It's been two years since the second season of Dead To Me released, the finale of which reveals just how big of a mess Jen and Judy are in now that Steve's corpse was found.
It's bad enough that Jen's victim was discovered, but it's later found that a piece of wood was lodged in Steve's skull. If it wasn't for that piece of wood, it's likely the police would assume the greek mafia killed Steve because of his association.
That piece of wood can potentially trace everything back to Jen and Judy, all because of a toy bird.
So, what does the bird figurine mean in 'Dead to Me?'
The bird is a symbol that normally means freedom, and the ability to move as one pleases. Perhaps that's why it is such a theme in Judy's household — a household that was previously made a cage by her manipulative husband.
Steve was emotionally manipulative and had ties to the criminal underworld. When Jen lashed out and killed him with the wooden bird, she had also just found out he and Judy were responsible for the death of her husband.
But why is it so important that she used a wooden bird as a murder weapon? Well, because that wooden bird belonged to Judy's son. While Judy forgives Jen for killing Steve, that connection immediately incriminates both of them.
Luckily enough, they eventually recover the bird before anyone else can and burn it to ashes. However, they were being watched as they burnt the murder weapon by Agent Glenn. While Jen and Judy might be "free" from their husbands, the rest of their life is catching up with them, as well as their consequences.
The bird motif also made an appearance in Season 2 of 'Dead to Me.'
The motif of the bird in Dead To Me is well explained in Season 2, Episode 2. Henry — Steve and Judy's son — notices a bird is trapped in the garage, which he affectionately calls "Dad Bird" because his father's spirit is inside it.
Judy captures it and sets it free outside. But just like in Season 3, while they tried to put the past behind them and set the bird free, it came right back. We find out the bird was a mother, and that Judy had separated her from the nest in the garage.
Henry's dad died and he doesn't understand why, and one of his favorite toys was the murder weapon, so he lost that too. The poor kid can't catch a break.
Is it the bird that unravels the mystery, or is it the spirit of Steve? Or, perhaps since the bird was a mother, it symbolizes how Judy is hurting her son and how her intentions lead to disastrous ends.
Stream all three seasons of Dead to Me on Netflix now.