The Boys Season 4 theories explained

Trudie Graham
Antony Starr as Homelander in The Boys Season 4 poster

With the battle for Ryan’s soul the crux of the next chapter in Prime Video’s suped-up series, we’ve rounded up The Boys Season 4 theories to cover tantalizing potential storylines, Gen V cameos, and more.

We’re in for a treat, from troubling political upheaval to new supes and Gen V characters. It doesn’t look like Homelander is biting the dust soon, and this universe is now tying together storylines from different shows.

If that’s not exciting enough, The Boys Season 4 is far from the end; Season 5 was confirmed on May 14, 2024.

There’s plenty of time to introduce new stakes, kill off supes, and lay the groundwork for a thrilling finale.

Ryan will side with Butcher

Butcher and Ryan in The Boys Season 3.

Eric Kripke made it clear Season 4 will be a fight for Ryan’s soul. In Season 3, Homelander successfully manipulated his son while Billy Butcher could do little but watch on. With his caring mother gone and only a domestic terrorist for a father left, Ryan could be equally dangerous if left in his care.

Ryan sides with his dad in Season 3, but we think Butcher will get through to him. Not just because Ryan is a loose cannon, but because the cynicism of the series has been turned up to eleven and it would be a refreshing creative choice.

We think there’ll be a point where Ryan sees Homelander do something that scares him into defecting (like his reaction to that movie stunt gone wrong). Of course, the real tragedy is a kid’s soul being treated like a tug-of-war, but Butcher is a soldier after all.

Homelander will supress Sam and Cate

Admittedly, this theory is off-kilter. Hear us out, though… Homelander might think he wants powerful allies underneath him, but does he? When Homelander feels inferior (regardless of how unrealistic that is), he snaps. Whether it be The Seven members who won’t kiss the ring or female supes showing off, his narcissism makes it impossible for him to be friends with anyone long-term.

Sam and Cate might be a part of his plan following the Gen V Season 1 finale. However, they’re still strong, young, antagonists. This might create room for them to question him, or get too big for their breaches. If Homelander thinks they’re casting too much of a shadow, we have no doubt he’d kill or otherwise sabotage them.

A Kylo Ren-style outburst is possible, but given Homelander’s new political infamy, he could also use Sam and Cate as publicity pawns. A heinous act might need to be pinned on someone, or America’s one true hero could be ‘forced’ to take down two new villains on live TV (think Syndrome’s plan from The Incredibles). We hope for Sam and Cate’s sake Homelander hasn’t picked up too much PR artistry from Vought.

Annie will finally get a win

Erin Moriarty as Annie in The Boys Season 3.

On May 19, the series’ X account released a The Boys Season 3 recap, which covered Starlight’s pivotal moments last season. In response, some fans voiced disappointment about Annie’s lack of luck. One fan wrote, “If y’all play in her face for the 4th season in a row…” Another replied, “I need some payback for her. I’m tired of her always getting the short end.”

Another user suggested, “A little power boost wouldn’t hurt. I’m not saying make her the strongest but let her fly a little, give her blast a little more punch, let her energy meter go up, just something.” It would be great to see Annie get one over someone… anyone! Raw power isn’t everything, and the writers could afford to get creative with how she can be utilized.

While countless characters have been rendered useless by Homelander’s power, Annie has been made a laughing stock or gotten the short end of the stick so often it’s hard to remember her empowering scenes. Actor Erin Moriarty hasn’t had an easy time with Annie’s detractors, either, so we’d welcome Starlight finally prospering.

And with the Starlight and Firecracker brawl, we did get that!

More Gen V cameos

The Boys Season 4 trailer showed Sam and Cate, but there’s no way the Gen V appearances will stop there. In particular, Marie should pop up.

The Gen V finale set up The Boys Season 4 nicely, with Homelander making a cameo. He took Marie down, although the blast to her chest didn’t kill her. Then the scapegoated Godolkin kids — Marie, Andre, Jordan, and Emma — woke up in captivity.

They’ll probably sit most of Season 4 out, but we’d be shocked if we didn’t see them in some capacity. Whether it’s one of The Boys characters passing their confines, or shots of them on the news, these kids aren’t going anywhere.

The first half of Season 4 only mentioned the captive Gen V students in passing on a news clip, but we think we’ll see them in person soon enough.

Season 4 will have the most political satire yet

Victoria Neuman at a political event in The Boys Season 3.

Season 3 left off with the head-popping super Victoria Neuman under Homelander’s thumb and vying for Vice Presidency. Moreover, Homelander’s need to play nice publicly has crumbled. Satirizing the rise of MAGA sentiment in the last decade in the US, Season 3 had fans cheer on his ability to mow down dissenters.

The only thing keeping Homelander from totally going off the rails has been corporate mandates to keep the public on his side. But if the people are just as ravenous for bloodshed and cruelty as he is, Homelander becomes a beacon parroting their worldviews back at them instead of a perceived threat.

With Neuman headed for the White House, backed by a bleached-blonde, flag-wearing all-American superhuman pulling strings behind the scenes, the season is ripe for Kripke to double down on political satire.

Homelander’s new relationship with the public looks inspired by real mob activity in the US preceding the January 6, 2021, Capitol Attack, with anti-immigration, gun rights, and incendiary remarks tenets of Homelander’s popularity.

This theory came true, with taglines like “Make America Super Again” floating around.

Sam vs. Kimiko

Kimiko in The Boys Season 3.

This one’s based on a reputable leak, so if you don’t want any potential spoilers, jump ahead!

Rumors first started circulating about a Kimiko and Sam showdown in April 2024. Kimiko might find herself in a 1v1 with Gen V’s strongest supe. The Reddit post also claimed we’ll hear Kimiko “say (or scream) her first word.”

One Redditor questioned the leak’s legitimacy but commented, Sam “absolutely has the strength but I don’t feel he has the speed for it. But I wouldn’t be surprised if Kimiko lacked the power to penetrate his durability.”

So far, it hasn’t happened.

Butcher is hallucinating Joe Kessler

As time goes on, we’re becoming increasingly curious about Kessler’s true nature. More pointedly, if he even exists. It would be a big twist.

Butcher’s physical and mental state has deteriorated throughout the season, so he may be seeing someone who’s not there, just as he saw visions of Ryan’s mom.

For more on the spin-off, find out what’s coming in Gen V Season 2. Or, read our guide to the Gen V powers explained. You can also jump into gaming with how to get A-Train and Firecracker Operator bundles in MW3 and Warzone. Alternatively, check out the other best superhero TV shows and and Season 4’s most shocking moments so far.