Yellowjackets’ Finale: Christina Ricci on Natalie’s Death, Season 2 Reactions
Spoiler alert: This story contains spoilers from “Storytelling,” the season 2 finale of “Yellow Jackets,” now airing on Showtime.
The second season of “Yellow Jackets” has ended dark and twisted. In the 1996 timeline, the teenage girl Lottie (Courtney Eaton) handed over the role of leader of the wilderness to Natalie (Sophie Thatcher), and all the young girls bowed to her, confirming that she was actually Above is the Queen of Antlers. However, the festivities were interrupted by a fire that started in the middle of the night. As everyone fled, the group was left outside in the snow to watch flames surround their home.
In the current timeline, the group draws cards again to see who the Wilderness wants-this is the idea put forward by Lottie (Simone Kessell). Before they perform this ancient ritual, Natalie (Juliette Lewis) warns the other residents to leave, including Lisa (Nicole Mains), who became close to Lottie during her time at the resort. After Shawna (Melanie Lynskey) draws the Queen, a group of men hunt her down, and Shawna’s daughter Carly (Sarah Dejardins) shows up just in time to save her mother.
Lottie then proceeds to list all the ways the wilds still can’t find them, mentioning the many deaths they’ve caused. Distraught, Natalie drew a knife. That’s when Lisa approached the group with a gun pointed at Natalie. She asked Natalie to put down the knife, which she did, but Lisa didn’t draw her gun. Saying so, Misty (Christina Ricci) runs over to inject her with phenobarbital – but Natalie stands in front of Lisa and ends up dead by Misty’s hands. The episode ends with Natalie’s body being removed and explained as a drug overdose, while Lottie is sent to a mental institution.
It’s safe to say that while all characters will be affected by Nat’s death next season, the entire cast feels a shocking turn, too, since Lewis has been on the show since the beginning.
Thatcher, who played a younger version of Natalie, told type She was “deeply saddened” by Lewis’ departure.
“It was so heartbreaking, but also created more layers for young Natalie because the audience will remember that,” she said. “I think there’s another layer to watching young Natalie now and in the future. But Juliet was my mentor and she was incredible. Losing her on the show is really like losing a part of myself. It’s sad, but I think it will be interesting to see how it plays from now on.”
In an interview with Ricci, whose Misty accidentally killed her self-proclaimed best friend, she shares her reaction to the final twist, Misty’s devastating mistakes, and her feelings about season 2 in general.
When did you find out about Natalie’s death? What is your reaction?
I didn’t know until shortly before we filmed the episode. We all love Juliet. I love Juliet. We’ve all been through so much on the show, become so close, fought, reconciled, loved each other – we’re like sisters. I think we are all very sad and saddened by Natalie’s death. And it’s hard to shoot. It’s very emotional. In the episode where I was holding Juliet as she was dying, we shot a lot more than we ended up doing. Those scenes were really tough, really depressing. I met Juliet at the airport the next day and we started crying again.
Do you think any part of Misty wants to kill Natalie?
No, it was a complete mistake. She made an impulsive choice – another typically immature, impulsive, selfish choice, and she killed the person who was going to hurt her friend. Not wanting her friends to be taken away, it’s about keeping what she wants. This is a disastrous decision.
Was there a moment when this group of people really wanted to kill Xiao Na?
I think the question is more for each actor playing each role. I can tell where I think Misty stood at the time. I thought it was a very glamorous and exciting thing to do something that was such a big part of their past, something so powerful, and at the time, they were very committed to it. I think a reenactment might evoke a lot of the same feelings. But I think, given what Misty’s been through in the first few episodes — she’s been given a reason to live, something to protect. Finally losing something in real life made her more pragmatic and less receptive to the idea.
When they finally get to that moment, I’m reminded of both physical and emotional memories of it. So I think she might be involved, but she’s not at the top of the line. She just followed Natalie and made sure nothing happened to her.
In the finale, we find out that Natalie is the Queen of Antlers, who we saw in the pilot episode. do you know?
It’s not often that we see Misty react emotionally to something that happened to her in the past. She’s kind of on high alert refusing to feel bad, or let it affect her on an emotional level. But she can’t control her past feelings, so her fascination with Natalie from the beginning is because Natalie is the original Queen of Antlers, as revealed at the end of the episode.
Do you think anyone in Misty’s life knows what the hell happened to Crystal?
No, I don’t think Misty thinks it’s her fault. I think certain characters can conveniently apply the “wilderness” and its power and waywardness when needed, without taking responsibility for certain things. We do see most of the characters pick and choose when they decide it’s the wilds and not what they’re doing. I think it’s one of those situations where she’ll handle it that way so as not to really feel bad about it intellectually. Of course, she does this subconsciously – which is why she wants nothing to do with Walter once he reveals that he knows who she is. But I don’t think it’s her conscious thought.
Speaking of Walter, his energy matches Misty’s perfectly. How did you and Elijah Wood create it?
I think most of it is in the writing. Elijah is a great on-set partner and we really hit it off. It just works. Really perfect.
What was it like filming that big dance number in Episode 7?
Well, I would have danced some too! I joined them on stage and they didn’t use anything, so I must be terrible – no surprise there. I don’t know much about musical theater, and I don’t consider myself a person who likes to dance or sing. So it’s no surprise I was left out!
People hope to see a Walter and Misty spin-off one day.
It’s an interesting idea.
Would you say that the investigation into who killed Adam is now over?
I really do not know. Last time I thought the Adam Martin thing was over, but it wasn’t. Anything can happen, really.
Do you pay attention to how your audience reacts on social media? If so, have you noticed a difference in the response this season versus last?
I do read the reviews for the episodes. People still seem to love the various characters. They seem to be interested in different aspects. I thought the 1996 storyline was very compelling and very well executed. They were a pretty amazing cast in that storyline. It definitely feels like this is the storyline people are mostly writing about or talking about.
Have you guys discussed what the next season will be like without Juliet and what Misty is going through?
No, I didn’t talk about next season. Each show has its own modus operandi and dynamics. In this show, I think the writers are so burdened not only by the complexity of the narrative, but the number of main characters they have and the number of storylines. So in general, we don’t get a lot of information before shooting.
This interview has been edited and condensed. William Earl contributed to this report.