The Boys S04 E04 Ending: Does Hughie’s Father Die? Does He Become a Supe?

The fourth season of Prime Video’s ‘The Boys’ brings forth a lot of challenges for its characters. We see Homelander go back to the place where he was raised under the prying eyes of the Vought scientists who poked him in every way possible and traumatized him for life. In the meantime, Annie suffers a breakdown after Firecracker hits her where it hurts and must now prepare to face the consequences of her actions. Butcher is trying to get a hold of himself as his health worsens, and he wonders if he’ll be able to get his affairs in order before he dies. At the same time, Hughie struggles with letting go of his father, who is lying brain-dead in a hospital. He comes up with a way to save him, but things take a different turn than expected. SPOILERS AHEAD

Who Gave Hughie’s Father Compound V?

Before we delve into what the events of the fourth episode mean for Hughie and his father, we must get one thing out of the way. The V that Hughie’s father got is different from the V that Hughie and Butcher used in the last season. That was a temporary form of V, which gave them powers that lasted for about a day or so at most. Compound V, on the other hand, is entirely permanent and much more potent. So, it is safe to say that Hugh Sr. is probably not going down the same road as Butcher.

The episode plays rather well with Hughie’s emotions as, in the beginning, he is adamant about saving his father no matter what it takes, even if it goes beyond the moral code of his team. He doesn’t tell anyone about the V because he knows that every single one of them, including Butcher, would disapprove of his actions. And yet, when the time comes, Hughie doesn’t inject his father. By that time, he had been through a lot of stuff, the most important of which was forgiving A-Train and letting go of his hatred once and for all. It is at that moment, perhaps, that he understands he must let go of his father, too. His mother, however, has other plans.

Hughie’s mother, Daphne, hadn’t been in the picture for a long time. She left when her son was only six and didn’t return until she found out about her ex-husband’s stroke. Having spent so much time away from them, just when she thought she’d be able to reconnect with them, things go sideways. Her and Hugh Sr.’s relationship had been on the mend, and he even made her his backup emergency contact. But she didn’t have as much time with her son, and she knew that if Hugh Sr. died, Hughie would have no reason to let her back into his life, and they would never have the chance of a normal relationship.

Knowing that his father’s death would crush him, she did the only option in front of her. In the hospital, when Hughie leaves to get coffee, Daphne discovers the V vial inside his jacket, which he had left on the chair beside his father’s dad. It is unclear how she found it, why she was going through her son’s pockets, or if she’d seen the vial in Hughie’s hand before he slipped it back into his pocket. The fact remains: once she found the vial, she realized what Hughie had planned to do but probably had a moral dilemma about it. To save him the trouble and to save Hugh Sr., she went forward with what Hughie had planned.

Is Hugh Sr. a Supe Now?

At one point in the first season, Homelander says that Vought deliberately targets children and not adults to inject with Compound V because the effects are rather unpredictable and can get very messy. This is perhaps why we don’t see more adult Supes springing out of nowhere, and yet, the rule doesn’t really apply to everyone. In the first season itself, we found Vought supplying the V to the terrorists to make Supe-villains, which they then used to get the Supes into the military. In the same vein, Kimiko was also injected with the V as an adult, and she seems to be doing rather fine. Does this mean that Hugh Sr. is also getting powers now? The answer is not so easy.

Over the past seasons, we have seen different forms of V developed by Vought, one of which found its way to the Boys and was used by Hughie and Butcher. This V, however, comes right out from Homelander’s collection and is the same concoction that Victoria Neuman gave to her daughter, who was already a teenager at the time. This means there is a better chance for Hughie’s father to survive the injection of V and come out of it with superpowers.

It is also interesting to note that Daphne works at Vought, and though she said she works at lower echelons of the company, we don’t really know what exactly she does there, and if she could have access to a different form of V that she could have brought on her own to save Hughie Sr. Perhaps, like her son, she had been planning on doing the same thing and had been trying to get her hands on the V on her own. She just happened to use it on the same day that Hughie planned it.

Hugh Sr waking up from his coma certainly bodes good things for him, but it still doesn’t get him out of the danger zone. It would also be interesting to see what powers, if any, he gets from the V and how it impacts the storyline going forward. Still, considering how ‘The Boys’ likes to shock its audience, we have to be cautious about Hugh Sr. going forward. What if the V’s healing properties are only temporary (considering that the other adults who got powers from it were healthy and not brain-dead)?

Moreover, even if Hugh Sr does get powers, what kind of powers would they be? Would it be something that gives the Boys an upper hand, or will it be something minor that will help keep Hugh Sr out of harm’s way? Further, Hugh Sr getting powers might bring him into Homelander’s orbit, and that is never a good sign. What if getting V and powers becomes the very reason for Hugh Sr.’s downfall? It will be interesting to see how the show plays out this scenario and what impact it eventually has on Hughie’s storyline.

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