Yellowjackets star breaks down that major death in the season 2 finale: 'It was really devastating'

Warning: This post contains spoilers for the season 2 finale of Yellowjackets, "Storytelling."

There's a new Antler Queen in town.

The season 2 finale of Yellowjackets brought some stories to a close and, of course, kicked off a number of new mysteries. Thanks to Walter's (Elijah Wood) help, Shauna (Melanie Lynskey) no longer has to worry about Adam's (Peter Gadiot) murder. The downside? Kevyn's (Alex Wyndham) dead. And he isn't the only one: After Lottie (Simone Kessell) leads the women on another hunt — this time to kill Shauna — Callie (Sarah Desjardins) is there to save her mom. The craziness continues when Lisa (Nicole Maines) also shows up with a gun, and Misty (Christina Ricci), ever the fixer, tries to kill Lisa with a syringe of what we can only assume is phenobarbital. But before Misty can stab Lisa, Natalie (Juliette Lewis) steps in front of the needle. Misty is too slow to react and, in the end, kills her best friend.

But that wasn't the only big development for Natalie. Back in the '90s story, we watch as Lottie (Courtney Eaton) declares she can no longer lead the team. Instead, she says the Wilderness chose Natalie (Sophie Thatcher) the moment it spared her life and took Javi (Luciano Leroux) instead. So, one by one, the team accepts Natalie as their new leader, which makes her the new frontrunner for the Antler Queen title.


Kailey Schwerman/SHOWTIME Juliette Lewis and Sophie Thatcher on 'Yellowjackets'

Then there's the little fact that the finale ends with the cabin burning to the ground, which happens moments after the show makes a point of showing Coach Ben (Steven Kreuger) standing outside of it with a box of matches.

EW spoke with Sophie Thatcher about the dramatic end to the season.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How did you find out Natalie was going to die?

SOPHIE THATCHER: There was talk amongst the cast, but it was solidified when Juliette and I were doing an interview together. She gave me the "I'm leaving you" speech. [Laughs] I know that no matter what, we're going to be connected, but it was really devastating. It felt like losing part of myself.

Even though this show kills people regularly, I did not expect it to be one of the original four.

Yeah! And it comes truly out of nowhere. Everyone's gone through so much, but Natalie doesn't know how to cope, and her story's just so tragic. And her death was unexpected. She's actually doing something very honorable. It was her trying to save Lisa and seeing herself in Lisa and seeing more of a future for her. There's that line I say to her in the plane, like, "We've been here for years." I think that just means you lost yourself in the Wilderness. There's no going back. There's so much heaviness and guilt inside of her. She was giving her life to Lisa.

Was this the first time you got to exchange dialogue with Juliette?

Yeah, and it felt really devastating. It was the last time I would see her on set. Unless — I guess I don't know if she's going to be [back], I have no idea, but it was really devastating. Seeing her having to go through that take by take, just being in such a vulnerable place, it was really hard to watch. But seeing that up close was so exciting for me because she is an absolute powerhouse and so talented.


Kailey Schwerman/SHOWTIME Juliette Lewis on 'Yellowjackets'

Let's talk about what happened for teen Natalie. In that moment, where everyone is pledging their allegiance, what's going through her head?

I think at this point she's happy she's alive. There's such a rollercoaster of emotions as each person comes to her because she has a different relationship with everybody. But I think toward the end of that scene, she starts to accept it and, if anything, feels honored. Like, people finally appreciate me. And that feels nice because she's always been the outcast. She feels like people see her finally. It's a very exciting point for the character because I was wondering: When is her turning point? When does she kind of lose her morality? And I think this is definitely leaning toward that and what makes her who she is in present day.

It is pretty exciting that, for right now at least, it looks like you're the Antler Queen!

Yeah! I called my mom. [Laughs] But we don't know what's happening in season 3. So as of right now I am, but who knows how long it'll last?

I'm very intrigued by the Shauna-Natalie dynamic next season, with Shauna (Sophie Nélisse) clearly thinking she should've been named leader.

We've never really had scenes together, and I would love, love, love to have scenes with Sophie. I think everything's going to be turned on its head as soon as Lottie is no longer the leader because I feel like they naturally fell into that and it gave them faith and optimism and something to believe in. Whereas Natalie doesn't have that right now. She's far more grounded, so all those relationships are going to change.

Why do you think Lottie chose Natalie over Shauna?

I think Lottie is very fearful for her life and knows that she can't continue like this. I feel like, in episode 4, she sees that Natalie is the most practical. I think there's a lot of respect from Lottie.


Kailey Schwerman/SHOWTIME Sophie Thatcher on 'Yellowjackets'

The show made a point of having Ben tell her she's the good one in the bunch, so I'm fascinated to see what happens when the "good one" becomes the leader.

I think she's going to shift and I think that moment with Javi was her accepting it. She didn't want to die. And it just comes down to that. Now she has to live with this guilt.

Your friends hunting you will change a person.

How do you trust them? How do you lead them? How do you know they're going to stay in that group dynamic? I'm curious to see how other characters react and how it changes her relationship with Travis [Kevin Alves]. They have that bond over the trauma and they have that connection because nobody will ever understand what they've been through, but that is inherently kind of toxic because they've seen each other at their worst.

And now she has to lead them without shelter because Ben might've burned down the cabin?!

I don't know if he did! It was a very big discussion point on set. But yeah, next season we're no longer in the cabin, which is kind of sad because we had so many scenes in there. But we'll see. I have no idea if people will actually follow through with her being leader. That's exciting to think about. But the writers are always surprising us.

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