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Why The Mailbox In The Woman In The House Across The Street From The Girl In The Window Could Mean More Than You Think

"Absurd" is the best word to describe Netflix's 8-episode psychological thriller parody "The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window." Kristen Bell plays Anna, a painter who has quit painting since her daughter was killed and eaten by a serial killer on Take Your Daughter to Work Day. Nowadays, she sits by her window, drinks too much wine, and obsesses over the new neighbor and the murder that definitely maybe happened in his house.

Fans of thrillers like "The Woman in the Window" and "The Girl on the Train" will recognize the genre's common tropes, twisted to absurdity, in Anna's unraveling life. One detail stands out as particularly ridiculous: The handyman Buell (Cameron Britton) can be seen fixing Anna's mailbox in just about every episode. Twitter user @beingTSJ called it the most "disturbing" part of the series, while @MattDrapps appreciated the gag, writing, "If they finish the Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window without explaining why the guy is fixing the mailbox all the time. That would be amazing." Spoiler alert: they did just that.

By the end of the season, we do learn that Anna's criminal psychologist husband Douglas (Michael Ealy) hired Buell to fix the mailbox years ago. Oh, and Buell happens to be his first patient, who killed his whole family but was rehabilitated and released early. Despite this, Buell — who's been living in Anna's attic for three years — isn't the killer, just an apparently incompetent handyman. Here's what might actually be going on with the mailbox.

Was Douglas just trying to help his patient?

One theory about the neverending mailbox repair is that Douglas simply wanted to give his patient a job when he was released back into society, even if he didn't have the handyman skills to actually do it. Maybe the mailbox was simply meant to keep Buell busy, because if he's busy, then he doesn't have time to regress back into killing. Although, when Anna shouts what every viewer is thinking — "It's still not fixed!" — Douglas reacts in surprise, seemingly putting the nail in the hand of this theory.

Some viewers were no doubt left befuddled over Buell's daily mailbox fixing, wanting an answer to why he's been at this task for so long. Well, for anyone who didn't realize the show is satirical, the reason is simple: It's a joke. Kristen Bell told Collider that the line about him fixing it for years "sums up what we're doing," indicating that line is the punchline of a long-running gag. "If you really watch Cameron's performance, he's so great because he's picking things up, and he's looking at them. He analyzes everything before he touches it. It's great, and it's absolutely pointless, which is perfect," she said. 

The Buell twist actually also has several layers of dark meta-comedy: Cameron Britton is best known for playing serial killer Ed Kemper on "Mindhunter." Casting an actor associated with a murderer is already a clever play on the audience's expectations, but it goes deeper when you consider Kemper's story. Per Murderpedia, he killed his grandparents, gained the trust of his psychologist, and was released from prison when he convinced the doctors he was reformed. However, he later went on to kill eight more people. Buell's mailbox incompetency is just peachy in comparison.