THE BOYS Season 3 Finale Gave Butcher a Grim Diagnosis

When The Boys first introduced Compound V24, a.k.a. Temp V, in season three, I knew it wasn’t going to go well. Butcher and Hughie shot up a few doses of it in their relentless attempt to kill Homelander. And, well, they made a big mess in the process. Not only did they free Soldier Boy, who killed hella people, but Homelander is still alive and has Ryan under his wing. And, to cap it all off, Butcher is apparently dying from Compound V24 after taking one too many doses in The Boys season three. Let’s talk about what we learn in the finale, Butcher’s brief appearance in Gen V, and what the future could hold for Butcher with his grim diagnosis. 

Karl Urban's Billy Butcher with laser eyes from The Boys season 3
Prime Video

What Diagnosis Does Billy Butcher Get in The Boys Season Three? 

In the finale, Butcher keeps Hughie from taking another dose of Compound V24. We already know Butcher’s guilt over what happened to his brother so it’s understandable that he’d hide the truth about the drug from his comrade. Starlight fills Hughie in, who is understandably terrified. Butcher uses his powers during the big Vought Tower fight and ends up having to subdue Soldier Boy after he tries to kill Ryan, a move that he might live to regret. That is, if he sees it at all.

At the end of the episode, Butcher is in the hospital. A doctor is talking to him but he’s not listening so we don’t get a clear diagnosis. There is a treatment—likely involving draining fluid—but it will possibly impact his quality of life without extending it. Butcher bluntly asks how long he has to live and the answer is a grim 12-18 months, if he’s lucky. He lights up a cigarette and tells the doctor to f*ck off. Seems like he’s full of regret about a lot of things. 

hughie watches billy butcher inject himself with v24
Prime Video

Will Billy Butcher Return for The Boys Season Four? 

Our poor, dying Billy Butcher will be in The Boys season four. We saw him in a brief post-credits scene at the end of Gen V‘s first season, which takes place only months after The Boys season three. He looks relatively normal as he scours the remains of The Woods. He does pop up in the final moments of The Boys last season as well. He comes to their headquarters to say they need to get rid of Neuman, after all. Butcher still needs to accomplish a few things before he possibly dies, including killing Homelander, saving Ryan from becoming the next evil supe, and bringing down Vought.

It remains to be seen how his health will deteriorate from Compound V24’s deadly effects. The Boys season four will take place shortly after Gen V‘s finale events so that means he still has some time left to figure things out. In fact, he might just throw all caution to the wind and take more of it. And it’s also not clear if any of his comrades know that he has less than two years to live. That is, if we don’t get some kind of cure for Compound V24.

Next season probably won’t be the final one but it could all end with Butcher dying from Compound V24. He’s a total jerk most of the time but he is the driving force of the Boys. We will see what happens.

Originally published July 9, 2022.

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