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The Boys Theory Explains Why Butcher & Hughie Get Those Temp V Powers

Butcher and Hughie got powers of their own in The Boys season 3 thanks to Temp V, but the root of their powers was never explained. Karl Urban and Jack Quaid got fully involved in the world of Supes during the third season of the hit Amazon original TV series, with their characters Billy Butcher and Hugh “Hughie” Campbell Jr. succumbing to the temptation of V24, a potion that gifts its user temporary superpowers. The introduction of Temp V in The Boys season 3 helped to level the playing field in the Boys’ battle against the Supes, but there are still questions about why Butcher and Hughie got those specific powers.

Following the trauma of Becca’s death in The Boys season 2 finale and the revelation in the season 3 premiere of Victoria Neuman’s powers, the Boys were more determined than ever to take down their Supe adversaries, and were gifted the opportunity to make it a fair fight thanks to Queen Maeve supplying Butcher with several vials of V24. While Hughie seemed eager and excited to try Temp V, embracing his new powers, Butcher felt much more conflicted with the thought of becoming the very thing he hates. By the end of season 3, it’s revealed that continued use of Temp V causes massive physical problems to regular humans, with Butcher being left in critical condition after his abuse of the drug.

Related: The Boys Season 3 Finale Sets Up A Dark Ending For Butcher

With the introduction of Temp V in The Boys season 3, the lines between heroes and villains have been blurred even further. Butcher’s battle with the decision to take (or continue taking) Temp V and Hughie’s apparent love of the drug showed two sides of the same coin since both wanted to use their new powers to succeed in their own personal missions. Despite the fun and drama created by giving superpowers to two, until-now, very human characters, one theory suggests that the powers Butcher and Hughie developed are in direct response to their past experiences in The Boys.

Queen Maeve gives Butcher several vials of V24 in The Boys season 3 premiere, but it’s not until episode 2, The Only Man In The Sky, that Butcher gives in and takes his first dose. The Temp V gives Butcher the seemingly universal power of invulnerability as well as the ability to fire bright yellow lasers from his eyes, reminiscent of Marvel’s mutant Cyclops, or The Boys‘ own Homelander. After being initially reluctant to take V24, Butcher descends into an addiction to the drug that gave him the power he’d always wanted to take down his Supe enemies, but the adverse effects shown in the season finale have left Butcher’s future with the Boys uncertain.

The other side of this coin is Hughie, who has always displayed an eagerness at taking the Temp V, first taking it during The Boys season 3, episode 4, Glorious Five-Year Plan, while the team is infiltrating the secret Russian laboratory where the Golden Age hero, Soldier Boy has been kept captive for decades. Temp V gives Hughie the power of teleportation, allowing him to be anywhere he wants in the blink of an eye, although it comes with a side effect in that it only transports Hughie or anyone he touches, but not their clothes, meaning wherever he ends up, he finds himself completely naked. While this power might seem completely random, there is a logical reason as to why he gets this ability.

Hughie’s story in The Boys started off with absolute tragedy, with Jessie T. Usher’s speedster A-Train blasting through his then-girlfriend, Robin, meaning that there was nothing that Hughie could’ve done to save her. Hughie is shown to be one of the most kind-hearted and gentle members of the team which feeds his desire to help others throughout The Boys. His caring personality is kicked into overdrive once V24 enters his system. Hughie’s sense of helplessness has informed every decision that he’s made since the start, and could directly explain why he gains the ability to teleport after taking V24. This mainly stems from his experience with Robin, but has also been enhanced since his relationship with Annie, a.k.a. Starlight began, as well as with instances involving others such as Popclaw in The Boys season 1.

Related: Hughie’s Powers In The Boys Might Mean Temp V Can’t Kill Him

Even though Butcher shows no discrimination in his hatred for Supes, his vendetta against super-powered individuals is mainly focused on Homelander, who effectively destroyed his happy marriage with Becca and made him believe that his wife was dead for years. Butcher’s quest for revenge on Homelander has become an obsession, which leads to him finally relenting and taking Temp V in order to level the playing field. The powers that Butcher gains from the drug bear a striking resemblance to those of Homelander, suggesting that there is a direct connection between Butcher’s vendetta against Homelander and his own power set when on V24. Having Butcher get powers in The Boys season 3 created some fantastic moments of conflict as he found himself becoming the very thing he hates.

It can be assumed that Temp V heightens what is already inside a person, so Hughie’s desire to help others and Butcher’s vendetta against Homelander translates directly into their specific Temp V powers. By the end of The Boys season 3, Hughie might have avoided the negative effects of V24, while Butcher is left suffering the consequences of over-abusing the drug. It doesn’t seem like the story of Temp V and its effects on regular humans are over, especially since The Boys season four is already greenlit.

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