‘The Boys’ Season 3: Episode 3 – Recap And Ending, Explained – What Was Operation Charly? Is Soldier Boy Alive?


In the previous episode, i.e., “The Boys” Season 3: Episode 2, Soldier Boy’s side-kick, Gunpowder, told Billy that the C.I.A. took them on a case job in Nicaragua during Nixon’s reign, from where Soldier Boy disappeared. The head of operations was none other than Grace Mallory, and thus, Billy didn’t waste a moment and paid a visit to Mallory in “The Boys” Season 3: Episode 3. Other than shedding more light on the mystery surrounding Soldier Boy, the episode also celebrates Homelander’s little victory after his game-changing speech in the previous episode. A minor victory for Homelander comes at a high cost for Starlight, the new co-captain of “The Seven,” who is sadistically bullied by Homelander yet endures the tortures because Hughie wants her to buy some time so that Billy can find out more about “B.C.L. R.E.D.,” a secret weapon that likely wounded the invincible Soldier Boy.

Deep Makes A Comeback To ‘The Seven’

People loved Homelander’s unfiltered speech that he gave during his birthday event, and as a result, his public rating increased by some 21 points, while Homelander and Starlight’s Q Rating touched the 98% mark, which gave Homelander the idea to torment her co-captain further. To take a dig at Starlight, Homelander brought Deep back to “The Seven,” who had sexually assaulted Starlight in Season 1, and was removed from the team by Madelyn Stillwell. Hence, no matter what influential powers Starlight’s contract with Stan Edgar gave her, it all went down the drain as soon as Homelander’s P.R. rating rose. After the general public accepted his true identity, he began acting erratically without regard for anyone or anything, not even the recorded footage of Flight 37, which Queen Maeve and Starlight were using against Homelander. He threatened Starlight and told her that if she dared to release that video, then he would be forced to wipe out the entire New York City from the face of the earth. And this would just be the beginning of Homelander’s wrath.

After this threat, Starlight wanted to leave the team as soon as possible, but Hughie requested her to stay in and buy some time for them so that they could find the ultimate weapon that Butcher had been hunting for, to blow up Homelander’s head. Starlight decided to tolerate all that humiliation so that Hughie could feel victorious once in his life. At the “American Superhero Event Finale,” Homelander not only introduced Deep but also took in Supersonic, Starlight’s ex-boyfriend, in order to create further conflicts in her life. His decision to choose Supersonic was also influenced by the fact that the other two deserving candidates were women (of different race), and it didn’t go well with Homelander’s extremist beliefs. At the end of the event, Homelander declared on national television that he and Starlight are in love and are going to continue their relationship further. Starlight was shocked to the core, yet kissed Homelander during the shoot just to buy some time for Hughie. Earlier in her childhood, she made compromises for her mother and now for her boyfriend. Her frustration would eventually transform into anger, and that is apparently going to create complications in her relationship.

Operation Charly And Soldier Boy’s Disappearance In Nicaragua

After revealing the truth about Victoria Neuman, Hughie decided to return back to the team and help Billy, Marvin, and Frenchie to fight against Vought. Billy took them to the location where Grace Mallory was living with Ryan, and finally asked her about her secret case job in Nicaragua in 1984.

Mallory told the team about “Operation Charly,” a secret project commissioned by Ronald Reagan. To combat communism, Reagan secretly funded Contra Rebels to fight against Russian-backed Sandinistas, and to fund the project; they began selling arms to Iran. But that was not the end of it. To get money to buy more guns, the C.I.A. tasked Grace Mallory with smuggling coke, owned by the Contra Rebels, into the U.S. and later used the profits for their covert operation. In simple words, the Reagan government buried their hands in all kinds of dirt in their fight against the Reds. There was also an unwritten policy according to which the smugglers were directed to sell cocaine strictly to the neighborhood of the minorities in order to take down two enemies with a single shot and thereby promote their agenda of white supremacy.

In late 1984, when the operation was in full swing, the officials sent superhero team Payback to assist Mallory in her mission. However, soon Mallory realized that the entire Payback team, consisting of juvenile Gunpowder, Crimson Countess, Swatto, Mindstorm, the T.N.T. Twins, and Black Noir, were nothing but a bunch of buffoons who had the full potential to jeopardize the whole mission. She especially despised the Soldier Boy, who, like an enthusiastic college boy, flaunted his skills and started hitting on Mallory. Probably because of his childish behavior, he is called a ‘boy.’ Mallory wanted to get rid of them, but Standford Edgar, an associate of Vought American (at that time), told him that Vought had entered into a special partnership with the American government in the global war against communism, and under this new association, the U.S. government allowed the admission of superheroes into the military for the first time in 30 years. Hence, Vought’s plan to get their foot into the military was not new but was an ambition from the beginning of the affairs. When Mallory tried to send them away, Edgar showed her a special permission letter signed by Mallory’s senior, Director Casey, and thus, unwillingly, she had to allow a bunch of idiots to fight alongside the Contra Rebels.

In this flashback, we are also introduced to Black Noir, or Earving, who was an African-American hiding behind a mask as America wasn’t ready to accept a black superhero. Edgar shared a special bond with Noir, which is the reason why he entrusted him with the most crucial missions even in the present time and also made him a part of “The Seven” after Payback was disassembled. It was for the first time when “The Boys” Season 3 introduced Soldier Boy on screen, and from his actions and looks, we are certain that he was no less troublemaker than Homelander, and hence could turn up as a potential antagonist for this season.

Nevertheless, as other superheroes soaked themselves under the bright sun, Swatto, the buzzing bee, went for a stroll in the open sky and was spotted by the Sandinistas, who quickly armed themselves and attacked Contra Rebel’s base. The Sandinistas had brought Russian forces with them, and Gunpowder shot down everyone around them, even the Contra Rebels. Black Noir, who didn’t want to wear his mask and reveal his true face to the world, suffered from severe wounds on his face, because of which he was compelled to wear a mask forever. The Russians, on the other hand, used the diversion and triggered a special device to combat Soldier Boy and took his body away with them on a helicopter. And, even though Crimson Countess believed that Soldier Boy was dead, it is more likely that he might have procured some injuries as he is about to make a comeback in the upcoming episodes, as depicted in the Season 3 trailer.

In the end, the government gave Vought full immunity while Mallory lost some 116 men, and thus, in order to take revenge, she initiated her long battle with the pharmaceutical giant.

‘The Boys’ Season 3: Episode 3 – Butcher Plans A Trip To Russia

Billy The Butcher had been acting strangely throughout the entire “The Boys” Season 3, probably after he injected himself with unstable V24 in the previous episode. His heart had been racing, his blood smelled funny, and he felt pukish throughout the episode, which could be a side effect of the serum. But he ignored all of these, as for him, the only thing that mattered was to take revenge on all the superheroes in the world, especially Homelander. Mallory told Billy that she hid information about Operation Charly and the special superweapon because she knew that Billy would go hunting for it after Homelander raped Becca, and he probably wouldn’t just stop with Homelander, but would eventually turn himself into a “supe-terminator,” killing hundreds of innocent super-humans who were injected with Compound V without their will.

Billy might have promised everyone around him that he would never turn out like his father, a ruthless, heartless man, but gradually he was falling prey to his genetics. When Ryan asked Billy to spend some time with him and stay at the house for a little longer, Billy rudely reminded him how he killed his own mother. From this whole conversation, it seems like Billy values revenge more than love or family, and his blind obsession with it will probably become his downfall.

As soon as Billy returned to his office, Frenchie told him about a Russian smuggler, Little Nina, who forcefully took Frenchie to her shop and inquired about Frenchie’s ex-girlfriend, Cherie, who had stolen 11 kilos of drugs from Nina. Earlier in the episode, Cherie lied to Frenchie that she was robbed and therefore asked for some fake passports so that she could run away. Nina offered a job to Frenchie to work for her, but Frenchie didn’t want to get himself into that mess again. He was happy with his new life with Kimiko, but when Billy asked Frenchie to arrange a meeting with Nina, Frenchie couldn’t refuse. Billy wanted to eagerly go to Russia to find out about Soldier Boy and the ultimate weapon the Reds had developed to take down super-humans. However, if Nina would arrange this trip to Russia for Frenchie, then he would inevitably have to work for her in order to return the favor. So, on his path to vengeance, Billy is not only going to drown himself but also his teammates, and we hope that he does realize that before it gets too late.

See More: ‘The Boys’ Season 3: Episode 2 – Recap And Ending, Explained – Is Stormfront Dead?

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Shikhar Agrawal
Shikhar Agrawal
I am an Onstage Dramatist and a Screenwriter. I have been working in the Indian Film Industry for the past 12 years, writing dialogues for various films and television shows.

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