Yellow jackets, the new thriller on Showtime, begins with the sound of a panic hiccup. The camera bounces beside a young woman in a nightgown running through the woods; she is barefoot, even though there is snow on the ground. Whispers echo behind her, then screeches and calls of strange birds. The girl continues to run – for her life, it seems – until she falls into a deep well full of spikes. The camera pans over his corpse; her pursuer watches her from above, their faces covered in a cloth mask, their shoulders draped in animal skins and a shabby football t-shirt.
Then we get a time jump. A high school football team got stranded in the wild after their private flight crashed; only a few survived, and now they’re adults, still haunted but trying to lead “normal” lives. Soon we have another flashback to the wild, where masked girls tie up the naked corpse of a downed girl and prepare her like meat. With this opening, Yellow jackets is only just beginning to reveal the mystery of the Weird Woods where these girls washed up, and from there, each episode will raise the stakes with further reveals and jaw-dropping cliffhangers.
Since I started to watch Yellow jackets on Showtime, my mind was filled with frantic and desperate speculation about what will happen in the next episode. My friends called him “the next one Lost, and a bit like Lost, watching this show kept my brain focused on reading fan theories after each episode and arguing with my girlfriend about the characters’ motivations.
Problem is, I can’t take care of someone else Lost. I have taken this road before and don’t want to go back. But the other problem is that it is already too late. Yellow jackets has its sweet little pricks in me, and it didn’t take long; the bloody and spooky opening episode made me feel good, and I’ve been down for the count ever since.
Lost already broke my heart years ago with this exact type of shit. I remember the excitement I felt at the end of the first season of Lost, when the main characters opened this mysterious trap door. It seemed like anything could happen! And there were so many other great moments on this show. (The polar bears! Not Penny’s boat! “We’ve got to get back!”) Remember the speculation, the justification every time you got to predict something correctly, the continuous feeling that anything could happen? But then… remember what it was like to watch last season and realize it just wasn’t that deep?
Since then, I have tried not to get involved in the mysteries of the puzzle boxes. After all, if you don’t invest yourself, you can’t be disappointed when the disclosures aren’t going anywhere. I wasn’t heartbroken when Battlestar Galactica and Real detective took some strange turns. I did not like Westworld – not even season 1 – because I felt like I was getting fucked on purpose. Suspense? I do not know her ! No more.
But now with Yellow jackets, I returned to my worst impulses. I search for “Yellowjackets” on Twitter and Reddit as soon as I finish an episode, checking several times a week to see if anyone has noticed any details that look promising. I’m texting friends to see if they’re caught up by the show so we can share theories; a friend of mine knows of a hobby pilot who gave us his own theories about what really happened to the plane at the end of “Flight of the Bumblebee” (the most recent episode at the time of writing). Let’s just say that, based on his ideas, I’m more convinced than ever that Yellow jackets is supernatural.
Because Yellow jackets aired on Showtime, it’s not as popular as Game of thrones Where Lost, but I’m not the only one captivated by the mystery that unfolds in this series. And it really is as it should be, because I need more people to participate in fan theories and quench my thirst to solve mysteries.
I do not know if Yellow jackets will solve everything this season satisfactorily, not to mention future seasons. But at least the show has more to offer than just the puzzle box. Its ensemble cast, teens and their adult counterparts, have magnetic chemistry with each other. So I’m not here to learn about the worship of wild nature; I’m also here for the stacked actors playing various anti-heroines who tear each other apart to survive. Christina Ricci’s terrifying turn as villainous Misty – as well as her teenage version, played by Samantha Hanratty – deliciously stresses me out every week. Then there’s Nat, played by Sophie Thatcher (the teenager) and Juliette Lewis (the adult); she continues to make terrible choices, but given her tragic history, it makes sense (and makes surveillance overwhelming). Tawny Cypress and Jasmin Savoy Brown as an adult and Taissa as a teenager, respectively, swing effortlessly between solemn and unbalanced.
The top that I feel Yellow jackets right now may not last. But for the first time in ages, it feels deserved, and I just want more people to tell me how good it feels. More people must follow Yellow jackets actress Melanie Lynskey on Twitter, where she openly engages with fan theories and makes us all guess (and lose our damn minds). More people need to tell me about the glitter in the back of Shauna’s closet and where it really came from. And why does Callie go to sleepovers almost every night? Doesn’t that sound suspicious to anyone ?!
Do you know what i mean? It is hopeless. I am doomed. I am an edifying tale. You might as well join me.
Yellow jackets Season 1 is now airing on Showtime, with new episodes every Saturday.