Based on the 2020 namesake novel by Ann Napolitano, ‘Dear Edward’ is an ensemble drama series streaming on Apple TV+. The story revolves around a group of people who lost their loved ones in a plane crash, with the narrative shifting back and forth among them. The eponymous 12-year-old boy (Colin O’Brien) is at the center of the plot as the sole survivor of the crash. Shortly after Edward or Eddie is found at the crash site, he begins seeing his older brother Jordan (Maxwell Jenkins) even though others don’t. If that made you wonder whether Jordan survived the crash, we have you covered. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Is Jordan Dead?
Yes, Jordan is dead in ‘Dear Edward.’ He dies along with his and Eddie’s parents and the rest of the passengers and crew members of Trinity Airways Flight 1483. Like most siblings, Jordan and Eddie shared a close bond, though it was complicated by how talented the latter is. Jordan is a few years older than his brother, but Eddie easily solves the math problems he struggles with. Eddie is also a piano protégé. Because Eddie struggled with conventional education, their parents decided to homeschool both brothers. After learning that the family is relocating from New York to Los Angeles, Jordan tells his mother that he wants to attend a public school.
Jordan breaks this news to his brother right after their plane starts experiencing issues. It triggers a panicked response in Eddie, who rushes to his mother to confirm. After the tragedy, it seems that his behavior in those moments occupies Eddie’s young mind, and his grief has become tangled with a sense of guilt. Eddie now lives with his maternal aunt Lacey and her husband John, who are not entirely equipped to help him, though they try their best. Moreover, Lacey has her own grief to navigate through. She has lost her sister and, as we learn, suffered multiple miscarriages before the start of the series. She and John are suddenly thrust into the roles of parents of a gifted and grieving 12-year-old, so it is bound to be a rough ride.
Is Eddie Dreaming Jordan Alive?
Yes, Eddie is dreaming that Jordan is alive. It seems like a coping method on Eddie’s part to believe at least his older brother has survived along with him. John and Lacey seem to be aware of this. They know that Eddie needs time to heal, so they allow him to take comfort in the belief that his brother is at their home with him. They don’t interrupt the arguments that Eddie has with Jordan in his mind, and they call on both of them when it’s time for dinner.
However, it appears that a part of Eddie is aware of the truth. In episode 2, he is forced to confront that after a mysterious girl approaches him in the grocery store, offers him condolences for the death of his brother, hugs him, and gives him a shrunken head toy before leaving. As Eddie is overwhelmed by the sudden onslaught of memories and grief (he is also dehydrated and has lost much weight since the crash), he loses consciousness.
Later in the episode, when he sleeps on the floor of his new friend Shay’s bedroom, Eddie tells her, “Good night, stupid,” and asks her to say it back, just like Jordan used to. It was a ritual between the brothers. By asking Shay to say it, Eddie seems to acknowledge his brother’s death.