We are addicted to Natalie who is the frontrunner for the sanest and potentially scariest one of all the Yellowjackets.
If you aren’t watching Yellowjackets on Showtime, you are missing out. The incredible horror series is not just deeply disturbing, but it is a brilliant character study in teen girl dynamics and how those often influence the adults they become. It also is about blackmail, possible possession, and a fair amount of cannibalism. If there is one thing teen girls do well, it’s eating each other alive. Shauna, Natalie, Misty, And Taissa may have survived their ordeal in the woods, but they may not survive each other.
Showtime’s runaway hit about a team of high school soccer stars whose plane goes down in the middle of the Canadian forest is a perfect balancing act of humor, mystery, and outright terror. Told over two different timelines what happened to the girls in the nineteen months they were in the woods and what continues to happen to them today unfolds. None of the girls came out unscathed, but some of them found validation in the woods. Others found that their desire to survive overrode their moral convictions.
Throughout eight episodes, we have been introduced to some of the most compelling characters to grace the small screen since Beth on Yellowstone. As a result of intricate writing and incredible performances from the actors that play the high school age and adult soccer team, this team is brought to life in wild and surprisingly believable ways. Even though some women seem to have come out of the experience with everything, others appear to be a moment away from a complete breakdown.
When Travis is found dead, the women know someone can’t be trusted. Any of the core four could be responsible. It could also be someone who made it made alive but not grateful and is looking for their pound of flesh. Not everything is as it seems, though. Misty is a fan favorite, but she is bonkers. Natalie has her share of issues, but an argument could be made that she is the sanest. Here is why Natalie is the most healthy and reasonable of the group.
Sure, Taissa appears to have it all together. She has a wife who loves her, an adorable son, and a thriving political career. She is smart, driven, and haunted by her past. Unfortunately, Taissa is also prone to hiding in trees and eating dirt with no memory of getting there or why she is there. Shauna also is married and has a daughter. She appears well adjusted until you realize her daughter is a mean girl, her husband might be cheating on her, and she is having an affair with a younger man in some sad attempt to live her lost youth. Oh yeah, that younger man might be someone from their past who is out to get them.
Misty is entertaining as hell, but she is one sick puppy who regularly tortures her elderly patients, sabotages her friends’ cars, blackmails, and kidnaps people. She is a sociopath that many have argued is a product of being bullied in high school. On the other hand, we saw Natalie endure bullying and abuse at home and didn’t resort to destroying black boxes and kidnapping. Since we don’t know who the Antler Queen is, she may be responsible for even worse, though.
Juliette Lewis and Sophie Thatcher, who play adult and teen Natalie, are brilliant, and both show her complexity. She is fragile and brutal, prickly and courageous, and kind and vicious. Although she emerged from the woods physically healthy, she was far from unscathed. Something terrible happened to her, and it influenced everything after her rescue.
Natalie’s manipulation of Kevyn is stone cold. She can turn it on and off with ease. She knows the man had feelings for her as a kid and still harbors those feelings. Although she has no remorse for using Kevyn, her actions are relatable as opposed to Shauna or Taissa, who are in denial about who or what they are. They each are sociopaths in their own way. Shauna murders bunnies and tries desperately to relive the wildness of youth and Taissa, stubbornly clings to the allusion that she has everything under control. Even as her relationship begins to strain and her troubled child stares at her with fear.
After everything that happened to her before and after the plane crash, Natalie’s behavior is reasonable. It’s normal to be traumatized by her childhood and the time in the woods. Misty gets a pass because she was ostracized for being socially awkward, but poor Natalie was beaten regularly by her father and was slut shamed daily at school. Yes, she was a gifted athlete with friends on the team, but she wasn’t without her share of problems.
We know Taissa and Shauna feel indebted to her, but we don’t know how deep that appreciation runs or why. Did Travis and Natalie get better at hunting and provide food eventually? That hardly seems likely, considering the girls resorted to cannibalism. Does this hint at Natalie being the Antler Queen? This would be an interesting angle considering she seems the kindest of the group. Her addiction issues aside, anyone could relate to her reaching out for a connection from her old friend Kevyn. Although she rejected him, she needed the affection he gave.
Natalie is willing to do what needs to be done; she just doesn’t fool herself into thinking it’s normal or right. Any psychologist would tell you that being self-aware is a step closer to sanity. She doesn’t revel in inflicting pain or doing bad things. Misty, however, enjoys torturing people as much as she wants their adoration. When Natalie had to turn Kevyn away coldly, she protected herself and the group. She wasn’t trying to be cruel. Natalie may appear ice cold, but she’s just a survivor, and that is something we can all relate to.
I am team Nat, and quite frankly, if you aren’t, there is something wrong with you. But, God help me, even if I find out she is the Antler Queen, I will still make excuses for her behavior. For the record, my money is on Misty. She’s the only one sick enough to come up with that craziness. Yellowjackets airs new episodes each Sunday on Showtime.
As the TV/Streaming Editor for Signal Horizon, I love watching and writing about genre tv. I grew up with old school slashers, but my real passion is television and all things weird and ambiguous. When I’m not watching and writing about my favorite movies and series, I’m introducing my family to the wonderful world of sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. My only regret, there is not enough time in the day to watch everything.