Ending a debut season of a show on a tense cliffhanger is a sure fire way to get fans counting down the weeks and months to the start of a second run – and this strategy has been utilised to tremendous effect on Netflix’s I Am Not Okay With This.
The action-packed season one finale managed to fit a lot into its short 20 minute runtime – with a dramatic incident at a school Homecoming dance followed by a mysterious encounter with a curious figure, and some fans are searching for answers after bingeing their way through the seven episodes.
Here’s everything you need to know…
What happened between Sydney and Brad at the Homecoming dance?
Throughout the first season of I Am Not Okay With This, we watch as angst-ridden protagonist Sydney (Sophia Lillis) realises the extent of her superpowers, which she is originally confused and troubled by. They appear to be inextricably linked to her temperament which, being a teenager, she struggles to keep under control.
This all reaches a bloody climax at the Homecoming dance, when jock character Brad (Richard Ellis) – who until recently had been dating Sydney’s best friend and secret love interest Dina (Sofia Bryant) – confronts her in true school bully fashion. He reveals that he had stolen her diary, and with the attention of the entire school year, he begins to tell his captive audience about all the things Sydney has written – including her feelings for Dina.
Not surprisingly, and with some justification, this causes Sydney to lose her temper – but this time her telekinesis is more super-powered than ever, and she inadvertently causes Brad’s head to explode in rather gruesome fashion. Far more extreme than the nose bleed she had caused him to have in an earlier episode, that’s for sure.
This explains all the foreshadowing shots we’ve been seeing up until that point in the series, which see Sydney run away drenched in blood in a scene which looks like it could be straight out of Carrie. As Sydney reflects on the incident while seeking refuge in the woods towards the end of the episode, we hear her say in a voiceover – “I didn’t mean to, I just wanted him to stop talking. That’s all.”
We can safely assume then, that Sydney has not suddenly discovered a murderous urge – she simply can’t keep a handle on the superpowers with which she’s been gifted.
Who was that mysterious figure at the end of the episode?
Even if the episode had finished with Sydney running away after the Homecoming incident, it would have made for an exciting end to the series – but the writers had one more surprise in store for us before the credits rolled.
As Sydney is collecting herself in the woods and attempting to plan her next steps, a mysterious figure steps out from the shadows – whose face we do not see. Sydney asks the man if she should be afraid, to which he replies simply “They should be afraid – let’s begin.”
Now, naturally there are no easy answers as to who this man is, and quite what he is planning on “beginning” with Sydney remains a mystery, as does who exactly should be afraid. The deliberate ambiguity hints that the figure could be either a good guy who wants to teach Sydney to keep her powers under control, or a villain who wants her to utilise them for bad.
The most popular theory as to the man’s identity is that he is Sydney’s father, who we previously believe to be dead. We know that he suffered similarly to Sydney towards the end of his life, in part due to an incident during his military service which saw his entire patrol murdered except for him – which some people believe to be an indication that he also had powers that he couldn’t keep under control.
It certainly seems plausible that he could have faked his own death out of concern for his family’s safety, worrying a terrible fate might befall them should he hang around and accidentally cause another incident.
Then again, Sydney did not display signs of recognition when the man appeared – but perhaps she was purely just in shock, given the incident she had just been involved in and the sudden reappearance of the father she believed to be dead. It could, of course, simply be another man with similar powers – but that wouldn’t be nearly as interesting, would it?
- Meet the cast of Netflix’s I Am Not Okay With This
- I Am Not Okay With This season 1 soundtrack: every song featured on the new Netflix series
While it might be tempting to look for answers by going back to the source material and seeing what happened there, that wouldn’t actually be helpful on this occasion – the graphic novel had a definitive ending and so any season two of the show would be heading into brand new territory.
Speaking to Decider, series director Jonathan Entwistle said, “The questions I want people to ask are, who has come to town? Is it going to be the mentor ‘Professor X’ or is it going to be the Sith Lord come to take Syd to the Dark Side?
“I think when you’ve got the type of powers that she’s got you can become an asset in a bigger world that’s been brewing outside of the tiny town where we started the story, so I’d like it immediately off the bat to be a hint that, whoa, there’s a bigger world out there than just one girl with crazy powers.”
Very intriguing – and fans will be hoping season two is given the green light as soon as possible…
I Am Not Okay With This season one is streaming now on Netflix