In a surprising and uncomfortable scene, the character of Homelander from The Boys is seen milking a cow in season 3. While the character has been displaying milk fixation since season 1, his fetish has roots in his dreadful childhood. One of the mightiest superheroes of the series, he has managed to take love for milk to an unsettling level.
Homelander’s fixation on milk gives a sneak peek into his sad backstory that also explains many of his other behavioral traits such as his violent acts and impulsiveness. Moreover, his confusing relationship with Madelyn Stillwell also has a foundation in his disturbed childhood.
The reason for his peculiar behavior lies in the fact that he is a lab-grown human and didn’t have a proper family, thereby failing to develop a bond with a parental figure, particularly a mother.
He was born and raised in the Vought lab, where scientists kept experimenting on him. Instead of love, he got indifference from the people who expected the child to cooperate. Moreover, he had a hydrogen bomb strapped to his body until he agreed to cooperate. It is thus not a surprise that after growing up, he would continue to seek the parental love he never got.
As a grown man, Homelander’s loneliness manifested itself in peculiar ways, key among them being his obsession for milk. This is particularly evident in his jealousy towards Stillwell’s infant, whom she breastfeeds, or him secretly watching her as she bottles her pumped breastmilk.
There is also a scene in The Boys season 1 where Stillwell pretends to nurse him while cradling his head in her lap like a baby.
While he killed Madelyn Stillwell in rage over Ryan, he missed her, as shown in season 2. He then lurks around her space, drinking the milk she had bottled for her child.
This complicated relationship owes its basis to his lack of healthy parental love when young. It may be that he killed her because he couldn’t accept that her maternal attitude was just a performance.
In season 3, fans find Homelander milking a cow and then drinking out of the pail, taking his love for milk to another level. In the act of milking, he showcases a mix of two feelings – being aghast and feeling pleasure. In fact, actor Antony Starr, who plays Homelander, confessed to finding the act disgusting.
There are about five occasions spread over different seasons of the show that draw focus on the superhero’s fetish with milk. In four of these situations, he seems to draw mental strength from the milk-drinking process.
However, the intimate scene from The Boys season 1 where Madelyn pretends to nurse him shows the need for maternal love twisted into adult longing.
Homelander’s appreciation for a mother figure is also seen in the way he supports strong females around him. When he admires Queen Maeve or Stormfront, it stems from his admiration for the mother he never had. Treated as a scientific specimen, The Boys superhero’s craving for a healthy relationship has scarred him from within, something that often manifests itself in different ways.