The Boys Season 2 has presented plenty of mysteries, only some of which have been answered as we approach the Season 2 finale. What happened to Butcher’s little brother, Lenny? As we learned in Episode 7, “Butcher, Baker, Candlestickmaker,” he killed himself due–in Butcher’s estimation, at least–to their father’s abuse. On the other hand, what’s up with the Church of the Collective’s obsession with Fresca? That, we still don’t know.
At the absolute top of the list, though, is just who the heck has been popping people’s heads like bubble gum? It was bad enough when it was just Susan Raynor, who met her end back in the season premiere. But this was not the outcome The Boys had hoped for when they convinced Lamplighter (RIP) and later Vogelbaum to testify in front of Congress. What should have been a triumphant hearing in which Vought was finally exposed turned instead into an absolute bloodbath. The carnage wasn’t limited to one side or the other, and we still have no concrete idea who’s responsible. However, we have some theories.
The Church of the Collective?
One prime suspect for the head-poppings is the Church of the Collective. The Scientology-like cult that The Deep and A-Train have joined consorts with supes–obviously–so they might well have someone in their stable who’s capable of this specific power.
More importantly, do they have a motive? Look back at the conversation between Alistair, the church’s leader, and The Deep/A-Train at Alistair’s birthday party in this episode. According to Alistair, he has a meeting with Stan Edgar soon, and A-Train and The Deep are all but back on The Seven. The Church has a vested interest in Vought staying in business–after all, they’re this close to infiltrating the company’s highest and most public ranks with two high-profile Church members.
At the same time, it benefits the Church to get rid of Shockwave–The Seven only need one speedster, after all, and if the Church gets its way, that speedster will be A-Train. Lo and behold, who’s the only supe whose head got popped at the hearing? None other than Shockwave. Coincidence? Maybe we’ll find out in the Season 2 finale.
On the other hand, Occam’s Razor dictates that the most simple explanation is usually the correct one. And who benefits more from thwarting Vogelbaum’s testimony at the hearing than Vought? Come to think of it, who benefitted from cutting off The Boys’ link with the CIA by killing Susan Raynor just as she was beginning to put this puzzle together? Of course, it’s Vought–and more specifically Stan Edgar, a ruthless leader who it seems will do anything to keep turning a profit.
Vought certainly has the means–we’ve seen plenty of other supes in Vought’s employ who aren’t part of The Seven, from Doppelganger to Starlight’s former friend Gecko.
On top of that, they benefit from these killings even more directly than the Church of the Collective does (particularly Raynor’s death, which we have no reason to believe Alistair even knows about). So how does that explain Shockwave’s death, not to mention the likely deaths of many other Vought personnel who were present? Simple: Killing their own people as well gives Vought deniability. Despite being the most obvious suspect given how much they benefit from the hearing not occurring, it makes them look slightly less guilty if they can say, “We’re victims here too.”
That said, Occam’s Razor doesn’t always apply to a show like The Boys, which works to keep viewers on their toes while also surprising fans who have read the comics on which the series is based. Vought is the most obvious answer, which means it could very well be someone else who’s responsible.
So who else might be the head-popper? We have a few ideas.
First there’s Cindy, the experimental supe who escaped from Sage Grove after The Boys visited and encountered Lamplighter. At the end of that episode, we glimpsed Cindy hitchhiking down the highway, so we know she’s out there somewhere, and we’ve yet to see her again since then. In addition, her power of making human bodies, doors, and anything else she wants to turn into a fine mist seems somewhat similar to the exploding heads phenomenon.
On the other hand, the power isn’t an exact match–Cindy seems to cause people and objects to implode, while the head-pops are assuredly explosions.
There’s also Stormfront. The Nazi supe has electricity powers in addition to super strength, flight, and other abilities, and although she tends to lash out with crackling whips of lightning, we can’t really say for sure what she’s capable of. It’s possible that Stormfront can use the electrical signals firing in people’s brains to blow them up without any visual indication of what she’s doing. She could even be doing it without Vought’s knowledge. She did look just as clueless as Homelander during the hearing, but that could simply be acting.
In the end, we just haven’t gotten enough clues yet to guess with 100% certainty who’s been popping people’s heads throughout The Boys Season 2. With one episode left to go, we’re hoping to find out soon. What are your theories? Let us know in the comments below.
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