All the Gory, Twisted Theories About What Happened to Jackie on 'Yellowjackets'

Are your teeth totally gnashing for the 4-1-1 on Yellowjackets? I don’t know if it’s dark folklore energy or what, but everyone is obsessed with these spooky cannibal wilderness girls all of a sudden, and I love it. One of the show’s biggest mysteries is what happened to Jackie, the Yellowjackets’ team captain who seemingly did not survive.

I’ll be blunt and invoke the ol’ Law and Order law of casting: Ella Purnell, who plays Jackie and starred in the Starz series Sweetbitter, is too well-known to just be Shauna’s doomed BFF and resident Mean Girl in the post-crash flashbacks. She has big-time main character energy. Something happened with her.

Everyone in 2021 acts like Jackie died. Shauna and Jeff get brunch with her parents to remember her on her birthday, and apparently it’s something they do annually. Shauna is haunted by the ghost of Jackie’s teenage self, not her adult self. Here are some of the theories about what happened to her… or maybe what didn’t happen to her.

Jackie is the victim from the beginning.

The show opens with a girl running through the woods and falling into a trap that kills her. At the end of the pilot, the girl is barbecued and served on a platter to a small tribe of about eight survivors.

It would make sense that the surviving Yellowjackets would not want anyone to know that they ate their team captain. Plus, the necklace that the victim was wearing originally belonged to Jackie. She gave it to Shauna, but it’s just a matter of time before the two of them have a falling out (maybe over Jeff…) and Shauna gives the necklace back.

Jackie is the Antler Queen.

Or, on the flip side, what if Jackie becomes the cult leader of the pack? Coach Martinez did say she had more influence than skill. Perhaps, after stumbling to find her place in the woods as a survivalist, she asserted control. She is the one who suggested they do a seance, after all. Maybe she got so into life in the woods that she never left.

Jackie is alive…

…And she is the one who killed Travis. She could be the one who sent the postcards and is blackmailing the surviving Yellowjackets. This is for sure the most dramatic theory.

Jackie died after the crash.

There are clues that suggest Jackie survived the crash and died or disappeared later on. The biggest relies on your film knowledge. There’s a page in Jackie’s diary that lists “Movie Characters I Would Be” and a handful of the entries, including Torrance from Bring it On, Rose from Titanic, Angela from American Beauty, and Kat from 10 Things I Hate About You were released well after 1996. Does that mean she made it home and then died a few years later?

However! If you look at the page a second time, you’ll notice that it was written with a couple of different pens. Maybe it wasn’t a slightly older Jackie, it was someone else who copied her handwriting and filled out the list after she died. Someone like… Shauna, perhaps?

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