There are many grisly moments in Season 1 of Showtime’s plane-crash series “Yellowjackets,” with the stranded girls’ soccer team forced to hunt and scavenge – and much worse – to survive in the wild. The mystery unfolds in two timelines, the months after the crash and 25 years later as the survivors are now adults with varying degrees of guilt and trauma. Back in civilization, Shauna (Melanie Lynskey), Nat (Juliette Lewis), Misty (Christina Ricci) and Taissa (Tawny Cypress) all display a savage side that hints at the depravity they sunk to in order to survive.
The finale left us with a lot unexplained, (a second season is planned), but here are the answers to some of your animal-related questions. (SPOILERS)
Was that a real rabbit Shauna killed and made into chili?
Although she now has what appears to be a nice life with a nice house, a hot husband and a teenage daughter of her own, adult Shauna is seething under the surface. When she spots a rabbit in her yard, she kills it (offscreen) then brutally dissects it on the kitchen counter. While the dead bunny looks real, Lynskey was relieved it was just a prop.
“I’m a vegetarian — I haven’t eaten meat since I was 10 years old. I didn’t want to have to do that with a real rabbit, so they made me this crazy prop rabbit — it was all magnets, sticking pieces together. It looked so real!” she told the NY Times.
As for what the bunny butchering says about the character, we learn that in the wilderness, teen Shauna (Sophie Nélisse) wasn’t squeamish about “bleeding” the deer that Nat (Sophie Thatcher) and Travis (Kevin Alves) shoot. But, even though her daughter Callie forgot to defrost the meat that was supposed to go in the chili, there was clearly no need to kill the rabbit. Shauna seems to enjoy the slaughter and tries to shock her husband Jeff and Callie by telling them the truth, then lies and says it was actually just chicken. The mother of her late best friend Jackie (Ella Purnell) later says how much Jackie loved rabbits, putting an even more sinister spin on the scene. For more analysis, read Yellowjackets: What Shauna Killing The Rabbit Really Means at ScreenRant.
And, of course, Shauna’s knife skills and fearlessness in the face of blood come in handy later on.
What’s the deal with Lottie and that bear?
Lottie (Courtney Eaton) has had eerily accurate visions since she was a child and by the finale, her supply of meds that kept them at bay has long since run out. She emerges as a kind of spiritual leader to the group, as many of her cryptic predictions have come true. After she tells the other survivors, “We won’t be hungry much longer,” a surprisingly docile bear nears the cabin. Lottie grabs the knife and approaches it without any fear. Ignoring the pleas from the other girls, Lottie walks straight up to it and it seems to bow before her. She kills it with one stab to its skull. Later, at the “Doomcoming,” she offers up the bear’s massive heart at a primitive altar. (Yes, that was a bear heart, not a human one, showrunner Jonathan Lisco told EW.)
Is there something supernatural going on, or is everyone just going collectively crazy?
Earlier, Lottie has a vision of a deer that appeared to have bloody flesh dripping from its antlers. Out in the woods, Nat and Travis find and shoot a buck that matches her vision exactly. The starving group is thrilled to see they’ve bagged another deer, but when they cut into it, it’s filled with maggots.
Lisco told Salon, “We always had this idea that we wanted to play with the idea of the supernatural and explore what the supernatural even is, and whether or not the darkness, so to speak, the existential dread that all humans feel at some point comes from outside of us or within.
“We always knew that Lottie was going to be a linchpin character for us, because we knew that she was taking meds for a certain mental illness. So whether or not that then blossoms into something that is just a result of her mental stressors . . . or whether or not that darkness is external to her and the girls is something that we always wanted to explore.”
What happened to Sammy’s dog Biscuit?
In the contemporary storyline, Sammy, the son of Taissa and her wife Simone, is distraught when his dog Biscuit goes missing. Taissa, who began sleepwalking after the crash, finally tells Simone that she’s started again, and may have inadvertently let Biscuit out of the house one night. But even if Tai doesn’t remember these sleepwalking episodes, as she claims, she tearfully begs her wife to leave and take Sammy as she’s afraid she might hurt them. Sammy has been behaving oddly and covering his window with drawings so “the lady in the tree” can’t see him. Since Tai somehow woke up in a tree after the crash, it doesn’t take much a leap to realize that she is the one frightening her son.
But it gets worse. On the night Taissa wins an upset victory in her senate race, Simone returns to the house and finds a trail of blood in the basement. She tracks it until she finds a hidden altar with what looks like a human heart … and poor Biscuit’s head! That sinister smile Taissa has at the news of the win implies she may know what she’s doing at night after all.
Lisco told Salon that in the second season, Taissa will have to face what she did. “She’s now aware, truly conscious, of her bifurcated self and the advantages of that.” But while she’s aware, she’s not in control.
“We all love our animals. And the fact that her alter ego has done something terrible to Biscuit is something that we really need to redeem her from,” he said. “We hope that the audience will go on that ride with her and us and realize that she’s not fully in control of her own capacity.”
As for the wolf that adult Taissa sees, it could be her guilt over not protecting Van (Liv Hewson) from a wolf attack the night she first started sleepwalking – or realizing her own predatory nature is very much alive.