Yellowjackets Fan Theory Explains Episode 8’s Unexpected Death

A Yellowjackets fan theory suggests that a character death in "It Chooses" was in the cards all along

Liv Hewson as Teen Van, Sophie Thatcher as Teen Natalie, Jasmin Savoy Brown as Teen Taissa and Sophie Nélisse as Teen Shauna in YELLOWJACKETS, "It Chooses"
Photo: Kailey Schwerman | Showtime

This article contains spoilers through Yellowjackets season 2 episode 8.

The Yellowjackets pilot hinted at the ritualistic cannibalism that the titular girls soccer team was forced to adopt after being stranded in the wilderness for nineteen months, but we’ve yet to see the girls fully become the cult-like group we see in the series’ opening. The “Doomcoming” episode from season 1 showed the girls chasing Travis (Kevin Alves) through the woods while high on mushrooms and fermented berries, but they were stopped before things escalated any further.

After Jackie (Ella Purnell) was eaten at the beginning of season 2, however, it was only a matter of time before the teens were forced to resort to cannibalism once again to survive the harsh winter. To help Lottie (Courtney Eaton) heal from the life-threatening wounds inflicted on her by Shauna (Sofie Nélisse) in a post-partum fit of rage, the teens decide to sacrifice someone from the group so that Lottie can get the nourishment she needs to heal.

Using the deck of playing cards once used to determine who did what chores, the teens stand in a circle and take turns drawing, with the Queen of Hearts determining who will be sacrificed and offer a glimpse into how the ritual we see comes to be. Nat (Sophie Thatcher) is the unlucky one, but manages to flee from the cabin after Shauna hesitates to slit her throat. The others chase after her, turning into the feral girls we see in the pilot as they give into their primal urge to hunt. Javi (Luciano Leroux), however, tries to help Nat escape to the tree cave he found refuge in after running away on the night of Doomcoming. They run across the frozen lake until Javi hits a thin patch and falls in. Nat rushes to help, but Misty (Samantha Hanratty) holds her back, insisting that the others won’t hesitate to kill her still if Javi lives. 

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Even though we know that Nat survives to the present day, it’s still an emotional scene to watch knowing that Javi risked himself to save Nat and she couldn’t bring herself to do the same. But what if Javi dying instead of Nat during the first official hunt of the Yellowjackets wasn’t just a coincidence? According to Yellowjackets fan accounts @jasminsavoypr and @shaunasforestbb on Twitter, Javi is in possession of the Queen of Hearts card during a scene in season 2 episode 5 “Two Truths and a Lie.” 

In the scene, which you can watch below, the girls are trying to get Javi to tell them about his time alone outside the cabin, but the young boy has briefly gone mute and doesn’t tell them anything. After Travis tells them to leave him alone and that he’ll talk when he’s ready, you can faintly hear Akilah (Nia Sondaya) say “Hey Javi, where’d you get that Queen card?” as the scene cuts to Travis and Nat talking. It’s an easy line of dialogue to miss without captions on, but it does a lot to explain why the wilderness “chose” Javi to die in the first hunt instead of Nat.

Yellowjackets has yet to confirm or deny whether or not there really is a malevolent force in the wilderness or if the survivors are just struggling to process their traumatic circumstances, but this theory is definitely a win for those who believe that the wilderness is a supernatural entity. Javi stumbling across the Queen of Hearts right after he miraculously returns is too much of a coincidence to ignore. Especially considering that his “friend” in the wilderness didn’t want him to go back to the cabin, and that Lottie and the “other” Tai (Jasmin Savoy Brown) could somehow sense that he was still alive out there.

It’s like the wilderness wanted him back for this reason, which is why it marks him for death with the card almost immediately after his return to the cabin. Though the scene itself may have been shocking, this theory argues that Javi’s death in “It Chooses” seems to have been inevitable.