Entertainment

Everything We Know About 'Dead to Me' Season 3

More twists to come.

dead to me season 2
Linda Cardellini and Christina Applegate | Saeed Adyani/Netflix
Linda Cardellini and Christina Applegate | Saeed Adyani/Netflix

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?

In July 2020, Netflix announced that Dead to Me will return for a third—and final—season. Good things have to end eventually, and too many dramatic turns for more seasons than necessary could've made the wildly popular dramedy exhausting. Show creator Liz Feldman told Deadline that she never intended the show to be a long one and already knows how it's going to wrap up, so have no fear: The madness that is the friendship between Jen and Judy should be given 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?

In September 2020, Feldman shared on Twitter that Netflix approved her arc for Season 3, so the good news is that it's most definitely written in its entirety by now. The not-so-great news is that it's unclear when the series will shoot. Netflix shut down the production on all of its LA-based series at the start of 2021 as COVID-19 cases began to surge in the area, so it's likely that right now the streaming service is prioritizing getting the shows that were put on hold back to work. Hopefully, it shouldn't be too much longer until Dead to Me is able to start filming. 

For what it's worth, Feldman originally told Deadline in July 2020 that she was "hoping to start [production] at some point in the next six months," so the cast and crew probably are eager to get going. Plus, the showrunner landed an overall deal with Netflix last year to create multiple shows over the next couple of years, so it's possible she's prioritizing wrapping up Dead to Me before starting on anything else. With all of that in mind, if the show is able to start filming in the near future, it's possible we'll see more of Jen and Judy in the latter half of 2021. 

dead to me james marsden
James Marsden | Saeed Adyani/Netflix

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 likely be around for its entire run. 

James Marsden should also be back as Ben. When Jen killed Judy's ex-fiancĂ© 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 very much 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 obviously 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. Should the series continue to explore Steve's illegal dealings, it would make sense to see more of him. It's a little less clear if we'll some of the exciting additions from last season, though, like Judy's fling Michelle (Natalie Morales), her mother (Katey Sagal), and Ben and Steve's mother Eileen Woods (Frances Conroy) will return, since their stories are relatively confined. (Judy's mom is in prison). 

dead to me season 2
Netflix

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. 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. 

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Sadie Bell is the entertainment editorial assistant at Thrillist. She's on Twitter at @mssadiebell.
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