What is Hughie’s mother hiding in The Boys season 4?

Episode 4 ending begs some major questions about Daphne Campbell.

Akhil Arora, a Film Critics Guild member and a Rotten Tomatoes-certified TV critic, who has been reporting on Prime Video originals since 2016. He has written for NDTV and SlashFilm.

Daphne Campbell The Boys season 4 episode 4
Rosemarie DeWitt as Daphne Campbell in The Boys season 4 episode 4 // Photo: Prime Video

Spoilers ahead for The Boys season 4, episode 4 “Wisdom of the Ages”.

Until the end of the fourth episode, Simon Pegg—who plays Hughie’s father, Hugh Campbell Sr.—had spent the fourth season of The Boys mute and horizontal. Bedridden by a stroke, braindead Hugh Sr. was set to quietly pass away in this episode after Hughie’s previously absconding mother, Daphne Campbell (Rosemarie DeWitt), decided to honour her husband’s wishes. Hughie (Jack Quaid) spent the whole of episode 4 chasing Compound V, hoping to use the special blue chemical to save his father from his fate.

With the help of A-Train (Jessie T. Usher), he got his hands on a vial. But when it came time to inject it, Hughie resisted. It seemed he was finally ready to let his father go. So, in the closing moments of The Boys season 4 episode 4, when his father’s pulse suddenly quickened instead of flattening, Hughie was shocked. Then, he shot up from his deathbed with blue eyes. A cutaway shot seconds earlier revealed a blue substance flowing through the tube and into Hugh Sr.’s veins. Wait, what? If Hughie didn’t give him the Compound V, who did?

Naturally, Daphne is the only other contender. But where did she get the Compound V? It seems like that’s for episode 5 to answer. For now, we’re left only with questions.

Who is Daphne Campbell really?

Daphne Hughie’s mother The Boys season 4 episode 4
Hughie’s mother minutes before she injects her husband with Compound V // Photo: Prime Video

For the longest time, all we knew about Hughie’s mother came from Hughie. He hated her because she just packed up and left one day when he was six. As Hughie recounts in The Boys season 4 episode 2, she dropped him off at school on a Friday, promising to buy tickets to a Billy Joel concert. After she left, little Hughie spent a week by the front door because he believed his mother would be back. After all, she had promised him. No wonder he was heartbroken.

In the third episode, Daphne finally reveals her truth. She had Hughie when she was just 22 and suffered from postpartum depression. She pushed through it but “it never went away,” she says. Daphne did her best to hide it from everyone and even tried to kill herself, the day before she went away. She did try to contact Hughie, but Hugh Sr. didn’t think it was a great idea. He felt it would’ve confused Hughie. So, she gave up and admitted defeat.

But none of this tells us how Daphne can get her hands on Compound V. When we first see her, she’s peddling nonsensical Vought-affiliated products. That’s all we know about the years between her leaving Hughie and returning in season 4. She clearly knows someone high up who can get her access to a multi-billion-dollar product. What’s also interesting is why she changed her mind. Daphne was ready to let Hugh Sr. die earlier in episode 4.

What about Hughie’s Compound V vial?

Hughie The Boys season 4 episode 4
Jack Quaid as Hughie Campbell in The Boys season 4 episode 4 // Photo: Prime Video

It was Hughie who thought of injecting him with Compound V. Turns out his mother had the very same idea. And while Hughie relented, Daphne went ahead with it. And now, Hugh Sr.—and as a result, Pegg—finally has something to do in The Boys season 4 besides lying in a bed. Has the V simply brought him back to life? Or has it also given him superpowers?

Since Hughie didn’t end up using the vial he acquired, the Compound V he’s carrying now turns into a Chekhov’s gun of sorts. I’m sure it will play a role at some point in the second half of The Boys season 4. Maybe not with Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) though, given he says he already tried to use it to save himself. He stole the vial Frenchie (Tomer Capone) had in his stash and injected it. But to no avail—he’s still dying thanks to the V24 he took in season 3.

Regardless, there’s something weird going on with Butcher. Episode 4 revealed that there’s some sort of worm-type creature crawling under his skin. And when he was confronted by the long-armed supe Ezekiel (Shaun Benson) in Firecracker’s trailer, it seemed like the worm came to his rescue, blasting Ezekiel into a thousand little pieces. Very reminiscent of Eleven in Stranger Things. Does Butcher have some residual powers that he’s not aware of?

The Boys season 4 episode 4 is now streaming on Prime Video. Episode 5 is out Thursday, June 27.

Akhil Arora