What the final season of Yellowjackets Season 1 reveals about the show’s wild teenage matriarchy

Spoiler alert: This section discusses plot points from Yellow jacket season 1 finale.

If you need your faith in humanity restored, just remember this: Yellow jacket ended the first season successfully. Showtime’s Teenage Girl Survival Chiller Thanks to Its Little Popularity Lostmysteries in style, has led Yellow Jacket scientists to obsessively dissect those puzzle box elements in various online forums. (Misty would be so proud.) I also spent hours debating whether Adam was a grown-up Javi and trying to identify the girl who was skewered through the pilot’s cold eye socket. And yet, I came out of Sunday’s finale – which confirmed that the victim was neither Jackie, who froze to death, nor Lottie, who appeared to be still alive – much more eager to talk about sneaky subversive themes of the season.
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Because adolescence is difficult, and because women are still second sex, almost every pop culture story about teenage girls is in some way a story. about the horrors, physical and emotional afflictions society inflicts on them. That includes many roles did Yellow jacket‘famous star. Juliette Lewis played a notoriously brutal killer due to sexual abuse in Natural born killers. Christina Ricci described a beautiful young hostage in Buffalo ’66. Melanie Lynskey debut, in Peter Jackson’s Creatures in the sky, as a sick child turned into a delusional killer. What we rarely see are depictions of young women cut off — or liberated — from their social context.

Yellow jacket corrects that failure of imagination by trapping its soccer-championship team in a wasteland so remote that it in fact qualifies as the hypothetical “state of nature” that the Political philosophers dreamed to envision how humans behaved before the dawn of civilization. A few male passengers survived the crash, but one was a child, one was a nervous virgin (well, until Doomcoming) and the third was a gay amputee; they pose no material threat to the traditional matriarchy. Instead, the biggest rival to this new way of life is captain Jackie, who quickly transforms from a suburban golden girl into an outcast jungle. Her death from hypothermia in the season finale severed the Yellowjackets’ final tie to the old social order.

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Kailey Schwerman / SHOWTIME(LR): Sophie Nélisse as Teenager Shauna and Ella Purnell as Teenager Jackie in YELLOWJACKETS, “Sic Transit Gloria Mundi”

No matter how many factions they outline, most high-school stories suggest that there is a distinction between winners and losers–the great kids and the no-nonsense, playboys. and eccentric, mean girls and their prey. That includes Yellow jacket. However, as it tends to be, the show is somewhat darker than its predecessors. Back in New Jersey, even among the outstandingly talented girls, was the pride of the school, only Jackie really thrived. She has beauty, wealth, a planned future, the powerful support of Shauna and a devoted boyfriend of four years, Jeff, who doesn’t push her to give up. Sure, Jeff and Shauna were hooking up behind her back, but Jackie only learned about it after she lost everything else in the crash. When reality doesn’t match her wishes (see also: Shauna’s early acceptance of Brown), no one dares to break her illusions. For a reference to another ’90s gem, it’s like she’s her own star Truman show.

Her flourishing came at a heavy cost to others. During the series premiere, Travis and Javi’s dad explained that he didn’t make her captain because she’s the strongest player (“Shauna is faster, Lottie has the best footwork a mile, and Taissa… ), but because she alone possesses “influence”. She is stable and charismatic enough, under normal circumstances, to keep her teammates steady. If that kind of pragmatism is rare among teenage girls, it’s probably because it can take a lot of magical thinking to get through a woman’s adolescence. But Jackie never needed to separate because the world she lived in revolved around her. When she stops Shauna from pulling Van out of the burning plane, it is implied that Jackie – of whom Shauna is only a part of himself – instinctively prioritizes his own survival above anyone else’s.

Meanwhile, the Yellow Vest survivors will have to go home to do? (RIP Laura Lee, who had Jesus.) Misty is a friendless person, so she surreptitiously removes the plane’s black box to prolong her adventures with popular girls and coaches. her beloved trainer. Lottie, the onetime and perhaps future Queen of Antler, whose parents were absent from her super rich; In an early scene, we watch her swallow antipsychotics under the cold eyes of a uniformed maid. Evil! Van’s mother drank, Taissa’s calm appearance concealed a lot of rage in her subconscious, and the two of them, on the surface, remained secretive. Natalie’s family is a tragedy of real crime rates. By comparison, Shauna’s pre-pregnancy problem is smaller, but she’ll clearly lose it if she has to spend more time hiding her light from a student and athlete. Incompetence can shine.

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Kailey Schwerman / SHOWTIME(LR): Courtney Eaton as Teenager Lottie and Sophie Nélisse as Teenager Shauna in YELLOWJACKETS, “Doomcoming”

This is the kind of suffering that causes people to look for something beyond their material circumstances to give meaning to their lives. Remember the scene in the pilot where Jackie teases Shauna about the time she “tried to be Catholic”? (It also attracted teenagers to brooding music, and never more so in the ’90s, when alt-rock invaded the Top 40 and suddenly you could hear Kurt Cobain or PJ Harvey screaming about being cut off on the radio. Even MOR hits show up in Yellow jacket, like Seal’s “Kiss From a Rose,” dripping with sick romance.) Whatever this violent new pagan cosmology turns out to be, emerges in Doomcoming’s psilocybin frenzy and evolves into a faith after Lottie predicts the end of hunger and then slaying a fearful, obedient bear, spiritually satisfying it perhaps before the crash.

And this is the place Yellow jacket More than just a cleverly written, well-choreographed survival thriller. Throughout its first season, the show also reversed our assumptions about the trauma these middle-aged women suffered. At first glance, it seems that they carry the scars of 19 months in the wilderness, regardless of whether cannibalism is part of the experience or not. But I’ve long had the feeling that players who outlived Jackie and Laura Lee never felt more free or outlived them while living in their bloodthirsty matriarchy. Nat is an alcoholic and adult alcoholic, but in the final episode, she tells the coach that she wasn’t tempted by the bottle of wine she found.

It’s a civilized, patriarchal world that makes her drink – and Shauna gets desperate, and Taissa divides her political aspirations into one box and, uh, blood sacrifice in another. (Misty probably never Not ) While I’m also pretty sure Van is still alive and working for Lottie, this is the only fan theory that I can wholeheartedly endorse. What the final season of Yellowjackets Season 1 reveals about the show’s wild teenage matriarchy


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