Spoilers below for Yellowjackets S2.09 — Storytelling
Tonight’s finale was incredible! Just, wow. I didn’t think they could manage another season that hardly pushed the wilderness plot forward, but they did and it was so well done. Next season will be brutal as the girls fully embrace the cannibal lifestyle, but let’s see how we get there first.
The plane crash timeline
At the end of last episode, the girls let Javi freeze to save Nat. When they return to the cabin, Travis is upset…but also hungry. Sure, he cries and clutches Javi’s frozen body, but he also quickly takes the heart from Shauna when she presents it to him after (first reluctantly, then professionally) butchering Javi.
Towards the end of butchering, Coach Ben stumbles upon the scene. At first, he is excited, thinking that the girls caught something in a hunt. He’s not wrong, but once he sees Javi’s shoes and clothes and head, he freaks out. As he turns to leave, Nat stops him. He tries to get her to come with him to the cabin because she’s “not one of them.” Tears in her eyes, Nat tells him that she’s even worse because she let Javi die instead of her.
Misty brings some of the choice Javi cuts to Lottie who is still recovering. She explains what happened (they decided to draw cards, etc) and the wilderness chose Javi. Somewhat distraught, Lottie tells Misty that this wasn’t what she meant, which annoys Misty because well, it already happened this way and there’s kind of nothing that can be done now. She tells her she better eat up and not make the others feel bad. Then, she returns down to the other girls and tells them that Lottie is pleased.
Later, the girls are satiated and sitting around the fire. They beg Van to tell them a story (recounting a movie) and Van decides to make one up. She starts a story about the wilderness and how it built the cabin, but she is interrupted almost immediately by Lottie. Lottie says that she didn’t ask to be the leader and she only did it because she could hear the wilderness when no one else could. But now, she can’t hear it because everyone else can so well. So, instead, she names Nat as the new leader because she survived the hunt. The wilderness did not let her die.
You can see that the other girls — Misty, Shauna, Tai, and Van — wanted, and expected, to be named the leader. Nat is surprised but each girl goes up to her and gives her a moment of honor and affection. Her emotions are unsure but by the end, she is enjoying the gestures. Unfortunately, Coach Ben had come upon the cabin at this exact moment, seemingly to steal supplies for his cave dwelling. He watches the ceremony with horror.
While the girls sleep that night, Shauna writes in her journal that she is upset she wasn’t chosen and she is still as invisible as she was when Jackie was around. Then, she sees that the cabin is on fire from the outside. She runs downstairs to wake the girls and they try to escape, but the doors are jammed shut. Eventually, Tai breaks the door down with an axe and the girls run out with blankets, shoes, and whatever else they can carry. They stand in horror looking at their home crumbling to the ground.
Ok so obviously the coach set the cabin on fire, which is a wild thing to do. He’s mad that the girls half killed 1 kid and ate another, so he tried to kill all of them? Will the girls think that this is a sign from the wilderness that Nat actually shouldn’t be the leader? Will they somehow find out that it was the coach who did this and set out to kill him? Where will they live out the remainder of this winter? Season 3 is going to start off spicy!
The present timeline
Things are getting wild in the present timeline, too. After Lottie suggests that they play Russian roulette with poisoned tea, Shauna dissuades her by saying if they really want to do it the right way, they need to have a hunt. The women start to prepare by making masks and sharpening knives, while Misty and Shauna call for an emergency psychiatric team to come get Lottie (which Van and Tai then call off). Nat goes to tell her new BFF Lisa to stay inside tonight because something weird is going to happen.
Then, we get every character that has ever been introduced to also come to the compound. Walter arrives to help Misty with her Adam Martin problem. Jeff and Callie drive up to try to warn Shauna and they are quickly followed by cops Kevyn and Matt. Walter makes quick work of Kevyn, poisoning him with the same drug that Lottie used in the tea, then he gets a distraught Jeff to help him move the body.
Meanwhile, Callie, gun in hand, is out searching for Shauna. She runs into Matt, who is quickly shut down when he sees the gun. He gets a weird call from Kevyn and decides it’s more important to find him than to deal with Callie. Matt traces Kevyn to his car, where he finds him dead in the trunk.
Immediately, Walter is behind him and uses Matt’s gun to shoot Kevyn’s body. Then, he gives Matt a choice: Tell everyone that Kevyn was the killer and a crooked cop or all of the dasterdly deeds that it looks like Kevyn did will come from Matt’s name instead. Easy choice there, but this was kind of a weak ending to this storyline. It’s fine though because I was kind of bored of it and I obviously didn’t want any of the women to go to prison.
The women gather around the fire and draw cards. In the first round, no one pulls the queen. As they keep drawing, the show cuts back and forth between the adults and their teen versions drawing cards. It ends abruptly when Shauna draws the dreaded queen. I think that the women had tried to rig the deck so that Lottie would pull the queen, but Van volunteered to pull first, which seemed to surprise everyone.
When Shauna pulls the queen, she tries to appeal to reason. The women immediately turn around and put on their masks. Lottie explains that they will do it like they did back then: Shauna can decide to take it or she can run and they will hunt her. Once again Shauna says that they can’t be serious, but starts to back up. Lottie asks if she’s choosing to run and Shauna, in typical Melanie Lynsky fashion, tells them to “fuck off” and starts running.
At this point, I was extremely nervous that Callie would get in the way and “be chosen” by the wilderness to die instead of Shauna. This second half of the season has been all about the loss of Shauna’s first baby and her fear of losing Callie. I thought this would be an absolutely heartbreaking thing to do and I am VERY glad they did not do it.
Instead, as Lottie and the women close in on Shauna, a gunshot rings out. Lottie grabs her shoulder and Callie steps out from behind a tree yelling at her to stay away from her mom. Lottie seems surprised but proud of Callie, this strong and powerful daughter of Shauna’s. She says that the wilderness, this “it”, is with them right now. She also says that Nat was always its favorite, which pisses her off. She raises her knife at Lottie, who is on the ground already, but is stopped in her tracks when Lisa appears with a shotgun.
Lisa starts yelling at Nat and threatening her. From behind, Misty tries to stab her with a drug-filled syringe, but Nat protects Lisa and gets the syringe instead. She collapses immediately and Misty is distraught. Nat is fading fast and finds herself in the middle seat of an empty plane. Around her she hears the noises of her friends trying to help, but we know it is too late. Then, Javi is next to her telling her not to worry and her teenage self appears too, saying they are where they are supposed to be. Finally, Teen Lottie puts her hand on Nat’s chest and tells her the wilderness is not evil, it’s just hungry, like they are. She tells Nat to let it in and Nat does.
In the aftermath, they say Nat died of a drug overdose. Matt tells his fellow cops the phony story and Jeff tells Shauna they are safe from the Adam drama. Walter goes to tell Misty the same thing, but instead she tells him that she killed her best friend. Lottie is taken to the back of an ambulance to presumably be treated for the gunshot wound and then committed. Van and Tai go over to her and she says that they gave the wilderness what it wanted and it’s pleased with them. She tells them, “You’ll see.” Do we think this means that Tai will stop sleepwalking and Van will no longer have cancer? I guess, we’ll see too!
That’s the end of season 2 of Yellowjackets and I thought it was great! Can’t wait for season 3. Until then, team!