An eventful semester at Nevermore Academy has come to a close. Netflix's new mega-hit Wednesday premiered on November 16, and it's still holding strong as the streamer's current no.1 show. Based on the iconic Addams Family, the cast is led by Jenna Ortega as the morbid and morose Wednesday Addams, who uncovers the secrets surrounding her new school for outcasts and its adjacent normie town Jericho.
Beyond Wednesday's killer one-liners and the lovable students (mostly Enid), Season 1's strength is in its compelling mystery, as the teen investigates a monster that has been haunting the woods around Nevermore. Even though she witnesses an attack in the premiere, there are several forces undermining her, including the surly town sheriff and Principal Weems, who doesn't want news of a possible monster to further sour the normies' opinions of the outcasts. Eventually we find out along with Wednesday that the season-long puzzle centers around her own history, leading back to a battle between her ancestor, Goody Addams, and Jericho's founder Joseph Crackstone—and setting the scene for a possible season two.
Read on for a breakdown of all the twists in the finale, including the shocking death of one of the show's main characters and the final scene's big cliffhanger.
Tyler is the Hyde.
Episode 7 ended with a big moment for the show, the kiss between Wednesday and "normie" barista Tyler. Unfortunately, the teen's first kiss also leads to one of her visions, which reveals that Tyler is actually the Hyde, the monster in the woods that has been killing people and taking body parts all season. (Quick shoutout to the Hyde's design—slightly goofy in a way that makes it more terrifying.) Wednesday had thought the Hyde was Xavier, and even gave up the psychic painter to the cops, but it was the reformed bully and sheriff's son all along.
I love Wednesday as much as the next fan, but our girl isn't known for her subtlety. So, of course, she goes right up to Tyler with her suspicions. Her theory is that therapist Kinbott unlocked his Hyde in their sessions and has been controlling him. Tyler is shocked and confused, but Wednesday brought the Nightshades as backup, and Bianca enchants him to go with them. He next wakes up in chains in Xavier's shed, where Wednesday continues her evidence dump, explaining that Tyler's mom attended Nevermore and was diagnosed with severe bipolar disorder, which means she was a Hyde and could've passed it down to Tyler. When he continues to deny everything, Wednesday turns to "light torture" and all of the Nightshades leave to rat her out to Principal Weems.
Weems immediately calls Sheriff Galpin, who breaks his son out of Wednesday's captivity before he admits anything. It actually looks like the sheriff was considering Wednesday's theory, since he was listening to Kinbott's recorded notes on Tyler, but he says that he won't press kidnapping charges because Wednesday helped put Xavier in custody. As she's leaving the station, Tyler demands to talk to Wednesday. That's when he does a full 180 as the mask disappears and the boy reveals his cruelty. He is the Hyde; he's conscious of his actions, saying his victims' fear was "delicious," and he's been playing Wednesday the whole time (or at least Tyler actor Hunter Doohan thinks so).
Marilyn Thornhill is Laurel Gates.
When they return to the school, Weems immediately expels Wednesday. The principal is disappointed that her student didn't even try to cooperate with her, but Wednesday points out that Weems has been lightly shady all season (in response to Wednesday's impulsivity, but still). Wednesday asks for more time to prove that Tyler's mom was a Hyde, as her identity wasn't public when she was a Nevermore student with Weems, but Weems refuses, telling the girl to pack up and say her goodbyes before she leaves the next afternoon.
At first, Wednesday dedicates her remaining time to her investigation, going to visit Xavier in the jail. He's pissed when she says that her belief in his innocence is tied to Tyler kissing her, and he screams at her for ruining his life. A bit of emotion slips through Wednesday's veneer; she seems wounded when he calls her toxic. However, she also realizes that the prophecy of Nevermore's doom can't come true if she isn't there, so she leaves willingly, giving Enid a sweet goodbye and warning the Nightshades to prepare for doom. She even has a moment with House Mother Thornhill who gives her a deadly flower as a gift, before Weems shows up to escort her to the train.
Wednesday also stops by the hospital on the way out of town to say goodbye to Eugene, who's finally awake. She apologizes for going to the dance instead of the stakeout, and warns him that the Hyde's still out there. He shares an interesting bit of information, recalling that he saw the person who set fire to the cave, who Wednesday assumed was Kinbott. According to Eugene, the person was not wearing Kinbott's uniform of all-white, but instead all-black with red boots. And who's the person that often wears red boots? Marilyn Thornhill.
Thronhill kills Principal Weems.
So Thornhill is the one whose been working with Tyler/Hyde, and the next scene we see is Wednesday confronting her that night (so much for that train). Thornhill's motive lies within the mystery of Laurel Gates, the sister of Garrett Gates, the anti-outcast assassin who Gomez Addams was accused of murdering. After Garrett's failed assassination plot with the nightshade at the Nevermore death, Laurel was presumed to have drowned. However, earlier in the season, Goody Addams pointed Wednesday towards the abandoned Gates home via vision, where Wednesday discovered that Laurel was actually alive and hiding the Hyde victim's body parts in the basement. So Laurel Gates was the one controlling the Hyde, but Wednesday had assumed that her secret identity was Kinbott when it was acutally poisonous-plant-cultivating Thornhill.
Thornhill initially denies everything, but Wednesday has brought Tyler along with her, and claims that he told her everything. Another information dump: Thornhill knew about Tyler's mom from her father Ansel Gates, who kept tabs on all the outcasts. She got the job at Nevermore, used a plant-derived chemical to unlock Tyler's Hyde, and manipulated him by revealing the truth about his mother. At first she locked him up in the cave and used the chemical to turn him, but eventually he became conscious of his attacks and began working with her willingly. When Kinbott almost discovered the truth, Thornhill had Tyler kill her and frame Xavier.
After the flashbacks are done, Thornhill drops the act and commands Tyler to kill Wednesday. (She also tells the teen "make Mama happy" with an alluring energy, which opens up another creepy can of worms.) Thornhill claims that Tyler will do anything for her, and says that she sent him to the train station to intercept Wednesday, but she never made it to the station. In fact, Tyler's probably still waiting for her there. Because the third person in the room isn't Tyler, it's shapeshifter Weems!
So Weems and Wednesday finally work together and the principal learns the truth...a short-lived victory as Thornhill immediately doses Weems with nightshade and knocks out Wednesday. With that major twist, the most glamorous character on Wednesday and the cast's Game of Thrones alum dies! While many fans are refusing to accept that Christie's really off the show (including myself; she always looks like she's having so much fun in the role!), co-showrunners Alfred Gough and Miles Millar have confirmed that as of now, the principal is really dead.
"I think for us, it really had landed with Wednesday, the emotional impact of that death," Millar told Variety when discussing Weems' death. "We wanted this world where people you care about die, so that there is a cost and a sacrifice that this story takes on her. She was incredible."
However, there is a chance that Weems could somehow return for Season 2 of this show populated with fangs, furs, scales, and stoners. Even Christie herself pointed out that we never see what happens to Weems' body after her final scene. Here's hoping that there's a spot for her once they announce a renewal. (Or if not, we can tune in to see Christie play the literal devil in The Sandman's forthcoming season.)
Thornhill reanimates Joseph Crackstone.
Things are looking pretty dire for Wednesday, but she has allies on the way, with Thing breaking up Enid and Ajax's makeout session to rally the troops. (Even Eugene's on the way.) When she wakes up in Crackstone's crypt, Wednesday learns of the Hyde murders' connection to the prophecy that's been plaguing her all season. Turns out the Gates family have been plotting against the outcasts for generations, ever since Goody Addams killed Joseph Crackstone and "stole his land" to build Nevermore. Thornhill's big plan was to reanimate Joseph Crackstone by breaking the blood lock Goody Addams put on his soul, so he can take down Nevermore and kill all of the outcasts once and for all. All she needs is enough body parts for the reanimation spell, a blood moon, and a living Addams descendant.
Now, from the point that Crackstone rises from the grave, the finale goes a little...off the rails. He immediately stabs Wednesday, since she's identical to her ancestor Goody, but Goody shows up because Wednesday's necklace can be used to conduit both visions and spirits. She tells Wednesday exactly how to kill Crackstone and heals her so she can defeat him. Questions I have: How did Crackstone get powers? Even if he killed all the Nevermore kids, what about all the adult outcasts in the world? Were he, Laurel, and Tyler supposed to go on a killing spree? How did Goody get the power to heal? When did Goody evolve from a spectral vision guide to a deus ex machina to heal Wednesday? If Wednesday will never see Goody again and all the visions of the season were there for the purpose of stopping Crackstone, will Wednesday have visions next season? The Tyler and Thornhill villain reveals are very well done and solid, but all the Crackstone/Goody stuff seems to have big holes if I think too hard. At least Goody's twist ensures that Wednesday, Enid, and Bianca (and everyone else) will survive for another season.
Wednesday has a stalker.
Excuse me for rushing through the rest of the episode, but the rest of the plot is fairly straightforward. Enid evolves from stealth-MVP to actual-MVP of the season, as my personal favorite character finally wolfs out and fights off Tyler/Hyde. Bianca enchants the Nevermore student body into evacuating the school (and we finally get to see her powers!). Crackstone sets the school on fire, fulfilling the prophecy. Xavier breaks out of the back of a squad car and goes to help Wednesday fight Crackstone...but Wednesday ends up shot in the shoulder instead and tells him to help the evacuation. Just when it looks like Wednesday's gonna lose to Crackstone's random superpowers, Bianca distracts him by stabbing him in the back (at least someone else jumps in the fight!), giving Wednesday enough time to stab him in the heart and send him back to hell. Thornhill shows up to shoot Wednesday with a gun, but Eugene unleashes his bees on her (there's a bit of comedy as she tries to shoot a swarm of bees), Wednesday curb-stomps her, and she's assumedly detained off-camera. Wednesday reunites with Enid and the rest of the students, and all is well.
The show ends with a sentimental recap of where everyone stands. There's a quick scene of Wednesday and Enid in Weems' office, as Wednesday praises the principal for dying for the one thing she truly loved, the school. Enid invites Wednesday to San Francisco, Wednesday thanks Bianca, and Xavier gifts Wednesday a phone because he thinks she'll text him, for some reason. The phone does end up being important, because an anonymous sender reveals that they've been stalking Wednesday all season, even sending a GIF of Wednesday getting a knife through the head. We also briefly see Tyler Hyde out, a hint that he'll soon break out of captivity, as Wednesday literally taunts us with all the cliffhangers, ending the season with, "I know the suspense is killing you."
With that, Wednesday's first season concludes as a fun, thrilling show led by Ortega's impeccable spin on the iconic character. Despite my own questions about certain parts of the show's lore (the whole Crackstone/Goody thing only scratched the surface), I thoroughly enjoyed the show and completely understand why it's still holding strong as Netflix's current most-popular series. All the streamer needs to do is announce the near-guaranteed renewal. Until next season, *snap snap*.
Quinci LeGardye is a Contributing Culture Editor who covers TV, movies, Korean entertainment, books, and pop culture. When she isn’t writing or checking Twitter, she’s probably watching the latest K-drama or giving a concert performance in her car.
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