Yellowjackets is one of those shows that keeps you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.
Opening with a teenage girl bolting through the woods, viewers are immediately left wondering ‘what’s going on here?’. It’s a theme that only intensifies over the course of the episode, and the season, as we see her fall into a pit of spikes, die, and then later be cooked up for dinner.
Here’s what we know. In 1996, a high school soccer team — the Yellowjackets — are on their way to a national tournament in Seattle, when the plane crashes, leaving them stranded somewhere deep in the wilderness of Canada.
Over the course of two parallel timelines, we see how the plane crash survivors continued to survive in the wild for 19 months while hoping to be rescued, and we see how the experience has shaped and informed their adult identities in the present.
However, there’s a lot we don’t know, and by the end of the first season, we have just as many questions as we do answers.
That brings us to the theories. Where there are questions, the fans have theories for what’s happened, or what will happen.
Speaking to Insider, Yellowjackets co-creator Bart Nickerson described what the rapturous fan response has been like to witness.
“Obviously, a part of you fantasises about, ‘Everyone’s gonna love this thing that we’ve been working so hard on’,” he said, adding: “I don’t think even I had the audacity to imagine that there would be this kind of engagement.”
Nickerson said that “it’s just been so fun to see” how many people have been engaging with the show, and posting their theories.
“Some of these theories are so elaborate, delicate, and well-researched,” he said, adding: “They’re not right, but they’re still cool.”
Co-creator Ashley Lyle said that the experience is “also a little terrifying”.
Lyle explained: “I feel like the more people engage, the higher the expectations, which is always a little bit anxiety producing”.
While there’s no way to tell which theories are right, and which are completely off base, these 9 theories have captured our attention, so let’s get into it.
Taissa Is Part of Lottie’s Cult
“Taissa is a part of Lottie’s cult. Whether or not she’s aware of it, is unbeknownst to me but with her wife finding her offering room, we see that Taissa is a believer,” wrote Reddit user Amazingjaype.
“They tried to sell to us that she wasn’t but she eventually is brainwashed into the whole cult of Lottie,” they continued. “Why else would they show us Lottie’s first offering and end it with us seeing a similar offering in the hidden room?
“Why wouldn’t a cult leader like Lottie support a potential political connection? That’s a state senator she has in her pocket, and maybe she even got funding from a dead Travis’ bank account. Taissa is also paying for Nat’s rehab, and as close as Nat got, she is suddenly kidnapped. Maybe because she has been watched carefully by Taissa this entire time.”
There’s a lot that can be read into Tai’s expression after winning the election. One of the more popular takes is that Tai knowingly sacrificed her dog to the Antler Queen, who is of course presumed to be Lottie.
If this is the case, then it’s likely that Tai part of Lottie’s cult, and actively working with her to further her political career.
In an interview with Variety, Yellowjackets writer and producer Jonathan Lisco had this to say about that scene:
Van Is Working With or for Taissa
If Tai wasn’t the one to set up the alter in Tai’s basement, then who did? Some fans believe it was Van, who was Tai’s girlfriend back in 1996.
Reddit user zoeystardust theorised that it could have been Van: “My theory about the altar that I haven’t seen here yet is that adult Van has followed Tai around in the periphery of her life doing rituals and shit to help her, either for years or just recently, and the altar is hers/theirs. Bad Tai may have only recently started surfacing again due to the stress of being more politically visible”.
Shauna Wrote Jackie’s Diary
Right up until the moment Jackie’s frozen corpse was revealed in the Season 1 finale, fans were convinced that Jackie was alive and well, despite her absence from the 2021 timeline.
This theory was heavily reliant on Jackie’s diary, which features pop culture references that go far beyond the time of the plane crash.
For example, in an entry titled “Movie Character I Would Be”, Jackie writes that she would be Rose Dawson in Titanic, which didn’t come out until the end of 1997. She also writes that she would be Torrance Shipman in Bring It On, which didn’t come out until 2000.
With confirmation from the showrunners that yes, Jackie is very much dead, deceased, dunzo, fans have theorised that perhaps Shauna continued updating Jackie’s diary as an outlet for her survivor’s guilt.
The Opening Scene Takes Place in 2021, Not 1996
With two parallel timelines to keep track of, Yellowjackets is constantly keeping us on our toes. The Pit Girl scene opens the show for us, and it’s assumed that this occurs toward the end of the Yellowjackets time in the wilderness — driven to cannibalism and ritual by the scarcity of food.
However, this is never confirmed, and given the revelation that Lottie has her own cult, it’s possible that the Pit Girl scene is actually happening in the present day timeline, with Lottie’s followers sacrificing a girl to their queen. Some have even gone as far as to speculate that Pit Girl is Callie, Shauna’s daughter.
Lottie Is Possessed
One of the biggest questions that surrounds Yellowjackets is about whether the show is actually supernatural, or whether it can be explained away by mental illness and trauma.
A theory that leans into the latter is that Lottie is possessed. Yes, she’s run out of antipsychotics, but if the show is supernatural, it’s possible that Lottie has fallen prey to dark forces and been possessed, either by the woods or something that lurks among them. After all, it was established that Lottie couldn’t speak French before episode 5’s séance, but in the finale, she says “versez le sang, mes beaux amis”, which translates to “shed blood, my beautiful friends”.
Javi Is Either Dead, or He’s Adam
We love options!
The last time we saw Javi, he was running into the forest after everyone is dosed with the psychedelic shrooms that Misty was collecting.
Fans have two dividing theories here, the first being that Javi is dead. The logic behind this one is pretty sound — if Jackie froze to death with a blanket and a campfire to keep her warm, then it’s more than likely Javi met the same fate. The thing is, if Javi had frozen to death, surely they would’ve been able to find his body, and to date, that hasn’t happened.
This leaves the door open for the competing theory about Javi, which is: 1996 Javi is 2021 Adam, the man Shauna begins an affair with (and then murders). We know Adam was “Adam”, for sure, but we don’t know for a fact that Javi was Adam.
If Javi was Adam, there are a ton of questions that arise, like “why wasn’t he ever mentioned in the 2021 plot, even after Travis’ death?”, and “if they couldn’t find him after Doomcoming, how did he survive?”
On the other hand, it does kind of make sense, in that both Javi and Adam were interested in art, and he did have a connection with Shauna in the 1996 timeline, as well.
Misty and Adam Were Working Together
Similar to Jackie’s diary, this theory is another case of “prop department mishap or clue”. Reddit user YelhsaB caught the very blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment, which revealed that the number plate on Adam’s truck is the same as the one on Misty’s car. Assuming it’s not a prop department mishap, the implication would then be that Adam and Misty were in cahoots, although why would still be anyone’s guess.
Misty Is a Serial Killer
Look. Is it really that much of a stretch? The girl’s has a basement bunker that’s decked out for storing kidnapping victims. It’s giving Dexter, you know?
Over the course of the season, we watch Misty do all kinds of increasingly unhinged things without batting an eyelid, so there’s a fairly high chance that she has some sort of experience in the murder department.
The Girls Ate Shauna’s Baby
At the end of the 1996 plot in Season 1, Shauna is pregnant. Throughout the 2021 timeline, we don’t find out what happened to said baby, it never comes up.
Now, there are any number of things that could have happened to the baby. Shauna could miscarry, or she could deliver the baby, only to have it die from exposure to the increasingly extreme elements, or starvation, malnutrition, or any number of other medical conditions. Hell, there’s even a chance — albeit a very slim one — that the baby somehow survived, and Shauna put it up for adoption once they were rescued.
Of course, what we do know about the Yellowjackets is that at some point during their 19 months in the wilderness, they turned to cannibalism to survive, which brings us to the most extreme theory, which is that they… ate Shauna’s baby.
Reddit user u/cool-name-pending wrote this: “She’s been dreaming that she’s giving birth to food, and then eating it? This is foreshadowing 101. Whether they will be forced to kill and eat the baby (due to starvation), or the baby dies naturally and they eat it, that baby is getting consumed”.
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