‘The Boys’ star reveals whether Butcher or Homelander is the worse parent

Photo by Jan Thijs/Prime Video

Only a few hours remain until the final episode of The Boys season three wraps up this particular unhinged story arc in Amazon’s satirical superhero show. With the fates of Billy Butcher and Homelander up in the air, Karl Urban has recently discussed which one of them would be a better parent for Ryan.

The Kiwi thespian recently had a chat with Collider, where he was asked to determine who between the leader of the titular Boys and the leader of the Seven is less suited to look after a child. One is a self-centered, narcissistic psychopath, and the other is a toxic cesspit of resentment and anger. Naturally, Urban’s response inclines on neither.

“They’re pretty much both ill-equipped,” he said, bluntly. “I think one of the wonderful mechanisms built into the writing is that all Ryan wants is a parent – a father figure or mother figure. He hasn’t had a father and his mother has been ripped away from him, tragically. That’s all he wants. And when Butcher fails at that, it’s a wonderful irony that Homelander is able to turn up and give him exactly what he needs, when it’s so unlike Homelander to be able to do anything beyond his narcissistic self.”

That’s something season three actually explores in earnest, also revealing why Butcher is the worst person who could look after Ryan now that Becca is dead.

“The fun thing for me this season was exploring that territory of Butcher trying to be a father figure for Ryan, and then finding that he is so ill-equipped to do so and then, through the course of the season, coming to understand with the flashbacks into Butcher’s childhood, why he is so inept. He never had someone in that kind of role, growing up.”

The Boys has proven that the world isn’t big enough for the both of them, so someone ultimately has to go. Is it going to be Butcher, redeemed from his hatred, or Homelander, finally free of the emotionally daunting life he’s led? Let’s hope tomorrow’s finale spares us from having to learn the answer to that question.