Yellowjackets: All the Questions We Have Headed Into the Season 1 Finale – IGN
This article contains detailed spoilers for Yellowjackets.
From its blistering first episode, Yellowjackets has expertly peeled back the layers of a compelling mystery told across two timelines. In 1996, a private plane carrying a New Jersey high school girl’s soccer team crashes in the wilderness and the squad never makes it to Seattle for nationals. Twenty-five years later, the survivors are dealing with painful reminders of the 19 months they spent foraging for food and the lengths they went to in a desperate bid to live.
In the present, a blackmail plot against Taissa (Tawny Cypress), Natalie (Juliette Lewis), Misty (Christina Ricci), and Shauna (Melanie Lynskey) is one of the overarching puzzles that viewers have been theorizing over, and the culprit has been unmasked in the penultimate episode. The reason why Shauna didn’t receive a postcard bearing the mysterious symbol from the woods is that her husband Jeff (Warren Kole) is the guilty party. He wasn’t having an affair as she suspected. Instead, he has been trying to save his failing furniture business. After taking a loan from some dangerous people he resorted to desperate measures to pay it back.
“Doomcoming” includes a rather shocking bloody conclusion to Shauna’s affair with Adam (Peter Gadiot) after she also incorrectly deduces he is the blackmailer, and her past response to trauma leads to a violent encounter. In the flashbacks to 1996, an attempt to throw one last high school hurrah (aka Doomcoming) before the crash survivors starve to death leads to a feral attack that almost ends in tragedy. Magic mushroom-laced broth contributes to the near-sacrifice. The Etsy-ready garlands, flower crowns, and masks serve as an early sign of the cannibal tribe aesthetic witnessed in the opening scene of the pilot episode.
Even with the blackmailer confirmation, there are still a number of questions that Showtime’s addictive thriller has yet to answer. The Season 2 renewal means we don’t expect everything to be resolved in next week’s finale, but here are nine Yellowjackets conundrums keeping us up at night.
If you’re not caught up with the series just yet, check out our Yellowjackets premiere review.
1. Who is the Sacrifice?
The Yellowjackets pilot opens with a chilling sequence that sees one young woman meet a gruesome end. Cannibalism is how the remaining members of the soccer team survived, but the elaborate costumes illustrate something more sinister is at play. A gold heart necklace worn by the victim is an early clue pointing to Jackie (Ella Purnell). She gave this trinket to Shauna on the plane but Shauna returned it earlier on in the season. Either way, we know Shauna survives so it definitely isn’t her. It might be far too obvious that Jackie is served for dinner, but “Doomcoming” has several other moments that suggest her nihilistic outlook will come to pass. In her drug-fueled state, Lottie (Courtney Eaton) tells Jackie “You don’t matter anymore.” It seems the Queen Bee has lost her title thanks to a combination of not pulling her weight and constant complaining.
One other factor pointing to this conclusion is present-day Shauna is haunted by teen Jackie, and a 2021 dinner with Jackie’s parents supports this dead theory. However, when Shauna flicks through her ex-BFF’s diary a list of movies includes titles that were not released before they disappeared for nearly two years. How is Scream (released December 1996) on Jackie’s list of favorites if she didn’t make it out of the wilderness?
2. What is “In All of Us?”
Lottie and her clairvoyance have been at the heart of the spookier moments of Season 1. She has been possessed by the spirit of the French Canadian pilot during the attic séance, envisioned the bloody antlered and maggot-infested stag, and foresaw several elements that befell the splinter group led by Taissa (Jasmin Savoy Brown) in “Red River.” She asked Laura Lee (Jane Widopp) to baptize her after the séance and during this ceremony, she took a trippy candlelit walk in her mind. At the Doomcoming dance, she toasts the departed Laura Lee, however, the Biblical influence is replaced by something more troubling when Misty’s magic mushrooms take effect.
Earlier, Lottie ominously remarks “something is coming” and they “won’t be hungry for much longer.” If Natalie (Sophie Thatcher) didn’t stop Shauna (Sophie Nélisse) from cutting Travis’ throat then he would have been the first sacrifice. Lottie maniacally says it is “in all of us” and she could be referencing the desire to eat each other. But what external hand is guiding her and does it have something to do with the creepy symbols decorating the trees and cabin? It is also notable that Lottie’s Doomcoming crown is a simpler version of the person leading the group during the cannibal ritual and she is the likely candidate to take charge in the future.
3. Does Tai Have Supernatural Powers?
Lottie isn’t the only one who has a connection to the unknown. The eyeless man haunting Taissa is probably the scariest image so far — he even pops up in the opening credits. Some blanks have been filled in regarding Taissa’s troubling nocturnal behavior such as the fact she eats dirt when she sleepwalks during periods of high stress. She thinks her son Sammy (Aiden Stoxx) has seen her do this and he refers to his sleepwalking mom as “the bad one.” We also know she likes to climb trees while she is asleep, which has occurred in both timelines.
There are still unanswered questions that include the reason for the eyeless man and why Tai’s sleep state turns her feral. The teens are probably hungry enough to consider dirt, but it is another thing to see her consuming soil (and gnawing on her hand) in the present day.
4. Did Shauna Have Her Wilderness Baby?
Adolescent Shauna is pregnant with her future husband Jeff’s baby. This unwanted pregnancy sees her taking desperate measures, up to and including an attempted abortion midway through the season. Though she and Tiassa didn’t ultimately follow through with this plan, the current conditions are far from conducive to having a baby.
There is also the small matter that she was sleeping with her best friend Jackie’s boyfriend and she still believes this is a secret. Jackie read Shauna’s diary and is privy to this betrayal, but is so far choosing to punish her bestie with passive-aggressive digs. Will she reveal she knows the real baby daddy’s identity? In the present day, Shauna’s daughter is too young to be the wilderness baby, however, that doesn’t mean she didn’t have this child.
5. What Made the Plane Explode?
Laura Lee is convinced she can fly the dead French Canadian guy’s plane and bring back a rescue party to save her teammates. It is fortuitous that her grandfather taught her some aviation techniques and the manual has filled in the gaps. There is a full tank of gas and it appears to be flight-ready outside of the fact that it’s sat dormant in the forest for years. The wolf attack on Van (Liv Hewson) and Shauna’s pregnancy prompts Laura Lee’s daring faith-based mission
Unfortunately, a fire in the cockpit causes an explosion, and Laura Lee is the first person to die since the crash. This could be a technical fault caused by years of inaction, however, it seems mystical sabotage is more likely. Is this the same person that tied the plane to the trees? “They didn’t want him to leave,” Lottie ominously intoned about the French Canadian and the same unseen entity could be responsible now. We still don’t know what caused the original plane crash, either there might be something in the air around their location.
6. Did More People Survive Than the Future Scenes Suggest?
“Little Girls Lost” reads the Us Weekly headline detailing the Yellowjackets tragedy 25 years later. “Where are they now?” the cover story also asks. We know the whereabouts of four survivors (and that Travis lived until 2021), but who else made it out alive? The high school reunion is only a day away and while there is a dead body to hide, hopefully, the women will have time to attend as we want to see if any of their other teammates will show up.
After surviving two encounters with death, Van is a plausible suggestion, and Autostraddle’s Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya’s spotted Van’s “Coed Naked Soccer” tee in the opening cannibal scene. Of course, someone could’ve borrowed this shirt but we like Van’s odds of making it that far.
7. Who Killed Travis?
One of the show’s biggest mysteries is who killed Travis and took his money the following day? Candles were arranged beneath his body to look like the infamous symbol, which means a Yellowjacket could be the culprit. Although there are people who weren’t in the crash that are privy to this information, the likelihood that Jeff did this is extremely slim.
Natalie is convinced Travis didn’t die by suicide and has blackmailed a former friend to get Travis’ account information. Taissa’s private investigator told Misty about the bank withdrawal, but who is to say Jessica (Rekha Sharma) isn’t involved in this plot? One of the most curious threads during this season is Jessica’s chill demeanor regarding her imprisoned status. Sure, when she first awakened in Misty’s basement she kicked up a storm. But she is far more relaxed than most people would be in her scenario. The investigator has been working all the angles when it comes to her captor — even pointing out the way the rest of the Yellowjackets ostracized her — though she still remains tied up.
8. Who is Adam?
Shauna thought she was having a no-strings fling with a hot guy who had no idea about her survivor fame, however, the artist who calls himself Adam is too good to be true. He did know about her Yellowjackets past, but claims this was only after they hooked up. When Shauna’s daughter does some light digging about her mother’s boyfriend she finds nothing, which is more troubling than finding anything. Adam is an artist but doesn’t have a website or even an Instagram showcasing his work, and Shauna found out he lied about attending the prestigious Pratt Institute. Red flags all over the place!
In “Flight of the Bumblebee,” Adam has answers for all of Shauna’s questions, but something still doesn’t sit right, The fan theory that he is Travis’ little brother Javi (who was also in the crash) holds some weight. The artistic connection is there, and he also seemed to have had a crush on Shauna. The case against this is surely Shauna would recognize him (even after 20-plus years), and it is even more unlikely now he is deceased.
9. Can the Remaining Yellowjackets Get Rid of Adam’s Body?
Successfully disposing of Adam’s body requires an expert and so far Misty has proved to be rather adept at flexing her “Citizen Detective” credentials. Tracking, hacking, kidnapping, and surveilling are skills she has demonstrated so far, so it is hardly surprising that Natalie turns to Misty in their hour of need.
The fact that she was spying on Natalie is temporarily forgotten and if anyone is capable of successfully getting rid of the evidence it is Misty. It shouldn’t be discounted that Shauna has lied to Taissa and Natalie about Adam’s involvement as she pinned the blackmail on him, and that Misty could see through the planted evidence. It is going to be hard to keep a lid on this can of Yellowjacket worms.