Netflix's new drama The Society is an exploration of how we act once all the rules and authority figures have disappeared. In the series, the teen residents of wealthy Connecticut town West Ham arrive home from a would-be camping trip and find themselves in a place that looks exactly like their home...except, there's nothing else around but miles and miles of forest — and their parents, or any adults for that matter, are nowhere to be found.
The Society does not harp on where the parents went — it's much more about how power corrupts, toxic masculinity is a poison plaguing our culture, and a strong community is the only means of survival. However, since the parents are MIA, it's worth wondering...where, exactly, are they? Spoilers ahead.
The answer, it turns out, is that the parents are perfectly fine — it's the residents of "New Ham" who have been mysteriously transported elsewhere.
Over the course of multiple episodes, it's revealed that this town is not "the" town that the teens grew up in, just a very convincing lookalike. The stars above New Ham are different, and certain celestial events, like the eclipse that occurs during the first part of the series, would not have happened on their original Earth. It's concluded that New Ham is a parallel universe to West Ham, one without any adults — but why it exists, and why everyone is here, is never really discovered.
There is one big clue about what may have happened to bring the teens to New Ham. Newly-minted "doctor" Kelly (Kristine Froseth) discovers that the bus driver who took the teens home from their field trip is actually someone who had a connection to their parents. West Ham was plagued by a strange, nauseating smell, and the bus driver (who, spoiler alert, was much more than just a bus driver) was supposed to be paid $1.5 million to remove it. However, the parents apparently canceled the contract, suggesting that maybe the bus driver took their children as a sort of punishment.
This does not seem like a really good reason to kidnap a bunch of teenagers and take them to a parallel universe, but it's the only one The Society offers. At the end of the episode, a scene from the real West Ham is shown, and it's revealed that all the parents are perfectly fine — just missing their kids. A big plaque on the wall of the library reads "We Remember," and lists the names of the residents of New Ham. While the world kept turning, the teens disappeared, likely without a trace.
A possible clue in this scene involves Allie (Kathryn Newton) and Cassandra's (Rachel Keller) mother reading to young children at the library. She's reading a passage from Peter Pan, which, of course, is about a young boy who goes to Neverland, to live amongst other children and never grow up. Is New Ham Neverland? And do the parents know about the existence of it?
But there is good news — in the form of one very good boy. As seen in the final moments of the season 1 finale, missing New Ham dog Charlie (the black and white dog that we thought Campbell, played by Toby Wallace, killed, but clearly didn't) apparently found the door between West Ham and New Ham and hopped through it. It's this that could give the residents of New Ham hope that they will finally be reunited with the parents — though they'll have to survive season 2 drama first.
The Society is available on Netflix now