Yellowjackets Season 2 Steals a Brilliant Trick From Lost’s Wildest Twist
The more we learn about Lottie, the more she reminds us of one specific Lost character.
Remember the rush you felt watching Hurley (Jorge Garcia) get into a high-speed car chase with the police, crash into a fruit stand, and get whisked away to a psychiatric hospital — while not having any clue how he got there or what timeline you were even watching?
After three seasons of flash-backs, Lost tried something new in the finale episode of Season 3 and for the rest of Seasons 4 and 5: the flash-forward. Also known as a flash-ahead, it’s a narrative technique that interrupts a show’s main storyline with a scene that represents an event expected to occur at a later time. In Lost’s case, flash-forwards provided viewers with projections of how things were going for the Oceanic Six after being rescued (spoiler: not great). By the end of Lost Season 4, we knew how Hurley and a handful of survivors escaped the island — and why they needed to go back.
The opening of Yellowjackets Season 2 Episode 1, entitled “Friends, Romans, Countrymen,” utilizes Lost’s flash-forward method in an intriguing way. Of course, we already know what’s to come for the Yellowjackets 25 years after their rescue thanks to the show’s second main storyline, set in modern-day New Jersey. But what viewers weren’t privy to was what happened in the immediate aftermath of the teen survivors’ rescue.
The Lost-Yellowjackets connection
But Yellowjackets’ sophomore outing provides a glimpse at that pivotal moment. In the opening scene, teen versions of Misty, Van, Taissa, Shauna, Nat, Travis, and Lottie wearing hoodies and baggy clothes hide from swarms of paparazzi as they prepare to board another plane (presumably back home from Canada). Then, Lottie turns around and shouts a ferocious wail at the crowd of onlookers.
Shortly thereafter, Lottie (Courtney Eaton) is in a room with her parents who are speaking to a psychiatric specialist. “Fix her,” Lottie’s father implores, as her mother complains that all Lottie does after being retrieved from the woods is wander their house at all hours of the night and whisper to herself. The doctor’s solution is to institutionalize Lottie. We then see her heavily medicated, receiving electroshock therapy, and having visions of herself in a damp, white nightgown, surrounded by candles and lighting one herself. By the end of the flash-forward, Lottie is aiding another fellow asylum patient, calming her down with the touch of her hand (the same way we see her do to Travis earlier in the timeline but later in the episode).
What could this flash-forward into the future of the teen survivors’ rescue mean for the rest of Yellowjackets Season 2 (and potentially also its greenlit third installment)?
If the sophomore season continues to steal the trick it learned from Lost’s game-changing season, it’ll likely be a little bit of Lottie violently convulsing from electroshock therapy and her “self-realization” journey, and a lot more of the rest of the Yellowjackets struggling to readjust to civilian life in New Jersey after spending 19 months starving, scheming, and séance-ing in Middle-of-Nowhere, Canada. Based on hints dropped in Season 1, we know that Shauna and Jeff marry fairly soon after the crash, that Natalie felt she had lost her purpose upon returning back home, that Taissa and Van eventually break up, and that Misty doesn’t come back with a single friend. Some of that could play out on-screen in the episodes ahead, creating a new, third spot in the show’s timeline for viewers to keep track of. The show also implies that Lottie was in that mental institution — someplace in Switzerland — for an extended period of time before she becomes a guru/cult leader.
Or, Yellowjackets’ flash-forwards could evolve into something like flash-sideways (which were utilized in Lost’s sixth and final season). But instead of exposing an alternate reality intercut into the episodes' main action and pre-rescue storyline, these flash-sideways would finally display how the Yellowjackets’ parents and loved ones reacted to the plane going missing, and what exactly they did in order to find the team. (In Season 1 Episode 2, Misty shatters the aircraft's black box and the emergency transponder, so it will be interesting to how the marooned teens are eventually found.)
Either way, these flash-forwards to 1998 are an exciting development. And if they continue, it could make the Yellowjackets’ salvation — and their bleak, drama-filled adulthoods — all the more compelling.
Yellowjackets Season 2 Episode 1 is available to watch now on Showtime and Paramount+.