who could very well be revealed to be his ex-girlfriend, Liberty / Stormfront in The Boys’ season finale.
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