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All the Questions We Have Before ‘Yellowjackets’ Season 2


The cast of 'Yellowjackets' in the past timeline

Buzz buzz, baby. We’re rapidly approaching the premiere of the highly anticipated second season of Showtime’s Yellowjackets, the survival drama series about a group of women who survived a plane crash as teenagers. The series secured a loyal fanbase and glowing critical reviews with its clever plot twists, dry wit, and impressive cast, and early reviews for season 2 tout the show’s sophomore installment as yet another exciting chapter that outshines season 1.

With the new season so close, now’s the perfect time to take a step back and look at all the lingering questions we have about the events of Yellowjackets season 1, as well as a few theories we’re keeping on the back burner as we head into season 2.

Who made it out of the woods?

When we last left our Yellowjackets in the 1990s timeline, Shauna was mourning the accidental death of her best friend Jackie, who froze to death after being cast out of the cabin by the rest of the group. Jackie’s death came in the wake of a drug-fueled group hallucination courtesy of Misty and her mushrooms, which prompted Shauna and Lottie to try and kill Travis—a night which also yielded the revelation that Coach Ben is gay and doesn’t actually have romantic feelings for Misty. We end the season wondering what will be done with Jackie’s body—because, of course, we know there’s some cannibalism on the way.

So, the biggest question for the 1990s storyline is simple: Who made it out alive? We already know that Shauna, Tai, Natalie, Misty, and Travis all survived the woods—we followed their stories over the course of season 1. We also know nature-loving Lottie is still around and kicking, considering she’s the one who had Natalie kidnapped in the season 1 finale. But that still leaves question marks over a significant chunk of the Yellowjackets cast. Did everyone else die, or have some of the characters who made it out simply not appeared yet?

The biggest question right now is about Travis’ younger brother, Javi, who got lost in the chaos of the group hallucination and might have frozen to death, if Jackie’s fate is any indication. But the question of who else survived can be partially answered by the season 2 promotional materials, which include new cast member Lauren Ambrose as adult Van.

What’s the deal with Lottie and her religion?

Lottie (Courtney Eaton) places an antler veil atop her head in 'Yellowjackets'

Van’s confirmed survivor status also means that the followers of Lottie’s cannibalistic cult are two for two when it comes to survival; both Misty and Van were shown kneeling before Lottie (Simone Kessell) in the season 1 finale. Van’s survival also prompts questions about why she isn’t married to Taissa in the current timeline. It could be that Tai and Van fall on opposite sides when it comes to Lottie’s religion; it’s possible that Van continued to follow Lottie, driving away a skeptical Taissa.

There’s also the greater question of what is going on with Lottie and her religion—is she really getting visions, or is she having some kind of psychological episode? Remember that she was shown downing pills before the plane crashed, and only started having her visions after her medication ran out.

In addition to whether or not Lottie’s visions are legit, there are plenty of other details to worry about: What’s the meaning of the symbol seen throughout the woods, and that was drawn on the postcards? Is Lottie still a cannibal in the present? How did she gather so much money and power in the time between the ’90s and now? Considering adult Lottie is one of two new surviving Yellowjackets this season, it’s likely that we’ll get more insight into what Lottie’s been up to these past 30 years.

There’s also a major Lottie-related question that influences the entire series: Is there even anything supernatural going on in the woods? It’s entirely possible that, despite the Yellowjackets’ claims of something being in the woods with them, the cannibal cult stuff was all just the result of a sort of group psychosis, with no supernatural influence whatsoever—though it’s unlikely we’ll learn the exact nature of the woods and their secrets this season.

What’s going on with Tai?

Taissa (Tawny Cypress) crouches in a tree, covered in blood splatters and dirt, while looking at her smartphone in 'Yellowjackets'

One of the more upsetting present-day storylines is Tai’s frightening bouts of sleepwalking. We see in the ’90s timeline that Tai suffers from intense sleepwalking episodes that include compulsively eating dirt, climbing trees, and attempting to bite Van. Though adult Tai seems to have it all figured out—a loving wife, a young son, and a promising Senate campaign—the finale gave us a shocking revelation: Tai has a secret shrine in her basement that features the decapitated head of their family pet, a bloody doll, and the dog’s ripped-out heart.

Over the course of season 1, we saw that Tai was still struggling with sleepwalking in the present day, but based on the fact that there’s an entire shrine she seemingly doesn’t remember making, it’s safe to say that Tai’s mental issues are much worse than she lets on. The dog’s heart could also be an indication of a connection to Lottie. In the ’90s timeline, Lottie presented the ripped-out heart of the bear she killed to a shrine in the woods, a symbol of her faith.

Will Shauna and Jeff get away with murder?

Tai isn’t the only present-day Yellowjacket in hot water. When we last left Shauna, she had (hilariously) accidentally revealed to her husband that a) she was having an affair, and b) she killed the man she was having an affair with because she thought he was blackmailing her. Turns out that Jeff was actually blackmailing her the whole time—not having an affair, like Shauna suspected. That hysterical circumstance aside, Shauna and Jeff have a problem heading into season 2: Adam.

Adam himself is one big question mark: After getting in a fender-bender with Shauna, he seems immediately enamored with her and they quickly strike up an affair. But his sudden involvement in Shauna’s life seems to line up a little too neatly with the timing of the postcards and the blackmail. Shauna finally caught on to this coincidence toward the back half of season 1 and—believing her paramour to be behind the blackmail—killed Adam.

But unless Adam had another secret connection to the Yellowjackets we don’t know about, Shauna murdered a man for no reason. In the season 1 finale, Shauna and Natalie enlist the help of Misty to clean up Shauna’s murder scene, and Misty does a pretty solid job of getting rid of the evidence, though that doesn’t mean Shauna and Jeff are totally in the clear. The biggest threat to their secret being exposed seems to be their teen daughter, Callie, who met Adam while he was out with Shauna and knows that Shauna lied to the cops about knowing Adam. Whether Callie will narc on her parents remains to be seen, but it’s still possible the police will clock Jeff and Shauna some other way.

Who is Elijah Wood playing in Yellowjackets?

Christina Ricci as Misty and Elijah Wood as Walter in 'Yellowjackets' season 2

Another question mark in season 2 is Elijah Wood’s character, Walter, a citizen detective Misty meets on a subreddit. We see Misty frequently sleuthing and talking to other Redditors, but the fact that Walter seems to be a major presence in season 2 sets off some warning bells about his possible intentions and knowledge of what went down in the woods. So far, all we really know about Walter is that he’s going to be a new friend (and possible love interest?) for Christina Ricci’s Misty (a mini Ice Storm reunion!), and that he’s an internet sleuth—meaning he makes a hobby of sticking his nose in other people’s’ business.

Obviously, this would seem to spell trouble for the slightly psychotic Misty, who’s covered up plenty of crimes of her own—including the apparent murder of fixer Jessica, the cover-up of Adam’s murder, and the implied cannibalism she took part in as a devotee of Lottie’s cult in the woods. Considering the track record for Yellowjackets love interests, I’ve got a feeling Walter might be in over his head in season 2, but only time will tell if he’ll be able to survive the survivors.

Other lingering questions

While those are the major threads sure to pick up in the season 2 premiere, there are plenty of other lingering questions from season 1 that need answering, like: Who was the girl killed and eaten in the opening flashback sequence in the series premiere? Who killed Travis in the present, and why was the cult symbol left near his body? What happened to Shauna’s baby? At this point, we have more questions about Yellowjackets season 2 than we do answers, but that’s about to change when the series returns on March 24.

(featured image: Showtime)

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Lauren Coates (she/her)is a freelance film/tv critic and entertainment journalist, who has been working in digital media since 2019. In addition to her writing at The Mary Sue, her other bylines include Nerdist, Paste, The A.V. Club, and The Playlist. In addition to all things sci-fi and horror, she has particular interest in queer and female-led stories. When she's not writing, she's exploring Chicago, binge-watching Star Trek, or planning her next trip to the Disney parks. You can follow her on twitter @laurenjcoates.