Yellowjackets on Showtime is certainly one of the more unique and compelling shows out there, and if you could use a refresher or just a synopsis of what the show is about ahead of its season 2 debut, here is everything you need to know.
Part ‘90s teen throwback survivalist thriller, part suspenseful suburban mystery, Yellowjackets follows a New Jersey high school women’s soccer team named the Yellowjackets, who crash in the remote Canadian wilderness on their way to a national championship tournament. After their plane crashes, the girls are stranded for months and left to fend for themselves.
While Yellowjackets is a grounded story of survival in the aftermath of a tragedy, it plays with the horror elements of the crash to develop a more supernatural story. The longer the girls are in the wilderness, the more their fear and paranoia becomes a monster of its own, one that has echoing shadows into the present day.
When Does Yellowjackets Take Place?
Yellowjackets has two different timelines, alternating between the crash in 1996 and the present-day aftermath in 2021 as the team’s 25th high school reunion looms near. The remaining survivors keep their distance from each other in the present until they each get a mysterious postcard that could only have come from someone else who survived the crash. However, the postcard is only the beginning of the eerie puzzles that unfold and unite the past and present storylines in bizarre ways.
Who Are the Yellowjackets?
Because of the alternating timelines, one of the most successful and fun parts of the show is having multiple actors play the same characters in the younger and older casts, which both adds to the mystery and depth of character. The show stars a sprawling ensemble cast across two alternating timelines. Shauna (Melanie Lynskey / Sophie Nelisse) is the meek best friend of Jackie (Ella Purnell), the popular girl. At the time of the crash, she has been having a secret affair with Jackie’s boyfriend Jeff (Warren Kole / Jack DePew) and discovers she’s pregnant with his baby. In the present day, Shauna struggles with the aftermath of her choices while beginning to acknowledge the “bad girl” that has been within her the whole time.
Taissa (Tawny Cypress / Jasmin Savoy Brown) is calculating and determined, by far the most strategic of the Yellowjackets and the natural leader of the group. In the present, she’s an aspiring politician that is struggling to keep her past from haunting her.
The alternative, grungy girl of the team, Natalie (Juliette Lewis / Sophie Thatcher) has been in and out of rehab by the time she reconnects with her teammates to enlist their help to find her old high school boyfriend and fellow survivor. Misty (Christina Ricci / Sammi Hanratty), meanwhile, has a caring spirit but remains the black sheep of the team, and she finally thrives in the disaster of the crash when she is needed by the others. In the present, Misty is a nurse and “citizen detective” who teams up with Natalie and brings the rest of her former teammates together to solve the mystery of the postcards.
Where Did Season 1 Leave Off?
The source of the postcards is revealed to be Lottie (Courtney Eaton), who had apparently survived to lead a continuation of the brewing cult she had begun in the aftermath of the crash. The final moments of the first season ended with a shocking cliffhanger that saw Natalie get kidnapped by mysterious figures who appeared to be Lottie’s acolytes. Yellowjackets season 2 will likely see the friends and survivors band together to rescue Natalie as Lottie makes her presence and goals further known.
Of course, there are several other threads that will follow the Yellowjackets into season 2, including the mounting bodies piling up among Travis (Andres Soto), Adam (Peter Gadiot), and possibly Jessica (Rekha Sharma) that the team will have to reckon with. Additionally, while Shauna’s best friend, Jackie, was always presumed dead, the first season finale revealed her specific fate — a moment of drug-induced fury that led her to freeze to death in the snow. The emotional teenage mistake is one that has clearly changed the arc of Shauna’s life forever and will continue to have lingering impacts for the rest of the series.
What Should We Expect for Yellowjackets Season 2?
For a show that has one of television’s best casts, it’s always exciting to learn that more characters are coming to the screen. Season 2 will see Lauren Ambrose and Simone Kessell join the cast as adult Van (Liv Hewson) and Lottie respectively. Elijah Wood and Jason Ritter (Lynskey’s real-life husband) will also appear among other new faces.
While few details have been revealed, Yellowjackets season 2 is expected to pick up where the first left off, with the team stranded and facing the harsh realities of winter. This could lead to the heavily foreshadowed cannibalism. While it was never directly depicted in the first season, it was a rumor that followed the survivors in the present day and is a lingering question that needs to be answered for fans.
Regardless, it’s easy to see why there’s so much buzz, buzz around the series. Fans don’t have to wait much longer. Season 2 of Yellowjackets premieres March 24 on Showtime, and that’s everything you need to know to be fully equipped to enjoy it.