Yellowjackets Season 1 Ending Explained: Every Shocking Twist

Yellowjackets Season 1 Ending Explained: Every Shocking Twist

WARNING: The following contains SPOILERS for Yellowjackets season 1, episode 10, “Sic Transit Gloria Mundi.”

The Yellowjackets season 1 ending has several twists and surprises, setting up an exciting season 2. The Showtime series is one of the best new horror TV shows of 2021, thrilling audiences with a compelling mix of drama, thrills, and intrigue. After an unpredictable season full of shocking reveals and jaw-dropping moments, episode 10, “Sic Transit Gloria Mundi,” raised the stakes even higher, introducing several more enticing mysteries for season 2 to explore.

Yellowjackets follows the story of several women who, as teenagers, survived a horrific plane crash and several months stranded in the wilderness: Shauna (Melanie Lynskey), Taissa (Tawny Cypress), Natalie (Juliette Lewis) and Misty (Christina Ricci). The four reluctantly reconnect after they receive postcards threatening to reveal the secrets of what “really happened” in the 19 months following the crash. The narrative is split into two timelines, with one taking place in the present day, and another set in 1996, showing the teenage versions of Yellowjackets’ main characters alongside several other survivors.


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Throughout the course of Yellowjackets season 1, it gradually became clear that there were more survivors than the four women: the sole teenage boy on the flight, Travis, also survived — at least until he was killed in the present timeline. The season also revealed the fates of a few original survivors, like Laura Lee (Jane Widdop), who tragically died in a plane crash, and Jackie (Ella Purnell), who froze to death following her fight with Shauna. In the final moments of episode 10, the series confirmed one further survivor still alive in the present time. Here’s the Yellowjackets season 1 ending explained.

What Happens At The End Of The Yellowjackets Season 1 Finale

Yellowjackets Shauna Confronts Jackie

Yellowjackets season 1, episode 10 largely ties up the loose ends of the season, and deals with the aftermath of the penultimate episode, “Doomcoming.” Misty, Taissa, and Natalie help Shauna cover up Adam’s murder in the present timeline, while their teenage counterparts grapple with their actions during the drug-fueled “Doomcoming” party. The adult Yellowjackets attend their 25-year homecoming party (turning plenty of heads in the process), Taissa’s partner Simone (Rukiya Bernard) discovers a bizarre shrine hidden in her basement, and Misty lets her captive, Jessica Roberts (Rekha Sharma), leave — but sets up a seemingly accidental overdose by lacing the woman’s cigarettes with fentanyl.

In the final moments of Yellowjackets episode 10, Taissa learns she shockingly won the election, Jackie is revealed to have died from exposure, and Natalie’s suicide attempt in the present day is interrupted by unknown figures who kidnap her. Finally, Natalie’s contact from the bank calls, leaving a voicemail in which she states that Lottie was the one who emptied Travis’ bank account, indicating that she also survived to the present day — and likely had something to do with Travis’ ritualistic murder.

What The Lottie Reveal Means For Yellowjackets Season 2

Yellowjackets season 1 ending explained

The Yellowjackets season 1 ending firmly establishes that Lottie Matthews will be the primary antagonist going forward. Throughout the season, the young woman’s mental health problems — and possible psychic abilities — are a recurring subplot. The psychedelic experience of the “Doomcoming” embolds Lottie tremendously, however, and by episode 10, she is a much more threatening presence. Not only does she fearlessly kill a bear at close range, but she is shown performing a ritual with Van (Liv Hewson) and Misty (Sammi Hanratty) in tow. Before the plane crash, Lottie took medication that controlled her visions; however, without her usual interventions — and having been influenced by the religious Laura Lee to lean into her spiritual beliefs — Lottie appears convinced of her own powers of prophecy.

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The final scene of Yellowjackets season 1 heavily implies that the unknown assailants who abduct Natalie are doing so on Lottie’s behalf. Their clothing is strange: they wear all grey, including headwraps and pendants depicting the symbol from the woods. Suzie (Colleen Wheeler) is clearly afraid of Lottie (although she doesn’t know who she is), and thinks that some unknown party is following her. Given where the teenage Lottie’s story ends — with her presenting the bear’s heart and asking the “darkness” to “set [them] free,” it makes sense that she would become a sort of cult leader; already, she appears to be doing so in the past timeline, and in the present, she would certainly have the resources to do so (coming from a wealthy family).  The question remains, however: why would she have Travis killed? Further, what does she want with Natalie?

The Yellowjackets Finale Reveals Just How Dangerous Misty Really Is

Yellowjackets Misty finale

One of the more shocking moments of the Yellowjackets season 1 ending was Misty letting Jessica go, since that plotline seemed headed for a more violent showdown (especially after Misty’s reaction to her pet bird Caligula being threatened). Of course, this exchange was all an elaborate deception Misty had masterfully set up in order to cover her tracks: she laced the cigarettes with fentanyl so that when Jessica inevitably smoked them, she would overdose. To avoid suspicion, she initially threw them out, knowing Jessica would look for, and then ask, for her cigarettes. It seems like a bit of a gamble on Misty’s part — but it’s possible that she had a backup plan to deal with Jessica. Still, the incident reveals Misty’s willingness to kill.

Taissa’s Secret Shrine

Yellowjackets Season 1 Ending Explained

Juxtaposed with the scene in Yellowjackets of Taissa learning of her stunning upset against her electoral opponent, Simone discovers a disturbing, ritualistic shrine hidden in the basement — which includes the sacrifice of her pet dog, her son’s doll, and what appears to be a human heart. Written on the wall by the shrine is the same symbol that appeared in the woods, and was likely at the scene of Travis’ murder (laid out in candles, much like the candles seen on the shrine). The manner by which these two scenes are intercut heavily implies that they are connected. This begs the question: did Taissa perform some sort of ritual in order to win the election?

Nothing audiences have seen so far indicates that Taissa is even remotely superstitious, and she earnestly seems afraid of what she might do while sleepwalking. It’s possible that Taissa assembled the shrine unknowingly during a sleepwalking episode, further hinting at a possible supernatural element to her somnambulism; however, it’s also possible that the same cult-like people who killed Travis and abducted Natalie are responsible. This is especially true if they want to take advantage of Taissa’s newfound political power in Yellowjackets season 2. It’s worth noting that Taissa was seen dismantling the doll (which appears reassembled in the shrine), and she believed that she had let the dog out; therefore, the shrine could be a collection of her misdeeds. Is that Adam’s heart on the slab? And where did the dry leaves come from? Is this all an elaborate reminder of what happened in the woods, 25 years ago?

Jackie’s Death & Shauna’s Dream In The Yellowjackets Finale

Yellowjackets season 1 ending explained

Right before Shauna discovers Jackie’s body in the Yellowjackets finale, the audience is shown a dream sequence. This scene could be interpreted as Shauna’s dream, but the content suggests the events are being seen from Jackie’s perspective. In the dream, Shauna apologizes to Jackie; she returns to the cabin, where she is met with an overwhelmingly warm reception from the group. Jackie is shocked when she is given hot chocolate, but then is increasingly disturbed — first because of Laura Lee’s appearance, and then because of a sinister male figure in the background who says he has been waiting for her — almost certainly the corpse found in the attic in Yellowjackets episode 3.

So whose dream did the audience see — or did Shauna somehow witness Jackie’s dying visions? Regardless, the creepy scene further established the supernatural aspect to the cabin. Taken at face value, the moment suggests that the spirits of those who die in the area, like Laura Lee, remain. This was hinted at in an earlier episode, when Lottie had her first real outburst. It’s also possible, although not probable, that Jackie didn’t actually die. Van has already had two death fakeouts, and although Jackie was out in the cold, she may have just been unconscious from hypothermia (she looked pretty dead though). As well, the girl who is killed in the Yellowjackets episode 1 flashback was wearing Jackie’s necklace — another mystery season 2 will have to explain.

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