'Yellowjackets' Season 2 ending explained: With finale episode, a hint at future horrors

Spoiler alert! The following contains details from the Season 2 finale of Showtime's "Yellowjackets," "Storytelling."

"It's not evil, it's just hungry."

Lottie (Courtney Eaton) − or the ghost of Lottie or a hallucination of Lottie or the Wilderness or some heretofore undiscovered entity − says that line in the final scenes of "Yellowjackets" Season 2. She's referring to the Wilderness, and to the young Yellowjackets, who did evil things but weren't necessarily evil.

Questions of morality, of comeuppance and karma, of right and wrong and survival, swirl together in the second season finale of the Showtime series. But there are no good answers. Teen Natalie (Sophie Thatcher) lets Javi (Luciano Leroux) die so she can live, and 25 years later, adult Natalie (Juliette Lewis) sacrifices herself to save a girl she just met. Callie (Sarah Desjardins) is willing to kill to save her mom Shauna (Melanie Lynksey), and Shauna is desperate to protect her daughter's innocence. Ben (Steven Krueger) resists the group psychosis of the teens that led to ritual murder, only to perhaps try to murder them all out of his own sense of justice.

Liv Hewson as Teen Van, Sophie Thatcher as Teen Natalie, Jasmin Savoy Brown as Teen Taissa and Sophie Nélisse as Teen Shauna in "Yellowjackets."

"Yellowjackets" is thorny, provocative and unnerving, a full-throated exploration of trauma, rage and the nature of humanity that is unlike anything on TV right now. Its second season stumbled slightly in exploring the long tail of its characters' anguish with some misguided storylines for the adult Yellowjackets in the present, but the journey from carefree teens to feral cannibals in the past has been executed with haunting aplomb.

The finale wraps up many of the problematic storylines in the present and opens the door for fresh horrors in the past. It's not the police investigations or the cults or any of the other extraneous details that makes the series so delicious − it's these girls and women. When the show keeps the camera on their traumas, past and present, there's really a buzz.

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What happened in the 'Yellowjackets' past − Javi, he's what's for dinner

In the past, the episode picks up where we left off last week. After Natalie and Misty (Samantha Hanratty) let Javi die, the girls bring his body back to the cabin, where Travis (Kevin Alves) is confronted with the knowledge that his efforts to save his girlfriend led to his brother's death. Lottie faces what she has wrought, horrified that the girls are ready to kill each other for dinner. Misty essentially tells her to shut up and deal with it, since Lottie is the one who "started this."

Steven Krueger as Ben Scott in "Yellowjackets."

We've seen how Shauna (Sophie Nélisse) learned how to break down a dead human body as she butchers Javi in disgusting detail. After Van (Liv Hewson) shames and manipulates him, Travis takes a bite out of his brother's raw heart, signaling to the rest that it's OK to eat Javi. This goes beyond dining on Jackie (Ella Purnell), a cannibalism crime of opportunity. This time, they're throwing pieces of Javi's flesh onto the open fire.

Ben returns from his sojourn to the symbol tree to find the whole bloody scene, and is ready to escape from the cabin and the teens he believes have lost their minds and morals. He tells Natalie she can come − he believes her to be the most altruistic teen left. When she tells him what she did to Javi, Ben leaves, and maybe just loses it himself. We see him steal matches and rope, and suddenly the cabin is on fire. The girls and Travis make it out alive with blankets on their backs, but now their shelter is gone. If ritual murder and cannibalism is what they turned to when they had all the advantages of the cabin, what's going to happen now that the roof over their heads is gone?

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In the present, Adult Natalie doesn't survive the 'Yellowjackets' finale

Adult Lottie (Simone Kessell), fully hallucinating again, is eager to recreate the rituals of the women's barbaric past to solve the problems of their present. She still believes there is some mystical entity that can be served with sacrifice, even if that entity is just a shared delusion. Shauna humors her, suggesting they have a hunt like the good ol' days of starvation and death. The women decide to have Lottie committed to a psychiatric hospital, but play along with the idea of a hunt.

In the meantime, a few loose ends are tied up: Walter (Elijah Wood) shows up, kills Kevyn Tan (Alex Wyndham) and blackmails Matt (John Reynolds) into making the investigation into the Sadeckis go away.

Juliette Lewis as Natalie in "Yellowjackets."

Van (Lauren Ambrose) convinces Taissa (Tawny Cypress) that they should try to help Lottie instead of having her committed. We're not exactly sure how they planned to do that, because when it comes down to it, the women all start the ritual sacrifice like they’re still following the wilderness rules. When Shauna draws the queen of hearts, meaning she’s been chosen to die, she tries to get them to stop the charade.

But everyone picks up a mask and a weapon, and it doesn’t feel like a game they’re playing to placate Lottie anymore. It’s only when Callie arrives, shooting Lottie in the arm with the gun Chekov helpfully left in her father’s glove compartment, that the women are snapped out of their post-traumatic reverie. Cult member Lisa (Nicole Maines) shows up with her own gun pointed at Natalie, and Misty (Christina Ricci) launches herself at the girl with a loaded syringe of lethal drugs. Natalie steps in front of Lisa and takes the syringe, meaning Misty inadvertently kills Natalie, her “best friend” (from Misty’s point of view, anyway).

As Lottie is loaded into an ambulance, seemingly on the way to the psych ward, she remarks that they gave the wilderness what it wanted: Blood sacrifice.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Season 2 'Yellowjackets' finale: Not everyone can survive last episode