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Yellowjackets Season 2 Finale: What Comes Next After That Huge Death?

These are the burning questions left unanswered by the dramatic finale, "Storytelling."
  • Sophie Thatcher in the Yellowjackets Season 2 finale (Photo: Kailey Schwerman/Showtime)
    Sophie Thatcher in the Yellowjackets Season 2 finale (Photo: Kailey Schwerman/Showtime)

    [Editor's Note: This post contains major spoilers for the Yellowjackets Season 2 finale, "Storytelling."]

    Just as it did 25 years ago, "it" chose. The Yellowjackets Season 2 finale, "Storytelling," ended with a major death in the present-day timeline, one that fundamentally alters the course of the show.

    The way Yellowjackets' big death plays out is all the more shocking considering it doesn't come as a result of the adult survivors' hunt — at least, not directly. As the others close in on Shauna (Melanie Lynskey), who drew the dreaded queen card that identified her as the hunted, her daughter Callie (Sarah Desjardins) appears, gun in hand, and wounds Lottie (Simone Kessell). Minutes later, cult member Lisa (Nicole Mains) stumbles into the clearing with a shotgun of her own; as she threatens Natalie (Juliette Lewis), Misty (Christina Ricci) inches towards the interloper with a syringe of fentanyl. Just as Misty lunges at Lisa, Natalie throws herself in front of her new friend. The syringe plunges into Natalie's chest, killing her nearly instantly.

    Natalie's death is an act of atonement: In the wilderness, Nat (Sophie Thatcher) allowed Javi (Luciano Leroux) to die in her place, and even though she was crowned Antler Queen in the aftermath, she spent her adult life wracked with guilt. Now, Misty and the other women are left to absorb her pain. As Misty sobs to Walter (Elijah Wood) in the final minutes of the finale, "I killed my best friend."

    While Nat's tragic end answers the question posed in the penultimate episode, "It Chooses" — will all six women make it out of Lottie's compound alive? — the Season 2 finale leaves plenty of storylines up in the air. It also introduces new mysteries for Yellowjackets Season 3 to explore, like the matter of Coach Ben's (Steven Krueger) successful arson attempt and the origin of the symbols scattered throughout the forest in the past and present. Production on the third season is currently on pause amid the Writers Guild of America strike, so fans will likely be mulling over these unanswered questions for some time:

    Are there actually supernatural forces at play in Yellowjackets?

    The question of what's really going on in the wilderness (and beyond) strikes at the heart of Yellowjackets — and we'll probably never get a clear answer. At times, Season 2 suggested there's a supernatural element at play, as it did with Jackie's (Ella Purnell) immolation, the girls' distinctly Bacchanalian feast of her body, and Javi's miraculous survival in the woods. (The hidey-hole may have provided shelter, but what did Javi do for food? Poor Coach Ben couldn't even start a small fire in there.) The cult-like symbol that has followed the survivors throughout the show also continues to appear without rhyme or reason, but has yet to be explained.

    But this season has also offered up real-world explanations for the suspicious things happening in both timelines. That dripping noise Mari (Alexa Barajas) and Taissa (Jasmin Savoy Brown) hear in the cabin? Hunger. Adult Taissa's (Tawny Cypress) evil "other" that led her on a multi-state journey to find Van (Lauren Ambrose)? Mental illness and unresolved trauma. And for all Lottie's talk about "it" choosing Javi and Natalie to die — just as "it" picked Natalie to be Antler Queen — it's clear these deaths were caused by normal human behavior. In the past, a desperate Natalie let Javi die to save herself; in the present, she steps in front of Lisa to make things right. Despite what Lottie may believe, there's nothing more to it than that.

    Still, if the girls are to survive the rest of winter (not to mention next year's), they'll need to believe in something greater than themselves — regardless of whether it's real. Especially with no cabin to shield them from the harsh conditions...

    Is Coach Ben next on the menu?

    Though we don't see it, it's heavily implied that Coach Ben set the cabin on fire after witnessing Natalie, whom he considered an ally in his fight to remain "good," accept the Antler Queen throne. The girls get out in time, but the cabin is destroyed, leaving them without shelter for the remainder of their time in the woods. (They have 10 months to go before they're rescued.) Obvious questions emerge in the wake of the fire: How will they survive the rest of the winter? Were they able to get enough blankets, clothes, pots, and weapons out before the structure collapsed?

    Once the girls address these logistical issues, they're bound to wonder where Ben was when the cabin went up in flames — and it doesn't take a genius to realize that he may have been responsible. As we've seen, the survivors have killed for far less, which certainly doesn't bode well for Ben, who can only hide in the underground root system for so long.

    Will Van die of cancer? If so, when?

    Van, we hardly knew ye. In Episode 7, "Burial," Van tells Taissa she's been diagnosed with terminal cancer and has just a few months left to live. Her cancer isn't mentioned again — not even when Lottie insists the wilderness needs a sacrifice and organizes a game of Russian roulette with one phenobarbital-spiked drink — but as Natalie's body is wheeled away on a gurney, Lottie tells Van and Taissa, "We gave it what it wanted. It is pleased with us."

    Lottie then cocks her head and stares directly at Van as she issues a promise: "You'll see." Van is too horrified by all that's occurred to respond, but Lottie's words aren't lost on her. If Van ends up cancer-free in Season 3, we'll have to revise the "Are there supernatural forces at play?" tracker.

    Is Lottie telling the truth about Travis' death?

    There was always something fishy about Lottie's recollection of Travis' (Andres Soto) death. Lottie tells Natalie that Travis asked her to help him "confront the darkness" by slipping into an unconscious state, but the machinery malfunctioned — Travis had rigged his neck to a crane — and she couldn't get him down, resulting in his death. She claims that right as the button to release Travis got stuck, the candles (which were arranged in the shape of the mysterious symbol) began flickering and she saw gruesome visions of Laura Lee (Jane Widdop), who died in Season 1. By Lottie time she came to, Travis' lifeless body was suspended in the air.

    Natalie is immediately suspicious of this version of events — "I'm going to put a stop to your f*cking bullsh*t," she says — but she never comes any closer to discovering whether Lottie is telling the truth. Now that Natalie is dead, it's possible we'll never know what really happened, unless Lottie, consumed by grief, decides to come clean. Or maybe Misty and Walter dig into Travis' death as part of their next investigation?

    Is the Adam Martin saga really over?

    The Yellowjackets Season 2 finale seemingly ties up the present-day timeline's season-long Adam Martin (Peter Gadiot) saga, as Walter takes it upon himself to kill Detective Kevyn Tan (Alex Wyndham) and pin Adam's murder on him. Walter also covers for Misty by folding the murder of reporter Jessica Roberts (Rekha Sharma) into Kevyn's alleged criminal conspiracy, but the show doesn't explain how he made the connection and orchestrated this elaborate scheme. Walter is incredibly smart and a savvy criminal detective slash actual criminal (that much is clear), but the way this storyline wraps up so neatly — not only are Shauna and Jeff Sadecki (Warren Kole) exonerated, but Detective Matt Saracusa (John Reynolds) assumes the role of the blindsided partner, no questions asked — feels suspect. To be sure, this storyline has been a major drag, but don't be surprised if Adam's death continues to haunt the Yellowjackets in the seasons to come.

    Why was Juliette Lewis trapped at Lottie's compound all season?

    Giving Juliette Lewis so little to do is Yellowjackets Season 2's gravest sin. While the other adult survivors get to stretch their legs this season (Misty even has a whole dream sequence with her anthropomorphized pet bird!) Lewis' character is left to languish at Lottie's compound. Sure, Nat befriended Lisa, whom she thanks for "trying to teach [her] forgiveness," but their connection hardly feels strong enough to justify Natalie's sacrifice.

    It's a shame that of all the survivors, Natalie is the one to die in the finale. (Sorry, but Van is right there.) More time with Lewis would have been a gift — or better yet, it could have been an act of atonement on the writers' part for doing her dirty all season long.

    Yellowjackets Season 2 is now streaming in its entirety. The Season 2 finale airs Sunday, May 28 at 9:00 PM ET on Showtime. Join the discussion about the show in our forums.

    Claire Spellberg Lustig is the Senior Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.

    TOPICS: Yellowjackets, Showtime, Christina Ricci, Juliette Lewis, Lauren Ambrose, Melanie Lynskey, Simone Kessell, Sophie Thatcher, Tawny Cypress