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Biggest Unanswered Questions In I Am Not Okay With This Season 1

Adapted from the graphic novel by Charles Forsman (who also penned the source material for another dark teen comedy, The End of the F***ing World), the superpowered teen series I Am Not Okay with This is now available for viewing on Netflix

I Am Not Okay With This follows 17-year-old Sydney (It breakout star Sophia Lillis) who is having trouble dealing with the aftermath of her father's recent death and struggles to fit in among her peers — especially once she realizes that she's started developing superpowers. Also starring Wyatt Oleff (It) as Syd's neighbor Stanley, Sofia Bryant as her best friend Dina, Richard Ellis as Dina's boyfriend Brad, and Kathleen Rose Perkins (Episodes) as Syd's mother Maggie, and co-created by director Jonathan Entwistle (The End of the F***ing World) and writer Christy Hall, I Am Not Okay with This is a snarky, irreverent origin story that proves that navigating high school may actually be just as challenging as any cataclysmic superhero conflict.

While the seven episodes that make up the series' first season cover a lot of ground, they also raise a lot of questions. From the truth of Sydney's superpowers to how characters will deal with the aftermath of the explosive season finale and exactly where Sydney's story is headed down the road, here are all our biggest questions coming out of season 1 of I Am Not Okay with This

Warning: Spoilers ahead. 

[Content warning: This article contains discussion of suicide.]

How did Sydney get her powers?

It takes a while for Sydney to admit to herself that her powers even exist in the first season of I Am Not Okay with This, but her abilities soon become undeniable even to the most skeptical observer. However, while Sydney spends most of season 1 struggling to come to terms with the fact that she has powers, and then working to try to control them, very little time is ever spent wondering where they came from. Despite being tremendously freaked out by the idea that her passing thoughts now can have a very real impact on the physical world, Sydney doesn't seem to spend a lot of energy brainstorming in her diary about what triggered these abilities in the first place.

It's implied that Sydney's powers are somehow linked to her father's recent death, especially since they didn't start manifesting until after he passed. Plus, as Sydney begins to suspect later in the season, he may have had powers himself, which could indicate a genetic cause. However, all of that is just speculation, with nothing in the season confirming or refuting those theories. Perhaps Sydney and her father were born with these powers, or perhaps some external event led to them. No matter what the explanation is, whatever caused Sydney to develop her impressive abilities is left mostly to our imaginations at the end of season 1.

Did Sydney's dad really have powers?

After Sydney comes across a box of her father's possessions toward the end of season 1, she finally convinces her mom to explain to her a little more about her dad's mental state leading up to his death. What her mother describes sounds a lot like what Syd has been going through throughout most of the season — becoming withdrawn and secretive, saying no one could understand what he was going through or help him get better, and getting mad and running out of the room whenever he was asked about what was happening. Maggie blames his symptoms on depression, paranoia, and PTSD, but Syd immediately jumps to another conclusion about what her father was facing, inferring that he must have had powers like hers.

Lending credence to Syd's theory are her mother's claims that her father thought someone dangerous had been following him, mirroring Syd's worries throughout the season, and her story about a mysterious explosion that killed everyone in his military unit except for him, an event that her father had never gotten over. Although Syd interprets this all as clear evidence that her father had superpowers, her mother's explanation that he was suffering from severe mental health issues is equally — if not more — plausible. So which is true? Are Sydney's powers a fluke, or is she just the latest person in her family to go through this bizarrely unique rite of passage? Season 1 never tells us, so we can only hope there will be answers in future seasons.

What are the limits of Sydney's powers?

While the bulk of Sydney's abilities seem to fall under the umbrella of telekinesis, some of the things she does seem to defy such simple categorization. Sure, she can send stop signs, bowling balls, library books, and even trees hurtling through the air with a mere thought, all of which tracks with telekinetic abilities, but there are a few things she does throughout the season that seem to fall outside the limits of simply moving things around with her mind.

Of course, some of the smaller things that happen early on in the season — Brad's nosebleed, stopping the dripping faucet — are so subtle that even Sydney can explain them away as nothing more than coincidences. And maybe they are. It's even plausible (if not likely) that Syd actually wasn't responsible for the sudden death of Banana the hedgehog, and that her little brother's pet simply dropped dead of natural causes. But there's no denying what Sydney does to Brad at the end of the season, which cannot be explained away using any sort of real-world logic. Assuming the other non-telekinetic things Syd did were also caused by her powers, it begs the question of exactly how much Syd is really capable of, and if we've already seen the extent of her abilities... or have only begun to scratch the surface.

What were the circumstances that led to Sydney's father's death?

In the first episode of I Am Not Okay with This, Sydney tells us that her dad died "last spring," which, given the season's timing around her high school's homecoming dance, was likely around six months prior to the start of the show. Right off the bat, Syd reveals that her father committed suicide, and that he didn't leave a note, a fact which torments Sydney. However, as the season goes on, the information revealed by her mother seems to suggest that there may have been more to Sydney's father's death than meets the eye. She tells Syd that her father thought he was being followed by someone dangerous, a suspicion Sydney shares throughout the season, and which turns out to be absolutely justified when a mysterious man shows up in the closing moments of the finale to tell Sydney, "They should be afraid. Let's begin."

All of this seems to add up to Sydney's father's death not being nearly as straightforward as it originally seemed. While he may still have died by his own hand (although the lack of a note seems to hint at foul play), it definitely feels as though something was going on in his life that his wife was entirely unaware of, and which could tie into his daughter's burgeoning superpowers. Is Sydney's mysterious stalker somehow tied to her father's death? Was his death related to his or Sydney's powers? And what really happened on the day he died (an event which is only ever spoken about vaguely in season 1)?

What's the deal between Stanley and his dad?

There are a lot of things we don't know when it comes to Syd's neighbor, Stanley Barber, whom she describes in the first episode as "the king of zero f***s." However, as the season progresses, we learn that Stan actually cares about a lot of things, including, in no particular order, the band Bloodwitch (the name itself a nice bit of foreshadowing of what Sydney will do at the end of the season), VHS tapes, his rockin' '80s wardrobe, marijuana, and of course, Sydney herself.

We also see in a few scenes that Stanley seems to care — against his will — about his father's opinion of him, which is, tragically, not very good. According to Stan, his dad is a truck driver who is gone 25 days out of every month, yet he's around a couple times during I Am Not Okay with This' first season. In his father's two brief scenes, he mentions that he was crowned homecoming king in 1991, although as Stan points out, it doesn't appear to have set him up for a lot of success in life. Stan's dad spends his short time on the show oscillating between insulting his son and seeming utterly disinterested in him, begging the questions of what happened in their lives to lead to their strained relationship and if it has anything to do with Stan's absent mother, or whether he's just always been like this. Either way, poor Stan.

Who has been following Sydney?

Beginning about midway through the first season of I Am Not Okay with This, Syd begins to suspect someone is lurking around her. Her first sense that she's being watched occurs when she goes into the school library and the lights begin flickering, and although she's still not in control of her powers, she senses that she's not the one causing it. Syd never sees her elusive stalker, and suspects they may have disappeared into thin air, suggesting that whoever is keeping an eye on her may have powers of their own.

In the following episodes, we learn that Brad has actually been following Sydney, and for a short time, it's easy to wonder whether it was Brad all along. But by the end of the season, it's clear that while Brad stole Syd's diary, he wasn't the only one following her. We never see the face of the man who confronts her at the end of the season, but based on his brief exchange with Syd — and the fact that he appears out of a literal cloud of smoke — he may wind up playing a significant role in the future. Is this the same person who was following her father? How is he connected to Sydney? We're never given any clue to this man's identity, but based on his ominous introduction, we can't help but worry about what his presence in Syd's life means for her future.

How many other people with superpowers are out there?

During the first part of season 1 of I Am Not Okay with This, it never seems to occur to Syd that she might not be the only person in the world with superpowers. However, by the end of the season, both Syd and the audience have come to seriously suspect that at least two other people might have abilities to rival hers — her late father, and her mysterious shadow. Her father's abilities aren't explicitly confirmed by the end of the season, although based on her unnamed stalker apparating in the season's closing moments out of thin air, it seems like we won't need to wait for long next season to find out the full extent of what he can do (if there is a next season).

While Syd alone possessing superpowers could be some sort of cosmic fluke, the existence of three people with the same sorts of abilities suggest that there are likely more. Stanley suggests at one point that comic books may be based on real-life people with extraordinary abilities, and while Syd shoots that idea down immediately, Stan's hunch could be foreshadowing things yet to come. Perhaps in the future, we'll meet some new characters with powers to rival Syd's, or even learn that characters we've already met have special abilities we haven't yet seen. After all, if both Syd and her father have these powers, doesn't it stand to reason that her little brother Liam (Aidan Wojtak-Hissong) might have them too?

What does Principal Whitaker think happened in the library?

One of Sydney's most overwhelming displays of power during the first season of I Am Not Okay with This occurs when she's supposed to be serving detention with Stan, Dina, Brad, and the school's resident disaffected delinquent, Jenny (Sophia Tatum). Instead of de-gumming the gym, Jenny gets under everyone's skin, and Syd winds up seeking refuge in the library rather than risk accidentally using her powers to express her frustration. While she's there, she becomes nervous when she senses someone else's presence, and winds up blasting apart all of the library shelves.

Syd, Stan, and Dina steal the security footage of Syd's explosive outburst so that the principal, Mr. Whitaker (Gregg Daniel), won't know who destroyed the library. Against all odds, their plan seems to work, with Stan boasting that Whitaker has nothing incriminating on them. Except... the five of them were the only ones in the school at the time, and even if Mr. Whitaker doesn't have a smoking gun, they should still be the prime suspects. It's implied in the final episode that Mr. Whitaker thinks they were somehow involved, but one has to wonder why he's dragging his heels so much in accusing them. Since Syd went through so much effort to keep him from learning the truth, what story is Mr. Whitaker telling himself about what really happened in the library, and will he eventually put two and two together after what happens to Brad at the dance? We can only hope we're able to find out someday.

Are Sydney and Dina still friends?

Syd and Dina begin the first season of I Am Not Okay with This as best friends, and while it initially seems as though Syd's secret attraction to Dina could drive a wedge between them, Dina makes a point after Syd kisses her at Ricky Berry's (Zachary S. Williams) party to tell Syd that she's still her best friend. In the finale of season 1, after Dina has dumped Brad for cheating on her, the pair decides to go to the homecoming dance together, where Dina tells Syd that she didn't not like their kiss; it just took her by surprise. For a moment, it seems as though the two have never been closer, and might even be evolving into something more than friends.

But then, of course, Brad steals the mic and reveals to the whole school that Syd is in love with Dina — and that's only the pregame to the real show, when Brad's head explodes. It's a lot for both Dina and Syd to absorb within a very short period of time, and since Syd flees the school immediately afterward (leaving Dina alone to cry in a pool of Brad's blood), we never learn what Dina is thinking. She's suspected all season that Syd is hiding from her, and she can't have missed that Brad died in front of Sydney, right as soon as he threatened to reveal her greatest secret. We're left wondering whether Dina suspects the truth, and if so, if she will ultimately be Sydney's ally, or her enemy.

What will everyone think happened to Brad?

Even more than with the wreckage of the library, it seems like it will be impossible to logically explain what happened to Brad at the homecoming dance. At least with the library, no one was there to witness what had happened, and so it could be ascribed to a particularly nasty act of vandalism. But the whole school and administration was around to watch Brad's head spontaneously explode, seemingly of its own accord. It's not the kind of thing that can just be waved away or swept under a rug.

So what will the story be about Brad? Even though his fate defies all logic, the school and police will likely nver suspect that he was murdered by a teenage girl with superpowers. Will they cover it up by claiming it was a shooting or other sort of act of violence? Will they assume that Brad was the victim of some sort of brand new weaponized technology that kills without leaving a trace? However characters in future seasons of I Am Not Okay with This choose to deal with Brad's death, one thing is for sure: they'll never suspect the truth.

What happened to Sydney's diary?

The last time we see Stanley in the first season of I Am Not Okay with This, he's just regained consciousness on the gym floor, after his attempt to stand up for Syd against Brad resulted in him being knocked out with a single punch. Shocked, Stan takes in the bloody, headless body of Brad, and his classmates panicking and fleeing all around him. In the chaos, his gaze zeroes in on Sydney's diary, lying abandoned on the floor by Brad's corpse, where Brad dropped it after having his cranium violently removed.

At first, it seems as though Stan may be thinking of recovering the diary, in order to keep Syd's secrets safe. But before he can move from the spot where he fell, the diary disappears in a flurry of running feet, as a bewildered Stan looks around, wondering where it's gone. Since Stan obviously didn't take it, Dina was last seen crying over the spot where Brad's head used to be, and Syd had already left the school, anyone could have taken it, although we can take an educated guess.

Given that there's only one person — so far — who's been introduced with the ability to vanish into thin air, our guess is that Sydney's mystery stalker took the diary, which means he may have it with him when he confronts her at the end of the series. However, the diary's whereabouts aren't confirmed by the end of the season, and even if he did take it, we still have no idea what he intends to do with it.

Is Sydney becoming a superhero, or a supervillain?

Several times throughout the first season of I Am Not Okay with This, Stan refers to Syd as a superhero. "Just give me this one thing," he tells her at the homecoming dance, when she tries to insist, yet again, that she's not a superhero. Syd's rejection of the 'superhero' title seems to play into her struggles with her own identity; she continually rejects what she's feeling to try to adhere to a mold she feels is more socially acceptable, and it seems like her desire to not be a superhero is simply yet another way she's striving to be "normal."

But by the end of the season, after Syd has killed a person, we have to wonder if she might have been right all along. Syd has only ever used her powers to destroy things, and even killed her brother's hedgehog. Conversely, when it comes to acts of heroism, Sydney's resume in season 1 is woefully short. She tries to stand up for Liam, but can't seem to muster any powers for that confrontation, which winds up ultimately leading to him getting beaten up.

So whose origin story are we witnessing in I Am Not Okay with This: a superhero's, or a supervillain's? And will the mysterious smoke man who shows up at the end of the season push her more to the dark side, or the light? We can only hope that we eventually get a season 2 so we can find out.