— Showtime

Yellowjackets may masquerade as a plane crash survival show, but it’s really a twisted tale of conspiracy, cults, murder, and a mystery in the woods. After Season 2’s shocking finale knocked off a main character, fans were anxious to learn what would happen next to both the past and present versions of the stranded Yellowjackets team. However, last year’s writers’ and actors’ strikes left production on Season 3 in limbo.

There’s now an update to the Season 3 production schedule. and while it may not be the most promising development, it reveals a lot about the story to come. At the Emmy Awards on Monday night, Yellowjackets executive producers Ashley Lyle, Jonathan Lisco, and Bart Nickerson told Deadline that Season 3 will return to production in May, with the goal of hitting an early 2025 release date.

Filming in May suggests the series will follow the pattern the first two seasons established. Season 1’s flashbacks were set during the post-crash summer of May 1996. Season 2 showed the harsh winter that followed, so Season 3 will presumably show the summer of 1997. If this pattern continues, we could see the team get rescued in a hypothetical Season 4, as we know they spent 19 months in the woods.

Season 2 ended with a tragic loss in the present-day timeline as Natalie, played by Juliette Lewis, met her demise after being accidentally injected with phenobarbital by Misty. While Lewis told The Hollywood Reporter that she doesn’t rule out returning in flashback, Season 3 will have to show the present-day characters as they cope with the loss of their friend.

With everything on the table for Season 3 — even a third timeline — any attempt at predicting what will happen is pointless, but Ashley Lyle did provide one hint. “It’s safe to say that we will learn more about the secrets they are keeping,” she told Deadline, suggesting the shocking reveals of the first two seasons were just the beginning.

Yellowjackets is a series that requires a lot of planning for both its layered plot and grueling outdoor shooting conditions. Allowing extra time after delays will ensure there’s no visible dip in quality, even if the teen characters look a little older than when we last saw them. If the Yellowjackets were able to wait 19 months to be rescued from the wilderness, we can wait another year before we curl up on the couch with them again.

Yellowjackets is streaming on Showtime.

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