Warning: Spoilers ahead for Season 2 of Dear White People!
Season 2 of Dear White People ended with the reveal that the show's baritone narrator is not just an omniscient guide for the audience, but a character within the show's narrative.
If you came to this post just trying to figure out the actor's name, it is Giancarlo Esposito, and you'll recognize him as Gus from Breaking Bad or one of his numerous other roles (including Spike Lee's classic Do the Right Thing). For those wanting to dig deeper into Dear White People's season-long secret society mystery, we have a bit more to discuss. TV Guide talked to show creator Justin Simien about the mystery and whether the identity of Esposito's character is secretly hidden within Season 2's informative flashbacks.
"I won't say [you can] figure it out because, honestly, sometimes when we get in [the writers' room] like, 'Okay, we've been trying to do this the whole time, but low key what if we did this?' So I won't say [you can] figure it out, but there are certainly hints throughout the season," Simien said.
The producer added that the mystery becomes clearer with repeat viewings of the season, especially the Troy-focused episode, "Chapter VII." Why go do that digging yourself when you have us to do it for you though?
Here's what we know about our mystery man so far.
1. He's part of Winchester University's black secret society: Sam (Logan Browning) and Lionel (DeRon Hurton) met the Narrator after following the clues of Winchester's only black secret society, The Order. The name of the group was revealed in "Chapter VIII" when Gabe (John Patrick Amedori) was reviewing documentary footage in the library. The group's symbol is a series of small X's which are found throughout the season and are what lead Sam and Lionel to the bell tower in the final episode.
2. He's probably a legacy: Taking Simien's advice and revisiting "Chapter VII," the flashbacks at the top of the episode explain how Winchester's legacy program came to be, specifically the integrated version of it in 1976. Troy's (Brandon P. Bell) father was one of the pioneers of the program and the show takes a snapshot of him with his fellow minority classmates:
The man in the center is a young Walter Fairbanks (Obba Babatunde), but we bet our bottom dollar that the young version of Esposito's character is also stealthily hanging out in this picture.
3. He has some connection to Armstrong Parker house: All of the flashbacks in Season 2, which built up the ethos of the secret societies that weaved their way through the season, tied into the history of Armstrong Parker house. That makes sense because Armstrong Parker is the epicenter of social life for the characters of the show, but Season 2 dug deeper into Armstrong Parker's founding, legacy and the people that turned it into a safe haven for students of color at Winchester University. The Order will tie back to the house, and undoubtedly so will Esposito's character, which is most likely why he pegged two of AP's loudest defenders to join him for whatever mission awaits in Season 3.
Dear White People Season 2 is now streaming on Netflix.