Despite the fact that American Vandal opened with the spray painting of penises on cars in the faculty parking lot (an inciting incident that seemed more fitting for a three-minute-long Funny Or Die sketch than eight episodes of a Netflix series) the show was able to craft a compelling high school-set mystery.
Borrowing from true crime shows like Making A Murderer and podcast Serial, American Vandal wanted you to do more than laugh at subject Dylan's ridiculous shenanigans and less-than-brilliance: The show wanted its audience to want to exonerate Dylan (Jimmy Tatro). It's clear, from the American Vandal Reddit page filled with chatter about who really drew the dicks, that it succeeded.
By the end of the season, Peter (Tyler Alvarez), one of the student filmmakers "making" the American Vandal doc series, thinks he has an answer. The person who vandalized the lot was none other than Christa Carlyle, the school's student body president and a notorious activist, who just so happened to have a vendetta against the football coach who had his own car vandalized.
As Peter says in the documentary, he can't concretely say that Christa is the culprit. To some fans, that meant that she wasn't really the person responsible, and that the criminal is still at large. However, American Vandal showrunner Dan Lagana is here to set that false narrative right.
"People were like, 'You’re not gonna tell us who did it?' We feel like we told you exactly who did it, and then just had Peter have a moral compass at the end, saying, 'If I didn’t have hard evidence, me definitively saying who did it on camera in my doc would make me no better than the school system — but I have my theory!' It’s like, that’s his theory! That’s who did it!"
So, there you have it: Christa really did draw the dicks, even if Dylan is the one responsible for that final dick-drawing act at Ms. Shapiro's house.
But just because the show gave us that answer, flat-out, doesn't mean it didn't also hide clues for fans to find. A big piece of evidence that Christa (Genevieve Hannelius) and her boyfriend Van Delorey (Hunter Clowdus) were responsible took some true detective work to uncover. As fans on Reddit pointed out, "Christa Carlyle and Van Delorey" is an anagram for "Clearly Car Vandal Is End Theory" — which, really, should give you enough reason to believe Peter's theory is the correct one.
We may have discovered what really happened that fateful day in the faculty parking lot, but not to worry: For fans eager to practice their sleuthing skills, we're getting another season of American Vandal, and, most importantly, a brand-new mystery.