This post contains spoilers for "Wednesday."
Tim Burton's "Wednesday" is packed to the brim with suspicious characters, its titular character most definitely included. Wednesday Addams, played by Jenna Ortega, is attending a school for outcasts with supernatural abilities, but the true danger is outside the academy walls. A mysterious monster is attacking the townspeople, but when Wednesday crosses its path, it doesn't hurt her. She takes it upon herself to discover exactly what — or who — this monster is. The monster's identity is revealed in the penultimate episode, but there were lots of hints along the way.
Wednesday's first encounter with the monster is in the first episode when she runs into the forest after another Nevermore student, Rowan. The boy tries to kill her, but she is miraculously saved by the monster. The monster kills Rowan but leaves Wednesday alive. Wednesday later points out that Xavier saw her disappear into the forest, but one other person saw exactly where she ran off to — Tyler.
Tyler seems unsuspecting at first. He's a normie attending the local public high school, works at a coffee shop, and his dad is the town sheriff. He is incredibly eager to help Wednesday, seemingly because he has a crush on her, but his cracks start to show in episode two when he reveals that he has been issued court-ordered therapy. For anyone else, this would be a red flag, but Wednesday is also seeing her therapist involuntarily. Because Wednesday is drawn to the macabre, she ignores the signs that are right in front of her.
Coffee Grounds And Concealed Rage
While attending anger management classes is relatively common and should not be stigmatized, Tyler gives plenty of other red flags before the big reveal at the end of "Wednesday." He sinks into the bathtub and screams underwater in episode 3 of the Netflix series, suggesting that he has a concealed rage boiling under the surface, or an inability to regulate his emotions. Xavier more or less confirms this when he tells Wednesday that Tyler attacked him, but a violent outburst only makes Wednesday feel that she has more in common with him.
Wednesday ignores a lot of hints about Tyler's secret identity because of her own quirks. She even catches Tyler following his dad on a monster hunt with coffee grounds in his pocket to throw off his dog's scent. She doesn't question it because it's exactly what she would do out of morbid curiosity. Tyler discourages Wednesday from going to the old pilgrim meeting house in episode 3 and offers to take her there himself. She goes by herself because Tyler has to work for a while but right after telling Tyler where she'll be, the monster shows up.
The Photograph And The Deadly Flowers
Tyler isn't the only one who gives himself away. When the sheriff develops a picture of the Hyde at the end of episode 3, he is not shocked by the image of the monster — he knows it well. He recognizes what the Hyde looks like because his wife was a Hyde. From that moment on, he realizes that his son is behind the latest batch of murders he is investigating. Tyler actually hints at his mother's true identity in episode 4. While he waits for Wednesday to get ready for the Raven dance, he looks into the trophy case at a photo of the fencing team — a photo of his deceased mother, who attended Nevermore as a Hyde.
Ms. Thornhill is less obvious about being the Hyde's master than Tyler is about being the Hyde, which is why her identity is the ultimate mystery that Wednesday spends the finale episode unraveling. Ms. Thornhill is also a normie, like Tyler, which makes her unassuming. She has a greenhouse of carnivorous plants and says that "the most interesting plants grow in the shade," suggesting that she is more intrigued by the darker sides of things. Since Wednesday and many of the other students at Nevermore have a similar penchant for the macabre, it's easy for Ms. Thornhill's more questionable qualities to go unnoticed.
Another clue lies in Thornhill's casting. Thornhill is played by Christina Ricci, who played Wednesday as a child in "The Addams Family" and "Addams Family Values." Thornhill definitely has a darker side that she doesn't let on at first. She tells Wednesday that they are a lot alike (a wink at Ricci's old role) but Wednesday doesn't believe her. Ricci's character could never be boring — like Wednesday, she has a nefarious side.
The Monster At The Gates House
Probably the most obvious clue about the Hyde's identity comes in episode 6 of "Wednesday." Tyler takes Wednesday to the Gates house, and she figures out that the Hyde is meeting its master there, and that the master is the long-lost daughter of the Gates family. Wednesday's parents are responsible for the death of her brother, so this long-lost daughter is easily believed to be targeting Wednesday.
Tyler quickly disappears into the house and, soon after, the monster turns up out of nowhere. When the girls escape the house and lose the monster's trail, Wednesday turns back for Tyler and finds him immediately. He scratches himself to make it seem like he also encountered the monster, but he and the monster are never seen together.
Wednesday discovers that the monster she's encountered is a Hyde in the penultimate episode. She finds a diary that profiles the monster and shows it to Tyler. Later that same day, Tyler takes her on a date and distracts her while Ms. Thornhill ransacks her room and steals the diary. This is the last clue that Tyler leaves before Wednesday discovers his identity through a vision after sharing a kiss.
In any other series, Tyler would have been the obvious villain from the very beginning but in "Wednesday," the dark and mysterious are made normal and fun. That makes it much more difficult to tell the heroes from the villains — but it also makes the show a lot more interesting.
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The post The Big Clue You May Have Missed In Wednesday appeared first on /Film.