A month after it premiered, Netflix’s Dead to Me has finally been renewed, with Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini set to return for another season of wine-drinking and murder-hiding. The first season of the hit dramedy tapped into something with viewers who love a good mystery, while also earning raves for the performances of its leading ladies. And it stuck the landing almost perfectly — spoiler alert! — wrapping up a few of its subplots and themes while also leaving us with a doozy of a final image: the abusive Steve Wood (James Marsden) floating facedown in a pool.
Really, how could there not be a second season after a cliffhanger like that? With the news of season two confirmed but no airdate yet announced, we’re left to fill the ensuing months wondering just where Dead to Me goes now. Here are some questions we’re looking forward to having answered.
What really happened between Steve and Jen?
Dead to Me played the Chekhov’s-gun game all season, first hinting at the existence of a weapon in the guesthouse safe, then putting it in Charlie’s bag, and finally having Jen ask her Mexican-lasagna-making neighbor how to use one. So when we see Steve confronting Jen at the end of the season, it’s reasonable to presume that Jen shot him. However, Dead to Me has often been a show about how what you see isn’t always the whole story, and creator Liz Feldman has been coy about what exactly happened between Steve and Jen. She told The Hollywood Reporter, “I’ll just say that you don’t know that she shot him.” Okay then. Could it have been Charlie or even Henry? Or someone else entirely? Even if Jen is the one who pulled the trigger, the second season is likely to open by filling in the details on what exactly happened.
What will Jen and Judy do with Steve’s body?
Now that Steve is doing an actual dead man’s float, the first question facing Jen and Judy is going to be what to do with his corpse, which may not be as straightforward as it sounds. There are kids in the house, who may have heard the shot or the likely loud discussion about what to do next. And disposing of a body isn’t easy, especially for two people with no experience at all of such household chores. Could they call in someone to help? Perhaps this question should be more along the lines of “How many mistakes will Jen and Judy make when they try to dispose of Steve’s body?”
Will Judy finally get arrested for killing Ted?
Detective Perez was getting closer and closer to putting the pieces together to solve the death of Ted Harding, and we last saw her noticing the oil on the floor of the Harding storage unit. With Jen and Nick asserting Judy’s guilt to the detective, will she finally act on all of this evidence and put the cuffs on one of our heroines? Or could the death of Steve Harding distract her from closing the hit-and-run that has annoyed her so much?
Could Steve’s shady cohorts come looking for him?
In the season-one finale, Judy drains Steve’s accounts and gives the money to Henry as a way to assuage her guilt. Steve tells Jen that his life is ruined, and one gets the impression that he wasn’t money laundering for people who are just going to walk away and find someone else to do it. It seems likely that a lot of the money in Steve’s account didn’t belong to him and that some dangerous people are going to come looking for it and the man they think absconded with it. Expect the people Steve was working for to play a role in season two.
Has Jen forgiven Judy?
Now that they’ve come full circle by killing each other’s significant others, will Jen and Judy reunite as friends? Throughout the finale, Jen seems to be done with her former BFF, understandably destroyed by the revelation that Judy was driving the car that killed Ted, but almost more freaked out by how Ted’s killer then integrated herself into the life of the Harding family. Does Steve’s death wipe the slate clean? Probably not, but Jen will have to deal with her feelings about what Judy did after Ted was buried if they’re to successfully cover up another crime.
Will Jen and Judy return to Friends of Heaven?
Pastor Wayne, where art thou? The grief-support group Friends of Heaven, run by the incredibly earnest Pastor Wayne, kind of disappeared in the second half of the season, and one wonders if the ladies will have a reason to return to it in season two. Some of the smartest writing of the series centered on how people deal with grief and forgiveness, so here’s hoping the writers find a way to integrate Pastor Wayne & Co. back into the season while also making it feel organic that Jen and Judy would return to the group.
What’s going to happen with Nick?
Poor Nick — the ex-cop and ex-boyfriend might wind up being an ex-character. Brandon Scott came along at just the right time in the season to give it an interesting new energy but didn’t play as big a role in the final arc as viewers may have been expecting. Going forward, his story could really go either way: On the one hand, he helped Perez build the case against Judy, but couldn’t you also see Jen bringing him in to help cover up the new crime?
How will Lorna factor in?
Speaking of supporting characters, what happens with Lorna, Jen’s awful mother-in-law? The final few episodes of season one melted the icy Lorna a little bit, revealing that she blames herself for her son’s death, but also hinted at something dark about Ted’s mother: She has an unhealthy pill addiction, one that creeped Charlie out enough to send him back to the Harding home. And keep in mind that while Jen now knows what happened to Ted, Lorna hasn’t been filled in. What happens if she finds out?
Where do we go with the Harding boys?
Older brother Charlie Harding had a roller-coaster of a season that included drug dealing, carrying a concealed weapon, and moving out of his family home. But he ended back with his mom and even sharing their most tender moment of the season — just before she committed homicide. Could he now be a much-needed ally for Jen? And what of sweet Henry, MVP of the Holy Harmonies? Will he continue to just be a sweet counterpoint to Jen’s sour worldview, or could he play a bigger role in season two? Let’s just hope he doesn’t wake up and want to go for a late-night swim.