'Yellowjackets' Season 2 Cast Reacts to That 'Shocking' Death in the 'Emotional' Finale (Exclusive)
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Warning: Spoilers for the Yellowjackets season 2 finale, "Storytelling," directed by Karyn Kusama and written by Ameni Rozsa and created by Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson.
After eight prior episodes full of cannibalism, trauma and plenty of unexpected twists, Yellowjackets ended season 2 with a shocking finale, which included a very emotional death that caught many by surprise. And it's an episode that Simone Kessell, who plays adult Lottie, thinks will leave fans just as divided as the show's ensemble was.
"It divided us as a cast because we were looking at it and it's so big and it's emotional," Kessell tells ET's Deidre Behar, before adding that in the moment, while filming the final episode of season 2, it felt "very real" and their thoughts about what went down and who died are "still very raw."
So, what exactly happened? Well, more cannibalism for one thing, with Javi (Luciano Leroux) becoming the wilderness' latest offering in the past timeline. Of course, that meant some extremely complicated feelings for his older brother, Travis (Kevin Alves), who inadvertently sacrificed Javi while trying to protect Natalie (Sophie Thatcher) from being hunted down by the rest of her surviving teammates.
However, before the girls start their latest feast, it's Kevin who takes the first bite -- seemingly giving the OK to eat on the flesh of his younger brother.
While reflecting on the finale, Steven Krueger, who plays Coach Ben, says, "That was the promise of the show initially, right? We all go into the forest and not all of us come out."
Adding to that, "On a show like this, you've always got to be ready to say goodbye because we're trying to survive out there," Alves offers, explaining how these deaths and sacrifices really affect who they end up becoming as adults in the present timeline.
For Travis, that meant his adult version accidentally killing himself during the present timeline in season 1 -- something that wasn't quite explained until now. "You've got to look at these stories [and how] the people 25 years in the future are dealing with things from 25 years ago that they don't want the world to know about," the actor says. "They're all learning how to deal with their own trauma."
"[Things] got very chaotic, very dark. [There's] lots of violence," Sophie Nélisse, who plays Shauna, says, adding that the finale is "quite devastatingly beautiful."
Later, after Lottie (Courtney Eaton) emerges from the attic, she says it was the wilderness that saved Natalie and the rest of the girls find themselves bowing down to another queen among the survivors.
Before the episode ends, the girls find themselves trapped in the cabin as it catches fire, with Taissa (Jasmin Savoy Brown) being the one to break down the door and let them all out. (Of course, with the cabin gone, it likely means they'll be forced to join Coach Ben in the underground tree fort where Javi had been secretly living most of season 2.)
Even weeks after wrapping production on season 2, the entire cast is still "traumatized," Brown says of what they went through while filming Yellowjackets. "We're all still tired and processing it and going, 'What the [beep] did we just do for the last six months?'"
Despite that, Liv Henson, who plays Van, says, "I'm so proud of it."
Meanwhile, in the present, the adult survivors returned to their wilderness ways after they spent the previous evening confiding in each other about things from the past as well as fessing up to what happened to Adam Martin (Peter Gadiot) and Jessica Roberts (Rekha Sharma).
"The women are at odds," Kessell says of them all finally coming together at Lottie's cult-like compound. Initially there "for teaching and healing, it actually turns out they still have some other issues to work through. And it's a lot," she continues.
"There's some shocking revelations throughout," Ambrose adds.
As a result, Lottie suggested they make another sacrifice to "it" by drinking poison before Shauna (Melanie Lynskey) suggested they take things a bit further. And during the finale, the women recreate the ritual of pulling cards, with Shauna being the one who pulls the fated Queen of Hearts before she finds herself being chased through the woods.
Before things go too far, they are interrupted by Callie (Sarah Desjardins) and Lisa (Nicole Maines). And during their confrontation in the woods, Misty (Christina Ricci) accidentally poisons Natalie (Juliette Lewis), making her the ultimate sacrifice after first pulling the Queen of Hearts 25 years earlier and going through a "journey of healing," Lewis says of her character.
"Natalie's on this journey of self discovery, which is quite subversive for that type of personality. So, that was really interesting," she continues.
Not only that, but it made her demise all the more tragic, considering how much she had grown in season 2 after first wanting to kill herself in the season 1 finale. "It's funny because she's playing with externally how to trust and not trust," Lewis says of Natalie's ongoing internal struggle that was compounded by "these trauma bonds" she "shared in the wilderness" with all the other girls.
Reflecting on Natalie's unexpected death in the finale, "a lot of surprising things happen," Ricci says, with all her co-stars agreeing that the episode was both "emotional" and "shocking."
"It got really intense," Ricci continues, adding that it was "wild, really breathtaking." And when it came to filming those final scenes, "it was so devastatingly emotional for us to shoot," she says.
Adding to that, Kessell says, "The hard scene for me to film was pretty much every scene with Juliette Lewis because the two of us had so much love for each other but we also were fighting as characters so on and off… [But] it was worth the ride."
Echoing what her co-star said earlier, Cypress also thinks that the finale "is going to divide fans." She adds, "There is no preparation for the finale of season 2. The adult storyline is out of this world."
Meanwhile, Lewis says, "Amazing things [happened] in the story."
Yellowjackets season 2 is now streaming on the Showtime app before airing Sunday, May 28 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Showtime.
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