“Yellowjackets” season two has steadily been growing more gruesome, but it’s also been providing fans with long-awaited answers — like how the girls resorted to cannibalism.
At the beginning of the season, fans were anxiously waiting to figure out the answer to another question: Whether Javi was alive after being missing for months. In episode four, the show revealed that Javi had survived, though it remains unclear exactly what he went through during his months in the wilderness. In episode eight, though, Javi’s story unfortunately took a tragic turn.
To refresh your memory, Javi (Luciano Leroux) is the younger brother of Travis (Kevin Alves), and their dad was the Yellowjackets team’s coach, who died in the plane crash. The brothers, plus Coach Ben (Steven Krueger), are the only men who survive the crash, which puts them in a strange place. Javi, because of his age, mostly evades the notice of the girls. But at the end of season one, he runs away, and in the first three episodes of season two, no one has seen him since — that changes in episode four. In episode five, Javi starts to talk about what happened, but it’s mysterious and vague.
Ahead, we break down why Javi left, where he might have been hiding, how he returns, and what winds up happening to him.
When Did Javi Go Missing in “Yellowjackets”?
Javi ran away during episode nine of season one, “Doomcoming.” That’s when Misty (Samantha Hanratty as a teen) accidentally drugged the whole team with magic mushrooms, causing them to hallucinate and become violent. Drugged up, the girls (minus Nat and Jackie) chase Travis through the camp with a knife.
Despite the drugs, when Shauna sees Javi, she tells him to run, and he does.
Why Does Nat Fake Javi’s Death in “Yellowjackets”?
When season two picks up, it’s been two months since the end of season one and Javi’s disappearance. Nat (Sophie Thatcher as a teen and Juliette Lewis as an adult) very reasonably thinks that Javi is dead. Season one ended with Jackie freezing in the cold; it seems likely the same thing would have happened to Javi. However, Lottie (Courtney Eaton as a teen and Simone Kessell as an adult) keeps telling Travis that she thinks Javi is still alive out there. So Nat’s decision to fake Javi’s death using her blood and his pants has two motivations. One, she genuinely wants Travis to move on and start healing from the loss of his brother. She also doesn’t want Lottie to be right and form a stronger connection with Travis. But, historically, Lottie has often been right.
How Do They Find Javi in “Yellowjackets”?
Van (Liv Hewson as a teen) and Taissa (Jasmin Savoy Brown as a teen) are in the woods looking for the strange Yellowjackets symbol on trees. Van notices that, weirdly, one of the trees has melted snow. That’s when the pair notice someone, give chase, and tackle them. They discover it’s Javi, who they take back to the cabin.
Van is convinced that whatever is going on with Taissa — her sleepwalking and ability to find the symbols — purposefully led her to Javi. “Lottie knew he was alive but Taissa knew where he was,” she says. What all this mysticism means remains a mystery.
Where Was Javi Hiding in “Yellowjackets”?
Javi doesn’t tell the Yellowjackets crew where he was after he comes back, but he does finally tell Coach Ben, “She told me not to come back.” That raises the question of who “she” is and what she told Javi. Is it a supernatural spirit that was protecting him? Is there another group of people in the forest who the Yellowjackets don’t know about? Or has Taissa’s other personality been meeting him during her sleepwalking without Van noticing? We just don’t know.
Travis and Nat covered miles of territory looking for Javi and found nothing and nowhere he could have been hiding, which led some fans to theorize that the mysterious Yellowjackets symbol is actually a map of secret mines and that the red river the girls found in season one was some sort of mining runoff. It turns out, though, that Javi spent at least some of his time hiding underneath the strange tree he was found at, sheltering in a cavern that seems to have been heated by a geothermal spring of some kind.
The other question Javi’s initial survival raises is how he had enough food to live on, but in episode five the girls agree Javi probably was the one stealing their beat meat.
Does Javi Die in “Yellowjackets”?
Unfortunately, Javi meets his end in episode eight, and the way it happens is stunningly tragic. Nearing death from starvation, the team decides to hand out a deck of cards, and agrees that whoever draws the queen of hearts will be killed and eaten. When Nat draws the queen, she winds up running for her life — only for Javi to follow her out onto the iced-over lake. He speaks for the first time since he returned from his absence and tells Nat about his hiding place beneath the tree, but then the ice breaks under him and he falls into the water. In desperation, the girls all watch as he freezes to death — including Nat, who realizes that if he doesn’t die, she will.
It’s a horrific turn of events that signifies, in some ways, the team’s descent to a level of depravity they can never really come back from.
New episodes of “Yellowjackets” premiere on Fridays on streaming and Sundays on Showtime.