Yellowjackets: Surprising Character Returns in Season 2 Premiere

Yellowjackets returned for its eagerly anticipated second season on Showtime on Friday and the fan favorite series wasted no time in hitting viewers with some big surprises. Not only did the episode deliver the arrival of adult Lottie Matthews (Simone Kessell) as was teased at during the Season 1 finale, but there was a surprising character return in the 1990s timeline as well. As viewers return to the wilderness in Yellowjackets, there's also a major character return that many fans probably won't see coming — and it has some major implications as the season moves forward.

Warning: spoilers for the Season 2 premiere of Yellowjackets, "Friends, Romans, Countrymen", beyond this point.

About a third of the way into the episode, viewers find teen Shauna (Sophie Nélisse) sitting in a shed talking and hanging out with Jackie (Ella Purnell) and while that may seem normal enough, Jackie froze to death at the end of Season 1 and viewers quickly realize that Shauna is talking to Jackie's corpse — but in Shauna's mind, Jackie is seemingly alive and well and interacting back. It's also revealed that the other survivors are growing concerned about the situation because Shauna is spending the majority of her time in the meat shed with Shauna's body — and it's been two months since her death.

Shauna is clearly grieving, but it goes a little deeper than that. Shauna is processing some complex emotions because she and Jackie were not on good terms when the latter died with Shauna having slept with Jackie's boyfriend and gotten pregnant. Shauna's "conversation" with Jackie is, in a very real sense, about her trying to deal with her own guilt — both about the betrayal of her friend and about Jackie's death. After one particularly distressing encounter, Shauna shoves Jackie's corpse, causing her ear to break off.

Shauna pockets the ear since she can't exactly reattach it, and it ends up becoming very significant by episode's end. It's revealed as the episode continues that food is growing scarce for the survivors and the meat reserves from the bear Lottie killed at the end of Season 1 is rapidly running out. In the last moments of the episode hungry, grieving, and probably mentally unwell Shauna eats Jackie's ear — marking the first incident of cannibalism in Yellowjackets.

There is a lot to unpack about Shauna's actions in the premiere — particularly when contrasted with the actions of adult Shauna, who we have seen in Season 1 is very much capable of pretty horrifying acts with seemingly little emotion. However, it's the eating of the ear that is particularly shocking and delivers on what Nélisse previously teased about Shauna's development in Season 2.

"There's more disagreement also between the group," Nélisse explained. "First season we're all kind of collaborating and moving forward as a group in every decision, and I think now with the weird cult situation Lottie's got going on, not everyone's a believer, so there's a lot more fighting amongst us."

"The writers took such an interesting take on [Jackie's death]. I was expecting it to be the typical mourning period," she continued. "I can't reveal anything, but [Shauna] has a very twisted way of coping with what's happened... she's going through very complex emotions this season."

Yellowjackets is now streaming and on demand for all SHOWTIME subscribers. New episodes make their on-air debut Sunday nights at 9 pm ET/PT as well.