Warning: Spoilers ahead for Dead to Me season one!
Netflix has yet to renew its comedic mystery series Dead to Me for a second season, but we already have one big question: Will James Marsden return, given his character’s untimely sendoff?
On the season one finale of Dead to Me, we see Steve, played by the impossibly good-looking Marsden, face down, floating in the pool of Jen Harding (Christina Applegate), blood whirling ominously around him. The implication is that Jen shoots him after she learns he had also been in the car that hit and killed her husband Ted. Behind the wheel? Jen’s new best friend and Steve’s former fiancé, Judy Hale (Linda Cardellini). It seems like a cut-and-dry murder, and that should there be a second season of the hit Netflix show, it would be about Jen and Judy’s attempt to cover up the killing.
Except everything we thought was so straightforward about the circumstances surrounding Ted’s death turned out to be way off, so it stands to reason Steven’s death may play out similarly.
Over the course of the first season, we find out Ted isn’t at all the doting husband we assumed he was. The dad of two was having an affair and even lied to his mistress, saying his wife had died. Ted didn’t go out running that fateful night he got hit by a car, as we were lead to believe. It turns out Ted and Jen had a big fight about their lack of intimacy (Ted sounds like a real assh*le), and Ted stormed off. Was he walking out on Jen for good?
The incredible plot twists Dead to Me has served up thus far are enough to support the theory that Steve’s death doesn’t go down the way we initially assumed. If that’s the case, we could see more of Marsden should the show get officially renewed for a second season, even if it’s only in flashbacks. Because the truth is, we didn’t actually see Jen pull the trigger and shoot Steve, did we?
Indeed, the writers on the show are awesome, and we know they’ll keep us on our toes. They even surprised themselves, according to creator Liz Feldman, who told The Hollywood Reporter that Steve wasn’t going to die in the original imagining of the show. “It just made so much sense for what the overarching themes of the season were and it folded so beautifully into that and so darkly into the framework that we were setting up that it just felt like it’s a big swing, let’s take it.”
Feldman adds about plans for a potential second season, “There’s an evening of the score and there’s a rebalancing that will take place and almost, in some ways, a role reversal.” It makes sense: now Jen is the killer. Will she understand Judy’s plight, and be more open to patching up their friendship?
Either way, we don’t know for sure how much we’ll see Marsden on the show moving forward. Especially since he is set to appear on another TV show called Mrs. America, which will air on FX, and also star Cate Blanchett, Sarah Paulson, and Uzo Aduba. Obviously, Marsden will have a packed schedule, so perhaps he won’t be filming too many scenes for Dead to Me. Then again, his character is dead, so maybe he won’t have to. Anyone consider he may not even be dead? Just sayin’.