'Yellowjackets' Creators Wrote Enya a 'Glorious Letter' to Get 'Only Time' in the Finale (Exclusive)

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Yellowjackets, Showtime’s survival series starring Christina Ricci, Juliette Lewis, Melanie Lynskey and Tawny Cypress as adults who survived a plane crash in the Canadian Rockies 25 years prior, featured no shortage of needle drops throughout the first 10 episodes. Now that season 1 has ended, creators and executive producers Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson share their favorite, nostalgic-filled music cues and what it took to get Enya to grant them permission to use “Only Time” in the finale.  

“It’s one that bears mentioning,” Lyle tells ET, referring to the Irish singer’s 2000 hit song, which was heard as the adult women reunited at their high school’s anniversary and were forced to watch a tribute to living and dead members of soccer team that was on that plane decades prior. The scene also cut to past timeline, in 1996, as the women reckoned with their evolving group dynamic following the drug-fueled Doomcoming celebration.  

“We actually had to fight pretty hard to get that song,” Lyle says. “Bart wrote a pretty glorious letter to Enya herself, and ultimately, she gave us permission. It's so incredibly perfect in that moment that we just felt like we had to fight for it.” 

Yellowjackets
Showtime

The song is not the only one from the finale that jumps out for Lyle. Another notable music cue was Offspring’s “Come Out and Play (Keep 'Em Separated),” which is heard as the living Yellowjackets arrive at their high school anniversary party.  

“We tried maybe 15 different songs for that particular sequence,” Lyle shares. “We had actually shot it on the day with playback to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.” While one of her favorites, they decided that “Phenomena” was too “straightforwardly cool” in that moment. “There was something just very funny to us about using that Offspring song there.”  

She adds, “So, using the music in a slightly more comedic way is also something that we really enjoyed.”  

Yellowjackets
Showtime

For the creators, the use of everything, from Snow’s “Informer” to The Cranberries’ “Dreams” to Seal’s “Kiss From a Rose,” was an opportunity to bring levity to the mysterious series, which can get pretty dark at times. “There’s something in the sort of slightly heightened tone that there is a playful quality that doesn’t take itself too seriously, freeing people up to engage in a sort of playful way,” Nickerson says.

Of course, there are other moments that just enhance the mood of the show, like in episode 1 when PJ Harvey’s “Down by the Water” is heard as Natalie (played by Sophie Thatcher in the past) takes LSD and finds herself staring into the fire. This one, Lyle points out, functions in a different way than from the Offspring.  

“We scripted that into the pilot and the very first draft,” she says of the song, which just so happened to be by an artist both Lewis and Thatcher bonded over when creating their character, Natalie. “And in terms of what it brings to the table tonally, it felt so perfect for that episode and the atmosphere we were trying to build in the show.”

Check out the full soundtrack below:


Season 1 of Yellowjackets is now streaming on Showtime. 

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