The following story contains spoilers for the ending of Season 2 of The Boys. Don’t read if you haven’t seen it. Seriously!
Anyone who’s been watching The Boys throughout Season 2 had to know we weren’t going to get through Season 2 without at least one more head explosion. And, folks, in the Season 2 finale…we got one more head explosion.
After last week’s absolutely maniacal, non-stop, head exploding bloodbath at the congressional hearing for Vought’s use of Compound V, we didn’t wind up getting an answer on the heads fucking exploding for quite a while. And while much of the Season 2 action did seem to wrap up—Stormfront was defeated, Homelander neutralized (for now), Butcher bonding with Homelander’s son and mourning his wife, and A-Train temporarily teaming up with Hughie and Starlight—there was still time left in the episode. Time for some crazy shit to happen. And crazy shit, well, it happened.
As the Season 2 finale revealed in its closing minutes, the head exploder—or, at least, a head exploder—was none other than Victoria Neuman (Claudia Doumit), the show’s stand-in for New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. After a lengthy call where we see her doing a little bit of political wheeling and dealing with Alistair Adana, the chairman of the cult The Church of the Collective—which had just successfully gotten A-Train back into The Seven, but not The Deep (womp womp)—Adana sits, drinking his Fresca, feeling victorious. That is, until his head fucking explodes, and we see Neuman outside doing her thing.
What does Victoria Neuman as the head exploder mean for Season 3?
Well, obviously, it means a lot. Our season-ending cliffhanger is a combination of the revelation that Neuman was, in fact, the one blowing everyone’s head up all season—including at the congressional hearing—and that Hughie is going to be stepping away from his role with The Boys to try to work in her office. He wants to fight Vought, but to do it the right way.
Well, while Neuman seemed noble the whole season, the whole making people’s heads blow up thing is a little bit of a paradigm shift, no? Yes, she’s against Vought—or so it seems. Fighting Vought “the right way” might be a temporary solution for Hughie to get his life briefly feeling a little more “normal,” but it’s hard to see that lasting long, considering this latest revelation. Hughie and Butcher are the frenemy bromance of a generation, and it’s hard to imagine them staying too far apart as long as The Boys goes on.
Now, things are set up in an interesting way going forward. We learned in the episode that not only will Hughie, Butcher, and the rest of The Boys have their names officially cleared of any crimes and no longer have to live as fugitives, but that the White House would be creating an office of Supe affairs—headed by Victoria Neuman (gulp). Mallory, when telling this detail to Butcher, said that she’d be getting some off the books money for a team to keep tabs on the Supes in particular. If he wants the job, it’s his. But for now, Butcher is walking away.
Clearly, these things are going to come to a head in Season 3. While Neuman isn’t particularly shown to be evil with her head-exploding, assuming she is the lone head exploder, she did make Susan Reynor’s head explode. And a bunch of (relatively) innocent politicians, and Dr. Vogelbaum. Among others. And she did lie about it, expressing concern over her Chief of Staff’s head exploding, while not revealing that, you know, she did it.
And she blew up Adana’s head. That one was a little cathartic, to be honest, but still.
Probably evil. Just saying. Too much head exploding to let her off the hook just because she seems to be on our heroes’ side.
A guess? Season 3 will pick up with Hughie working in Neuman’s office, and things going well early on. Butcher, eventually, will return to lead the black ops team that Mallory referred to, and will probably figure some shit out. One thing will lead to another, and some suspicious shit will lead to Neuman, and we’ll get our conflict. We know who did the head exploding, but we still don’t quite understand why. Power grab? Inside job?
On that note, we should also say…Stan Edgar definitely knew what was happening. Man, Giancarlo Esposito so perfectly plays the corporate villain that it’s basically impossible to ever fathom that Stan Edgar doesn’t have full control of any given situation. He blamed the whole situation on Stormfront, and knew that wasn’t the case—but he wouldn’t commit to that kind of cover up if he didn’t explicitly know what the actual case was. And, so, it does seem likely that perhaps Vought’s biggest enemy—Neuman—is actually on their side. She did explode Adana’s head when he mentioned all of the inside scoops they had on Supes, just like his information (leaked by A-Train) exposed the inside scoop on Stormfront’s racist past. We’ll see. And we can’t wait.
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