Warning: spoilers for Palm Springs are in play. If you haven’t seen the film yet, turn around while you still can, and don’t come back until you’re prepared to face the truth!
It’s been a couple weeks since Hulu’s Palm Springs has broken records and broken fans brains with the intricacies that are present in its time loop. But there’s apparently another question that now needs some answering, and it’s one that you might have already started to think about: are there more than three people stuck in the time loop that Palm Springs presents to its audience? Apparently some recent discussion has pegged that not only are Cristin Milioti's Sarah, Andy Samberg's Nyles, and J.K. Simmons' Roy working their way through this time trap, but a potential fourth player may be present in the game.
Namely, the one other party that’s questionably a part of the entire mess is June Squibb’s Nana Schlieffen. That theory has gotten some mileage, thanks to a scene with some potentially loaded dialogue she shares with Sarah. So now, there’s a bit of a debate as to whether or not Nana is part of the time loop gang. And surprisingly, not even director Max Barbakow has a clear cut answer for this question, as he admitted to Vulture the following uncertainty:
There are definitely multiple people in there. I don’t know if Nana’s one of them. Maybe she’s relived the same wedding over and over again. Or maybe she just has been around for a while and went to a lot of weddings.
The good news is that there’s definitely other people in the Palm Springs time loop, which means if Hulu wants a sequel, anthology series, or choose your own adventure follow-up, it won’t be that hard to move forward. However, the bad news is that June Squibb’s character and her potential involvement in the time loop will have to wait for clarification until one of those further adventures happens. Or, if someone happens to step forward with more information.
Though, to Max Barbakow’s credit, he does provide a callback to Palm Springs dialogue that could rule that possibility out. When talking to Andy Samberg’s Nyles, Nana Schlieffen does say that she’s been to a lot of weddings, which could either be used as a proving or disproving statement towards Nana’s time loop presence. However, later in the film, when Nana’s talking to Sarah on her last go-round after decades of attending the same wedding, she does say, “I suppose you’ll be going soon.” Which brings us back to square one, assuming that Nana might be more knowledgeable about the scenario than we think.
Frankly, the possibility that June Squibb’s Palm Springs character is in the loop on being in the loop leads to the best case for a potential sequel. Following her Academy Award nominated performance in Alexander Payne’s Nebraska putting her on the map as a spitfire, Squibb heartwarming side really gave this Hulu films an extra layer of warmth. But it’d be cool to see Nana Schlieffen start out as a crankier version of herself, only to learn to be that kind hearted through each iteration of her journey. Feel free to take part in the debate yourself, as you can currently watch Palm Springs on Hulu, and build your own case of evidence as to whether or not Nana is stuck like a herd of dinosaurs in a Cauchy Horizon.