A Quick Refresher on ‘Yellowjackets’ Season 1 So You Don’t Have to Rewatch It
Yellowjackets’ second season premieres this week, and if you simply don’t have time to rewatch season 1 in preparation (but you desperately need a refresher), then keep reading! We recapped all the most important moments to keep in mind as we head into season 2, divided between the events of 1996 and 2021 to keep things extra simple.
As a reminder, Yellowjackets kicks off in the creepiest way possible: A girl runs through the snow in a nightgown and falls into a pit trap—only to be impaled on spikes. Her body is hung upside down to bleed out. We then see the Yellowjackets, in costume, enjoying some fresh meat—the strong implication being they’re engaging in casual ritual cannibalism. One of the girls is revealed to be Misty, but the rest of their identities remain a ~mystery~.
We then flash-forward to right before the plane crash, where several things go down straight off the bat:
We find out that Jackie’s boyfriend Jeff is cheating with her BFF Shauna.
Allie breaks her leg in practice, meaning she can’t go to Nationals in Seattle.
We discover Lottie is taking prescription medication.
Speaking of Nationals, the Yellowjackets board a private plane paid for by Lottie’s rich dad—and we hear the captain say they’re going “farther north” than expected to avoid weather and should get “good views” of the Canadian Rockies. Jackie gives Shauna her heart-shaped necklace (the same one seen on the impaled body) ahead of the flight. The plane obviously crashes, and there are some things to note in the immediate aftermath:
Misty chops off Coach Ben’s leg after it’s crushed by part of the plane.
Van is trapped on the plane and Jackie prevents Shauna from rescuing her.
Coach Martinez dies after getting impaled in a tree.
Lottie realizes she has only a few pills left.
Misty finds the plane transponder and destroys it.
We get flashbacks to Tai’s childhood, where she sees a man with no eyes.
The remaining Yellowjackets bury the dead and leave the crash site to head to a lake, and then they find an abandoned cabin in the woods nearby—with a dead body in the attic. At this point, we start seeing this mysterious symbol pop up on trees…
…and the team enters survival mode. Some quick bullet points?
Misty becomes increasingly obsessed with Coach Ben.
Travis and Natalie learn to hunt (and she helps dig up his dad’s body to get a family ring).
Natalie recalls her abusive father accidentally killing himself with a gun.
Jackie discovers a small plane in the woods.
At this point, Shauna realizes she is pregnant and fakes her period by dipping a rag in deer blood. She also gives that heart necklace back to Jackie, who is struggling with their situation. More key points incoming!
Natalie + Travis and Tai + Van start hooking up.
Shauna tells Tai about her pregnancy.
The girls hold a séance to get rid of the “attic ghost.”
Lottie seemingly becomes possessed, saying “You must spill blood or else…” before splitting her head open.
Misty poisons Coach Ben and confesses her feelings for him.
Lottie finds Tai eating dirt in the woods.
The girls are now weeks into being lost in the woods, and Shauna ends up confiding in Taissa that Jeff is the father of her baby. She then tries to give herself an abortion with Tai’s help but can’t bring herself to go through with it. As if the situation isn’t already PEAK levels of bad, things take a turn for the creepy when Natalie and Travis kill a deer, only to find it full of maggots. With food in short supply and winter setting in, Tai leads a group to find help. Deets:
Lottie tells Van she had a dream about red smoke and a river of blood.
Tai’s group then comes across a red river (potentially mineral-deposit-related…or confirmation of Lottie’s premonitions).
Natalie and Travis try to have sex but he loses his erection.
Shauna tells Jackie she’s pregnant and lies about the father.
Jackie then reads Shauna’s diary, finding out the truth about Jeff.
Back in the woods, Taissa wakes up in a tree and realizes her friends are being attacked by wolves. Van is mauled and the girls think she’s dead—only for her to wake up when they start burning her body. The group returns to the cabin to sew Van’s wounds, and Tai confesses to Shauna that she’s been sleepwalking. A few other important tidbits from this part of the series:
Coach Ben tells Natalie that he’s gay.
Jackie tells Travis that Natalie slept with his middle school bully.
Jackie bullies Shauna into telling the entire group she’s pregnant.
Laura Lee tries to fly the tiny plane, only for it to explode in the sky.
With pretty much no hope of rescue or survival, the girls decide to throw a party, aka a “doom homecoming,” and they make a bunch of creepy shit to wear. Misty’s hallucinogenic mushrooms are accidentally used in a stew and the entire group starts tripping—except for Jackie, who decides not to eat. At this point, Lottie announces that “something’s coming” and says, “We won’t be hungry much longer.” Other (deranged) party notes? Ahem:
Jackie and Travis have sex.
The Yellowjackets lock Jackie in a closet and try to kill Travis while high.
Shauna spots Javi in the woods and tells him to run.
Coach Ben tells Misty he’s gay.
Everyone is feeling extremely hungover and awkward the morning after the party, and in the midst of a tense group argument, a bear lumbers over—only to lie down in front of Lottie, who kills it. The team thank the bear’s spirit during dinner but gang up on Jackie when she refuses to partake. Jackie and Shauna end up having a blowout fight, leading to Jackie sleeping outside and—womp—freezing to death. But not before having a dream about a creepy man in the cabin who says, “So glad you’re joining us. We’ve been waiting for you.” The final key moments from 1996?
Javi straight-up disappears.
Travis and Natalie make up and declare their love.
Lottie puts the bear’s heart in a tree hollow and kneels before it, while Van and Misty kneel behind her. The cult of Lottie has officially been formed!
Scenes from 2021 mostly focus on Natalie, Misty, Shauna, and Taissa as adults, so here’s the general deal:
Natalie is a recovering addict finishing up rehab in Los Angeles (paid for by Taissa).
Misty is working as a creepy nurse at an old person’s home.
Shauna is married to Jeff and they have a high-school-aged daughter named Callie, who is clearly not the child Shauna was pregnant with in the woods.
Taissa is running for state senate and lives with her wife Simone and their son Sammy.
Things kick off when Shauna is approached by a “reporter” wanting details about the Yellowjackets’ infamous story. She calls Tai on a burner phone hidden in her safe and reminds her they promised to stay out of the public eye. Tai lets Shauna know that Natalie is in rehab and there’s “no sign of the others.” However, Natalie is actually out of rehab and back in town, confronting Misty over a postcard she received with the drawing from the woods. The thing is, Misty also got a postcard, and these two embark on a full adventure. Details incoming:
Misty reveals that she found Travis.
Misty and Natalie break into Travis’s empty house and get arrested—but Misty calls Natalie’s high school BFF Kevyn (now a cop) to bail them out of jail.
Misty and Natalie head to Travis’s work and find him hanging in an apparent suicide.
Misty shows Natalie a note she found in Travis’s house saying, “Tell Nat she was right.”
Over in Shauna’s world, a hot dude named Adam enters the picture thanks to a fender bender, and he’s extremely forward with her. Interesting timing, considering Shauna is suspicious that Jeff is having an affair. In fact, she follows Jeff to a hotel and Adam just happens to be there, leading to a hotel room hookup.
So, what about Tai? Her son Sammy is having a hard time making friends, refuses to open the shades, and thinks there’s a “lady in the tree” who watches him at night, so…things are not great! Oh, and we also find out that Tai actually hired Jessica, the “reporter,” to make sure none of her friends would spill any secrets. A few more quick notes:
Natalie is convinced Travis was murdered.
Tai starts seeing visions of wolves and starts eating dirt, and someone (clearly her) writes “SPILL” in red paint on her home.
Callie finds out about Shauna and Adam when they show up at the same Halloween party.
Misty and Natalie get their hands on photos of Travis’s death and realize candles in the shape of the symbol had been burned below him.
Natalie and Kevyn sleep together.
Shauna’s, Natalie’s, and Taissa’s stories merge when they get texts from someone blackmailing them for $50,000. They end up tracking the blackmailer, and although he gets away, he also ends up covered in glitter. Meanwhile, Misty occupies herself by drugging Jessica and chaining her to a bed. Jessica tells Misty she was hired by Tai and that Travis’s bank account was closed right after he died—meaning someone other than him emptied it.
After chasing the blackmailer, Shauna heads home and finds Adam lurking outside her house. They have sex and Adam hides in the closet when Jeff gets home. Callie finds out and expresses concern about Adam’s lack of Instagram presence. A few other important things to remember ahead:
Tai confides in Shauna that she’s been sleepwalking and that Sammy thinks there’s another version of her called The Bad One.
Natalie finds her old sponsor and blackmails her into digging into Travis’s bank account.
Shauna heads to Adam’s apartment to accuse him of blackmailing her and then kills him with a knife.
As soon as Shauna gets home from killing Adam, she realizes Jeff was actually the one blackmailing her friends. He admits as much and explains that he owed money to loan sharks, while Shauna comes clean about her affair and killing Adam. Poor sweet Jeff offers to take the fall, but Shauna decides to protect him and tell her friends it was Adam who blackmailed them.
After Misty, Shauna, Tai, and Natalie cut up Adam’s body and deal with the crime scene, Misty lets Jessica out of the basement, only to kill her with a fentanyl-laced cigarette. The foursome also head to their high school reunion, and the present-day portion of season 1 ends as follows:
Taissa wins the election just as her wife discovers a shrine with their dog’s dismembered head.
Shauna, Jeff, and Callie awkwardly watch a TV spot announcing that Adam is missing.
Natalie, seemingly resigned to the fact that Travis killed himself, is about to take her life when she’s kidnapped by a mystery group—led by a man wearing a medallion with the sign from the woods.
But perhaps most intriguing? Natalie’s sponsor leaves her a voicemail saying, “I dug into Travis’s bank account and found out who emptied it. I think someone’s following me. Who the fuck is Lottie Matthews?”
Aaand now you’re ready for season 2!
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