Yellowjackets ending explained – How does that finale set up season 2?

·13 min read
Photo credit: Sky
Photo credit: Sky

Yellowjackets finale spoilers follow.

In the immortal words of Seal, Yellowjackets has become "a growing addiction" that none of us can deny. Week in, week out, the exploits of New Jersey's finest has become "my power, my pleasure, my pain" for us all.

'Power', because who doesn't want to see '90s royalty like Christina Ricci kick ass again on screen? 'Pleasure', because it's an utter joy working out what the hell is actually going on in that creepy-ass forest. And 'pain', because season one is now over and we have so long to wait until the finale's new mysteries are finally solved.

But hey, at least another season is definitely on the way. So until Yellowjackets crash-lands back into our lives, Digital Spy is here to help you work through the trauma of this finale like the good Citizen Detectives that we are.

Yellowjackets season 1 finale explained

Photo credit: Sky
Photo credit: Sky

Episode 10 kicks off with the hangover to end all hangovers. You thought it was embarrassing that time you drunk-texted your ex? Try chasing boys through the woods with a knife.

The girls wake up outside the cabin, awkwardly remembering what they did the night before. Guess they didn't feel the cold too much while on those shrooms. More on that later...

Meanwhile, the present-day survivors enlist Misty's help to dispose of Adam's body. In a surprise to no one, Misty is almost too good at this, and she's pretty nonchalant about the whole thing too – "Oh boy, he sure was a gusher!" Guess she's just happy to be included.

Taissa asks Shauna if she remembers how to cut a corpse into pieces using a a kitchen implement, to which Shauna replies: "It's like remembering how to ride a really gross, f**ked-up bike." Can't wait to see that flashback in a future season.

Back in the past, everyone is pissed at Misty for drugging everyone with her mushrooms when all she wanted to do was drug her coach. Before we have a chance to process how truly messed-up that is, a bear suddenly strolls out of the woods. And not the kind Coach Ben would want either.

Lottie isn't fazed though. With a knife in hand, she casually approaches the beast, who then bows before her. Looks like someone knows who's boss around here. Then, the future Antler Queen stabs this bad excuse for CGI in the neck. Dinner is served! And it looks like the bear went willingly, actually choosing to sacrifice itself to Lottie.

Fast-forward 25 years and our favourite criminals are trying to shake everything off before heading to their class reunion. "How is it possible that this is the most scared I've been all day?" asks Shauna. But she needn't be scared. To the tune of Offspring's 'Come Out And Play', Shauna, Natalie and Taissa strut their stuff, dropping jaws everywhere as they enter the school.

Returning to the past, Van and Taissa have a fight over the ghosts, tree demons, or whatever the hell is plaguing these teens, which doesn't bode well for their future. We then cut to Van proposing that the kids should all give thanks as they dig into the bear carcass. This scene is intercut with a reunion slideshow that looks back at the Yellowjackets who didn't make it out of the forest.

Photo credit: Sky
Photo credit: Sky

As if that wasn't disturbing enough, Lottie gives a prayer that's not exactly a classic in the biblical sense:

"For this gift from the wilderness, we give thanks. Thank you, to the spirit of the bear... Ancient gods of the sky and the dirt, we give our thanks."

Jackie doesn't want to "Thank the dirt for bringing us a braindead bear," which does her no favours with the group. But instead of backing down, she then confronts Shauna over what happened the night before with Travis. "You had a knife to his throat. If we hadn’t come, you would have killed him."

And then it all comes out. Jackie tells everyone that Shauna's baby is actually Jeff's. Shauna calls Jackie out for being a narcissist. Then Jackie asks if "the sad little sidekick" is mad that she lives in her shadow, to which Shauna replies: "I'm not jealous. I feel sorry for you. You're weak... [People back home] will never know how tragic and boring and insecure you really are."

Ouch. Shauna might as well have cut Jackie's throat instead of Travis's. Salt is poured in that already huge, gaping wound when Jackie then tells her former best friend to leave, only for Shauna to refuse. "No. Sounds like your problem. So maybe you should leave."

No one backs Jackie, the self-styled leader of the group, and when Coach tries to speak up, Lottie immediately shuts him down, signifying the dangerous new power dynamic that's taking shape in these godforsaken woods.

The reunion in the present ends with Shauna essentially dancing over Jackie's grave by taking her place as Prom Queen in an actual dance with Jeff. And speaking of graves, reporter Jessica Roberts almost avoids hers when she convinces Misty to let her go. But then the cigarettes that Misty poisoned take their toll, seemingly killing the reporter as she drove away.

On the plus side, Shauna and Jeff seem good again. All they have to deal with now is a smart-ass daughter who almost definitely knows that they covered up a murder that's being investigated nationwide.

But what about the rest of our charming quartet?

Is Taissa evil?

Photo credit: Sky
Photo credit: Sky

Ever since we learned that Taissa was the one actually terrorising her son in a tree just outside his room, we suspected something else might be up with her beyond the usual trauma.

And we were right to think so. Because Taissa's wife, Simone, makes a horrific discovery in the final moments of this episode.

While grabbing her suitcase from the basement, Simone hears a weird noise coming from a vent nearby. Upon further inspection, she sees a trail of blood and decides to investigate by crawling directly into the vent.

Has Simone ever watched a horror movie in her entire life? Possibly not, so she continues her foolhardy investigation anyway. And that's how she discovers Taissa's shrine in a secret room, which includes a heart, their dog's severed head, a doll that looks like their child, and most importantly of all, that symbol inscribed in blood.

Divorce has never looked so appealing.

Photo credit: Sky
Photo credit: Sky

During their chat with TVLine, co-creators Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson confirmed that the heart also belonged to Biscuit, Taissa's poor decapitated dog.

"And also, it's hilarious," adds Lyle, "Because Dave Binegar, who is one of our executives at Showtime, he has a dog named Cheddar, who looks exactly like Biscuit, and it was very traumatising for him."

Looks like Simone isn't the only one who's traumatised then. But even know, she doesn't know the whole story. Because just as Simone's screaming in fear, Taissa's colleagues are screaming with joy, happy that their candidate has beaten the odds and somehow won the State Senate race.

Taissa smiles what we can only describe as a Very Evil Smile™ at this point, which is pretty sneaky as we were led to believe that she didn't even want to win the race earlier this season. Clearly, that was a lie, and that's not all we think Taissa is hiding either.

Something bad must have happened to cynical teen Taissa in the woods, something that has unlocked a darkness within her. And if we had to guess right now, we suspect that this is the same primal force that Lottie worships – and is perhaps possessed by too – in the forest.

If so, that would explain Taissa's blackouts and also why she's so hungry for power. Whatever has its hooks in her wants to exert their influence in the wider world beyond that creepy ass forest, which is why Taissa ignored Shauna's plea to keep a quiet profile all the way back in episode one.

Jackie's fate is finally revealed

Photo credit: Sky
Photo credit: Sky

Remember when Jackie stormed out after Shauna's sick burn? It's a shame that burn wasn't a physical one, because it turns out Jackie sure could really use some warmth right about now.

Towards the end of the finale, Shauna heads outside to see Jackie the next morning following their fight. "Hey, this is stupid," she says. "I'm sorry. I'm really sorry. Come inside. Please."

Jackie heads in to discover everyone standing around waiting for her arrival. Miraculously, a hot chocolate appears out of nowhere. "Where did you find this?' Jackie wonders.

But that doesn't matter anymore. "It's all going to be fine, says Shauna. "I love you Jackie."

Photo credit: Sky
Photo credit: Sky

Shauna sure did come around quick, eh? Well, not exactly, because everyone then says the same thing in creepy unison. Laura Lee's spirit appears too, as miraculously as that hot chocolate did, and then a figure standing in the doorway says, "We've been waiting for you."

Next, we cut to Shauna waking up with an icy chill on her breath in the attic. The winter first glimpsed in the pilot's opening scene has finally arrived at the worst possible time for Jackie.

Realising what's happened, Shauna races outside to discover Jackie's frozen popsicle corpse covered in snow. She screams, over and over, but for better or worse, this might not be the last we've seen of Jackie.

If that dream sequence is to be believed, then the spirits of those who die in this area are never really gone. That means Laura Lee, the creepy attic ghost and even Jackie could all reappear in season two, along with satan knows what else has died in these woods. Fingers crossed that adorable bear pops back to say hi at least!

Following the finale, Deadline asked co-showrunner Ashley Lyle directly if Jackie might return in season two. Here's what she had to say:

"It's so funny to me watching how viewers and fans are reacting to the show and the strenuousness to which they will adhere to what they want to happen and the skepticism. I will say that in case there is any doubt, Jackie is very much dead in that scene. You're not closed off to the possibility of seeing Ella in the future."

During a different interview, this time with TVLine, Lyle and co-showrunner Bart Nickerson also discussed that mysterious figure from the vision, the one who also happens to appear in the credits. Will he play a bigger role moving forward?

"He will," says Lyle. To which Nickerson added, "We definitely know who he is, yeah, and we have a whole thing [planned]."

Who kidnapped Natalie?

Photo credit: Sky
Photo credit: Sky

Oh, you thought things couldn't get bleeker? Wait until you see what happens to Natalie.

Devastated by the fact that Travis probably did kill himself, adult Natalie remembers the first time he told her, "I f**king love you," to the strains of Ultravox's 'Vienna'.

And with that, Nat loads a shotgun in this sad, dreary motel room and holds it up to her face. Tears form in her eyes as she's about to pull the trigger, but thankfully, some truly terrifying strangers suddenly break in and kidnap Natalie before she can make a mess of that motel wall.

Never have we been more grateful for lax motel security.

Natalie might not end up being so happy about this though. Not only did these crazies stop her from dying by suicide, it's likely they don't have the best intentions for her moving forward. The last we see of Nat is them carrying her out with a bag over her head, but not before we see a glimpse of that symbol again, this time on a necklace worn by one of the kidnappers.

Photo credit: Sky
Photo credit: Sky

How did they know to come at just that moment? And why do they want Nat alive in the first place? A missed call from Suzie, Nat's banker "friend" probably holds the key to all this.

In her voice message, Suzie says that someone's following her after she dug deeper into the mystery surrounding Travis's bank account. And then she asks the question: "Who the f**k is Lottie Matthews?"

So that's confirmed then. Lottie survived the woods and is still alive now in the present day. Who will play her remains to be seen, but we're hoping for another '90s legend to take the reins and lead this cult that Lottie now seems to be the head of.

When asked for more info on the cult, co-showrunner Jonathan Lisco confirmed to TV Insider that these are indeed Lottie's followers:

"It's a fairly easy line to draw, right, from the end of season 1 to the last episode vectoring into season 2. What she says is 'spill blood, my friends,' in French and then she says, let the darkness set us free [when Teen Lottie left the bear heart as a sacrifice]. And so she’s obviously latched onto something energetically bigger than herself. Whether or not it’s to protect her from her fear is one thing. But we all know that whatever ritualistic stuff is brewing inside her is meaningful to her at this moment.

"And many of the members of the team also thinks so because the bear prostrated itself in front of her as if she was some kind of energetic force. So now cut forward 2021. There is a great deal of evidence to suggest that what started in the wilderness is still alive 25 years later, but has just been sort of on a slow boil. And now for reasons that we will explore in season 2, it’s going to explode."

What does Lottie say at the end?

Photo credit: Sky
Photo credit: Sky

And speaking of Lottie, the final moments of season one end with her pledging allegiance to whatever dark forces she's now in league with. As Lottie presents a heart to the spirits of the forest, Misty and Van kneel down alongside her, working in tandem as her disciples.

But why is Lottie the one to lead all this? If we had to hazard a guess, we'd say that her powers of foresight made her susceptible to whatever evil forces lurk in these woods. And with the drugs now wearing off, these abilities are growing stronger, tearing down the barrier between worlds.

However, that séance from episode five might have been the moment where this darkness truly took root inside of Lottie. As a spirit seemed to enter her body, Lottie spoke fluent French, and she does so again here, uttering the words: "Versez le sang, mes beaux amis."

Translated, this means: "Spill the blood, my beautiful friends."

Then in English, Lottie adds the words: "And let the darkness set us free."

All hail our one true Antler Queen! Unless Yellowjackets is tricking us here too with that very first scene from episode one...

Either way, these final moments bear witness to the beginnings of the cult that Lottie will cultivate in the present day. But where is Van 25 years on? Did she make it out of the woods alive? And does this mean that Misty is secretly working for Lottie as an adult?

Between our French-speaking Antler Queen, a creepily possessed Taissa, and whatever the hell Misty's got going on, Yellowjackets promises to be even more freakishly addictive in season two.

If you're still here and truly absorbed every detail we just poured through, then all that's left to say is "Ba-ya-ya, ba-da-da-da-da-da, ba-ya-ya."

Yellowjackets is available on Sky and NOW in the UK and Showtime in the US.

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