‘The Boys’ Season 4: How Those ‘Gen V’ Finale Cameos and Mid-Credits Scene Set Up Virus Storyline

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SPOILER ALERT: This article contains spoilers for Episode 8 of “Gen V,” the Season 1 finale (“Guardians of Godolkin”), now streaming on Amazon’s Prime Video.

“The Boys” Season 4 doesn’t have a premiere date yet, but in a way, it has already started — at least for “Gen V” viewers. The Season 1 finale of “Gen V,” the spin-off to Prime Video’s wildly popular “The Boys,” featured Homelander (Antony Starr) and Butcher (Karl Urban) in key scenes that set up the storyline for “Gen V” Season 2. But according to “The Boys” showrunner Eric Kripke and “Gen V” co-showrunner Michele Fazekas, the finale also leads right into what happens next season on “The Boys.”

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In the episode, Butcher appears in a brief mid-credits scene where he’s exploring a now-abandoned The Woods facility. He’s clearly aware of the supe virus that the deceased Dean Shetty (Shelley Conn) commissioned and tried to give to The Boys founder Grace Mallory (Laila Robins), who passed on unleashing it upon the supe world. Vice presidential candidate Victoria Neuman (Claudia Doumit) is now in sole possession of the virus, after killing the doctor who created it in The Wood for Shetty.

For Homelander, his big moment comes at the end of a bloody battle at Godolkin University, when he finally shows up to save the day for Vought, and accuses Marie (Jaz Sinclair) of being an “animal” for attacking other supes. Of course, Homelander doesn’t wait to find out that Marie was specifically asked to do this by Vought exec Ashley Barrett (Colby Minifie), and was protecting regular humans and other supes from Cate (Maddie Phillips), Sam (Asa Germann) and the other escapees of The Woods in the process. And so, he blasts her with his laser beam eyes.

The finale ends with Homelander watching a news broadcast that spins the campus attack into the way he saw it, making Cate and Sam the “New Guardians of Godolkin” after they tried to kill humans, and revealing that Marie (who somehow survived Homelander’s attack), Andre (Chance Perdomo), Jordan (Derek Luh/London Thor) and Emma (Lizze Broadway) are all being held captive in a mysterious hospital facility with no doors.

Below, Variety talks to Kripke and Fazekas about “The Boys” cameos in the “Gen V” finale and how those events will lead into the next season of “The Boys.”

How did the cameos for “The Boys” characters Homelander and Butcher come about for the finale, and who had the idea to bring them in?

Kripke: For Butcher, by the time they were making the finale, we were pretty deep into breaking Season 4. We knew that we wanted that virus to be a pretty big part of Season 4, and we knew that we wanted Butcher to be aware of it. It seems crazy that he wouldn’t be aware of it. It became kind of tricky, because how do we show that he knows about it without it just being dialogue? This idea came up that it probably shouldn’t even happen in “The Boys,” it should happen in “Gen V.” The value of having the [two shows’ writers] rooms be in coordination is, our room took it to Michele and her room and said, ‘Can we put Butcher in the end, so we can show that he’s really hot on the tail of the virus?’ It was really cool, because it does a nice little preamble to what’s coming next. And Karl and Ant both were willing to come in on their days off to go work on the other show. But the Homelander part was Michele’s team.

Fazekas: We didn’t go into this finale saying, ‘we need a Butcher cameo and a Homelander cameo.’ They were separate ideas. Homelander came before Butcher because we knew we wanted to see Homelander. But that’s a bell you can’t really ring that much. We wanted to be very mindful of when we did that. And it would come up over the season, and then it made sense to do it at the almost-final, culminating moment.

Are we supposed to assume Vought went with the spin on Cate and Sam being the “Guardians of Godolkin” because Homelander came in and assumed Marie was the one in the wrong in the battle and lasered her? If he hadn’t, would Ashley have followed through with her offer to Marie that she would get her in contact with her sister in exchange for stopping Cate and Sam and The Woods escapees?

Fazekas: Ashley was trying to save her own ass at that point. I don’t think Ashley was really thinking it through.

Kripke: And, ultimately, Ashley is human. On her best day, she’s Reinfeld. And I think the minute Homelander sees a supe willfully injuring another supe, that’s one of the biggest sins you can commit in his eyes. Unless he’s the one doing it, of course. So I think they were always going to go with Homelander’s version of it.

Will we have to wait until “Gen V” Season 2 to find out where Marie, Andre, Jordan and Emma are — or could we find out another way, like on ‘The Boys”?

Kripke: Shrug emoji? That’s my answer.

I’ll phrase it another way: Will there be any “Gen V” cameos in “The Boys” Season 4?

Kripke: Shrug emoji? Tune in. I will neither confirm nor deny.

At what point in “The Boys” timeline does the mid-credits scene with Butcher take place?

Kripke: In our minds, it’s only a couple of days after whatever the events are of “Gen V.” We try to keep the timeline super simple because all that folding-in-on-itself timeline stuff that I think other comic book universes find themselves having to do is just bewildering for me as a viewer. So it’s all very modular. It’s like there’s Season 3 of “The Boys,” and then after that “Gen V” takes place, and then after that “The Boys” Season 4 takes place. And then after that, “Gen V” Season 2 takes place. It’s all more like cars on a train than it is a plate of spaghetti.

How close are we to the in-universe presidential election at this point?

Fazekas: It’s pretty close to Election Day now.

Kripke: It started with the fall semester and it was reasonably halfway through, you’re in October-ish when this show kicks off and and the the election is in November.

Will we know when “The Boys” Season 4 is premiering by the time the “Gen V” finale airs?

Kripke: You will not know when “The Boys” Season 4 is airing by the time the “Gen V” finale airs. But most of the editing is done, we’re now deep into the music and visual effects. Marketing is starting to taxi their planes on the runway. There’s a lot happening behind the scenes of “The Boys” Season 4, I can say that.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

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