‘Yellowjackets’ Season 2, Episode 1: Recap And Ending, Explained: Who Had Kidnapped Natalie?

Season 1 of “Yellowjackets” ends on a tragic note when Jackie is found dead in the snow, while Shauna finds herself in deep guilt, for she feels fully responsible for killing her best friend with whom she had a huge fight just the previous night. Meanwhile, Natalie knowing Travis is long gone and probably took his own life, Natalie decides to kill herself, but not before she is attacked and kidnapped by the people who are adorning the sign that has been plaguing and blackmailing them. There is an indication that maybe Travis was killed after all, since Nat’s source from the bank is finally able to find out who emptied the bank account, and she is being followed by Lottie Matthew. Taissa, on the other hand, shows symptoms of someone sleepwalking, which occurred to her during the aftermath of the crash and is now recurring because of the stress of the senatorial campaign she is running. With her winning the campaign, her wife finds out some disturbing stuff about Taissa and is planning to keep their son away from her spouse. Shauna does not reveal to her friends that it was her husband who stole money from them but lies and says that it was her boyfriend who did it, and with the help of Taissa, Natalie, and Misty, they get rid of the body. Season two will be about a lot of other characters that were not explored in the first season; a lot of them will be given weightage this time.

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The beginning of Episode 1 of “Yellowjackets” Season 2 goes back and forth between 1996 and 1998 when formerly the surviving gang is dealing with the cold climate in the harshest way possible. They have no reason not to face it. They are still stranded, and the fact is that with the onset of the winter, no one has come looking for them. Natalie and Travis are looking for Javi in the peak winter, and the rest of them are just trying hard to survive and make sure no one dies of extreme temperatures. Shauna is the only one who is having a tough time dealing with the death of her best friend. In the year 1998, they were rescued and inundated by the media at the airport. The kids are in no position to talk, and there are only certain people shown to have been rescued, so who were the ones that would not make the cut and probably pass away during their stay in the wilderness? There is a sense of tension and melancholy among the survivors, who are not talking about the sadness that has engulfed them with the disappearance of Javi and the first death they witnessed after the crash. The death is surely having a profound effect on all of them, especially Shauna. In the 1998 montage, Shauna is not visible.

Spoilers Ahead

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Lottie Mathews Is Back

As a kid, Lottie was diagnosed with schizophrenia, and ever since, she has been on medications that have more or less shaped her personality up until her school days as a football player on the school team. After the crash, the girl’s supply of medicines dwindles, and soon her schizophrenia starts getting worse, for she starts having visions of things that might happen in the future. The survivors slowly and steadily start believing in these visions, everyone but Jackie. Jackie, unfortunately, pays the price for it because she dies in the show right outside their home. On the other hand, Lottie right now is pushing Travis and Natalie to go out into the forest to not just find a way out from here on but also to look for Javi. Natalie might be sure that Travis’s kid brother is dead, but Travis is hopeful. The year 1996 is slowly transitioning to the year 1997, and the entire group has no clue except Lottie on what they are even destined for. In the present day, Lottie is now a motivational speaker who helps people recover from trauma and understand the power of self-love. Lottie, though, has memories of what happened during their stay in the forest, but slowly and steadily, all of that will unravel. Lottie probably never recovered from the trauma, and it’s likely that the medicines later also did not have any impact on her.


Taissa’s Life From Here On

Taissa is now an elected senator, but she is on the path to reconnect with her child. Taissa has yet to take up the office. The campaign manager is keeping Taissa busy the entire time, so much so that they must start planning for their re-election as well. Taissa is overwhelmed with the work poured on her when all she can think about is her child and wanting to be in his life. This is the present Taissa, back in 1996 pushing to 1997 in the wilderness, Taissa and Vanessa love being with each other, and Vanessa is trying hard to understand her sleepwalking tendencies. Taissa requests that she move and sleep downstairs. Vanessa, being the perfect girlfriend, refuses to stay away from Taissa and wants to be there for her, given the understanding person that she is.

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Natalie’s Kidnapping 

Nat is still unaware of where she has been kept, and she is struggling to understand why anyone would try to kidnap her because she has no money on her. She is yet to see the symbol around her, but the fact remains that she is under the shelter of some person whom she has yet to meet. Natalie is a hostage right now who is tied up, and one person always comes by to provide her with daily meals. Natalie and Travis, back in 1996/1997, are on a constant hunt to find meat for food, find people who can help them, and also look for Javi. Travis has been disturbed since the day his brother Javi, the only other person from the crash to survive with him, has now disappeared. He lost his father, but he cannot lose his younger brother to the cold, either. Travis starts hallucinating things around him and mistakes a wolf’s body for that of his brother. Nat and Travis, who at this point have confessed their love for one another, are trying to look past what happened between him and Jackie. With the advent of Jackie’s death, things look weird, but they are trying to be there for each other.


Shauna’s Guilt

Shauna is looking for evidence that might implicate her in the killing of Adam, her lover. Shauna’s guilt is killing her, and the mock interrogation by Misty does not leave her with any hope. She is worried police would come by her door and arrest her for the killing of Adam Martin, a painter by profession and someone who had liked Shauna. Shauna finds a key to his studio, and she is not sure what is kept there. Worrying that there might be incriminating evidence, she informs Jeff and heads to the studio to see that Adam has drawn multiple paintings of her, which is enough for the police to get to her if they discover the studio. Jeff is livid, but Shauna uses his anger and jealousy to her advantage, and they end up getting intimate in the studio with each other. Since 1996/1997, it has been two months since Jackie died, and her frozen body has been kept in the basement. Shauna is severely traumatized by guilt and imagines talking to Jackie and Jackie conversing back with her. The people in the cabin sympathize with Shauna, and their assistant coach is requesting everyone respect Shauna’s grieving process. Shauna starts talking about how Jeff and her affair began, and she imagines Jackie quite literally interrogating her. Shauna is far from okay after her father’s death, and on top of that, she is pregnant, and her bump is showing up. It will be hard for Shauna to get over her friend’s untimely death, something she never intended to happen. She and Jackie had disagreements, but she had never wanted her to die. Shauna will surely take time to get over the fact that she was the person responsible for Jackie’s death. 

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‘Yellowjackets’ Season 2, Episode 1: Ending Explained – Who Had Kidnapped Natalie?

As the days go by in the forest, there is a sense of uncertainty growing among everybody. With Shauna also not behaving herself, there is a fear of everyone’s health deteriorating. Lottie, on the other hand, is accustomed to being herself and is hoping to be the guiding force for all of them in the cabin. Shauna, though, is still under trauma and still speaks to the dead body of Jackie. In the trauma and anger that she is projecting onto Jackie, she ends up pushing her body, and she notices that her frozen ear comes off. She keeps it to herself, not knowing what to do with it. People in the cabin start wondering what Shauna is up to, but they also know Shaun is deep in shame and guilt over Jackie’s death, so they just let her be.

Misty is forced to bring water in the cold and has been asked to stay away from any cooking-related activities because of the mushroom-related incident. She is finding it difficult to be in a group where everyone is trying to alienate her. Lottie is the one who kind of understands what Misty is going through. Misty is also angry with the fact that Coach Scott never told her that he is gay. This, again, puts her in a horrible state of mind. All this slowly starts piling on her. Misty, in the current year, wants to know where Natalie ran away to this time. She pushes the lodge receptionist through insistent behavior to let her know of Natalie’s whereabouts. The receptionist is forced to tell her that she was taken away by someone, and beyond that, he is unaware of any other information. Misty goes to the room, only to see signs of forced entry. She also notices there is a CCTV camera right outside Nat’s room, which will help her get a better idea of what happened to her. Misty is keen to find out if Nat killed herself or walked away from her, Taissa, and Shauna. Misty is the kind of person who would go to the ends of the earth to find out any information provided she is obsessed with that subject. She is also a citizen detective, and through their forum, she gets to know about the discussion on Adam Martin’s disappearance and death. One of the citizen detectives concludes that Adam Martin had a girlfriend, as in the last month, he’d purchased a set of lingerie, and there is a statement about dinner at a fancy restaurant. All this indicates he was in love with someone until he came across someone who was probably related to the girl he was in love with. Misty is horrified to come across this almost accurate conclusion, but for now, she realizes she cannot let Shauna know of this.

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Taissa, whose sleepwalking issues keep getting worse, kisses Vanessa while sleeping and ends up biting her too hard on the lip, which again makes Vanessa worried. She again chooses to stay beside Taissa because she finally reveals that she truly loves her. Taissa reciprocates her feelings, and she knows Vanessa will be beside her for a long time without worrying about what exactly Taissa is going through. Taissa, currently a senator-elect, gets a dog for her child when she is confronted by her estranged wife who threatens to go to the media if Taissa does not resign and deal with the trauma she is going through. Taissa is confused to hear such accusations, and her wife asks Taissa to check the basement if she wants to know more. Taissa is clueless about what she hears, but she checks out the basement to find exactly what her wife has found. She does not know how to react to what she’s seen, and she ends up breaking down, hoping she will be able to find the answer to the creepy symbols and dolls that she found. Is Taissa a part of the cult which bears the sign that they saw in the forest and the postcard she received? Taissa clearly has some trauma that she never dealt with, and it is resurfacing in the ugliest manner. If not dealt with, she would be put in a horrible position as a politician as well.

Natalie finally breaks free from the shackles and runs away from the cabin where she was kept hostage. Natalie wants to find out what exactly is happening and what the plans are for this certain group who are keen on holding her this long. As she walks through the forest, she recognizes the person who kidnapped her, Lottie Mathews. Nat confronts Lottie and asks her what her game plan is from here on. Lottie reveals that she has a message for Nat from Travis. Hearing the word, Travis would make Nat listen, out of curiosity for the reason why Travis killed himself or a lead for Nat to follow if she thinks that he was indeed killed. Lottie is a cult leader as well, which means she has a following that believes whatever she says and does. Lottie will have a lot of things under control from here on.

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Shauna and Jeff decide to burn the paintings, and all the other belongings of Adam Martin, on their barbecue grill, hoping to eradicate all the evidence of Adam ever having known Shauna at all. This puts Shauna in a weird place, but she has no choice but to be smart here. Shauna would never want to go to jail, and she wouldn’t want her husband to go behind bars either. But unfortunately for the husband and the wife, their daughter picks up a piece of Adam’s driving license which did not get burned. Will she go against her parents and speak to the police about it? There is a chance she might, keeping in mind how awful she is feeling about the way her parents are handling the situation. Shauna, back in the cabin in 1996–1997, has no clue what to do with the ear. The ear is defrosted at this point, and she wonders if it is starting to bother her that a part of Jackie is with her. Shaun ends up eating that piece of the ear, which again might be an indication of Shauna’s deteriorating mental health as well.


What To Expect From Episode 2?

The second episode of “Yellowjackets” Season 2 will let us know more about what Travis was up to after the rescue, and for how many years Nat and he kept up with the on-and-off relationship drama while they knew how good and, at the same time, toxic they were for each other. How does Lottie fit into this? It will be interesting to know to what extent Lottie gets involved in bringing back the group to face a bigger problem. Misty will find where Nat is, and now it is her time to run into Lottie. The state of the other survivors will also be a highlight.

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Final Thoughts

The first episode of “Yellowjackets” Season 2 was all about connecting the dots from the last season and bringing forward many new characters from the past. The screenplay felt a bit more stretched, and in plenty of places, the placement of different stories and timelines felt odd. A bit disjointed. The writing here could have been more layered and less complicated, which would have made this episode a lot more structured. This episode was a bit slow-paced compared to how fast-paced the narrative was in the first season. Looking forward to the next few episodes and wanting to know where the story goes from this point.


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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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