This piece contains spoilers for Yellowjackets Season 2. If you haven’t caught up yet then check out our Story So Far.
The Yellowjackets finale has finally arrived and it was even wilder than we could have imagined. There were huge wilderness reveals, a shocking death in the present day, and even a surprising but useful criminal cover up. But the real meat of the episode — pun absolutely intended — concerned both present and past Natalie (Juliette Lewis / Sophie Thatcher). As the finale went on it expanded on her role in the woods and brought a tragic end to her story in the present. So strap in as we throw ourselves into the snowy forest and dig into that juicy finale and what it means.
What Happened to Natalie in the Yellowjackets Finale?
There were two massive Natalie reveals in this episode: First, the finale confirms that Nat is the Antler Queen in the wilderness era — which we did see as part of Nat’s vision in Episode 5, but chalked it up to a dream. In case you don’t remember who or what she is, the Antler Queen was the masked antler-wearing overseer of the opening sacrifice of the show’s first episode. Her identity was a major mystery in Season 1 that was never answered, but it was mostly put on the backburner in Season 2 as the show expanded its scope and set up larger conflicts.
That all changes in the Season 2 finale though, as after the tragic death of Javi (Luciano Leroux), Lottie (Courtney Eaton) selects Natalie to become the group’s leader. The girls and Travis (Kevin Alves) all swear fealty to Nat, literally bowing down to her after Lottie does the same. It’s very clear that from now on they’ll do anything Natalie says. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter Sophie Thatcher confirmed Nat is the Antler Queen, for now at least. And as she’s fully on the “wilderness chose” train to assuage her of her guilt for letting Javi die, we can expect to see a lot more wilderness sacrifices next season. That would explain her deep guilt in the present, and why she’s always saying that she didn’t deserve to survive.
The big question now though is whether or not Nat will be the last person to hold the mantle, as we’ve already seen the group draw cards to choose who to sacrifice. We could see them do something similar when it comes to the Antler Queen mantle, perhaps as a way for them to separate themselves from responsibility for the growing number of deaths.
Who Burnt Down the Cabin in the Yellowjackets Finale?
There were other ramifications for Lottie’s choice too, as Ben (Steven Kruger) — who had earlier attempted to recruit Natalie to live with him under Javi’s tree — angrily watches on as Natalie takes her new role as leader. While he’d formerly seen her as an ally, it’s clear that bond is broken after Natalie informs him that she let Javi die in her place. Though we don’t see him commit the act, we see Ben pick up matches and firewood just before the girls awake to the cabin burning down around them. It’s a massive upset going into Season 3, because it puts the girls at the true whim of the wilderness. If they were concerned with sating the appetite of the wilderness before — with their sacrifices — now they’re actually having to live without any protections against it we can assume they’re going to go feral very quickly. With Natalie newly anointed we could see Season 3 open with a new sacrifice in an attempt to find shelter. We could also see Natalie and her followers hunt down Ben after he told her about Javi’s hideout. But the cabin being burnt down isn’t the wildest thing that happens this episode.
Who Killed Natalie in the Yellowjackets Finale?
As the present day crew try to delay Lottie (Simone Kessell) and her plan for the group to kill one of their number, they end up pushing her into a wilderness inspired hunt. Lottie doesn’t take it well and it almost ends with Shauna’s death. But instead Natalie dies when she takes Misty’s (Christina Ricci) murder needle to the shoulder saving Lisa (Nicole Maines). This whole thing feels like the group once again pushing Lottie to breaking point, especially as Shauna plays into Lottie’s own beliefs about the wilderness to convince her to do the hunt as a distraction. Natalie’s death is going to have huge implications going forward, not only will we miss the brilliantly raw Lewis, but Misty and the group are devastated by the loss. Natalie’s death, while tragic, also offered us with more questions and potential theories for Season 3 thanks to a moving vision that she had before passing away in the arms of her BFF Misty.
What Did Natalie’s Vision Mean in the Yellowjackets Finale?
As Natalie dies, she has a vision of herself on an empty plane. It’s an emotional sequence that features appearances from Javi, Lottie, and young Natalie. While the simple read is that this is just Natalie dealing with her trauma, her version of her life flashing before her eyes, there are other hints that this could play into the more supernatural reading.
Her younger self tells her “we’ve been here for a long time” alluding to the place between life and death. That leans into the ever popular limbo theory as well as the Final Destination inspired theory that the girls were never meant to survive the flight and are being hunted down by death. But it could also simply allude to Natalie’s struggles with suicidal ideation and addiction. The plane location — or lack thereof — was definitely evocative and instantly theory-inducing though and it’ll be interesting to see whether we get anymore of our girls making an appearance on the limbo plane next season.
Where Do We Leave the Yellowjackets at the End of Season 2?
Aside from Natalie — and her now very cold teammates in the past — we leave the rest of the present Yellowjackets at Camp Green Pine in the wake of Lottie’s death. Misty is devastated as she accidentally killed her best friend (again). Her grief will surely play a big part in Season 3, but the biggest hint for what that holds comes in the shape of Walter who murdered Kevin Tan and set him up to take the fall for Adam Martin’s murder. He and Misty are a murderous force to be reckoned with and it seems like Season 3 will definitely explore that relationship.
Of course Walter’s little scheme worked out well for Shauna (Melanie Lynskey) too as she, Jeff (Warren Kole), and Callie (Sarah Desjardins) are now in the clear for their involvement in Adam’s disappearance. It’ll be interesting to see what happens to Shauna next season as she’s been at the center of the chaos for a long time, but this now gives her a chance to stop blowing up her life. Will she take it? Well, that’s a question for the showrunners, but seeing as Callie saved Shauna from being killed by Lottie and her old buddies we can assume their relationship will be key going forward. Especially as Callie seemed to enjoy all the violence and murder.
Yellowjackets Character Guide
Speaking of poor old Lottie, the finale seems to confirm a big and very sad theory: Lottie was never really an all-powerful cult leader or even supernatural spiritualist in the woods, but instead was actually just a woman struggling with mental health issues who was forced into a role of ever more out of control power by her friends. While Yellowjackets hasn’t confirmed or denied the supernatural side of things, Lottie’s journey hints that this might be more of a story about trauma, loss, and mental health than magical beings in the woods.
It’s also interesting to note when it comes to the big supernatural question that Lottie has a very interesting line when Shauna says “there was no it, it was just us” in regards to the wilderness, Lottie says, “what’s the difference” which definitely feels like it leans into the non-supernatural argument. Why? Well, this exchange could be read as the women admitting that there was no wilderness spirit and the girls essentially made it up to feel less guilty about what they had to do to survive. But we’ll have to wait until Season 3 to see how that plays out.
We leave present Lottie in the care of a local hospital after a psychotic break that led to the group almost murdering Shauna. Whether Lottie will still be confined in Season 3 is yet to be seen, but it feels like at this point it could go either way. As for Tai (Tawny Cypress) and Van (Lauren Ambrose), Lottie tells them “they’ll see” that the wilderness is happy with them for killing Nat, which feels like a heavy implication that Van may find out she no longer has cancer. If that happens we’ll be back in deep supernatural territory very quickly. That line could also affect Tai as her wife could come out of that coma if the wilderness is real and happy with the women…
So that’s it for Yellowjackets Season 2, see you back in the wilderness when the show returns!
Rosie Knight is a contributing freelancer for IGN covering everything from anime to comic books to kaiju to kids movies to horror flicks. She has over half a decade of experience in entertainment journalism with bylines at Nerdist, Den of Geek, Polygon, and more.
You must log in to post a comment.