‘Gen V’ Showrunner Breaks Down the Season 1 Finale, Ties to ‘the Boys’

  • Warning: There are major spoilers ahead for season one of Prime Video’s “Gen V.”
  • Showrunner Michele Fazekas spoke to Insider about the finale’s cliffhanger and cameo from Homelander.
  • Fazekas also revealed how Rihanna’s “Desperado” ended up in the episode.

In its freshman season, “The Boys” spin-off “Gen V” has proven that, like its parent show, it has just as much guts and willingness to go to unexpected (often gory) places.

Season one of “Gen V” concluded on Thursday night, with Cate Dunlap (Maddie Phillips) and Sam Riordan (Asa Germann) forming an alliance and freeing captives from the secret Vought facility located below Godolkin University, known as The Woods.

The rogue supes unleashed mayhem on campus — set to Rihanna’s “Desperado” — until an appearance from the leader of The Seven put an end to the massacre. The episode’s cliffhanger, which showed Marie Moreau (Jaz Sinclair), Andre Anderson (Chance Perdomo), Emma Meyer (Lizze Broadway), and Jordan Li (London Thor) in what appeared to be a Vought-run room, teased what’s to come when “Gen V” returns for season two.

Showrunner and executive producer Michele Fazekas sat down virtually with Insider Friday to answer burning questions about the finale’s most notable moments, from that Homelander (Antony Starr) appearance to Marie and Emma tapping into their powers in new ways. 

London Thor as Jordan, Jaz Sinclair as Marie, and Lizze Broadway as Emma on season one, episode eight of "Gen V."

London Thor as Jordan, Jaz Sinclair as Marie, and Lizze Broadway as Emma on season one, episode eight of “Gen V.”

Brooke Palmer/Prime Video

Jumping into the finale, I know characters have come up against Homelander and have survived, but I was still impressed by Marie. She’s so young. She’s so new to us. So my first thing is, is season two going to actually show us what happened to her in that moment?

I will neither confirm or deny that. And also we’re just at the beginning of breaking season two, but even if I knew the answer to that, I wouldn’t tell you.

But I think you’re right that Homelander has lasered people before, and they didn’t die. And I think what you could reasonably take away is he only kills people when he has no use for them. So I feel like he has a use for these people one way or another.

I think a lot of people assumed that maybe some students would end up in The Seven by the end, and instead, the season ends with the scene that you just mentioned where four of them are locked up somewhere. So can you talk about why that scene, that cliffhanger, felt like the right way to cap off the season?

As opposed to one of them ending up on The Seven?

I personally don’t think that was ever going to be a thing by the end.

You’re right to assume that, yes.

Just the decision to end with that specific scene and that cliffhanger.

I think it did two things. There’s a conclusion to the story, and the conclusion isn’t great. They’re OK, they’re not dead, but they don’t know what’s going to happen next, and they don’t know who even is holding onto them. But they also know that they’ve come to a very disillusioned place where everything you thought was true, and everything you thought you wanted, is maybe not what you wanted.

I always like setting up, in storytelling, the notion that anything can happen, but this one thing can definitely not happen — and then you make it happen. Anything can happen, but definitely don’t open up The Woods — and then you open up The Woods, and then you see what happens. So that’s sort of how we got to that ending. We knew at some point in episode eight we were going to just open it up. And then we went where the story took us.

Jaz Sinclair as Marie on season one, episode eight of "Gen V."

Jaz Sinclair as Marie on season one, episode eight of “Gen V.”

Amazon Studios

And in all the chaos unleashing, how easy or difficult was it to get Rihanna’s “Desperado” approved for use?

Really hard. I learned a lot about rights and split rights and rights disputes. So it’s not Rihanna’s fault; it’s just that there are multiple people claiming ownership of this, and it’s many lawsuits or legal disputes. And so yeah, it’s a really good lesson. Don’t shoot a scene where someone is lip-synching to a song unless you definitely know you can clear it.

I think it’s one of the many great needle drops on the show, so I’m glad you guys got that in there.

Our music supervisors were terrific. Although I have to say the writer, Brant Englestein, chose that song, and it was in the script that way.

I love it. It works really well. I saw fans saying they liked it, too.


Also, in the finale, Marie and Emma unlock different ways to use their powers. Marie uses other people’s blood instead of her own, and Emma shrinks after her fight. So, what was happening with Emma specifically? I have to assume there’s more to it than just shrinking because of crying. I mean, this cannot be the first time she’s cried. So, can you talk about the Emma scene a bit more and what was happening there?

We even saw in episode seven Marie developed a new understanding of her power when she met Neuman. She could actually sense the V in Neuman’s blood.

So I like the idea that they’re young; they don’t really know the extent of their powers. Cardosa said that. And so, in different ways, they’re all sort of evolving their understanding of themselves because it’s a metaphor for how we understand ourselves, even as young adults.

So for Emma, this is the first time that’s happened to her, and it’s the first time she’s realized, oh, my power doesn’t have to be connected to purging or bingeing. But it also is a bit of a problem because it happened without her being able to control it; it sort of happens. So it’s interesting. And then the other question is, well, can you separate her eating disorder from the power? Does the eating disorder exist with or without the power? So those are all questions that that raises.

Lizze Broadway as Emma on season one, episode eight of "Gen V."

Lizze Broadway as Emma on season one, episode eight of “Gen V.”

Prime Video

And do you think that there’s any truth to what Sam said to her, where he said that she would do anything for people to like her? That was part of her story earlier in the season, but do you think it still applies to her by the end of season one?

I think she’s grown. I think it still is in there. And I think even the most self-assured, self-confident person has moments of that. But I agree. I think she has grown to understand that maybe she doesn’t need outside validation all the time. But I don’t think she’s there yet. I think it’s something that she’s just starting to understand about herself.

And I think, realistically, it just wouldn’t happen over the course of one season of the show.


And with Sam, he stops those hallucinations of Luke after he asks Cate to push him to feel nothing. So is there a possibility of more Luke in flashbacks or hallucinations, or is Sam done with him in that sense?

I can’t answer that right now. You mean for season two? I can’t answer that. What are you talking about? [Laughs.]

Well, I was curious. I had to ask anyway. Now I know there are so many good cameos from “The Boys” characters. Was there another character that you wanted to integrate from that show that couldn’t happen because it just didn’t make sense for the story, or there were other scheduling conflicts and such?

Because we were really targeted and careful about cameos, I didn’t want to load up the show with characters from another show because then, at a certain point, it’s like, “Well then, do you even really need ‘Gen V’ if you’re just going to constantly have characters from ‘The Boys?'” So no, I don’t ever feel like, “Oh, we couldn’t make it work, so we’ll just have to do something else.” I think everything happened the way we hoped it would happen.

Antony Starr as Homelander on season one, episode eight of "Gen V."

Antony Starr as Homelander on season one, episode eight of “Gen V.”

Amazon Studios

The last thing I’ll ask you now that the finale’s out, how would you describe “Gen V’s” overall message? And is there a particular scene from the finale or elsewhere that underlines that message for you?

The message is, I think there’s an assumption that a lot of us have, that you have to go it alone, that you can’t really rely on other people for help, and you really have to be self-sufficient, relying on yourself. And it’s like, no, actually, there is no point to life if you’re just going through it by yourself. And as much as you can gather your people around you and people who will help you and you’ll help them, it just makes your life better.

I think that’s infused throughout the final episode. And in sad ways, too. I think Cate really wants her friends to understand, “I’m doing this for you. I’m doing this because I love you, and I don’t understand why you don’t see that.” So it’s in everybody. They don’t always get what they want, but it’s in there.

All episodes of “Gen V” are now streaming on Prime Video.

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