‘Yellowjackets’ Recap Before Season 2

A survival show coupled with heavy-duty drama is something that has not been experimented with. There have been many television shows and movies that have been about the survival of a group in the face of a man-made or natural calamity. For every other television show in the same genre, all they have to do is make sure they stand out. “Yellowjackets” is about a bunch of teenage girls who were good friends and were part of a football team when they experienced a tragedy. To recover from the tragedy took time, and along with that, they decided to stay away from the limelight and never speak of what they experienced while they remained stranded. The girls are now fully grown adults, and the aftereffect of their tragedy still lives in them. Will they ever get over the tragedy, or does some residue of it keep following them? “Yellowjackets” is all about each of them trying not to relive the tragedy, but they are forced to look back at what exactly had happened.

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Spoilers Ahead


‘Yellowjackets’ Season 1: Recap

“Yellowjacket” pilots with a girl being followed by a bunch of people in unrecognizable costumes, and she falls into a ditch, which she didn’t notice because of the heavy snow. The girl dies instantly, and there is the implication that the girl was probably eaten by a bunch of cannibals. The scene shifts to 2021, where Shauna Shipman, a housewife and mother, is being harassed by a journalist to speak to her about the plane crash she was in 25 years ago. Shauna refuses to talk to the journalist and makes it clear she will not entertain anyone in her house to talk about what exactly happened. Taissa Turner is an up-and-coming politician who is running for the position of state senator. Taissa comes from an affluent background; she studied at an Ivy League school, and as a young black woman, she is keen on making a change for the state she is running for. Natalie “Nat” Scatorccio is recovering from her drug abuse and is out of rehab, and the first thing she wants to do is meet the on-and-off love of her life, Travis. Misty Quigly, on the other hand, is a cheeky little woman who works as a nurse at an old age home. The one thing that links them is the fact that, in 1996, they were on a football team of their school. They were the best, and on their way to play the Nationals, the plane they were on crashed, and for a long time, they weren’t rescued. Their families assumed they were dead, but most of them survived the crash. The crash happened in a place surrounded by dense forest, and they were unable to make any contact with anybody in the outside world. With the bags that didn’t get destroyed in the crash, they decide to survive in the wilderness. There were more than ten people on the plane, of whom three died. The rest of them finally find a way to survive despite plenty of privations bothering them.

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In 2021, Misty was sent a postcard with a symbol on it that they came across when they were in the forest after the crash. Taissa and Nat also received this postcard. They are wondering if anyone is trying to warn them about what happened or possibly reveal to the world what exactly transpired during their months of disappearance before finally reappearing alive. Nat and Taissa also blackmailed about the crash and what happened later; they are forced to pay a certain person fifty grand, and in return, they will ensure to keep quiet. On top of that, Travis, who is Nat’s ex-boyfriend, everyone was aware Nat and Travis were toxic for each other, but they were glued to each other and helped each other through some tough times after they came back from the wilderness. Travis disappeared after Nat went into rehab, and once she was out, she tried to contact him. She finds out from Misty that Travis has moved to another state and changed his name. She follows the information provided by Misty only to find out Travis killed himself. Nat claims she knows the man inside and out, and there is no way he committed suicide. Misty, though a weird woman by nature, tries to be there for Nat. Nat starts spiraling and wonders if there is a connection between Travis’s death, the extortion calls, and the postcards. The girls are too terrified to even speak of what happened 25 years ago. They made a pact after they were rescued to never speak of the unspeakable incidents that occurred to them. There is too much trauma and tragedy associated with that one crash and with what happened months later. Shauna became more accustomed to seeing blood; Nat became more courageous; Misty became someone who could find solutions; and Taissa became someone powerful for her good.

Turns out Taissa was the one who hired the fixer to pose as a “journalist” to see if any of them would snitch on what happened after the crash. She soon learns none of the girls are willing to talk, and they are only giving out the same official statements they made 25 years ago. The press kind of know that the official statement is probably not true, but they tend to question the women from time to time about it, especially Taissa, now that she is a public figure. Nat, Misty, Shauna, and Taissa pretend not to see each other as often, but they secretly stay in touch, and it is revealed that Taissa paid for Nat’s last stint in rehab. The rehab has no effect on her, but Nat is the most disturbed by what happened in the wilderness, and along with that, she has just learned of Travis’s death. Even though she is sure he did not kill himself, the rest of the women and the police are saying something different. Nat, though, brings together the girls to tackle the man who is blackmailing them for the money. They come very close to catching the guy thanks to Shauna’s idea of planting a GPS chip, but things go south rather quickly.

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Back in the wilderness in 1996, the girls’ minds and bodies are in shock at what happened to them. Their main coach dies in the crash, while the subordinate coach loses his right leg. Vanessa, one of the girls from the team, and Taissa’s girlfriend, she barely survives the fire. The girls slowly and steadily start working like a team, which is reminiscent of how they work together while playing football. Though there is plenty of agreement and disagreement, they all conclude that they need to survive somehow. They are hoping a rescue team will come to help them, but soon they realize they will have to find ways to keep themselves conscious and healthy. The girls soon find a lake and a dilapidated home near the lake. Though the home comes across as haunted initially, all of them find themselves comfortable and start consuming all forms of meat. Nat and Travis hunt the animals and bring them back; Taissa, Shauna, Misty, and Jackie, along with their assistant coach Ben Scott, are responsible for cooking. Slowly, most of them settle down with the people around them, but they are somehow hoping for someone to come and help them. Taissa and Van explore their love, and Misty starts having a crush on the coach. Travis and Nat start falling in love, and in the wilderness, fondness, and love grow.

But soon, plenty of unexpected unnatural events start occurring around them, and Lottie Matthews, who is a schizophrenic patient, starts having visions of things around her as she runs out of her medicines and goes into withdrawal. Only Taissa is the skeptic of the lot, and she wants to find out if there is any way they could be rescued. Her leadership quality shines through in these moments, which is why it is easy to assume that she loves politics and that it might be the right place for her. Taissa puts her foot down and goes in search of help when she is joined by Misty and Vanessa. Taissa, due to stress, showcases signs of sleepwalking, where she is seen consuming dirt and hurting herself. Not one of the women who survived this crash has had a normally functioning mind ever since. Taissa is haunted by the wolf that devoured her girlfriend’s face; Misty becomes a woman who is obsessed with chemicals; meanwhile, Shauna becomes too rational for her good.

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All the girls in the wilderness experience period pains except Shauna, and she realizes she is pregnant. The father of the child is none other than Jeff, who is her best friend and fellow teammate Jackie’s boyfriend. Shauna is in no position to talk about her situation with anyone, especially Jackie. Shauna knows she did wrong by getting involved with Jackie’s boyfriend, and she is all the more worried about being in the wilderness, not knowing how long they will live there or whether she will deliver the child in the forest. Taissa picks up on the signs that Shauna is pregnant, but it takes a lot of courage for Shauna to reveal her condition to Jackie. Though she does not reveal Jeff’s name, Jackie, being herself, becomes extra concerned for her friend. Jackie, though she goes through Shauna’s journals, which she maintains throughout their stay in the forest, comes to know of Jeff, but she pretends not to know about it. Jackie is devastated to learn of the betrayal, but she is trying to make sure Shauna reveals the truth herself. Jackie is not a mean girl here, but she is making sure to confront Shauna at her own pace to make her feel uncomfortable.

Back in 2021, Shauna has now married Jeff, and they have a daughter, but their marriage has reached a rut, and along with that, she comes across something that makes her believe that Jeff is cheating on her. Shauna, in retaliation, starts having an affair with a man named Adam she met during a minor car accident. Though she tries hard to keep things discreet, her daughter learns of the affair. Shauna notices her journals missing from her safe, and she wonders if it was Adam who stole them because he was the last person in her closet. She wonders if Adam was the one who blackmailed her, Taissa, and Misty. The fact that he wanted to spend a lot of time with her helps her connect the dots and conclude that it was indeed Adam who stole her journals. She confronts the man, but he denies being involved in the extortion of money from her and her friends. Her conclusion comes from the fact that he had a book written on her and the girls who were on the plane that crashed. She kills Adam instantly, only to come back home and notice her books are back in the safe.

Shauna is horrified to know the crime she committed, and she is suspicious of her husband, Jeff. She confronts him, and he confesses immediately that it was he who extorted from her and Taissa, hoping to get some money to save his furniture business. This is when Shauna also reveals the affair she had and the same man she killed, thinking he was the one who stole her journals. Shauna survived the crash, and the experience gave her knowledge on how to handle the situation without getting panicked. Jeff also reveals that he always loved her, and the woman he met was the loan shark to whom he owed the money. Things start falling into place for Shauna, but all she has to do is make sure Adam’s body is dumped without any suspicion. She brings in Taissa, Nat, and Misty, hoping to find a solution. Shauna does the smart thing by not revealing that her husband is the one who extorted the money. If her husband is caught, that will lead to many of the unpleasant truths coming out about the plane crash as well, which Shauna does not want to deal with, and she is sure even Taissa would not want any scandal on her table with elections closing in on her.

Using Misty’s knowledge of chemistry, they get rid of Adam’s body, but Shauna still feels guilty for killing an innocent man. But Shauna will either move on from Adam’s killing or, just like how her body and mind reacted to the plane crash and its aftermath, she will have to deal with another tragedy in her life that she inadvertently became a part of. Shauna comes across someone who is very shy and coy, as described by Jackie. However, Shauna turns out to be the toughest of all, and she has managed not to break down. Taissa, on the other hand, went through spells of sleepwalking after the plane crash; her sleepwalking tendencies resurface due to the memories that keep triggering due to the postcard incident, the extortion calls, and the stress from her campaign work. Her son keeps mentioning seeing the bad one outside his window, and it takes a while for her to realize her son watches his mother being a different version of herself. Taissa is not willing to consult any physician to deal with the situation because of her stature, but she makes sure to ask her wife to leave home with their child. Taissa is worried her sleepwalking might hurt her wife and kid more, and she doesn’t want it to scar her young child. Taissa wins the election, but her wife comes across a secret attic where she finds the remains of their dead dog and their child’s doll.

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It is revealed that Taissa has huge psychological problems, and then she lets everyone know about them. She never dealt with the trauma she faced after the plane crash, and since then, it has festered into a monster inside her head, which has been making her do plenty of eerie activities that she is unable to decipher. Nat is informed that Travis’s account was emptied a day after his death, but she is unable to crack who was responsible. She uses her contacts to get her hands on more information about the same. Nat is tensed, and she is heartbroken over Travis’s death. She is somehow convinced by Shauna that maybe Travis is not the person he came across as. Maybe he did kill himself out of trauma. Nat believes Shauna’s words and decides to kill herself, but not before she is kidnapped by the group that had sent her the postcard with the symbol in the forest. Nat does not know who these people are, and she is not sure why she is being kidnapped. Her source at the bank lets her know that she has found information on who emptied Travis’s account and that a woman named Lottie is following her. Nat hopes to meet Travis in death, and her actions prove the fact that she needs Travis to lead a normal life. But with Travis gone, she has no option but to kill herself. Travis was the reason she survived the horrendous time in the forest after the crash. But the kidnapping comes most unexpectedly.

In the forest, the year is 1996, and winter is kicking in. The women plan to throw a doomsday party, and for the soup that one of the girls is making, she ends up adding magic mushrooms by mistake. After consuming the soup, almost all of them go on a psychedelic trip, which leads Shauna, Lottie, and Misty to want to kill Travis. Travis and Jackie, on the other hand, end up spending the night with each other without consuming the soup, and they are the only ones who are unaffected by the shrooms. The girls, except for Jackie and Nat, try to kill Travis, or rather sacrifice him, as per the instructions given by Lottie. Travis is saved by Jackie and Nat in the nick of time. Jackie is the only one who does not believe Lottie’s hallucinogenic visions, and she is asked to leave the cottage—not before Jackie reveals that she knows the father of Shauna’s kid is Jeff. Shauna and Jackie have a face-off that compels Shauna to divulge all the uncomfortable truths about their relationship as friends. Shauna asks her to end the friendship and spend the night outside the cottage. Shauna is conflicted about whether she should make up with Jackie, but it is too late; the next day, their surroundings are snowed in, and Jackie dies of the cold. Shauna cannot believe her petty fight led to the death of the only friend she ever had. She feels guilty for not making up with Jackie, and the guilt will probably stay with her for the rest of her life. Shauna’s pregnancy was initially accepted by Jackie, and she made sure to keep Shauna safe and healthy. But one petty fight led to death, which is something Shauna never expected. She will never be able to apologize to Jackie for whatever happened and will have to live with that burden.

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What To Expect From ‘Yellowjackets’ Season 2?

“Yellowjackets” Season 1 only showcased Lottie in the flashback sequences, and the mention of her name in the finale episode proves she is alive and wants some payback. We are yet to know where Shauna delivered and how long the entire group remained stranded. There must be a rescue tale of how they were brought back to civilization and safety. It will be interesting to know how everyone eventually coped with the trauma and has lived steadily ever since. Vanessa’s arc is also yet to come to completion because she is still Taissa’s girlfriend in the flashback sequences.

The story is far from over, and it will be intriguing to know how Misty’s character here comes into play. Is this a case of cannibalism, and is that why the women never want to talk about it ever? The women have plenty of psychological issues that they refuse to deal with. They faced the trauma, and possibly the next season will delve deeper into their psyches as well. Nat’s kidnapping will also be the focus of the show, and it will be interesting to know if any occult activity was involved in rescuing them from the wilderness. “Yellowjackets” Season two is packed with plenty of dots that need to be joined and a desire to know what exactly happened in the forest, which is still sacred to talk about. A topic that has become a taboo of sorts, but the truth will finally come out.

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Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan is a cinema enthusiast, and a part time film blogger. An ex public relations executive, films has been a major part of her life since the day she watched The Godfather – Part 1. If you ask her, cinema is reality. Cinema is an escape route. Cinema is time traveling. Cinema is entertainment. Smriti enjoys reading about cinema, she loves to know about cinema and finding out trivia of films and television shows, and from time to time indulges in fan theories.

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