For anyone who loves to lose themselves in a creepy thriller once the kids are asleep, Netflix’s Devil in Ohio was a devilishly good time. Starring Emily Deschanel as hospital psychiatrist and mom of three Suzanne, the show delved into the world of satanic cults and explored how far one mother would go to save a young woman raised in such a dark environment. The series kept viewers guessing right down to the wild twist ending, and now the only mystery left to solve is whether or not Netflix will give fans a Devil in Ohio Season 2.
The first eight-episode season premiered in its entirety on Friday, Sept. 2, and as of writing, it’s currently the number one show on Netflix. Thanks to its twisty plotting, expert mixing of genres (it’s a thriller and family drama!), and a terrific cast anchored by Deschanel, it’s no wonder Devil in Ohio turned out to be the perfect Labor Day weekend binge.
But while the series appears to be a hit, it’s unclear if Netflix will be revisiting Suzanne and Mae’s (Madeleine Arthur) unnerving bond. The book of the same name by Daria Polatin, on which the series was based, doesn’t have a sequel. However, whether or not the streamer brings the series back for a second season likely depends on how long it stays at the top of Netflix’s Top 10 list — and if Polatin, who served as the showrunner, has inspiration for a second chapter of this nail-biting cult drama.
Warning: Major spoilers for Season 1 of Devil in Ohio ahead.
What happened at the end of Devil in Ohio?
By the time the credits rolled on Devil in Ohio, Suzanne’s husband has made the difficult decision to move out of the house with their three kids until his wife agrees to cut Mae out of their lives. However, despite everything that’s happened since they met her, Suzanne is still committed to helping Mae get her GED and find a place to live. Her inability to let go of the girl ultimately alienates her from her own family — but her time with Mae also spurs her to truly examine her own history of abuse and finally face her own trauma.
After rescuing Mae from the cult, Suzanne brings her back home, and the two are having Thanksgiving dinner when she receives a shocking call. It turns out Mae willingly returned to the cult and orchestrated her own “abduction.” Suzanne is in total shock, but the series ends without revealing what happens next between the two women. Instead, the camera pans to a shrine in the woods Mae built featuring photos of her with Suzanne.
It’s both spooky and ambiguous — just the way Polatin wanted it. In a recent interview with TV Insider, she explained why she decided to end the show before Suzanne and Mae could talk about the information Suzanne had just learned.
“We leave them in that moment because that’s a huge moment and there are different ways it can go. That’s what’s fun about it, too, as a conversation piece,” she said. “I like to write stories that people can engage with and talk about and discuss, and so it’s a good question and it’s something fun for the audience to engage with as well in conversation, like watercooler. What would she do? What would you do? I like stories that encourage some interaction as a viewer as well, and I think this gives us that to stimulate conversations with people.”
Has Devil in Ohio been renewed for Season 2?
Here’s the bad news: Netflix billed Devil in Ohio as a limited series right from the start. That suggests the show was always meant to be a one-and-done. Still, there’s a long history of miniseries being turned into ongoing shows.
Shows like The White Lotus and Big Little Lies were initially billed as limited series before going on to secure a second season. The same thing could happen to Devil in Ohio, especially since the final episode ended on a wild cliffhanger. Granted, that could be the last viewers see of Suzanne and Mae, but there are plenty of ways the show could continue on beyond that Thanksgiving from hell.
Even Polatin can see a way forward, even though she’s unsure if the show will continue. “We wrote it as a limited series,” she told TV Insider. “We wrote beginning, middle, and end. We put all our cards on the table. But the story naturally has a couple of questions at the end. Where did the cult go, and what’s going to happen with Mae and Suzanne? Is she going to pick up the phone and call Peter in the next moment? It’s interesting to think where it might go but, for now, it is just an all-in limited [series].”
In addition to Polatin’s theorizing about what could happen in the moments immediately following the phone call to Suzanne, there are plenty of other elements from Season 1 that could stand to be explored more in a second season. For example:
- Who was the creepy Halloween decoration/creature that gave Dani a presumably allergen-tainted piece of candy?
- What was the deal with Detective Lopez’s post-divorce drama? Could his ex-wife play into a second season somehow?
- What really happened to Helen’s ex, Teddy?
- Arguably the most obvious: Where did the cult go?
Of course, if the series didn’t want to spend an entire second season on Suzanne’s family, it could be a small tie-in to the next chapter in an anthology-style season. Since the cult has been around for quite some time — and presumably has moved on and likely looking for a new “chosen one” — another installment could explore a different member of the cult.
If Devil in Ohio does return, when would Season 2 premiere?
If the stars align just right and Devil in Ohio returns for a second season of psychological scares, fans could be in for quite a wait. It would likely be fall 2023 at the earliest before Season 2 premieres, but the wait could be much longer.
For now, viewers have no choice but to imagine for themselves what happens after Suzanne hangs up the phone.