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The Most Heartbreaking Shauna Moment From Yellowjackets

Created by Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson, the popular Showtime series "Yellowjackets" follows two timelines. To begin with, in 1996, members of a high school girls soccer team are in a plane crash on their way to nationals, ultimately stranding the survivors in the wilderness for nineteen months. In 2021, four of the survivors are haunted by the trauma of their time in the woods — and are even being blackmailed by someone who knows the secrets of what they did to survive. Despite Season 1 not revealing all of the horrors the girls faced (and inflicted on each other) while in the wilderness, "Yellowjackets" proved utterly compelling to viewers. Part of the show's appeal, fans would agree, is the complexity of the characters and their relationships with one another.

One of the standout characters is Shauna (Sophie Nélisse in 1996, Melanie Lynskey in 2021), who, in the 1996 storyline, has a complex and often fraught relationship with her best friend, Jackie (Ella Purnell). Shauna has been pigeonholed into the role of Jackie's sidekick. Yet, despite their friendship — or possibly because of their dynamic — Shauna is sleeping with Jackie's boyfriend Jeff (Jack Depew in 1996, Warren Kole in 2021), and even ends up marrying him after the team is rescued. To make things all the more complicated, 1996 Shauna is forced to deal with an unwanted pregnancy, while 2021 Shauna dives into an affair with a mysterious younger man. Shauna undeniably goes through a whole lot throughout Season 1 but which moment is the most heartbreaking?

Shauna's reaction to Jackie's death is her most heartbreaking moment

The rising tension between Shauna and Jackie comes to a head in the season finale when the two get into a major fight. Jackie condemns Shauna for betraying her by sleeping with her boyfriend, and Shauna finally tells Jackie how much she resents being controlled by her. The fight results in Jackie deciding to camp outside because she doesn't want to be in the same place as Shauna. And, tragically, when the first snow of the season comes unexpectedly, Jackie freezes to death overnight. When Shauna finds a dead Jackie, blue from the cold and covered in snow, Shauna's loud cries are piercing and heartbreaking.

We know that adult Shauna is haunted by the death of Jackie — literally, in one scene, when Shauna envisions a teen Jackie in the present day — and has had to go on with her adult life knowing that she played an indirect role in Jackie's death. In an interview with Collider, actor Melanie Lynskey further explains how Jackie's death affects Shauna, saying, "I think there's a certain tragedy about never being able to repair that relationship that is all-encompassing ... It's a lesson for [Shauna] that if you ask for what you want or you stand up for yourself, bad things happen. I think that's something she holds onto for the rest of her life."

With all this in mind, watching Shauna cry over Jackie's dead body somehow becomes even harder to watch.