Gen V: What is the Virus?

Cameron Frew
Dr. Cardosa in Gen V played by Marco Pigossi

What exactly is the Virus in Gen V? During Episode 5, Dr. Cardosa unveiled his work on a perilous new virus – here’s the information we have on it.

In our review of the fifth episode, we said there isn’t a “single dud scene… it’s the show at its free-wheeling best; silly, violent, shocking, and everything in between.”

It catches up with Marie and co. after the previous episode’s bizarre ending: a smash-cut from Emma pinning down Sam to Marie in bed with Jordan (plus a peek at Tek Knight trying to have sex with a bathroom hand dryer), with some fans believing their streaming platform had glitched.

It hadn’t, and it’s all explained in Episode 5 – and we also hear about a sinister new concoction known as “the virus” that could play a major role in The Boys, so here’s what we know.

What is the Virus in Gen V?

The virus appears to be a serum that would allow Vought to control any and all supes on a biological level.

We still don’t have all the details, as it’s mentioned for the first time by Doctor Cardosa in Episode 5 following Sam’s escape (and subsequent massacre of the guards) from the Woods.

“I am this f*cking close to perfecting the virus, a viable way to control them for good,” he says, but he’s not getting “paid nearly enough to die for this sh*t.”

We know he’s been conducting brutal experiments on super-powered teens for years – in Dean Shetty’s words, he “cuts up supes to see what makes them tick” – but the exact purpose of those surgeries hasn’t been revealed.

Could it be nanobot technology that allows supes to be controlled by Vought wherever they are in the world? Is it an effective, fatal dose that can be used on rogue supes who lose control, such as Sam? Time will tell.

Gen V Episodes 1-5 are on Prime Video now, which you can sign up for here. You can check out our other coverage below:

Gen V review | Episode 1 | Episode 2 | Episode 3 | Episode 4 | Episode 5 | When does Gen V take place in The Boys timeline? | Gen V cast and characters | The Boys cameos | Gen V runtimes explained | Tek Knight powers explained | What is the Virus? | Jordan Li powers explained

Please note that if you click on a product link on this page we may earn a small affiliate commission.

About The Author

Cameron is Deputy TV and Movies Editor at Dexerto. He's an action movie aficionado, '80s obsessive, and Oscars enthusiast. He loves Invincible, but he's also a fan of The Boys, the MCU, The Chosen, and much more. You can contact him at