Warning: Spoilers for The Society are ahead.
Know the best part about finishing a new binge-worthy series? Turning to the internet to figure out just what the heck happened in it. So naturally, reddit is fired up about Netflix’s The Society, as the series asks a huge amount of insane questions — where are the kids? Are the kids dead? Who is the dog? What’s up with the smell? — and answers none of them before season one ends.
Internet sleuths have already begun picking apart big and small moments in the 10 episodes of The Society series one, which should keep us busy and entertained as we wait for Netflix to greenlight and then drop season 2 to drop sometime in the future. While some of these The Society theories are ones you’ve probably speculated around yourself already (come on, we’ve all tried to figure out who’s the father of Becca’s baby), others deep dive into the some of the more hidden allusions throughout the show.
If you’re looking for a primer on some of the best The Society reddit theories to read right now, here are a few to get you started (sorry to report that no one has been able to pinpoint what exactly the smell means or where it’s coming from just yet):
Pfeiffer is a Pied Piper and the kids are dead
Fun fact: In German, Pfeiffer means “piper.” The story of Pied Piper is about a town who pays a piper to rid them of a ton of rats, but instead lures their children away and kills them all — except for a mobility handicapped one, a blind one, and a deaf one. We’ve already met a deaf teen on The Society, Sam, so is it possible that there are two others out there to align with this pied piper story?
The theory suggests that the kids are dead, and “The scene of them leaving with their parents is of their final moments on this earthly plain as part of their funeral before being escorted by the ferryman to the underworld (a sort of waiting area) where they are to be judged and thus weighed. Based on their actions in the underworld they face the final judgment whereupon they go to heaven or hell through death.”
The kids are being held hostage somewhere
This theory relies heavily on the yellow ribbons we see at the end of the last episode of season 1. Everyone appears to be wearing a yellow ribbon, which symbolised that a released was welcomed back home after they were done serving time. The yellow ribbons became even more popular during the Iran hostage crisis in 1979 with many citizens decorating their front yards with yellow ribbons to show support.
As the theory suggests, “I think that the ribbons prove that the people back in West Ham think the teens are missing, rather than dead. In their world, the kids just drove off and vanished, or the buses crashed and were found empty. If they knew they were dead they'd be wearing mourning ribbons, which are almost always black. Similarly, there didn't appear to be a death date on the memorial for the teens.”
The parents know the kids are missing
We only see the return of the parents quickly at the end of the first season, when Allie’s mom reads from Peter Pan. We don’t know what the parents think about the missing kids, especially in regards to if they’re dead or just missing. But, the Peter Pan reference gives us a clue. It suggests that the kids have been missing a long, long time — maybe even longer than the year-ish that’s passed in New Ham.
The Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead theory + the coin toss
The series opens with the kids performing Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, which is super random, right? Maybe not so random. Cassandra and Harry are playing the two characters, and the scene we see involves them flipping a coin. The two later flip a coin after the disappearing incident. As the theory states, “I believe [during the show] Cassandra and Harry are arguing about who should lead, with the crowd getting increasingly nervous is because with each consecutive flip landing on tails, the statistical improbability of such a thing happening increases. Until it [becomes] an impossibility, which would indicate they were dead, or in some sort of purgatory or not of the natural world. That's why they were all so relieved when it landed on heads.”
The father of Becca’s baby
Becca keeps the identity of her baby daddy close to the chest, refusing to tell everyone on the show (and out of fear of being labeled as someone who just got drunk at a party and had sex). Eventually, Sam agrees to say that he is the father of the baby so the two can raise it together, but who is it really?
According to this theory, Campbell is the father. After the baby is born, Kelly tells the new proud parents that the baby has Sam’s eyes, which is impossible. Also, this “seems to upset/disturb Sam possibly because he realises the baby doesn’t have his eyes but his brothers [sic].”
The kids in The Society reflect actual governments
Though the kids are trying to form an actual government, they instead manage to take on the personalities of different actual governments: “Allie= communism. Harry= capitalism. Lexie= anti-establishment populists. The guards= military dictatorship.”
Cassandra and Dewey are alive in the real world
What if you die in New Ham, you return back to West Ham alive? The dog that Campbell supposedly kills, Charlie, has been spotted in both locations now with little evidence as to how and why. What happens if when you die in New Ham, it’s possible you arrive home completely unharmed? While this sounds like a good theory, there’s one small hole in it: we see Cassandra’s name on the memorial wall of all the missing kids.
The Society is available to stream on Netflix UK now