Everything We Know About 'Dead to Me' Season 3
More twists are coming soon.
With its many juicy twists and enticing crime-fueled drama, Netflix's Emmy-nominated comedy thriller Dead to Me from creator Liz Feldman flies by like a page-turning summer beach read. The series—starring Christina Applegate in a Golden Globe-nominated performance and Linda Cardellini as a messed-up pair of Laguna Beach BFFs who met through tragedy and came together over their shared love for The Facts of Life, Entenmann's, and, well, a handful of deaths and incriminating secrets that follow them wherever they go—has amassed a huge following for its sense of humor, the savvy way it handles trauma, and the breadcrumbs of jaw-dropping reveals at every turn that always leave you wanting more.
When Season 2 dropped in May 2020, it ended with the wild kind of cliffhanger the show has become known for, among many other open-ended questions that the series seems poised to answer in a third installment. While fans are left to guess what's next for the Thelma and Louise of Netflix, here's everything we know about Dead to Me Season 3 so far.
Will there be a Season 3 of Dead to Me?
Yes! Netflix announced in July 2020 that Dead to Me will return for a third—and final—season. Good things have to end eventually, and show creator Liz Feldman told Deadline that she never intended the show to be a long one anyhow. Feldman plotted out how the show was going to wrap up while working on Season 2, so have no fear: The madness that is the friendship between Jen and Judy should receive a satisfying end. "There was a certain point when we were in production on Season 2 when the end of the show came to me, pretty profoundly, so I realized, 'I know the story that I have to tell' and Season 3 feels like the right time to do that," Feldman said. "It’s just something that came to me organically, and I tend to try to follow the gut feelings I have."
When will Season 3 of Dead to Me premiere?
Right now, Dead to Me is in the process of shooting Season 3. The showrunner announced on Twitter that production began in May, and the cast and crew have been at it for much of the summer, according to Daily Mail shots of the cast back on set from early June and an interview Feldman gave with Uproxx later in the month.
In August in the midst of filming, star Christina Applegate took to Twitter to publicly share that she was recently diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, or MS. She tweeted, "A few months ago I was diagnosed with MS. It's been a strange journey. But I have been so supported by people that I know who also have this condition. It's been a tough road. But as we all know, the road keeps going. Unless some asshole blocks it." She also posted, "As one of my friends that has MS said, 'we wake up and take the indicated action.' And that's what I do. So now I ask for privacy. As I go through this thing. Thank you xo."
After the news broke, Netflix shared with The Hollywood Reporter that it intends to give Applegate the privacy that she needs, and therefore decided to pause production on Dead To Me for the time being. The streaming service said in a statement, "We love and support Christina and respect her privacy as she takes the time and space she needs in this moment."
It's currently unclear how long filming will be on pause for, or how much of Season 3 remains to be filmed. If the final episodes were shot in sequence, so that whatever's already done shooting could enter post-production, it's possible to imagine that at least some of the installments will be released this fall. But the safer bet is to expect our last check-in with Jen and Judy to arrive sometime in early 2022.
How many episodes are there in Dead to Me Season 3?
No official episode count has been confirmed, but considering both Seasons 1 and 2 had 10 episodes, that seems likely for the final installment, too.
Who in the cast will return?
There sure is a lot of murder on the twisty crime series, but the leads have yet to be killed off, at least. Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini's BFF duo Jen and Judy may have gotten into a pretty brutal car crash at the end of Season 2, but it was clear they survived the accident, so you can be sure they'll be back for more. Considering the show is entirely based around their sometimes toxic/sometimes reliable friendship, they'll obviously be around for its entire run.
James Marsden will also be back as Ben. When Jen killed Judy's ex-fiancé Steve back at the end of Season 1, it seemed pretty clear that Marsden wouldn't be back on the show. Dead to Me managed to pull one of the oldest, soapiest tricks in the book, though, and brought him back as Steve's twin brother Ben—because who wouldn't want more Marsden? Ben is still around and wrapped up in the same drama as Jen and Judy, so he'll definitely return. In fact, Liz Feldman told Entertainment Weekly that "Ben goes on quite a journey" in the upcoming episodes.
She also mentioned, somewhat shockingly, that we'll see more of Marsden as Steve, too. At this point, that means flashbacks, but assume we'll learn more about his nefarious dealings.
As for the rest of the cast, Jen's kids Charlie (Sam McCarthy) and Henry (Luke Roessler) should continue to be in the mix, and the same goes for her annoying neighbor Karen (Suzy Nakamura) and detectives Ana Perez (Diana Maria Riva) and Nick Prager (Brandon Scott). It's also possible that we'll see more of the police chief Howard Hastings (Jere Burns), who was revealed to be corrupt and working with the mob at the end of Season 2.
Last season introduced a handful of exciting additions, but it wasn't totally clear if we would be seeing more of them by the end. According to a Linda Cardellini fan account on Twitter, though, it does appear Judy's mother, played by Katey Sagal, will be back, and Natalie Morales, who plays Michelle, was also spotted on set. It's hard to say how much we'll be seeing of them—especially since Judy's mom is in prison—but it's possible their relationships become even more central to the plot. In terms of Frances Conroy, who joined the cast as Ben and Steve's mother Eileen Woods in Season 2, her appearance is still up in the air.
What will Dead to Me Season 3 be about?
With Season 1 and Season 2 each focusing on one character's secret—the first being that Judy was involved with the hit-and-run that killed Jen's husband, and the second being that Jen didn't actually kill Steve in self-defense—Season 3 is set to be about somebody else's secret. Showrunner Liz Feldman told Refinery29 she knew where the upcoming installment would go, based on how Season 2 ended. She said, "Now there's somebody else with a secret." That's likely in reference to Ben, since he crashed into Jen and Judy while driving under the influence and drove away from the scene. As Feldman says, she's interested in continuing to explore the "constant give and take of, Do you tell somebody something if you know it will hurt them?" so the next installment should surround Ben's reckoning with abandoning the accident, potentially injuring Jen, whom he was romantically involved with, and whatever legal case ensues.
James Marsden even spoke to the possibility of Season 3 centering on the compounding dilemmas in Ben's life to TV Guide. He said, "Not only is he maybe going to find out that Jen was responsible for his brother's death, he's also guilty of a hit-and-run. And they were the victims of the hit-and-run. And his brother was guilty of a hit-and-run in the first season ... I believe [Ben] does make a conscious effort to look at himself in the mirror when no one else is looking and do the right thing ... but sometimes the forces can overwhelm."
It seems like "the forces" will definitely start to "overwhelm," especially given all of the road cams in Jen's neighborhood that will likely prevent Ben's secret from remaining a secret for too long. (And based on some paparazzi shots of the set featuring Christina Applegate in a wheelchair, it seems likely he's at fault for some injuries, not just driving away). Were that information to come out, Season 3 could also see Jen and Judy trying to find leverage over Ben if he proves to be a threat. Detective Perez may have let Jen go after she confessed to killing Steve, but now that the authorities found his body and the investigation is still on, if they're able to connect Jen and Judy to the crime (and the evidence is definitely mounting up against them), they may need to cut some sort of deal with Ben so the two of them keep quiet about their respective crimes.
It also seems possible that Steve's money-laundering scheme and connection to the Greek mafia will come back in Season 3. We've yet to meet any of the shady figures that Steve was working with when he was still alive, and it was only just revealed that the chief of police is somehow involved too, so consider that a large focus of the upcoming season. Perhaps Jen, Judy, and Agent Perez will be able to force the mob into covering up the women's crimes, or maybe even more illegal activity is in their future. The SoCal pals' secrets just seem unable to stay secrets, no matter how hard they try.