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Yellowjackets Better Not Turn Into A Show About Forest Gods Or The Whole Thing Is Ruined

Few shows blew up in 2022 the way that "Yellowjackets" did. While the series didn't make a big splash right off the bat, positive reviews and strong word of mouth helped to give it a long shelf life, ramping up the pressure for Season 2. However, as the survival drama has increasingly sunk its teeth into the imaginations of viewers, there's one lingering mystery that, when unspooled, could throw off everything that makes the show great. 

No, we're not talking about the cannibalism. Rather, this is about the spooky forest god stuff that has been a part of "Yellowjackets" from early on in the first season. From the moment the survivors found an eerie corpse in the attic to the discovery of strange symbols carved into trees all over the Canadian wilderness, there has been a haunting feeling that this generally grounded series may suddenly go the "Lost" route. As Taissa Turner (Tawny Cypress/Jasmin Savoy Brown) continues to see visions of a man without eyes during her various sleepwalking treks, and Lottie Matthews (Simone Kessel/Courtney Eaton) is slowly turning the girls into a cult, it's beginning to look more and more like there might actually be something supernatural in the woods with the survivors... and if there is, everything that makes "Yellowjackets" great (aside from it being a masterclass in how to use music on TV, anyway) is going to be ruined.

There have been a lot of seemingly supernatural instances on Yellowjackets

Though there have been voices of reason on "Yellowjackets," like Ben (Steven Krueger), Taissa, and Natalie (Juliet Lewis/Sophie Thatcher), Lottie seems to be gaining more cache over the group with each passing episode. It's not hard to see why, either, as many of her visions seem to miraculously come true, again and again. Even stranger, the odd omens — like a character inexplicably speaking in a foreign tongue, or a flock of birds crashing into the cabin after blood touches a symbol — are too ominous to dismiss completely. Meanwhile, Taissa somehow can sleepwalk her way to the strange symbols that are found all over the forest.

As of now, nearly every surviving character on "Yellowjackets" has experienced at least one seemingly paranormal event, and Lottie is capitalizing on them to take control of the group. Even in the present day, Taissa's other self watches herself maliciously in the mirror while Lottie continues to see omens of further terrors to come.

With all of the creepy chanting on the audio tracks, and an increasing number of supernatural happenings piling up week after week, it's beginning to look like — barring a major revision in how the story is being told — there has to be something otherworldly going on in "Yellowjackets." Unless, that is, the writers follow the one obvious escape route. 

How the Yellowjackets survivors cope makes sense given the desperation of their situation

Now, not all hope is lost. There is a logical explanation for what is happening to the survivors on "Yellowjackets." Considering the desperation of the circumstances that the characters in the series are facing, it's entirely possible that they're looking for meaning in their otherwise hopeless situation.

The survivors have endured an insane amount of trauma already in "Yellowjackets," and things are only getting worse for them as time goes on. However, as postulated by Viktor Frankl in his Holocaust memoir "Man's Search for Meaning," if we can find meaning in our suffering, then it becomes easier to come to terms with it. Just one of the horrific events that the characters in "Yellowjackets" have faced could lead to years of trauma, but when you combine a plane crash, the deaths of so many friends, being trapped in the wilderness, and now cannibalism, it makes it easier to understand how they might begin to think they're experiencing some kind of special or miraculous occurrences. The human mind strives for meaning even when meaning doesn't exist.

Furthermore, when you consider how boring life must be for most of the survivors, you can see how their minds might begin to wander and leave them susceptible to some kind of shared hysteria or madness. However, if for some reason this isn't the case, and the supernatural events are indeed supernatural, then we're in for one of the biggest comedowns for a popular series this side of "Heroes."

Going fully supernatural would be a huge mistake for Yellowjackets

Being that we already mentioned "Lost," we'd be remiss if we didn't point out that in Season 2, Episode 4 ("Old Wounds"), Lottie literally finds a hidden tunnel beneath a ghost plane and follows it to a land where dead characters like Laura Lee (Jane Widdop) are still alive. Though moments like this can hopefully be explained by some kind of logic, as they continue to stack up, it's worth reemphasizing what a terrible idea it would be for "Yellowjackets" to become yet another show about a supernatural force uniting a group of plane crash survivors against an ancient evil.

Outside of these kinds of moments, "Yellowjackets" has been a gritty survival drama and a deep exploration of how lingering trauma and untreated mental illness can have devastating effects on people decades after the events that caused them to manifest. To succeed, this series needs to lean into these aspects and away from all of the weird "X-Files" stuff on the periphery.

While "Yellowjackets" co-showrunner Jonathan Lisco has said that the show is not about a monster in the woods, he also left the door open for supernatural elements like ghosts or forest gods to continue to haunt the central characters of the story. Let's just hope they don't completely sink what is otherwise an extremely compelling dramatic series.