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Everything We Know About Yellowjackets Season 2 So Far

Here's all the buzz, buzz, buzz about season 2.

Karisa Langlo Senior Editor
Karisa Langlo has been writing and editing professionally for over 12 years, joining CNET with two writing degrees and bylines in Milwaukee Magazine, Louisville Magazine and The Masters Review. She started on CNET's mobile team before expanding to all tech and now works across categories to optimize the performance of all CNET advice and storytelling, from Wellness to Money, News and Culture. Karisa also manages strategy for CNET's Tips franchise.
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6 min read
A group of teen girls stands in the snow, looking in the distance

The second season of Yellowjackets is scheduled to stream on Showtime on March 24.

Kailey Schwerman/Showtime

Showtime's surprise hit Yellowjackets is coming back for a second season, and fans of teen angst, wilderness survival, cannibalism or all of the above are understandably pumped. 

The dual-timeline puzzle box show follows a high school soccer team (the titular Yellowjackets) after a devastating plane crash in the Canadian wilderness. We see both the immediate mid-'90s aftermath, and the lingering trauma and intrigue still following the survivors 25 years later. There may be something supernatural afoot. There's definitely something cultish going on. And, like I said, there's cannibalism.

Season 1's 10-episode run earned an unexpected cult following (not to mention a few Emmy nods), thanks to the thriving cottage industry of Reddit fan theorizing and the canny stunt casting of '90s icons Melanie Lynskey, Christina Ricci and Juliette Lewis. It was so popular, in fact, that Showtime announced a season 2 before the first season had even finished airing.

Warning: Spoilers ahead for Yellowjackets season 1.

Yellowjackets season 2 release date and how to watch

So, how do you actually watch Yellowjackets? You'll be able to stream the first episode of Yellowjackets season 2 on Friday, March 24, with a Showtime subscription (or by bundling Showtime with existing accounts like Amazon Prime Video and Hulu). New episodes will become available on demand each Friday. Cable subscribers can also catch new episodes every Sunday, with the season 2 premiere airing on Showtime on Sunday, March 26, at 9 p.m. ET. 

Production on season 2 began last August, according to the show's official Twitter account, following a steady drip of news about new additions to the cast (more on that below). Then Showtime announced the second season premiere date with a teaser trailer on Dec. 7, 2022, along with this promise: "You won't be hungry much longer." The news came about a year after the series was initially picked up for season 2

On Jan. 13, we got another teaser for the upcoming season, which wrapped filming in mid-February. Several cast members commemorated the end of filming with a social media tribute. Actress Tawny Cypress, who plays adult Taissa, posted a group photo on Instagram on Feb. 11, with the caption "Later gators." Simone Kessel (joining the cast in season 2 as adult Lottie) also posted about the milestone with an Instagram photo, captioned "That's a hallelujah wrap on Season 2." Samantha Hanratty (teen Misty) shared a wintry selfie for her last day on set, and Melanie Lynskey (adult Shauna) tweeted a "sappy" panegyric to her colleagues.

Yellowjackets cast: Who's new in season 2 and who's returning from season 1?

Thanks to the relatively low body count in its first season, most of the main Yellowjackets cast will be returning for season 2. In the present-day timeline, Melanie Lynskey returns as adult Shauna, Christina Ricci as adult Misty, Juliette Lewis as adult Natalie and Tawny Cypress as adult Taissa. Their teenage counterparts will also return to the '90s timeline, with Sophie Nélisse reprising the role of teen Shauna, Samantha Hanratty as teen Misty, Sophie Thatcher as teen Natalie and Jasmin Savoy Brown as teen Taissa.

A woman sits on a retro couch looking behind her

Lauren Ambrose as adult Van in Yellowjackets season 2. 

Kailey Schwerman/SHOWTIME

Two characters poised to become even more prominent in season 2 are Van and Lottie, both of whom have been seen only in the '90s timeline thus far. (Vanessa Palmer and Courtney Eaton will be returning as teen Van and teen Lottie, respectively.) It looks like both characters make it out of the woods alive. Lauren Ambrose of Six Feet Under fame will join the cast as adult Van, much to the delight of armchair casting directors everywhere, and Simone Kessell (from Disney Plus' Obi-Wan Kenobi) joins as adult Lottie, our Antler Queen.

A woman in a flowy robe looks over her shoulder

Simone Kessell as adult Lottie in Yellowjackets season 2.

Kailey Schwerman/SHOWTIME

A few other new faces are joining the hive (nest? charred fuselage?) in season 2: Elijah Wood (Lord of the Rings) will play a "citizen detective" named Walter who tangles with Misty in the present timeline. Nicole Maines will play Lisa, an associate of adult Lottie. Nuha Jex Isman also joins the cast, as Crystal, a friend of adult Misty, and François Arnaud will play Coach Ben's boyfriend, though it's unclear in which timeline. Plus, Lynskey's real-life husband, Jason Ritter, will appear in at least one episode this season – no word yet on his character.

It's safe to say we won't be seeing adult Jackie or adult Laura Lee in subsequent casting news – fan theories be damned, they're indeed dead. In an interview with Deadline, showrunner Ashley Lyle confirmed it: "I will say that in case there is any doubt, Jackie is very much dead in that scene," Lyle said.

But that doesn't mean we won't see snippets of their teen selves in flashbacks or cult-sanctioned, drug-fueled hallucination sequences. A scroll through IMDb verifies only that Ella Purnell (teen Jackie) and Jane Widdop (teen Laura Lee) won't make an appearance in the season 2 premiere, but subsequent episodes are anyone's guess. Another hint from Lyle: "You're not closed off to the possibility of seeing Ella [Purnell] in the future."

A woman in a yellow coat stands next to a man in a puffy vest, with a forest behind them.

Christina Ricci as Misty and Elijah Wood as Walter in Yellowjackets season 2.

Kailey Schwerman/Showtime

Will there be a Yellowjackets season 3?

While filming of the second season was still underway, Showtime announced it had already renewed Yellowjackets for a third season. What do we know so far about season 3? Not a whole lot! 

We do know that the series was originally pitched with a five-season arc. Whether showrunners Lyle and Bart Nickerson stick to that, and whether the network support continues, remains to be seen. But all signs currently point to a long, successful tenure for Yellowjackets.

Yellowjackets plot: What will season 2 be about?

Let's piece together some of the info we've already gotten about season 2. First, winter is coming. The season of snow made its brutal entrance in the season 1 finale, and teaser trailers and photos suggest it'll be an overall frigid setting this season. Actor Warren Kole, who plays Jeff, mentioned "intense work in harsh conditions," in an Instagram comment. Actor Steven Krueger (Coach Ben) corroborated, telling TV Insider, "This season will cover the winter months. It's going to get dire out there with little food and the challenge of staying warm and alive." And if that's not enough evidence, in an interview with Variety, showrunner Ashley Lyle quipped: "We've been calling season 2 'The Winter of Their Discontent.'" 

A group of girls sits around a bonfire wearing antlers and masks.

The antler queen and her cult.

Paul Sarkis/Showtime

We also know that the season 2 premiere is titled Friends, Romans, Countrymen (a nod to Marc Antony's eulogy of Julius Caesar, as written by Shakespeare?), followed by episode 2, Edible Complex (a nod to... eating your friends, Romans and countrymen?). It's safe to say there are more power struggles and more cannibalism to come.

We've gotten some other crumbs here and there, mostly vague teases. "It gets gnarly and scary and dark... and fucking twisted," Elijah Wood said. "Now we're really exploring female rage," said executive producer Jonathan Lisco. And from Krueger again: "If you thought season 1 was crazy, just buckle your seatbelts for season 2. It doesn't let up."

Season 2 will also likely answer some of the burning questions raised in season 1, like who's going to get eaten and what happens to Shauna's baby? (Please don't let these two questions be related in any way.) Is adult Taissa secretly a member of Lottie's cult, or is she just a very sadistic sleepwalker? Who kidnapped Natalie in the season 1 finale? What were adult Lottie and adult Van up to during the events of season 1? Who killed Travis? Who else survived the forest – and who else didn't? And for the love of god, what is the deal with that creepy stick figure symbol showing up everywhere?

We'll hopefully get some answers – and likely a ton of additional questions – when Yellowjackets returns to Showtime for season 2.