On Wednesdays, Nevermore Academy is a haven for outcasts and mythological creatures. Students come as they are, whether they are blue-eyed sirens like Bianca Barclay (Joy Sunday), lycanthropes yearning to “wolf out” like Enid Sinclair (Emma Myers), or psychics like Wednesday Addams (Jenna Ortega) and Xavier Thorpe (Percy Hynes White).
However, there is one monster that students and regular people in neighboring Jericho, like Hyde, do not want to meddle with. And sure, there is a reference to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’s two personas.
The categorization of the monster killing students and townspeople is unclear throughout Season 1. That mystery is central to Wednesday’s inquiry throughout her first term at Nevermore. In her pursuit of the truth, she interrogates various suspects, including Xavier, whose mental visions of the monster seem to jump out of his artworks.
But it’s only on Wednesday displays one of Xavier’s paintings to Uncle Fester (Fred Armisen) that she realizes what she’s up against.
Wednesday’s director and chief producer, Tim Burton, created sketches for the Hyde himself. According to Ortega, “He had a couple of sketches on his table, and the writers saw it, and they said, ‘That one.'”
“It’s called a Hyde,” Fester explains to his beloved niece. But he hadn’t seen one in person since 1983 when he was on “vacation” at the Zurich Institute for the Criminally Insane.
The Hyde in issue at the time was concert pianist Olga Malacova, who had it all: intellect, beauty, and a taste for necrophilia. But one night, amid a Chopin sonata, she changed and massacred a dozen audience members (including three music reviewers).
But it doesn’t explain what triggers Hyde’s metamorphosis, which leads Fester, Wednesday, and the ever-resourceful Thing to sneak into the Nightshades Library and steal Nathaniel Faulkner’s journal. Before building the school, Faulkner had cataloged every pariah group he met on his travels, including — you guessed it — the Hyde.
They discussed Faulkner’s description of Hydes as “artists by nature, but equally vindictive in temperament.”
“Born of mutation, the Hyde lies dormant until unleashed by a traumatic event or opened through chemical inducement or hypnosis,” he wrote. This enables Hyde to form an instant link with its rescuer, whom the creature now considers its master. It becomes an eager tool for whatever malicious objective this new master has in mind.
According to Fester, “Anyone willing to unlock a Hyde is a next-level sicko.” That means Wednesday is looking for two assassins: the monster and its master.
Hydes were deemed so deadly and unpredictable that they were officially prohibited from Nevermore 30 years before the series began. After all, Faulkner was assassinated by one. And creating the monsters gave series writers Alfred Gough and Miles Millar a chance to develop something new for the show’s Big Bad since Wednesday is “about people not always showing their true self” — in contrast to Wednesday, who always does. “Even in the outcasts’ world,” Gough says, “Hydes are something to be feared and, frankly, are not welcome because they are so unstable.”
Who is the Monster in Wednesday?
The idea of having two personalities, where you could hide behind one and become the other, seemed appropriate for the tale the show runners intended to portray. It ultimately leads to Wednesday’s bombshell revelation that her phony lover, local barista Tyler Galpin (Hunter Doohan), has been the Jekyll, with her “dorm mom” and science instructor Miss Thornhill controlling him as his master.
Doohan knew his role was gloomy even before he arrived in Romania to begin shooting. During his last round of tryouts for the part, he first grew dubious of Tyler’s motives. “They told me Tyler had a dark secret,” Doohan says Tudum. “I was like, ‘Does he have the dark secret?'” And they’re like, ‘We can’t tell you, but you may want to experiment with it.'”
Tyler, however, was never simply the lovely lad who remembered Wednesday’s coffee order and tag-teamed her on investigations, as we discover. He grew up with a troubled connection with his sheriff father, and they never discussed his mother’s absence. Remember, he attacked Xavier with his companions the year before.
Wednesday was most likely drawn to the evil side in the first place. When he comes clean about bullying Xavier throughout the past year at the Rave’N Dance, she tells him she wouldn’t have condemned him. Rather, she would have escalated the joke.
“The idea that Wednesday discovers she was attracted to the serial killing monster is very on-brand for her,” Millar explains. “When you look back, you wonder, ‘Why does she like this guy?'” He seems to be a wuss.’ But she detects something deeper about him, which makes perfect sense.”
“Of course, the first boy I kiss is a psychotic serial killer monster.” “I guess I have a personality type.”
In the final episode, Wednesday discovers Tyler’s real nature as they experience their first kiss, only to be interrupted by a vision of Tyler as Hyde attacking the town therapist. Tyler’s mother was also a Hyde (and a previous Nevermore student whose postpartum depression exacerbated her illness), as revealed in the finale. Miss Thornhill used pharmacological techniques to unlock his alter personality, all so he could assist her in her vengeance against the school’s outcasts.
Doohan believes his devotion to his “master” stems from her being the first person to tell him the truth about his mother. “Tyler grew up thinking his mom had died and that she had a mental illness, and his dad never wants to talk about it,” he said.
Wednesday’s Nevermore Outcasts Explained
Let’s review all the Outcasts who started at Nevermore Academy on Wednesday.
Tyler, according to Doohan and Gough, was afraid of his skills at first but grew to “embrace his monster side” as a conduit for his fury. And all of his contempt feeds into Hyde’s unwavering allegiance to his master and their shared loathing of Nevermore, which no longer welcomes Hydes, making them the ultimate kind of pariah. “He blames everyone there for his mom’s death,” she says. “He feels like that part of his life was stolen and taken from him.”
And who could blame him when Miss Thornhill keeps whispering in his ear, “I showed you who you are?” They did this to your mother. You became a monster because of the outcasts.”
While Wednesday eventually defeats Miss Thornhill and Enid defeats Tyler in a werewolf-vs-Hyde combat in the woods, Tyler and his Hyde inclinations aren’t gone for long. As the titles roll, we see him being taken away in the back of a truck, shackled and sedated, but still shapeshifting into a Hyde. Only time will tell what this “monster” will do now: he is no longer a puppet controlled by a master.