The latest episode of The Boys ended with a gruesome scene where people’s heads started exploding. And it’s not the first time something like that has happened. Who’s behind this?
The latest episode of The Boys, “Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker,” ended with one hell of a courtroom scene: Jonah Vogelbaum, a retired scientist at the superhero-making Vought corporation, is about to testify to Congress about how incredibly corrupt and power-hungry the company is. This is something our heroes have been working toward for a long time, so everyone is paying rapt attention.
But then, just as things are about to get underway, something odd happens to the guy who swears in Dr. Vogelbaum: his head explodes. It just pops like an overripe grape, with blood everywhere. Then Vogelbaum’s head explodes. Then heads everywhere start popping. It’s a bloody mess.
Obviously, the hearing is off, which is to Vought’s benefit, although we should note that at least one person affiliated with the company — the superhero Shockwave — also gets his head exploded.
And this isn’t the first time this season someone’s head has just exploded out of nowhere. Early on, the Boys meet with a contact at the CIA, Raynor. They give her some information about a super-terrorist they’re chasing, she seems to figure something out, and then, just before she’s going to tell them what it is…pop.
We can assume the same person is responsible for all the head-popping, but who is it? We don’t know for sure, but the internet has theories.
A Supe named Cindy is popping the heads
Partway through the season, the Boys find out about a facility where Vought is experimenting on people in the hope of turning them into superheroes. The problem is that a lot of them don’t seem to be cooperating, and have to be closely watched. That includes Cindy, who promptly uses her powers to explode a security guard when she gets free.
Then, at the end of the episode, we see Cindy hitch-hiking away to parts unknown. She no doubt has the ability to pop people, but I don’t think she’s behind the various head-popping incidents we’ve been seeing.
For one thing, Cindy has no reason at all to help Vought; they kept her prisoner for who knows how long, poking and prodding at her in the hopes of producing a weapon. Also, while she could conceivably could have been around for the courtroom scene, she was still in the facility when Raynor’s head exploded. True, Vought could have been using her
Finally, Cindy doesn’t seem to have enough control to pop just the head; when she kills the security, the entire upper half of his body explodes.
So if not Cindy, who?
Vought International CEO Stan Edgar is popping the heads
Some fans think that Edgar (Giancarlo Esposito) is behind all this madness. A lot of it comes down to something Esposito said during an interview with Cinema Blend: “I don’t believe Stan Edgar has any fear of Homelander at all,” the actor said. “In the back of my mind, I’ve got Compound V in my blood, so I’m not worried at all.”
Homelander is the most powerful superhero in the world, a horrifying mirror of Superman who may have aspirations beyond being the leader of the Seven, Vought’s high-profile superhero squad. And Compound V is the chemical that gives him — and all the other Supes — their powers. We haven’t heard of Stan Edgar possessing any powers, but if he does, using them to stop a hearing that could expose his company’s corruption sounds like a good use for them.
Someone we don’t know is popping the heads
I don’t think either of these characters is the real culprit. I’m not sure who it will turn out to me, but my guess is that Homelander and Stormfront — the two most corrupt, contemptible people on the show — are somehow behind it. They’re both in the courtroom when the blood starts flying, and neither seem surprised.
And remember what Raynor said right before her head went kablooie: “It’s Vought! It’s a fucking coup from the inside.” In the season 2 premiere, Homelander and Stan Edgar have a tense confrontation. I think Homelander and Stormfront are mounting some sort of takeover of the company, the better to carry out their genocidal agenda.
We’ll almost certainly find out who’s behind this rash of exploding heads when the season 2 finale of The Boys, “What I Know,” airs this Friday.
UPDATE: Well, now that we know who’s doing the head-popping, we have a whole new question:
h/t Den of Geek