If you’re looking for a show that’s part Lord of the Flies, part Lost, with teenagers that look like they could live in Riverdale, and power grabs like Game of Thrones, everything that happens on Netflix's The Society will certainly have you invested.
Welcome to West Ham, the quaintest New England town you’ve ever visited. It’s got all the things you could ever want out of a charming suburb retreat, except if you’re looking for adults over the age of like, 18. After a mysterious bus ride to nowhere, a group of teenagers is dropped back off at home, but everyone else has completely disappeared from their town. They’re now the only ones left, and seeing no other option, are forced to work together to survive and build their own civilization. The first season of The Society manages to establish just about all the major players in West Ham — which the kids later re-name as New Ham — while also asking some big-picture questions about life, living, and how to live together.
With no one else around, they start to think of themselves as brand new settlers in an uncharted land, which they kinda are. The kids realize they’re going to run out of food, and start figuring out how to farm. They want to figure out where they are, so they start looking at the stars. And when their makeshift government is rocked, a democratic election is called.
It’s impressive to see what these teens do over the span of 10 episodes, but the show is way more than just about how to survive when the adults disappear. The show is also able to lay out a few twists and turns you don’t see coming, but it also asks more questions than it’s able to answer during the first season. Some of it’s frustrating, some of it can be left for later, but all of it does make you think. How would you survive in a world like this?
So what is answered, and what’s left for us to figure out for ourselves? Welcome to New Ham, and let’s dive in.
Episode 1, “What Happened”
So, there’s this weird smell in West Ham, Connecticut. No one can figure out what it is, but it keeps wafting back and forth through the town. Sometimes it’s here, sometimes it’s not, but regardless it’s driving its citizens crazy. The good thing is that many of the teenagers in the town are about to head out for a camping trip that will take them away from the town for a week so at least they won’t have to deal with the smell.
There’s not a whole lot of information you need to know about the smell, but it’s just gross. Also, it appears that West Ham is trying to get rid of the smell as they’ve called in someone to look into it. Harry (Alex Fitzalan) stumbles upon a tense meeting his mom (who’s a city official) is having with a man named “Pfeiffer.” Upon leaving the meeting this man named Pfeiffer gives Harry and Kelly (Harry’s girlfriend, played by Kristine Froseth) a look. This is completely inconsequential to everything right now, but spoiler alert, just remember Pfeiffer for the next eight episodes, okay?
Also, something that’s not important right now but you need to remember for later: Menemene tekel upharsin. Football player Grizz (Jack Mulhern) sees it on the side of the church, and it’s a Bible verse that translates to: You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting. Grizz thinks it’s weird, but everyone else just shrugs it off as graffiti.
Not thinking much about the smell or the literal writing on the wall, the kids go off on their adventure to the great outdoors. However, it’s short-lived. Supposedly, there’s rock slides and mud so they can’t go camping anymore and the buses drop the kids off right back where they started. However, it’s late, and no one’s there to pick them up. It’s not super unusual.
Returning home the kids soon quickly discover that no one is home. Everyone else, aside from them, has disappeared from the town. Obviously, this is now the perfect opportunity to throw a giant rager, which the kids do. It’s shocking how little concern the kids give to the fact that all other residents are missing.
Here’s where we start to learn a little bit more about all these kids. There’s Cassandra and Allie (Rachel Keller and Kathryn Newton), who are sisters and Cassandra is very much the “perfect” one and set to go off to Yale the following year. Allie has a crush on Will (Jaques Colimon), who doesn’t necessarily reciprocate her feelings. Kelly and Harry get into a fight, and she’s not sure where they stand anymore. Luke comments that his girlfriend, Helena (Natasha Liu Bordizzo), isn’t at the rager because she doesn’t like this type of thing (she’s super religious). It’s also revealed that Becca (Gideon Adlon) is sort of the documenter/photographer of everything, and doesn’t want to join the party with Sam (Sean Berdy), because she’s busy taking pictures. Sam, who is deaf, has a brother named Campbell (Toby Wallace), and the two do not get along since Campbell has a disturbing rage streak. Elle (Olivia DeJonge), who is super shy and feels like an outcast, refuses some advances. And outside, Grizz notices that the writing he saw on the wall earlier in the day is now gone. Also, back in his own bed (because he’s kind of a “nerd”), Gordie (José Julián) learns that they appear to be cut off from the outside world, with no internet or wifi.
That’s a lot, it’s okay, it’ll all make sense and fit together eventually.
And the next morning when they wake up, there’s still no one around. They’re all alone. Cassandra suggests that maybe they drive to a nearby town to get help, and Harry sets off with a bunch of guys in his convertible to do so. Reaching the town limits they learn that they’re really cut off from everything — the road just... ends. There’s now a line of trees there and the train tracks in and out of the town have also been destroyed.
Cassandra suggests that they stick together, and stay together, to figure out what’s going on, but Harry doesn’t want to. He leaves, and then Campbell, against Cassandra’s wishes, alerts everyone else in the town that they’re isolated. Now on the brink of panic, the kids raid the grocery store like savages.
Over at the pharmacy, Cassandra is desperately trying to get her prescriptions because she’s got a heart murmur and needs her drugs. Gordie tries to comfort her, but it’s no use. But, he does promise to take care of Cassandra and offers to become her “doctor” to take care of her and her condition.
Things then, of course, get even worse for everyone. Cassandra gathers everyone in the town’s church to try and easy everyone over, but Campbell shows up with a gun and shoots it into the air. He also points the gun right out Cassandra, and this is called “foreshadowing” or “Chekhov's gun,” as that gun is 100% going to go off again. But, it’s not happening just yet.
A scouting party — that went out to see if they could reach another town on foot through the woods — has returned with horrible news. While out, one of the kids, Emily (Chloë Levine), was bitten by a snake and died from the bite. It’s the first episode and the town already has its first death.
Episode 2, “Our Town”
The kids try to go back to their normal lives as best as possible, but it’s harder on some than others. One girl, Gretchen (Madeline Logan), decides to just sit and wait on a bench in case the parents return. Spoiler alert: They don’t. While everyone is gathered on the town green, they witness a total solar eclipse that freaks everyone out, considering that they didn’t know one was going to happen. Even though they’ve been alone for over a week now, solar eclipses are still things that get news coverage a while beforehand. Gordie is the first to suggest they might be in an alternate reality or parallel universe.
Fearing that they’re going to run out of food eventually, Allie and Will decide to make an index of everything they have. While taking a tally, Will is visited by Kelly who offers to sit and help him. When Allie makes her way back to check on Will, she sees Kelly and him sitting together and feels rejected. On her way back home she sees Harry and tells him that Kelly’s getting close with Will which definitely angers him. Teenage drama, amirite?
Meanwhile, Elle makes her way over to a house to hang out with some of the other girls, but she’s denied entry and turned away, really driving home the fact that she’s a complete loner. Becca and Sam go through old photographs of the town, looking for any sort of clues, but then Becca runs out of the building and throws up in a nearby bush. Guess what! She’s pregnant. And Gordie tends to Cassandra, trying to take her heartbeat in a super awkward moment as he’s not sure whether he can touch her breast or not.
After Becca leaves him, Sam keeps going through the photos and documents of the town, when Campbell stops by for a visit. Sam finds a letter from Pfeiffer (remember him from the first episode!), demanding $1.5 million for the removal of the smell. The town refuses to pay in a letter dated the day before they disappeared. He tries to talk to Campbell about the documents, but Campbell demands that the papers be destroyed so their family isn’t blamed for anything. He rips everything up and storms out of the building.
That night, the whole town plays a game of fugitive. Needless to say, teenage hormones run rampant. The big takeaway is that Elle somehow ends up back at Campbell’s house and though she tries to leave, he gets her to stay by offering her cocaine. The two then masturbate together, as Campbell somehow convinces her that they’re in in the same — they’re both weird loners, and he promises to keep her safe.
Another important thing, Allie and Harry sleep together. Allie has the winning Line of the Episode with: “That was it?”
A rainstorm drives everyone outside to literally pillage the town, as things are set on fire and store windows are broken. Over narration, Becca warns that this is just the beginning of what’s the come.
Episode 3, “Childhood’s End”
The next day, the girls in the town gather together and realize that they’re more at risk than the boys. They’re nervous about being attacked, hurt, and raped if things get out of hand and Cassandra suggests that they start setting up some rules and laws to keep everyone safe. It’s actually a pretty good idea, and after some convincing, the girls decide to go along with it.
Kelly also proposes the idea of still going through with their planned prom. Cassandra is hesitant about it at first, but Kelly convinces her that it’ll be a good morale boost for everyone to have some sliver of normality right now. Using an already set up bar mitzvah, they decide to go through with the prom!
Cassandra calls a town meeting to explain how things are changing in the town. First up, food is going to be rationed and they’re going to eat it in the cafeteria, and everyone’s going to be assigned a job to do. Also, she’s putting together a “committee to go home” to try and figure out how to get back to where they came from. Campbell reluctantly shows up for the meeting, and mentions to Harry that it’s impressive that when “she called, they all came.” After the meeting, Harry calls Cassandra out to her face saying that while he’ll follow what she’s imposing, he doesn’t like it.
Someone else who’s not happy with Cassandra is Allie. Cassandra divvies up roles for the town and Allie is pissed to find out that she’s not on any overseeing committee with her sister. Cassandra tries to explain that she doesn’t think it’s fair to be left off like that, explaining to her sister that she’s supported her more than anyone else. The two fight, and eventually make up with Cassandra apologizing.
Another rule Cassandra has imposed is that people are going to start living together in the houses to try and conserve energy and water. No one’s sure exactly how long the both will last, and it’s a better safe than sorry situation. By cramming four or five people into every bedroom, it’ll hopefully make things easier down the road. Also, everyone also begins eating together in the cafeteria, which many are not too thrilled about, whether they’re the ones eating or serving the food (looking at you, Harry).
Speaking of Harry, Kelly discovers that her mom and Harry’s dad were having an affair. So now Harry is sad and mopey and complaining about everything, and that includes venting about Cassandra to some of the Other Boys in the town. (Sidenote: Many of the boys that Harry hangs out with are literally labeled in the subtitles as “Boy 1” and “Boy 2,” so don’t feel bad if you can’t tell any of them apart, let alone remember who they are.)
Shocking just about everyone, the New Ham prom actually goes off without a hitch. The kids dance, they have fun, they forget about the fact that they’re stranded somewhere in the universe all alone for a few hours, and they hook up. Gordie and Cassandra even share a kiss, because now the latter has feelings for him, too.
Will and Kelly also share a moment outside, even though inside the prom Will and Allie just had a moment. The Society is really trying to push a love triangle on us, but tbh, these three characters are fine completely on their own. I am just #TeamEverythingKelly, though, because she’s great. But they’re not the only couple, as Campbell and Elle hook up for the first time, and Gordie masturbates in his bed.
Cassandra stays behind after the prom has ended to clean everything up, clearly having a moment thinking back on the job well done. She heads outside to take out the trash when she meets a dog. This is shocking because as far as we know, the kids are the only living things in this town — animals are now here too? Cassandra doesn’t seem to think too much about it and bends down to pet the dog before it goes running off.
When she stands back up, Cassandra comes face to face with someone. We don’t know who they are, but Cassandra is clearly terrified. She asks, “what are you doing?” but before she can finish her sentence a gun cocks, and she’s been shot through the torso. Cassandra falls to the ground, bleeding out from her wounds.
Episode 4, “Drop by Drop”
Gordie performs an autopsy on Cassandra, while some of the stronger boys dig a grave for her outside. At the library, Becca looks through photos of Cassandra for a memorial service. It’s held at the church, and when Campbell and Harry show up Will kicks them out for trash talking Cassandra earlier. Lexie (Grace Victoria Fox) has also locked herself in her house and refuses to come out, because she’s scared as to who might be murdered in the town next. This is really the first time we’re introduced to Lexie as a character, and it’s not a super great introduction as her barricade inside her house doesn’t speak great to who she really is. Just know that Lexie is definitely someone who’s going to play a much bigger part in the series other than “hoarder.”
At the Cassandra Crime Scene, Gordie is now a crime scene investigator and going through the bushes to find the bullet casting. Allie is with him, upset about the fact that she had Cassandra had just had a fight and wonders if her sister died alone.
With Cassandra now gone, West Ham is starting to fall apart. No one is showing up for their assigned shifts and out of fear of the whole town falling apart, it’s suggested that Allie now take over in her sister’s place. She insists that the Guard — aka, the bodyguard, which Cassandra had formed for protection — now watch out for her.
Kelly confronts Harry and asks him if he had anything to do with Cassandra’s death, but he denies everything. Also, surprise, Helena has a safe full of guns in the garage? That’s a shock, and now she’s jumped to the top of the “probably killed Cassandra” list, but it doesn’t add up. Her gun is definitely a misdirect and feels somewhat out of place, but it is what it is.
Becca and Sam talk about her pregnancy, and she’s not exactly thrilled about it, but there’s nothing she can do — it’s not like there’s an OBGYN in West Ham anymore. Sam asks about the father and Becca grows visibly upset over the question, and refuses to answer him. She says that she never wants him to ask about the father again.
At the school for dinner, some of the kids are starting to crack and one of them draws a gun on the crowd (don’t worry if you’re like, “who are these kids, because I’ve never seen them before on the show?” They are literally identified as “Gun Boy” and “Gun Girl,” so they’re not that important). However, the big takeaway is that someone needs to step up and take charge of things otherwise everything is going to crumble almost immediately. Gordie, Will, Becca, Sam, Luke, and Grizz basically force Allie into taking on Cassandra’s role, even though she’s scared she’ll end up dead, too.
Later at the church, Allie announces what’s happening and that she’s taking over. She also declares that she’s going to confiscate all of the guns in the town (yes, Helena doesn’t want to give up her gun). Gordie and Bean (Salena Qureshi) then inspect all the guns, trying to match the bullet that killed Cassandra up to one of them.
Obviously, everyone wants to suspect Campbell because he had the biggest beef with Cassandra, and was vocal about his dislike of her rules. Sam breaks down and cries, explaining that his brother is actually a true psychopath and that he’s scared of him. And, it’s with good reason. Back at his house, Campbell finds Elle in the bathtub and forces her head under water until she almost drowns. When she comes up, gasping for breath, he tells her that he’s going to protect her as long as she stays with him. Yes, Campbell is an abusive boyfriend and is scaring Elle into submission.
Episode 5, “Putting on the Clothes”
Remember that stray dog that Cassandra saw moments before she died? Elle now finds the dog and brings it inside. It’s unfortunate that this dog isn’t a sign of coming death because that would be a neat twist to the show. However, it’s just a regular dog and Elle decides to name him “Charlie.” It’s clear that Campbell does not like this dog, even though the animal starts living with him and Elle. After the dog goes missing one night, it’s implied that Campbell killed him. Campbell is awful.
Harry is hanging out with some of his bros, and just like many other background characters on the series they are literally named Boy 1 and Boy 2. One of the boys does have a name, though, and it’s Dewey (Seth Meriweather). While Harry complains about Cassandra again, Dewey confesses that the killed Cassandra? As a favor to Harry?? And now he wants to be rewarded for it in Harry’s eyes??? It’s super strange and out of left field, but hey, he confesses to it. Dewey killed Cassandra in the name of Harry.
Now wrought with guilt, Harry confesses this to Kelly. Kelly is like “I am not taking on your emotional labor, Harry!” and this is why Kelly is a great character on the show. So Harry turns to Gordie and tells him about Dewey, and then Gordie tells the group that they need to check Dewey’s house for a gun.
It’s decided that the Guard is going to go and arrest Dewey, even though these kids have never arrested someone in their life before. Becca and Allie head off to the school to pull up Dewey’s records, and even Becca is like Dewey “is a complete nobody.” But he’s a nobody who killed Cassandra. The Guards find a gun and bullets in his closet and take him into custody.
With literally nowhere else to store a prisoner, Allie puts him in Luke’s wine cellar. This is now their makeshift prison. Gordie is able to match the bullets in Cassandra to Dewey’s gun and basically tells him that things are about to get bad.
Allie calls a meeting at the church and explains to everyone that Dewey is being held for killing Cassandra. There’s going to be a trial against him now, to determine if he’s guilty or not.
Helena is asked to defend Dewey, while Gordie serves as the prosecutor. Allie proceeds over the trial, with a jury who’s going to decide if he’s guilty or not in the end. Dewey is now claiming that all the evidence found in his room was planted, and Helena questions if there’s any possibility there could be another gun like Dewey’s that is an exact match the bullets. Harry later takes the stand and relays Dewey’s confession to everyone, so even though Helena is providing reasonable doubt, he’s later found guilty and the sentence is death.
When he’s allowed to say a few words to the church (aka, the courthouse), he basically says that he did this because women rejected him and he’s upset about that. Dewey killed Cassandra because everyone hated her, and also Campbell helped plan it. The Guards then arrest Campbell, too.
Episode 6, “Like a F-ing God or Something”
Allie tries to talk to Campbell, and he denies everything about his involvement with Dewey and Cassandra. Campbell is quick to point out that Allie doesn’t have any evidence against him, and she can’t keep him locked up like this. Allie isn’t phased of scared by his taunting, even after he threats to literally haunt her dreams if she kills him. Elle is also in the house and tries to talk to Allie but it’s clear that Allie does not like her. But then, Elle says that Allie has to kill Campbell, but doesn’t reveal why she wants that (we know it’s because he’s abusing her).
Harry is still trying to repent for the fact that maybe he indirectly killed Cassandra, and tries to talk to Kelly about it. She doesn’t have time for it, and Harry continues to complain about how rough his life has gotten. He is definitely a spoiled rich bro personified.
So remember when Cassandra set up the committee to investigate going home? Well, they’ve been doing some tests and have sent a balloon up into the air to try and take pictures of the surrounding area. All it is is a dense forest. Becca also explains that she’s been through a lot of the documents at town hall looking for anything out of the ordinary, and mentions this Pfeiffer guy again. There was a lot of correspondence with him, but eventually, it just cuts off right before the kids disappeared. Though Sam knows more about, he doesn’t let on.
Allie now has a Dewey problem on her hands, as he’s still locked up in the wine cellar and is refusing to eat. The Guard suggests that they actually have to do something about Dewey, and suggest that they kill him. Allie freaks out over the prospects of this and this leads her to let Campbell go (which is a huge mistake). Will then confronts Allie over the choices she has to make, and the two argue about it, with him telling her she needs to step up.
So what does she do? She decides it’s time to kill Dewey. She, along with the guard, Will, and Helena, take Dewey out into the forest and tie him up in a chair. The Guards are all given a gun — some with bullets, some without — so when they all shoot at Dewey no one will know if they were the one to actually kill him. However, the first time they all fire, they miss. Dewey, meanwhile, is begging for his life and it’s a pretty brutal scene to watch. Eventually, Allie steps in and grabs a gun herself, and when they fire again, Dewey is killed. Following this, Harry comes over to apologize to Allie for any role he had to play in Cassandra’s death, and Allie, through tears, tells him to GTFO.
Sam goes to talk to Becca, and for the first time, she feels the baby kick. Once again, Sam asks about the father of her baby, and she refuses to answer. Still pressing, Sam decides that he should be the father, and Becca should tell people that. At first, she’s upset because she doesn’t want Sam to commit to something he doesn’t want to do. But, he insists that he wants a family himself and she agrees to this arrangement. Many congrats to Sam and Becca!
Everyone’s still not over killing Dewey, and Grizz breaks down to Allie and they cry together. Allie then cries to Will, and when he’s less than comforting, she kicks him out of her room for the night (since they’ve been bunking together in a non-romantic way). Across town, Luke (Alex MacNicoll) can’t bring himself to climb into bed with Helena, as he believes he was the one who shot the bullet that killed Dewey. In the moment, Luke asks Helena to marry him and she’s shocked and confused but says yes. They have sex for the first time.
Episode 7, “Allie’s Rules”
We’ve now jumped six months into the future, and the town has fallen into a rhythm. But, not everything is coming easy. Gwen and Clark (Olivia Nikkanen and Spencer House) talk about their fake relationship, which they’re only keeping up with so they can have their own private room and bathroom. Only couples get private rooms to themselves, otherwise, they’ve got to share with others. Clark is ready to call it off, but Gwen isn’t ready for that.
Allie wakes up from a bad dream, one where the Guards turned on her, killed Will, and then shot her. She tells this to Will, as they’re starting to repair their fractured relationship. But she’s scared of what’s still going to happen in the future.
Thanksgiving is fast approaching, but before they can even focus on the holiday, Will has some upsetting news: He’s retallied the food and realizes that the food they have will last them through the upcoming winter and spring, but by summer they’re going to start running out. There’s already a plan in motion for an alternative solution, and Grizz is going to lead an expedition into the woods to try and find land suitable for farming. The kids are quick to point out none of them no how to farm, but just like they’ve learned how to do everything else, they'll learn how to do this.
Kelly runs into Becca, who’s taking pictures outside. Kelly, continuing to be the best person in West Ham, has been saving half of her rations to give to Becca, since she’s the only one who’s eating for two. After asking about the father, Becca says that it’s Sam, which Kelly doesn’t fully believe, but she goes along with it. Kelly also promises Becca that she’s going to help her with the baby since she can’t do everything by herself.
There’s thankfully a medical clinic in West Ham, and Kelly pokes around there because she really is going to take on the role of nurse for Becca. For some reason, she tries the sonogram machine out on herself, and while rubbing the wand over her stomach and looking at the monitor she exclaims, “I really hope that’s supposed to be there,” and is she... suggesting she might be pregnant, too?
Kelly later brings Becca by the clinic to do an ultrasound on her, showing her the baby for the first time.
Luke awkwardly walks in on Helena while she’s trying on her mother’s wedding dress. They have a frank discussion about getting married and it’s clear that Helena wants to go through with it, but is also pretty upset her mother won’t be there. Hoping to cheer her up, Luke breaks into one of the cases in the jewelry store and picks out a ring for her. He starts talking about why he loves Helena so much and comments that she believes in him so much and he likes the way she makes him feel like he can achieve anything. Luke heads off to the church to actually propose to Helena with a pretty gaudy ring. She certainly appreciates the gesture, but “doesn’t want to wear something we couldn’t afford in the real world.” Luke has planned for this and instead pulls out a ring he’s got around his neck, giving it to her.
All of Luke’s declarations of love get Grizz thinking, as he’s got someone special like that in his life and he wants to act on his feelings.
So, off to the library, Grizz goes to talk to… Sam. Grizz has secretly been learning sign language so he can talk to Sam, but Grizz accidentally learned British Sign Language, not American Sign Language. Sam can’t understand what he’s saying. It’s a cute moment between the two of them, but Sam doesn’t immediately connect that Grizz is doing this for him.
After spending a day going over farming techniques together, Grizz and Sam then sleep together.
Meanwhile, Harry is dealing with a bout of sadness and depression (also, some withdrawal symptoms since it’s not like there’s going to be a new supply of drugs in the city). The Guards go to visit him, but he refuses to get out of bed and work. This leads Allie to go and visit him, and she basically tells him that if he doesn’t get up and start working his rations are going to cut in half.
Thanksgiving is now upon us, and while everyone else is getting ready to cook and eat communally, Elle and Campbell are locked away in their house. The two of them are spending Thanksgiving together, alone, and Elle is making an entire dinner. She’s also making Campbell’s favorite, pumpkin pie — but it’s pumpkin pie, with a twist. Elle, who has suffered more than enough already, decides she’s going to take matters into her own hands and decides to pour antifreeze into the pumpkin pie in hopes of killing him.
When it’s time for dinner, Campbell isn’t that excited to actually eat what Elle’s prepared, and she suggests they start with dessert first. This is definitely exciting for him, but then Campbell changes their entire plan: What if the two of them head down to the church where everyone else is eating, and join them? Elle is adamantly against this, but Campbell is insistent, and before she can argue with him the two of them are out the door, poisoned pie in hand.
Down at the church, a Thanksgiving football match has just wrapped up and the committee for going home has a big announcement to make. They don’t know where they are, but they know where they aren’t.
Gordie and Bean take the floor and explain that the solar eclipse (that we saw in the second episode), helped point them in the right direction. According to Bean, the solar eclipse they saw was actually scheduled for 2024, and we’re currently in the present day right now. Everyone is quick to ask if they’ve traveled forward in time, but Gordie has an explanation for that. He believes that, well, “this Earth isn’t our own.” Some of the stars in the sky matchup, but the star Betelgeuse, part of Orion, is a few degrees off. Also, there are no satellites that they can see between Earth and the moon, so he’s suggesting they’re in a parallel universe.
This news prompts Allie to rename West Ham as New Ham, since technically they’re the first settlers here. And it’s now their first Thanksgiving.
The Society is also still really pushing the Kelly-Will-Allie love triangle, and Kelly and Will decide to meet up after Thanksgiving, breaking curfew.
But back at Thanksgiving, Elle and Campbell show up and before she can stop them, her poisoned pumpkin pie is whisked away for the dessert table. Elle sits in silence with Campbell, as she watches it from afar.
Episode 8, “Poison”
Thanksgiving is still in full swing, and now it’s time for dessert. Slices of the pumpkin pie start disappearing, and the kids start eating them. Elle, literally fearing the worst, decides that she’s going to try and eat the remaining pie pieces herself hopefully stopping others from getting sick.
The improv group (because of course the students form an improv group) puts on a sketch after dessert and while it starts off completely harmless, it quickly snowballs into an attach on Allie. Lexie literally steals the show, taking on the persona of a wicked witch who imposes strict rules, hates fun, and is just all around horrible. She even mimes Cassandra being shot, and Dewey’s killing, which sets Allie over the edge. Returning home she’s upset but doesn’t want to bring Lexie in for any sort of questioning since that will look bad.
By the time everyone is home, the poisoned pie starts to kick in. Allie had a slice, and she starts throwing up. She asks someone to get Will for her, but he’s nowhere to be found because he’s hooking up with Kelly.
Characters named Marnie and Erica are also sick, but Elle has the worst of it since she tried to eat so much more pie than anyone else. She’s fighting stomach pains, clearly has some sort of fever, and by the time Campbell comes to check on her, she’s convulsing and gasping for breath.
Everyone’s brought to the clinic, where Kelly has taken charge and is trying to keep everyone alive (and her cure for this is giving everyone Pedialyte). Gordie is trying to help as best he can, and the two quickly realize neither one of them knows how to insert an IV. Elle is now literally on the verge of death, and giving her an IV might be the only way to save her.
She’s clearly accepted death, and Elle asks Helena to pray for her. When Elle realizes that she’s not going to die, and already has an IV in her, she freaks out because she wasn’t ready to face the truth that she did this to everyone.
Allie is also incredibly sick, and passes out with Will by her side — but not before calling him out on not being there when she started throwing up.
While all of this is going on, Becca starts having issues with her pregnancy (she thankfully didn’t eat any of the pie), and Sam comes rushing down to the hospital to be by her side. Sam also completely forgot to tell Grizz that he’s having a baby, which freaks him out.
Somehow, no one dies (nice work, Kelly!), and all the patients are discharged. Gordie is now trying to figure out if this was food poisoning that hit all of them, or something else. Will, Bean, and Allie believe that it might be poison, and have their sights set on talking to Campbell, Lexie, and Harry since those three are causing the most trouble right now.
The guard also questions Elle, and Campbell almost immediately realizes that it was her. He says that he ate part of her pumpkin pie too (which he did not), but he didn’t get sick, so it couldn’t have been her cooking.
Lexie is actually brought in for questioning, with Jason and Clark keeping her down in the wine cellar. They strongly suggest that she had something to do with the poison, but the boys refuse to let her talk to Allie, or anyone else. Lexie quickly becomes distraught because she just got her period and knows she’s bleeding through her dress and asks for a change of clothing. While the guys retrieve a change of clothing for her, they refuse to leave the room while she’s changing.
With the drama of Thanksgiving now over, this means that some one-night Thanksgiving romances are also going to end. Grizz confronts Sam about the fact that he’s having a baby, and is pretty upset that Sam didn’t tell him about this giant, life-altering thing. Kelly is also pretty hurt because she couldn’t help but notice that even after they slept together, Will spent the entire night by Allie’s side while she was sick. Kelly gets Will to admit that he actually loves Allie. Following this, Kelly goes to see Harry to try and get him out of bed.
One couple that shockingly stays together is Elle and Campbell. He knows that she poisoned the pie attempting to poison just him, and probably kill him. He’s shocked about it, but he’s not mad. He feels like this just further proves that the two are the same, since just like he’s tried to hurt people, now she has, too.
If you’ve been waiting for Lexie to completely implode, it’s happening. She confronts Allie on the street about the fact that Jason and Clark made her change in front of them, and Lexie calls it torture. Allie tells Lexie to get over it, which is not what she wants to hear.
Allie’s got bigger things to worry about, as she tells the town that there’s going to be an election to elect an actual mayor and council. Anyone who wants to run can run. That night, Will climbs into bed with Allie for the first time and while they don’t sleep together, they cuddle.
Episode 9 "New Names"
Gordie has figured out that the poison in the pie is antifreeze, and Allie wants everyone with antifreeze in their house rounded up. It’s certainly an idea, but it’s a bad idea, and Will warns that it’s probably never going to turn up results. Allie then calls Will out on the night they had, where they were in bed together, and demands an answer from him about what it was. He confesses that he has feelings for her and the two share a passionate kiss.
Campbell has decided that Harry is going to run for mayor, but Harry does not want to run for mayor. Harry is clearly going through things and tries to fight Campbell’s words but he’s too convincing. Later, Kelly confronts Harry about this, upset about the fact that he’s aligned himself with Campbell.
Campbell is a lot of things, but above all, he’s the worst. Helena finds Elle in the church and notices that she’s bleeding. She’s super reluctant to show Helena what’s wrong and finally reveals that Campbell has carved some sort of “C” into her arm.
This opens up the floodgates, and Elle reveals everything to Helena, including the fact that she’s terrified of Campbell. Helena, who deserves a lot more credit for genuinely just being a nice person, promises to keep Elle safe, and insists that the two of them go talk to Allie.
Down at the school, Grizz is getting ready to head out on an expedition with a group of explorers — they are literally like settlers in the new world. Allie stops by to talk to him, and Grizz shares the fact that he’s worried about everything, mostly just because he’s recently seen some “signs” (like the graffiti he saw in the very first episode). Trying to put it out of his head. Allie reassures him that everything will be fine, but Grizz still isn’t sure.
Following their kiss, Allie has been questioning her relationship with Will. She decides that it’s best if they don’t pair off right now because she knows she has to make decisions alone and not as a team. If the town thinks the two of them are working together, who are they going to trust? And if Allie is in love with Will, and he suggests something that might not be the best for the town, how is she to separate herself from that? Allie’s taking on too much right now, and she’s got so much on her plate something has to go. And it’s Will.
Now that Kelly has lost Harry, and also Will, The Society wants to give her another boy, and please, The Society, just let Kelly be Kelly. However, The Society has decided that Gordie is the new guy for Kelly. While the two of them try to make sense of the clinic — Becca’s baby is coming, and they’ve got to be ready — Gordie suggests that the two of them actually start studying the medical textbooks together. Kelly perks up at this idea, and asks if this means they’re going to be “partners.” Gordie’s into it. Clearly, Kelly is, too.
And because everyone has to be either coupled off, of breaking things off, in the town of New Ham, Sam goes to try and talk to Grizz. He’s less than enthusiastic to talk to him and the two of them part on a sour note.
After Campbell breaks into Helena’s house in the middle of the night looking for Elle, she decides that it’s safer just for her to go off on her own. It’s certainly an interesting idea to run away but… it’s not like she can get far. The town is literally isolated.
Eventually, Elle ends up at Allie’s where she confesses everything. She poisoned the pie, but only because she needed to get away from Campbell. Hearing this, Allie immediately changes her tune about Elle and promises to protect her. It’s decided that Allie will “arrest” Elle in order to keep her cooped up inside the house, since that way Campbell can’t get to her.
Just because Elle has been arrested that doesn’t mean Campbell isn’t going to try and see her. He storms over to Allie’s house and demands to see his girlfriend, but no one will let him inside.
The whole town gathers to see Gwen, Grizz, Bean, Mickey and “the lanky boy” (I’m serious, that’s how he’s described in the audio description subtitles) off as they head out in search of suitable land to farm. Sam comes to see Grizz off, and the two of them share a kiss and 10/10 would watch a show about Grizz, Sam, and Becca raising a baby together in this strange apocalyptic world. The group then sets off amid cheers and pom-poms for parts unknown.
With the explorers now off, it’s time for the mayor debate. Allie goes up against Harry and while Harry is making some good points, he runs out of time before he can finish. Allie, clearly way more prepared, has a lot of eloquent things to say about how far the town has come since the beginning and...
But then who should appear? Lexie. She’s also running for mayor and she has some things to say. Storming onto the floor, Lexie starts ranting about how awful Harry is, and how Allie has basically created some sort of oligarchy between herself and the Guards. Everyone quickly starts buying what Lexie is selling.
After the uproar at the debate, Gordie breaks the news to Allie that it does certainly appear that everyone was more impressed with Lexie than her. Will, trying to comfort her, only upsets her more with Allie fiercely demanding, through tears, that she doesn’t know what she wants anymore and is just trying to do her best. This still doesn’t stop Allie from later climbing into bed with Will, stating that she doesn’t feel in control.
Another case of The Society hitting the nail a little too hard on the head comes when Kelly walks in on Becca listening to the audiobook of the Martian Chronicles. She’s tired and bored, so Kelly suggests they pass the time by looking at old photos. The two scroll through pictures of the beginning of their doomed camping trip and their time on the bus when they stop and linger on a picture of Cassandra.
At first, it just looks like a regular picture. But, taking a closer look at it Kelly realizes that the bus driver behind Cassandra looks awfully familiar and that he’s not just a bus driver.
Episode 10, “How it Happens”
So, this bus driver. Kelly marches over to Harry’s to show him the picture and asks if he recognizes this man. Harry does not, mostly because he’s in some sad, dazed state and sitting alone in a dark room. But Kelly doesn’t have time for that and shoves the phone in this face. This guy? He’s the same guy Kelly and Harry saw talking with their parents in the very first episode. This is the Pfeiffer man who left and gave them a look.
Lexie is now holding little group sessions where she laments about how awful things are under Allie. She’s pissed about having to work and getting docked food, and the fact that Allie has never asked anyone if they’re okay with these rules. Lexie compares New Ham to a police state. People clap for her, and clearly, she’s gaining support.
Fearing that her power is dwindling, Allie asks to meet with Lexie and it goes about as well as you’d expect. Lexie doesn’t want to talk and tells Allie, point blank, she’s not afraid of her. Trying to offer her a compromise, Allie offers Lexie the option to run for council, but it’s of no use.
Allie doesn’t know what to do and starts coming to terms with the fact that she’s going to lose the election. She makes Will also promise that he knows she’s going to lose the election.
Campbell, meanwhile, believes he’s going to win the election, via Harry. He’s going to help him win the election and run the town, and this is all being done so Harry can keep receiving drugs from Campbell. This is going to turn horribly wrong very fast.
At least on the bright side of things, the explorers find land! They find a huge plot of it roughly about an hour away from New Ham, and not only that, the area is full of turkeys. They’ve not only got land but now they’ve got animals to hunt, too.
Kelly has now brought the photo of Pfeiffer to the larger group, explaining to Allie, Gordie, Becca, Sam, and Will that she saw him arguing with their parents shortly before all of this happened. She’s also found messages and documents between them. Sam pipes up and reveals that he saw some of the documents, including the one where the town refused to pay $1.5 million to have the smell removed.
So how did Pfeiffer do this? Allie suggests that he drove the bus between two parallel universes and Gordie is like, “no, that’s not how it works.” The kids also aren’t even sure if they’re the ones who are being punished, or if it’s their parents. Maybe they were taken away to punish their parents? Maybe they’re safe, and their parents aren’t? Unfortunately, they can’t dwell on this for very long because Becca goes into labor.
Because Kelly can literally do anything and should be running this town herself, she acts as Becca’s doctor during the birth. But remember, Becca’s literally gone through this pregnancy with little to no medical attention, and it at first appears that the baby is stillborn — it’s not breathing. Kelly grabs the baby, flips it upside down, rubs its back with a towel, and then flicks its feet to get it to cry. Miraculously, this works. I can also tell you I googled this so you don't have to, and yes, this is a thing. Becca and Sam decide to name the baby girl Eden.
Everyone else is still very much trying to figure out how to win (or rig) the election. Helena goes to Allie, suggesting that they team up to work together to stop Lexie. Meanwhile, Campbell goes to Lexie and lays out his plan to her.
That’s when the Guard shows up at Allie’s house and arrests her and Will, on Campbell’s orders. He believes he’s “freeing’ Elle and also stopping Allie from stealing the election. Both of these things are, naturally, lies. But that’s not going to stop Campbell.
Watching Campbell find Elle in the house is terrifying, because she’s visibly scared, too. Before she leaves, Campbell makes her spit in Allie’s face. It’s heartbreaking because Elle knows she has to do it to keep her cover and Allie knows it has to happen.
Down at the church, Helena is talking the crowd about how hard it is to lead, and that Allie’s doing the best job she can. Lexie then busts in and tells the crowd that Allie and Will have both been arrested and Luke explains that he heard the two of them rigging the election. This is enough to shock the crowd into believing Lexie, who then tells everyone that she and Harry are going to be joint mayors for the time being until they can hold another election at a later date.
The first order of business as new mayors? Change all of Allie’s rules. Everyone’s allowed to go back to their own homes and Harry is very excited to clean house. Kelly is furious to realize that Harry aligned with Campbell for his own self-benefit.
Allie and Will are brought in front of an angry mob outside the church, and they’re literally an angry mob — someone even throws a stone at Allie and it hits her in the face, cutting her. While this chaos is going on, Grizz and the rest of the explorers return home and announce that they’ve found land, fish, and animals to help them survive. Lexie tries to reassure everyone that they’ll be okay, but her voice doesn’t sound completely certain.
Suddenly, everything cuts to black and we’ve got a shot of the moon. The dog, who we’ve seen a few times before already, is sitting in front of the library and a hand reaches down to pet it. It’s the mother of Allie (and Cassandra)! So that answers our question as to if she’s dead or not. Here, she’s very much alive.
Allie’s mom heads into the library and begins reading from Peter Pan to a group of kids and a few adults, all of whom are wearing yellow ribbons on their shirts. Behind her is a giant plaque that reads “WE REMEMBER THEM” and lists off all the names of the kids who are… missing? Dead? In another parallel dimension? Stranded somewhere in time or space? We don’t know, and we won’t know until season 2 of The Society. The episode, and season, ends here, leaving us to wonder just what the heck is going on in New Ham.