The Boys Season 2 Finale Hints Ryan Is More Powerful Than Homelander

1 month ago

Ryan's tragic big moment in the season 2 finale of The Boys hints that the natural-born supe is actually more powerful than his father Homelander.

Warning: This post contains spoilers for The Boys Season 2

The Boys' Season 2 finale secretly hints that Ryan is actually more powerful than his biological father, Homelander. In the explosive final episode's most shocking moment, Ryan became even more wrapped into Billy Butcher's own personal tragedy by accidentally killing his doting mother Becca and took down the season's most formidable supe. Considering he wasn't in control, there's definitely a hint that his powers are a level above Compound V-enhanced characters.

Ryan's arc was set on an inevitable path to tragedy as soon as Becca changed her mind about cutting her husband out of her life. As soon as she allowed Billy back into her life, it always looked like the most interesting narrative twist would be to somehow have Billy lumbered with single parent duties of not only a supe but the son of his mortal enemy. Even knowing that, Becca's death was a devastating twist in The Boys' season 2 finale and the suggestion of what comes next - not only for Billy and Ryan but for the dangerously volatile Homelander and the new image of The Seven - makes season 3 all the more exciting.

Most importantly for Ryan's part in the Homelander/Billy Butcher story dynamic, there is a huge hint in the finale that Ryan may well be even more powerful than Vought's blue-chip Superman surrogate. Not only is he capable of taking down Stormfront - a previously mostly-invulnerable supe - but the manner of his powers' manifestation speaks to him potentially becoming the show's most powerful character. Crucially, it's both the contrast between what Ryan is accidentally able to do with his optic laser blasts and what Homelander did previously to Stormfront with his own and also the conflict between Ryan and Homelander's early years' development that might hold the biggest clues.

The Boys' season 2 finale obviously shows Ryan obliterating Stormfront with his lasers as he sought to protect his family. Tragically, that came at the cost of Becca's life (and almost resulted in Billy killing him in vengeance), but there's even an important distinction in that caveat: Ryan wasn't focused at all and his powers were not solely directed at Stormfront in the way Homelander is able to precisely target his optic blasts. There's also a marked difference in the effect Ryan's lasers have on Stormfront to when Homelander burns her as a grotesque act of foreplay in the season's fifth episode. The context may be different, but to suggest that Homelander isn't trying during that exchange as proof that Ryan isn't more powerful is to misunderstand Homelander fundamentally.

When Stormfront tells Homelander to burn her chest, it may be a display of kink, but Homelander is not holding back. Stormfront knows exactly how to push his buttons, challenging his masculinity (in calling him a p*ssy) and beating him down surprisingly easily. His reaction after he burns her - mixing not just arousal but shock - says everything about what he had expected to happen. There was no holding back and the suggestion that Ryan's blast damage of Stormfront was only more devastating because of the emotion behind it downplays how much of a fundamental challenge that episode 5 scene was to Homelander. Ryan may have been filled with anger, but Homelander is always full of rage, which is a key distinction that speaks to how different their upbringings were and the potential for Ryan to be more powerful.

As The Boys has been careful to establish, Homelander was a product of intense Vought experimentation and training. He was forged in an unthinkably abusive environment and had his humanity stripped back until his superpowers and his efficiency were at the front and his decency was compromised almost entirely. All of his emotional fragility, his volatile machismo - which leads to season 2's final disgusting masturbation moment - and his mommy issues all stem from how his powers were encouraged to come out and he even reassures Ryan at one point in his training that his powers took a long time to develop properly. For Ryan to be able to manifest as much power as he did in the finale without that sort of intense, dangerous training - on top of the earlier moment when he pushed Homelander over in anger - suggests that his starting point is already well beyond where Homelander was. If he continues down a similar path - and Billy will have to do a lot to stop is happening, given the possible impact of Becca's death - Ryan has the potential to become something truly terrifying in the future of The Boys.

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