Yellowjackets Recap: What to Remember Before Season 2
Before diving into Yellowjackets season 2, here are all the twists and turns you need to remember in the past and the present.
This article contains spoilers for Yellowjackets season 1.
After a critically acclaimed first season, Showtime’s Yellowjackets is returning to the wilderness with a second season. Set in both the 1990s and 2020s, Yellowjackets tells the story of the titular girls’ soccer team and the plane crash that changed their lives forever. Thanks to all of the twists and turns across the timelines (and the looming threat of cannibalism), it can be hard to remember everything that happens to the Yellowjackets in season 1.
Before tuning into the season 2 premiere, here’s everything you need to know from both the past and the present.
1996 – The Plane Crash
Stranded in the Wilderness
In 1996, the Yellowjackets girls’ soccer team are headed to Seattle to compete in the national championship when their private plane, a gift from teammate Lottie’s (Courtney Eaton) parents, goes off course to avoid a storm system and crashes in the Canadian Wilderness. The girls are stranded with their assistant coach Ben (Steven Kreuger) and the sons of Coach Bill Martinez (Carlos Sanz), Javi (Luciano Leroux) and Travis (Kevin Alves).
Misty Quigley (Sammi Hanratty), the team’s equipment manager, is surprisingly knowledgeable about survival techniques, and gets to work helping the survivors of the crash, despite the fact that she was relentlessly bullied by some of the team and others at their high school. She doesn’t hesitate to amputate Ben’s leg after it’s mangled by plane debris, she teaches everyone how to bandage each others’ wounds, and gets everyone to pool resources so that they can take stock of what they have. But as much as Misty helps the team throughout their time in the wilderness, she also does something questionable. She finds the plane’s black box and distress beacon and instead of telling the others, she destroys it because she finally feels useful and liked by the team.
Natalie (Sophie Thatcher) tries to convince Travis to help Javi look for their dad, who fell out of the plane as it was going down, but Laura Lee (Jane Widdop) finds Coach Martinez dead in a tree before they can. The girls have to work together to bring him down and they bury him beside the pilots and their dead teammates.
After a few days, some of the girls realize that rescue isn’t coming anytime soon and decide to explore their surroundings. Taissa (Jasmin Savoy Brown) finds a lake and tries to convince the others to leave the plane and set up camp near the water instead. Jackie (Ella Purnell) doesn’t want to leave in case rescue comes, but is ultimately out-voted.
The Cabin in the Woods
The survivors spend some time at the lake before spotting a cabin in the distance. The cabin is unfortunately abandoned, but it does offer some additional supplies and shelter for them. But as they prepare to spend their first night at the cabin, Taissa hears what sounds like footsteps coming from the attic. She goes up alone to explore and finds Lottie (Courtney Eaton) staring terrified at the body of the previous owner who died with a shotgun beside him.
Even after burying the desiccated corpse of the previous owner, Lottie appears to still sense something sinister about the survivors’ new home. The others brush it off as fear of their situation and work to settle in. Because of his injury, Ben suggests that the teens compete to see who has the best aim before they start hunting for food. Travis and Natalie are revealed to be the best shooters in the group, so they become the designated hunters. Even though Natalie and Travis seem to hate each other at first, the two grow close as they spend more time together.
Meanwhile, Misty is taking advantage of Ben’s injury to get close to him. She insists on helping him with everything from eating to pooping, and refuses to take the hint that he wants to be left alone. It turns out that Misty had a huge crush on the coach before the crash, and is hoping that stepping in as his caregiver during this crisis will make him fall in love with her. Misty goes full Kathy Bates in Misery and goes so far as to poison Ben so that he’ll stay weak. To stop Misty from killing him, Ben plays along and tells Misty that he has feelings for her.
While foraging in the woods, Jackie finds an old plane that surprisingly still works. Continuing her creepy streak, Lottie ominously says “it didn’t want him to leave,” further implying that there is something sinister about the woods they are stranded in. After hearing something in the attic during an impromptu dance party, a few of the girls decide to hold a seance to see if it’s the dead guy trying to communicate with them. As with most seances held in a creepy cabin in the woods, things take a turn when Lottie appears to become possessed, screaming “it wants,” “hungry,” “you must spill blood,” and a bunch of creepy French words before smashing her head against the window and snapping back to reality.
Taissa catches Shauna (Sophie Nélisse) trying to fake her period when she’s the only one not bleeding with the others. When Tai confronts her, Shauna confesses that she’s pregnant and that she slept with Jackie’s boyfriend Jeff. Tai promises to keep her secret as long as she can, but knows that it will only be a matter of time before the others discover the pregnancy. Shauna first decides that she will try to give herself an abortion, but even with Tai’s help realizes that telling Jackie at least some of the truth is the less dangerous option. Shauna later tells Jackie about the pregnancy, but lies about the father. It isn’t until Jackie reads Shauna’s diary that she discovers her best friend has been lying to her.
Looking for Help
As winter looms closer, Taissa decides to try and venture out into the woods to find help. Van (Liv Hewson), Misty, Akilah (Keeya King), and Mari (Alexa Barajas) volunteer to go with her. Lottie, who has begun having visions and hallucinating bloody deer, warns that they will encounter a river of blood and red smoke on their journey. Things start off okay and the group makes it through their first night away from the others, but it’s not long before they see what Lottie foretold – a river that runs red and the smoke of a flare gun. The group is attacked by wolves after setting up camp for the night and Taissa fires the flare to scare them off.
Van is seriously injured and thought to be dead, but regains consciousness whenever the others try to cremate her. They get Van off the fire immediately and try to get her back to the cabin. Misty runs ahead to get the others, and they bring Van back. Once they’re all at the cabin, Akilah and Taissa sew up her wounds.
Even since Jackie found the plane, Laura Lee has been reading the manuals and trying to teach herself how it works. With Tai’s journey to find help ending so tragically, Laura decides to take the plane and fly south to find help. Ben tries to talk her out of it, but Laura insists that it’s their best option. Laura is able to get the plane off the ground, but just as she starts to clear the lake, the plane catches on fire and explodes in the air, killing Laura and the group’s last chance at escape.
Needing an escape from the never-ending tragedies the group has faced, Mari pulls out jars of fermented berries that accidentally turned alcoholic and offers them to the group to drown their sorrows. Jackie suggests that they have a party as one last hurrah before the winter comes and they potentially die. Everyone agrees, and spends the day preparing and making decorations out of flowers.
As they prepare food for the night, Misty’s secret stash of mushrooms gets added to the stew by mistake, making almost everyone hallucinate and lose their minds as the night goes on. The trip starts off harmless enough with everyone dancing and letting loose, but things take a turn. A group of the girls chase Travis through the woods trying to kill him. Javi runs away in fear, and isn’t seen again after that night. Natalie and Jackie, stop them from killing Travis and try to snap the others back to reality.
Misty takes this opportunity to make a move on Ben, and he rejects her because he’s gay and has a boyfriend named Paul back home. He had confessed this to Natalie before, but realizes that Misty won’t stop coming after him unless she knows the truth.
The next day, Travis and Natalie unsuccessfully look for Javi while Jackie and Shauna’s friendship starts to dissolve further. Jackie and Shauna get into a massive fight that ends with Jackie spending the night alone outside. What none of them realize though is that winter is coming faster than they thought. An abrupt snowstorm blankets the forest overnight, and Shauna wakes up the next morning to find Jackie frozen to death.
The Antler Queen
In the pilot, we see a group of people dressed in furs chasing a girl through the woods before she falls into a trap and dies. Later we see the girl gutted and her flesh presented to a figure that fans have dubbed the “antler queen” after the regal antlers that adorn her head. While we don’t yet know how far into the Yellowjackets’ time in the woods this takes place, it’s clear that the 19 months they spend in the wilderness takes a toll on them.
While we don’t see the antler queen remove her face covering in the pilot, all signs currently point to Lottie as the one behind the mask. In the episode “Doomcoming,” we see Lottie wear a crown of antlers on her head while everyone high on mushrooms devolves into madness and attempts to sacrifice Travis. Lottie also seems to have a strange connection to the wilderness and kills a docile bear that wanders into camp after the Doomcoming fiasco. She offers the bear’s heart to the wilderness on a makeshift altar before winter comes. Between that and her weird visions that have come true, she’s poised to become a sort of spiritual leader after Jackie’s death.
2021 – Twenty-Five Years Later
Connecting with Old Friends
25 years after the plane crash, the survivors are still trying to move past their traumatic experience. Shauna (Melanie Lynskey) is married to Jeff (Warren Kole) and has a teenage daughter named Callie (Sarah Desjardins). She feels stuck in her housewife role – her and Callie don’t exactly get along and she’s in counseling with Jeff to try and rekindle their romantic spark.
Taissa (Tawny Cypress) is running for New Jersey state senate, despite the promise the Yellowjackets made to each other to stay out of the spotlight. Misty (Christina Ricci) works at a nursing home and is heavily involved in online true-crime boards. Natalie (Juliette Lewis) is discharged from rehab and decides to go back home to New Jersey after receiving a postcard with nothing but the symbol from the forest drawn on it.
Shauna contacts Taissa first after a suspicious reporter named Jessica (Rekha Sharma) stops by and asks for an exclusive interview on what really happened in the wilderness. Natalie arrives in town not long after and confronts Misty about the postcard, thinking that she sent it. When Misty reveals that she also got one, they reach out to the others and discover that someone is trying to get their attention.
Misty and Natalie set off to track down Travis, but discover that he died in an apparent suicide. Not believing that Travis would kill himself, Natalie tries to find out what really happened to him and begrudgingly lets Misty help. Using her connection to former high-school-friend-turned-cop Kevyn (Alex Wyndham), Natalie discovers that the symbol from the forest was drawn in the ground around Travis’ body, like some kind of cult sacrifice.
Misty goes behind Natalie’s back to tell Shauna what they discovered while Natalie is talking to Taissa. But just as they come together to find out what happened to Travis, they receive ominous messages threatening to tell the world what really happened in the wilderness unless they give the blackmailer $50,000. They try to set a trap for the blackmailer with cash and a glitter bomb, but he manages to get away.
Jessica tries to go after Misty next, but being the overly suspicious woman that she is, Misty suspects that she is the blackmailer and kidnaps her. Jessica reveals that Taissa hired her to make sure that none of them took the bait and revealed anything about the wilderness that would harm her senate campaign. Misty doesn’t necessarily believe this, and continues to hold Jessica in her basement while they continue to investigate. Once she finds a more likely suspect, Misty lets Jessica go – but not without poisoning her cigarettes with Fentanyl.
Shauna’s relationship with Jeff, whom she married out of guilt after returning from the wilderness without Jackie, is losing what little spark it had. So when she gets into a fender-bender with Adam (Peter Gadiot), an attractive young artist, she can’t help but chase the excitement she feels when she’s with him. It doesn’t help that she’s seen Jeff meet secretly with an attractive blonde woman, whom she thinks he’s having an affair with.
But after Adam starts asking about the plane crash and Shauna discovers glitter on the floor after he hides in her bedroom closet, she begins to suspect that he might be the one blackmailing the Yellowjackets. When she confronts him at his apartment, she snaps and stabs him, thinking she’s protecting herself and her friends. After this happens, she discovers that her journals are also missing from her safe, something that only Jeff would really have access to.
Jeff confesses to being the blackmailer and reveals that the woman he’s been meeting is a loan shark. The family furniture store is struggling financially, and he blackmailed the group to pay back his debt. Shauna then confesses her affair with Adam and that she killed him thinking he was a bad guy. To help cover up the murder and protect Jeff from the others, Shauna tells them what she did and that Adam was the blackmailer. They help her get rid of the body and clean Adam’s apartment.
The Bad One
During Taissa’s senate campaign, she starts to lose her grip on reality. In flashbacks to the wilderness, it’s revealed that Taissa would become someone else in her sleep with no recollection of what she did during that time. When her son, Sammy (Aiden Stoxx), starts talking about a scary lady in a tree that encourages him to do bad things, Taissa and her wife Simone (Rukiya Bernard) initially just think that the stress from being in the spotlight is getting to him.
It’s only after Tai wakes up crouched in a tree looking into Sammy’s bedroom window that she realizes she’s not in control anymore. She begs Simone to take Sammy away until after the election, and Simone agrees. This works for a while, until Simone finds an altar in a secret room in their basement while Tai is at an election night event. But this isn’t just a simple altar with some flowers and a cute little candle, no this altar features a human heart and the head of the family’s missing dog.
Blackmail is Only the Beginning
With the blackmailer taken care of, the Yellowjackets try to go back to normal. They attend their 25th high school reunion, Taissa wins the state senate seat, Shauna and Jeff are now closer than ever, Misty is still an enigma, and Natalie is once again feeling lost. Without any new leads on Travis’ killer, Natalie is unsure of what to do next and isn’t sure if she can handle the loss of him. She plans to die by suicide in her motel room, but before she can pull the trigger of her shotgun, a mysterious group bursts through the door and abducts her. As Natalie is being taken away, a voicemail reveals that not only did Lottie survive to the present day, but that she is responsible for emptying Travis’ bank account after his death.
The first episode of Yellowjackets season 2 is available to stream on Showtime.com and Showtime on Demand now. New episodes premiere via streaming Fridays and cable on Sundays.