Everyone’s favorite true crime mockumentary, American Vandal, is back, and Season 2 manages to surpass the Netflix show’s original run in almost every way. Right up until the ending, the mystery of the Turd Burglar (yes, seriously) will keep you guessing who did it, but there’s one joke in American Vandal Season 2’s final episode that just doesn’t land.
Warning: Major spoilers for American Vandal Season 2 below.
The entire second season of American Vandal focuses on uncovering the identity of the Turd Burglar, an anonymous troll who’s been terrorizing a Catholic high school with poop-based pranks. Our documentarians from Season 1, Peter Maldonado and Sam Ecklund, set out to solve the mystery and exonerate Kevin McClain, an unpopular student who was coerced into confessing to a crime he now claims he didn’t commit.
But as Season 2 reaches its climax, it turns out the Turd Burglar’s crime was even more devious than expected. To pull off four separate poop-related pranks, the culprit (an angry student previously expelled from the same school) first hacked a young woman’s phone and then used her suggestive selfies and videos to catfish three students and one faculty member before blackmailing them into committing the crimes for him.
The list of accomplices includes high school tropes like the rich, popular girl and the beloved high school jock, but in a final twist it turns out that Kevin also got catfished. However, he wasn’t even blackmailed. Instead, he carried out the initial attack (tricking the entire school into drinking laxatives) after bonding with the Turd Burglar over his love for Rick and Morty. (Yes, seriously.)
It’s a throwaway line near the end of the show meant to quickly explain how Kevin (an awkward nerd) fell in love over text message conversation. But in falling back on that trope of the awkward white guy who’s obsessed with Rick and Morty because it’s so smart, American Vandal makes what may be the show’s only misstep in Season 2.
The Rick and Morty joke is meant to be a shortcut as the final episode wraps up the story, quickly revealing how Kevin fell for his catfisher by suggesting he was blinded by his love for an Adult Swim cartoon. The viewers deserve something deeper, especially after we see the great lengths the Turd Burglar went to trick his other accomplices. Instead, we’re simply told that Kevin was a sad geek so, of course, he fell for it.
Maybe in some other dimension American Vandal fans got the perfect piece of television that Season 2 almost was, but in this reality, the show managed to trip over itself with a lazy joke right at the end.
American Vandal Season 2 is streaming now on Netflix.