“Yellowjackets” Episode 106 Recap: Hauntings From the Past and the Future

BUZZ BUZZ BUZZ it’s time to eat some dirt and then, like, forget about it! Here’s your Yellowjackets 106 recap where we’re talking all things “Saints,” written by Chantelle M. Wells and directed by Bille Woodruff. Catch up on past recaps here, and chime in with theories in the comments!


Well, folks, we have a Cassandra! I’ve been trying to figure out exactly how Lottie fits into this story and have also, as many people have expressed in the comments of these recaps, been wary of where things might go in terms of mental illness depiction. I do think Lottie’s hesitance to tell others about being on medication and also the other girls’ refusal to ask her what’s going on even though she’s clearly struggling is a realistic depiction of how mental illness stigma plays out. Van at the start of this episode becomes the first person to really ask Lottie if she’s okay and what’s wrong (cementing Van as one of my favorite characters). Especially because we see the harsh way Lottie’s parents talk about her mental state when she’s a very young girl, it makes sense that she wouldn’t really have the tools to open up to anyone about what she’s experiencing in the woods. She’s seeing things, but it’s safe to assume these aren’t hallucinations. They’re visions. The past haunts in “Saints,” but via Lottie, so does the future.

Yellowjackets has been playing around with expectations and perceptions throughout the first half of its first season. Is something supernatural happening? Or is real life and the ways we move through it—especially while navigating trauma—sometimes just strange enough to feel like fantasy-horror? “Saints” is the first episode to really let some of that strangeness spill over. There’s still a level of ambivalence that keeps things suspenseful and taut, but it’s finally pretty obvious that something supernatural is indeed happening. The mythology of Yellowjackets expands and thrills.

So yes, Lottie can see the future. The episode opens with her as a young girl in the back of her parents’ car. She screams, which distracts them, and then they narrowly avoid being involved in a fatal car accident. Her father insists she isn’t having visions and takes her to a psychiatrist. The implication here is that the medication she’s on has been stifling these visions. Now that she’s off them, she’s having what appear to be visions again. She sees a deer with bloody antlers in the woods. When Nat and Travis finally fell a deer at the end of the episode, it’s shedding its antlers, which are dripping with blood (“It’s like Bambi and Freddy Kreuger had a baby”). Shauna knifes it open, and maggots spill out. Lottie doesn’t just see the future; she sees warnings. She sees impending doom. The Yellowjackets are running out of food.

And that’s not the only horror they’re dealing with in the woods. Shauna is having nightmares about giving birth. We see one, in which Jackie coaches her and Misty helps her deliver a rotisserie chicken with a heartbeat. Shauna immediately starts eating the chicken. Several of Shauna’s current real-life nightmares are at play here: her hunger and the looming fear of starvation for the whole group, her guilt over betraying Jackie, her fear of giving birth in a remote place with no access to drugs or modern medicine. I truly love the body horror of this show. The chicken baby is equal parts cartoonish and grotesque — funny or repulsive depending on how you look at it. Any form of cooked meat on this show functions as a simultaneous foreshadowing and a callback.

Shauna has been having food-baby body horror nightmares recurringly: Her atticmate Taissa asks if she had the cheeseburger baby dream again. Shauna tells Taissa she’s thinking of using wire from a bra to do a self-abortion, and she also confesses about Jeff. “It’s not worth dying to keep Jackie from finding out,” Taissa says. Shauna thinks she’ll die either way.

We move then into the present, where Shauna and Jeff are having brunch with Jackie’s parents to honor Jackie’s birthday. I wrote last week that it sounded like Jackie’s parents might be time-frozen in their grief, and now that we meet them for real, that proves to be…an understatement. Jackie’s mom doesn’t just fixate on how perfect Jackie was but also takes brutal passive aggressive digs at Shauna. She remarks it must have been difficult for Shauna to exist next to Jackie’s shine. She says Jackie always worried about Shauna finding someone in life, which is such an absurd thing to say, because there’s no way teenage Jackie was going around telling her mom she was worried her best friend would never find a husband. Delusional much?! She also takes digs at Shauna for not working and for not being able to support Callie.

The tension of this brunch is hilarious. Yellowjackets makes everyday discomfort just as compelling and urgent as its more violent, unnerving forms of discomfort. Shauna and Jeff seem trapped in the odd delusions of these parents, forever tied to Jackie. The parents gift Shauna a porcelain bunny figurine, because Jackie supposedly loved rabbits (now we know where all of Shauna’s rabbit decorations in her kitchen come from). “I never thought I’d be this desperate to eat a rabbit,” Jackie muses in the woods in the past. Time bends back in on itself again. Which brings me to this: Jackie’s parents romanticization of Jackie and belittling of Shauna is especially funny — in a macabre way, of course — because we’ve seen how useless Jackie was in the woods. Shauna was running shit. Shauna’s the one actually checking traps while Jackie’s daydreaming about how much she misses Jeff.

Of course, you can’t really tell grieving parents that their daughter was basically useless. Shauna puts up with the digs for the most part. She still feels guilt about Jackie. And perhaps beyond the Jeff stuff. She might feel guilt over whatever happened to Jackie, which still remains unclear. Adult Shauna walks into the past, entering Jackie’s room and reading her diary, where they used to make lists together and play games of MASH. She has a memory-flashback of herself as a teen with teen Jackie, giggling on Jackie’s bed. The lines between the past and present vanish, and a hallucinated version of Jackie tells Shauna it’s not her fault, what happened. Shauna says she knows, but then Jackie turns. “Um, what, actually you don’t know. It’s totally your fault,” she says. The only thing scarier than a mean teen is an angry apparition of a mean teen!!!!!

While Shauna takes the digs, Jeff finally speaks up. Jackie’s mom takes things too far, and he blurts out that he was fucking Shauna when he and Jackie were still dating. Okay, Jeff! It’s funny and rude and maybe the most I’ve ever liked Jeff, who is possibly a Wife Guy? Which really does make me think the affair is a red herring after all. He’s up to something, but I think Shauna might be the only one cheating!

Back in the woods, Taissa and Van find some more time alone. They skinny dip in the lake at night, playing a game where they write words on each other’s backs with their fingers and then have to guess the word. Van writes: Boobs. It’s all very sweet, silly teen romance. But there’s an undercurrent of tension, too. There’s inexplicable dirt under Taissa’s nails, a moment that seems like a throwaway at first but takes on spookier meaning later on. And Van says the others will find out about their relationship eventually, but Taissa shuts her down, saying she wants to get out of here. “How the fuck are you going to survive?” Van asks at Taissa’s suggestion that they find another way out instead of waiting around to be rescued. Underneath the question, there’s also the question of why this is Taissa’s reaction to Van hinting she doesn’t want their relationship to stay a secret. Taissa is constantly in self-preservation mode, which we’ve seen in her as an adult as well.

The adult versions of Taissa and Shauna both arrive at adult Nat’s digs to sort out the postcard ordeal. It’s the first Shauna’s hearing of the postcards (more on that later). And it’s the first time we’ve seen all three of them in a scene together. There’s friction between them, and they seem not quite like strangers but not friends either. More like siblings or cousins. Bound to each other by blood. Caring about each other but not entirely liking each other.

The contrast between adult Shauna and Taissa’s dynamic and teen Taissa and Shauna’s dynamic is striking. As teens, they’re bound by the secret of Shauna’s pregnancy. They go through a painful and frightening experience together, and I’m not talking about the plane crash. All of the Yellowjackets share that. In “Saints,” Shauna and Taissa share the intimate and terrifying experience of trying to give Shauna an abortion with a piece of wire. Shauna’s determined to do it alone at first, but Taissa runs desperately through the woods to find her. She eventually does, and they try to do it together, but the pain is too much, and Shauna asks her to stop. It’s difficult to watch, a real-life version of body horror as opposed to the over-the-top body horror of Shauna’s nightmares. Shauna and Taissa are connected by this traumatic experience, and yet in the present, they’re distant. They’re busy trying to forget the past, and it colors their every interaction.

The attempted abortion is intercut with Laura Lee giving Lottie a baptism in the lake. Laura Lee takes an interest in Lottie’s visions, thinking they are messages being communicated through Lottie by God. During the baptism, Lottie imagines walking through a dark, underground, somewhat industrial candlelit space that my girlfriend pointed out has a similar vibe to the warehouse from the original Nightmare On Elm Street, which could be an intentional reference point given the Freddy Kreuger line later on. Just like there isn’t a fixed boundary between dreams and reality in that iconic horror movie, there isn’t a fixed boundary between hallucinations, memories, and reality for a lot of these characters — not just Lottie.

Sometimes we see literal manifestations of the past (like adult Shauna’s warped and foreboding hallucinations of Jackie), and sometimes the past sneaks back in quieter, invisible but still very present ways. Kevyn brings adult Nat to his son’s soccer game, and she gives him a detailed pointer, harkening back to her soccer past. But what should just be a simple, sweet little moment derails when Nat freaks out while watching the kid score. We don’t need to be told or overtly shown what’s upsetting her here: She’s clearly thinking about the past, remembering a different time, life before the crash. And thinking about life before the crash means thinking about everything the crash changed. It’s like her watching kids play soccer summons a ghost we can’t see.

The episode’s title is “Saints,” and I’m brought back to the pilot, when Jackie makes reference to Shauna becoming briefly obsessed with Catholicism and Shauna saying she was drawn to the tragedy of the saints. Catholic imagery/mythology is all over the place in Yellowjackets, which is fitting since, well, transubstantiation has notes of cannibalism. On that note, and I can’t help but notice the juxtapositions between hunger and love, between food and the body, this show keeps putting forth. Jackie says she misses Jeff more than cheesesteaks. Shauna’s disturbing food-baby nightmares.

Then there’s also Lottie seeing Taissa in the middle of the night shoveling dirt in her mouth. There’s an interesting mix of horror imagery in the episode. There are more heightened moments, like the chicken baby. And then there are more subtle but still unsettling moments like teen Taissa eating dirt, which honestly reminds me a little of the iconic standing-in-the-corner shot from Blair Witch Project in that it’s just really fucking scary without doing much (there’s more movement to this moment, but still! Same energy to me!). Right before that shot, there’s also a brilliant shot of Lottie with a mounted deer head behind her. But I don’t think this is suggesting Lottie’s the antlered cannibal queen from the pilot; it would be too obvious of a wink. Rather, I just think Yellowjackets seizes every opportunity to remind us of those scenes from the pilot. The Yellowjackets can never forget, and neither can we.

Something has a hold on teen Taissa. If we think back to Lottie saying the woods didn’t want the hunter to leave in his plane, could there be something deeper and more dangerous going on to Taissa’s one-track mind about getting out of here? Is that just her survival instincts or could she be unintentionally leading everyone into danger, possessed by the woods somehow? After all, in the present, she’s unknowingly harming her family. In a very well executed reveal, she’s shown as “the lady in the tree” Sammy has been talking about, which means she has been accidentally gaslighting her kid.

And it’s affecting Taissa’s whole life. Her marriage is strained, Simone hurt and angry that she didn’t drop out of the race like she said she was going to and also worried about Sammy. She makes an appointment with a child psychologist, and Taissa is distracted while there. She’s also distracted on the drive home to the point of almost accidentally hitting a guy on a bike. Sammy is under stress, and of course he is! He’s the only one who really knows Taissa is the lady in the tree, and it must be overwhelmingly confusing and weird for him. What is going on with Taissa in both timelines! And how does the eyeless man fit in here?

The Yellowjackets, even if they don’t really know it, are dealing with peripheral paranormal threats and circumstances, but they’re also still dealing with the regular teen drama and conflict that doesn’t just go away just because they’re stranded in the woods. Things escalate between Nat and Travis, and Ben decides to give Travis a sex talk. It reminds me of the menstruation stuff from last episode. Ben gives Travis a handful of condoms, saying the last thing they need is to care for a baby out here (little does he know that that complication might be on its way via Shauna). The circumstances are more dire, and yet on the surface, it looks like a regular sex talk would look. Yellowjackets is again real about its characters bodies, about their hormones, about the fact that they might be fighting for their lives but they’re still going to do the things they would have done in their past lives like have sex. Jackie also slut-shames Nat in the episode, and Travis also makes a lot of assumptions about Nat’s sexual history. As an adult, Nat also struggles with other people’s ideas about who she is. Taissa and Shauna treat her like she’s more of a mess than they are just because of her addiction. And in the past, Nat puts up a tough act, but she’s clearly affected by the ways people treat her and talk about her.

Back in the present: Shauna never received a postcard, and that has to be significant. I’ve seen the theory that Misty sent the postcards to “get the band back together,” but her kidnapping of Jessica Roberts and the ongoing blackmail somewhat dispels that theory. Misty has no reason to financially blackmail the group, and she also seems pretty convinced Jessica Roberts is the Big Bad here. She thinks she cracked the case, citizen-detective-style. Shauna wouldn’t have sent the postcards either I don’t think. She wants nothing to do with the other Yellowjackets anymore. I’ve seen the theory that it could be Adam. He’s still hiding something it seems. We don’t really see him in this episode, but he keeps trying to call Shauna. And then she sends him a text that says “lie facedown on the floor for 45 minutes and maybe I’ll come,” further confirming my characterization of Shauna as a dommey mommi.

But I have an alternative postcard theory: Maybe Shauna didn’t receive one, because the call is coming from inside the house. Her house, specifically. Maybe Jeff isn’t having an affair but is rather plotting some sort of blackmail scheme. It doesn’t seem like the furniture store is doing great business. Whoever has sent the postcards knows about the symbol from the woods and other intimate Yellowjackets details, but you know who keeps a diary full of these secrets in her room? Shauna. Her family could, with a little bit of light lockpicking, access it. And I say “family,” because honestly, my main theory right now isn’t that it’s Jeff: It’s that it’s Callie. Shauna and Callie have an antagonistic relationship. Shauna straight up says she doesn’t like her daughter at the brunch (another fantastic line reading from Melanie Lynskey). And there’s a parallel here: We’ve seen Shauna sneak into Callie’s empty room to masturbate to a picture of her boyfriend, which is, to put it lightly, pretty violating? What if Callie’s breaking into her room to read her diary? Also pretty violating! If this theory is correct, it means the postcards and Travis’ murder are separate threads though. Callie is a piece of shit, but I don’t think she’s—to borrow a term from Riverdale, where the actress also appears—a murderess.

I’ve saved the best for last: Misty fucking Quigley blasting Phantom of the Opera before stabbing Jessica Roberts with a syringe full of a cocktail of drugs she stole from work. She then ties Jessica Roberts to a bed in her basement. This is, I think, Misty’s way of trying to win back Nat and the other Yellowjackets, who she has been spying on via the owl cam. Misty loves to coerce people into closeness with her. Maybe she thinks if she can get Jessica Roberts to admit to something then she can be the hero. But Yellowjackets doesn’t really have any heroes right now; it doesn’t have any saints.

Last Buzz:

  • The series has been renewed for a second season! Buzz buzz buzz!!!!!!
  • The line “Misty fucking Quigley” is said in both timelines in this episode, and I love that echo.
  • Opening sequence musings! Today, I am thinking about the echo of “no return” in the original theme song. Could refer to the Yellowjackets being at a point of no return in the woods. Could refer to them returning to their lives outside of the woods but also…not really returning. How do you return…from any of that?
  • The more I revisit the pilot, the more I become convinced the dead girl is either Mari or Lottie.
  • Okay, Misty’s love of showtunes makes me think she was a theater kid back before the woods. Like maybe during the soccer off-season. But specifically…a theater tech kid. She’s got stage manager energy, and I say that as a former stage manager. Actually, more specifically, she might have assistant stage manager energy. Iykyk.
  • Edit: Okay, thank you to those of you in the comments who have pointed out there are movies mentioned in Jackie’s diary that suggest she got out of the woods! The plot thickens!
  • Why yes, the official soundtrack does indeed include the Phantom overature:


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Kayla

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya is the managing editor of Autostraddle and a lesbian writer of essays, short stories, and pop culture criticism living in Miami. 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.

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45 Comments

    • Smita, another one that caught my eye from the movie character list is Angela Hayes from American Beauty, which came out in 1999.

      Some possible things to read into it. Rose Dawson from Titanic hides from Cal on the Carpathia and the end, presumably leading him to conclude she had died, and creates a new identity for herself.

      Torrance Shipman was the captain of the cheerleading team in Bring It On. In the first episode, the team coach picks Jackie to be the captain of the soccer team.

      I never really watched American Beauty, so I don’t know much about the Angela Hayes character, though I know that Kevin Spacey’s character fantasizes about her. Perhaps there is a similar dynamic between Jackie and Shauna and Angela and Jane in American Beauty.

      I guess the big question is, did Jackie survive the wilderness and right that list after returning home, or did Shauna write it during previous visits with Jackie’s parents to celebrate her birthday?

      • Ooh I’m here for that Titanic reference foreshadowing that Jackie changed her identity and is still alive! Also, the Angela/Jane dynamic in American Beauty is extremely Jackie/Shauna. (There’s not much else to the Angela character, shes very into being hot and hides deep insecurity beneath overconfidence and bullying.)

  1. I can see the blackmail coming from the family. Their financial situation has been repeatedly mentioned, but is Callie (and/or Jeff) smart enough to pull off something like this?
    I know the Adam-is-Javi theory has been discussed at length and I’m *eye emoji* at his back tattoo. We’ve never seen Shauna see it. When they jumped off the bridge it looked like she was on the opposite side of it, and afterward he kept standing to face her. If she does go see him next episode and he is naked, I wouldn’t be surprised if part of his tattoo is the symbol, or the symbol is incorporated into the design somehow.

  2. TAISSA IS THE LADY IN THE TREEEEEEE!

    Okay, now that’s out of the way (seriously though, I screamed)… it’s becoming more clear that there is something supernatural out in the woods. But is that what’s making Taissa eat dirt in the middle of the night and then have no recollection of it? Or is that a trauma response to hunger and stress? I can imagine Taissa being the kind of person who would eat less herself so others can have more. Especially knowing that Shauna is pregnant.

    Good catch on the movie list in Jackie’s diary! I don’t think the writers/prop dept would’ve just accidentally included movies that were released after the place crash. Everything about this show is too deliberate for me to believe that was a mistake. So it seems like Jackie did survive the woods but then still died young. The diary entries are very juvenile, even though by 99-00 Jackie would’ve been 20-21 years old. Maybe she regressed mentally after being rescued and never recovered. Maybe she committed suicide?

    Last thing – Misty fucking Quigley listening to Phantom of the Opera while casually dragging and kidnapping a woman is possibly my favorite scene of this show so far. Christina Ricci is so so great in this role.

    • I definitely think Jackie made it out somehow and then couldn’t cope with the trauma based on those details. I don’t think anyone has even specifically said that Jackie is dead, though I could be wrong!

      In E5, Simone says that Taissa’s been losing weight—my assumption is that the pica (dirt-eating) fugue state kicks in as a response to starvation and Taissa has unintentionally put herself into that state by not eating due to the stress of the campaign.

      • Shauna did say, when she caught Callie at the club wearing Jackie’s old uniform, that Jackie’s parents gave it to Shauna on what would have been Jackie’s 40th birthday. So it seems like she definitely died before age 40. It also seems like the brunch ritual on Jackie’s birthday has been going on for many years; if it’s Jackie’s mom who keeps giving Shauna those bunny figurines, she has a lot of them.

      • I do think Jackie is dead or presumed dead but i don’t know the specific circumstances! I think you’re right that no one has technically said she’s dead but i do think Shauna/Jeff/her parents at least THINK she’s dead

    • There’s definitely something up with the woods but I wonder if Taissa was already haunted given that scary ass scene with her grandmother and that creepy person that apparently takes eyes…who showed up last episode and eyeless…maybe looking for replacement eyes?!? 👀😱

      Anyway, definitely agree about movie list being intentional and super duper agree about Christina Ricci! I was going to skip this show because I’m not too fond of thriller/horror genres but wow she’s amazing and so is the rest of the cast. Maybe season 2 will have some former Now and Then cast mates?!? 😍
      Also it’s an added bonus being able to read the recaps and fantastic comments/theories each week! ❤️Autostraddle!!

  3. I just want to say that I live for your weekly recaps!

    Re: Jeff possibly being behind the blackmail scheme. I think this is absolutely what is going on, but I seriously doubt that he is also behind the postcards. My working theory as to why Shauna did not get one is that Jeff intercepted it, possibly initially out of genuine concern for Shauna. Then he began some light scheming, assumed that the other survivors got a postcard as well and scripted the blackmail texts, co-opting the symbol to give the threat some form of legitimacy (without really knowing what it means). This would also potentially explain why Misty received a postcard but not a blackmail text. The only survivors Shauna seems to have any form of willing communication with, albeit strained, are Nat and Tai. Jeff would be able to find their contact information in Shauna’s secret phone, but not Misty’s.

    This would also sort of (?) make sense from a plot perspective as it would allow the writers to resolve one mystery—the identity of the blackmailer—while leaving the larger mystery unresolved—who killed Travis & sent the postcards.

  4. god this episode! the absolute ferality of teen tai crouched in the woods shoveling dirt into her mouth and then adult tai in the tree with her mouth bloody from ? possibly biting a chunk of her own hand? WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN

    okay so all the religious symbolism makes me wonder if shauna is going to try and pass off her pregnancy as immaculate conception, which is one of the wilder sentences i’ve typed today, but! jackie talks about shauna’s virginity all the time and it seems like fairly common knowledge that she hasn’t done the deed (well, oops) and with laura lee and now lottie embracing jesus, maybe shauna is mary

    van palmer true hero of the show! every good line or sweet scene with tai just further convinces me she’s destined for doom and murder and macabre shit and i’m preemptively bummed

    adult nat clearly has the soccer chops still! i wonder how traumatic the sport is for all the survivors- i can’t imagine any of them returning to any type of competitive playing

    misty just? had a murder basement at the ready? i feel like jessica roberts isn’t the first guest kept down there. maybe that was the intended locale for her unfortunate date

    speaking of trauma, these girls clearly have baggage around food and eating. when i saw tai eating dirt, after being absolutely terrified, my first thought was pica- she’s malnourished and her body is seeking nutrients anywhere it can get them. of course that doesn’t explain why she doesn’t remember any of it!

    randy the old classmate having a buzz buzz buzz tattoo felt, weird. like, there’s no way that school kept yellowjackets as a mascot and it seems like a very weird way to honor a tragedy! maybe if he got it before survivors were found, i guess. i hope we get to see some of the wider world in the past timelines: their families, their school, the media fervor, etc

    maybe it’s just me but during the baptism scene, laura lee looked kinda scary? like, her image so far is very much sweet-if-weirdly-religious and she looked intense in a way we haven’t seen yet

    can’t believe there’s six days until the next episode, homophobia strikes again

    • Totally agree re: Laura lee looking creepy as hell during the baptism scene! There was a moment when she was leading Lottie by the hand into the lake and there was a Scary Movie Music Moment as she turned around and I was certain her face would be like monstrous or something in that moment but instead she just had a soft smile and it was very unsettling!

  5. Oh shit!! I noticed Titanic and Bring It On in the diary and immediately just thought it was a mistake or I was confused about the Woods Year. I am super intrigued now by the idea of Jackie making it out and what happened to her if so.

    • Where did you see those references? I’ve been seeing talk about this all over, but didn’t see them. I’m scrubbing through Jackie’s bedroom scene now and googling every pop culture reference, and there are only a few things that were off, but only because they were released in summer/fall of 1996.

  6. Based on the movies listed in her diary (and they seem to be in the same handwriting as the earlier films) I definitely think Jackie survived the woods and came home for at least a few years. Then? It’s anyone’s guess.

    With trauma that big, she could have ended her life or been institutionalised. Or she could have simply…left. Ran away from home without any explanation and started a new life somewhere far away. Which could mean she is the postcard sender! I really want that last theory to be true!

  7. These recaps and comments are the highlight of my week, right along with testing my theories on my wife, who frequently stops me to ask, “Who are you talking about? The housewife, the politician, the goalie, Christina Ricci, Juliette Lewis, or the one who looks like Sarah from The Craft?”

    I don’t think something paranormal is going on. Everything we’ve seen could be rationally explained (malnutrition, stress, mental illness, psychogenic fugue, dissociative amnesia, coincidence, etc.) and the making sense through uncertainty seems the point. We see that Laura Lee is beginning to interpret her uncertainty through the lens of her faith, and know that Travis never believed in any of the paranormal stuff. If something truly unexplainable happened in the woods, I don’t think there’s be skeptics amongst the adult survivors.

    Did anyone catch Shauna’s comment about the postcards coming from “someone from the team” because of the symbol? There are more adult survivors! Does this mean that, aside from Travis and Misty, only some players survived? Not looking good for Javi and Ben (not that things ever looked good for Ben).

    Where did the idea that Jackie’s movies/music lists had stuff from after 1996? The only film slightly off was The English Patient which came out in the fall of 1996, while the crash happened the previous spring. I didn’t check the months the songs were released, but all were 1996 or before. This seems more like a small production error than evidence Jackie returns home. My money is still on Jackie meeting her tragic end at the bottom of a pit of spikes.

    Anyone else think that Tai and a few others (maybe Shauna and Nat) will go seek help and come back to the whole Antler Queen situation in progress? If the group splits up at some point, and one half is devoid of a “voice of reason”, it seems more likely to happen.

  8. Maybe it’s not the year that the songs came out, but what the song is about/represents that’s important? Anyone else better at lyric analysis who wants to take a swing at that?

    —-
    So far, what my partner and I have come up with is below:

    Wannabe – Spice Girls-1996

    song about relationship between friend vs lover just talking about Jackie and Shauna and Jeff and that whole messed up dynamic

    “If you want my future, forget my past
    If you wanna get with me, better make it fast
    Now don’t go wasting my precious time
    Get your act together we could be just fine”

    Killing me softly – Fugees – 1996- Jeff finding Shauna’s diaries and using them against her and Callie also maybe “the family” ratting on Shauna:

    “I felt all flushed with fever, embarrassed by the crowd
    I felt he’d found my letters and read each one out loud
    I prayed that he would finish, but he just kept right on”

    “And they’ll rat on you
    The family ****** will rat on you
    That’s why we gotta be prepared to take whoever out we need to”

    Always be my baby- Mariah Carey – 1995 – Maybe Jackie is alive and somehow coming back for Jeff/wants revenge for Shauna stealing her life somehow? IDK not sure

    “You’ll always be apart of me
    I’m part of you indefinitely
    Boy don’t you know you can’t escape me
    Oh darlin’ ’cause you’ll always be my baby
    And we’ll linger on
    Time can’t erase a feelin’ this strong
    No way you’re never gonna shake me
    Oh darlin’ ’cause you’ll always be my baby”

    Ironic – Alanis Morissette – 1996 – references plane crash I guess?

    “Mr. Play It Safe was afraid to fly
    He packed his suitcase and kissed his kids goodbye
    He waited his whole damn life to take that flight
    And as the plane crashed down, he thought
    “Well, isn’t this nice?”
    And isn’t it ironic, don’t you think?”

    Doin it- Ll cool J -1995 – but jeeeeeeez Jackie what are you listening to? Thirsty? But yay safe sex lyrics I guess?

    1979 – Smashing Pumpkins – 1995 – dark… young people not making it out or like life or death not really mattering?

    “And we don’t know just where our bones will rest
    To dust, I guess forgotten and absorbed to the earth below”

    Wonderwall – oasis – 1995 – someone saving someone else? Maybe you’re gonna be the one that saves me? Maybe Shauna saving Jackie? Jackie saving Shauna?

    “There are many things that I would like to say to you, but I don’t know how
    Because maybe
    You’re gonna be the one that saves me
    And after all
    You’re my wonderwall”

    Because you loved me- Celine Dion – 1993 – Jackie and Shauna being who they are because they had each other? No idea

    Give me one reason – Tracy Chapman 1995 – one person wants to leave or needs to be convinced to stay

    Who do you love – Deborah Cox – 1995 – BF had an affair in the lyrics, so it may represent Jeff sleeping with Shauna behind Jackie’s back?
    —-

    Honestly, could not be important at all lol but figured we would give it a shot

  9. First of all, wow the water continues to be fucking terrifying. Now that, that’s out of the way, I have wild speculations.

    I am seriously starting to think it’s Lottie that’s run down and eaten in the pilot and I think it’s triggered by a sort of rival psychics thing. Lottie asks Laura Lee how did people know if they were getting visions or just crazy and Laura Lee’s response is that they believed. So. What if the team splits based not on who follows Jackie and who doesn’t but who’s visions do you believe? Who’s the psychic leader, and who’s just the crazy one?

    We know Lottie sees/hears things, whether it’s mental illness or visions, it’s still possible to debate. But we also know that Taissa (and Taissa’s family) has a history of the same thing. So what if the team splits between Lottie’s visions and Taissa’s visions? And then we get into a trial by fire scenario, if your visions are true you’ll survive, if they’re not, we’ll eat you.

    And based on that super awkward brunch with Jackie’s parents and what you said about Callie potentially being the blackmailer I am now second guessing everything I thought about Jeff. More and more I don’t think he’s cheating. And now that we know that Shauna didn’t give herself a do-it-yourself abortion in the woods…what if the baby came to term, was born in the woods, and rescued with everyone else, but was promptly put up for adoption. And now two decades later, the baby has reached out to Jeff. And what if Jeff is super weird about it not because it’s Shauna’s baby from the woods, but rather, because he thinks that the mother is/was Jackie.

    And it’s funny that you mention the blair witch project vibe because the last episode of the season is supposed to be directed by Eduardo Sanchez, the guy who made the blair witch project. I expect that last episode of the season to be extra creepy.

  10. Never did I think I would read “chicken baby” anywhere let alone on Autostraddle – reading that line made me laugh so much! Honestly when I first saw that scene, I thought I was hallucinating the chicken baby, because I was kind of hungry while watching this episode. I would love it so much to see bloopers from that scene! Also if I ever rewatch that scene again, it might just push me to be a vegetarian or vegan…

  11. FIRST OF ALL KAYLA THANK YOU FOR THESE INCREDIBLE RECAPS. Truly a pleasure and a delight and I love them!

    Okay so 2 ~citizen detective things:

    1. My girlfriend and I have been waiting to see *who* has the red converse style sneakers from the opening scene (the person looking down at the girl in the pit) and have long suspected Shauna. But for six, long episodes, the camera actually CUTS AWAY from lost-in-the-woods Shauna’s feet every time and also shows pretty much everyone else’s feet, except for when Shauna dangles a bare foot in the water in that scene with Javi. THEN, just this episode, we see her shoes. A place you can get a good look at them is when she is laying out her blanket / towel setup for her abortion in the woods. They are also red converse. The shades don’t quite quite match so could be a red herring, but I think it’s likely just the filters and that Shauna is the first person to look down at the girl in the pit, meaning she is definitely a costumed cannibalism participant. The camera is too unfocused to see whether or not she’s the person who also then cuts that girl’s throat later on in the opening.

    2. At 10:13 in the 6th episode, Shauna is looking at a post card in the kitchen. If you pause when she goes to put it in her pocket, you can see the symbol on the back. Did she take Nat’s postcard from the motel or did she actually have one this whole time??? Credit to Sadie for yelling “she has the post card!” or I probably would have missed this. If Shauna didn’t take it from Nat, why is Shauna keeping this a secret?

    Also just, it’s so Misty to play music from a musical where the villain kidnaps someone while also kidnapping someone.

  12. OK that almost abortion was so harrowing and distressing. Also I’m glad Tai was there and helped Shauna unconditionally.

    – Shauna is going to sleep with Travis, to try to hide her pregnancy.
    – This also causes the riff between Shauna and Nathalie.
    – Lottie doesn’t seems to be cray cray, it’s just that no-one’s gonna believe her (except Laura Lee).
    – Tai probably has Pica.
    – Interesting that the Therapist seemed to diagnose Tai and not Sammy.
    – It interesting that Shauna didn’t receive a postcard, but that just underlines my theory that Jeff or Callie is the blackmailer! They need money for Callie’s college!
    – As y’all already found out, if we analyze that journal from Jackie we could conclude that Jackie was alive afterwards. As we all know, Bring it on wasn’t out until 2000 and the crash was in 1996.
    – On the cake for Jackie there were 13 candles. Seems like a random number. Maybe it’s been 13 years since Jackie’s death? Maybe she killed herself? Maybe she’s in an institution because she couldn’t cope with returning?

  13. I’m loving that I’m not the only one who freeze framed the diary movies! I also did the top songs. Pretty solid list!

    I didn’t event think about the time frame though… I’m hoping it does mean she gets out of the woods and not just a good.

  14. Thank you for the fantastic recap Kayla, and for all these fan theories! I’m in the UK and often there’s a delay on these kind of shows so I miss out on the communal fan theories, so it’s fun to be a part of it.

    The cinematography and direction of this is all so so amazing. I feel like you could sit and analyse every single shot.

    I think that maybe the antlers behind Lottie’s head are intended to call back to the Antler Queen in the pilot. But I am wondering if there is some sort of sacrafice in being that person – like the idea of the person being sacrafice being holy/being treated like a queen for a day before being sacraficed? I think that the combination of Lottie and Laura Lee is where the cult ideas start to build.

    Also! I think there’s a possibility that Lottie is hallucinating the experience with Laura Lee? Or has previously? Because she was found standing in the water in that white dress a couple of episodes ago, and I don’t think we can necessarily trust the time line on the woods stuff.

  15. Okay, okay, okay: I am mostly happy to let the mysteries play out, but I just can’t shake this one idea – that Lottie is the Antler Queen. Laura Lee is already giving her so much attention that the others will probably start to catch on and then either 1) truly believe in Lottie, 2) play along for the sake of sticking with the group, or 3) push back and then get eaten. Neither Tai nor Travis seem like the type to really believe in the supernatural (and we know that Travis really didn’t) but I can see both of them doing anything for the sake of survival. I also get the sense that Tai hasn’t been pushed to her true limits yet (I also think Van is doomed, and that makes me so sad because she deserves the world). So maybe if Tai truly screws up somehow, or something really devastating happens to her in the woods (you know, beyond the already-devastating things that have happened) she could lose herself enough to join the pack.

    Also – I love the theory that Jackie is alive and blackmailing everyone!! That’s my favorite theory so far.

  16. “assistant stage manager energy” is spot on oh my god. Also HOW did I miss that Callie is Donna Sweet! Have been reading along with these recaps as I binge and am so excited to get caught up so I can hop into these comment sections.

  17. I’m loving the recaps and the comments here, I recently caught up on the recaps for what I’ve watched but I seem to be behind (UK seems to be a bit behind plus it takes me time to catch up as my wife hates anything remotely scary!) so I miss out on the conversation but wanted to leave a comment on the latest episode I’ve seen.

    Also so glad for the other citizen-detectives I don’t have to rewatch episodes myself to catch the clues.

    I found this episode especially quite a hard watch because a lot of the horror felt more real scenarios although exceptional circumstances , Shuanas abortion attempt, near miss crashes, Pica.

    I’m currently on the thought that Jackie is the Antler Queen, something about how she’s useless now makes me feel like she’d really latch on to a Cult leader role to regain power. But then does she survive? Does she get left behind perhaps rather than explicitly die? Or does she return (or are the diary updates her Mom who won’t let go, a lot of those movie characters could align with Mom’s glowing memories rather than who she might think post wilderness).

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