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'Yellowjackets' Season 2: What's the deal with Lottie's cult?

Uh, we mean "wellness retreat."
By Shannon Connellan  on 
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A woman in a yellow robe and orange dress holds her arms wide while addressing a crowd dressed in hues of purple.
What's Lottie (Simone Kessell) been doing all this time? Credit: Kailey Schwerman/SHOWTIME

For the entirety of Yellowjackets Season 1, we had no idea whether Lottie (Courtney Eaton) was alive in the present day. But in the season finale, we finally got confirmation she'd made it through the wilderness.

What's Lottie (Simone Kessell) been doing for 25 years since they were finally rescued from the wilderness? In Season 2, we finally catch up with our Antler Queen, who appears to be running a cult — sorry, a wellness retreat — called Camp Green Pine. What exactly is this place? Who are these purple-clad people?

Here's everything we know so far, and we'll be updating this each week with additional details revealed per episode.

What happened to Lottie after the Yellowjackets were rescued?

A girl in a hood is surrounded by adults, looking tired.
Where's Lottie been? Credit: Kimberley French/SHOWTIME

Lottie's return to society was not a smooth one. We get a glimpse into the team's 1998 return in the second season's first episode, as we see the girls herded past one hungry press horde. Since their return, Lottie hasn't uttered a word. She spends her nights silently wandering around her parents' home, so they have her committed to a psychiatric facility.

During a session of electroconvulsive therapy, Lottie experiences flashbacks to her visions from the wilderness, and later in her hospital room she uses her "healing hand" breathing technique to calm her roommate's anxiety attack, like she did multiple times with Travis in the woods. It seems Lottie may have been inspired by her own confidence in her healing abilities to open a dedicated facility...in the woods.

What's the nature of Lottie's wellness retreat?

A woman in a bright orange-yellow dress and robe stands with her hands open, presenting a speech on a wooden stage in front of people dressed in purple.
"There is a version of you that knows exactly who you really are and what you really want. A primal, elemental self." Credit: Kimberley French/SHOWTIME

Lottie appears to be running a pretty standard holistic mental health retreat at Camp Green Pine, located in some rural area off Route 19. Lottie calmly explains to a cynical Natalie in episode 2, "We are not a cult. We are an intentional community turning suffering into strength so we can live as our best selves." The compound appeals to people seeking therapy for trauma or to process negative emotions — for one, Lottie's assistant Lisa (Nicole Maines) is working with her depression.

"There's only one person who can really give you what you're looking for: You. Your truest, most authentic self. That's why you're here, so I can introduce you," Lottie says in her welcome speech in episode 2. "Right now there is a version of you that knows exactly who you really are and what you really want. A primal, elemental self. And there is nothing more painful than hiding that self."

"We are not a cult. We are an intentional community turning suffering into strength so we can live as our best selves."
- Lottie, 'Yellowjackets'

Chickens roam freely among the camp's curated grounds, residents sit in quiet conversation around the communal bonfire when they're not in their fancy cabins, and late at night, they engage in ritualistic faux burials wearing animal masks and white robes — or sometimes nothing at all. "A therapeutic treatment, one of many we offer here," Lottie explains. Who knows if there's a quiz night?

Though Lottie sets some 'guidelines' in her welcome speeches, Lisa explains to Natalie in episode 4, "There are no rules at the compound," Residents are technically allowed to leave the compound whenever they want, but are required to help run things there, leading workshops and tending gardens. But Natalie finds it weird there's even a 'rule' for this, "Almost like she wants to give you the illusion of freedom so that you'll always come back." 

The only time followers leave the compound, is to head to the farmer's market using Lottie's car, and Lisa tells Natalie in episode 4 that Lottie's follower Todd never lets her make any stops aside from the market or the bank — and she asks Natalie not to tell Lottie she's visited her mother's house. "It's not that we're not allowed, it's that Charlotte doesn't think it's a good idea. She says our anchors are at the compound, not out here."

Two women inspect beehives
Bees! Wait what's that symbol on the hive... Credit: Kimberley French/SHOWTIME

But it's not all Goopy woo-woo wellness vibes all the time, as Lottie momentarily loses her chill over something so small as a health shake ingredient in episode 2 (heath shakes are big at the compound). When her associate Lisa brings her daily shake, she quietly reprimands her. "I smell butterscotch, did you put maca root in here? Hmm. I asked for ashwagandha. I want my focus increased, not my libido." Lottie then promptly throws her shake, in a reusable cup with reusable straw, in the garbage — not exactly a sustainable practice.

Lottie also keeps bees and her followers sell their "Sunshine Honey" at the local farmer's market, generating income for the retreat. But perhaps there's something more sinister afoot, as those bees buzz around in hives emblazoned with a little thing Lottie's brought back from the woods: that dreaded symbol.

Why do Lottie's followers wear purple?

A woman in orange/yellow stands addressing a room full of seated people wearing purple.
"We are not a cult." Credit: Kimberley French/SHOWTIME

It's the cultiest vibe of Lottie's compound, the fact that everyone wears the same shade of purple. When we first meet Lottie as an adult, she's giving a motivational talk from a minimalist wooden stage. She's orating to an audience completely dressed in purple clothing, while she's dressed in bright orange. I'm just saying, it's the same hue as the followers of Rajneeshpuram, the commune established in rural Oregon in the 1980s that formed the focus of Netflix's Wild Wild Country. Do with that what you will.

A woman in a bright orange-yellow dress and robe stands with her hands clasped in the woods on a bright day.
Lottie's gone back into the woods, sort of. Credit: Kimberley French/SHOWTIME

So, why purple? First things first. "It’s heliotrope, it’s not purple," Lottie insists. "We make the dye ourselves from the flowers used to treat wounds."

But Lisa gives a little more context to Natalie in episode 4: "Some people at the compound come from a lot of money, others don't. Charlotte wanted everyone to be equal there."

Is there a connection between the wilderness and Lottie's cult?

A woman in all purple with a pendant with a weird symbol on it stands looking angry and holding a fork, facing another woman.
"That thing around your neck tells me all I need to know." Credit: Kimberley French/SHOWTIME

The seemingly apotropaic icon we've seen all series immediately comes into play in episode 1, when Natalie notices it being worn as a pendant by Lisa: "That thing around your neck tells me all I need to know." In the past, Lottie sees the symbol as protection, which is why she adds it to the baby blanket gift for Shauna in episode 3, so perhaps it's continued to have that significance for her.

But it's not the only thing Lottie may have brought back with her. In episode 3, Natalie sees a pair of antlers mounted on a shield outside Lottie's compound quarters suggesting she hasn't entirely shaken off her Antler Queen past, and in episode 4, it appears she may have something resembling the tree altar from the "Doomscoming" episode on the compound grounds.

A woman stands looking at a wooden house which has a pair of antlers on a shield on its exterior wall.
Lottie's quarters have one notable decoration... 🦌 Credit: Kimberley French/SHOWTIME

And then, there's Lottie's visions, which seem to have followed her out of the wilderness into the present. Lottie tells her psychiatrist in episode 4 she hasn't had visions "in decades," but has recently she seen multiple disturbing images in a short period of time: first, it's Laura Lee appearing to her after Travis' death. Then, it's bloody beehives and hearing one of her followers say "il veut du sang" — in French, "It wants blood," — which is what Lottie says in her first unexplained episode during the attic seance. Then, among her followers' gratitude notes, she sees a Queen of Hearts cards with their eyes scratched out. Notably, Lottie is defiant that her visions aren't trying to tell her anything: "Because they're not real."

Lottie later takes a giant ceremonial dagger through the compound, past followers quietly speaking and huddled around the fire, to a nondescript tree stump off the main path, where she cuts her hand just as she did in the wilderness. "Can this just be enough, please?" Lottie pleads aloud. Wh--what?

A woman holds her bloody hand out over an alter at night.
Again, "We are not a cult." Credit: Kimberley French/SHOWTIME

How did Lottie's cult begin in the wilderness?

Lottie's journey toward becoming the Yellowjackets' spiritual leader in the wilderness runs a steady pace over the seasons.

A girl wearing pyjamas outside a cabin in the woods holds a lantern at night.
"I have a bad feeling about this place." Credit: Kimberley French/SHOWTIME

Though Lottie's initial connection to spirituality seems loose in Season 1, her increasingly prominent "visions" define her experience in the wilderness, from her French-speaking outburst during the attic seance to Jackie finding her standing in the lake in her PJs, not to mention her underwater premonition of Laura Lee's explosive death. Lottie is the first Yellowjacket to find one of the series' signature spooky symbols carved into a tree, and she dons a crown of antlers in the "Doomcoming" episode, all but confirming she's the Antler Queen from the Season 1's opening scene of ritualistic cannibalism.

A group of girls in twig crowns stand in a wood in the dark.
Credit: Kimberley French/SHOWTIME

Tripping on Misty's mushrooms, Lottie easily leads several fellow Yellowjackets into a bacchanal of screaming, howling girls who pursue Travis for their own hedonistic, violent, and possibly sacrificial means. During their psychedelic journey, Lottie says aloud, "We won't be hungry much longer." The next day, she confronts a bear that wanders near their cabin and seemingly kneels before her so she can kill it. This moment seems to solidify her divine association to several followers, including Van and Misty, who join her for a ritualistic offering of the bear's heart to an altar.

"Shed blood, my beautiful friends, and let the darkness set us free," Lottie declares.

A group of teen girls wearing ritualistic garb stand around a teen boy restrained.
Neva4get. Credit: Kimberley French/SHOWTIME

During their time in the woods, Lottie constantly talks about this darkness in the wilderness "being in all of you." During the seance scene, she repeats the words, "It wants…It wants…It wants…hungry," before speaking in French about something wanting blood and declaring, "You must spill blood or else." This is exactly what Lottie hears one of her followers say in the present in Season 2, episode 4 during her bloody beehive vision.

By Season 2, Lottie's slowly gaining a foothold as the team's spiritual leader, building from her bloody tea blessings and meditation sessions to more dramatic, ominous happenings, like in episode 4, when a bunch of birds slam into the cabin after Shauna nosebleeds on the baby blanket Lottie gifted her...emblazoned with that strange symbol. Lottie's fiercely loyal follower, Mari, keeps championing her gifts, drawing in Van, Misty, and Akilah to the cause. And then, there's Lottie's hypothermia-induced mall vision in episode 4, which shows she's under extreme pressure to be the group's spiritual leader.

Lottie's gift of foresight has a longer history.

A small girl listens to a conversation while perched on the stairs, looking through the balustrade.
Credit: Kimberley French/SHOWTIME

Lottie's experiences with visions run deeper than her time in the wilderness. In Season 1, the series takes us back into Lottie's childhood, when she screams in terror from the back seat of her parents' car right before a crash occurs — one that would have most certainly involved their car had she not screamed, causing her dad to brake. Dismissing the possibility of Lottie's clairvoyance, her parents decide to send her to a psychiatrist, where she's prescribed an ambiguous medication for her mental health. In the wilderness, Lottie takes her last remaining pill, and the visions begin.

Why did Lottie's group kidnap Natalie?

A group of people wearing purple hold a woman against her will outside a hotel.
Not a gentle introduction. Credit: Kimberley French/SHOWTIME

Essentially, Lottie's community members kidnapped Natalie to save her life. But they didn't save her...gently. In the first season's finale, a group of purple-clad people burst into Natalie's hotel room just as she's about to kill herself, dragging her into a van marked with the symbol from the wilderness.

In Season 2's first episode, Natalie is being held captive in a wooden cabin, where she's restrained by the wrists. Why does Lottie have bed cuffs installed in her accommodation? "We were afraid you were going to hurt yourself," says Lisa, who has been assigned to supervise Natalie. It appears to be the type of physical restraint used in psychiatric facilities, and as Natalie realises, it's not a regular practice residents like Lisa are used to at all. In episode 4, Lisa is obviously hurt that Natalie doesn't appreciate what she and the residents did, angrily shouting, "We saved your life!" during a confrontation.

But Camp Green Pine's real "Hotel California" energy was pretty freaky when Natalie violently escaped her cabin cell, as followers in purple pursued her through the woodsy darkness, calling out, "Hey, get back here!" Not exactly welcoming, huh?

Why did Lottie take Travis's money?

A teen girl wearing a fluffy jacket holds her hand on a teen boy's chest to calm him.
Courtney Eaton as Lottie and Kevin Alves as Travis. Credit: Kailey Schwerman/SHOWTIME

Amid Natalie (Juliette Lewis) and Misty's (Christina Ricci) investigations into the suspicious death of Travis (Andres Soto), we find out Lottie was the one responsible for draining his bank account after he died. How is Lottie connected to Travis's death, and did she tell Natalie the truth? What's her plan with all of his cash? Considering Lottie's establishment is well up and running, it seems unlikely she used the money to fund her retreat — but Natalie is valiantly trying to get into her private quarters to find more information.

What was Travis and Lottie's relationship like after they left the wilderness though? Beyond that whole almost-sacrificial moment (whoops!), Travis seems to have found a spiritual connection with Lottie during her anxiety-quelling breathing practices, and Lottie flashes into Travis' mind during sex with Natalie. Plus, Lottie has been insistent that Javi, his missing brother, is alive in the woods, despite Nat's criticism of this "false hope" — and then, suddenly he turns up alive in episode 4.

A woman looks worried waking up on a couch in a dimly lit home.
Lottie says Travis gave her instructions to access his bank accounts. Credit: Kailey Schwerman/SHOWTIME

When grown-up Natalie confronts Lottie in episode 1, she's pretty damn pissed, though Lottie claims to have a message for her from Travis. In episode 2, this turns out to be the note Travis wrote and left in his house, reading "Tell Nat she was right."

Lottie tells Nat the story of Travis' death as accidental in his quest to somehow communicate with the darkness from the wilderness. Driving to his house after a worrying call, Lottie finds Travis panicking, saying, "When Van almost died, when you did, you both said you saw something. The only way to confront the darkness to find out what it wants is to get as close to death as possible." Lottie soothes Travis, they both fall asleep, and in the night Travis drives to the ranch where he works, apparently leaving Lottie instructions of how to get into his bank account. Lottie somehow guesses he's gone to the ranch, finds him in the barn, and says, "He had lit candles around him in the shape of the symbol." She helps Travis in his dangerous quest, but it goes wrong and he dies by suicide. Lottie leaves one part of out of her story: she sees Laura Lee's ghost in the barn.

"I didn't kill him, Nat. I was trying to save him," Lottie says.

So, is Lottie telling the truth about what happened to Travis? Did she really try to help him? Was it an accident? Why didn't Lottie try other ways to save Travis? Does it have anything to do with Camp Green Pine? As Natalie says, "I know there's something you're not telling me."

There's plenty more ahead — we'll keep you updated every week on all things Lottie.

Yellowjackets Season 2 premieres March 24 on Showtime's website and app, with new episodes released weekly on Fridays(opens in a new tab). Episodes also air every Sunday on Showtime at 9 p.m. ET, starting March 26.

If you're feeling suicidal or experiencing a mental health crisis, please talk to somebody. You can reach the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988; the Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860; or the Trevor Project at 866-488-7386. Text "START" to Crisis Text Line at 741-741. Contact the NAMI HelpLine at 1-800-950-NAMI, Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. ET, or email [email protected](opens in a new tab). If you don't like the phone, consider using the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline Chat at crisischat.org(opens in a new tab). Here is a list of international resources.(opens in a new tab)

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Shannon Connellan is Mashable's UK Editor based in London, formerly Mashable's Australia Editor, but emotionally, she lives in the Creel House.


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