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Our Spooky, Sexy Yellowjackets Theories

Photo: Kailey Schwerman/SHOWTIME

Spoilers follow for the Yellowjackets season-two episode “Edible Complex,” which premiered on March 31. 

Every week, Yellowjackets immerses us in dual eldritchian torments: the horror of being a teenage girl alone in the wilderness, battling hunger, clique drama, and a possibly evil supernatural entity; and the awfulness of being an adult forced to reconnect with the past you thought you left behind. Both are equally frightening, and both inspire endless theorizing — citizen detectives, get your inquisitive minds ready! 

Chekhov’s gun, meet Jackie’s ear. The little bite Shauna took of her former best friend in the Yellowjackets season premiere “Friends, Romans, Countrymen” comes way back around in follow-up “Edible Complex,” in which Shauna’s teammates look to her for permission before they dig into Jackie’s mysteriously barbecued body. Yum! But while that concluding scene is absolutely wild, the preceding episode is dotted with zigzagging character turns that suggest, as is the Yellowjackets way, these women are far more damaged than anyone else may guess. Tai’s split personality, Lottie’s ghostly visions, Natalie’s betrayal of Travis — the series is laying down a lot of narrative track. How much of it can we figure out before the season reaches its final destination? Let’s review.

Questions About 1996

UPDATED: Is Lottie the cause of the group breaking apart? 
The season premiere suggested a schism forming between the survivors who buy into Lottie’s woo-woo and those who resist it, and Natalie grumbling this week about how “witch-doctor messiah” Lottie is “off holding hands … and making friends with the spirits of each and every fucking pine needle” sure seems like the deepening of an existing grudge!

UPDATED: Do Lottie and Travis hook up?
Season one established Natalie and Travis’s off-and-on relationship, while the second-season premiere, “Friends, Romans, Countrymen,” complicated that bond by having Travis react with sexual arousal to Lottie’s touch. In this episode, it’s difficult to work out the reality of that sex scene between Natalie and Travis, during which Travis sees Lottie, clad in her baptism outfit, lowering him into a religious pose (arms crossed across his chest) and watching them have sex. But it’s important to note that Lottie doesn’t take part in their hookup despite being a figment (I guess?) of Travis’s imagination. The pull Lottie has over Travis seems less sexual than existential, which is somewhat supported by Adult Lottie’s probably-not-totally-trustworthy explanation of what happened the night Travis died: Travis called Lottie, not Natalie, to talk about his concerns about the mysterious entity, maybe because he, too, perceived something that Lottie did but Natalie didn’t?

NEW: Who did the “girl poop” in the bucket?
It was obviously Misty, right?

NEW: Is Javi alive?
Look, I don’t know how it would be possible, since it’s the middle of Canadian winter and Javi fled the night of the Doomcoming, about two months ago, with nothing but the clothes on his back. (Plus, I’m still pretty bummed that the “Adam is Javi” theory didn’t work out.) But Natalie faking Javi’s death and Lottie being so insistent that he’s alive sure seems like the kind of scenario that is being set up so one of them ends up being wrong! That missing lantern that Tai complained about in the cabin — has Javi been paying them visits they don’t know about? (Wait, was Misty actually onto something when she complained about “boy poop”?!)

NEW: What’s the deal with the “weird mossy tree”?
Not a lot to discuss here yet, but, like Tai’s little line about the missing lantern, Natalie bringing up that tree feels like foreshadowing of some kind. What would be warm enough, and hanging out around that tree long enough, to melt the snow around its base? Is it game that Natalie and Travis keep missing? Or is the “weird mossy tree” connected to the entity whose perspective we see whooshing above the Canadian forest before it hurtles down toward the survivors’ camp and pushes snow onto Jackie, turning her funeral pyre into a full-body smoker?

CONFIRMED: Will Shauna eat the rest of Jackie?
She sure did! After Shauna ate Jackie’s ear at the end of the preceding episode, this episode ends with the Yellowjackets finally finding a new meat source. But Coach Ben’s horrified reaction to their gorging signals a major rift between the teens and the last remaining adult in their midst; let’s keep an eye on that.

Questions About 2021

UPDATED: Is Lottie still in communion with the entity from the woods? 
Maybe communion is the wrong word, but there’s definitely something still going on with Lottie, though it’s impossible to figure out whether Lottie herself knows what that is. She puts up a good front of girlboss normalcy with her “intentional community” and affection for heliotrope and ingredient-specific smoothies, but the story she tells Natalie about how Travis died — and what we see her not tell Natalie — is very grim stuff.

How literally should we take her “the wilderness had come back to haunt him” description of Travis’s last hours? Lottie is pretty ambiguous when sharing this, though she tries to comfort Natalie by saying that Travis’s note to “Tell Nat she was right” was about confronting the darkness and escaping “the vise grip of your trauma.” The memory we see is ambiguous, too, but in a way that makes me think Lottie is leaving out even more of the story. Would Lottie really fall asleep under these dire circumstances? If Travis were to only “get as close to death as possible,” why leave the note and his banking info? Was this the first time Lottie was visited by the ghost of Laura Lee? How did Travis map out where the candles would go from overhead — the crane worked once but not again? Or did Lottie, you know, push the button she tells Nat that she didn’t? I think we have a “yes” confirmation on Lottie still being connected to the woods, but a “hmmm” on whether Lottie actively wants that connection.

UPDATED: Who, or what, is possessing Tai?
Oh, Tai. Poor, haunted Tai! This is the “2021” section, but Tai’s story line spans both timelines, so let’s discuss them together. In the past, no-eyes man is back, leading sleepwalking Tai in the middle of the night to the edge of a cliff — but does that mean he is possessing her? If so, is his end goal just to kill her? That’s sort of a different vibe than season-one possessed Tai, who spent most of her sleepwalking hours eating dirt and being spooky. Yes, sure, she killed and beheaded the family dog, but that felt like an isolated incident. Not so much this season, in which the double seems decidedly malevolent, not only moving in the mirror without Tai’s knowledge but also maybe — maybe — causing her to imagine Sammy in her home; lure her estranged wife, Simone, there; then speed through traffic to engineer a car accident that injures Simone. Sleeping isn’t working out for Tai, but neither is not sleeping. I’m just not sure we have enough evidence to determine whether no-eyes guy is to blame here.

Questions About the Future

UPDATED: Does Elijah Wood’s citizen detective know Misty helped get rid of Adam?
While I don’t think we can entirely trust Wood’s yet-to-be-named character yet, his methods are so outlandish — sneaking into Misty’s work to practically wink at her and then leaving her a letter written in invisible ink — that they’re currently more hilarious than threatening. His suggestion that they team up on an upcoming faux FBI interrogation currently feels more flirty than anything else, which is kind of nice for Misty! All her friends are ignoring her, and Caligula can’t be her only company!

UPDATED: Does Callie take Adam’s ID to the police? 
She hasn’t done anything with that charred ID yet, but Callie falling for a new undercover-cop character played by John Reynolds from Search Party can’t be a good development! Callie and Reynolds’s Detective Matt Saracusa are both lying to each other — the former about being in college, the latter about a divorcing-parents sob story that he rightly thinks will endear him to Callie — which is never the basis for a long-lasting relationship. But it’s already worrisome that Callie so quickly tells a guy who is basically a stranger that Shauna was cheating on Jeff, information that Saracusa immediately takes back to fellow detective Kevyn Tan. It can’t take much more to significantly link Shauna to Adam and prove that Shauna lied to Kevyn about the nature of their relationship, can it?

Our Spooky, Sexy Yellowjackets Theories