After just one season, Showtime’s Yellowjackets has crafted a mystery with a downright irresistible hook. In 1996, a chartered plane carrying a girls’ soccer team headed to nationals crashes in the Canadian wilderness, leaving a smattering of survivors and a whole lot of carnage in its wake. After 18 months, some of those survivors get rescued; 20 years later, those who remain are tight-lipped about what actually happened to them out there—and what happened to those unlucky (lucky?) people who didn’t come home. Sound gory, freaky, and feminine mystique-y? It absolutely is.
Series creators Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson have previously discussed having a roughly five-season game plan, and the sheer heft of the buildup thus far indicates there’s enough meat on Yellowjackets’ bones to carry the kind of lengthy series arc that all but feels like a relic of days past. And there are plenty of urgent questions about the series’ upcoming second season, which premieres March 24. So gather around the fire, give a quick thanks to the wilderness, and join The A.V. Club as we tear into the most pressing queries still left unanswered, from Adam’s real identity to “dead cabin guy” to those purple-suited kidnappers. Buzz, buzz, buzz.
1. What’s going to happen to Shauna’s baby?
As a well-known reality show demonstrates, there’s nothing easy about being 16 and pregnant. But entering teen mom-hood while simultaneously trying to stave off starvation, wolves, hypothermia, and girl-on-girl drama takes the struggle to a whole new level. When we last left a young Shauna Shipman (Sophie Nelisse), she had just lost her best friend Jackie (Ella Purnell) in a fatal case of silent treatment and was still pregnant with the unborn child of Jackie’s boyfriend Jeff. Adult Shauna (Melanie Lynskey) only has one daughter, Callie, a high school student certainly too young to be that same child—so what happened between Shauna’s pregnancy and her middle age? How the rest of Shauna’s pregnancy plays out is shaping up to be a central arc next season, which picks up a few months after the end of season one.
2. How many survivors actually made it home?
By now, we know we haven’t yet met all the survivors who made it out of Canada all those years ago. Both Lottie (Courtney Eaton) and Van (Liv Hewson) are confirmed to receive modern-day storylines next season. (The adult versions of the characters will be played by Simone Kessell and Lauren Ambrose, respectively.) But there are still a few plane-crash survivors whose fates aren’t yet determined; they haven’t bit the dust in the wilderness, but haven’t yet been hinted at or reintroduced in the present day. Coach Ben (Steven Kreuger), Mari (Alexa Barajas), Akilah (Keeya King in season one, and Bel-Air’s Nia Sondaya in season two), and Javi (Luciano Leroux) are among those survivors who haven’t been re-introduced.
3. Where is Javi?
When we last saw Javi, he was running away in terror from the girls’ shrooms-induced Doomcoming “stag hunt,” wherein they chased down Travis and Shauna nearly field-dressed him like a deer. With winter on the horizon and miles of uncharted woods between the survivors and any signs of civilized life, if Javi’s whereabouts aren’t revealed soon, all signs seem to point to the end of his life. But as any zealous slasher fan knows, it’s foolhardy to assume a death without the presence of a body. There’s no counting out Javi, or the strange power of the wilderness that Lottie seems near to harnessing.
4. Who are the purple-suited people seemingly working on behalf of Lottie?
Yellowjackets’ season-one finale closed out with a bang, literally: the sound of a group of unidentified people wearing purple suits and that symbol bursting into Natalie’s apartment just as she was about to commit suicide, grabbing her by the arms and legs, and throwing her into a van. Simultaneously, a voicemail to Natalie from her old sponsor and partner-in-crime Suzie (Colleen Wheeler) reveals that she’s been tracked down by none other than Lottie Matthews, who she believes is tapping her phones. With adult Lottie set to finally be introduced in season two, the stage seems to be set for this group, cult or otherwise, to become a central part of the series’ grand puzzle.
5. Who is the “pit girl” who met a gory, spikey fate—while wearing Jackie’s gold necklace—in episode one?
Call it Yellowjackets’ original mystery: In the very first minutes of the series’ pilot, a screaming girl running barefoot in the snow falls to her death into a pit outfitted with spikes. The outfit she wears—a white nightgown, Converse shoes, and a gold heart-shaped necklace that originally belonged to Jackie—have been passed around consistently between the survivors, meaning the clothes serve as a real red herring. We know the girl can’t be any of the survivors, but the season-one finale also confirmed it’s not Jackie. So who is “pit girl?” With numbers in the wilderness dwindling and food growing scarcer, season two is primed to finally catch up to the jarring moment. For what it’s worth, our money is on Mari.
6. What’s the deal with the cabin guy?
Although the skeleton Taissa (Jasmin Savoy Brown) found in the abandoned cabin the Yellowjackets christened their home base and named “Dead Cabin Guy” has been an overarching presence since early on in season one, there’s still very little we actually know about his life and death. When the survivors found the cabin, it was stocked to survivalist standards, right down to endless cases of bullets and a fully fueled airplane (which wasn’t in as great condition as the girls thought—rest in peace, Laura Lee and Leonard). In the final moments of season one, as Jackie freezes to death, she sees a figure that the creators have since confirmed to be Cabin Guy staring her down. Was he a hallucination, a ghost, or something somehow even spookier? Only more episodes will tell (and given that his face appears in the opening credits for season two, that reveal seems on track to be pivotal).
7. Who was Adam, really?
There are few characters the Yellowjackets Reddit loves to theorize about more than Adam. Is he just a Yellowjackets super-fan, or something more sinister? Why did he take Shauna’s diaries? And what is the deal with that vague geometric tattoo? So far, Lyle and Nickerson have graciously debunked a few theories: Adam is not connected to some larger conspiracy, nor is he grown-up Javi, or adult Shauna’s baby. (Yikes!) But for all the information we have about who Adam isn’t, there’s still little indication of who he was—and he’s certainly not here to tell us. Could this be a job for Elijah Wood’s soon-to-be-introduced character, a citizen detective who takes a specific shine to Misty (Christina Ricci)?
8. Who is Taissa’s “bad one”—and whose heart was on that altar?
There are plenty of Yellowjackets characters who have been introduced in adult and teen forms, from Shauna to Misty to Kevin Tan to Randy Walsh. But viewers have been introduced to three Taissas: the grown-up senator with the perfect-on-the-surface family (Tawny Cypress), the strong-willed but extremely loyal teen soccer star (Savoy Brown), and “the bad one.” Ostensibly the culprit behind Biscuit’s gruesome death and that basement altar, Taissa’s sleepwalking alter ego seems to appear at times of stress, but feels suspiciously connected to the ambiguous supernatural energy the girls encountered in the wilderness. What is this version of Taissa trying to tell her and how connected is “the bad one” to the man with no eyes, who Taissa used to see as a child and who her son Sammy draws pictures of now?
9. What did Travis believe Natalie was “right” about?
This is certainly the most burning question for Natalie herself, whose quest to solve Travis’ “suicide”—which she believes was a murder—is fueled in part by a note he left her, reading, “Tell Nat she was right.” It’s Misty who originally uncovers the note from his home (read: there’s always a chance it was planted), but it’s Natalie who remains haunted by the message, right up until the moment when she’s about to kill herself. So what did Travis mean—or maybe more importantly, what does Natalie believe he meant?
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