Season 3 of 'Yellowjackets' Is a ‘Return to Season 1’

Spoilers for Yellowjackets season 2 below.

After the devoted fan reaction to Showtime’s ’90s-set survival drama Yellowjackets in its first season, the show was quickly renewed for a second, and a third renewal came even faster. In December 2022—months before season 2 even premiered—Showtime announced another round of episodes was on its way. (Star Melanie Lynskey shared the news on X (formerly Twitter), saying she’d do the show “forever” if she could.)

The speedy green light wasn’t exactly a surprise, given that series co-creators Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson have said they picture the show ending up with as many as five seasons in total. The story follows a group of incredibly successful high school soccer players whose plane goes down in the wilderness, where they remain for more than a year as they descend into cannibalistic ritual.

Season 2 revealed even more of the team’s harrowing time in the woods, confirming that the team cannibalized their friend Jackie and that Shauna’s baby did not survive its traumatizing delivery. In present day, the series depicted the police on Shauna's tail for the death of her lover, Adam Martin, and introduced the adult versions of one-time lovers Lottie and Van. By the finale, tragedy had struck in both timelines, leaving the teens without a home in the dead of winter and the core adult cast with one less member.

As we wait to see where Yellowjackets goes from here, we’ve rounded up what we know about season 3 so far.

Who will be in the season 3 cast?

We can expect the main cast, including Melanie Lynskey (Shauna), Christina Ricci (Misty), and Tawny Cypress (Taissa), to return as the adult counterparts to the teens stuck in the forest. Juliette Lewis, however, probably won’t join them—given adult Natalie’s untimely death in the season 2 finale. We’ve yet to see if new additions Simone Kessell (Lottie) and Lauren Ambrose (Van) will return for season 3, but since they now seem embedded with the core group, it’s likely.

As for the teen cast, we’ll probably see Sophie Nélisse (teen Shauna), Sophie Thatcher (teen Natalie), Samantha Hanratty (teen Misty), Courtney Eaton (teen Lottie), Jasmin Savoy Brown (teen Taissa), and Liv Hewson (teen Van) again.

Hopefully other cast members like Steven Krueger (Coach Ben), Warren Kole (Jeff), Sarah Desjardins (Callie), Kevin Alves (Travis), and Elijah Wood (Walter) will also be there.

What will season 3 of Yellowjackets be about?

The season 2 finale left us with a lot of guesses for where next season could go: With the girls’ cabin burning down at the end of the episode (it seems as Coach Ben started the fire and locked his team in the house—harsh!), survival will be even harder as they look for shelter in the middle of winter. There’s also been a changing of the guard: Lottie names Natalie their new leader, upsetting Shauna in the process. How will the team stay alive in the cold and amid these tensions?

Meanwhile, in the present-day timeline, the adult cast is reunited at Lottie’s retreat, engaged in a hunt. Shauna is chosen as the target, but her daughter arrives on the scene in time, armed to save her mom. When Lisa, a member of the cult, approaches with a shotgun aimed at Natalie, Misty reacts to protect Natalie but ends up accidentally killing her instead. When the police arrive, they declare that Natalie died from an overdose, but Misty is wrecked by the loss. Is there any chance Natalie could come back? And how will Misty live with the guilt?

And are Shauna and her family in the clear for good? After being investigated for Adam’s death all season, Misty’s friend Walter kills Kevyn, the lead detective on the case, and plants evidence connecting him to Adam. He also frames Kevyn’s partner, Matt.

To add more to the speculation, fans have been wondering if there was a secret bonus episode for season three, and co-creator Lyle confirmed as much after the finale.

“There will be a bonus episode between seasons, but I love you guys and I don’t want y’all to lose sleep thinking it’s tonight,” she wrote, telling people they should go to bed instead of waiting up for it to be released. She added, “Closer to S3. I’m not being coy, there’s a strike and things are complicated!”

In March 2024, Lyle spoke with TheWrap on the GLAAD Media Awards red carpet, sharing more about what's to come.

“The girls have been out there for awhile—and they’re thriving,” she said. “We’re in the midst of [writing] right now. I don’t want to give too much away. I always get in trouble.”

She added, “I will say we see Season 3 as a little bit of a return to Season 1 in terms of the vibe, though. All I will say is that the girls have been out there for awhile and they’re thriving.”

Anything that happens in that episode could totally change the trajectory of the next season.

When will Yellowjackets season 3 come out?

Following the 2023 SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes (and resulting delays), Yellowjackets will not return for season 3 until 2025. Per Deadline, the Yellowjackets writers’ room only just reopened in September 2023, pushing the premiere date farther out than initially anticipated.

Will there be more seasons of Yellowjackets?

Hopefully. While Showtime has only renewed Yellowjackets for a third season, co-creators Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson have plans for the show to last five seasons, and they’re “still on track for that,” Lyle told Entertainment Weekly. She admitted “there’s always room for things,” but clarified that she and the team “don’t really see this as being more than a five-season show.”

She continued, “I think that there are shows that can go forever, but I think that when you’re telling such a deeply serialized story and it’s about these characters’ lives, you want to reach a satisfying conclusion and not just drag things out forever. This isn’t really one of those setup shows where it can go anywhere. So far, we’ve been really on track. Season 2 is largely what we always planned, but you do make a lot of discoveries along the way and so it’s always a little bit surprising.”

This story will be updated.

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