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Our Spooky, Sexy Yellowjackets Theories

Photo: Colin Bentley/Showtime

Spoilers follow for the Yellowjackets season-two episode “Qui, which premiered on May 5. 

Every week, Yellowjackets immerses us in dual eldritch 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’d left behind. Both are equally frightening, and both inspire endless theorizing — citizen detectives, get your inquisitive minds ready! 

After a week off, Yellowjackets is back, and hey, it brought a baby along! (Too soon? I’m sorry.) Like “Two Truths and a Lie,” this week’s “Qui” — French for “who” — is another somewhat imbalanced episode with the major reveal about what happened to Shauna and Jeff’s son driving the 1996 storyline. If anyone had a Shutter Island–style reveal on their Yellowjackets bingo card, congratulations. Meanwhile, in 2021, the Adam Martin investigation keeps lurching forward on a wave of circumstantial evidence and good-cop–bad-cop machinations, and there are some other “Hmm, I dunno about this” developments in the form of Natalie buying into Lottie’s self-help deal and Shauna, Van, and Tai converging upon Camp Green Pine. What will all the women do there together, and will they realize that Lottie’s compound is arranged to make the mysterious forest symbol her followers wear? “Qui” raises those questions and more. Let’s board Blur’s jumbo jet from “Song 2” and try to find some answers.

Questions about 1996

UPDATED: Is Lottie the cause of the group breaking apart? 
The baby-blanket fiasco continues to loom large, figuring into Shauna’s (lengthy) dream sequence in which her baby lives, then is killed and eaten by her fellow survivors. But even before the fade to black that signals the beginning of Shauna’s imaginings, Lottie is again a divisive figure: Shauna doesn’t want her or her praying sycophants around and shoves her away; Tai tells Lottie to give Shauna space. That dislike makes its way into Shauna’s vision, in which she sees Lottie comforting her son while she sleeps as well as being a central part of the plot to eat him, with Lottie’s forest-symbol-marked blanket having held his bloody body. When Shauna regains consciousness and is devastated by the news of her son’s death, note that she doesn’t interact with Lottie at all. Whether Shauna’s fury with Lottie bleeds into reality is worth watching out for.

UPDATED: How many more besides Jackie got eaten in 1996? 
Since Shauna’s pregnancy was revealed in season one, the more macabre-minded Yellowjackets fans have wondered: Are they going to eat her baby? Cast members have said no, but Yellowjackets has it both ways via Shauna’s grotesque nightmare in which Lottie snatches her baby, Natalie drugs her, and all the Yellowjackets feast (including Coach Ben!). Ultimately, Shauna’s horror is tied up in shame, and I think we can tell from this scene that Shauna’s previous insistence that Jackie wanted her friends to eat her body doesn’t really sit true. For now, though, our cannibalism count remains at one.

UPDATED: Did Lottie create a Yellowjackets mind meld?
The Yellowjackets really sprint into ritualism in this episode, huh? Lottie’s prayers have primed them to pray all the time, and Travis — now a full believer since Lottie was right about Javi being alive — leads the way by fetching that skull and dripping his own blood on it as an “offering.” This moment may be more brainwashing than mind meld, but I think it’s important to note how often the Yellowjackets slip into the “We hear the wilderness, and it hears us” mantra and what happens afterward. This time around, their prayers don’t work and Shauna’s baby dies. But what about next time?

UPDATED: Does Crystal/Kristin exist, or is she a figment of Misty’s imagination?
Misty and other Yellowjackets keep talking about Crystal/Kristin, so I think we can put to rest the question of whether she was real. But it’s still a little weird that everyone is treating her disappearance with basically a shrug. Did everyone need to be on hand for Shauna’s labor? Couldn’t someone have gone out to keep looking for her? I just find it odd that these girls care so little about one of their own being missing; it doesn’t feel totally right. Also, Misty and Crystal planning to “do a song” during Shauna’s labor is a perfectly self-involved detail, and I’m sad we missed out on that.

UPDATED: Do Lottie and Travis hook up?
Is Lottie’s line “The wilderness recognizes your sacrifice, and so do I” to Travis a come-on? We cannot rule out the possibility.

UPDATED: What noise is Mari hearing? And why only Mari?
We have a change here in that Shauna is now also hearing stuff that isn’t there: her newborn son’s cries. Auditory hallucinations are a sign of starvation and trauma, so I don’t think Shauna’s hysteria has an ominous angle — but I’m not excluding the possibility that Mari’s does, if only because she’s been hearing that dripping for longer and has no emotional connection to it, unlike Shauna and her son’s sobs.

Questions about 2021

UPDATED: Is Lottie still in communion with the entity from the woods? 
Last episode, the shadow of the Antler Queen showed up in Lottie’s quarters in Camp Green Pine. This episode, an overhead shot of the property after Natalie, Shauna, Van, Taissa, and Misty convene there shows that the paths, the garden, and the bee boxes are all laid out in the design of the mysterious forest symbol that Lottie’s followers wear around their necks. I’m guessing none of the Yellowjackets is going to send a drone up there to recognize the layout — this was more for us than for them — but coupled with Lottie’s increased belief that she has “never been ill,” yeah, I think she’s been in contact with “it.” At this point, I’m leaning toward both Lottie thinking this entity is real and its actually being real; we saw the supernatural wind whooshing snow down on Jackie, and we know something kept Javi alive. We have only three episodes to go this season, and I want to believe!

UPDATED: Are all these heliotrope outfits provided by Lottie’s T.J. Maxx Bucks?
Natalie willingly wears the heliotrope now, putting on the clothes laid out for her in her cabin. Her turn toward genuinely believing in Lottie’s guidance seems a little abrupt, though, which leads me to …

NEW: Will Juliette Lewis get another note to play? 
I ask this with adoration and affection for Lewis, who has been very effective over the past season and a half in conveying Natalie’s agony over Travis’s death and her terror at the idea that they brought something back from the wilderness. Her choked delivery of “We did so much fucked-up shit out there. Yeah, maybe it was to survive. Maybe. But I don’t think we deserve to” is wonderfully grueling. But I would also love it if Yellowjackets allowed Lewis to show off a wider range. Maybe aligning Natalie with Lottie, unlikely as the pairing seems, is the way to do that.

NEW: What’s the difference between “Sandy good” and “Sandy bad” movie categories?
Miss Congeniality has to be Sandy good, and in that category, I’d also put Gravity, Murder by Numbers, and Ocean’s 8 (an inconsequential film, but Bullock and Cate Blanchett are dynamite together). In Sandy bad: Bullet Train, Our Brand Is Crisis, Crash. A lot of her other stuff: I will entertain arguments either way. Maybe you really love Bird Box! Who am I to judge?

Questions about the future

UPDATED: Does Callie take Adam’s ID to the police? And how self-destructive is Shauna going to get?
I wrote, “Shauna, do you want to go to prison?” in my notes for this subplot because, once again, she’s making the most foolish choices. She acts like this investigation is an inconvenience — her body language is all sighs and rolled eyes — rather than a legitimate threat that could tear her family apart, and I don’t really understand the ambiguity of her reaction. So, her self-destruction: still very much present! And now Callie is lying to the police about losing her virginity to Detective Saracusa when he was undercover because Shauna suggested it, and Saracusa isn’t buying Shauna’s faux-hysterical “I’m a bored housewife” performance, and Jeff is the only person acting logically here. Is it smart to send Shauna out of town while she’s a suspect? Probably not, but it’s a better idea than any other Sadeckis have had.

UPDATED: What’s with all the little pets?
Lisa’s goldfish is now Natalie’s goldfish, and the friendship that is slowly drawing Natalie out of her nihilistic spiral inspires her to keep the fish alive, too. The goldfish’s memory isn’t long enough to understand that “it’s all a goddamned prison,” Natalie, so your pessimism isn’t helping anyone! The cute little guy lives to see another day.

NEW: Will Tai and Van get back together?
Van seems very against this idea both for the implied reason that dating Tai messed her up and for the practical reasons of Tai’s multiple personalities and marriage to Simone. (How is she doing, anyway? Has anyone at the hospital called Tai to ask where she went?) Van can deny that Tai is the reason she gave up on love, but she has an air of self-preservation around her that we don’t see in young Van. Something clearly changed. I just doubt Yellowjackets would give us the adult versions of these desperately in love teen characters and stick to keeping them away from each other, especially when “bad” Tai is trying to sneak nighttime kisses.

Our Spooky, Sexy Yellowjackets Theories