The Boys season 1 ending explained: what the big cliffhanger means for season 2

The Boys
(Image credit: Amazon)

The Boys ending is one of the best cliffhangers in recent years. The season 1 final scene took our expectations and lasered them into dust, while also offering up a lot more questions than answers. 

Now that The Boys season 2 has been renewed, and a bloody first look at the sophomore season has been released, there's now more reasons than ever to get clued up on The Boys ending before the second season rolls around.

Below, we'll take you through several of the dangling threads left hanging in The Boys season 1, as well as what that Homelander scene means for Billy Butcher, Becca, and a certain new addition to the supe family. Alongside that, we'll dive into the fates of A-Train, Starlight, Hughie, and the rest of The Boys. Strap in. It's going to be a bumpy, swear-laden ride. No Spice Girls though. Promise.

Warning: major spoilers for The Boys season 1 follow – though comic book spoilers will be kept to a minimum.

The Boys season 1 ending explained: what happens in the final scene

The Boys Ending

(Image credit: Amazon)

Thanks to his former mentor, Grace, Billy Butcher discovers Homelander’s one weakness: his boss and lover Madelyn Stillwill. Billy ends up tracking Madelyn to her home and straps a bomb to the Vought corporate stooge. As you do. 

Of course, Homelander eventually comes calling and, when he arrives, the so-called “supe” claims that he never raped Billy’s wife, Becca, but alleges they had consensual sex, at least in his eyes (Becca being raped was Billy’s reason for revenge against Homelander). Homelander then reveals that he’s discovered the “truth” about Becca and, with one final act of aggression, kills Madelyn by lasering out her eyeballs. Ouch.

No longer having an ace in the hole, Billy decides to blow up the already-dead Madelyn anyway, presumably with the intention of killing himself, Homelander, and Madelyn’s son (who may or may not be Homelander’s own offspring.)

A white light envelops the screen and, just when you think Billy’s dead, Homelander comes to the rescue. Poor old Billy wakes up on a garden lawn in a suburban neighbourhood and that mysterious “truth” about Becca is revealed: not only is she alive, but she has a superpowered son.

Away from all that action, Hughie manages to break Frenchie, Komiko, and Mother’s Milk out of their jail cell with the help of a smuggled-in retainer wire. The quartet head for the exit but are met by a black-ops squad. Starlight swoops in to save the day, allowing Komiko, Mother’s Milk and Frenchie to escape. However, Starlight and Hughie are confronted by A-Train.

In a showdown, the lightning-fast hero gets the better of Starlight and then goes into cardiac arrest thanks to his Compound V addiction. Hughie applies CPR to A-Train, but Starlight tells him to escape. A-Train’s status is currently unknown.

The Boys season 1 ending explained: what does it mean for season 2?

The Boys Ending

(Image credit: Amazon)

If you’ve read the comics, you will know we’re now in untapped territory. No, the show hasn’t already passed the books, but the comic series actually killed off Becca and her son early on in the run. The Boys season 1 ending has chosen to go in a different direction. Namely, Becca is still alive, along with Homelander’s son.

Homelander is being set up as a father figure, while Billy can only watch on, wishing that was him. This, inevitably, will lead to a renewed attempt at revenge on Billy’s part. Of course, it remains to be seen how the leader of The Boys will get out of his predicament come the second season, though this conflict will likely form the crux of the second season’s dramatic beats. 

Starlight, meanwhile, is stuck rescuing A-Train by the season’s end. Expect that act of kindness to get her back in Vought’s good graces, which could drive a wedge between her and new boyfriend, Hughie, who was officially declared a fugitive by the CIA during the season finale.

As for the rest of Vought? The power vacuum left by a now-dead Madelyn needs to be filled. It’s not a coincidence that Edgar, the head of Vought and played by Breaking Bad’s Giancarlo Esposito, was brought into the fray at such a late stage. Expect him to play a huge role. Show creator Eric Kipke confirmed as much to EW, saying he’ll be back for “four to five more episodes.”

The Boys season 1 ending: the biggest questions

The Boys Ending

(Image credit: Amazon)

Is A-Train still alive?

As a golden rule, if someone doesn’t die on-screen, then we can safely assume they’ll be back. A-Train may have succumbed to his Compound V addiction, but Starlight was last seen giving him CPR. A-Train has also shown exceptional healing properties thanks to the enhancement drug (his broken leg recovered in hours) so a heart attack might not kill off this member of the Seven just yet.

Will Starlight leave the Seven?

It’s complicated. Starlight is torn between her loyalties to Vought and her blossoming new relationship with Hughie. Her interactions with Queen Maeve in the finale – where she tells Starlight to “be original” – may hint at her future motivations, however. A freelance Starlight, one of the few who can go toe-to-toe with the very best Vought has to offer, would open up several interesting avenues in season 2.

What’s up with The Deep’s new look?

The gilled superhero has been raked through the coals over his sexual assault of Starlight, shipped off to Nowheresville, USA, and has seen a particularly talkative lobster friend murdered in front of him. Now, The Deep has gone off the deep end. 

He’s shaved off his hair and looks to be undergoing a gritty reboot of sorts. Is it all one big marketing ploy pushed through by Vought, or is the Seven’s aquatic ‘hero’ going to make some supes (and anyone else who crosses him) sleep with the fishes?

What role will Edgar have to play?

The head of Vought, Mr. Edgar, was unseen through much of The Boys’ first season – that is, until the finale. Edgar offered Madelyn a chance to take over his role when he eventually retires. Of course, with Madelyn now having two laser holes where her eyes used to be, it might be time for Edgar to head down from his lofty perch on the 82nd floor and put a stop to all of the troublemaking once and for all.

What happened to Becca?

For the longest time, Billy assumed Becca was raped by Homelander and either killed herself or was bumped off by Vought. The season 1 ending, though, throws a massive spanner in the works. Homelander suggested the affair was consensual (though you definitely shouldn’t take his words at face value) and Becca has been looking after their son for eight years. Will we finally hear her side of the story?

How powerful is Homelander’s son?

If nothing else, Homelander Jr. (that’s what I’m calling him), has some of the same skillset as his dear old superpowered daddy. The laser beam eyes are there, yet it’s unclear whether he can fly or if he holds the same disdain for humanity as his father. He’s going to be a major plot point in season 2, that’s for sure, and could prove key to bringing down Vought from the inside, either through his mere existence or via laser beams. If The Boys ending has taught us anything, it’s that Plan B always features laser beams.

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