While there is no shortage of villains in the Amazon Prime The Boys series, from the Fishman sex abuser (Chace Crawford) to the A-Train multiple murderers (Jessie Usher), no one is more terrifying than The Protector (Antony Starr). The combination of his refusal to accept no as an answer, his anger when challenged, and the powers that make him almost indestructible results in a dangerous mix that makes almost everyone he interacts with fear him – with the notable exception of his fans and Stan Edgar (Giancarlo Esposito), Vought’s big boss. Although the fear he inspires in people has surfaced in many encounters, the most egregious examples so far are the Protector’s interactions with Vought’s superheroine, Queen Maeve (Dominique McElligott).
The tension between the two overpowered individuals has been apparent since the beginning of The Boys, and one of their main sources of conflict is the fact that they were once a couple. The reality of their break-up remained a sore point for the Protector, and although the cause of their breakup was never discussed in the series, a deleted scene from Season 1 sheds light on the circumstances that brought it about.
There was friction between the Protector and Queen Maeve even when they were together
In a deleted scene from Season 1 of The Boys, Queen Maeve is seen taking a moment for her in the bathroom when the Protector steps in, reminiscent of a Congressional Medal of Honor ceremony they attended when they were still in a relationship. The Protector points out that Maeve hesitated as he took his hand, and he indicates that this is the moment she started to pull away from him. Maeve replies that the Protector’s cheating is the reason for their breakup, but when the Protector observes that her heart rate has increased, Maeve is clearly shaken.
While that doesn’t provide a clear picture of why the two monkeys went their separate ways, it sheds some more light on what happened. It has been evident for some time that Maeve is afraid of Homeland, a fear that has proven to be justified given the abusive and domineering nature of Homeland. The Protector’s infidelity, however, is a new wrinkle, though entirely in keeping with the character. This scene also demonstrates that what made Maeve fearful of the Protector didn’t start after their breakup, but rather while they were still in a relationship.
The interaction further serves to underline the Protector’s controlling nature: He considers his partner’s slightest reluctance to take his hand as a personal affront and has held this idea in mind as a grudge for years. Maeve finally found the courage to stand up to him, which was a pivotal moment in the Season 2 finale and is sure to affect the dynamics of their relationship. It remains to be seen how that plays out when The Boys return for their third season.