“Yellowjackets,” we hardly knew ye.
While the much-talked-about Showtime series began back in November, it came to an end (for now) this week with the season one finale “Sic Transit Gloria Mundi.” Directed by Eduardo Sánchez who, appropriately enough, is one of the creators of “The Blair Witch Project,” this season finale saw some big surprises, shocking deaths, and, of course, a fair amount of middle-aged lady sass, set to a radio-friendly pop hit. (They really got a lot of mileage out of that “Kiss from a Rose” license, huh?) Basically, everything you already love about “Yellowjackets” was amped up in new and uncomfortable ways. But, as always, it left us with some questions (especially after most of our quandaries going into the finale are still damnably left unanswered).
Still, without further ado, our biggest questions after the “Yellowjackets” finale. And yes, the show has already been renewed by Showtime for a second season.
How powerful is Lottie?
Not only can Lottie see the future, but he can also apparently tame animals. In one of the more unnerving segments set in the immediate aftermath of the crash, Lottie (Courtney Eaton), who had already seen that they were not going to starve, walks up to a rampaging bear. Instead of the bear mauling and eating her, which is something most bears would do, the bear instead acquiesces to her, almost kneeling down before her so she can deliver a knife to the skull. It’s a super intense moment for sure and subtly sews the seeds of what’s to come – namely that Lottie might be much more powerful than initially suspected.
So who was killed at the beginning of episode 1?
Let’s just talk about this now: Jackie (Ella Purnell) dies tragically, frozen to death after being exiled from the house. We knew that the soccer team leader with the big puppy eyes was going to perish but we didn’t know how. As it turns out, the answer is much sadder than anyone could have guessed. This is obviously huge and will have ramifications from season two forward (particularly for Shauna), and while it answers how (and when) Jackie died, it opens up another huge question (such is the way with “Yellowjackets”) – who was the girl who was killed in the opening moments of this season? Most thought that it would be Jackie but, as it turns out, it is not (since Jackie is already dead by the time that chase takes place). The hooded girl that was killed (and consumed?) had a necklace closely associated with Jackie. But who was it?
Who is that guy in Jackie’s vision?
One quick, errant question: who is the creepy man in Jackie’s vision, seemingly welcoming her to the great beyond? (Also: how scary was that whole sequence? Gave me the heebie-jeebies!) He’s actually been glimpsed before, in the grainy, VHS-style opening credits sequence. Is he the pilot of the plane? Or some unseen force living in the woods? Good lord he’s creepy. Even if we never see him again, he’ll undoubtedly haunt many viewers’ for a good long while.
Will Shauna’s kid narc her out?
A more mundane, but still quite pressing question. After Shauna and the gang clean up Adam’s body, things seem to be pretty much settled. (Especially after Mindy sneakily gets rid of his head and hands at the mortuary.) But it’s not totally squared away. Adam (Peter Gadiot) is still missing, and we see towards the end of the episode a news report detailing his disappearance. While Shauna (Melanie Lynskey) and her husband Jack (Warren Kole) both know what’s going on, and in one of the sweeter moments of the finale actually seem happy, their daughter Callie (Sarah Desjardins) also sees the news report and looks at her parents with suspicious eyes. (Callie met Adam at that crazy Halloween rave a few episodes back.) Could Callie prove to be the survivors’ undoing? If this is a show about bitchy high school girls who did terrible things, it makes a certain kind of sense that a bitchy high school girl should bring them all down.
Is Tai a witch?
Okay, this one is a real head scratcher and one of the biggest WTF-moments of the entire episode. As it turns out Taissa (Tawny Cypress) did win her senatorial bid. (She claimed that she was writing her concession speech earlier in the episode, and most of the polls showed her down considerably.) So the question of “how” she won becomes apparent. And now we might know. Tai’s estranged wife Simone (Rukiya Bernard) is stopping by their house to get some clothes and toys for their son, who is staying with Simone. While in the kitchen she notices a trail of blood, leading underneath the house. She follows it through a crawl space into an opening, where she sees the decapitated head of their dog, along with a bloody heart and, scrawled on the wall, that horrifying symbol that has been popping up throughout the season (it was on a tree in the woods, on the threatening postcard they were all sent, etc.) Simone, rightfully, shrieks in terror. And this makes us wonder: is she some kind of witch? Was the creature with no eyes that both she and her son have seen around their house some kind of demon that she’s been dealing with? The clever misdirect of all of the supernatural elements seem to be fully cast aside by the end of this episode. Yes, Lottie was schizophrenic, Tai might have just been sleepwalking, and there could be something other than cosmic forces bringing everyone back together. But with the introduction of the witch hole and some other stuff (see below), “Yellowjackets” has firmly planted itself in the realm of “supernatural thriller.” And we’re okay with that.
Is Lottie now a cult leader?
At the end of the episode, we see Natalie (Juliette Lewis) in a pretty bleak place. Travis is dead, and his death firmly ruled a suicide; Javi wants nothing to do with her, and she is still a washed-up old addict. In her mind, this is the end of the road. (Even if that road is polka-dotted with crazy symbols and occult mysticism.) She takes a gun, loads it, and puts it under her chin. Just as she ready to pull the trigger, thugs barge into her crummy motel room. At the same time Suzie is leaving a voice message. As we see these goons grab Natalie, we’re given information (via Suzie’s voice memo) – apparently Travis’ bank account was drained by Lottie Matthews. The goons are wearing medallions emblazoned with the scary symbol from the woods, Tai’s witch cave, the postcards, etc. They throw Natalie in the back of a van and drive away. Suzie thinks she’s being followed. In the final moments of the episode, we flash back to immediately following Jackie’s death. We see Lottie approaching a pagan alter, the bloody bear heart in her hands. She is flanked by young Mindy and Van (Liv Hewson). In the last episode (“Doomcoming”), it was confirmed that Lottie was the horned queen from the first episode. This week, we find out who her first two disciples are. Does that mean Mindy has been involved in this whole thing? (Side question: did Mindy kill Jessica with the poisoned cigarettes or just incapacitate her?) One of the assumptions going into the finale was that one or more of the other survivors from the plane crash would pop back up, but the fact that Lottie has seemingly reemerged as the series’ big bad is a twist more delicious than warm bear heart. Yum!
What 90s-era star will play adult Lottie?
Perhaps the biggest question: what 90s-era star will play adult Lottie? The show has already set a fun precedent. In the same way that “Riverdale” is populated by 80s stars, “Yellowjackets” is anchored by performers who made their big splash in the 90s – Juliette Lewis (“Natural Born Killers,” “Cape Fear”), Christina Ricci (who spent the entire decade turning in iconic performances from “The Addams Family” to “The Ice Storm”), and Melanie Lynskey (“Heavenly Creatures” opened in 1994). So who will come in and essay Lottie? Is Uma Thurman busy? What about Meg Ryan or Andie MacDowall? Geena Davis? Who would you like to see in the role?