Showtime’s newest thriller, Yellowjackets, is a puzzle box fan’s dream. It would be an instant hit if this show were on Netflix or even Amazon Prime. It is the kind of series you can’t stop watching or thinking about. Unfortunately, because it is on Showtime, it hasn’t got the crazy buzz of Squid Games or Lost in Space. I get it. It’s cost-prohibitive to pay for every single streaming service, not to mention impossible to keep up with all the programming and have a job and a life.
This is one show that you shouldn’t sleep on, though. Especially coming into the holiday season when everyone will have a little more time on their hands. Between the twists, turns, shady characters, and the constant oppressive threat of cannibalism, there are potential supernatural elements that spin everything into strange new places. So here are all your questions answered about Yellowjackets’ best and wildest theories out there.
Who’s the Bad One that Taissa’s son, Sammy refers to?
Sammy has been acting out at school and home in some disturbing ways. Taissa’s family appeared to be pretty perfect, but as each episode has aired, more and more details contradict this. Sammy is terrified of something outside his bedroom window that he says sits in the tree watching him. He says it is a “she,” which removes Travis, who is now dead, Coach, and Javi from the equation, assuming they were even rescued. This only leaves the women who survived and any women who were attached to them somehow. Mothers and sisters will seem the most likely culprits if one of the women isn’t involved.
One of the kookier theories is Natalie killed Travis in some drug-addled fugue state and has no memory of it. Could she or Misty still be stalking Taissa? Misty has already shown a propensity for that kind of behavior, so she is a strong possibility. On the other hand, it could be as simple as a reporter or investigator that a political opponent of Taissa’s hired.
This leaves the question of what Sammy meant by the Bad One. If this person is unrelated to the woman in the tree, it could indicate Sammy is being abused. Could Simone be abusing Sammy? As some have posited, is it possible that Simone doesn’t exist at all? This seems highly unlikely as a photographer took pictures of her in episode 1. Both women seem incredibly unconcerned with Sammy’s behavior, though. What if Taissa has a dark side that only Sammy sees? If Taissa has psychological damage from her time in the woods and loses time, another personality may hurt Sammy, but he can recognize it as different from his mom.
What is the Man With No Eyes?
Some have speculated that Taissa has shared her childhood trauma with Sammy. When Taissa was a little girl, she was terrified by a man who appeared to have no eyes, and he came for her grandmother on her death bed. Additionally, the trauma of seeing her grandmother’s dead body with her eyes white orbs forever affected how she looked at death. We don’t know if Taissa and her grandmother actually saw a supernatural being. It could just as easily be hallucinations of a dying mind that then influenced a vulnerable little girl, but it might be something more.
In any case, Sammy is now convinced a woman is watching him, and he draws pictures of people with their eyes blacked out. From the interaction we have seen of Taissa so far, it doesn’t seem likely that she told Sammy about her experiences, but every parent knows little ears have a way of hearing things they aren’t meant to hear. He could have overheard a conversation between Simone and Taissa.
There might be an actual supernatural element to Yellowjackets. Along with cannibalism and survival, there might also be demons, ghosts, and possessions. The strange symbols in the woods when the girls were teens could be symbols of the demons just as easily as they could be symbols for the two factions the girls split into eventually. It could be as simple as team logos or as complex as demonic sigils, which were called on to give each of the tribe’s power. Maybe these teenagers didn’t hunt and eat each other because it was natural for desperate young women but because they were possessed by spirits who took advantage of a situation. One of those demons could have followed the girls home and infected Sammy if this was the case.
Another theory is Simone could be feeding the information to Sammy. Taissa could have told Simone about her childhood trauma, and for unknown reasons, Simone passed it on to Sammy. The Manny doll that was destroyed in episode three was in a place that Sammy couldn’t get to easily. Also, some of his pictures were taped on his windows much higher than he is cable of reaching. He could have used chairs or other furniture to climb up, but it could also be an adult helping him. We know he has had babysitters in the house, so it could be a trusted sitter.
This leads to one of the wilder theories. Sammy’s sitter might be the child of someone on the plane unbeknownst to everyone else. So many people were affected by the crash there are dozens of possibilities. What if the girl that had her leg broken before Nationals is still angry all these years later and is somehow involved?
Who did we see fall into the pit in Yellowjackets Episode 1?
Jackie’s necklace is seen on the girl who is running through the woods and falls into the pit. That doesn’t mean it is Jackie who dies. The girl running looks more like Lottie than Jackie. At this point, she may not be prey but an accidental victim of another person who is already in the woods. If she is running because her mental illness is causing her to hallucinate everything we think we know about that exchange could be wrong. This may be the first person the girls ate but not the first person they killed.
Who killed Travis in Yellowjackets Episode 3?
If Javi made it back, it would be hard to believe he killed his brother, but it isn’t outside the realm of possibility. Travis was cruel to him, and things will probably happen with the girls that put the brothers at odds. Travis was a hothead who was angry that his father was dead. Mad that he is now responsible for his brother and angry that anyone is better at things than he is. Travis seemed to have a real problem with his father, and it is very possible, Coach Martinez may have been abusive. It would explain Travis’ derision at his father before they flew out. It would also explain his anger management problems.
Misty is sociopathic, but she probably isn’t his killer. That’s not to say she hasn’t killed before and probably will again, just not Travis. Young Misty loves the attention the crash has given her. She is no longer a weird outcast but a useful leader, the girls reluctantly rely on. However, now that Coach is gaining some of his independence, her purpose is threatened, and I predict he is not long for this world. So, whether it be poison or another “accident,” he will be her first kill in the woods.
Is Jackie dead and what about her rash?
Jackie’s rash looks more like a burn than poison ivy. It makes no sense to lie about the injury if she got it during the crash. The longer the wound goes untreated, the more dangerous it becomes. If the wound becomes infected, it could be dangerous and contribute to her mental health. Severe fever and sepsis can lead to hallucinations. Perhaps the reason we haven’t seen her yet and Shauna hallucinates her is she dies in the woods from her leg wound. It could also be that everyone thinks Jackie died when in reality, she made it back separately from the group, and she is the one who has sent the postcards and killed Travis.
Natalie and Travis both had abusive fathers in Yellowjackets
In Yellowjackets Episode 4, Bear Down, Natalie’s tragic past is revealed. Her father was an abusive man who beat on her mother and her. There is also speculation that he may have sexually abused her as well. There is no proof of that so far, but she and an older man have been mentioned. The tiny crumbs dropped about Coach Martinez paint a similar picture. Travis hates his father, and his mother was not sad to see him leave. However, the day the girls were practicing, and Taissa broke her teammate’s leg, Coach Martinez was away dealing with a family emergency.
Could that family emergency be the aftermath of an attack or the direct result of his affair coming out? There has been no indication that he was having an affair with Natalie thus far, but anything is possible in a show like Yellowjackets. Travis’s story about how he got his nickname could prove that his father beat him. He had to have serious back surgery due to some unknown injury. His father may have caused that injury.
What is with all the animal symbolism in Yellowjackets?
There have been extended shots of Shauna skinning a rabbit in Yellowjackets Episode 2, a rabbit’s foot, a pig’s head as in Lord of the Flies, deer heads, and wolves. This symbolism could be as simple as alluding to what the girls ate while in the woods. We already saw Nat kill a deer, so it could be a straightforward as memory bleeding into life. It could also be more complex, like the loss of innocence and descent into savagery. We have seen a few girls in animal pelts with full face masks. Perhaps each girl had an animal persona that they assumed. If each of our surviving women killed a girl in that particular robe, it might explain later who killed who.
The wolves could also allude to the packs of girls who were hunting each other. Wolves can be vicious pack animals who hunt and share resources. A strict hierarchy begs the question, who is the Antler Queen and the top of the pyramid? It appears that the girls break into factions at some point, and at least one group hunts the other. As the girls begin to starve, panic will set in. Coupled with Misty’s very erratic behavior and the fact that there are hallucinogenic mushrooms in the woods, it is more than plausible that Misty helps the group lose their grip on reality and hastens their fall into hysteria.
Lastly, the scene with Taissa and the wealthy donor at the party speaks volumes about Taissa and how the world works. The rich donor is stylish and seemingly kind. The conservatory literally holds the wild in artificial containers. The other woman demands to trade Taissa’s pain for her endorsement. She is a parasite that leeches off of others because she can. However beautiful the people and the surroundings, Taissa is surrounded by a pack of wolves as much now as she was after the crash.
Who is Adam in Yellowjackets?
While the Adam is Javi theory is intriguing, it seems too obtuse to be serious. Everything points to this conclusion, from framing the adjacent scenes to Shauna’s absurdly juvenile behavior. That being said, there is something weird about Adam and his sudden appearance in Shauna’s life. The other plane the girl’s found belongs to someone. Is it possible the pilot is also the person who owned the cabin? Maybe they are two different people, but the pilot is clearly essential.
Adam would be the right age to be a child of the pilot. If his father was in the woods looking for something, Adam might be searching for whatever that was. We still don’t know who the dead person in the cabin is. Could this be someone the pilot kidnapped or someone he was searching for? What if the body in the cabin is Adam’s mother and the pilot is his father searching for her? Adam’s back tattoo could be a map of sorts of the wooded area. It could be everything he knows about what happened to his family, and he is hoping Shauna can fill in the details.
The other decidedly icky thing to consider is Shauna has inappropriate thoughts about people much younger than herself and gets off on having boys that she shouldn’t. Teen Shauna is having an affair with Jackie’s boyfriend before the crash, and there is a brief scene with Javi that is placed directly alongside Shauna’s scenes with Adam to drive home the message that Adam is Javi. What if, instead, that was a precursor to a relationship Shauna has with Javi? They were in the woods for nearly two years, and Javi looks to be about twelve or thirteen. If Shauna and Javi develop feelings while in the woods and he continues to progress through puberty, it would not be all that farfetched to think they form a bond. That bond may have got him killed. It also may make her feel guilty about her relationship with the younger boy.
Considering Yellowjackets already revealed there was cannibalism in those woods, the proverbial cat is out of the bag. There isn’t much mystery if we already know they ate each other. Travis’s death is a question, and the postcards are equally confusing. Sammy’s behavior could be a misdirect designed to make us think there are demons when it’s just a troubled mind who endured too much in the woods and now has come back for her pound of flesh. The only thing for sure is this mystery is just getting started, and we don’t know anything yet.
As the Managing Editor for Signal Horizon, I love watching and writing about genre entertainment. I grew up with old-school slashers, but my real passion is television and all things weird and ambiguous. My work can be found here and Travel Weird, where I am the Editor in Chief.