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SYFY WIRE Yellowjackets

'Yellowjackets' creators want to address your fan theories

No, Jackie is not a time traveler. 

By Phil Pirrello
Yellowjackets 109 PRESS

Yellowjackets' Season 1 finale is still fresh in our brains, and in those of the show's writers. Thankfully, they took time out of their schedules to talk about what we can't stop talking about: Fan theories

During the recent press rounds for the very satisfying conclusion to the Showtime series' freshman season, creators (and husband and wife) Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson took the opportunity to address and debunk some popular (and some, um, SMDH-worthy) fan theories around their addictive show. 

First up:

1. No, Jackie is not a time traveler...

...But she is dead. 

"She's dead," Nickerson tells Vulture, while also acknowledging that he understands why fans might be skeptical about her fate, given the show's strong supernatural undertones. 

"I think it is fair to question these things because one of the things the show is trying to do is play with the subjectivity of experience. So I do think it’s fair game to ask whether or not a thing you’re seeing is happening, because there are ways that experience, like past and present and future, can be warped. There is something strange and new about this level of discourse that involves us while we’re creating a product, and so I guess this could be a mistake, but she’s dead in terms of our story."

But the idea of Jackie, and the guilt the other survivors (especially Shauna) experience around her death, will, according to Nickerson, "loom very large throughout the show. Her as a gravity, having an impact on the constellation of the other characters, is not even close to through."

And, no, Jackie will not pull a Marty McFly, either, and time travel. This problematic fan theory stems from fans wondering how movies like 2001's Bring It On and 1997's Titanic, movies that came out after the crash and, now, after Jackie's death, appeared in the journals that adult Shauna sees when she is visiting Jackie's parents. 

"They were not meant to be things that Jackie herself had written," Lyle revealed. "We did not necessarily anticipate people screen-shotting that the way they did. So to our minds, it was a character Easter egg, and not a plot Easter egg. Shauna at some point does return from the wilderness, as we know, because we see Melanie Lynskey. So we felt like we could potentially dramatize her initial experience of that survivor’s guilt, and we thought there was something really compelling, to us at least, about this ritual of having to go to Jackie’s parents’ house every year and be this surrogate daughter figure to them, while having this intense feeling of complicity in Jackie’s death. What would that be like for her? How would she manifest those feelings of guilt? And so again, it’s something we didn’t fully dramatize this season, and we did not necessarily anticipate people locking onto those very, very tiny details and then assuming Jackie’s a time traveler."

So it seems like fans can expect to see, or at least learn, how and why Shauna's survivor's guilt manifested itself in these pages that serve as a fiction for the life she wished Jackie had after the crash. 

In that same Vulture piece, other popular fan theories that the creators address include:

2. Adam is not involved with the Cult of Lottie

"No, he is not involved in that organization [that kidnaps adult Natalie in the finale]," Nickerson said. "Again, a fair question ... The paranoia and those kinds of theories were the intent of the way we had his story unfold. The hope was to make the audience somewhat complicit in his murder, because that paranoia is one of the outgrowths of Shauna’s trauma, and the way she sees the world right now was the subjective experience we were after."

3. Does Taissa have red eyes when she "sleepwalks"?

In some shots, fans have noticed that teenage Tai appears, in certain shots, to have red-ish eyes. From there, a fan theory was born that whatever causes Tai to sleepwalk and eat dirt and sacrifice the family pet (RIP, Biscuit), it must be related to the eye color change. Chalk this fan theory up to the very real side-effects of having actors wear contact lenses.

"There are a lot of contacts happening on the show to help with our matching [the older and younger characters]," Lyle explains. "And in the case of the reddishness, that is essentially a consequence of the colored contact situation. It works. It’s sort of a happy accident, because when people say, 'Oh, her eyes look a little bit off,' I mean, her character is a little bit off. Sometimes I just think the universe is helping you out a bit."

And the universe will be helping fans out later in 2022, when Yellowjackets is expected to return with Season 2