In ‘Wednesday,’ the Netflix series based on characters created by cartoonist Charles Addams, the story follows the eponymous character (Jenna Ortega), who, after trying out eight schools in five years, comes to study at Nevermore Academy, a boarding school which her parents attended before her. In this version of the Addams family, humanity is split into two subspecies — the normies and the outcasts. The normies are the regular people, whereas the outcasts are individuals with special powers. Nevermore is a school exclusively for the latter group, a haven where young outcasts can be educated without the fear of persecution.
Portrayed by Christina Ricci, Marilyn Thornhill is an important character in ‘Wednesday.’ She is the only normie in the Nevermore staff, serving as a den mother and educator. Marilyn initially comes off as a kind and insightful mentor, playing the very role we envision Ricci played for Ortega during the production. However, toward the end of the season, big revelations are made, and it turns out that Marilyn’s real name is Laurel Gates. If you are wondering whether she is alive or dead, here is what we think. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Is Marilyn Thornhill aka Laurel Gates Dead or Alive?
Shortly after arriving at Nevermore, Wednesday realizes two things — a homicidal monster is on a murderous rampage, and she is apparently connected to a prophecy that foretells the doom of the school. An aspiring writer, Wednesday begins to investigate the history of Nevermore and Jericho, the town where the school is situated. She discovers Goody Addams, her 17th-century ancestor from her father’s side, lost her family and was nearly killed during the purge organized by Joseph Crackstone, the founder of Jericho. It is revealed that the Gates family has descended from Crackstone.
When Wednesday’s parents were at Nevermore, Laurel’s brother Garrett Gates tried to kill all the outcasts at Nevermore with Nightshade but failed and eventually died. After that, people thought the Gates family had been completely wiped out after hearing the news of Laurel’s death.
This turns out to be a ruse. It allowed Laurel to return to Jericho in the guise of Marilyn Thornhill and secure herself a position at Nevermore. From her father, Laurel knew Tyler Galpin’s (Hunter Doohan) mother was secretly a hyde. Using her knowledge of the chemicals, she brought the hyde inside Tyler out and let it loose on both the outcasts and normies of Jericho.
In the season 1 finale, Laurel resurrects Crackstone with Wednesday’s blood so the latter would destroy Nevermore once and for all. But her plan fails. With the help of other students, Wednesday defeats Crackstone and sends him back to where he came from. This is when Laurel pulls out a gun, but Eugene, one of the students, attacks her with his bees, subduing her. After this, Wednesday kicks her in the head, presumably knocking her out.
Given how that scene plays out, it’s safe to assume that Laurel has survived the battle and is currently in police custody.
However, in one of the final scenes of the season, we see Tyler, also in police custody, suddenly starts changing into his hyde form. It’s possible that Laurel has escaped custody. And sensing that, Tyler has decided to free himself. If that’s the case, Tyler and Laurel are bound to return to antagonize Wednesday.