- Streaming On: Showtime
- Release Date: December 18, 2022
- Seasons: 2 (5 planned)
Jasmin Savoy Brown
The thriller drama series Yellowjackets became an unexpected success for Showtime in 2021. This is pretty impressive when you consider that it is a show about teenage soccer players who survive a horrific plane crash in the Canadian wilderness and (probably) resort to cannibalism to survive. That’s just one of the reasons there’s mounting excitement for Yellowjackets Season 2.
The first season of the show was split between two timelines. In 1996, a soccer team, two coaches, and two teenage boys crash into the wilderness, find a deserted cabin, and try to figure out a way to survive while experiencing increasingly frightening, possibly supernatural events.
In the current day, the adult versions of a number of the survivors are drawn back together by threatening letters and the death of one of their own.
Yellowjackets Season 1 focuses on several players in both timelines: beautiful team captain Jackie (Ella Purnell), her beta best friend Shauna (Melanie Lynskey and Sophie Nélisse), the type-A strive (Taissa Tawny Cypress and Jasmin Savoy Brown), burnout Natalie (Juliette Lewis and Sophie Thatcher), and oddball/possible sociopath Misty (Christina Ricci and Sammi Hanratty).
The first season of the show currently holds an incredible, perfect rating on Rotten Tomatoes and fans are ravenous (sorry, had to) for Yellowjackets Season 2. We are here to break down what is known about Yellowjackets Season 2 and fill you in about the very intense first season.
WARNING: SPOILERS FOR YELLOWJACKETS SEASON 1 AFTER THIS POINT
YELLOWJACKETS SEASON 2 PICKS UP IN THE WINTER
The season finale of Yellowjackets Season 1 (“Sic Transit Gloria Mundi”) ended with the stranded team facing the approach of winter. Although some of the survivors of the crash understand the stakes more immediately than others, the terrible danger they are in becomes clear when the team captain-turned-pariah Jackie (Ella Purnell) freezes to death with the first snowfall.
It is one of the most shocking moments in an already visceral show, which raises the bar for Yellowjackets Season 2 to intense levels. It is strongly implied that Jackie died in part because she refused to stay in the cabin after a fight with Shauna and died of exposure overnight. No doubt this will set up a season of Shauna’s lingering survivor’s guilt.
The trailer for Yellowjackets Season 2 showed a fierce-looking wind blowing against blurry shapes at the cabin, as well as massive icicles and a shot of the plane, half-buried in snow.
THE STRANDED YELLOWJACKETS SEEM TO BE FORMING A CULT
Speaking of that cult: in the finale of Season 1, we saw 1996 Lottie bringing the heart of a bear she had killed with a single thrust of a knife to a hollowed-out tree in the woods and saying some kind of incantation over it. Behind her, Van and Misty knelt in unison, hinting at some kind of nascent, bloody religion in development.
The premiere episode of Yellowjackets already showed us the team in the dead of winter, covered in furs and ritualistically eating charred flesh, which was strongly implied to be one of their teammates. It seems that Lottie’s cult will gain momentum in Yellowjackets Season 2.
In the current day timeline, the adult Natalie was kidnapped by several unknown people in robes, who all displayed a creepy geometric symbol that appears in multiple places in the woods. It also seems that Lottie’s cult has found a foothold back in civilization.
YELLOWJACKETS HAS ALREADY BEEN RENEWED FOR A THIRD SEASON
Given the steadily increasing viewing numbers and critical acclaim of Yellowjackets Season 1, it made sense that Season 2 would swiftly be approved by Showtime.
Fans were made even happier when the show was greenlit for a third season in December 2022, months before the second even premiered. That is good, because Yellowjackets is not going to end at Season 2 or even 3.
THE CREATORS OF YELLOWJACKETS HAVE FIVE SEASONS PLANNED
Yellowjackets was created by Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson, who also act as co-showrunners alongside producer Jonathan Lisco. According to Lyle and Nickerson, their initial pitch for the show (which was almost greenlit by HBO rather than Showtime) involved the finale of the first season and the story arcs for five full seasons of cannibalism, secrets, and a surprising amount of dark humor.
Given the rash of cancelations of prestige shows like Westworld and the shelving of already-finished projects, there is always the chance that Yellowjackets Season 2 might be the final one. We hope not, because it sounds like there is a lot more weirdness in store.
YELLOWJACKETS WAS INSPIRED BY REAL-LIFE INCIDENTS OF SURVIVAL CANNIBALISM
Lyle and Nickerson have said Yellowjackets is strongly influenced by the real-life incidents of the 1846 Donner Party, who resorted to cannibalism while snowbound in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and the 1972 Andes flight disaster, in which Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 crash-landed in the Andes Mountains. Survivors of that one also resorted to cannibalism before being rescued.
Clearly, the parallels are obvious, though Lyle and Nickerson have also stated they were influenced by William Golding’s classic tale of wilderness survival turned savagery Lord of the Flies.
Although things have remained mostly civil in Season 1, it seems likely that Yellowjackets Season 2 will see the players descend into even more graphic violence.
MANY OF THE ACTORS ARE FAMOUS FOR THEIR WORK IN THE 1990S
Although the pilot episode was not written with any actors specifically in mind, Yellowjackets ended up being highly referential to the 1990s era in which it is partially set.
Melanie Lynskey first came to critical acclaim in Peter Jackson’s 1994 film Heavenly Creatures, a dramatized real-life story of teenage girls who commit murder. Juliette Lewis was one of the most prolific and well-regarded actresses of the decade, starring in movies like Strange Days, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, and Natural Born Killers. And, of course, Christina Ricci starred in the 1990s Addams Family movies, cementing a goth reputation that lasts to this day.
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