The Irregulars ends on a surprisingly optimistic note for a Netflix show about the imminent Victorian era apocalypse. In season 1 finale “The Ecstasy of Life,” Bea (Thaddea Graham) and her friends help close The Rip — which is a literal rip between our land of the living and an afterlife dimension — with the help of Dr. John Watson (Royce Pierreson). Bea and her psychically gifted sister Jessie (Darci Shaw) may have lost their dead mother Alice (Eileen O'Higgins) for a second time, but they saved the world in the process. The “surprise” Big Bag of The Irregulars, the obviously nefarious Linen Man (Clarke Peters), even dies in the first half of “Ecstasy of Life,” leaving the teen detectives without a fearsome adversary.
Bea and Watson are instead left to lick their lovesick wounds in the finale’s last minutes. Watson broods over the loss of Sherlock Holmes (Killing Eve baddie Henry Lloyd-Hughes), who decided to follow Alice into limbo rather than stay in our reality. Bea cries after learning that her crush Leo (Harrison Osterfield), the actual Prince of England, agreed to marry another royal to save the Irregulars. Bea and Watson think the greatest present threat is their feelings.
But, what if they’re wrong? Despite the deep emotionality of “Ecstacy of Life,” The Irregulars requires a true supernatural threat, should it continue for a second season (Netflix has yet to order more episodes). If you dig deep into the final episodes of The Irregulars, you’ll realize the series may have already told us who that villain will be: The Linen Man’s son.
The Irregulars may be goofy, but it's still a genre show. In series like this, every breadcrumb counts, even if such details appear in what seems like a forgettable scene. One of those examples sprouts up in penultimate season 1 episode “The Ecstasy of Death.” Jessie spends the chapter trapped in her nightmares, as part of the Linen Man’s plot to find The Rip and take its power. While Jessie crawls through imaginary tunnels, the Linen Man torments her. As a showy villain is wont to do, all of this talk leads the Linen Man to spill his entire grand evil scheme.
“I have a son. He’s an Ipsissimus too,” the Linen Man begins. As viewers learn in the aptly titled third Irregulars episode “Ipsissimus,” an Ipsissimus is a “true psychic” and means “powerful one” in this story. Jessie, the Linen Man, and (apparently) the Linen Man’s unnamed son are all Ipsissimi. In “Ecstasy of Death,” the Linen Man reveals that he wants to pool the power of Jessie and his son by forcing them to have children together. “You will create a dynasty of Ipsissimi, who will rule over men long after I’m gone,” the Linen Man explains. This is the reason the Linen Man did not kill Jessie when he met her earlier in the episode.
The Irregulars put a major hitch in the Linen Man’s plan by killing him off. Now, he’ll never see the creepy “dynasty” he was so determined to build.
That doesn’t mean the Linen Man’s dream is dead. With The Rip closed and the Linen Man dead, no one is better poised to stir up trouble for the Irregulars than the Linen Man’s son, who is kept off screen throughout season 1. At the most simple level, it makes sense for the son — whom we’ll call Linen Boy Jr. for clarity’s sake — to want to travel to London to avenge the death of his father. It seems inevitable that Linen Boy Jr. will blame the Irregulars for Linen Man’s death, ignoring the gruesome crimes committed by his family member. It’s a willfully obtuse villain tale as old as the Dire Hard series.
Then there is the matter of the Ipsissimi dynasty. If the Linen Man so casually announced that he planned to marry his son off to Jessie to serve his plot for world domination, it’s likely Linen Boy Jr. was raised to expect such an arranged betrothal, should the supernatural opportunity arise.
Looking towards season 2, Linen Boy Jr., may be equally as passionate about his father’s plan as he was. If you grow up believing you’re destined to be a king, who wouldn’t want that all-powerful future? From what we’ve learned of the Linen family, Linen Boy Jr. could easily view seducing Jessie as a convenient stepping stone to greatness and nothing more. Linen Boy Jr. could spend next season attempting to court Jessie — without revealing his identity — or he could simply kidnap her like a baldfaced Victorian ne'er-do-well. Either outcome is an effective seed for a season of YA horror drama — especially since Jessie ends The Irregulars season 1 flirting with very nice boy Spike (McKell David).
No teen show has ever turned down a doomed love triangle.