Dead to Me is the hit Netflix series that begins with Jen (Christina Applegate) dealing with the recent and unexpected death of her husband Ted. He was killed by a hit-and-run driver. At a grief support group she meets Judy (Linda Cardellini), who claims her husband Steve (James Marsden) also recently died. The women quickly bond, but Judy has a lot of secrets that threaten their friendship. And this is where we begin with the spoilers.
One of Judy's secrets is that Steve isn’t dead. Now going into Dead to Me season 2, many more secrets have been unraveled and the first season ends with quite a bang. Dead to Me is an exciting series because it walks that thin line between dark humor and straight darkness. The show starts with a depressing premise: a woman loses her husband, but it gets darker and funnier from there. Many fans have been waiting to see what direction the show heads after that major season 1 cliffhanger. For this piece, I’m going to dive into some major moments from Dead to Me season one and give a few theories on what I think is in store for season 2.
Warning: This post will be very spoiler heavy, so if you haven’t seen Dead to Me season 1, go watch it. Most episodes are only 30 minutes, and only ten episodes per season. You have the time.
We Never Saw Steve’s Death
Judy drains all of Steve’s money from his bank account, tells the police that he’s a money launderer, and confesses to Jen that she ran over Steve. No one can say that Judy doesn’t like to set it all on fire. Steve arrives at Jen’s home looking for Judy. The two start talking, and Steve accidentally admits that he was in the car with Judy. He also admits that he told her to keep going after hitting Ted.
Jen pulls out her gun and asks him to leave. He refuses. Next the scene flashes to Judy attempting suicide, but failing to get hit by a car. She then gets a call from Jen asking her to come over. The final scene is Steve’s dead body floating in Jen’s pool.
Now I think it is very interesting that we never saw Jen actually pull the trigger. Yes, this was partly due to add dramatic effect for when the scene switches to Judy, and then the final shot. However, I also believe there might be more to it.
My theory going into Season 2 is that Jen didn’t actually kill Steve. It was someone else. I’ll get more to that later. The reason for it not being Jen is plausible because I believe that she’ll say she did it, but we’ll slowly get more into the truth of the murder during the season. Even if Jen did kill Steve, I think there will be more to it. Did she really do it as self-defense? Or was it an eye-for-an-eye scenario? In that moment, maybe anger took over and she wanted Judy (and Steve) to hurt like they hurt her.
Even if Jen did kill Steve out of self-defense, I’m sure Judy will wonder the same thing: If Jen did it to get revenge on Steve and her.
Charlie Returned Home
Jen receives a brief moment of happiness on the Dead to Me Season 1 finale when her son Charlie (Sam McCarthy) returns home after living with his grandmother for a week or two. He decides to leave because of Lorna (Valerie Mahaffey)’s supposed pill problem. This moment was a nice one, but very suspicious. Charlie returning home seemed very out of character because nothing was resolved for him to decide it was time to go back home, except Judy being gone. I have a couple theories with the writers decision to have Charlie return home before Jen’s confrontation with Steve.
One is that Charlie saw what happened between Steve and Jen, and that secret will play a part in Season 2. The other theory is that Charlie killed Steve. We know he’s not above criminal activity, Jen would confess to it to protect him, and Charlie has stolen a gun from Lorna’s home in the past. What if he saw Steve confronting Jen, and then shot him to protect her? She’ll tell everyone she did it to keep him from being involved.
The Police And Nick Know Judy Killed Ted
Nick (Brandon Scott) figured out that Judy and Steve were the ones to hit Ted. He then told the police, and Jen also told them. Detective Perez (Diana-Maria Riva) basically said that there was nothing the police could do about it at the moment. I suspect Nick and Perez will be watching Judy more closely, which will put the murder of Steve, and disposal of the body secret in jeopardy of being revealed. We may learn more about Nick because of his quest to take down Judy, and Perez also may become a more important character in Dead to Me season 2.
The Money Judy Gave Jen
Judy gave Jen a huge chunk (if not all) of Steve’s money. This now makes Jen a secret millionaire. This money will probably cause them a lot of trouble, especially because we now know that Steve money laundered.
That has to come back into play in the next season. Jen and Judy will likely face some new characters trying to obtain that money, or seeking revenge for Ted’s criminal activity. Either way, I think Steve’s money laundering and Jen’s new big check will put everyone involved in more danger. We also may see the beginning of Jen becoming a Walter White or Marty Byrde character as she starts to get involved in money laundering.
Ted Had An Affair With Bambi
Jen and Judy discover that Ted was having an affair with a young waitress named Bambi (Olivia Macklin). This allowed Jen to see that she didn’t really know her husband, and admit that their marriage wasn’t as perfect as she'd made it in her head.
The Jen and Judy meeting Bambi scene seemed like a bit of a throwaway moment, but it might come back into the fold in Season 2. It’s possible that Bambi is just the start of Ted’s dark secret, and many more will come out in Dead to Me’s newest season. We might also see Bambi again. Who knows, if Jen can become best friends with the woman that killed her husband, why not his mistress as well?
Jen Works For Lorna
After Christopher (Max Jenkins) stopped being Jen’s business partner, she had to go work for her mother in law Lorna. By the end of Dead to Me Season 1, we saw Lorna and Jen develop a more amicable relationship. However, we’re sure the second season will bring more animosity and tension between these two, especially with them now working together. This could lead to Lorna investigating Judy more, especially with Charlie being suspicious of her.