The internet can be a terrible place, but it still has its fun corners, like certain fandoms. Not the snarling, obsessive kind, but the committed, friendly sort, and with its twisty and clue-laden storyline, Showtime’s new hit Yellowjackets has unsurprisingly carved out its own space in the online fandom world. The show’s viewers are heading to social media to analyze screenshots, tease out mysteries, and debate what’s going to happen next. What is surprising, though, is that some of the show’s stars are right there with the rest of us.
On Twitter, Juliette Lewis, who plays Natalie in the show’s 2021 timeline, has answered dozens of questions from fans. And upon first reading tweets by Melanie Lynskey, who plays grown-up Shauna, you could be forgiven for thinking that they were composed by a Yellowjackets superfan rather than by one of the series’ leads.
Part of the cast’s enthusiasm for engaging with the show online might have something to do with Yellowjackets’ structure. The series tells the bifurcated story of a high school soccer team whose plane crashes in the wilderness, following the mostly teenaged survivors in the immediate aftermath of the accident as well as 25 years later, where they’re still dealing with the fallout in middle age. This all means that each of the show’s stars are only featured in half of every episode. “It’s very fun,” Sophie Nélisse, who plays teenage Shauna, told Jezebel. “It’s like I haven’t seen half of the show, basically. So it’s kind of fun for me because I feel like I’m a spectator watching this new TV show, but I’m also in it.”
The show’s creators, husband and wife team Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson, have a five-season plan for the series but keep the details strictly under wraps, even from members of the cast, who told Jezebel that they get their scripts last minute to preserve their secrets. That means that the mysteries that viewers are trying to get to the bottom of—questions like whether or not Adam had a secret identity, what that creepy symbol means, and what happens with Shauna’s pregnancy—are questions they’re wondering about too.
Lynskey, who told Collider that she asked for the inside info before she signed on because she wanted to “be sure that they had a plan,” seems to have the fullest idea of where the story is headed. Though, judging by her Twitter, she’s not telling.
“We all have our theories on set as well,” Nélisse said. “We’ve discussed who the Antler Queen is gonna be, we’ve discussed my pregnancy. We’ve discussed like, ‘Who’s going to die next?’”
Now the discussion has moved online, and the team behind the series are still following. The very name “Antler Queen,” which refers to the character who wears an antler headdress in flashbacks showing a very scary cannibal rite, was created by viewers talking amongst themselves online. “That’s all fandom,” Nickerson told ET of the term. “But it’s definitely one we’re using now.”
The major hub for Yellowjackets fans is the show’s Reddit forum, which has been a hive of activity heading into Sunday’s season’s finale. It you want a refresher on the mysteries that still haven’t been put to bed, or a guide to who those nameless team members in the background of scenes are, the subreddit contains both of these lovingly assembled artifacts of fandom and many more. And if you do check it out, you might be reading alongside a member of the cast.
“I am obsessed with the fan art,” Samantha Hanratty, who plays teenage Misty, told Jezebel. Like her co-star Lynskey, she also likes to read the subreddit. “I’m a huge geek when it comes to coming up with my own theories, and I get really, really into all the little details…[it’s] really exciting and really cool that people have gone into it as much as I have.”