Yellowjackets: That ending explained and all our WTF questions
Showtime's Yellowjackets gave us some answers and even more questions. Let's dive into that haunting season finale.
Mark SerrelsEditorial Director
Mark Serrels is an award-winning Senior Editorial Director focused on all things culture. He covers TV, movies, anime, video games and whatever weird things are happening on the internet. He especially likes to write about the hardships of being a parent in the age of memes, Minecraft and Fortnite. Definitely don't follow him on Twitter.
Nicole is a Social Media Producer based in Sydney, Australia. She has a background in history and is happy to talk about the Great Fire of London at length. When not writing about video games, the internet, or television, she's probably looking at cool rocks.
Jennifer Bisset was a senior editor for CNET. She covered film and TV news and reviews. The movie that inspired her to want a career in film is Lost in Translation. She won Best New Journalist in 2019 at the Australian IT Journalism Awards.
ExpertiseFilm and TVCredentials
Best New Journalist 2019 Australian IT Journalism Awards
If you've just finished the season 1 finale of Yellowjackets, then we're with you. The new Showtime hit brought haunting developments for Shauna and Jackie, big psychological reveals for Taissa and more danger for Natalie. It was a spectacular finale that led to more questions than answers, and we're not mad about it.
Let's dive into everything that happened and our biggest WTF questions, while still attempting to recover from that brutal character death.
Yellowjackets ending explained
A lot went down in the season finale of Yellowjackets, so let's go through the biggest reveals.
Taissa has a messed up shrine underneath her house
This was one of the craziest, most surprising reveals for me. We finally found out what happened to Taissa's family dog. Taissa cut its head off and used it to create an absolutely warped shrine underneath her house. If it wasn't Taissa, it was Van or another member of the cult. Van is invincible by this point, so she's definitely making it out of the wilderness.
What else was on the shrine? Her son's creepy doll, alongside a drawing of what I am now going to start calling the "Cult Logo". Now the question is: Did Taissa do this in her creepy dirt-eating, tree climbing, sleep walking state? Or did she do it consciously. I'm guessing it was done in sleep walking state, but we did cut to a creepy smile broaching across Taissa's face after the reveal. Did Taissa create this shrine to win the election?
Lottie is alive?
The final twist of the finale was the biggest one: Lottie is potentially alive and possibly the leader of a full blown cult based on what happened in the wilderness. In the finale, adult Natalie, on the verge of suicide, is kidnapped by what appears to be a group of cult lackies. It's then immediately revealed that Lottie Matthews drained Travis' bank account, meaning she or people in her group could be responsible for Travis' death.
We also see Van and Misty join Lottie for a strange ritual in the wilderness. Is Misty acting as a double agent in the present storyline? This is Misty we're talking about so anything is possible.
Jackie is dead
Obviously we sorta knew Jackie was dead, given that she doesn't appear in the present storyline and Shauna attended a weird birthday party/memorial with Jackie's parents. But now we know for absolute certain she dies in the wilderness.
After a brutal argument with Shauna in the cabin, bringing Jackie and Shauna's latent issues to the surface, the girls essentially banish Jackie from the cabin, meaning she has to sleep outside. Literally and figuratively the girls freeze Jackie out since, overnight, a huge amount of snow falls and Jackie freezes to death.
It's a brutal, haunting outcome. Perfectly executed by the show. None of it felt outlandish. It could absolutely have happened and will almost certainly serve as a turning point for the group and their potential descent into madness.
Our burning questions...
Who is the Antler Queen?
At this point is seems crystal clear it's Lottie.
Not only that but from the finale it's pretty clear that either Lottie is still alive, or a terrifying religious cult has sprung up following her actions in the wilderness.
Who gets killed and 'eaten' at the start?
I've rewatched the show's opening sequence to see if I could figure out who gets spiked at the very start of the show.
At first I was convinced it was Lottie. Convinced. My working theory was the girls banded against her and her witchcraft ways and decided to… eat her to make weird stuff not happen? Now I'm not so sure. Many early theories had this person as Jackie, but after the season finale it's pretty clear that person is not Jackie. It could be anyone at this point. (Part of me still thinks it's Lottie and this cult is like a group of Yellowjackets obsessives who started a cult in her wake.)
Where is Javi?
Seriously man, does anyone care about Javi? Where the hell has he gone? Plenty of people believe Javi is Adam in the present storyline. I don't buy that for a second. I think Javi 100% dies in the wilderness, but I don't think he's dead right now. I suspect Javi will have a huge part to play in future messed up rituals during season 2 and beyond.
Who is next to die?
In an earlier version of this story I said I thought the show would be well served to kill off a man character early, just to let the audience know that no one was safe. Well, that happened fairly conclusively in the finale, so we know all bets are off.
I truly believe that Coach Ben's days are numbered and there's no way Javi is making it out of the wilderness.
What happened to Shauna's baby?
In the past, Shauna is pregnant. In the present she has a daughter, Callie, who she constantly bickers with. Is Callie that baby? Those timelines don't really match up, so… What happened to Shauna's baby? There's no way they're gonna eat the baby. That's too much for a mainstream show like Yellowjackets. Will they try and pull off a "suddenly not pregnant" plot line? Probably not, since Midnight Mass literally just did that last year. Not sure how this is gonna play out.
Shauna is bound to miscarry. No way she could carry the baby to term in such a stressful environment! Giving birth would be so risky… but so would miscarrying. Either way, it's not going to be a good time.
Who was Adam really?
Adam was hilariously stabbed to death by Shauna, but is that the end of that particular mystery? It never sat right with me that Adam pursued Shauna so intensely and fell in love so quickly. Was he just a Yellowjackets fan boy that grew up with the mystery, or is there something more going on there?
Can Lottie see the future for real?
To be honest, I'm hoping things don't go full-blown supernatural.
I think everything Lottie has predicted -- the river flowing with blood, for example -- does, as Taissa argues, have logical explanations (the river is apparently running red from concentrated minerals). Although, to be fair, Taissa also turns into a dirt-eating tree-climber at night, so she might not be the most reliable source.
What was Lottie taking her medication for?
Lottie is taking a medication called "Loxipene" which is most likely a reference to Loxapene, a medication for schizophrenia. In episode 3, however, Lottie runs out of her medication. Not long after, we see her behavior start to change -- she's getting paranoid, becomes quieter, and starts making pretty vague and unnerving statements. It's worth noting that, as far as we know, Lottie hasn't told any of the others about her illness.
Who died in the cabin? Is this a haunting/cursed/ghost situation?
There's one theory doing the rounds that an abandoned mining operation is located up from the red river. Whoever died in the cabin might have some connection.
Why was that stag all maggoty on the inside?
I can't imagine we'll ever get an answer to this, but how was this animal up and walking around with its internal organs all hollowed out and covered in maggots? I NEED TO KNOW!
Who is the Man with no Eyes and why does Taissa keep seeing him?
The Man With No Eyes appears in episode 3 -- first as an apparition seen by both Taissa and her grandmother just before Grandma dies, and later in the woods after the plane crash. He appears just in the distance: pallid skin, dark hair and, of course, big gaping holes where his eyes should be.
At first, it seems like there could be a purely psychological reason behind this spectre. Maybe Taissa was traumatized from her dying grandma talking to "a man with no eyes" and her imagination filled in the blanks. However, coupled with Taissa's son Sammy's behavior -- covering his windows with drawings of eyes and eyeless people, his doll disappearing from the top of the cupboard only to appear on the basement floor with its eyes removed -- we begin to think that The Man with No Eyes actually lives in this realm and not just in Taissa's imagination.
Old Eyeless Lad appears briefly in the opening credits and yes, every time, I get spooked. It's a genuinely unnerving character and it's a shock to see him first appear, especially when the first two episodes featured negligible supernatural elements. He's yet to reappear, but maybe he'll make a comeback in the finale. A reappearance or even potential clues that he's a supernatural entity would open us up to more questions: If The Man with No Eyes is real, does that mean Lottie's visions and spiritual connection to the forest are more than presentations of her schizophrenia?
New Movies Coming in 2023 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More