You did it. Much like the teens of Netflix's The Society, you survived their unsettling and painful 100episode saga. By the end of season 1 finale “How it Happens,” you’re probably scratching your head about what exactly that glimpse of the New Ham teenagers’ loved ones — with their yellow ribbons and “We Remember Them” plaque — actually means.
However, The Society drops a much more leading detail about a prospective season 2 before we ever see Allie’s mom, Amanda Pressman (Amy Carlson), reading Peter Pan. That moment goes to Allie Pressman (Kathryn Newton) herself, who is shuffled into a shadowy van. That vehicle is probably ferrying Allie to her death. Yet, she doesn’t look scared. Allie spends her last few seconds on screen practically smirking in the face of political execution. The determined moment suggests Society’s leading lady's supposedly doomed fate isn’t sealed — just ask her portrayer Kathryn Newton.
“She has learned the rules of power really quickly, and one of them is not to reveal what you know. She is going to let someone fail,” Kathryn Newton tells Refinery29 during a visit to our New York offices.
Well, many of Allie's rivals are poised to fail in the last moments of The Society season 1. Most of “How it Happens” is dedicated to the complete destruction of Allie’s burgeoning, erstwhile political empire. Throughout the season, New Ham’s Guard — aka the local high school football players, now raised to the status of government police — has been gaining unchecked and testosterone-fueled power. In one especially disturbing scene, Guard members Jason (Emilio Garcia-Sanchez) and Clark (Spencer House) force citizen Lexie (Grace Victoria Cox), a suspect in a Thanksgiving Day poisoning, to fix her pad in front of them during questioning. Allie has also gained more power of The Society’s town than she ever expected. At the same time, Allie’s psychopathic cousin Campbell (Toby Wallace) has been crafting his own brand of master manipulation from the shadows.
All of these chickens come to roost with “How it Happens.” Campbell spends the first half of the episode convincing Lexie, the Guard, and wealthy pretty boy Harry (Alex Fitzalan) they need to perform a coup and take control of New Ham from Allie. They should be in charge, he urges them.
So, these three parties follow Campbell’s plan. They accuse Allie of plotting to steal the upcoming mayoral election with advisor/new partner Will (Jacques Colimon). Allie and Will are put under house arrest and later paraded in front of a mob of angry citizens. Their murder now seems unavoidable, especially when the pair is dragged back into the Guard-driven van. But, of course, Allie gives that smirk we were talking about.
“She is definitely going to fight for what she believes in, and she isn’t giving up," Newton teases for Allie's future. “She knows her power now, so she just has to wait patiently. It wasn’t planned or scripted, I just felt it.”
When you take a step back on the pieces still left on the Society board, Newton’s optimistic outlook for Allie's next step makes sense. Yes, Campbell may have angled his cousin into a murder van, but Allie has some very important supporters on the outside. The beloved Grizz (Jack Mulhern) has returned from his exploratory mission and found farmable land and new food sources for New Ham — all because Allie sent him out into the world. Gordie (José Julián), the smartest person in town, is staunchly on Team Allie. When Allie was arrested earlier in “Happens,” she purposefully urges him to leave the Pressman house, telling him, “You do us no good being imprisoned in this house.” That means he can do some good for Allie and Will now.
Then, there’s Elle (Olivia DeJonge), the object of Campbell’s abusive obsession. Allie “arrested” Elle in the finale so she could protect her from Campbell. Campbell drags Elle back “home” by the end of the episode, and she lulls him into a false sense of security. Elle agrees with all of Campbell’s sadistic whims and promises she won’t run away from him again. Then, the moment Campbell leaves, she serves up the most threatening glare of the season. Elle is Allie’s mole against Campbell. That’s why Elle promises Allie in their last scene together “I’ll make sure you get what’s coming to you. I promise.” Those words aren’t a threat, they’re a well-veiled protection pledge.
Even Allie’s political opponents don’t seem so sure about punishing her. Lexie, who spends the episode raging against Allie, immediately seems to be reconsidering her improved political status in New Ham. The new co-mayor seems bewildered by the possibility of needing to kill Allie over an election lie she created. Earlier in “Happens,” Allie tells Lexie she doesn’t really want the responsibility of leading. Lexie’s last scene proves Allie was right. Then, there’s Guard member Luke (Alex MacNicoll), who looks physically ill over the conspiracy he entered.
So don’t count Allie Pressman out just yet — Kathryn Newton certainly isn’t.