Simon Pegg as Hugh Campbell, Sr., in The Boys
(Amazon Prime Video)

‘The Boys’ Season 4 Sets Up a Surprisingly Dark Storyline for Hughie’s Father

While Hughie’s (Jack Quaid) father, Hugh Campbell Sr. (Simon Pegg), has always been an occasional bright spot in Prime Video’s The Boys, his story has taken a surprisingly dark turn in season 4.

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Spoilers ahead for The Boys season 4 so far!

The Boys is filled with characters who had very traumatic childhoods and horrible parents. Hence, Hugh Sr. has always stood out as one of the few examples of a good parent in the show besides M.M. (Laz Alonso). It is established early on that he was a single father after Hughie’s mother left him and abandoned their son. However, he appeared to give Hughie a good childhood, and the pair enjoyed a close relationship as adults. When Hughie’s girlfriend is killed by A-Train (Jessie T. Usher), Hugh tries to support his son and urges him to take a settlement from Vought to avoid getting mixed up in the world of supes.

Eventually, Hughie’s involvement with The Boys endangers his father, leading Hugh Sr. to go into protective custody with the CIA. As a result, he isn’t around much in seasons 2 and 3, although he occasionally calls his son and reminds viewers he’s still safe. Season 4, though, promises to give Hugh an entirely new role in The Boys.

Does Hughie’s father die in The Boys season 4?

Hugh’s story takes an unexpectedly tragic turn in The Boys season 4 when Hughie gets a phone call that his father suffered a stroke and is in a coma in the hospital. Although Hugh hasn’t been shown much in The Boys, a few things were going on offscreen. For one, it’s revealed that he and his son had drifted apart, with Hughie declining his father’s calls. However, he would still leave voicemails for his son, usually talking about books. During this period of distance, Hugh also reconnected with Hughie’s estranged mother, Daphne (Rosemarie DeWitt).

According to Daphne, the pair grew close enough that Hugh allegedly gave her his medical power of attorney. Hence, it’s her call whether Hugh is removed from his feeding tube after the doctors confirm he is brain dead. Desperate to save his father, Hughie seeks out A-Train and convinces him to get him Compound-V to give to his father. Although Hughie secures the Compound-V, he immediately begins questioning his choices, especially when Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) warns him not to do it, as he doesn’t believe it will cure Hugh Sr. Initially, it seemed The Boys was building up to a heartbreaking but meaningful ending for Hugh, which would see Hughie make the difficult but correct decision to follow his father’s wishes and let him go.

However, things take a surprising turn when Hughie steps out of the hospital room for a minute, only to return and find that Daphne has gone ahead and injected Hugh with the Compound-V. At the end of the episode, as Compound-V enters his blood, Hugh’s eyes suddenly open as the serum seemingly prevents his death. Although he doesn’t appear to be dead, we’re not entirely sure what he actually is.

What The Boys’ plot twist means for Hugh

The best-case scenario for Hugh in The Boys season 4 is that the Compound-V heals him, and he goes on to live a happy life with superpowers. However, this is The Boys we’re talking about, and things rarely go smoothly when supes and serums are involved. First of all, the serum’s purpose is to give individuals superpowers. It is certainly not some magical elixir meant to resurrect the dead or heal every malady. According to Butcher, he took it to heal his brain tumor, but the Compound-V only shortened the amount of time he had left.

So, it’s unclear if the drug even reversed Hugh’s brain-dead state. One theory that has arisen is that he may still be brain dead, resulting in the Compound-V turning him into a superpowered zombie. However, in The Boys Presents: Diabolical, there is one story of a woman with late-stage cancer who is cured and given superpowers by Compound-V, although it turns her tumor sentient. So, it’s impossible to predict whether the Compound-V will reverse his condition or not.

Meanwhile, whether he is conscious or not, Hugh will have some kind of superpowers. Even if he is alert, waking from a coma with superpowers for the first time sounds like a recipe for disaster. Depending on what his powers are, he could accidentally hurt lots of people. As Gen V explored, many supes accidentally kill people when their powers first come in because they’re extremely powerful and have no idea how to control their abilities. Regardless of how Compound-V impacts him, it’s pretty clear that things are going to turn dark for Hugh.

Although it will be interesting to see what happens to Hugh in The Boys, it is a little upsetting that one of the least problematic characters in the show may go on an accidental supe rampage. It’s yet another reminder that no one is ever safe in The Boys so long as supes and Compound-V exist.

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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.