Of all the horrors presented in Yellowjackets, the man with no eyes is one of the Showtime drama’s most terrifying unsolved mysteries. Outside of the opening credits sequence, the dark figure first appeared during a Season 1 flashback to young Taissa (Jasmin Savoy Brown) visiting her dying grandmother. In the matriarch’s final moments, she screamed about an eyeless man who wanted to take her eyes — something Tai assumed he accomplished when she pried open her grandma’s lids in her casket at the funeral home. Later as a grown woman (played by Tawny Cypress), she sees him again in a crowd of journalists during her would-be election concession speech.
When Yellowjackets returned for Season 2, the mystery continued. In the second episode, Tai was in her dissociative, nocturnal state when she followed the same man into the wilderness and almost sleepwalked off of a cliff. Though Van (Liv Hewson) was able to save her in time, the show added an extra twist when the camera panned to show the strange symbol carved into a nearby tree.
Though viewers will have to wait for concrete answers, co-showrunner and executive producer Ashley Lyle gave some insight into the creepy figure. “All I’m going to say about the man with no eyes is that we see in the first season that Tai has lived as this person who’s based her life on pragmatism,” she explained during an April 3 PaleyFest panel in Los Angeles, per Insider. She added that the character would likely define herself as an atheist or agnostic. “And so I think that for Taissa, who's very much not in touch with her spiritual self, and very much not in touch with her ability to believe, or, her faith, there's this sort of symbolic character of, you know, you could look at him as death incarnate.”
After Cypress reportedly revealed during the same panel that the man had actually “been cut out of” certain scenes, Lyle chimed in, “I think what he represents is ‘the unknown’ and the unknown is something that Taissa is very uncomfortable with as a character. And we will dig further into that.”
The showrunner also shared that, while conducting research for the show, she went “down the rabbit hole of things like near-death experiences” and read online threads “about hospice nurses and what people do in their last moments.” As Lyle also shared at PaleyFest, “I’ve lost a lot of sleep because of it because it’s a not uncommon experience that people will see something... disturbing.”
The “angel of death” connotation associated with the eyeless man tracks with several Reddit theories that Yellowjackets fans have been mulling over since Season 1. “I assume the eyeless man is some sort of death courier, a grim reaper. Something that comes to meet you when you are in between worlds,” one viewer wrote. While another added, “What if Tai’s family is cursed by the MWNE ghost and it clashes with the dark spirit in the forest?” As a third fan offered, “I’ve wondered if it represents her in her Dissociative Fugue/ sleepwalking states, which the conscious Tai cannot See, and which she is terrified of.”