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"The Self-Preservation Society" is the seventh episode of the first season of The Boys. It was released on July 26, 2019 on Amazon Prime Video. It is the seventh episode overall.


Never trust a washed-up Supe -- the Boys learn this lesson the hard way. Meanwhile, Homelander digs into his past, Starlight discovers that love hurts, and if you’re ever in Sandusky, Ohio and a girl asks if she can touch your gills, say NO and kindly speed walk away.


In a flashback 8 years ago, Butcher and his wife, Becca attend a Vought International's Christmas party. Homelander thanks Becca for handling his Twitter take-over, much to Billy's chagrin. Back in the present, Butcher watches as Hughie and Starlight meet at a hotel.

At the hotel, Starlight and Hughie have sex. Afterwards, Starlight questions why they are at a hotel, not at his place. Hughie confesses that it would perhaps be humiliating for her to meet his father, Hugh. Hughie admits to quitting his job after Robin's death.

The Deep checks himself into an apartment in Sandusky, following orders from Stillwell. The Deep questions if he'll be fighting crime, however is dismayed to find the lack of crime in the town. The Deep begins trying to write his memoir titled "Deeper: A Memoir".

On the track, A-Train is told to quit taking Compound V, with his coach revealing that his bone density is suffering, along with many other vital measurements. A-Train receives a message from Homelander to meet at Seven Tower. When he arrives, Homelander criticizes The Seven for having been unreliable and sloppy recently. Homelander shows The Seven a picture of Hughie, declaring that Hughie is responsible for the death of Translucent, blackmailing Mesmer, Ezekiel, and Popclaw. He throws it over to A-Train, who doesn't recognize Hughie … until the photo is zoomed out to show that it was from when they shook hands in that very room. Homelander also says that Hughie is targeting The Seven following Robin's death. Homelander begins to suspect Starlight for any possible involvement in aiding The Boys. Maeve is able to calm an angry Homelander, promising to take responsibility for Starlight and her future actions.

Hughie says that what The Boys are doing with Vought needs to stop, however, Butcher forces him to admit that his change of heart is due to Starlight. Billy becomes angry after Hughie mentions Becca. Hughie receives a phone call from A-Train who threatens his father, which leads to the rest of The Boys figuring out they've been caught out thanks to Mesmer.

At his house, A-Train discovers that Hughie was once a fan of The Seven and mocks Hughie that it was stupid to come alone. Hughie is able to negotiate his father's release from A-Train in exchange for a dose of Compound V. The two begin to debate over who was worse, with A-Train expressing his anger at Popclaw's death, retorting that Robin's death was accidental, whereas Hughie blackmailing Popclaw was on purpose. In a flash, Kimiko Miyashiro arrives, breaking A-Train's leg with a crowbar, with Hughie sarcastically remarking that it would have been stupid to come alone. The two then leave A-Train on the floor with a shattered leg.

At their home, Monique and Mother's Milk argue about M.M.'s involvement with Butcher, with Monique eventually agreeing to evacuate to a safe location.

Stillwell finishes a call with the Senator, revealing to Homelander that they only need 3 votes to get The Seven into the military. Homelander questions if Stillwell remembers Becca Butcher, revealing that she is missing, presumed dead. Homelander asks what happened to her, however Stillwell says that she presumed Becca just quit.

At a subway station, Butcher confronts a scared Mesmer, who pleads he did what he did out of fear of Homelander. Butcher physically attacks Mesmer, which allows him to read his thoughts. Mesmer attempts to convince Butcher that he can help him find his wife, but Butcher repeatedly smashes his head into a sink, killing him. In a flashback, a CIA Official, Grace Mallory, shows Butcher footage of Becca entering Homelander's office, then leaving, disheveled after being alone for three hours together. Mallory then recruits Butcher and the two would go on to found The Boys.

Starlight receives a call from Hughie, but declines after Maeve asks who it is. Maeve reveals about her history with Elena, revealing that caring about people is a weakness. Meave admits that the only way to truly be bulletproof is to cut people loose.

Frenchie attempts to find a secure location for The Boys for the night, while Hughie attempts to contact Starlight. Butcher introduces himself to Hughie's father and M.M.'s daughter, but is met with distaste from Monique, who slaps him across the face. M.M. confronts Butcher about the deal with Raynor, remarking that the only reason Butcher didn't take the deal was due to Homelander; M.M. begs Billy to call and take Raynor's deal for his family's sake.

Homelander questions Jonah Vogelbaum, a former scientist at Vought, about Rebecca Butcher. Jonah reveals that eight years ago Becca came to Stillwell after conceiving Homelander's child, which baffles Homelander, who was under the impression he was infertile. He reveals that both Becca and the child died on the delivery table due to the amount of blood loss. Jonah apologizes for how Homelander turned out, admitting that he was his greatest failure.

Raynor and the CIA arrive at Frenchie's hideout, wherein she promises to keep M.M.'s family and the rest of The Boys safe. Monique tells M.M. that she never wants to see him again, while he says goodbye to his child. Despite Homelander being out of the deal, Billy takes the deal with Raynor, handing over a vial of Compound V. Starlight contacts Hughie, distraught and asking to meet.

Raynor tells Stillwell that Vought has been caught out lying to the public about Supes and how they're created. Stillwell refuses to acknowledge Kimiko's existence, but is surprised when Raynor tells her to pull the military deal. Raynor remarks that they go back to being superheroes or the CIA goes public and tanks Vought shares. Raynor is pulled from the meeting early to be shown footage a SEAL team assault, ending with a Supe terrorist, Naqib blowing up their operatives and walking away unscathed.

Hughie meets with Starlight in the park, with Starlight questioning if Hughie killed Translucent. Starlight is upset that Hughie has been using her to get back at A-Train, grabbing Hughie and attempting to turn him into the police. Hughie is scared that he will be killed, however, Starlight admits Vought will want to drag out the trial. Starlight is surprised and confused when Hughie reveals the existence of Compound V. Billy arrives, shooting Starlight in the chest twice with a sniper rifle and allowing Hughie to run away.




  • The title of the episode is a reference to the 1969 song "It's Caper Time (The Self Preservation Society)" by Quincy Jones, which was made for the soundtrack of the film The Italian Job.
  • The title of the episode is also the title of Issues #31-34 of the comics.
  • When Hughie's father says "Jings," it's a nod to the Scottish slang exclamation Wee Hughie often says in the comics.
  • In the comics, Homelander knows who Billy Butcher and the Boys are from the beginning. It's established early on in the comics that the Boys and the Seven have been in an uneasy armistice for some time.
  • Grace Mallory is an adaptation of Greg Mallory from the comics. In both cases, Mallory was a CIA Case Officer who decided to start investigating superheroes.
  • Series co-creator Eric Kripke is originally from Ohio and thought it would be fun to have the Deep reassigned to Sandusky.
  • In the comics, Jonah Vogelbaum was a European scientist who was rescued by Vought-American and brought to America at the end of World War II to perfect the Compound V formula he'd been forced to engineer for the Nazis.
  • Jonah Vogelbaum's Greenwich, Connecticut mansion is actually the Parkwood Estate in Oshawa, Ontario, a popular location for filming.
  • The episode makes a reference to Ben Johnson, a Canadian former sprinter who was busted on steroid charges in 1988 and had several medals disqualified. Ten years later, Johnson participated in a charity race against two racehorses and a car. Johnson was outrun by the horses but he did beat the car after it experienced mechanical difficulties.
  • In the comic version of "The Self-Preservation Society," Queen Maeve also comes to Starlight's defense when Black Noir, A-Train, the Deep and Jack from Jupiter gang up on Starlight.
  • The moment when Starlight asks Queen Maeve if "it would kill her to make her a martini" comes directly from a moment in the comics - Issue #22, the conclusion of "I Tell You No Lie, G.I."
  • The episode makes a reference to Cedar Point, the second oldest amusement park in North America, dating back to 1870. Known as "America's Roller Coast," the park boasts a world-record 72 rides, including 17 roller coasters - the second most in the world behind Six Flags Magic Mountain.
  • The hotel where Hughie and Starlight have their liaison, is the same hotel Senator Calhoun stayed at and had his one-night stand with the shapeshifting supe Doppelgänger in episode 2 - an incident Madelyn Stillwell used to blackmail him into supporting supes in the military.
  • The Art Department was dedicated to creating a realistic looking world for the story, which included making toys that looked as if they could have come right off the shelves of an actual toy store, such as the A-Train 2016 Comicon Edition action figure Hughie owns.
  • Vogelbaum greets Homelander by calling him "John." This is the same birth name of Homelander in the comics.
  • In the episode the word Naqib is slightly mistranslated as 'Captain'. A more accurate translation would be either 'leader' or 'he who investigates/verifies'. A third option is 'representative', which would be quite fitting for the character in question.
  • In the comics, Susan Rayner and the CIA are aware of Compound V from the beginning and even have samples of it on hand. In fact, when Billy Butcher administers Compound V to Wee Hughie in the comics, he obtains the sample from Rayner.




TV series The Boys Episodes
Season One
1. The Name of the Game • 2. Cherry • 3. Get Some • 4. The Female of the Species • 5. Good for the Soul • 6. The Innocents • 7. The Self-Preservation Society • 8. You Found Me
Season Two
1. The Big Ride • 2. Proper Preparation and Planning • 3. Over the Hill with the Swords of a Thousand Men • 4. Nothing Like It in the World • 5. We Gotta Go Now • 6. The Bloody Doors Off • 7. Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker • 8. What I Know
Season Three
1. Payback • 2. The Only Man in the Sky • 3. Barbary Coast • 4. Glorious Five Year Plan • 5. The Last Time to Look on This World of Lies • 6. Herogasm • 7. Here Comes a Candle to Light You to Bed • 8. The Instant White-Hot Wild
Season Four
1. Department of Dirty Tricks • 2. Life Among the Septics • 3. We'll Keep the Red Flag Flying Here • 4. Wisdom of the Ages• 5. Beware of the Jabberwock, My Son • 6. Dirty Business • 7. The Insider • 8. Assassination Run