3 Wild Reddit Theories About Mapleton's Wild Dogs

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As series co-creator Damon Lindelof has admitted, there’s more to the animals of Mapleton than meets the eye. In this week’s "Solace for Tired Feet," the town’s wild dogs once again rear their furry heads. Kevin Jr.'s new "pet" had fans on Reddit buzzing about what the canines mean for the Garveys and Mapletonians at large.

Here are three of the wildest theories about the dogs.

The Dogs Are Reincarnated Departed
Redditor Marowakin_It proposes a theory that the animals of Mapleton are reincarnated versions of the people who "poofed": "I've noticed that there has been a theme of humans having strong emotional responses to animals… On a large level, think of the irony if these people are spending all this time looking for their families when their families were actually all around them the entire time."

Taking it to a character level, Marowakin_It supposes that if Kevin Sr. "possesses some special communication with spirits (if you choose to believe that he does), perhaps this explains why animals seem to be attracted to Garvey, Matt, and even briefly Garvey's father (with the dog)." His notion also has implications for Dean: "What does that make him then? Someone who is going around knowingly killing people? Someone releasing people's souls trapped in animal forms?"

Kevin's Hand Injury Wasn't a Bite From His Dog
"Whats with the Chief's hand?" asks Reddit’s bainax. Aimee "said he brought the dog in last night to 'rehabilitate' it, but that sure looked like a human set of teeth marks." Seattlegal agrees: "I think it goes along with the speculation that Garvey is sleeping with Aimee while hallucinating on Ambien and doesn't ever remember it." Snakeoil-huckster makes a similar suggestion: "What if they were having sex, he put her hand in his mouth to keep her quiet and she bit him?"

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The Dogs Foreshadow Both Kevin Jr. and Sr.'s Fates
"Just like the dogs that witnessed departures went crazy, what if Garvey's father began to go 'crazy'/act erratic because he witnessed a departure?" proposes Reddit user swim_swim_swim. "His behavior in the diner (punching Kevin for no real reason), and his absolute demolition of the library seem like the perfect human equivalent of how the dogs act." If this is true, Swim_swim_swim hypothesizes: "the mysterious, bald, dipping man" – that'd be Dean – "showed up with the primary intention to rid the town of humans who have been driven crazy by witnessing a departure; killing the dogs that have gone crazy is a secondary objective."

Other Redditors hypothesize that the danger extends to Kevin Jr. as well. "In the first episode Kevin meets the mom whose baby disappeared. She asks him where he was when the departure happened and it flashes back to him having sex with someone," user QuesadillaSpalding recaps. "In the fourth episode when talking with Nora, Kevin admits to cheating on his wife. The assumption being that that's who he was sleeping with in the aforementioned flashback." Swim_swim_swim takes this idea even further: "If it is, in fact, true that Kevin and/or his father have gone/are going crazy due to witnessing a departure, I feel like it's a fairly obvious next step that the bald guy [Dean] would want to put them down."