These 8 'Bluey' episodes could hint at what's next for the beloved show

After the release of a trifecta of episodes of “Bluey,” fans of the Australian children’s TV show about a family of blue heeler dogs are speculating about what’s next for the characters and the series.

The popular show, which follows Bluey, her sister Bingo and parents Bandit (Dave McCormack) and Chilli (Melanie Zanetti), was propelled into the pop-culture zeitgeist last month, starting with the release of “Ghostbasket” on April 7, in which viewers learned that the Heelers’ house was for sale.

A week later, the special 28-minute “The Sign” — the longest “Bluey” episode ever — revealed more details about this shocking plot twist. We learn that Bandit has accepted a new job that requires the Heelers to move, saying it’s so the family can have a better life. “I don’t want a better life,” Bluey exclaims. The episode featured a wedding, a pregnancy reveal and a last-minute decision by the family to stay in Brisbane.

An additional episode, aptly titled “Surprise,” was announced just hours before it ran on April 21. In the final moments, the series flashes forward to the future, and a grown-up Bluey visits her parents, and we see a child.

Read more: How 'Bluey' special 'The Sign' was created: 'It’s one of the most beautiful episodes we've made'

But the developments have left fans wondering what it all means and whether it’s the end of “Bluey,” as so many have speculated. A fourth season of the beloved series has yet to be announced, and should it arrive (or something longer, like a movie), it’s raised questions like: Will the show do a time jump with Bluey and Bingo as parents and Chilli and Bandit as grandparents? Why didn’t we get to see an adult Bingo in “Surprise” (Chilli says she’s in the backyard)?

While series creator Joe Brumm hasn’t been specific in interviews about what’s next, when The Times spoke with executive producer Daley Pearson about "The Sign," he said he "would love to think about where [the show] could go next.”

Producer Sam Moor confirmed to the BBC that the show would be back for a fourth season. Zanetti, who voices Chilli, told The Times that she’s still hoping for a musical episode and is definitely up for doing more of the series. “On the record, we like fun and we love doing our voices and we are up for anything,” she said.

The message from fans has been unequivocal — they want more “Bluey.” The show is produced by Ludo Studio for the Australian Broadcast Co. and BBC Studios, and it is shown in the U.S. on the Disney Channel and Disney Junior and streams on Disney+. A week after the premiere of “The Sign,” Disney announced that the special had had more than 10 million views, making it the most viewed "Bluey" premiere ever. To figure out where the show might be headed, here’s a look back at eight key “Bluey” episodes that inform its past and possibly its future.

'Barky Boats' (Season 2, Episode 38)

In this episode, the students at Bluey’s school get to spend the day with their older buddies. The episode kicks off with Winton teasing Bluey that she is going to marry Mackzenie. Many have noted that the small dog outside the Heeler home in the final seconds of “Surprise” bears a striking resemblance to Mackenzie. Since this mystery pup appears to have arrived with adult Bluey and is ready to attack Bandit with a toy similar to Bluey’s in “Surprise,” is it possible that Bluey married Mackenzie and that is their child by the door?

'Fairytale' (Season 3, Episode 25)

Bandit tells Bluey and Bingo a story about growing up in the ’80s (“a wild place” where no one needed helmets, trampolines had no nets and the rules of jinx were ironclad). Bandit tells the girls that this is the first time he met Chilli, something she denies. But she admits that she and her family used to vacation where Bandit’s story takes place. As with Season 2’s “Baby Race,” which flashes back to Bluey as a puppy, the show demonstrates that it is comfortable playing with time.

'Grannies' (Season 1, Episode 28)

Janet and Rita, Bluey and Bingo’s respective granny alter egos, were introduced in the show’s first season (there are actual T-shirts with the phrase, “Nice parking space, Rita!” on them.). They have made several appearances during the show’s three seasons, including in “Bus” and “Granny Mobile.” But, most notably, they appeared in “Ghostbasket,” as Bingo as Rita pretends to be a character haunting the house so a prospective buyer, played by Chilli, won’t buy it.

'Curry Quest' (Season 3, Episode 8)

Bandit and Bingo go to visit Mackenzie and his family to swap curries. But the episode contains a plot point that takes on much more significance now that we know how the season ends. Bandit is reluctant to tell Bingo that he has to go away for six weeks for work. Did it have something to do with the job opportunity that would have led to the family’s move?

'Onesies' (Season 3, Episode 32)

Chilli’s sister Brandy visits for the first time in four years. We learn (or at least the adults do; the plot line most likely goes over younger viewer’s heads) that the reason for their estrangement is that Brandy hasn’t been able to have a child of her own. “It’s just hard seeing you all,” she tells her sister. Viewers were delighted to see a pregnant Brandy at the wedding in “The Sign.”

'Chest' (Season 3, Episode 10)

Unlike in other TV series, the actors that voice Bluey and Bingo are not credited and remain anonymous. The show is inspired by creator Joe Brumm’s life and is a family affair. Brumm’s brother Dan voices Uncle Stripe. His mother, Chris, voices Nana Heeler. The challenge is, of course, that the actors are getting older but Bluey and Bingo have remained 6 and 4, respectively, since the series premiered in Australia in 2018. Kids will start to sound different as they grow up. Brumm discussed possible solutions to the conundrum a few years ago. Viewers got their first glimpse that the series was considering having time pass during this episode where Bandit teaches his children to play chess, or “chest,” as they call it. Bluey tells her dad, “I’m almost 7. She’s 5.”

'Double Babysitter' (Season 2, Episode 25)

Bandit’s brother Rad (Patrick Brammall) and Chilli’s best friend, Frisky (Claudia O’Doherty), get married in “The Sign.” But the couple first meet in the show’s second season when, through a miscommunication, they are both asked to babysit. Bluey and Bingo grill them (“Why don’t you have a wife?” “Do you want to have children?”), while we see initial sparks between the eventual couple.

'Cricket' (Season 3, Episode 47)

In this episode, which comes before “Ghostbasket,” Bandit narrates a story in a way that it seems like he’s talking about something that happened long ago. Maybe he’s telling the story to his grandchildren? The story is about Bluey’s friend Rusty and how he loves to play cricket. No one can get Rusty out of the game until he purposely hits a ball that his sister Dusty can catch. Cricket, as Bandit tells Bluey, is about more than just the game. The final moments of the episode show a grown-up Rusty playing professional cricket, passing a younger version of himself on the field. It’s not the first time the show has flash forward. We see a teenage version of Bluey in Season 1's “Camping” and adolescent Bingo in Season 2’s “Daddy Dropoff.” But “Cricket,” which flashes all the way to Rusty’s adulthood, is perhaps the most significant. Is it the children’s TV version of “Lost?” Perhaps.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.