Let's try to answer one of the big questions haunting the first season.
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Yellowjackets (TV series)

Warning: Spoilers from Yellowjackets episodes 1-9 are discussed in this article.

Yellowjackets' Shauna Sadecki (Melanie Lynskey) sits across from Adam Martin (Peter Gadiot), the curly-haired artist with the Coexist bumper sticker she accidentally rear-ended in a construction zone the other day. She's drawn to him in ways she'd like to ignore, but when he finds her at a hotel, utterly failing to impersonate a government agent in order to spy on her presumed-to-be-cheating husband — and he goes along with it — well, his adorable charm becomes hard to resist.

Then, over a drink, he starts to quote Kurt Vonnegut. "We are who we pretend to be, so we must be careful who we pretend to be," he says. The cutie is well-read! Shauna has since been so swept up in a passionate affair with this man — who has allowed her to dream of what her life could've been like if she and her fellow high school soccer mates hadn't been stranded in the wilderness forced to do terrible things to survive, all those years ago.

But now, especially after the first season's eighth episode, that particular literary reference of his may have been a confession.

Yellowjackets
Peter Gadiot as Adam in 'Yellowjackets'
| Credit: Showtime

Adam is definitely pretending to be someone he's not. When Shauna first rear-ends him, he points out that her car took most of the damage and prefers to settle this without insurance, maybe so he doesn't have to show his identification. On one of their dates, he and Shauna act like teenagers again by asking a stranger to buy alcohol for them — another instance where Adam could've been hiding his I.D.

And now the most damning evidence: Shauna discovers Adam (or whoever he is) lied about attending the Pratt Institute and, as her daughter first said, can't find any trace of him online. The glitter she finds on the floor of her closet, where she made Adam hide from her husband earlier that day, as well as her missing journals, leads her to believe he could be the one blackmailing the Yellowjackets.

So, who is Adam, really? Let's put on our Citizen Detective caps and unpack the prevalent theories.

This article has been updated after Yellowjackets season 1, episode 9.

Adam is ... Javi

Otherwise known as the "Adam definitely has to be Javi because ... right?!" theory.

Many viewers following this puzzle box Showtime drama have arrived at the conclusion that Adam is really Javi, Coach Martinez's young son who came on the Yellowjackets trip to Nationals with his older sibling Travis. The evidence surely seems stacked. Here's why the series seems to be leading us towards this reveal.

When Coach Martinez dies from the plane crash in the second episode, Shauna goes to comfort Javi. She walks with him as the other girls carry the coach's body to the gravesite. Later by the campfire, Shauna is seen putting a sympathetic hand on the boy's shoulder. He smiles. It wouldn't be crazy to think the teen formed a crush on the one who was there for him during this time of grief.

In episode 4, Javi finds Shauna writing in her journal by the creek during the 1996 time setting. She rips out a page and gives it to him, saying there's no wrong way to do it. Perhaps this was the start of Adam's interest in art. There's a parallel to a scene in the present: as part of their date, Adam and Shauna find themselves on a bridge, daring each other to jump in the water.

During that same date, Adam playfully spurs Shauna over their mini-golf scores. She asks why he's even keeping track in the first place. Keeping score was something Javi's brother Travis used to do to flirt with Natalie while they were out hunting in the wilderness years earlier. Did little brother pick up this tip from big bro?

In episode 6, 1996 Shauna finds Javi looking through her stuff for the hunting knife. He says it's for an art project. She later finds he whittled a wolf that he placed by the window in the attic. Present-day Adam is very good with his hands; he works for a body shop, but he also has in his apartment, underneath a framed art piece, an animal figurine. Homemade?

Yellowjackets
Peter Gadiot as Adam in 'Yellowjackets'
| Credit: Showtime

Multiple episodes give us sneaks of Adam's back tattoo, which certainly looks like a mountain range atop some kind of symbol. Going with the Adam is Javi theory, this could be his way of symbolically putting his traumatic past in the wilderness behind him.

Then there's the fact that Adam seems like he's known Shauna for a while. Over the phone from the body shop, he says she doesn't seem like the kind of woman to follow the rules. When he shows up at her house at 4 in the morning to have the "what are we?" talk, he remarks that she's looking to blow things up to see what happens.

One last clue I'll mention — though I'm sure there are more out there — we learn through Misty's (Christina Ricci) "conniving, poodle-haired, little f---ing freak" technique on Jessica Roberts (Rekha Sharma) that someone emptied adult Travis' bank account after he was murdered. It's unclear yet whether Javi could be the kind of person to kill his brother, but a family member seems like someone who could've cleared out a sibling's finances.

The question remains if Adam is Javi, why doesn't Shauna recognize him? Did he undergo that much of a glow-up? (I mean, we've all seen Will Poulter's new Hemsworth bod for Guardians of the Galaxy.) Did something happen in the 1996 setting that would make Shauna think Javi couldn't be standing right in front of her or sleeping in her bed?

For what it's worth, Lynskey went on Twitter on Jan. 1 and told her followers that she has "read your Adam theories," which means she's definitely seen the Adam is Javi theory. "And just so you all know," she added, "there's one that basically no one has mentioned yet. I'm surprised but also not surprised!"

So, for argument's sake, let's explore some other options.

Adam is ... working with Jeff

Yellowjackets
Warren Kole as Jeff in 'Yellowjackets'
| Credit: Kailey Schwerman/SHOWTIME

I'm not convinced that Shauna's husband Jeff (Warren Kole) is actually cheating on her. Maybe he is, but we'll see. I'm more convinced the reason he's staying out late at night doing "inventory" could be because he's the blackmailer.

Jeff has always been a sneak. He would sneak into Jackie's (Ella Purnell) house when they were teens to hook up before school, and he snuck around with Shauna behind Jackie's back. As an adult, he mentions to Shauna that Jackie was always going to break up with him because he would never be anything more than her high school boyfriend. It seems like a safe bet he's trying to prove there's more to him. Cut to the morning after some masked guy got away with Natalie's $50k: Jeff shows up with a Saks Fifth Avenue dress for Shauna and gets pumped to show her off at their high school reunion.

The glitter Shauna found on the floor of her closet, which she assumed was from Adam, could've been from Jeff. And who would know how to unlock his own wife's safe better than him? Maybe he's using Shauna's journals to get information on the other Yellowjackets' whereabouts with the purpose of blackmailing them. When Taissa (Tawny Cypress) popped up in their doorway, he made sure to call her a celebrity, clearly aware of her status.

There's also the matter of Callie's college savings, as mentioned by Jackie's parents during that uncomfortable brunch. Shauna had brought up during that searing takedown of her daughter that they only have $12k put away for tuition fees. I'm sure that would also be weighing on Jeff's mind.

Yellowjackets
Peter Gadiot as Adam in 'Yellowjackets'
| Credit: Showtime

So, where does Adam fit into this theory? Natalie mentions on the ride back from their Charlie's Angels moment that the blackmailer is definitely a man, but Shauna says he could be working with someone. Maybe that someone is Adam, though I'm sure having sex and falling in love with Jeff's wife wouldn't have been part of the plan.

That night, Adam showed up at Shauna's house at 4 a.m. right after the money hand-off went down. How would he have known that Jeff wouldn't be home? Unless he's working with Jeff and already knew he wouldn't be.

Update after episode 9: So, we were right about two things: Jeff is the blackmailer and he wasn't cheating on Shauna.

The dude got in bad with some shady loan sharks in light of his furniture business failing and he needed to pay them back. Bianca, the woman Shauna thought was his mistress, was actually one of those loan sharks. Jeff thought Taissa or Natalie would have the money, which is why we never see Shauna actually receiving a text from the blackmailer.

And it also confirms that this theory about Adam working with Jeff is wrong. Jeff had no idea who Adam was and, in television's best line deliveries of the year so far, didn't know Shauna wasn't going to book club.

But we still have one question: Why did Jeff need the journals? It wasn't explicitly explained, and he admitted to Shauna that he already read her journals before. Wouldn't he have remembered the symbol? Unless he needed Taissa and Nat's contact information, which would've been in Shauna's burner phone and not her journals. Maybe I'm overthinking this.

Adam is ... Shauna's wilderness baby

This is one of the more farfetched theories out there, but maybe it's not so crazy for a show that kills people with exploding teddy bears and has Taissa sleep-eating dirt in the trees. The notion has been floated on Twitter that Adam might be Shauna's baby that she conceived with Jeff, apparently gave birth to in the wild, and then who grew up to... fall in love and have sex with his own mother? Um, no, that's actually as crazy as it sounds.

The timeline is also off. Shauna received an admissions letter from Brown that would've put her in Class of 2000. We also know the Yellowjackets were trapped in the wild for 19 months before being rescued. Adult Shauna guesses Adam could've been Class of 2007 or 2008 at Pratt, even though we now know that was a lie. Still, the math doesn't add up.

Adam is ... Jackie's wilderness baby

Jackie woke up every day since the night she read Shauna's journal and chose violence.

The girl who felt out of place surviving (not thriving) in the woods, unlike the others, found something she's good at: stirring the pot. She outed Shauna's pregnancy to the group, likely as revenge for learning her best friend slept with her boyfriend; she inadvertently outed Nat's relationship with Bobby to Travis; and now, hinted at in the episode 9 promo (shown above), she's moving in on Travis.

Could she have had a baby with Travis in the wild and then that baby grew up to mess with Shauna? The math, again, doesn't quite add up, but I do like the idea of Jackie wreaking havoc from beyond the grave.

Adam is ... a journalist/crazed Yellowjackets fan

Adult Taissa reminded Shauna of this in the very first episode: there's always some journalist who comes out of the woodwork each year, timed to some anniversary, to ask about the Yellowjackets and what really happened to them in the wild. Callie also tells her mom that there's no way Adam doesn't know that Shauna's a Yellowjacket. She Googles her name and it's the first thing that comes up.

Maybe Adam is just sleeping with Shauna to sell a story about their sexcapades to the highest bidder. Shauna wants to believe that Adam is with her for her, but she can't help but question his intentions when she can't find anything on her lover on the internet. Is he a journalist that developed feelings for his subject?

Adam is ... a brother of a Yellowjacket

If Adam isn't Javi, maybe he's a different brother.

To cover his tracks, Adam tells Shauna that a woman he dated went to Pratt and that's why he used the school as a cover. Some viewers online thought the woman he name-dropped was Laura, and therefore possibly a nod to Laura Lee, who died in episode 8. I thought the same, but subtitles on the episode confirmed it was Lauren, not Laura.

Still, could Adam be out for vengeance against those who harmed a sibling of his in the woods? I'd like to believe Adam is really here for Shauna, but I suppose it could be true.

It looks like we'll finally have answers come episode 9, which airs on Showtime and streams on Showtime Anytime this Sunday.

Adam is ... exactly who he said he was

This is the most tragic of the theories, but after episode 9, it seems a far more likely conclusion.

Adam clearly wasn't the blackmailer, so that theory's out. Shauna confronted him in a frantic rage, experiencing flashbacks to her time in the wilderness as she experienced this trauma of what she assumed was betrayal. Adam tried to calm her down, but she ended up killing him with a knife. It's only after he dies that she learns her journals have been put safely back in her safe and that her husband is the true blackmailer.

So, maybe Adam — poor, sweet Adam — really was with Shauna for Shauna. Maybe he was really an artsy body shop mechanic who, as fate would have it, fell in love with the woman who rear-ended him that one day. And maybe he really did only lie about Pratt to impress Shauna. Screw Callie for putting those thoughts in her head, if true! Shauna dealt with Jackie's mind games when they were kids, and now she's essentially raising her own Jackie who likes to make her feel unwanted.

Still, we can't help but wonder why there was no trace of Adam online. There's also the matter of the person who emptied Travis' bank account and presumably also killed Travis. A few of these loose ends need to be tied up, and what better way to do so than with a big ol' high school reunion in the finale?

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YELLOWJACKETS
Yellowjackets (TV series)

Twenty-five years after a plane crash left a high school girls soccer team lost in the Canadian wilderness, the secrets left in the mountains threaten to expose the surviving women. 

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