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Hear Me Out

Yellowjackets: Is Detective Matt Saracusa Shauna's Baby?

John Paul Reynolds' character may be hiding more than just his job.
  • John Paul Reynolds in Yellowjackets (Photo: Kailey Schwerman/Showtime)
    John Paul Reynolds in Yellowjackets (Photo: Kailey Schwerman/Showtime)

    In Hear Me Out, Primetimer staffers and contributors espouse their pet theories, spicy takes, and even the occasional galaxy-brain idea.

    Five episodes into Yellowjackets Season 2, the fate of Shauna's (Sophie Nélisse in the 1990s timeline, and Melanie Lynskey in the present) baby remains one of the show's biggest unanswered questions. Last season, viewers speculated that Shauna's baby was actually her lover, Adam Martin (Peter Gadiot), and while this theory is still in play, the timeline doesn't exactly add up, as Adam was slightly too old to have been born in 1997. Lynskey also dismissed the idea outright, calling it "the creepiest thing [she's] ever heard." She added, "Doesn't make any sense. Like why, what's the plan here?"

    In Season 2, Lottie (Courtney Eaton) predicts that Shauna's baby will be a boy, but otherwise, creators Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson have offered hardly any clues about the identity of Shauna's baby... or have they? Episode 5, "Two Truths and a Lie," suggests there's a potential wilderness-born baby hiding in plain sight. His name? Matt Saracusa (John Paul Reynolds), the undercover detective working Callie Sadecki (Sarah Desjardins) for information about her mother's affair.

    [Editor's Note: Spoilers ahead for Yellowjackets Season 2, Episode 5, "Two Truths and a Lie."]

    If Adam was too old to be Shauna's baby, and Callie is too young, twentysomething Matt — who introduces himself to Callie as Jay — is just right. A child born in 1997 would be 24 in the 2021 timeline, which tracks with both Matt's physical appearance and Kevyn Tan's (Alex Wyndham) offhand remark about him being just one year out of the police academy. Plus, when Callie meets Matt in "Edible Complex," he's drinking Fireball, the official drink of people who are able to quickly recover from a hangover (i.e., people under 25).

    Because we don't yet know that Matt is a Wiskayok police officer, his encounter with Callie plays as a typical meet-cute (and Callie sure interprets it this way), but there's a major red flag staring viewers in the face. Callie uses his crossword puzzle as an opening line, and when Matt asks for help with one of the clues, she offers an immediate response: "Satanic." In an episode that sees the teenage survivors enjoy a cannibalistic feast — a moment that suggests ancient god Bacchus is hunting the girls — this is anything but a benign remark. It may very well hint at a connection between Matt and the supernatural threat that's gaining power in both timelines with every passing day.

    When Matt next appears, in "Two Truths and a Lie," he seems lighter. He dances at the bowling alley, quotes The Big Lebowski, and even agrees to a little wager with Callie, whom he nicknames "Gutterballs." There's a certain familiarity to Reynolds' goofiness here, but it's not just that he brought a similar energy to Search Party — it's that viewers can see shades of Jeff Sadecki (Warren Kole), Shauna's husband and the father of her wilderness baby, in his character. Both Kole and Reynolds lean into the physicality of their respective roles, huffing and leading with their arms as they move through each scene. Not to mention, Jeff and Matt could pass for father and son: They both have green-blue eyes and similar complexions, and while Matt's hair is slightly darker (blame Shauna) than Jeff's blonde crew cut, it does have flecks of gold in it.

    There's something suspiciously Jeff-like about Matt's finger guns. (Photos: Showtime)

    Jeff has long been Yellowjackets' comedic relief, and Matt functions in a similar role in this episode. When Matt, working off bad intel from Callie, searches Randy's (Jeff Holman) motel room for evidence of his affair with Shauna, he's so sure that he and Kevyn have been played that he holds up a used condom and sniffs the white liquid inside. "Strawberries," he declares. Just as the scent confirms Matt's suspicions that Shauna and Randy aren't boning — a nervous Randy squirted lotion into the condom, despite Shauna's instructions to masturbate into it — it offers additional evidence that the dogged detective is Shauna and Jeff's child. Two episodes prior ("Digestif"), Jeff went on his own tangent about strawberries, lamenting that he could've saved his marriage if he had followed Shauna's lead and embraced strawberry lube. Coincidence? I think not.

    The placement of Matt's condom-sniffing scene, his biggest moment of the season so far, may be the most significant indicator of his true identity. The motel room sequence is sandwiched between scenes of Shauna going into labor while outside with Taissa (Jasmin Savoy Brown). As Shauna writhes in agony, the wind picks up and the woods begin to menacingly whisper, the surest sign that the supernatural presence lurking in the wilderness is making itself known. This satanic force shepherds Shauna's baby into the world just as Matt, in the present, emerges as an adversary for her adult counterpart and her daughter. "She might be good," he says of Callie. "But I'm better."

    "Two Truths and a Lie" ends right as Shauna and Taissa find their way back to the lodge, so we won't know whether her baby survives childbirth until next week. But if the child lives and manages to hold on for another year, fans shouldn't rule out the possibility that he's turned into a capable, if somewhat goofy, detective with a secret connection to the woman he's so determined to catch red-handed.

    New episodes of Yellowjackets stream Fridays and air Sundays 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, John Reynolds, Melanie Lynskey, Sarah Desjardins, Sophie Nélisse, Warren Kole