Yellowjackets creator confirms that apparent anachronisms in Jackie’s movie journal aren’t careless mistakes, but rather calculated details.
Yellowjackets showrunner, Jonathan Lisco, debunks a theory that Jackie’s journal contains accidental anachronisms. Lisco is credited as showrunner alongside husband-and-wife duo, Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson. The trio’s series unfolds in two separate timelines. One traces the survival efforts of a high school soccer team marooned in the northern wilderness in 1996. Concurrently, present-day survivors deal with their unresolved trauma, dispose of meddling outsiders, and harbor secrets of their own.
One of the series’ central relationships is the contentious friendship between Jackie (Ella Purnell), the confident and popular team captain, and Shauna (Sophie Nélisse), the seemingly deferential sidekick who’s actually sleeping with Jackie’s boyfriend. In episode 6, titled “Saints,” the now-adult Shauna (Melanie Lynskey) and Jeff (Warren Kole) have brunch with Jackie’s parents to celebrate their late daughter’s birthday. After a decidedly awkward meal, Shauna wanders into Jackie’s room–untouched by her parents for 25 years–where she leafs through her dead friend’s old journals filled with lists of favorite movies that, notably, came out after 1996.
In an interview with Variety, Lisco confirms that the diary entries were not, in fact, careless anachronisms, but were rather calculated details. One list, titled in pink marker as “Movie Characters I Would Be,” cites films like American Beauty (1999) and Bring It On (2000), both of which came out after the 1996 plane crash. Lisco, however, is adamant that the details aren’t a contingency error. “It’s not a mistake,” says the showrunner. Read his full quote below:
“It’s not a mistake. We will find out. And I think that will have a lot to do with what I’m talking about here in terms of her seeking some kind of reconciliation with the past.”
In a show as meticulously detailed as Yellowjackets, it’s unlikely that the writers would be so careless as to include such obvious chronological errors. Still, the showrunners couldn’t have known that their series would unleash an army of enterprising Yellowjackets Redditors and citizen detectives. When the clip first aired back in episode 6, fans took it as a sign that Jackie was still alive, or at the very least had made it back from the wilderness. Other viewers delved more closely into the contents of the lists searching for hints, noting that Rose from Titanic and Sydney from Scream are known for surviving their respective films.
Jackie’s death in the Yellowjackets season finale should put to bed any theories that she would live to see Bring It On in theaters. But Lisco’s confirmation that the movie journal wasn’t a mistake opens up an entire can of worms of new theories. Perhaps the journals belong to Shauna, who left some remnants of her childhood at her old friend’s house. Or perhaps she, in some combination of nostalgia and guilt, went back and edited the lists to create, as Lisco put it, “some kind of reconciliation with the past.” In true Yellowjackets fashion, the showrunner’s reveal creates more questions than it answers. Fans will have to wait until Yellowjackets’ return in 2022 to learn more.
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