An Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson creation, Showtime’s survival horror thriller series ‘Yellowjackets’ has two distinctive timelines. In 1996, members of a New Jersey high school girls’ soccer team get stranded in the Ontario Wilderness after their plane crashes on its way to the nationals in Chicago. Those who survive are forced to make certain extreme choices, including cannibalism, as winter arrives and resources become scarce. Twenty-five years later, trauma is still part of everyday life for those who have made it back to civilization alive.
In the season 2 finale, titled ‘Storytelling,’ in the past, the Yellowjackets return from their first hunt, triumphant, bringing Travis (Kevin Alves) more horrible news than what he is prepared for. In the present, the others decide to humor Lottie (Simone Kessell as adult; Courtney Eaton as teen) as she declares that they need to sacrifice one of themselves to satiate the demand of the Wilderness, but it soon goes out of hand. Here is everything you might want to know about the ending of ‘Yellowjackets’ season 2 episode 9. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Yellowjackets Season 2 Episode 9 Recap
The season finale begins with “Zombie” by The Cranberries playing in the background. It doesn’t necessarily fit the context but still sets up the atmosphere as the hunting party returns. Travis, who has been waiting with bated breath, is initially filled with relief and joy when he spots Nat (Juliette Lewis as an adult; Sophie Thatcher as a teen). But those sentiments quickly turn into horror as he realizes what has happened. Nat lies to him, claiming that she couldn’t do anything to save Javi (Luciano Leroux). Given how things tend to turn out in ‘Yellowjackets, that lie will probably come back to haunt her. The scene could have been even more impactful if Travis were written with a bit more emotional range than he currently has. In this episode, he simply shuts down with grief, cries alone, and eventually seems to accept what has happened.
It has been Shauna’s (Melanie Lynskey as adult; Sophie Nélisse as teen) job to butcher the meat since the plane crash. In this episode, she once more picks up the knife, irrespective of the fact that she was close to Javi. Scott (Steven Krueger) returns from his own expedition, bringing news of the cave he has found, while Shauna is about halfway into her task. Scott turns to leave only to encounter Nat. He urges her to come with him, asserting that she is better than the others and explaining that the cave has enough food to last the winter for the two of them. In response, Nat reveals that she let Javi die.
In the present day, after Lottie’s declaration, Shauna agrees with her to placate her. After Lottie leaves, the others plan to have her institutionalized. But while they are alone, Van (Lauren Ambrose as adult; Liv Hewson as teen) admits to Taissa (Tawny Cypress as adult; Jasmin Savoy Brown as teen) that she is uncomfortable with the plans of forcefully putting Lottie in a mental health facility and argues that they should convince her to do so. Meanwhile, Jeff (Warren Kole) arrives at Camp Green Pine with Callie (Sarah Desjardins). Unbeknownst to them, Kevyn Tan (Alex Wyndham) and Matt Saracusa (John Reynolds) have followed them there.
Yellowjackets Season 2 Episode 9 Ending: Are Nat and Kevyn Dead?
Yes, Nat and Kevyn are dead in the second season of ‘Yellowjackets.’ Besides the four people mentioned above, Walter (Elijah Wood) arrives at the camp and proves he is as psychotic as his girlfriend. If the viewers thought he was reaching out to the authorities to inform them about Adam Martin’s death in the previous episode to betray Misty (Christina Ricci as adult; Samantha Hanratty as teen), they couldn’t be more wrong.
In the season 2 finale, he poisons Kevyn with a phenobarbital solution and moves his body to the man’s car with Jeff’s help. He then sets up a trap for Saracusa, who arrives and finds the body. This is when Walter snatches the other man’s gun away and puts several bullets in Kevyn’s body. He reveals that he has connected Kevyn to the murders of Adam Martin and Jessica Roberts. Now, Saracusa can become a hero of his department as the new detective who discovers his partner’s involvement in a political scandal (as Jessica was a political operative) and two deaths, or he can be implicated in those crimes as well. Almost predictably, Saracusa chooses the former.
Just like how things were when they were stranded, the Yellowjackets use a deck of cards to select who will die. Shauna eventually gets the queen of hearts. As the others put on their masks, grab knives, and approach her, she has little choice but to run. Suddenly, Callie appears and shoots Lottie in the arm. Nat claims they turned into monsters in the wilderness because of Lottie, but Van reminds her that Lottie’s actions were always influenced by her concerns for the group.
When Lisa appears with a shotgun and points it toward the other Yellowjackets, Misty tries to take advantage and stab her with an injection filled with either fentanyl or a phenobarbital solution, but Nat intervenes, saving the girl she had grown fond of since coming to the camp. The supernatural aspect of the narrative is still very much in place. With Nat’s death, the Wilderness is satisfied. The legal problems seem to go away for the Yellowjackets and the Sadecki family. As she willingly leaves for a mental-health facility, Lottie tells Van and Taissa that they will find proof that the Wilderness has been satisfied. It seems to make Van hopeful, likely about her cancer diagnosis. After all, she has always been a believer.
Who Sets Fire to the Cabin? Is Nat the Antler Queen?
In the past, after Lottie finishes her task, she offers Travis the first bite. He subsequently sinks his teeth into the raw meat of his brother’s heart before dumping it into the pan. It serves as a signal for others to grab their piece. Afterward, Lottie transfers the leadership of the group to Nat, effectively making her the new Antler Queen. What none of the people inside the cabin know is that Scott is watching them from the outside.
That night, the survivors wake up to discover their cabin is on fire. They find the door is locked and have to work together to break it. All of them make it out of the cabin alive as a raging inferno engulfs it. It is heavily implied that Scott is behind it. He is the only person in the group who is yet to eat human flesh despite their circumstances and ends up finding a cave with food and water.
While there is definitely a sense of moral superiority at play here, Scott is trapped in the same situation as the others, and it can be argued that he was rewarded, perhaps by the Wilderness, for withstanding his hunger. Scott likely feels that the other survivors are all beyond redemption, so he decides to kill them, ironically committing an even more heinous act than the other survivors. In season 4, the girls will probably figure out that he is behind the fire and seek him out.
What is the Significance of the Queen of Hearts?
We finally get an idea of how the survivors made it through the winter. They didn’t split into tribes. Instead, when they grew hungry, they used a deck of cards to pick who would die next so others could survive. The queen of hearts was the card with the marking. Whoever picks it from the deck is effectively chosen to be hunted and sacrificed. The survivors spent 19 months in the wilderness. So, it’s possible they were forced to use the same method to survive a second winter.