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 and what the future could hold for Butcher with his grim diagnosis.
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.
Will Billy Butcher Return for The Boys Season Four?
Our poor, dying Billy Butcher will presumably be in The Boys season four if they don’t do a long time jump. He does pop up in the final moments at their headquarters to say they need to get rid of Neuman, after all. I cannot imagine them starting a new season off with his funeral or anything like that. Butcher still needs to accomplish a few things before he dies, including killing Homelander and maybe saving Ryan from becoming the next evil supe.
But it remains to be seen how his health will deteriorate from Compound V24’s deadly effects. 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.
If next season ends up being the final one for this show (that’s my theory for now), it could all end with Butcher’s death. He’s a total jerk most of the time but he is the driving force of the Boys. Let’s see how the crew will continue their missions without him.