Wha are Elijah Wood and Christina Ricci Planning?

Buzz buzz, baby! Everyone’s favorite soccer players-turned-cultish cannibals are about to crash land on our television screens once more, when Yellowjackets returns in a few weeks.

The first season of Showtime’s underdog series became a viral sensation last year, after organic, word-of-mouth marketing made it the must-binge show of the holiday season and scored seven Emmy nominations. Internet sleuths lit up Reddit boards with fan theories about the show and all of the wild twists that were yet to come—sometimes being proven entirely wrong in the time it took for the following week’s episode to air.

After a shocking and deadly season finale last winter, Showtime has dropped the first tease of what’s to come in Season 2. And if you thought the mystical effects of the deep woods were wild in the summer, just wait until the freeze sets in.

If, by some chance, you were living under a rock in 2022 (or maybe you were stranded in the woods, I hear it happens), Yellowjackets is perhaps the finest and most attuned psychological, supernatural thriller to hit television since Twin Peaks: The Return. The show follows a New Jersey high school girls’ soccer team in the 1990s, whose private plane crashes in the Canadian woods while on their way to a national tournament.

The survivors of the wreckage must band together to protect one another and learn how to forage and fight, all while battling strange supernatural occurrences in the woods. As the weeks and months pass, the already-hormonal teens form private alliances and are put asunder by forces outside their control—resulting in feral, ritualistic practices. Sort of like high school!

What Yellowjackets did so deftly was to tell this story while flashing forward to the present day, chronicling the lives of (most of) the surviving girls. And in Season 2, tensions are mounting across both timelines.

“Darkness, we brought it back with us,” an adult Natalie (Juliette Lewis), the teams’ burnout player, tells a hypnotherapist over flashes of snow-covered horror. ”We weren’t alone out there.” Elsewhere, the adult version of the team’s student assistant, Misty (Christina Ricci), repeats the patterns of self-soothing she displayed as a teenager stuck in the wilderness. And if Misty is going to continue as the series’ dark horse, guiding the group toward dangerous answers, she’ll need all the comfort she can get.

Back in time, rifles are cocked; axes are swung; feet rise off the ground; and, of course, the girls are clad in white, gathered in a circle to praise the Antler Queen—whose identity remains a mystery. A new character, Walter (Elijah Wood), sums it up in the present day: “Kidnapping, cults, death. Your friends are a little more complicated than most.”

Wood joins Season 2 as a citizen detective named Walter, working alongside the adult Misty to uncover the truth about the suspicious suicide (or was it murder?) that plagued the survivors in Season 1. Is it kismet that the second season’s harsh Canadian winter will play out against Ricci and Wood’s first reunion since The Ice Storm? Maybe not. If there’s one thing Yellowjackets Season 1 proved, it’s that every casting decision, plot device, and easter egg was meticulously thought through.

And if you’re entirely out of the loop, don’t worry; there’s still plenty of time to catch up on the mystery. Yellowjackets Season 2 doesn’t premiere on Showtime until March 24. But starting sooner than later is advisable. Trust us, you’ll need a good chunk of time to sift through all of the internet theories and pick up the pieces of your mind once it has been blown.

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