Yellowjackets recap: Everything that happened during Season 1
Yellowjackets was an enormous success when it crash-landed on UK shores via Sky last year after its critically acclaimed premiere in the States courtesy of Showtime in November 2021.
And now, we're finally getting our hands on the second season of the psychological thriller drama. Set to premiere on 24 March on Paramount+, the same day as the US, British viewers can see what's next in the saga of the group of New Jersey high school students who crash somewhere in the snowy, remote Canadian Rockies while travelling to Seattle for a sports tournament in the nineties.
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While there have been many epic survival-themed series, Yellowjackets took off thanks to its flash-forwards, showing us the survivors trying to piece their lives together twenty-five years later. The adult characters were played by established stars, while their teen versions were played by rising names, making the blend of old and new refreshing, especially in a story centred on twisted sisterhood in the face of severe trauma, betrayal, and drama.
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So much happened in the first season of Yellowjackets, so read on if you need a recap before binge-watching season two.
What was the plot of Yellowjackets season one?
It's 1996, and a female high school football team heads to Seattle for a major tournament—however, their plane crashes in the remote Canadian wilderness. While many of their teammates perish instantly, the remaining survivors are left to fend for themselves over nineteen months while facing real-world battles such as hunting for food, harsh weather, rising tensions, animal attacks, to some more dark supernatural, pagan threats.
In a parallel fast-forward to twenty-five years later, the audience is introduced to only four surviving members of the team, who still grapple with the trauma of the gruesome acts they committed to make it out alive, such as cannibalism. It's clear that they lied about what happened to them in the wilderness when they got out, something which haunts them to the present day.
Who stars in Yellowjackets season one?
Melanie Lynskey played the adult version of Shauna Shipman, while Sophie Nélisse played the teen version. Other pairings include Tawny Cypress and Jasmin Savoy Brown as Taissa Turner, Christina Ricci and Sammi Hanratty as Misty Quigley, and Juliette Lewis and Sophie Thatcher as Nat Scatorccio.
Rounding out the cast were Ella Purnell, Steven Krueger, Warren Kole, Liv Hewson, and Courtney Eaton.
What happened during the students' fight for survival?
In the early days of their crash, the girls find a Cessna plane in the woods, prompting devout Christian Laura Lee to study the plane's flight manual. Attempting to fly the aircraft out of the wilderness, it's not long before it explodes, killing Laura instantly. Her death marked the first real stage of hopelessness for the remaining girls.
Meanwhile, outcast student Misty decides to put the Yellowjackets soccer team's assistant coach, Ben Scott, out of his misery by amputating and cauterising his leg after it got mangled in the crash. Mindy's medical skills win praise from her teammates. Desperate to continue feeling needed by the others, she finds the plane's black box and smashes it to bits. Her actions cause widespread disgust among her teammates and raise questions about her motives.
The terrors don't end there, as Van truly goes through the wringer. While sleeping, wolves drag her through the woods and rip a chunk out of her cheek. Taissa (who is romantically involved with Van in secret) fires a flare gun at the wolf, scaring him off. However, it appears it's too late, as Van is unresponsive. However, as the girls put her on a pyre to get rid of her body, she wakes up.
Among the real-world terrors, the show kept everyone on their toes by dipping into the supernatural world, with Lottie having several psychic visions with symbolic meaning, later making her a cult leader.
What happens to the surviving adults years later?
Off the back of the vital role she played during the crash, Misty seems to thrive as a care facility nurse. However, she suffers from illusions of grandeur and is a master manipulator with no sense of warmth, leading her to actions such as kidnapping.
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Meanwhile, Taissa has built a well-polished life for herself as a high-flying politician running for New Jersey Senate. However, under the picture-perfect facade, it's clear that her past has followed her into adulthood. Meanwhile, Shauna is now a suburban mum, feeling guilt over sleeping with her best friend Jackie's boyfriend Jeff before they crashed into the woods.
Shauna is also now married to Jeff, but embarks on an affair with artist Adam. Lastly, Natalie still wears fishnet tights and heavy black eyeliner, like her rebellious teenage self. Coming out of rehab, she searches for her on-again-off-again lover Travis, who she finds dead. This sends her down a further spiral.
What happens during the Yellowjackets season 1 finale?
In the final minutes of Yellowjackets, adult Natalie gets kidnapped by a group of cult members wearing necklaces with symbolic meaning. This is after an anonymous voicemail tells Natalie that the person who killed her on/off lover Travis and emptied her bank account was her former teammate Lottie Matthews, who, up until now, viewers thought had died in the crash because her journey wasn't followed into adulthood.
The last shot of the season sees a teenage Lottie menacingly offering a bear heart to nature while Van and Misty pray in unison behind her.
Yellowjackets S1 is streaming on Paramount+ and NOW. Yellowjackets S2 starts on Friday, 24 March, with new episodes dropping weekly