This article contains spoilers for The Boys Season 2 finale.
Ok, who saw that coming? The Boys waited until the very last moments of its Season 2 finale, ‘What I Know’, to finally reveal the identity of its mysterious head-popper after quickly dismissing the leading prime suspect, Vought International CEO Stan Edgar, and now we know whodunnit – Victoria Neuman, the show’s whip smart Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez-esque Congresswoman and Butcher gang ally.
In a cracking, extremely satisfying finale that brought us a huge helping of delightful moments – Billy’s parting advice to Ryan! Starlight and Hughie’s sweet embrace! MM reuniting with his family! Kimiko and Frenchie communicating for real! Homelander’s highly anticipated and utterly ludicrous alfresco crywank! – Neuman’s unique supe emerged as the cherry on top. But the reveal left us with a few lingering questions about Neuman’s motivations and endgame.
Claudia Doumit, who plays Neuman on the series, always seemed to be a key member of the cast in Season 2. The actress and producer has previously fielded roles in Supergirl and Scandal, but she’s still mainly known for her part as Jiya in Timeless, another ambitious project created for television by The Boys’ showrunner, Eric Kripke. Doumit’s co-star in Timeless was none other than Goran Visnjic aka Alastair Adana, the charming and currently headless mastermind behind thinly-veiled Scientology outfit, The Church of the Collective. Kripke keeps it in the family!
So, what do we know about Victoria Neuman now that the dust has settled? Well, the character is definitely drawn from Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson’s The Boys comics, but the role has been gender-flipped for Doumit, much like Aya Cash’s fascist supe Stormfront was in Season 2. In the comics, Victoria Neuman is Victor Neuman aka ‘Vic the Veep’, an extremely conservative and really quite stupid former Vought CEO fashioned as Ennis and Robertson’s spin on George W. Bush, who becomes the Vice President of the United States.
In the series, Neuman is a world away from ol’ Dubya. She’s smart, elegant, scrupulous, and intent on stirring the political pot when it comes to Vought’s stranglehold on America. The liberal Congresswoman even managed to encourage the U.S. House Judiciary Committee to hold a hearing about Vought’s Compound V experiments, with some help from Mallory and The Boys, but we all know how that turned out – her star witness, ageing Vought scientist Dr. Vogelbaum, was taken out in a heartbeat, along with a handful of other poor souls in the courtroom. Neuman seemingly went from triumphant to terrified in mere seconds as her Chief of Staff also became a victim of the deadly head-popper in front of her very eyes.
Indeed, Neuman was the one who pushed for the hearing, Neuman was the one who wanted more proof about the Compound V stabilization program at the Sage Grove Center, Neuman was the one who wanted accountability from Vought at last, Neuman was the one who helped drag a lot of secret information to light – but in the finale, it’s confirmed that she herself is a very powerful supe, and has been simultaneously pulling counterproductive strings since the first episode, when she popped Raynor’s head just as The Boys’ CIA contact was about to dish up some crucial information on a potential ‘coup’ developing politically. At the time, we were left to assume Raynor was referring to Vought’s ‘supe terrorist’ propaganda led by Stormfront, but now we know different. Raynor was killed before she could tell The Boys about Neuman.
But what is she hoping to accomplish? The leading theory going into Season 3 is that Neuman has been installed by Stan Edgar as an agent of ‘controlled opposition’, a supe acting for Vought who pretends to be on the side of good so that she can claw enough power and intel to be a vital political asset to the company on the inside. If so, the plan is certainly going well – her career is going from strength to strength, and people on the left believe in her cause in the same way that those on the right leant their support to Stormfront.
In fact, by the end of Season 2, not only has Neuman redirected any possible suspicion away from her own agenda, she’s tied up a few loose ends by killing both the nosy Raynor and the blackmailing Adana. She can also keep tabs on Mallory and The Boys by helping to fund their anti-supe efforts while maintaining the appearance of an ally, which gives her room to scupper any of their impending missions.
With Hughie climbing aboard her campaign, though, Neuman might have a wee baby-faced problem on the horizon. Will he uncover her secret during his earnest attempt to find his feet and stay on the straight and narrow?
Of course, The Boys could have other plans for Neuman – she might not be Vought’s controlled opposition after all – but we shall have to wait until Season 3 arrives before we learn any further secrets about the cutthroat milky-eyed head-popper.
Head to the comments to tell us all your Victoria Neuman theories, please!