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Yellowjackets' S2 Finale Finally Unveils The Antler Queen In The Worst Way

Contains spoilers for "Yellowjackets" Season 2 Episode 9 — "Storytelling"

If you thought the mystery of the Antler Queen on "Yellowjackets" was solved already — in that we all thought young Lottie, played by Courtney Eaton, was the boss of the teenaged cannibals — but the Season 2 finale presented another answer entirely. Apparently, young Natalie (Sophie Thatcher) was the Antler Queen, a decision made by Lottie after she believed the wilderness "spared" Natalie's life by killing someone else instead.

See, in the previous episode, we saw the girls' first foray into the cards ritual, where the person to choose the single queen card in a deck can either submit and be killed or run for their life. Though it seems like the wilderness "chooses" Natalie when she draws the queen, Javi (Luciano Leroux) tries to help her escape as she runs from her teammates... and when he falls through the ice, the girls chasing Natalie declare that the wilderness has chosen Javi instead.

Because Natalie "feeds" the team by letting Javi die, Lottie says that the wilderness has effectively crowned her... and not a single girl hesitates before stepping forward to pledge their fealty to Natalie. Now that we know Natalie, not Lottie, is the Antler Queen seen in the show's pilot, what does that mean?

Natalie is the real Antler Queen. Does that matter?

So Natalie is the Antler Queen in the wilderness timeline, yes — but thanks to a shocking twist in the adult timeline, this doesn't seem like it'll have that much impact on the story going forward. In the future timeline, the girls reassemble at adult Lottie's (Simone Kessell) compound and Lottie is convinced that the wilderness still wants a sacrifice; this time, it's adult Shauna (Melanie Lynskey) who draws the queen.

A scuffle ensues with Lottie, Misty (Christina Ricci), Taissa (Tawny Cypress), Van (Lauren Ambrose), and Natalie (Juliette Lewis) in pursuit of Shauna, only to get interrupted by Shauna's daughter Callie (Sarah Desjardins) and one of Lottie's acolytes. Trying to take down said acolyte, Misty accidentally stabs Natalie with a syringe full of fentanyl, and there's no saving her — Natalie simply dies in Misty's arms, putting a firm end to her future arc.

Not only is this horribly tragic when contrasted with young Natalie's victorious coronation in the wilderness timeline, it... doesn't seem to make a whole lot of sense in the moment. If adult Natalie is doomed, does it matter if young Natalie is the Antler Queen in the end?

There's trouble brewing between Shauna and Natalie in the wilderness timeline

Putting aside the narrative issues surrounding Natalie, the show does throw an apparent wrench into the wilderness timeline after Lottie is crowned — young Shauna (Sophie Nélisse). Shauna is the one to skin and butcher poor Javi's frozen body, and she does so alone before arriving in the cabin to present her teammates with a platter full of fresh meat. When Lottie says their real leader is the person who fed them, Shauna perks up... and though she bows to Natalie with everyone else, her real feelings become clear soon enough.

In the finale's very last scene, which is set in the wilderness timeline, Shauna is up late journaling — and the little we can see is pretty telling. She can't believe Lottie didn't name her, and she even starts writing that her now deceased and eaten best friend Jackie (Ella Purnell) used to make her feel invisible, and that feeling is resurfacing now that she was passed over for Natalie. (It's also important to remember that, when Natalie first pulls that queen card, Shauna is the one tasked with killing her, and almost does it.) Her journaling is interrupted, though, as the cabin goes up in flames. Shauna is the one to help everybody else escape, but will this change the hierarchy, and what does this mean for Shauna and Natalie's connection going forward?

The first two seasons of "Yellowjackets" are streaming on Showtime now.