'Yellowjackets' Season 2 Finale: One Character Really Deserved Better


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Oct 05, 2023

'Yellowjackets' Season 2 Finale: One Character Really Deserved Better

Feelings surrounding the Yellowjackets season 2 finale have settled for the most

Feelings surrounding the Yellowjackets season 2 finale have settled for the most part (we’re getting a bonus episode, by the way). People have mostly come to terms with their potential disappointment with the series’ sophomore season. I have settled in the camp of not being entirely satisfied with Yellowjackets season 2 as a whole. The writing for the present day was relatively sloppy, and it left me with more irritation than not, and that's especially so in terms of character deaths.

Content warning: There is a minor mention of a suicide attempt ahead.

Unfortunately, Yellowjackets has fallen victim to doing an extreme disservice to a beloved character. In a shocking turn of events, the season 2 finale killed Natalie (Juliette Lewis) in a cheap way. A character like Natalie, who is very much a fan favorite, deserved to at least go out in a way that didn't feel contrived. After the group of adult Yellowjackets made a failed attempt to hunt Shauna (Melanie Lynskey) as part of their Queen of Hearts ritual, Lisa (Nicole Maines) showed up with a gun. Naturally, Misty (Christina Ricci) reacted hastily and tried to kill Lisa using one of her poison needles, but Natalie pushed Lisa out of the way just in time and got stabbed by the needle in the process.

Natalie's death came on the heels of the Antler Queen's reveal in the ’90s flashbacks. Since season one, people had speculated that Lottie (Courtney Eaton) or even Shauna (Sophie Nélisse) was the Antler Queen, due to Lottie's spiritual path and Shauna's capability of doing brutal things (such as being the butcher, so to speak). However, nobody really thought of Natalie as being their leader out in the wilderness, and it only made her demise more tragic because she never recovered.

It's been rumored that Juliette Lewis no longer wanted to play Natalie, and if that happens to be the truth, there's nothing wrong with that. What's horrible is the way Natalie's addiction and overall character arc in the present day was handled. Natalie never experienced any peace after what happened during their time in the wilderness. She was elected to be their leader and, thus, made brutal decisions to help herself and the others survive. Natalie struggled with addiction for years (often alongside Travis), and during the season 1 finale, she tried to kill herself.

Of course, characters dealing with mental health issues and or substance abuse can be depicted in numerous ways, but if a series wants to display a character with substance abuse issues, maybe it's best not to have her death be ruled an overdose. It's quite startling that a series that was praised for its sharp writing in season 1 would stoop that low. Natalie's death wasn't necessary in the first place (they could have written her off another way), but to spit on the fact that Natalie was sober throughout season 2 feels … icky.

If you combine the problematic elements and also how Natalie in the present day was given nothing to do all season, it's an underwhelming arc as a whole. Natalie's character will continue to be cherished and loved by fans. After all, she's definitely in the top 3, as far as the Yellowjackets crew is concerned, and we can only hope that fanfiction, at the very least, does right by her.

(featured image: Kailey Schwerman/Showtime)

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Vanessa Maki (she/her) is a queer Blerd and contributing writer for The Mary Sue. She first started writing for digital magazines in 2018 and her articles have appeared in Pink Advocate (defunct), The Gay Gaze (defunct), Dread Central and more. She primarily writes about movies, TV, and anime. Efforts to make her stop loving complex/villainous characters or horror as a genre will be futile.

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