'The Boys' Finally Unveils the Reason Behind Hughie's Mom's Absence (SPOILERS)

"I took you to school, and I left. I didn't want to, but it was life or death for me," Hughie's mom, Daphne, tells him in Season 4 of 'The Boys.'

Allison DeGrushe - Author
By

Jun. 13 2024, Published 3:48 p.m. ET

Rosemarie DeWitt as Hughie's mom, Daphne Campbell, in Season 4 of 'The Boys.'
Source: Prime Video

Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers from Season 4, Episodes 1-3 of The Boys.

Content warning: This article discusses depression and suicide.

Season 4 of The Boys is finally here and ready to shake things up by officially introducing audiences to Hughie's (Jack Quaid) absentee mom, Daphne Campbell (Rosemarie DeWitt). In earlier seasons, we got hints about her backstory; not only did she leave Hughie when he was just six years old, but she is the reason for his love of Billy Joel.

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And now, with his mother back in the picture, Hughie is less than thrilled. His festering resentment surfaces, but things escalate when his dad, Hugh Sr. (Simon Pegg), suffers a stroke — leaving Daphne with complete control over his medical decisions.

Despite the weight of the current situation, Hughie can't help but be compelled to address his mother's abandonment of the family years ago. Well, why did Daphne leave him? Read on for the heartbreaking details.

Rosemarie DeWitt as Hughie's mom, Daphne Campbell, in Season 4 of 'The Boys.'
Source: Prime Video
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Why did Hughie's mom leave him in 'The Boys'?

In the second episode, titled "Life Among the Septics," Hughie arrives at the hospital and confronts his mom. Reflecting on their last interaction, Hughie vividly remembers the Friday she walked him to school. She had promised to buy them tickets to see Billy Joel, leaving him "vibrating with excitement" for the rest of the day.

However, she disappeared from his life after that — until now. Hughie even shares how he spent a week standing by the front door, reassuring his dad she would return, only to face total disappointment.

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Rosemarie DeWitt as Hughie's mom, Daphne Campbell, in Season 4 of 'The Boys.'
Source: Prime Video

In the following episode, Hughie returns to the hospital and notices his mother seated outside his father's room. After asking about his father's condition, Hughie sits beside her and directly questions why she left them years ago. As it turns out, Daphne was battling severe depression and suicidal thoughts.

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"I was 22 when I had you. … But I was depressed — postpartum. You know, people think depression, they think, 'Oh, so you're sleepy, so what?' But it's not like that," she explains to Hughie. "It's painful. It hurts. My friends all said, 'Give it a month, six months, a year,' but it never went away."

Hughie interjects, "But you were always so fun," pointing out how they would have "dance parties" all the time. Daphne admits she "never wanted" Hughie to witness it, but "getting dressed was like climbing Everest."

"And so, one night, I just took 40 Ambien and tried to kill myself. Thank God I threw them up in the toilet," Daphne reveals. "So, the next day, I took you to school, and I left. I didn't want to, but it was life or death for me."

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Rosemarie DeWitt as Hughie's mom, Daphne, and Simon Pegg as Hughie's dad, Hugh Sr., in Season 4 of 'The Boys.'
Source: Prime Video

"I didn't know that," Hughie admits. Daphne responds, "Why would you?"

He then brings up the fact that she never called, and Daphne discloses, "I tried, but your dad was so hurt, and he didn't want me to confuse you. So, eventually, I just stopped.

"I thought, you know, maybe I wasn't cut out to be a parent," Daphne adds. "And I know you've spent a lot of your life hating me and thinking I'm the villain, and I would never ask for your forgiveness, but I'm really sorry, Hughie, that I hurt you. I was just f–ked up."

New episodes of The Boys drop on Thursdays at 3 a.m. EST on Prime Video.

If you or someone you know are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call, text, or message the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. Dial or text 988, call 1-800-273-8255, or chat via their website.

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