Gather round the fire, folks…today we are accidentally eating shrooms, cooking up our teammates, and whispering about the various mysteries that have unfolded—so far—over the course of Season One of Yellowjackets.
Showtime’s gripping new drama follows the Yellowjackets high school girls soccer team after their private plane to the 1996 national championships crashes in the Canadian wilderness and leaves them stranded for 19 months. (A second timeline follows four of the Yellowjackets—Shauna, Tai, Misty, and Nat—in present day, 25 years after the crash and back home in New Jersey.)
With only the finale remaining in Season One, the internet is abuzz with thoughts about what’s to come in the last episode, as well as in the next season as the girls splinter off into different clans. Here are a few of the most interesting and convincing ones I’ve come across.
The most popular theory is that Jackie is still alive in the present day, or at least made it back from the wilderness after the crash. Various Reddit posts and articles have noted that the journal pages that Shauna looks at in Jackie’s old room cite several movies and albums that came out after the plane crash in 1996, such as American Beauty (1999) and Bring It On (2000). These deliberate close-up shots of detailed pages are no accident, and certainly no contingency error. Interestingly, one Reddit commenter also pointed out that some of the characters listed on her “Movie Characters I Would Be” page, such as Rose from Titanic and Sydney from Scream, are known as the survivors of their respective films.
My own idea about this, if Jackie did not come back from the wilderness, is that those journals Shauna flipped through actually belonged to her. We don’t know anything about Shauna’s parents or family situation, and based on the fact that she is still having brunch with Jackie’s parents all these years later, is it possible that Shauna herself lived with Jackie’s parents for a time after the girls were rescued? Jackie’s parents seem intimately aware and concerned about Shauna’s financial situation, too. We also know that Shauna had planned to go to Rutgers and live with Jackie there even though she’d been accepted to Brown. To me, Jackie’s parents taking in Shauna seems more plausible than Jackie somehow dying or disappearing in the years after the Yellowjackets were rescued.
As far as the clans go, it is clear after Episode Nine that Lottie will lead one sect of girls as (as Reddit has dubbed her) the Antler Queen from the first episode. We know Misty is also a part of this group at one point because we see her face in that scene. I subscribe to the theory that the girls will divide roughly along the lines of Lottie’s believers and skeptics, as we saw them do during the shrooms-induced orgy in Episode Nine when Nat and Jackie had to stop Shauna from killing Travis.
We know that Lottie has, at this point, run out of her medication (which Reddit theorizes might be antipsychotics), and after Laura Lee’s death, her guiding light is gone, too. That would potentially make Jackie the leader of the other group—Jackie’s abilities as the team captain and a natural leader are referenced over and over throughout the season—and cement the final end of Jackie and Shauna’s friendship, as we’ve now seen Shauna obey Lottie. It also places Nat, Jackie, and Travis in the same sect, which could fall apart pretty fast.
After the fatal consequences of Episode Nine for Adam, it might seem like the hotly-debated theory that Shauna’s lover was actually grown-up Javi was too obvious to be true. Peter Gadiot, the actor that plays Adam, confirmed in a new interview that “he is actually just who he says he was” and was “a red herring.” As he told E! Online: “I think the real kind of thrust of it was to show that Shauna is still really traumatized by her past. I think that’s one of the big themes of the show, how do we escape past trauma? Can we move on?”
But is it possible that even Gadiot doesn’t know who Adam really was? There seem to be too many strange elements for him to just be some guy who falls for Shauna. Why show us his back tattoo of the forest? How did he get his hands on an old magazine if he just found out who Shauna was? Why would he lie about his name and past? In my mind, there’s still something to uncover about Adam beyond him simply being Shauna’s lover, or even an obsessed fan of the Yellowjackets. If he was Javi, I think he would have revealed himself when Shauna picked up the knife, and I do think one of the other Yellowjackets would have recognized the body. But even if Adam is not Javi, I think there is more to Adam than Episode 9 led us to believe.
Perhaps Misty showing up to the crime scene might reveal just that. Until next Sunday, fellow citizen detectives.
Lauren Kranc is an assistant editor at Esquire, where she runs the brand’s social media accounts and covers pop culture and television, with entirely too narrow an expertise on true crime shows.
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