It seems that those responsible for The Boys are not willing to stop surprising their audience. Although Herogasm had already blown our minds with so many epic scenes, the following episode was not a duty either. Certainly, the moments of action, blood, and sex were significantly reduced, but the chapter had a bombshell prepared for us that no one expected; not even those who have read the Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson comics.
Spoilers for The Boys episode 7 are below
Near the end of The Boys episode 7, Soldier Boy let Homelander know that he was his biological father. Let’s remember that the series, since its first season, has explained to us how Vought International has been artificially creating supes, and Homelander was no exception. However, absolutely no one anticipated that the character played by Jensen Ackles would be responsible for the existence of Homelander. From here, any other crazy thing can happen in The Boys.
Now, if you’ve had a chance to read the comics, you’ll know that this situation isn’t part of the narrative. That is to say, it is a fact raised by the writers of the series. Some might think that this goes against the original story, but the reality is that The Boys is inspired by the comics, but not strictly based on them. Therefore, Eric Kripke and his directors have the creative freedom to make and unmake events as they see fit. That unexpected relationship between Homelander and Soldier Boy is the best example.
Interestingly, the biological relationship between the two characters was not contemplated in the original script for The Boys. What has happened then? According to Kripke himself, the story was accommodated so that this narrative component had space, but also meaning. For three seasons, the production has been in charge of showing us the complicated father-son relationship suffered by several characters. Billy “Butcher”, T-Milk, Hughie, and Starlight are some examples to which the Homelander case has now been added.
“There’s an obvious reason, which is that Soldier Boy was like the first Homelander. So there’s some logic to him being 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 evolved. And, in a lot of ways, this season is about fathers and sons. About how fathers can pass on their trauma, generationally, to their sons, especially this toxic masculinity of policing that their sons have to be the version of masculine of society,” the showrunner of The Boys told Variety. Kripke continues his intervention by saying that, initially, they did not plan for this to happen, but one of the creatives proposed it and they took him at his word.
“It wasn’t the first plan from the beginning, but while we were talking about the mythology of the season, someone proposed it and said, ‘Crazy proposal, what if…?’ I jumped, because a lot of our main characters are dealing with problems of his parents and parenting—also Mother’s Milk—Homelander should have to deal with his father. So it all lined up.”
The turn of episode 7 of The Boys was not only surprising for the audience, but also for the actors themselves. In the same interview, Ackles (Soldier Boy) referred to it. “As a fan of the series, I didn’t see that coming. I just assumed the only connection was the fact that they were contextualized the same way, that Soldier Boy was the original Homelander, he got in the way and they replaced him with a more shiny and new of the same. But in no way did I think there was a blood connection. So it kind of blew me away.”