If you’ve been watching Prime Video‘s hit The Boys spinoff Gen V, you know that there’s one, primary mystery. What is The Woods on Gen V? We got teases of this particular secret as early as the first episode. But now, with the Gen V season finale mere days away, we pretty definitively know the answer to that question.
Or at least, we probably do. This series has piled on the twists and turns pretty hard, so it’s possible that by the time Gen V Episode 8, “The Guardians of Godolkin,” streams on Thursday, what we thought we knew about The Woods could turn out to be entirely wrong.
But for the purposes of little things like “staying sane,” let’s imagine that what we know about The Woods right now is the final answer to the question. So, let’s get to it.
What Is The Woods In Gen V? The Woods, Explained:
Simply put, The Woods is a secret facility underneath Godolkin University, the school for superheroes that is central to the show’s plot. It seems to be located underneath the Lamplighter School of Crimefighting building. That said, the facility might stretch underneath the entire campus.
It’s called The Woods because of the wallpaper in the hallways, which depicts a forest full of ominously cheerful animals. But what it actually is, is a prison and medical experimentation facility run by the Vought Corporation. Given the company’s recent PR troubles once it was revealed that superheroes aren’t born, they’re created by injecting babies with a substance called Compound V, it’s pretty obvious why they’d want to keep yet another dicey medical facility off the books.
That said, those in the Vought Corporation definitely know about it, like Ashley Barrett (Colby Minifie), the CEO of the corporation. And it seems to be run by whoever happens to be the Dean of the school at the time. Previously that was Brink (Clancy Brown), and as of Episode 7, “Sick,” that was Dean Indira Shetty (Shelley Conn)… Up until she slit her own throat. Also working at The Woods is Dr. Cardosa (Marco Pigossi). Or at least, he was until his head got blown up last episode. Uh oh, who is running The Woods now? Is it me? Am I running The Woods? I hope not!
Who Is In The Woods?
This isn’t explicitly stated at any point, but it seems like those held prisoner in The Woods are a combination of Godolkin students, and Supes considered too dangerous for even hellholes like the Red River Institute. Basically, anyone Vought feels free disappearing and presumes nobody will care.
As we’ve seen throughout Gen V Season 1, people care a lot about Sam Riordan (Asa Germann), or at least enough to rescue him from The Woods. Other prisoners include Betsy, an electric Supe who was killed by Cardosa’s virus (more on that in a second), and even Luke Riordan, aka Golden Boy (Patrick Schwarzenegger).
There are also several masked, generic guards, including two who are named Bob and Greg and everyone keeps mixing them up. It’s a fun bit!
What Is The Purpose Of The Woods?
It’s entirely possible multiple experiments are going on in The Woods, but there are two we know about for sure. The first is taking Sam’s blood, and putting it in Luke to make him stronger — that is until Luke found out about all this, killed Brink, and then blew himself up out of guilt. The second, and the big plot driver for the season, is a virus Cardosa has been developing.
At the urging of Shetty, Cardosa first makes the virus more virulent, so it creates pustulant sores all over Supes before ultimately killing them. And then he makes it communicable, by bodily fluids. As far as we know, the virus stopped at that stage, though Shetty did ask him to make it airborne so she could kill every Supe on Earth. We never got to find out if that did happen, though Cardosa did give future Vice President Victoria Neuman (Claudia Doumit) the only sample of the virus before she blew up his head.
As for the purpose of The Woods going into Gen V Episode 8? That’s TBD, but the season finale promo does seem to tease the end of The Woods. Specifically, Cate (Maddie Phillips) is freeing all the Supes being held in the facility. Does that mean The Woods is over? And if so, can I get some of that wallpaper? No particular reason.