Yellowjackets: The Thrilling Show’s Surprising Pivot into Dark Fantasy

This is a SUPER SPOIL-HEAVY analysis of Showtime’s thriller series Yellowjackets, so if you’re not up to date on seasons one and two, consider thyself warned!

Showtime’s Yellowjackets is an enthralling, super addictive drama series that’s captivated audiences worldwide. Season one of Yellowjackets was already a creepfest, but the showrunners have really dialed up the Dark Fantasy elements in the second season.

What is Dark Fantasy?

Dark Fantasy is a subgenre of fantasy that incorporates darker, often morbid or unsettling themes. It explores the more sinister aspects of human nature and the supernatural world. Dark Fantasy blends elements of horror, magic, and psychological complexity, creating stories that challenge conventional notions of good and evil.

The Enigmatic Symbolism

From the very beginning of the series, Yellowjackets introduces a mysterious symbol that appears in various forms throughout the show. 

This symbol becomes a central focus of the story as it is linked to the girls’ experiences with the supernatural. The sigil seems to possess magical properties, as it is used in rituals and ceremonies by the girls in their attempts to communicate with otherworldly beings, invoke protection and harness power. 

The recurring presence of this symbol serves to heighten the sense of mystique surrounding the girls’ experiences.

Magic as a Coping Mechanism

In Yellowjackets, the use of magic is often portrayed as a coping mechanism for the young women who find themselves in a terrifying and unfamiliar environment. 

The characters turn to supernatural practices in an attempt to understand their situation, gain control, and find solace in the face of overwhelming fear and uncertainty. 

The girls use rituals, spells, and other magical practices to help them navigate their new reality and cope with the traumatic experiences that their survival requires (eating your best right is tough, amirite?)

For instance, the character of teenage Lottie (played by Courtney Eaton) becomes increasingly drawn to the idea of witchcraft and the occult as she struggles to maintain her sanity and sense of purpose amidst the chaos. 

Lottie’s exploration of magic as a coping mechanism and tool for control adds depth to the plot. It also provides viewers with a fascinating look at the lasting psychological impact of her experiences.

Power Struggles and Cult-Like Hierarchies

As the girls attempt to survive in the wilderness, they form new power structures and hierarchies that are heavily influenced by their growing belief in magic. 

The supernatural becomes a tool for exerting control, with certain individuals (looking at you, Lottie) rising to positions of authority by demonstrating their prowess in the magical arts. As the story unfolds, viewers witness the emergence of a cult-like environment, where the girls’ faith in magic becomes an integral part of their social structure.
In this regard, the show is most heavily influenced by the classic novel Lord of the Flies.

Blurring the Line Between Reality and Fantasy

One of the most intriguing aspects of the use of magic in Yellowjackets is the way it blurs the line between reality and fantasy. The show presents its supernatural elements in such a way that viewers are often left questioning whether the events unfolding on screen are truly the result of magical forces or merely the product of the characters’ desperate imaginations.

This ambiguity adds a layer of complexity to the narrative, as we’re left to wonder about the true nature of the girls’ experiences and the impact of their beliefs on their actions. This also serves to reinforce the show’s exploration of the power of belief and the human mind’s capacity for self-deception.

In Yellowjackets, magic becomes a reflection of the characters’ inner turmoil, and the show’s supernatural elements act as a metaphor for the psychological struggles they face.

The Role of Myth and Folklore

In addition to witchcraft and the occult, Yellowjackets also draws on a rich tapestry of myth and folklore to deepen its exploration of the supernatural.

The show incorporates elements of various cultural traditions, such as Native American mythology and European folktales, to create a diverse and engaging magical landscape.

The use of these mythological elements not only adds to the show’s atmosphere of mystery and intrigue but also serves to highlight the universal nature of human fascination with the unknown. 

The inclusion of folklore from around the world demonstrates that, despite our cultural differences, we are all drawn to stories that explore the boundaries of reality and challenge our understanding of the world around us.

The Impact on Character Development

The use of magic in Yellowjackets has a significant impact on the development of the show’s characters. As they become increasingly entwined with the supernatural, the girls undergo profound transformations, revealing hidden depths and complexities in their personalities. 

The show uses magic as a catalyst for change, forcing the characters to confront their fears, desires, and vulnerabilities as they grapple with their newfound powers and the consequences of their actions.

For example, the character of Taissa (played by Tawny Cypress) becomes increasingly ruthless and cunning as she is exposed to magic and mystical events that happen around her. 

Taissa’s descent into darkness is both fascinating and disturbing, as viewers witness the lengths to which adult Taissa will go to obtain and hold onto power.


  • Magic and supernatural elements in Yellowjackets contribute to its unique narrative and sense of intrigue, setting it apart from other survival stories.
  • The use of magic serves as a coping mechanism for the characters, providing insight into their psychological struggles and experiences.
  • The show explores power struggles and hierarchies influenced by the characters’ belief in magic, creating a cult-like environment.
  • Yellowjackets blurs the line between reality and fantasy, leaving viewers questioning the true nature of the characters’ experiences and the power of belief.
  • The series incorporates elements of myth and folklore, deepening its exploration of the supernatural and impacting character development.


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