MAJOR spoilers for American Vandal season 2 ahead.
American Vandal season 2 introduces the Turd Burglar and their poop-related pranks, but it's no simple crime - we break down the identity and motives of the Turd Burglar. While the first season of American Vandal asked "Who drew the dicks?" in an investigation concerning false accusations and their impact on those accused, the second season of Netflix's acclaimed mockumentary series takes on false confessions, school politics and the online identities of modern teens. For season 2, Peter Maldonado and Sam Ecklund travel to St. Bernardine high school where they investigate the mysterious Turd Burglar, and try to find the truth behind the confession of Kevin McClain.
Season 2 takes Peter, Sam and the viewer on a twisty exploration of the St. Bernardine high school student and faculty population. In their investigation, Peter and Sam discover corruption at St. Bernardine when it comes to the way student athletes - particularly star basketball players DeMarcus Tillman and Perry Coleman - are treated compared to the rest of the student body, especially those deemed outcasts. Unlike American Vandal season 1, which ended on a more ambiguous note, season 2 offers answers to who did the poop pranks and why.
As revealed in the American Vandal season 2 finale, the identity of the Turd Burglar is Grayson Wentz, a former St. Bernardine student who was expelled for making crude jokes on his classmates' Twitter accounts while in the school's computer lab. However, he manipulated others into actually carrying out the four poop-related pranks on the school. Using the private images and videos Grayson stole from the phone of Abby Samuels, he posed online as "Brooke Wheeler" and catfished a number of St. Bernardine students and one faculty member. Using the information, photos and videos Grayson acquired as Brooke, he blackmailed DeMarcus Tillman to do the Poop Piñata, Jenna Hawthorne to do the Shit Launcher, and teacher Matthew Gesualdi (who played a major role in getting Grayson expelled) to do the Crap Calendar.
Peter and Sam assume the fourth person, the one blackmailed into doing the first prank, The Brownout, to be Drew Pankratz. However, as Drew reveals to Peter and Sam, Grayson released photos of him dressed as a baby because he wouldn't do the prank. Instead, it's revealed that the student originally accused of The Brownout (and the other pranks), Kevin McClain carried out that first prank for Grayson willingly. Kevin was lonely, having trouble with his friends and his band, and was convinced by Grayson-as-Brooke to play the poop prank on his classmates.
Before Grayson is arrested and eventually stands trial for his crimes, the Turd Burglar pulls one last stunt, called The Dump. In it, he dumps everything online that he acquired as Brooke Wheeler, which features naked photos of DeMarcus and Mr. Gesualdi, a video of Drew dressed like a baby (the content of which is too explicit to be shown), and plenty of other damming material. In the wake, Mr. Gesualdi is fired from St. Bernardine and DeMarcus' future as a basketball star is put into jeopardy. It all leads to a rumination, by Peter in voiceover, of the identities we present to the world online versus the real world.
Beyond that, American Vandal is also a insightful look at how damaging it can be for students when a school prioritizes its athletes and athletics program above all else - as well as how young men can be radicalized by extremist views in online message boards. Grayson and the fear he mongered at St. Bernardine was inspired by his unjust expulsion and his anger festered thanks to the dark corners of web in which he found himself afterward. However, Grayson's choices were his own, and he used his skills to terrorize the students of his former school. That makes him the Turd Burglar, and though his motivation of seeking revenge on the school that wronged him may be understandable, his actions and the fear they inspired were ultimately criminal.
American Vandal season 2 is now availabe on Netflix.