Here's a look at all the major theories about the Showtime drama. (Spoiler warning for everything that's aired so far.)
Warning: Spoilers for Yellowjackets season 2, up to episode six, "Qui," directed by Liz Garbus and written by Karen Joseph Adcock & Ameni Rozsa.
Now that Yellowjackets has returned with season 2, there's been a renewed search for answers to the biggest questions about the show, including everything from when the young survivors will become cannibals in the past to what's going on with Adult Lottie (Simone Kessell) in the present.
While at its core, the Showtime drama is about what happened to a group of teenagers after a plane crash stranded them in the wilderness for 19 months and how a few of the grownup survivors are reckoning with the secrets that amassed both then and now, it's a puzzle box series that introduces new pieces with each episode.
And as a result, fans have run wild with theories and ideas about every detail of the series, much to the delight of its creators, Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson, who admitted to ET that they "have been, along with the entire cast and most of our EPs, trolling Reddit a little bit and watching Twitter." And in doing so, they noticed during season 1 that "somebody out of the thousands of comments that have come up has rightly predicted almost everything."
That said, there are still many (new and old) questions to be asked, theories to be addressed and answers to be debated. And as season 2 continues to roll out, this article will be updated with information from each new episode as well as additional insight from the creators and the cast, including the adult players, Christina Ricci, Juliette Lewis, Melanie Lynskey and Tawny Cypress, and their younger counterparts, Courtney Eaton, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Liv Hewson, Samantha Hanratty, Sophe Nelisse and Sophie Thatcher.
PREVIOUSLY UNANSWERED QUESTIONS
What Is Up With the Hunter? And Was He Behind the Signal? Throughout season 1, a mysterious man has appeared in the opening credits, leaving fans wondering who he is -- and what he has to do with the survivors. Last season, Lyle revealed that "you see him in the finale," without disclosing anything more at the time. As it turned out, the man was a hunter (played onscreen by William Charles Vaughan), whose skeleton was found in the cabin where the girls had taken shelter and presumably owned the plane that Laura Lee (Jane Widdop) tried to operate before it blew up. Then, in the last episode, he appears alongside Laura and others in a vision to Jackie just before she freezes to death outside.
Although the first season seemingly answered the question about the mysterious man's identity, there's still a lot left unexplained. Will he return in season 2? Was he behind the signal that led the girls to the cabin in the first place? Is he at all connected to Young Taissa's (Brown) visions of a eyeless, slender man in the woods?
What's Up With Young Taissa's Sleepwalking? And Is Adult Taissa a Witch? From the beginning of the series, Young Taissa (Brown) has been adamant that any pagan beliefs or ideas are not real. But at the time, the outspoken atheist didn't even realize that she’s sleepwalking at night and eating dirt. Not only that, but she’s been haunted by visions of a man with no eyes. So far, it’s been unclear whether this is happening or it is all just in her head. In the present, what's been happening to Adult Taissa (Cypress) has seemed to manifest into witchcraft, with evidence of a seance having taken place in her basement furnace.
"To look at what is happening to her as a very literal, straightforward possession in some sort of a Judeo-Christian sense of biblical, demonic possession is not necessarily the whole story. But we’re certainly playing in the idea of what people believe in," Lyle said of what may or may not be going on. Nickerson, meanwhile, added, "Some people will call it psychosis. Some people call it a demonic possession… So, I think a lot of those things can be part of the interpretation of what’s actually happening with the supernatural."
As for the present-day witchery, Lyle said that "whether she is always conscious of it or not and as much as she’s trying to deny it to herself and repress it, is in a way, a believer as well. I think we can, for now, leave it at that." Nickerson also added that "in season 2, she’ll have to be sort of grappling with that reality that this thing that [the election that she won] has come through this sort of dark way."
Moving forward, Cypress hinted that the two versions of Taissa might start blending together. "You're gonna see a reverted Taissa. Back to, perhaps, her teenage years," she said. "There are gonna be moments that you look at Taissa and be like, 'Is that the same character from the first season?' She's very, very different. She has things to work out where, you know, she's willing to do whatever it takes and sometimes that takes them listening to people from your past and giving over fully to them."
What Is Going to Cause Taissa and Van to Break Up? While the two young women seem to be going strong as they continue to explore their relationship in the past, we know that they are no longer together in the present. Adult Taissa is stuck in an estranged marriage with Simone (Rukiya Bernard) and the two have one son, Sammy (Aiden Stoxx), together. "Taissa’s marriage seems to be in shambles," Cypress said, suggesting there's no hope for the two, before adding, "It’d be really fun to see an adult Taissa meeting up with an adult Van and where that goes and what that history is all about."
In the season 2 premiere, audiences were shown a glimpse of the survivors' rescue -- and it seemed like Young Taissa and Young Van (Hewson) were already broken up, leaving us to wonder how Adult Van (Lauren Ambrose) feels about her now. "There's a lot of questions that are asked. I don't know when they will be answered," Brown admitted, while Hewson broke the question up into multiple parts. "It's like, specifically, 'When do these two separate?'" they ask. "And is it a matter of, 'We haven't seen each other in 25 years?' …It's like, 'What happened?' We don't know."
Despite the two older versions -- with Lauren Ambrose joining as Adult Van -- confronting each other in episode five, it's still unclear what exactly drove them apart. But it's clear there's a lot of baggage still left between them.
What Did Adult Travis Think Nat Was "Right" About? Speaking of Nat, Travis' suicide continues to haunt her -- especially the fact that he left her a note reading, "Tell Nat she was right." But right about what exactly? We don't know. But based on the season 2 premiere, it's become clear that Young Travis and Nat started to embrace the Antler Queen's presence in the past. And Adult Lottie tells Nat that she has a message from Travis, when they finally reunite in the present.
Until we learn what that is, Lewis said that when it comes to Nat, she's "on this journey of self-discovery, which is quite subversive for that type of personality. So it was really interesting."
Why Is Walter Looking Into Adam's Whereabouts? And What Does That Mean for Misty? While fans eagerly wait for Elijah Wood to make his on-screen debut as Walter, a fellow Citizen Detective who means trouble for Adult Misty (Ricci), his voice was heard in the premiere as he narrated one of his online theories regarding Adam's whereabouts. After investigating his financial records, he thinks Adam was having an affair with a "mysterious lady friend," which immediately made Misty worried.
But what's his interest in the case? Right now, that remains unclear. But his presence may be more complicated for Misty than just sniffing around her and her friends. As it turns out, he may be a love interest for her this season. Of course, Ricci played coy when asked about it. "It's such a fun dynamic and I'm really curious to see where it goes," she said, while Wood added, "The journey that we're on in this particular season is really funny. The show's dark and gnarly and a lot of what we got to do together was kind of like the comic relief."
Will the Rest of the Team Learn About What Misty Did to the Emergency Transmitter? One of the main reasons the soccer team is still stranded in the wilderness is because -- in a fit of rage or desperation, you decide! -- Young Misty (Hanratty) destroyed the group's only real source of rescue: the plane's emergency transmitter. With that no longer sending out any sort of signal or marking their location, they've also since abandoned the crash site in preference of the cabin by the lake.
Shockingly, during episode five of season 2, Misty reveals what she did to Crystal (Nuha Jes Izman), who immediately turns on her best friend. After Crystal lashes out, Misty threatens to kill her before her friend slips backward and falls off the cliff.
"Misty is a person who is sort of defined by her intense desire to be seen, to be loved, to be appreciated. And you know, the first time that happens is with Crystal and it goes terribly wrong because she makes a single miscalculation of trust," Lyle said, with Hanratty adding that what happened in that moment "will forever affect Misty."
ANSWERED (AND NEW QUESTIONS)
When Will the Young Survivors Become Cannibals? And Will They Eat Jackie's Dead Body First? After opening the series with the girls seemingly eating one of their own, season 1 ended before the young survivors ate any human flesh -- something that Lyle and Nickerson said was intentional. "Season 1 was always meant to be spring, summer, fall with a sort of 'winter is coming' feel to it. And then season 2, winter hits and it’s sort of the apex of everything that we've seen building toward," Lyle explained. "I would love to reassure all our viewers that we're not going to drag out cannibalism for five seasons. It is very much coming, but we want to make sure we get there the right way."
Following the season 2 premiere, which ended with Shauna (Nelisse) snacking on Jackie's (Ella Purnell) ear, the entire soccer team ended up feasting on their dead friend in episode 2. With those questions answered, now it's a matter of: Who does the team eat next? And who is Pit Girl? "There'll definitely be more cannibalism at some point," Nickerson said.
Is Adult Lottie Still the Antler Queen in the Present? And Is She Running a Cult? In season 1, it was revealed that Young Lottie (Eaton) was the Antler Queen, becoming the leader of a new tribe within the group of survivors as she continued to embrace her prophetic visions. "With Lottie, she is very much a believer and we’ve talked a lot over the course of developing this show and working with our writers about belief and what it means to people and the power that it can hold," Lyle said of Lottie's development in the past.
Of course, it was also confirmed at the end of season 1 that Lottie (Kessell) had survived and was the one who drained Travis' bank account. In season 2, Lyle said she'll pose a "more exterior threat" to the other grownup women. And that quickly became clear when it was revealed in the premiere that Lottie's purple followers -- including series newcomer Nicole Maines -- were responsible for kidnapping Adult Nat (Lewis) and taking her to their camp. There, Lottie was seen donning the headdress and performing bizarre, cult-like rituals.
"She's completely recreated herself from the Lottie that we know from season 1," Kessell said, adding that in the 25 years since making it out alive, "she's been in and out of institutions. And the Lottie we see today is love and light and healing and spirituality." (As for those followers of hers, "They are not survivors," Lyle and Nickerson said. "Those are new recruits.") But, of course, there are still plenty of questions to be answered, like: What's up with the rituals and what exactly is going on at at the camp where Lottie holds court? And will Lottie's seemingly calm demeanor crack?
What Happened to Young Shauna's Baby? After revealing Young Shauna was pregnant in season 1, audiences have been worried about what's going to happen to her baby -- especially since Adult Shauna (Lynskey) doesn't appear to have another, older child beyond her teenage daughter, Callie Sadecki (Sarah Desjardins), whom she had with her husband, Jeff (Warren Kole), in the present.
While the creators wouldn't reveal anything, they said at the end of season 1, they already knew what will happen to Shauna's child. "I think people should be prepared for things to get quite a bit darker. We do know what goes on with the baby, but we're going to hold that pretty close to the vest right now," Lyle said.
Of course, one popular theory is that the young survivors are going to eat Shauna's newborn -- an idea that Lynskey is thoroughly against. "If they eat the baby, I’m quitting the show," the actress said. And Lyle seemed to agree, suggesting that eating the baby would be one step too far for the show.
"As much as we love to revel in the dark and the macabre, that there are certain lines that you can cross that will make it a show potentially not fun to watch anymore. And we always want to be careful with that, giving the viewer a really fun experience, even if it is dark and twisted," Lyle explained. "But we never want to get into a territory that is so fully grim or bleak that it’s no longer entertaining to watch."
As of episode six, we now that Shauna gave birth to a baby boy, who managed to survive the first few nights before eventually dying in an emotional and intense moment for the series. "It was definitely just a very emotional and, like, very heavy duty week," Nélisse said. "I was incredibly nervous, like, coming into it just because I feel so blessed that the writers have written such a beautiful episode. I just wanted to live up to the expectations and I was really scared I wouldn't."
While the baby was not eaten by the survivors, the show did give fans a taste of that theory by having Shauna dream that her teammates had consumed her child. However, it's something the writers "never seriously considered it," Lisco revealed, adding that "it's a line we wouldn't cross." And good thing, because Lynskey was very much against the idea, explaining, "Like, it doesn't make sense logically because it's a baby. And also, like, this would just be shock value."
Will the Young Survivors Ever Find Javi? Following the "Doomcoming" party that led the girls to go hunting for Young Travis (Kevin Alves), his younger brother, Javi (Luciano Leroux), seemingly ran away. And since the end of season 1, the group's youngest survivor has been missing, with Travis and Young Nat (Thatcher) unable to find him.
In the season 2 premiere, they're seen still looking for him while they struggle to find more animal meat for the group to eat. And in the following episodes, it seemed like Nat was trying to prevent Travis from actually succeeding in locating his brother. But as of episode four, Van and Tai miraculously find Javi and bring him back to camp.
However, his return opens up a whole other can of warms -- and questions: What happened to Javi? Who is the friend that told him not to come back? And considering that there's no evidence of an Adult Javi in the present -- with the Adam theory dispelled before the end of season 1 -- did he even make it out of the wilderness alive?
Will Callie Ever Figure Out the Truth About Adam? One thing's for sure, Adult Shauna's (Lynskey) secrets are piling up, including the fact that she killed Adam (Peter Gadiot) after suspecting him of blackmailing her and the other grownup survivors. Not only that, but she was having an affair with him. By the end of season 1, she revealed all of this to her husband but not to her daughter, Callie, who caught sight of Shauna with Adam before he disappeared.
In the season 2 premiere, Callie made no attempt to hide her resentment toward her mother, whom she suspects has something to do with him going AWOL. And by the end of the episode, she found evidence of Shauna's cover-up: the remnants of Adam's ID, which didn't fully burn up in the grill. And by episodes four and five, it's clear that Callie knows Shauna murdered Adam, something the whole family is now aware of.
When it comes to all of Shauna's secrets, Nickerson said that "there will be a kind of reckoning. Shauna is very much a character who started in this self-imposed kind of stasis, because she's trying to, as best as she can, cope with unresolved emotions and feelings around her trauma. And for Shauna, that is not going to continue to work for much longer."
Of course, just because Callie knows the truth doesn't mean everything's sorted. While she was trying to sort out what was happening with her mother, she started confiding in a new guy she met at the bar. But during a bowling date, Callie realized that she's been spilling secrets to a detective -- Matt Saracusa (John Reynolds) -- working with Kevyn (Alex Wyndham), who has been investigating what happened to Adam. So, now the question is: How will Shauna get out of this? And how far will Callie go to protect her?
Yellowjackets season 2 airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Showtime, with episodes also available to stream early, starting Fridays on the Showtime app.
Reporting by Stacy Lambe and Deidre Behar