American Vandal season 2, episode 4 recap: ‘Sh*t Talk’


On the previous episode of American Vandal, the filmmakers went and interviewed basketball star DeMarcus Tillman and learned that he had access to every area that the poo-based crimes took place.

With that in mind, the Turd Burglar sent a message to Peter taunting him for not finding him yet.

Responding to the Turd Burglar

Sam and Peter are trying to figure out how to respond to the Turd Burglar’s text message, with Peter wanting to call him out as DeMarcus but Sam telling him they need to have a better response.

They decide to respond by asking if he has something to say, so say it. The Turd Burglar tells them to meet him at specific coordinates and they find poop there with the Turd Burglar card in it. They are also within 150-feet of Kevin’s house, which still makes him a suspect. The Turd Burglar tells Peter to get his hands dirty.

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Peter finds chopsticks and digs through the poop but finds nothing. This leads to Sam saying: “I think he just wanted you to dig through sh*t with chopsticks” and laughs about it.

The Turd Burglar never responded to anyone until after Peter confronted DeMarcus Tillman. Peter wonders if DeMarcus would taunt him after that because he feels untouchable. If Kevin is the Turd Burglar, why would he make Peter dig through poop after all they did for him?

Investigating the Digital Messages

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The Instagram shares of the Brownout includes names and links to dozens of student’s profiles. The Turd Burglar knew everyone who pooped themselves that day, so he knows the students. However, there were two other posts that made no sense. One was on Nov. 30 with Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo and one on Dec. 4 with an Advent Calendar – both warning posts that another attack was coming.

The crime promised on Dec. 4 never took place. Also, both warning posts came after Kevin was placed under house arrest.

Sam thinks that Kevin put up the posts after he was under house arrest to make it look like it wasn’t him. Sam and Peter are still disagreeing on whether Kevin or DeMarcus is guilty of the poo crimes.

Sam points out that the Instagram posts by the Turd Burglar use language that in no way could have come from DeMarcus based on his lower intelligence. He wouldn’t have used a word like “veil” and it is unlikely that he would insult the kids at the school since he seems to like everyone.

Could DeMarcus Be Fooling Everyone?

Up next is an interview with a Professor of Forensic Linguistics who explains how criminals will often change how they talk to throw off investigators. This was the exact same thing that Perry Coleman did when he was bullying Paige a few years back – using Old English to throw off the scent that an athlete was doing it (which DeMarcus Tillman was responding to with crying laughing emojis).

A friend who has known DeMarcus since he was younger said that when he is at St. Bernardine, he “talks whiter.”

They then look at a message that DeMarcus left where he used the wrong emoji for a smile (the grimace face) and then saw one of the Turd Burglar messages also used the same wrong emoji.

The Glitch

There was another Turd Burglar message that had “the glitch” – which DeMarcus did not have.

In November 2017, iPhone users had a glitch when updating their phones. It was just a keyboard error where the uppercase “I” would be changed to the letter “A” and a “?” in a box. In the Nov. 4 post, the Turd Burglar had the glitch but a post by DeMarcus that same day did not.

There is little chance that DeMarcus Tillman sent the message. Sam said that he feels that Chloe is biased, which made no sense to him because “Kevin kind of sucks.”

Would Chloe Lie to Protect Kevin?

Chloe said she met Kevin in the 4th grade. Kevin said that she was new at the school that year and she was sitting alone at recess, so he gave her company.

Kevin remembered hearing Chloe singing a song that he hated. He went up to her and said: “that song is an ocular catastrophe, but you make it sound just perfect.” Chloe said that was the nicest thing that Kevin was capable of saying. Chloe said that she looked up the word ocular and while he used the word wrong, it was really sweet.

Thanks to the confidence, Chloe decided to become a singer and said that she is applying to Berkeley and her coach thinks she has a shot. She even joined Kevin and Tanner’s band.

Chloe started to play basketball. Another student said that Chloe is cool, but Kevin is the Fruit Ninja, so she was surprised the two of them still hung out together. She said that they didn’t hang out in crowds because he was “too much.” She was asked not to bring Kevin when she went to gatherings.

Chloe said she felt bad for not inviting Kevin to things, but it seemed like he never wanted to go to things.

Peter asks Chloe why she waited two weeks to say anything about seeing the Turd Burglar card in DeMarcus’ wallet. Chloe said that she didn’t want to snitch on DeMarcus Tillman if she didn’t have to. She said it didn’t feel like it was her place until Kevin was accused and that is why she came forward.

Chloe said that they were not really friends, but she would have done the same thing if Kevin accused DeMarcus and it was the other way around.

Just the Tip Day

Kevin also pooped himself. Kevin did not get laxatives at the convenience store to spike the lemonade because it wasn’t done with laxatives. And, finally, Kevin also sent out a text message on his phone and he also did not have the glitch.

Kevin has an Android – “the superior machine.”

What if the Turd Burglar wasn’t Kevin McClain or DeMarcus Tillman? They went next to the Student Government tip box to look through the tips that the students left. This is where they found recurring names – four students with multiple names listed as possible suspects.

Three of them had the glitch: Drew Pankratz, Paul Schnorrenberg and Jenna Hawthorne.

Drew Pankratz

“Diapey” Drew Pankratz is in the drama club and is in “all the plays.” All his friends are theater girls, and he lives in the “friend zone.” However, someone posted photos on the school message boards dressed up in diapers and drinking out of a baby bottle and sucking on a pacifier.

Drew said that he was pushing himself as an actor and that was all it was about. However, some of the kids thought that Drew was getting back at the kids for spreading those pictures around.

Drew said that he is not the Turd Burglar and just wants people to leave him alone.

They asked the librarian who said that Drew was with her in the library reading when the fire drill happened and was also there during the pep rally. She said that he couldn’t face the whole school, so he was staying most of the time away from other kids.

“He passed the sniff test.”

Jenna Hawthorne

A lot of kids in the school have a lot of money like Jenna and cars as expensive as Jenna. But they don’t have a library named after them – Jenna Hawthorne does. “That is f**k you money.” Kevin adds that he doesn’t trust anyone with the amount of money as someone like Jenna because they think that rules don’t apply to them.

Jenna always posted photos on her Instagram account that looked like they were taken by a professional photographer. Then, one day, she posted a photo of her with her “bestie” Kendall Jenner. However, someone found an uncropped version where she was at an autograph signing.

Jenna finally admitted that she waited five hours in line for the picture. One girl said that doesn’t make you a “best friend” – it makes you “a loser.” DeMarcus Tillman said that Jenna disrespected everyone that Kendall Jenner really has a relationship with, “like Kim, Kourtney, Khloe, Kylie, Kylie Baby Daddy, Tiger, all of them, man. The transgender mom, the little babies.”

In her interview, Jenna said that she doesn’t hate the kids at the school because they really aren’t worth her time. Jenna said that she regrets posting the picture because it was just a joke. She figures people just got jealous and blew it out of proportion.

Another kid said that it is fun to watch someone from the top fall.

In the investigation into how her family became rich, they were involved in a lot of business ventures. One of these businesses involved Maltitol – the substance used to spike the lemonade at the Brownout.

Jenna went to an internship at Nicro – her family’s company. She went every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday – and it turns out that she wasn’t even at St. Bernardine during the first two poo incidents.

Paul Schnorrenberg

Paul Schnorrenberg is a very religious person at St. Bernardine. Paul posts videos of him criticizing people at his school based on his interpretations of the Bible. One girl even said that even Jesus would tell Paul to bring it down a notch.

DeMarcus Tillman said that he respects Paul because he put a lot of work into his God-stuff — just like Kevin does on the basketball court. He said that he gives Paul all the respect “cause the Bible is so boring. [looks up] no disrespect.”

One student thought that Paul did it because he was “punishing the sinners.” Paul even did a video of him saying that God was protecting some while punishing others and it showed a video of him on his knees praying during the Brownout.

There were even two posts – one by Paul and one by the Turd Burglar that had similar quotes on them. There is also more digital evidence, as both Paul and the Turd Burglar use periods after emojis. Sam: “periods after emojis? That’s serial killer weird.”

They looked at the Bible verse the Turd Burglar used. “Regular Catholic kids wouldn’t know that. You would have to be Schnorrenberg-Catholic.”

There is a motive, small digital clues, and a target – one student said that Paul hated Ms. Montgomery – the English teacher that was the victim of the poop piñata. Paul lost it when he said that a book she was having them read had “oral sex” to which Ms. Montgomery said that if Kurt Vonnegut was alive, he would approve of it.

Paul said that he goes frustrated but he would never intentionally cover anyone in poop. Ms. Montgomery said that she knows Paul is not the Turd Burglar because she was having a “spirited debate” with him at the time about The Pope during the tee-shirt launcher incident. “He thinks the Pope is too radical, but I think he is kind of cool.”

All three of the promising suspects had alibis.

A New American Vandal Clue

Ms. Montgomery was called out of the classroom and Sam saw something in the faculty lounge. He went into the lounge to tell Ms. Montgomery she forgot her phone, but then realized it was his phone. He actually went in there to get video footage of something that caught his eye.

The random advent calendar that the Turd Burglar sent out in his final warning post – it was in the faculty lounge. What if Mr. Hankey was the warning post and the Advent calendar was the post of the delivery device (the piñata, tee-shirt launcher, and lemonade)?

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What if there was a fourth poop crime – after Kevin McClain was put under house arrest, which would prove that the school was covering something up and Kevin was innocent?