Showtime’s hit horror-thriller Yellowjackets delivered a whopper of a Season 2 finale, what with Coach Ben’s meme-worthy attempt at mass murder and the death of a fan-favorite character, as well as the survivors’ latest trip down Cannibalism Lane. While it wasn’t ever quite clear why the second season was set for only nine chapters after the first year featured ten episodes, that mini-mystery was seemingly solved recently by co-creator Ashley Lyle, who confirmed the previously rumored existence of a bonus episode, which will air at some point before Season 3 arrives. So will that extra ep also answer this question: whatever happened to that cameo from Jason Ritter?
For all that the final few Yellowjackets episodes gave viewers, strangely absent was the anticipated cameo from Parenthood vet Jason Ritter, whose wife Melanie Lynskey is obviously central to the show’s present-day storyline as Shauna. The appearance was revealed to be on the way before Season 2 premiered, so it’s one that fans have been waiting on for months now, hanging onto the lone details that Ritter and Lynskey won’t be sharing the screen together. Thus, once the finale wrapped up without prominently showcasing the actor in any specific ways, fans quickly started speculating about the existence of a tenth episode being the place where the cameo would happen.
Some thought the extra episode would be airing the week after the Season 2 finale, with one particularly loyal fan noting on social media their intentions to stay up and wait for the ep’s arrival, which drew quite the revealing response out of Ashley Lyle, as seen below:
Noooo. Go to bed! Get some rest! There will be a bonus episode between seasons, but I love you guys and I don’t want y’all to lose sleep thinking it’s tonight.June 2, 2023
The co-creator referring to the existence of a bonus episode is huge news in and of itself — to be fair, Lyle was the one who sparked the rumors on Twitter in the first place — and wouldn’t necessarily have to include Ritter in order to be exciting as hell. But wouldn’t that make a ton of sense for all the reasons if his Yellowjackets appearance was in this between-season installment?
It stands to reason that any future standalone episode will have been held off for a specific purpose, which could easily be that it’ll shed some light on story details that aren’t directly related to the survivors’ storylines as either teens or adults. As such, that would create the proper situation for Jason Ritter to pop into this fictional universe in a way that wasn’t required to sit alongside everything else that we’ve seen thus far.
If that’s the case, then it makes it all the more likely that Ritter could be used to tell the story of the previous cabin attendee. Which would be quite a timely backstory to get into, now that the cabin has been burned to the ground. Since we don’t know much about the dude at this point, the cabin being destroyed could awaken his evil spirit or some shit. Or maybe he’s got relatives who live in the woods just outside the boundaries of the trees with the symbol carved into them, and they end up coming for the girls after seeing the smoke from the fire.
These are scenarios that will hopefully be proven or disproven in whatever the bonus episode will be, even if he isn’t being played by any special guest stars. (I also like the idea of Ritter playing someone completely different, who sees the smoke from the first and attempts a rescue mission, only for the wilderness to disrupt his attempts in a presumably fatal fashion.)
But still, Jason Ritter is no stranger to making one-off appearances, as he was part of the anthology crime drama Accused’s star-studded cast, and is also no stranger to mystery-driven series with woodsy settings, as he voiced Dipper Pines and more in Disney’s gone-too-soon Gravity Falls. And is, you know, a talented actor beyond those distinctions. So whatever he’s doing when he eventually shows up on Yellowjackets will no doubt be excellent.
Now to rewatch all 19 episodes in anticipation of the bonus episode’s arrival. Join me in the binge-fest with a Paramount+ subscription. And maybe plan on rewatching more than once or twice, since the ongoing WGA writers strike could delay Season 3 beyond plans for its 2024 arrival.