The Cast Of Yellowjackets Shoots Down One Of The More Morbid Season 2 Fan Theories

The following post contains spoilers for "Yellowjackets."

The beloved Showtime series "Yellowjackets" has already garnered a legion of devoted fans, who, in the lead-up to the even more shocking second season, have been busy as bees doing what stans on the internet have always done: obsessively theorizing about all the wild places the show could, but probably won't go. 

In the days of yore, before Twitter, TikTok, and Facebook conquered the world and decreed that every post has the potential to be seen by millions of people, denizens of the internet used to roam the loamy and pacific pastures of chatrooms like AOL and IRC, and self-publishing sites like LiveJournal and the Angelfire platform in search of like-minded enthusiasts to share pop culture theories. Deprived of the sunlight of public attention, these theories grew in strange and fantastic ways — and, if memory serves, often quite horrible ways too.

Fan culture hasn't changed all that much in the years since. People still gleefully share their most outlandish and improbable theories with other fans on sites like Reddit and Twitter. The difference now is that you can one day post about how you think an innocuous pet name from the adult timeline on "Yellowjackets" might actually indicate that the characters on the teen timeline are going to cannibalize a baby, for example, and the next day watch the entire cast shoot the notion down in a video produced by ELLE Magazine. Gotta love the internet!

Caligula would have blushed

In the ELLE video, five stars from the adult half of the "Yellowjackets" cast (Melanie Lynskey, Lauren Ambrose, Tawny Cypress, Christina Ricci, and Simone Kessell) react to some of the more absurd fan theories about the show. Some are actually plausible, like the idea that Taissa may have killed her own dog in her sleep as a kind of drawn-out trauma response to seeing Van get mauled by wolves in the wilderness. Another has a distinctly later-seasons "Dynasty" vibe, that because it was Lottie's rich parents who chartered the plane, they might have had a hand in it crashing. "I don't think they miss her that much," joked Simone Kessell (who plays adult Lottie), but she "would like to believe that they care deeply for her." 

One theory about Ricci's character Misty drew the kind of reaction from the entire cast which suggests they've heard the sentiment before, one too many times perhaps. It reads: "Misty's parrot is named Caligula. Caligula was a crazed Roman emperor that performed a caesarian and then ate the baby. Is this foreshadowing that Misty performs a caesarian on Shauna and then cannibalizes the baby?" At first, Ricci responds to this most involved of questions in kind, with a brilliantly involved answer.

"Here's my take on this," Ricci began. "Recently it has been discovered that Caligula was not in fact a crazed anything. He was a really beloved emperor. And when the new regime came in, they wrote all this propaganda, basically, to discredit Caligula." Ricci's own theory, then? "I believe that Caligula is named Caligula because Caligula is someone who has been maligned, historically, but is actually not what that person is on the surface." Sound like anyone we know? 

Leave wilderness baby alone!

Ricci's idea that Misty would have named her beloved parrot after Caligula to honor the fact that they're both survivors of a malicious strain of historical revisionism is genius. Not just because it shows how granular and intentional Misty's thinking gets, but because it shows how granular and intentional Ricci's process as an actress is. If "Yellowjackets" can only be singled out for one thing, it has to be the characters. You don't get this level of absorption in the material and embodiment in the performances in many other currently running series. 

This is part of the reason why this show's fans in particular can get a little intense with the theorizing. Misty, Taissa, Shauna, Nat, and the rest feel so vividly like people we know, and they're all in mortal danger. Why wouldn't we try and understand what they're going to go through next?

The "cannibalized baby" theory is discussed first in the video, but after another theory about Shauna's baby is shared, the cast return to it, and they don't play the typical coy game of, "maybe, maybe not!" that actors are likely coached to play when participating in interview like this. "The theory about anyone eating any babies ... I don't want to talk about babies being eaten in general," Lynskey quipped. "Here's a spoiler," Ricci said, "nobody eats the baby." Lynskey adds, "We've said this so many times." In a profile of the cast published earlier this month in Entertainment Weekly, Cypress did in fact remark on the theory, having said verbatim, "they're not going to eat the baby."

It's a particularly morbid theory, but in fairness, "Yellowjackets" is a particularly morbid show. It's all but certain we're going to see a lot more cannibalism this season. But my fellow fans, let's agree to leave the baby alone.