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Actual image of me explaining my elaborate theories to anyone who will listen. Screenshot by Jenn Murphy

(Spoilers and semi-spoilers for a whole bunch of shows, like “Mr. Robot,” “How to Get Away With Murder,” “This Is Us,” “Designated Survivor” and “Riverdale.” Read with caution.)


It seems like nearly every show on TV right now has some sort of mystery at its core that will (hopefully) be solved or at least slightly illuminated by the end of the season. As a result, everyone has their own theories on who did it/what happened/who’s dead/etc, so that if they’re correct, they can gloat and rub it in the faces of others until it’s time for the next big mystery.


Naturally, I’m a big fan of this practice. I love being right about things, and while I’m not always correct in my theories, I have had a few moments where I really nailed it. I called the big season 1 “Mr. Robot” reveal that the titular character wasn’t actually a real, living human being. (I did not call that it was Elliot’s dead father, but hey I got the biggest part!) I also figured out the “Wes is always the culprit in the Winter Finale” pattern on “How to Get Away With Murder,” even though I desperately didn’t want it to be true. I also figured out pretty early on that Jack and Rebecca Pearson were the parents of the other people on “This Is Us.” All of this is to say that sometimes I get it right.


For a lot of that it was about looking at the tiny details that might seem insignificant, like the scene in the “Mr. Robot” pilot where the Mr. Robot character is clearly ignored (or unseen, because he’s not really there!!!) by two men he approaches at a table, or the fact that there were boxes labeled with years in the 70’s in the young Pearson’s apartment. Those small details can really pay off later, and play a big role in the two elaborate theories I’m going to share here.


I’ve decided to write about them because if I’m right I can show this off and say “woooo look at me I’m a genius!!” and if I’m wrong we can just pretend none of this ever happened, okay? Thanks. I really appreciate it.


Behold, my theories!


Theory #1: President Kirkman’s Wife on “Designated Survivor” Is Not to Be Trusted

This one might seem a little crazy, but hear me out: it’s all about the tiny details. (In case you don’t know, “Designated Survivor” is about a the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development being left as the designated survivor aka the person who stays away from the State of the Union Address so that there will be someone left to assume the presidency if disaster strikes. Disaster obviously strikes and he has become president.) Tiny Detail #1: Alex, the newly inaugurated president’s wife, was the one who wanted him to take the Secretary of HUD job that got him to be the designated survivor in the first place. She was totally cool with moving herself and her family from New York City to Washington, D.C., pulling her kids out of school and leaving her office behind. She could just be there stereotypical supportive TV wife, oooor she knew that something was about to go down and wanted her husband to be the one to take over! Tiny Detail #2: Alex always wants to be kept in the loop on everything the president is dealing with, even things that might be considered confidential or classified. Why does she care that much? In a recent episode the president was advised to be more choosy about who he shares information with and he decided to keep his wife out. In his eyes this was probably to protect her, but she didn’t seem to pleased. Tiny Detail #3: This detail isn’t necessarily tiny, but it’s more sinister implications could be easily ignored. Amidst all of the danger and drama that has resulted from nearly everyone in government being killed in an explosion at the Capital, Alex decided that she and the kids should move out of the White House and spend their time at the secure Camp David, away from her husband and his presidential duties. Her reasoning on the show was that she wanted to protect the kids, but she also could know that something big and bad is coming and she wants to be out of town when it does. Tiny Detail #4: In the most recent episode, she casually said that her mother is Russian and doesn’t actually like Kirkman very much. This could actually be very insignificant and unimportant, but it did seem like a weird detail to add.


Theory #2: Ms. Grundy’s Violent Ex-Husband is the One Who Killed Jason Blossom on “Riverdale”

This one is a bit more plausible than my “Designated Survivor” theory, but I still felt like sharing it. (In case you don’t watch “Riverdale”, it’s set in the Archie comics universe and this guy, Jason Blossom, was found dead and they’re trying to figure out who killed him.) Again, it’s all about the tiny details. Tiny Detail #1: Archie and Grundy were at the lake (or river or whatever, I don’t know bodies of water) the day Jason was killed, having some very inappropriate teacher-student relations. This isn’t so tiny, as it played a big part in early episodes of the show, but it leads into my other details, so just accept it. Tiny Detail #2: Grundy reveals that she isn’t actually named Grundy; she assumed a new identity to escape her abusive ex-husband. While this detail was used in the show to explain why she wasn’t who she said she was, it could still play a role later in the series, as evidenced by… Tiny Detail #3: At one point, Grundy said that Archie and Jason look a lot alike. They’re not exactly twins, but they’re both redheads, and in a world where a redhead isn’t a common occurrence, it might be easy to get the two mixed up from a distance, which is what Grundy’s ex-husband did when he saw her and Archie by the lake. He became enraged and then happened upon Jason, who was trying to get across the lake to start over, and killed him, thinking it was Archie. See? It all checks out.


So them’s the facts, at least as I see ’em. If I end up being correct about at least one it’ll be awesome; if I’m somehow correct about both, it’ll be amazing. We’ll all have to stay tuned to find out!


What do you think? Have your own elaborate TV show theories? Think I need to take a break from all this TV watching and maybe go outside or something? Give me a good reason in the comments, and I’ll take it into consideration. And, as always…


Stay classy.