“The Boys” Season 4 Episode 6: The Butcher-Kessler twist was always right under our noses

Contains spoilers for “The Boys”

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: In “The Boys” Season 4, Joe Kessler, Billy Butcher’s old army friend, makes a surprise debut in the premiere. Their reunion suggests a deep history, with Butcher once saving Kessler’s life during their time in service.

During the season, Kessler appears, prompting Butcher to pursue revenge against Homelander, even at the cost of his morals. He portrays Butcher as a necessary force, pushing him toward drastic actions, such as targeting Ryan.

Despite encouraging Butcher’s harsh methods and criticizing The Boys’ effectiveness, Kessler’s true motives gradually unfold, revealing a complex character with ulterior motives.

Billy Butcher has been imagining Joe Kessler this whole time

Jeffrey Dean Morgan in a photo film of
Jeffrey Dean Morgan in photo shoot of “The Boys” (@primevideo)

In a surprising twist in “The Boys” Season 4, Episode 6, Joe Kessler is revealed to be a figment of Billy Butcher’s imagination. During the season, Butcher hallucinates Kessler, believing that he is urging him to take action.

However, Kessler does not exist outside of Butcher’s mind and does not influence his actions.

Butcher’s visions of Kessler parallel his hallucinations of Becca in Season 4. Becca represents Butcher’s empathy and morality, while Kessler embodies his darker impulses.

Kessler acts as Butcher’s inner voice, encouraging his violent tendencies and justifying extreme actions.

Meanwhile, Becca acts as a conscience, defying Butcher’s anger and aggression. These hallucinations illustrate Butcher’s internal struggle between revenge and his humanity, shaping his decisions throughout the latest episodes of the Prime Video series.

Why did Joe Kessler call himself Butcher’s “Devil”?

Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Karl Urban, and Shantel VanSanten in a photo shoot by
Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Karl Urban, and Shantel VanSanten in a photoshoot from “The Boys” (@primevideo)

It’s clear why Becca serves as Butcher’s moral compass in “The Boys.” However, viewers might question why Butcher’s inner demon manifests as Joe Kessler. There are two plausible reasons behind this choice.

First, Kessler shares Butcher’s intense hatred of Supes. While the real Kessler remains unseen, Butcher imagines him based on their mutual enmity towards Supes, symbolizing their toxic influence on each other.

Second, Kessler represents Butcher’s guilt. Butcher blames himself for Kessler’s death and struggles with conflicting desires – to exterminate all Supes and remain loyal to his team.

Kessler embodies Butcher’s remorse and self-blame, serving as a constant reminder of his inner turmoil in “The Boys.”

The hints that Joe Kessler was imaginary were all there

Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Karl Urban in a photo shoot by
Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Karl Urban in a photoshoot from “The Boys” (@primevideo)

In “The Boys” Season 4, the twist about Kessler is hinted at before his reveal in Episode 6. The series drops clues that Kessler is not real by showing that he only interacts with Butcher.

In the premiere, Kessler contacts Butcher when MM and the CIA are busy elsewhere, and he mainly appears when Butcher is alone, such as at his apartment or in the park.

During Butcher’s scenes with Sameer in Season 4, Kessler is present, but Sameer never acknowledges him. Kessler even threatens Sameer without any reaction from the scientist.

These moments make it clear that Butcher is the only one who can see Kessler, a fact confirmed later in ‘The Boys’.

Was it Joe Kessler who killed Ezekiel?

Shaun Benson as Ezekiel in a still from
Shaun Benson as Ezekiel in a still from “The Boys” (@primevideo)

In “The Boys” Season 4, Episode 6, the truth about Joe Kessler is revealed, along with hints about Butcher’s involvement in Ezekiel’s death.

Butcher confronts Ezekiel in a dangerous encounter where he almost dies, but he wakes up to find Ezekiel dead in the Firecracker trailer, torn apart.

Kessler’s cryptic words to Butcher, “I killed Ezekiel for you”, and his affirmation of being “inside” Butcher, imply a deeper connection.

These statements indicate that Butcher’s abilities, possibly linked to his altered state of Compound V, are linked to his perception of Kessler.

It is suggested that Butcher can only tap into these powers when he embraces his darker impulses, despite being unaware of his changed nature.

What does the Butcher-Kessler twist mean for “The Boys”?

Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Karl Urban in a photo shoot by
Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Karl Urban in a photoshoot from “The Boys” (@primevideo)

The Kessler twist in “The Boys” Season 4, Episode 6 is a significant reveal that could shape the future of the show.

In Season 4 of “The Boys”, facing imminent death, Butcher is unexpectedly saved by Kessler, prompting speculation about Butcher’s survival into Season 5.

Given Butcher’s crucial role, it’s unlikely the show would end without him, suggesting that Kessler’s role might ensure his continued presence.

The idea that Kessler is linked to Butcher’s Supe abilities, representing his darker side, suggests a possible parallel with the character’s arc in the comics. In the source material, Butcher evolves into a villain intent on exterminating all Supes.

Season 4 moves him closer to that path, where Kessler shows enthusiasm for using a virus against Supes, a plan Butcher initially opposes but could possibly adopt as the series progresses.

Trailer “The Boys”.

6 episodes of “The Boys” are available to stream on Prime Video.

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