Why Hugh's death in The Boys is the most devastating of the lot

Not everyone can survive in the world of The Boys, but some deaths are more heartbreaking that others. That is certainly the case for Hugh Campbell's death.
The Boys - Episode 301 - “Payback” Courtesy Prime Video
The Boys - Episode 301 - “Payback” Courtesy Prime Video /

Some deaths on TV hurt us more than others. That’s certainly the case in supernatural or superhero shows, and The Boys has just delivered a heartbreaking one.

Natural deaths are always more heartbreaking than those done by the villains of a series. They end up reminding us that normal things can happen, which is usual in a world full of superheroes, science experiments, and more.

That’s why Hugh Campbell’s stroke in The Boys Season 4 premiere was heartbreaking in itself. This is something that could happen to anyone. Hugh wasn’t the healthiest of people, but he also wasn’t the unhealthiest. This is a man who has been there for Hughie his whole life, and he was Hughie’s rock when Hughie needed him the most.

The realization of Compound-V on a dying body in The Boys

It didn’t take long to find out that Hughie’s mom gave Hugh the Compound-V. It fell out of Hughie’s pocket, and she thought that he wanted to give his dad it. That’s understandable. Rather than argue against it, she decided to do it for Hughie to bring her ex-husband back.

At first, it seemed great. However, Compound-V isn’t a miracle-maker. Not only did Hugh end up with powers, he also ended up with what seemed like a form of dementia. Hugh thought he was much younger than he was, believing Hughie to be a child wanting the latest Tek Knight figure.

While we learned in The Boys Season 4 that Hugh and his ex-wife had talked things through and come to a good place, Hugh’s mind regressed to when she had walked out and just disappeared. He was angry, and the Compound-V in his system made him lash out in a way that was going to kill her.

Hughie had to make yet another sacrifice in The Boys

That led to Hughie having to make a choice no son should have to do. He knew his father didn’t want to live like this. In fact, Hugh confirmed that in a conversation. And so, there was only one thing that Hughie could do.

Hughie put together a concoction of drugs that would humanely kill Hugh. It righted the wrong of giving him the Compound-V, but it made this moment all the more devastating.

Hugh had the chance to say goodbye to his son, which is all we’ve really wanted for Hughie when we learned Hugh’s stroke was so bad that he wouldn’t wake up. It became this emotionally charged moment for father and son to have a peaceful goodbye. There was no blame and no denial, and, in a way, it was natural—it may have been euthanasia, but it was still under some natural circumstances and not a horrific sacrificial moment that The Boys is so used to delivering.

All of this was just with Hughie’s mom there. He didn’t need anyone else in this moment. He stepped up to help him dad, correcting a wrong he made by asking for Compound-V in the first place. Now he needs to move forward without his dad, but there’s a chance of a relationship with his mom now that she has opened up to him.

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