‘Yellowjackets’ Season 1 Recap: Get Up to Speed Before Season 2

‘Yellowjackets’ Season 1 Recap: Get Up to Speed Before Season 2
Mar 2023


TV Insider's Top 25 of the Week (March 20-26): 'Succession,' 'Yellowjackets' & More'Yellowjackets' Stars Set the Table for Tasty Season 2

Yellowjackets is ready to sting again. The hit psychological drama returns to Showtime on Sunday, March 26, and streams on Showtime's app and on-demand service two days earlier.

So far, Yellowjackets has shown viewers how members of a high-school soccer team from New Jersey survived a plane crash and eked out an existence in the Canadian wilderness, but we haven't yet learned what drove them to cannibalism over their 19-month ordeal. Here's what went down in Season 1.

After the crash -- which takes out the flight crew, the Yellowjackets' head coach, and at least one of the team members -- teen outcast Misty (Sammi Hanratty) uses her first-aid knowledge to save assistant coach Ben's (Steven Krueger) life, though she has to amputate his leg to do so. Misty enjoys her newfound heroine status a little too much, though, and destroys the plane's emergency locator transmitter, seemingly in an attempt to keep the group stranded.

The Yellowjackets find refuge in an abandoned cabin, and they even find a propeller plane. But that's about where the good news ends. Out in the woods, a pack of wolves attacks the girls, severely wounding Van (Liv Hewson), who'd been embarking on a romance with Taissa (Jasmin Savoy Brown). (Van survives, luckily.) Then, after getting reading the propeller plane's manual, Laura takes flight in a bid to get the group rescued, but she dies when the plane explodes moments after takeoff.

Days later, the group decides to throw a homecoming party, but the celebration is derailed when almost everyone accidentally consumes hallucinogenic mushrooms. Some of the girls even torture and threaten to kill Travis (Kevin Alves), the deceased coach's son, who survived the crash along with his younger brother, Javi (Luciano Leroux). Jackie (Ella Purnell), who didn't take the shrooms, confronts the group for abusing Travis -- with whom she'd just hooked up, despite Travis' flirtations with Natalie (Sophie Thatcher). Jackie is also on the outs with Shauna (Sophie Nelisse), who got pregnant after sleeping with Jackie's boyfriend, Jeff. So Jackie decides to sleep outside, and she freezes to death.

In the present -- 25 years later -- the surviving Yellowjackets are trying to hide from and escape their past. Natalie (Juliette Lewis), fresh from rehab, confronts Misty (Christina Ricci), now a care facility worker, to ask about a mysterious symbol she received via postcard. Shauna faces questions about the time in the woods from a journalist named Jessica (Rekha Sharma). And Taissa (Tawny Cypress) is running for New Jersey state senate -- a race she ultimately wins -- but she's facing attack ads focusing on the cannibalism accusations against the Yellowjackets, and her son is haunted by a "lady in the tree" outside the window. Taissa, however, is that lady in the tree, since she's suffering from nocturnal personality breaks. In fact, Taissa even appears to be keeping a human heart in an altar in her basement, as wife Simone (Rukiya Bernard) discovers. Plus, Taissa is the one who hired Jessica to investigate the other Yellowjackets, as Misty learns when she kidnaps (and later poisons) the faux journo.

In the present day, Shauna's (Melanie Lynskey) life unravels, even after her marriage to Jeff (Warren Kole) hits the skids. She starts an affair with a stranger named Adam (Peter Gadiot) after thinking that Jeff is having an affair of his own. Soon, though, she suspects Adam of being the blackmailer who's extorting the surviving Yellowjackets for $50,000, and she stabs him to death. Turns out, the blackmailer was actually Jeff, since he's in debt to a loan shark whom Shauna thought was his sidepiece. To cover their tracks, Shauna and Jeff lie to the rest of the group, saying Adam was the blackmailer. And Misty disposes of his body.

Meanwhile, Misty and Natalie have another mystery keeping them occupied: They find adult Travis dead and suspect that he was murdered. And in the finale, Natalie is kidnapped by unknown assailants -- with medallions showing a familiar stick-figure symbol -- just as a contact of hers at a bank calls to tell her that the person who emptied Travis' bank account is Lottie, a Yellowjacket survivor (played in teen form by Courtney Eaton) who started to display psychic abilities -- and started to develop a cult-like following as the so-called Antler Queen -- during the team's time so far in the woods.

Now, Season 2 is ready to continue the story, picking up two months after the events of Season 1. And as Showtime says, the tension among the teammates has only gotten worse. "The harsh conditions of winter are intensifying by the day, and the psyches of our survivors are deteriorating just as fast," the premium cable channel adds. "Threatened by the darkness of the wilderness -- and the haunting memories of it in the present -- our former state champs will be forced to make impossible decisions. As they confront the horrible truth of what survival entails, the real nightmare for each of them will be to figure out who they are -- and what they are willing to sacrifice in order to stay alive."

Yellowjackets, Season 2 Premiere, Sunday, March 26, 9/8c