May 28, 2023

In the ’90s timeline, Nat is one of the last holdouts who refuses to believe there’s anything in those woods besides snow, trees, and bears … even though she’s been attacked by an otherworldly, snow-white moose, induced into a cannibalistic fervor, and witnessed hundreds of dead birds dropping out of the sky, among other increasingly commonplace happenings.

But in the present timeline, having escaped the woods, it seems that before Travis, before Taissa, and certainly before Shauna and Misty, who remain un-haunted by spectral visions of the past, Nat was the first to sense that they hadn’t escaped completely. This is what Nat was “right” about. Moments before his death, Travis confided to Lottie that he felt “the wilderness has come back to haunt him.” As ever, the creative team behind “Yellowjackets” have made discerning the source of those hauntings impossibly complex.

Take the image of Nat the black-eyed wraith. It’s immediately preceded by a vision of the chainmail-veiled antler queen sweeping through the fuselage of the eviscerated plane, suggesting it could be Nat. But the image is of Juliette Lewis, not her younger counterpart Sophie Thatcher; how could ’90s Nat take the form of a Nat that wouldn’t develop for another 25 years? Is adult Nat imposing her very much real-world-derived grief on the past, or is she accessing a legitimate memory? Is the antler queen we saw from the pilot the manifestation of some dark-hearted supernatural menace, or simple hunger, exhaustion, and isolation driving a bunch of teenagers to acts of desperate violence?

Among an ensemble of incredible characters, Natalie has become the soul of “Yellowjackets.” So if we’re ever going to get answers to these questions, I’d keep my eyes on her.

New episodes of “Yellowjackets” stream on Showtime every Friday and air on television every Sunday.

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