LOS ANGELES (AP) — Season one of “Yellowjackets” ended with the phrase “let the darkness set us free,” and season two dares to venture into the darkness with little to no remorse.
The breakout Showtime series blends horror, adventure, comedy, drama and more in an eerily harmonious way as two primary timelines unfold: The first feature a girls’ soccer team stranded in the Canadian wilderness in the ’90s, while the second focuses on the surviving teens now navigating adulthood and dealing with the trauma of the wilderness.
“The first season is really about them making peace with their new surroundings and season two is about the surroundings closing in on them. It’s about the isolation and all the terrible things that can come from that,” said co-showrunner and co-creator Ashley Lyle.
As viewers venture back into the wilderness with the surviving teens, there seems to be a dark presence and looming energy over their time. This second season raises the question of how much the audience will visibly endure, as the girls are physically, emotionally and psychologically pushed to the limit.
“I was personally blown away. The first script made me gasp several times. I love the way the episode ends,” said Christina Ricci, who plays Adult Misty.
Melanie Lynskey, who portrays Adult Shauna, said she was nervous about how the writers would amplify each storyline from the previous season. “I just was like, ‘Oh my God! They did it. They really did it.’ Every script. I was like,’They did it again!’ It’s really impressive,“ said Lynskey.
Samantha Hanratty and Sophie Nélisse, who play the teen versions of Ricci and Lynskey’s characters, said that episodes five and six surprised them the most.
Hanratty says that episode five had her “jaw just on the floor” when watching back footage. “I can’t believe Misty did what she did; I’m not ready for this,” said the actor.
Nélisse said episode six is a huge moment for her character: “I knew it was going to happen at some point, but I didn’t know the twists and turns it was going to take me on, and I was mostly just nervous I wouldn’t live up to the task. And I cried a little because I was like, ‘I won’t be able to do it.’”
“Yellowjackets” quickly became a fan-favorite series after its premiere in 2021 as fans scoured the internet for answers to their burning questions. The show has been renewed for a third season.
This season explores the world of cults and potentially the supernatural. However, Tawny Cypress — who plays Adult Taissa — says it’s all up for interpretation since it is not clear if a supernatural entity has any power over either teens or adults.
“I think the supernatural is really interpretive. There’s not necessarily anything that’s been said yet that’s written in stone,” said the actor.
Co-showrunner Jonathan Lisco agrees and said the writers want to take the audience on an exploration of possibilities.
“I think that we’ve got to be careful about labeling exactly what’s happening and instead exploring the possibilities of what’s happening. That’s really where we’re at,” said Lisco.
“There are broad definitions of the term supernatural, but what we always want to explore is whether or not there is a presence in the woods that is making them do this, or whether or not energetically these women coming together alchemically produce that kind of darkness and bring out the worst in each other.”
The trailer for season two also reveals more surviving characters. Fans got a sneak peek of Van — portrayed in the present by Lauren Ambrose — and Lottie — portrayed in the present by Simone Kessell.
Kessell praised Courtney Eaton’s portrayal of Teen Lottie in the first season. “She set the foundation, and I got to paint the house,” said the actor. “Courtney had done such a beautiful job of creating the dark Lottie and the visionary that is Lottie.”
The young actors said that at the end of a long day of filming, they turned to self-care and community to take themselves out of their character’s survival mode.
“It’s a lot of recommending yoga classes to each other,” Liv Hewson said playfully. Eaton and Nélisse lived together and chose to decompress by listening to music on the way home and sitting in silence watching television.
“I would say that to kind of decompress of the day, it really helped taking off my wig and getting rid of the dirt from under your nails and skin and just coming back to your own skin and feeling fresh again,” Eaton added.
Season two premiered on Showtime on March 24 and already has fans raving about the unexpected twists and turns.
Ricci, who has starred in films like “The Addams Family” and “Penelope,” said that fans are drawn to supernatural thrillers because they provide a sense of escape from reality.
“I think sometimes being able to see the problems of real life through an extreme metaphor, it’s easier to process things. It’s more fun to follow along. But we still feel how much it resonates emotionally for us,” she said.