Yellowjackets Season 2 has finally answered one of the show’s most burning questions: what happened to Shauna’s (Sophie Nélisse) baby? This question has been hanging over us since the beginning but, like the true nature of what the girls are dealing with out in the wilderness, the truth has eluded us. For a while all we knew was that 1) Shauna was pregnant before the crash, 2) she must’ve had the baby while they were out there, and 3) that baby is nowhere to be seen in the present.
Tons of theories cropped up surrounding what happened to the baby — the most obvious being that it fell victim to the cannibalization that kept the girls alive. But other wild theories popped up too, like that Adam (Peter Gadiot) was her grown-up child out to seek revenge or that Lottie would sacrifice the baby like she did the bear in Season 1. These and many more outlandish theories were finally debunked in Season 2, Episode 6 where we learn the true fate of Shauna’s first baby: it didn’t survive childbirth.
Does the Team Eat the Baby?
The theory that the girls would eat the baby has been around since we knew about the baby’s existence. It seemed like a logical conclusion. We know these girls are cannibals and that that baby never made it out of the woods, so what if they just ate it? There were multiple scenes in Shauna’s dreams alluding to this possibility. First, she gives birth to a cooked chicken they then eat, and then the much more visceral and bloody devouring we saw in Shauna’s dream sequence while she was in labor. But this theory has been debunked almost as long as it’s been around.
The show’s writers confirmed it wouldn’t happen after Christina Ricci expressed disgust at the possibility. But even with the theory seemingly dismissed, we couldn’t help but wonder if just maybe it would still happen. But no. Among all the tragedy and horridness that have befallen these girls, this one is perhaps the most acute because it’s so natural, so without cause or blame.
In a show full of supernatural horrors, it seemed natural to draft theories that gave supernatural or horrific answers. But that’s what makes the actual fate of Shauna’s pregnancy that much more tragic. We expect a monster or a supernatural force, cannibalism, or maybe even Lottie (Courtney Eaton) stealing the baby. It’s much more horrifying when there’s no cause to blame.
There’s a chance Shauna’s pregnancy would’ve ended just like this even if they hadn’t been trapped in the middle of nowhere for months. The fact that we never heard anything about the baby in the present, not from Shauna nor the other survivors, despite their willingness to talk about some of the other awful things they experienced out there, should’ve been a clue that whatever had happened to that baby was different.
The Reason This Storyline Is So Heartbreaking Is That It’s So Ordinary
We, like the girls, held out hope way longer than we should have. We could see the warning signs just like them, but we chose to ignore it. Even in the episode itself, there are warnings. The pain Shauna’s in, the immense loss of blood, the placenta coming out first. All of these were red flags but we, like Shauna and the rest of the
Yellowjackets held out hopes that somehow a miracle would happen. The visions Shauna has of raising the baby feel off, but we ignore them literally until the last moment because we too want to buy into the idea that they will get through this, that the challenges ahead will be things like getting the baby to feed and not the painful reality of loss — and when the truth sets in, Shauna is devastated.
This baby didn’t just mean a lot to Shauna; everyone saw it as a sign of hope. They all had fun making gifts for the baby shower and getting things ready for when the baby arrived. Everyone was looking forward to it even if the arrival of a baby would bring new challenges. A new life would represent hope, change, and a future for the girls. A cause they could all celebrate rather than fear. So for it to end so devastatingly and so blamelessly leaves everyone vulnerable.
That hope has ceased and with it will come new tensions because now there’s no end goal in sight, nothing they’re striving for more than their own survival. It’s easy to see how this depression could easily spiral into more depraved actions in the future, especially seeing how quick the turnaround was from mourning Jackie (Ella Purnell) to eating her.
This was truly the most horrific outcome because it was so entirely out of everyone’s hands. Like Jackie’s death in Season 1, the most crushing sadness comes from the most mundane causes. If they really had consumed the baby in a feverish cannibalistic haze or if Lottie had sacrificed it to the forest, at least there’d be something to blame.
But a stillborn baby isn’t anyone’s fault, and that’s just heartbreaking because all this grief and anger will have nowhere to go. All these horrible things have befallen these girls completely out of their control or understanding but this is so terribly and achingly normal, so blameless.
So many extraordinary things occur in Yellowjackets, but it’s the mundane horrors that pack the biggest punch. Coach Ben (Steven Krueger) loses his leg, Misty (Samantha Hanratty) chooses to sabotage the black box, Jackie freezes to death in the night, and Shauna gives birth to a child who doesn’t cry out even once. These aren’t things the wilderness did to them.
It’s human and mundane and horrid. And we knew that something would happen to Shauna’s baby, and what its absence in the narrative meant, so we theorized wild and horrible things even when the simplest answer was always right there for us to take. Shauna’s pregnancy was always going to end in a loss too unspeakable to name. This is a show filled with outlandish mysteries and theories but also perfectly mundane tragedies. Our fault was in thinking that this unspoken loss was anything but heartbreakingly ordinary.
New episodes of Yellowjackets Season 2 premiere every Friday on the Showtime streaming app and every Sunday on-air.