Netflix's teen drama The Society is an incredibly addicting story about a group of teens who have to build up a civilization from scratch. The thing is, it's also super confusing! That's because underneath all of the political dealings and existential questions about fate, free will, and morality, there's also the underlying mystery of how the teens were brought to this new world and why.
As soon as fans finished binging the series, speculation surrounding these questions began swirling online and between friends, who swapped their best guesses as to what New Ham is, what's the deal with that dog, and what will happen next. And viewers aren't the only ones in the dark; while creator Christopher Keyser said he already knows the answers to all the questions the show is raising, the cast are practically as clueless as the fans and spent their time on set sharing theories as to what they think really happened to these kids.
That's why when Kathryn Newton, who plays Allie, stopped by the TV Guide office, we asked her to weigh in on some of the most popular fan theories to see if she can share any insight into where she thinks the kids are, how they got there, and more. See which theories she thinks are the most credible below.
The kids are dead and New Ham is purgatory/the afterlife. After seeing the seasons's closing shot of the "We Remember Them" plaque back in the West Ham library, a lot of fans began wondering if the kids somehow died during the bus trip and New Ham is a version of the afterlife. If true, it's possible that the way they handle building this new world is ultimately what will even determine whether they go to the good place or the bad place. "Whoa. I like that that one," Newton said, adding that she could see that potentially being the case.
However, during the final scene in West Ham, Allie's mom and all the children at the library are wearing yellow ribbons. Dating back to Puritan times, women would wear yellow ribbons while waiting for their beloved to return. Given that, one can assume that the kids are likely still considered missing and not confirmed to be dead in West Ham since the yellow ribbons indicate the citizens are still waiting for the teens' potential return and haven't given up hope they're alive yet.
The kids are trapped in a Matrix-like simulation. While the series teases a potential spiritual reasoning behind the teens' trip to New Ham, some viewers think the show is high-key science-fiction and it will actually be revealed that the kids are trapped inside a simulation, like everyone was in The Matrix.
"That's another one that we also contemplated [on set]," Newton shared before joking, "It could be like a Matrix simulation, but nothing was in slo-mo."
While a simulation would explain some of the world of New Ham's irregularities, it doesn't answer who would want to trap them in a simulation or why. Are they being tested? Is Pfeiffer (Chaske Spencer) a sentient machine who is harvesting the kids for energy without their knowledge? The last would be such a blatant Matrix rip-off we're going to say no, but it's not like we have a better theory just yet.
Dewey (Seth Meriwether) did have a co-conspirator in killing Cassandra (Rachel Keller). Even after executing Dewey, Allie still wasn't fully convinced that he acted alone in assassinating her sister. Newton, on the other hand, isn't so sure.
"I feel like it's hard to say that one person would do that alone. But the show really explores people and our natural instincts — we're really ugly and we're really beautiful and the same time. So I don't know if he did it alone." But if Newton did have to name her top suspect for who would have helped Dewey kill Cassandra, "It would definitely be Campbell because Campbell's always so sus," she explained.
Newton went on to add that the fact that Campbell and Allie are cousins actually might be proof that he was involved in the murder based on the research she did into medieval queens when preparing for this role. "A lot of Allie is based on some old queens, and they were always deceived by the people closest to them, their siblings and their cousins," she said. "It's the same thing. But the show is in a modern society so it doesn't feel that way, but there's a lot of layers to these storylines that have to do with things in the past."
The parents sacrificed their children. There's no doubt that the parents are up to some shady things in The Society. But could they really be so twisted that they would have performed a ritual sacrifice, giving up their own children, all for their own selfish gains? According to Newton, it's definitely possible!
"That one also resonates," she said. "I got chills when you said that 'cause I'm like, did the parents sacrifice us so they could have like, I don't know, eternal... what?" That is the question, of course. Is the show going to reveal that the parents were seeking eternal life and sacrificed their kids to gain it? Or could this be like Marvel's Runaways and the parents were doing ritual sacrifices in order to revive their alien overload? Again, we hope that's not it, but it's not like we have a lot of proof to the contrary just yet.
If you die in New Ham, you get transported back to West Ham. After the dog was spotted back in West Ham after Campbell (Toby Wallace) allegedly killed it, some fans theorized that means once you die in New Ham that you'd be sent back to West Ham. However, Cassandra's name was still listed in the "We Remember Them" plaque so clearly she didn't return to her parents after Dewey shot her. Another big hole in this theory is that technically we never saw the dog's body, just Campbell washing blood off his hands.
That's why Newton doesn't pay much mind to this theory. Instead, she thinks it's possible that the dog is still alive and just found a way to cross between the two worlds. "Is there a portal like Alice Down the Rabbithole that Allie can walk through and she sees her mom and that dog and she can bring the dog back and leave her mom and her parents there? Because I kind of like the new world. What if it is like that?" she wondered. Much like the door to Narnia, Newton mused that the portal between the two worlds could be something as simple as turning the spigots different ways in one of the New Ham showers, meaning anyone could accidentally stumble back home — or maybe even wind up somewhere totally different!
The teens really are in a parallel universe. This is the answer the teens come to after Gordie (Jose Julian) points out that all the constellations are slightly off. But just because that's what the kids think doesn't necessarily mean it's true. (Gordie is just a high schooler, not an actual, trained scientist, after all.) However, this is the theory Newton appears to be leaning toward most at the moment.
"If you do think about parallel universes and other dimensions, we could be in another dimension. People talk about that. How there's another you right now in another dimension. Maybe we're that far out. Maybe we're in another dimension. I'm going to go with that one," she declared.
Campbell is the father of Becca's (Gideon Adlon) baby. We haven't gotten too many clues as to who the father of Becca's daughter Eden is, only that she never wants the truth to get out. A lot of fans point to Campbell as the prime suspect, but based on Newton's teases for the eventual reveal — unlike anything related to the mysteries of what brought the teens to New Ham and why, the actress does know the identity of Eden's dad — we feel like we can safely rule out Campbell as the potential dad since that would be far too obvious to garner this reaction from the star.
"It's really serious. Like, you're not going to believe it. It's the biggest twist ever," Newton teased. "Who it is meant to be, who I know it is, even for Allie, it's like, are you kidding? So it connects to everyone. It's a big one."
Well, yikes. Hopefully Netflix hurries up and renews The Society for Season 2 because we're dying to know who it would be to get that reaction. But really, as long as it's not Grizz, we'll be OK.
The Society is available to stream on Netflix.