Yellowjackets Season 1 Ending Explained: Iced Out - /Film (2023)

Yellowjackets Season 1 Ending Explained: Iced Out - /Film (1)


ByValerie Ettenhofer/Jan. 16, 2022 11:05 pm EST

(This article includes major spoilers from the "Yellowjackets" season 1 finale, "Sic Transit Gloria Mundi.")

Well, "Yellowjackets" hive, the show's first season has come to an end, with an emotional finale that showcased its ensemble cast's talents and left us with a whole host of tantalizing cliffhangers. Its final episode confirmed a couple of fans' most popular theories while upending several more. Yes, it appears there are other survivors of the plane crash out there. No, Jackie (Ella Purnell) isn't one of them. Yes, there was some fallout from Doomcoming, but that wasn't what pushed the group over the edge into full-blown cultishness. Leave that to Lottie (Courtney Eaton) and her bear. Let's get into it!

The Morning After

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When we last left the Yellowjackets in 1996, they were in a frenzy induced by psychedelic mushroom-spiked stew and schizophrenic Lottie's persuasive guidance. The group tried to have sex with Travis (Kevin Alves), and Shauna (Sophie Nélisse) almost slit his throat. Javi (Luciano Leroux) ran away during the chaos, and we heard the sound of wolves soon after. Jackie is one of the only people who wasn't drugged, and was aghast at the violence.

When the Yellowjackets awaken the next morning, they've got a gnarly Doomcoming hangover. They're passed out on the ground in the woods, their usually well-kept clothes covered in dirt. The group sits in a daze outside, but soon Jackie confronts them about their behavior the night before. Coach Ben (Steven Krueger) says everyone should go easy on one another, because they were all on shrooms. As the day wears on, people begin to ostracize Misty (Sammi Hanratty) for having the shrooms in the first place. Nat (Sophie Thatcher) tries to check on Travis, but he shakes her off, insisting he's fine. Meanwhile, no one can seem to find Javi.

Body Disposal 101 With Misty

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In 2021, Misty (Christina Ricci) is obviously thrilled to be involved in an activity with the rest of the group, even if it's disposing of Adam's (Peter Gadoit) body. She gets cleaning supplies from the nursing home she works at, because "12% of all killers are caught buying cleaning supplies," duh! When she gets to Adam's apartment, she divides the group up, with Shauna (Melanie Lynskey) andNat (Juliette Lewis)on dismemberment duty while Misty andTaissa (Tawny Cypress)clean up. The women ask Shauna if she remembers how to do this, adding further credence to the theory that the girls did engage in at least a smidge of cannibalism while trapped in the wild.

Citizen Detective Misty's foolproof plan for the body involves burying the torso, which she says can't be traced back to them, at Hacklebarney Park. She chirpily explains that she'll pack a bag to make it look like Adam went on a trip, then says she'll take care of the head and hands. Right after, we see her at the funeral of one of her patients, making small talk with the deceased's daughter while a biohazard bag containing Adam's spare parts burns inside the coffin during cremation.

Misty's enthusiastically deranged decision-making streak continues when she lets reporter Jessica (Rekha Sharma) — who has now admitted she's actually a fixer — go after holding her captive for most of the season. Jessica asks Misty for her cigarettes back, so she digs them out of the trash, but Jessica only gets a little way down the street before things start to go foggy and she blacks out, slurring "f***ing b****" in the process. It seems Misty laced her pack of smokes, though it's unclear if she's been poisoned or merely drugged. Classic Misty!

Reunion Time

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Surprisingly, the Yellowjackets' 25th school reunion goes off mostly without a hitch, and it's not where most of the episode's action happens. We do get to see the core four make a killer entrance, though, as they slo-mo stride in, dressed to the nines, while The Offspring's "Keep 'Em Separated" plays.

The reunion mostly centers Allie (Tonya Cornelisse), the team member who wasn't on the plane the day of the crash because of her broken leg. 25 years later, Allie seems to over-identify with the Yellowjackets, and pays tribute to them with a slideshow set to Enya's "Only Time." She also makes Shauna and prom king Jeff (Warren Kole) dance, since that's what she thinks Jackie would have wanted. When no one's looking, Shauna threatens Randy (Jeff Holman), but he doesn't seem to take her promise that she'll kill him if he tells anyone about the blackmail scheme seriously.

During the reunion, Nat talks to Kevyn (Alex Wyndham) in the hall while looking idly at a shrine to the Yellowjackets that surely includes some theory-driving clues I haven't yet been able to glimpse on freeze frame. She admits for the first time that Travis probably killed himself, and now that we've seen what we went through during Doomcoming, we're starting to better understand the trauma he carried home.

The Cult of Lottie

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Of all the jaw-dropping "Yellowjackets" finale moments, I think Lottie killing a massive grizzly bear with a small knife like some kind of god is the one that no one had on their theory bingo card. The teenager, who has a diagnosed mental illness but has also been known to have visions, hears the bear coming. Instead of running from it, she asks her teammates for a knife, and delivers a calm killing blow to the bear without any resistance. Some of Lottie's prior miracles have been a little bit suspect, but it's hard not to be a little bit in awe of this one.

The team clearly thinks so too. Van (Liv Hewson), still wearing her bone talisman necklace, tells Taissa (Jasmin Savoy-Brown) that maybe she does believe in whatever magic the woods have going on. It's clearly really personal to her, so Taissa chooses to embrace her instead of arguing. And although Taissa seems to be a skeptic at this point in the 1996 storyline, we soon learn that is not the case in 2021.

When Taissa's wife Simone (Rukiya Bernard) stops by the family home to pick up a few things, she stumbles upon a small basement doorway with what looks like blood at its entrance. There's a shrine inside, featuring some candles, a doll, and the poor family dog, Biscuit, whose severed head and bloody heart make up the center of the tableau. The symbol from the woods is etched in blood on the wall behind it. This is a sickening reveal, one that's made all the more stunning when coupled with the news that Taissa somehow won her bid for senate after all. One of our Yellowjackets is about to be more in the public eye than ever, but she also appears to be sacrificing the family pet in her sleep.

The episode's title is a Latin phrase that means "Thus passes the glory of the world," and it's traditionally spoken when coronating a new Pope. If Lottie get the glory in 1996, Taissa seems to be inheriting it in 1996.

Everything Comes To A Head

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Back in 1996, the group butchers the bear and prepares a feast. Visibly pregnant Shauna is tempted to lick the blood — could she be developing pica? When the group comes together to eat, with clear reverence for Lottie and whatever brought the bear their way, Jackie finally loses her patience. She confronts Shauna about her attack on Travis, which Shauna claims not to remember. The confrontation that's been building all season finally happens, with Jackie telling everyone about Shauna and Jeff. It's heartbreaking and heated. Shauna calls Jackie self-obsessed, pointing out all the ways she controls their friendship — "I don't even like soccer!" Jackie spits insults back at her, asking, "Did I force you to live in my shadow, Shauna?" But Shauna gets the last word, telling Jackie she doesn't envy her, but pities her. It's a rough breakup, and after a little goading, Jackie leaves the cabin to make her own fire outside.

The last few minutes of the "Yellowjackets" finale bring one cliffhanger moment after another. In 1996, Nat and Travis reunite in the woods, and Travis admits his love for her and cries. In 2021, after their family watches Taissa's victory on the news, Shauna's daughter looks on as Shauna doesn't react at all to a news report declaring Adam missing. In a motel room, Nat tries to commit suicide, only to be captured at the last second by a group bearing a symbol that resembles the one from the crash site. "I think someone's been following me — who the hell is Lottie Matthews?" her old coworker Suzie (Colleen Wheeler) says on a voicemail at that exact moment.

The First Snowfall

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Meanwhile, in 1996, the first snow falls, and with it comes tragedy. We see Jackie huddled by a small fire in the night. Shauna comes to apologize and invite her back in. When she gets there, everyone stands in a line to welcome her back, and Lottie passes her a warm cup of ... is that hot chocolate? Shauna tells her she loves her. In fact, everyone does. It all starts to feel a little unreal, and we see this finally register on Jackie's face as she hones in on a blurry image of Laura Lee (Jane Widdop). "It's not as bad as you thought," she says, smiling, and suddenly, this feels like a death scene. The scene is still somewhat ethereal at this point, but it's corrupted at the last moment by a shadowy male figure in a doorway, who says, "So glad you're joining us. We've been waiting for you."

Shauna jolts awake. The cabin is freezing cold. She looks out the window, then whispers "no" and rushes downstairs. There, covered in a thick layer of snow, is Jackie's frozen body. Literally iced out by her peers, she died in the night, alone. It's brutal, and the silent morning is pierced by Shauna's screaming cry. Taissa holds her as she shrieks and sobs over Jackie's body.

Later that morning, Lottie, Misty, and Van bow at a hollowed out tree trunk, placing the bear's heart in front of it as if in offering. Lottie says something in French that sounds like, "Versez le sang, mes beaux amis" — "Shed blood, my beautiful friends."Then she speaks again in English. "Now let the darkness set us free," Lottie intones, as ominous music kicks in and the camera moves away from the trio and into the snowy sky. Winter is here for the "Yellowjackets," and it looks to be a whole lot more bleak than anything they've faced before.

Lingering Questions

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Despite the word "explained" in the title of this article, "Yellowjackets" proves itself the heir apparent to "Lost" once and for all with a hard-hitting finale that leaves us with more questions than answers. Here are some we'll be pondering while we wait for season 2:

  • Is Lottie alive in 2021, or is there just a cult out there doing work in her name?
  • Can Lottie really influence the team this much, or is something else going on?
  • If Suzie hasn't heard of Lottie, is she not recognized as an official surviving Yellowjacket?
  • Did Misty kill Jessica, or just pull a Ramsey Bolton on her for the hell of it?
  • Does Shauna's daughter suspect she killed Adam?
  • Does Taissa know she's killing dogs in her sleep? Was she asleep?
  • Who is the man in the shadows in Jackie's last moments?
  • Did Javi die during Doomcoming?
  • What happens to Van, Shauna's baby, and the other characters who aren't mentioned in 2021?
  • Are these poor girls going to have to eat Jackie?
  • When will Sophie Nélisse get the Emmy she deserves?



What is the explanation of Yellowjackets finale? ›

And if that weren't enough, we finally learn how Jackie (Ella Purnell) died in the woods. She freezes to death after a fight with her best friend, Shauna (Sophie Nélisse) — and the ordinariness of her death, and how avoidable it was, will haunt (literally) 2021 Shauna (Melanie Lynskey) forever.

Who sent postcards in Yellowjackets? ›

The Yellowjackets Symbol in Present Day

In the present day, the symbol first returned by way of mysterious postcards sent to the survivors. That cards said “Wish you were here,” and felt vaguely threatening. They turned out to be sent by Shauna's husband Jeff in an ill-conceived blackmail attempt.

Who is the antler queen Yellowjackets? ›

There was so much about Lottie being the Antler Queen.

Who did the Yellowjackets eat? ›

Shauna was the first to experiment with the act, eating Jackie's ear in the Yellowjackets season 2 premiere, but the first instance of Yellowjackets cannibalism didn't go down how audiences expected, since what's shown in the first episode is a hunting game of cat and mouse rather than an act of desperation and shame.

Why did the bear lay down in Yellowjackets? ›

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.

What did Misty inject into the cigarette? ›

This certainly resonates with Misty, who lets her go… or does she? As Jessica drives away, she puffs on the cigarettes Misty suggests she give up. The thing is, Misty has drugged her again, this time lacing the cancer sticks with fentanyl. As she drives onto the curb, she passes out.

Who is the girl running in the beginning of Yellowjackets? ›

(Samantha Hanratty, who plays Misty, was the only cast member on set in Mammoth, California, during the filming of this sequence; everyone else is played by stunt doubles.)

Who was the man in the doorway Yellowjackets? ›

The role of “Hunter” is played by William Charles Vaughn. Based on the supplies of food and ammunition, the man living in the cabin was certainly either a hunter or a survivalist, so this is likely the identity of the man in Jackie's vision in the Yellowjackets season 1 finale.

Why did Misty break the flight recorder? ›

Misty's desire to be needed by others is heavily shown already in the show. Since she just saved Ben and received praise from her other teammates, that desire overcomes her at that moment. Instead of using the flight recorder to rescue the team, she smashes it to pieces.

Who is the schizophrenic girl in Yellowjackets? ›

Lottie Matthews was born as Charlotte. From a young age, at least as early as when she was ten, Lottie experienced visions which were possibly indicative of a psychological condition such as schizophrenia.

Who is the black son in Yellowjackets? ›

Sammy Abara-Turner is a character on the Showtime original series Yellowjackets. He is portrayed by Aiden Stoxx.

Who was in the attic in Yellowjackets? ›

Lottie Matthews is reluctant to enter the cabin, warning Taissa Turner that she has a bad feeling about it. Taissa, however, is dismissive of her concerns, feeling them to just be superstition. Later, however, Taissa finds Lottie in the attic.

Why was Taissa eating dirt Yellowjackets? ›

It seems that the primary catalyst for Taissa's dirt-eating habit is stress, as she first begins the habit when in the stressful situation of trying to survive in the wilderness, then returns to it in Yellowjackets' 2021 timeline when the stress of the campaign and Jeff secretly blackmailing them takes a toll on her.

Why did they eat Jackie in Yellowjackets? ›

After the group found out that Shauna had been talking to and putting makeup on Jackie's corpse, they thought it was best to burn her body. However, the smell of her body being barbecued drew the group outside, and they decided to eat her as a feast.

What is the secret in Yellowjackets? ›

We then see a group of girls (aka the Yellowjackets) dressed in pelts and eating meat—the strong implication/assumption being ritualistic cannibalism, a secret that seemingly haunts the surviving team members and one they vow to keep from the public.

Why is Taissa the lady in the tree? ›

Taissa, however, is that lady in the tree, since she's suffering from nocturnal personality breaks. In fact, Taissa even appears to be keeping a human heart in an altar in her basement, as wife Simone (Rukiya Bernard) discovers.

What are the pills in Yellowjackets? ›

Audiences are quickly clued into Lottie's mental health journey during the pilot episode when she takes the medication “Loxipene” during breakfast one morning. While this medication doesn't actually exist in real life, it's most likely a reference to “Loxapine,” a medication used to treat symptoms of schizophrenia.

Why did Misty destroy the box in Yellowjackets? ›

What we know: Misty deliberately destroyed the black box from the Yellowjackets' plane because the woods were the only place she ever felt appreciated.

Who is the villain in Yellowjackets? ›

Lottie. Hands-down the most terrifying character within Yellowjackets so far, Lottie is addicted to power and self-importance.

Why did Misty poison coach Ben? ›

Coach Scott is poisoned by Misty after resisting her advances. When she confesses to having a crush on him, he claims to feel the same way, but tells her they have to keep it secret because of him being an adult and a teacher.

What happened to Lottie's forehead? ›

She then proceeds to speak French, a language she doesn't know, and smashes her head into the window, cutting herself. While Jackie anoints the group with a mixture of dirt and deer blood in the form of a cross on the forehead, the reason for this is not really explained in Yellowjackets.

Is Callie the baby Shauna was pregnant with? ›

Callie was born in 2004, which makes it impossible for her to be Shauna's baby. Since Shauna doesn't even know if she and her soccer teammates will survive the wilderness, the pregnancy is a shock. Shauna's Yellowjackets baby remains a question mark, and there is much discussion about the infant's fate.

What happened to Shawn's baby on Yellowjackets? ›

Shauna Sacrifices The Baby For Their Rescue

It's unclear how the girls are able to escape the forest after 19 months, especially since every attempt has seemingly been thwarted by the wilderness itself. Similar to Lost, Yellowjackets' forest seemingly doesn't want them to leave.

What was Lottie saying in French Yellowjackets? ›

Lottie clearly identifies with the queen bee, and now she is besieged by an image of the hive's demise, one that may foretell her own. She hears a voice say what sounds like “Il veut de sang,” French for “He wants blood,” before snapping out of the hallucination.

Who is the little brother in Yellowjackets? ›

To refresh your memory, Javi (Luciano Leroux) is the younger brother of Travis (Kevin Alves) and their dad was the Yellowjackets team's coach, who died in their plane crash.

Who is in the Yellowjackets picture? ›

Who was Travis dad in Yellowjackets? ›

Travis Martinez is the son of Bill Martinez, the head coach of the WHS Yellowjackets, a team of talented female soccer players bound for the nationals. Though not a member of the team himself, he nevertheless joins his father and younger brother, Javi, on the flight to the nationals.

Who carved the symbol in Yellowjackets? ›

As winter sets in for the survivors, Lottie Matthews, while alone, sketches the symbol on the condensation upon a window. While sleepwalking, Taissa Turner is guided by the Man with No Eyes to the tree which has the symbol carved into it.

How did teddy bear catch fire on plane in Yellowjackets? ›

Though Coach Ben forbids Laura Lee from flying, she refuses to listen. Though she does get the plane off the ground, the teddy bear in the seat next to her catches on fire when she gets over the lake, and the plane explodes.

Is Misty a nurse in Yellowjackets? ›

25 years later, she serves as a nurse for the elderly. Among her patients is a woman named Mrs. DeGenaro, who shows a clear distaste for Misty.

Does Shauna have a baby Yellowjackets? ›

Shauna's (Melanie Lynskey) baby in Yellowjackets can't be Callie (Sarah Desjardins), and there are some key reasons why the Yellowjackets Shauna baby storyline is so significant. It doesn't make sense for Callie to be Shauna's baby from the wilderness, as she's too young.

Who is the chubby girl in Yellow Jacket? ›

Melanie Lynskey was body-shamed on the set of Yellowjackets — but her costars were having none of that. "I want women to be able to to watch it and be like, 'Wow, she looks like me and nobody's saying she's the fat one,'" Lynskey says of her character Shauna.

Was Lottie schizophrenic? ›

The show has already established that Lottie was taking drugs for schizophrenia before her time in the forest, and that her parents had a detached way of approaching their daughter's struggles and visions at best.

What mental illness does Taissa have on Yellowjackets? ›

All signs hint that Taissa has Dissociative Identity Disorder — or at least, that's what we, the viewers, are made to assume. But like Disney+'s Moon Knight, Showtime's Yellowjackets provides an imperfect representation of the mental health condition.

Was Simone a Yellowjacket? ›

Debut. Simone Abara is a character on the Showtime original series Yellowjackets.

Which kid is Travis Yellowjackets? ›

Teen Travis Played by Kevin Alves - Yellowjackets | SHOWTIME.

Why was the river red in Yellowjackets? ›

The river of blood winds up being water reddened by minerals while the red smoke comes from a flare gun. There is no definitive answer on whether the bone keeps Van safe because Taissa wanders off with it while sleepwalking.

What did Travis write before he died? ›

Travis's "Victory or Death" letter from the Alamo

On February 24, 1836, during Santa Anna's siege of the Alamo, Travis wrote a letter addressed "To the People of Texas and All Americans in the World": Fellow citizens and compatriots; I am besieged, by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna.

What are the pills Lottie taking in Yellowjackets? ›

In Showtime's Yellowjackets, Lottie runs out of her medicine by episode 3. What's Lottie taking and what does it mean for the rest of the show? In Showtime's new series Yellowjackets, soccer player Charlotte (aka Lottie) is prescribed medication called Loxipene - but what is the medication for, and is it real?

Why does Taissa have red eyes? ›

Taissa's red eyes are the result of contact lenses worn by Tawny Cypress, but the lenses weren't designed to make her eyes that particular color.

Did they eat Jackie in Yellowjackets? ›

The ending scene is split into two sequences, as viewers watch the Yellowjackets eating Jackie in reality, while also having a meal fit for godesses in a heightened dream sequence, which the showrunners referred to as “the feast and the bacchanal.”

What was Taissa doing in the tree? ›

Yellowjackets episode 6 recap: Who is the lady in the tree? In 2021, things are getting worse for just about every survivor. But the biggest reveal comes from Taissa's storyline. Yellowjackets episode 6 confirms that Taissa is the horrific “lady in the tree” that has been terrorizing her son outside of his window.

What happened to biscuit in Yellowjackets? ›

And who killed Biscuit? Oh, poor Biscuit. At the end of season one, we see Taissa's wife Simone (played by Rukiya Bernard) stumble upon the decapitated head of their son Sammy's dog Biscuit in the basement of the family's home, alongside Sammy's doll and a heart (which may or may not be Biscuit's).

Who gets eaten in the beginning of Yellowjackets? ›

It was finally teased in Yellowjackets season 2, episode 1, that a full-on cannibal winter had descended upon the group when food rations began running low, and Shauna resorted to eating Jackie's ear, in one of the most shocking moments in the Yellowjackets season 2 premiere.

Who did Jackie give her necklace to in Yellowjackets? ›

We first realize the necklace is originally Jackie's when she lends it to Shauna (Sophie Nélisse) before their fateful flight takes off, as a good luck charm that'll protect her. Well, the team's plane crashed right after the exchange, so perhaps it's more of a hex than anything else.

Who is the girl eaten in the first episode of Yellowjackets? ›

While Jackie's death forbade her from being the victim depicted in the Yellowjackets cannibalism storyline shown in the premiere, she still ended up being the very first girl that the team ended up eating.

What does Lottie say in French at the end of Yellowjackets? ›

Lottie clearly identifies with the queen bee, and now she is besieged by an image of the hive's demise, one that may foretell her own. She hears a voice say what sounds like “Il veut de sang,” French for “He wants blood,” before snapping out of the hallucination.

What was Lottie diagnosed with in Yellowjackets? ›

Lottie's unmedicated schizophrenia is sure to become a major plot point in Yellowjackets. She's showing increasing interest in the carvings on the trees. This might lead to the "beast" plot point à la Lord of the Flies, the book that inspired Yellowjackets.

What was Taissa eating Yellowjackets? ›

Taissa eating dirt is another supernatural mystery during the girls' time in the wilderness, which is all the more significant considering Taissa is the biggest non-believer of the symbol as a teenager. The first time Yellowjackets shows Taissa eating dirt is when she is caught by Lottie in episode 6.

Why does Misty destroy the flight recorder in Yellowjackets? ›

Misty destroys the plane's black box in Yellowjackets because she has the overwhelming desire to feel needed and wanted. She comes upon the flight recorder, aka the black box.

Why does Lottie take pills? ›

The show has already established that Lottie was taking drugs for schizophrenia before her time in the forest, and that her parents had a detached way of approaching their daughter's struggles and visions at best.

Why did Lottie give Van the bone? ›

Lottie also gives Van a deer bone for protection, and Van gets hurt only after Taissa takes the bone away. Then while the girls are all high on shrooms in episode 9, Lottie says, “Something's coming. We won't be hungry much longer.”

Is Lottie Pit a girl? ›

Lottie is the pit girl

Dubbed the “pit girl” on Reddit and Twitter, the scene is the only time we see any evidence of cannibalism.

Who is the eyeless man in Yellowjackets? ›

The eyeless man was played by Brahm Taylor in this season of Yellowjackets. The first occasion of the man with no eyes occurred in episode three of Yellowjackets season one. The series flashes back to a young Taissa experiencing her grandmother's death.

How did Lottie get the scar on her forehead? ›

Lottie Pollak has scarring from gunshot wounds to the face and from the removal of a tumour on her neck.

Was Callie born in the woods Yellowjackets? ›

Shauna already has a daughter in the present-day timeline, the annoying teenage brat Callie, but we know that she's not the baby that was born in the woods; she's 16 in the present-day timeline, which means she was born in the early 2000s.


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