In the present, Natalie has the strongest moral compass. On the surface, she’s the meanest Yellowjacket, but she also doesn’t have a cruel streak like Shauna (Melanie Lynskey) and Misty (Christina Ricci) do. She spends most of her time investigating the death of her old flame Travis (Andrès Soto), not butchering small animals, abducting people, or leading a pseudo-cult.
In the past, she’s also been the voice of reason. In “Doomcoming,” she’s the only girl who doesn’t devolve into savagery. She’s also been consistently skeptical of Lottie’s burgeoning religion and “visions” from the Wilderness. I think this is key; we’d been convinced Lottie would be the villain, so Natalie standing against Lottie’s delusions made her seem more heroic. Season 2, episode 4 — “Old Wounds” — when Lottie fails to find food and Natalie has to lead the others on a (failed) effort to recover a dead moose, initially seemed like just another example of Natalie staying down to earth. Now, though, it foreshadows the power dynamic flip in “Storytelling.”
Indeed, there are even more breadcrumbs on this trail. In season 2, episode 5, “Two Truths and a Lie,” Natalie experiences a vision during meditation with Lottie and sees herself wearing the Antler Queen veil. Was she the horned cannibal leader in the Pilot, not Lottie? Taissa (Tawny Cypress) saying back in season 1 that “we wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for Nat” rings a lot darker now.