Let’s Overanalyze the “Yellowjackets” Trailer Together Like One Big Happy Cannibal Cult

Buzz buzz buzz! A Yellowjackets season 2 trailer is finally here! One full minute of intrigue and suspense! Zero images of cannibalism (as far as I could tell)! A lot of SNOW! Catch up on everything we know so far about the new season, which comes out on March 24.

Okay Yellowjackets Hive, it’s time to talk about that season 2 trailer! But first, let’s talk about the trailer’s rollout. If you, like me, have an unhealthy attachment to this show AND if you, like me, tend to easily fall for flashy, manipulative marketing campaigns, congratulations! You probably spent a sizable chunk (read: an hour and one minute) of your morning watching a candle slowly burn down while spooky sounds played in the background, eagerly awaiting even just a taste, a fleshy little morsel of Yellowjackets season two.

Yesterday, Showtime cross posted a countdown to “dawn” on all its socials, teasing that people would need to make “sacrifices” in order to “summon” something. We all naturally assumed the summoned would be a trailer, and we were correct! But whew, did we have to work to get there! This morning at 9:29 a.m. Eastern, Yellowjackets went live with the aforementioned candle video. Just a candle slowly burning in a cabin. Scored by sounds that to me were actually quite meditative but according to other commenters were actually haunting and disturbing, and I suppose that says a lot about me! We were encouraged to make offerings and sacrifices in the chat. One iconic soul offered to sacrifice her landlord. I wish her well.

Like a pack of teenage girls turning on each other in the wilderness, the commenters quickly turned on the brave social media managers running this stunt. It quickly became clear that watching this candle burn down wasn’t going to be a cute little five minute lead-up to the trailer. Indeed, it was not until 10:30 a.m. Eastern (a baffling interpretation of “dawn” even when adjusted into different time zones) that we finally got what we were all ignoring work/class/coffee/breakfast/life for: THE YELLOWJACKETS SEASON 2 TRAILER.

Friends, did we learn nothing from the time HBO coaxed Game of Thrones fans into watching a literal block of ice melt just to ultimately reveal the date of the show’s return? I mean, yes, in this case at least we got a lot more to eat than that, and honestly the social media mind behind the strategy deserves a raise, because it did work on me, and even commiserating with folks in the chat gave me a thrill. But I will admit I am a little wary of the Game of Thones-ification of Yellowjackets, which comes as much from viewers as it does from marketing campaigns like this. I don’t like to treat this show like a puzzle box, because it ultimately isn’t one. Or, more specifically, it’s most interesting in its mysteries that cannot be solved — the emotional, character-level mysteries deep in the show’s marrow. It is, of course, fun to theorize and speculate. But I saw this get really wild with all the Adam stuff last season. I don’t want this show to feel like Game of Thrones and start prioritizing shocks and reveals over just really good fucking stories.

ALL THAT SAID, I’m about to do the exact thing I’m somewhat criticizing here and encourage us all to dig deep on the Yellowjackets season 2 trailer. There isn’t a ton of dialogue to go off of, but it’s packed with images. Here we go:

What are we thinking, hive?! That’s definitely Simone Kessell as Adult Lottie in that first part with Adult Nat, right?

Here are a smattering of screenshots I took of images that stood out to me:

In the Yellowjackets season 2 trailer, Lottie lowers Travis in some sort of ritual

It looks like Teen Lottie is using Travis in some sort of ritual. In general, this trailer really ramps up a lot of the culty vibes.

Van and Taissa from Yellowjackets, shrouded in darkness

Unfortunately, there are no appearances from Adult Van, but here we have Teen Taissa and Teen Van…cuddling maybe?

A group of Yellowjackets characters in animal masks

This is the trailer’s scariest moment if you ask me!!!!

The Yellowjackets characters around a table in the woods wearing white and gold Ancient Greek looking gowns

Doomcoming part two? But also, the presence of these white and gold gowns and fancy goblets makes me think this has to be a fantasy sequence.

Elijah Wood wearing a striped puffy vest on Yellowjackets

Elijah Wood is looking very REI Lesbian, and I love it.

A group of people dancing around a fire

Synchronized dancing around a fire? Yeah, we’re going full death cult.

Also, I couldn’t get a clear screenshot of it since it’s so quick, but we see Teen Taissa…hacking something violently at one point? Animal? Frozen Jackie? Something or someone else? I also think we see Teen Lottie undergoing some form of electroshock therapy, which I’m thinking means we’re going to get a Lottie Flashback moment.

There is SO MUCH SNOW — it’s about to be a very cold and brutal winter for the girlies! Hope no one follows down Jackie’s popsicle path!

Okay, what did you catch? Did you watch a candle burn for an hour like me? Were you secretly disappointed not to see any cannibalism like me? Let’s overanalyze and have some fun! March 24 feels way too far away.

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Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya is the managing editor of Autostraddle and a lesbian writer of essays, short stories, and pop culture criticism living in Orlando. She is the assistant managing editor of TriQuarterly, and her short stories appear or are forthcoming in McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Joyland, Catapult, The Offing, and more. Some of her pop culture writing can be found at The A.V. Club, Vulture, The Cut, and others. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram and learn more about her work on her website.

Kayla has written 818 articles for us.


    • I’m with you on appreciating the mystery more than trying to solve everything. And I like that it has a sci-fi vibe but I don’t think I want it to actually have, like, magical creatures or anything. Teenage Jersey girls on their own are terrifying enough.

  1. Gah I can’t wait for this! I have a weekend trip with friends soon and I’m planning to force them to watch season one with me because my aggressive suggestions haven’t worked yet. As a girl from Jersey who graduated high school in 1997, this show speaks to me so deeply.

  2. My favorite thing about this trailer is how little was revealed. Not to be unlike other girls, but I love that Yellowjackets — in the show, in the marketing — keeps its mysteries.

  3. Oooh the sequential shots of the feet dangling and then the flame lighting…I‘n pretty sure they’re separate shots but we love even a cannibal hint!

    Also I must say my first thought was this is survival guys! I respect the psychological benefits of light and that you’re going through it but at least cover up SOME of the windows, they’re just heating the air!

  4. Ugh I literally just finished watching season one two days ago and I am already starved for new content so this is a GIFT. Looking forward to seeing more of everyone, especially Lottie!!

  5. okay, there is so much to unpack in this little teaser, but the question i most need answered is WHAT HAPPENS TO SHAUNA’S BABY?! also, i’m holding out for adult Van in the long trailer, because that will be a real reveal

  6. yesterday a coworker who’s from jersey mentioned that she played soccer in high school and i was like “SPEAKING OF HIGH SCHOOL SOCCER PLAYERS FROM JERSEY HAVE YOU SEEN YELLOWJACKETS” so yeah my spare bulletin board is bout to get color coded note cards and string

  7. Okay. So first of all, one of my deepest fears, even worse than being attacked by Jaws, is of a group of humans wearing masks made from real animal heads encircling me and staring down at me, and the second deepest fear is them turning to stare at me just when I think I’m getting away. So.

    Next I want to say that so many things were subliminal and I hate that because I need to see and process everything clearly so I know what I’m up against. Once the humans in animal masks are all staring at me, I need to know everything so I can plot my escape!

    In all, not very cannibalistic, but so creepy anyway.

    White togas could not have been during the stranded months unless they had them packed for the soccer tournament for some reason. I never played sports so I could easily be convinced that sports teams have weird parties while wearing togas and dumping Gatorade on each other. But only if they win. Or whatever.

    I’m just saying that there is no way they found that many clean white sheets in that cabin. So I’m thinking it’s a shot of Lottie’s post-stranded cult…

    Why would they have winter clothing? Only if the cabin owner left it, and there wouldn’t be enough for more than one or two ppl.

    It’s hard to get green wood to burn, so unless there was already a huge amount of cured firewood in a covered woodpile, I find it hard to believe they’d be able to keep a fire going 24/7 for all the months of a northern Ontario winter. What are those, like 10 months long?

    And the other commenter is right about heat loss through windows, etc. I used to have a cabin in the Catskills and it took a lot of wood to heat it and we eventually got baseboard heat to keep the temps from dipping below freezing in the middle of the night when the fire would go out. They could have had ppl taking shifts to tend a fire, though. But I’m talking a LOT of dry, cured firewood.

    I think my biggest quibble is the lack of warm clothing. Until they kill, skin, and tan the hides of (?!) enough animals, they would not be able to keep warm day or night. And their feet would freeze! Are we thinking they figured out how to tan animal hides? And sew them into boots? Am I being too demanding of my television entertainment? Are those things maybe easier to DIY than I expect? Maybe not when you are stranded as a group for months and have lots of down time, but starvation would have also had a big impact on their abilities to think, learn, and use their hands.

    Okay, maybe I’ve watched too much survival reality tv. I’ll stop now.

    My other big question is that if Lottie could get the bear to lie down and be killed, why would they ever have to resort to cannibalism? Because they just wanted to? Maybe to make sacrifices to the entities who made Lottie’s power possible?

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