You Don’t Need to Watch ‘Gen V’ Before ‘The Boys’ Season 4, But You Should

Spoiler Warning: Be aware there are major spoilers for Season 1 of “Gen V” below

Gen V” came out right after Season 3 of “The Boys,” and it was planned that way for a very good reason. The college-set spinoff series helps connect storylines and characters from the Vought-managed Godolkin University — where scientists have crafted a Supe-killing virus — to the drama going down within The Seven. And that’s exactly why TheWrap suggests you watch it, but that doesn’t mean you have to in order to keep up with what’s going down in “The Boys”

In between “The Boys,” “Gen V” introduced audiences to a new story in which fans meet the first generation of superheroes to know about Compound V. Studying at Godolkin University School of Crimefighting, all the students are competing to earn the top ranking and boost their chances of post-grad success. Their hope with attending God U is that they’ll eventually be selected into The Seven. The cast is younger and unhinged in their unique ways, which gives audiences a new adventure to fly into.

You don’t need to know everything that happens in “Gen V” before you watch “The Boys” Season 4, but there’s a lot that you should. Here’s a guide to the need-to-know info, and why you should watch the spinoff anyway.

“Gen V” introduces the supe-killing virus

Marco Pigossi as Doctor Edison Cardosa in "Gen V" Season 1 (Photo credit: Prime Video)
Marco Pigossi as Doctor Edison Cardosa in “Gen V” Season 1 (Photo credit: Prime Video)

The Godolkin University-set spinoff “Gen V” served “The Boys” lovers with another dose of Vought goodness, and introduced a key plot component of “The Boys” Season 4, while also setting up a lot of crossover between the two.

And that’s exactly what happened in the season finale of “Gen V.” Toward the end of the season, it’s revealed that God U dean Indira Shetty (Shelley Conn) has tasked Dr. Edison Cardosa (Marco Pigossi) with developing a virus that doesn’t infect humans, but kills supes. They both die, and the virus ends up in the hands of none other than head-popping politician Victoria Neuman (Claudia Doumit), who makes off with it after killing Dr. Cardosa herself.

During a finale post-credits scene, “Gen-V” also reveals a scene where Billy the Butcher is lurking through the halls of God U’s secret lab, called “The Woods.” The post-credits scene is a tease that “The Boys” character knows about the Supe-killing virus too.

“The Boys” creator Eric Kripke previously told TheWrap that it was his idea to have Butcher be the connection between “The Boys” and the Supe-killing virus introduced in “Gen V.”

“We were pretty deep into the Season 4 break by the time we were around [the ‘Gen V’] finale, and we sort of knew how we were picking up the ball,” Kripke explained. “When Butcher is in Season 4 of ‘The Boys,’ he’s very aware of this virus, and we knew that we were writing to it. Then the question came up of like, ‘Well, how is he aware, and when did he find out about it?’ We started saying, ‘Well, let’s actually show [viewers] when it’s really happening, which is over the course of ‘Gen V.’ So it came pretty organically out of that.”

So, if you want to understand the full origins of that virus, you’ve gotta watch “Gen V.”

There’s lots of “Gen V”-“The Boys” Crossover and you should keep up with it

Antony Starr as Homelander in "Gen V" Season 1 (Photo credit: Prime Video)
Antony Starr as Homelander in “Gen V” Season 1 (Photo credit: Prime Video)

As the Butcher/Neuman/Virus plotline makes clear, familiar “The Boys” characters make a ton of appearances in “Gen V,” and each one serves a purpose. And in Season 4 of “The Boys,” the crossovers reverse, with some key minor characters “graduating” from God U to join the ranks of the heroes and villains in the flagship show.

Maddie Phillips (Cate Dunlap) and Sam (Asa Germann) are two such characters, former God U students who break bad at the end of “Gen V,” releasing all the Supes being experimented on in The Woods lab, and initiating a massacre on campus. That’s when Homelander (Antony Starr) flies down to see what all the commotion’s about.

But he’s not there to stage a rescue — at least, not for any humans with the bad luck of on campus. He stops “Gen V” lead  Marie Moreau (Jaz Sinclair) from getting into Sam and Maddie’s way, showing the God U students will likely become Homelander’s proteges, as they share a “Supes vs. everyone else” mentality that Homelander could use to his advantage.

On top of that, “The Boys” stars Starr, Jensen Ackles and Chace Crawford literally changed up their schedules, and/or worked on their day off just so they could appear in the spinoff, so go appreciate their effort!

“The Boys” character Victoria Neuman and “Gen V’s” Marie Moreau’s blood is thicker than water

Jaz Sinclair as Marie Moreau and Claudia Doumit as Victoria Neuman (Prime Video)
Jaz Sinclair as Marie Moreau and Claudia Doumit as Victoria Neuman (Prime Video)

No, they aren’t related, but Marie and Victoria do share one thing in common: they both are blood benders, one of the rarest superpowers in “The Boys” universe. In “Gen V” Episode 7 of Season 1, the two connect when Victoria reveals their similarity during a God U town hall gathering, offering Marie some powerful advice. With Marie’s desire to be one of the most powerful Supes to ever exist, who knows how Victoria could manipulate the student in future seasons of “The Boys.”

Fun fact: “The Boys” technically started the very first “The Boys”-“Gen V” crossover, as Marie is listed as one of the orphans in the database of Vought’s orphanage Red River. It’s a quick flash, but you’ll see her photo in Episode of Season 3 “The Only Man in the Sky.”

"The Boys" Season 3 (Prime Video)
“The Boys” Season 3 (Prime Video)

Frankly, it’s just a really good show

Lizze Broadway as Emma in "Gen V" Season 1, Episode 3 (Photo credit: Prime Video)
Lizze Broadway as Emma in “Gen V” Season 1, Episode 3 (Photo credit: Prime Video)

If there’s one real reason you should watch “Gen V,” its because, just like its predecessor, it is just a really good damn show. With unique characters played by a fresh batch of young actors, exciting story plots filled with “The Boys” cameos and the same bloody and outrageous stunts and props, it’s a win-win situation.

Let’s put it this way, if you don’t check it out, you’ll be asking a lot of questions about “Gen V” characters after they make their official debut in the flagship series. Plus, another season is on the way and it gives you something to watch while you wait on the next — and final — season of “The Boys.”

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