Netflix Psychoanalysis: Ms. O’Byrne

Social studies teacher and summer school principal Siobhan O’Byrne is one of the crowning jewels of Presentation High School. Whether you’ve encountered her in her prized AP Psych class, which fills up quickly every year, or in an equally stimulating world history lesson, chances are that you’ve fallen for her a little bit. But much of her life still remains a mystery.

Luckily, we have a surefire way to wrangle more personal tidbits from her: Netflix psychoanalysis.

Although O’Byrne, as our resident Freud, could undoubtedly analyze herself in ten seconds flat, that task has instead fallen to yours truly. So if you’re in the mood to arbitrarily question everything you know about this well-loved, perfectly sane teacher – or if you’re just curious to see what shows she watches – without further ado, I present O’Byrne’s queue.

First up is Ice Age: The Meltdown, the second installment of the beloved Ice Age franchise and a likely favorite of O’Byrne’s two young children. It stars Queen Latifah as Ellie, a mammoth whose spunky personality evokes O’Byrne’s own infallible sense of humor.

Perhaps, like Ellie, the AP Psych teacher is in the process of navigating an earth-shattering meltdown: finals week. As she disentangles herself from the hordes of students demanding extra credit, that field of deadly (if animated) geysers probably doesn’t look so bad.

Wackier still is the titular character of another children’s show, Inspector Gadget, whose adventures undoubtedly mirror the frenzied nature of O’Byrne’s everyday life. His successful missions are largely made possible through the help of his niece Penny. Obviously, O’Byrne realizes that the best coping mechanism to get through all that grading is the employment of another, equally sharp young woman: a work scholarship girl. Grading a slew of practice AP tests isn’t exactly the same as defeating the nefarious Dr. Claw… but it’s pretty close. Whoever you are, O’Byrne’s TA, you are well-loved.

Political dramas House of Cards and Madam Secretary are additional favorites that reveal O’Byrne’s darker side. Both center around national figures: the power-seeking Congressman Frank Underwood and the CIA-analyst-turned-Secretary-of-State Elizabeth McCord. With which character does O’Byrne most identify? Is she hiding a secret ambition to climb the ranks of Presentation High School? Is she a government agent seeking sanctuary in Room 106? Or perhaps, like Jekyll and Hyde, she embodies both personas. Be warned, everyone; that telltale “all riiiight” could be a secret CIA code. They could be watching our every move.

Agent O’Byrne’s queue comes full circle with the Netflix phenomenon that is Fuller House, a revival of cult classic Full House. Although she claims to have taken to this show “because Eesha Patel made me watch it,” she has probably stayed for the nostalgia. After all, Full House is set in San Francisco, where O’Byrne attended college, and aired in the early ’90’s, back when she was a recent Pres graduate. Admit it, O’Byrne; you’re really a softie at heart.

Whether you see Siobhan O’Byrne as a dedicated teacher seeking a way to destress or as an ambitious, undercover politician, we can all agree that there are sides to her that remain unknown to the everyday Pres girl. Unless she’s slipping our top-secret intel to Notre Dame, however, we’ll probably be all right (or, even better, “all riiiight”). Besides, we need her. For as long as she can make even a subject like economics seem tantalizing, we’ll be sure to keep her secrets safe.