Episode 5 of Yellowjackets begins back in the forest. The girls keep themselves entertained, dancing to This Is How We Do It. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your reaction to this scene) the batteries run out. Creaking from above serves up a delicious tease that these girls may not be alone.
In the morning, Nat wakes up Jackie, who’s cramping. Well, so are the rest of the girls too, as it turns out their periods have all synced up. As she walks out the cabin, Jackie is immediately told to pull her weight and get more water. Only, Lottie happens to be in the lake already. It’s pretty unnerving but Jackie doesn’t pay much attention to it, beyond asking if the water is cold.
The thing is, out in the wilderness Jackie isn’t a leader. In fact, she’s been doing a pretty terrible job of bringing these women together. We’ve seen Misty step up and in the wake of that, Jackie has slipped into the shadows. She’s not chipping in and Shauna notices. She tries to help Jackie out, warning her best friend that the others are noticing her laziness. There’s bound to be a mutiny if she doesn’t start pulling her weight.
Shauna has her own problems though, given she’s not had her period yet. Instead, she uses blood from one of the carcasses to hide the truth. That, as we find out later in the episode, is that Shauna is pregnant.
However, Shauna has bigger problems right now. She’s torn between the hive mind and Jackie. For now she’s loyal to Jackie, agreeing to her idea of a séance to communicate with the dead.
That night, Lottie appears to be possessed, muttering in French that “he always wants blood” as their game takes a turn for the worse. Lottie smashes her face against the wall, bleeding out, while Coach winds up vomiting downstairs. This doesn’t appear to be linked to the séance though, as the tea Misty gave him looks to be spiked.
When Coach questions her about it, we find out that he does have feelings for her after all. However, he wants to keep it a secret so the other girls don’t get jealous.
In the present, Shauna and Jeff continue to suffer problems in their marriage. Of course, that brings Shauna and Adam closer together, attending a masquerade party that night.
As fate would have it, she runs into her daughter, Callie. She’s wearing Jackie’s football outfit and that immediately winds up Shauna. Jackie is the big elephant in the room here though, as we learn that Jeff and Shauna never talk about her.
The next day, after a seemingly heartfelt conversation with her daughter, Callie decides to blackmail Shauna. Callie gets no curfew in exchange for keeping her secrets.
Only, Shauna hits back, playing her own game and pointing out that divorce lawyers are expensive…. and Callie’s college funds will be used to pay them. It’s clever, and her scathing assessment of Jeff’s spiraling life knocks some serious sense into the girl.
Meanwhile, Kevin rings Nat and lets her know that the toxicology report on Travis is clean. After hanging up, she reluctantly rings Misty. Nat calls on her expertise to hack into Travis’s files and see if anything is hidden. After antagonizing Misty’s contact with petrol and a lighter, they receive the police files.
With Misty’s help, they check the crime photos and notice a smudge that seems to be wax. Putting all the pictures together, the girls find another of those strange symbols that are etched on the trees in the forest. Given Travis never believed in the cult stuff, it backs up the theory that he was killed.
Elsewhere, Taissa’s polls aren’t looking good. She’s down by 20 points in the suburbs and her angry reaction to Diane last episode isn’t doing her any favours. That stress manifests once more in seeing a wolf out in the street… and ominous red paint on the door reading “Spill”.
The culprit is actually Sammy, who has red paint under his bed. He also claims that the lady in the tree made him do it. Whether this is a red herring or a genuine bite of foreshadowing is one of the better inclusions in this show.
Early in the morning, Taissa decides to fight back against Phil, giving a rousing speech about fighting back. She even blames the red paint on someone else other than Sammy.
Nat eventually brings Tai to her place and shows her the crime photos. As they ring Shauna, and learn that Misty has already informed her and broken their trust, we pan out too see Misty is actually keeping an eye on Nat, courtesy of bugging her camera. Is she the real ringleader in all this?
The Episode Review
After last week’s misstep, episode 5 comes bouncing back again with a much improved chapter. There’s some great character development for Shauna and we see the extent these girls are willing to go to keep their secrets – and get ahead in life. Tai using her son’s painting to get a foot in the election is a nice touch, as it becomes increasingly clear that something is going on with Sammy.
Judging by what we’ve seen so far I would assume that all the “spirits” we’ve been seeing in the present aren’t actually there and are just fragments of horrors from the time in the forest. They could well also show who has died – or how. Jackie isn’t in the present so it’s fair to say she’s dead, while the wolf Tai is seeing could be responsible for killing Val.
Either way though, the present day timelines continue to unravel the mystery, as it seems like one among them is actually stalking and hunting the girls. Saying that Misty has orchestrated the whole thing is a little too easy, although I personally think it could well be someone else from the wilderness working with her in the shadows – Jackie perhaps?
Yellowjackets has been a really enjoyable mystery series so far and that séance – and Lottie’s general oddness – combine to add just the right amount of horror to keep things moving forward. Let’s hope next week continues the good work done here!