The Boys season 3, episode 8 recap – the finale and ending explained

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: July 8, 2022 (Last updated: July 26, 2023)
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The Boys saved the best till last when it came to the third season. There’s plenty of action and moments when it looks like anyone could die. The closing few minutes perfectly set up the fourth season, with the last scene hinting at a shocking new villain that no one saw coming.

This recap of the Amazon original series The Boys season 3, episode 8, “The Instant White-Hot World,” — the finale and ending explained — contains spoilers.

Read the recap of the previous episode.

The Boys season 3, episode 8 recap – the finale and ending explained

Homelander visits his son, Ryan, and manages to win him round with a heartfelt speech. Ashley helplessly watches on as gas pours into Queen Maeve’s cell. Shortly afterwards, Queen Maeve is taken away in an armed van. But she beats up the guards and escapes. Meanwhile, Homelander watches the news as it reports on the largest single-day drop due to Starlight’s recording. And then, Black Noir tells Homelander that Soldier Boy will come, so they must kill him.

A-Train visits Nate and tells him that he is about to get all of the races and endorsements back. Unfortunately, Nate correctly guesses that A-train killed Blue-Hawk. And as a result, he tells A-Train to get out of his life. After being knocked out by Billy, Starlight picks up Hughie. But when Starlight tells him that taking more Compound V could have killed him, Hughie believes that Billy saved his life.

Starlight learns that Queen Maeve is with Marvin, and shortly afterward, Hughie tells Queen Maeve that Soldier Boy is Homelander’s father. Starlight worries that Soldier Boy may herogasm and kill many lives in the process. Billy reminds Soldier Boy that they had a deal. Homelander pours his heart out to Black Noir and then asks if he knew whether his father was alive the whole time. Homelander then asks why he didn’t tell him before ripping out Black Noir’s guts.

The entire gang head over to Billy, and Hughie asks him to let them pull him back. Queen Maeve says that Homelander needs to die and when Starlight threatens to hurt Queen Maeve, Soldier Boy reveals himself. Ashley, The Deep, and A-Train realise that Homelander has murdered Black Noir. And as Homelander continues to lose control, he forces Ashley to take off her wig and tells her, the Deep and A-Train, that they are not his family. Then, on Homelander’s orders, The Deep drowns VP candidate Bishop in his own pool.

Soldier Boy, with Queen Maeve and Billy by his side, goes to Homelander. But to win Soldier Boy over, Homelander introduces him to his grandson, Ryan. Yet, Soldier Boy calls him a weak sniffling pu**y. When Soldier Boy goes to kill Homelander, Ryan intervenes and tasers Billy. Soldier Boy attacks Ryan, and Billy and Homelander must work together to save Ryan. Soldier Boy refuses Billy’s demand to “stand down”, and as they fight, Queen Maeve takes on Homelander. Starlight comes just in time to stop Soldier Boy from killing Billy.

The ending

Hughie evacuates the building. Homelander presses in one of Queen Maeve’s eyes whilst The Female becomes “a maniac”. Hughie looks at the CCTV and sees that everyone is pretty much powerless against Soldier Boy. But instead of taking Compound V, he turns on the lights and gives Starlight and the others the chance to drug him. As Soldier Boy starts to explode, Queen Maeve stabs Homelander in the head before flying herself and Soldier Boy out of the building as Soldier Boy explodes. A bittersweet moment, as whilst Soldier Boy’s reign of terror is over, Queen Maeve pays the ultimate price.

But there’s still Homelander to take care of. Yet, instead of causing trouble, Homelander merely leaves the scene with Billy collapsing shortly afterward. In the hospital, Billy learns that he has 12-18 months left to live. But whilst the news reports that Queen Maeve has died, Starlight visits the very much alive Queen Maeve, and reveals that she will go somewhere so far away that Homelander won’t find her. Ashley finds footage of The Female and Marvin helping Queen Maeve after her supposed “death”, but she deletes the recording whilst Soldier Boy returns to his tube.

Meanwhile, The Deep sobs as Cassandra goes on national TV to say that she was “In 2 Deep” and that people don’t know the real him, nor would they like him if they did. Starlight bins her suit, fully becoming Annie January, and becomes one of “The Boys”. With Bishop’s death ruled an accident, Neuman is announced the new VP pick. Billy sums it up perfectly by saying, “That bi*ch has definitely gotta go”. Homelander introduces Ryan to the citizens, but with anger from the fallout of Soldier Boy, a male throws a bottle at Ryan. In a moment of madness, Homelander brutally zaps the man’s head off. But likely due to their fear, the crowds cheer Homelander, with Ryan lapping up every second.

What did you think of the Amazon original series The Boys, season 3, episode 8 (finale), and the ending? Comment below.

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