Episode 1 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 2 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 3 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 4 – | Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 5 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 6 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 7 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 8 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 9 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 10 – | Review Score – 4/5
Since the success of Lost back in 2004, many shows have attempted to emulate that same formula with mixed results. Whether it be The Wilds, Flashforward or even Revolution, many have failed to grab the “it” factor that made ABC’s drama so enthralling.
While I’m not about to hyperbolically claim Yellowjackets is as good as Lost was in its prime, it certainly has some promising glimpses of what could turn out to be a very promising small screen mystery box.
In its simplest form, Showtime’s latest drama plays out as a blend of Lost, Lord of the Flies and a murder mystery whodunit. This delicious blend of ideas works wonderfully across the 10 episodes, with a split focus between two different – and equally important – timelines.
The main storyline centers on a female football (soccer) team called the Yellowjackets. With their captain Jackie calling the shots, they board a plane but crash-land in the middle of nowhere.
With the pilots dead and narrowly avoiding a horrible fire, the girls are forced to try and work together. Only, some of them are convinced that something more supernaturally sinister is keeping them in the wild, determined to turn them all against one another.
Interwoven around these flashbacks is our present day timeline, where a handful of survivors have made it back. They refuse to talk about their time in the wild though, keeping tightlipped about what happened. As a result of their harrowing ordeal, each of these women suffer from some form of trauma.
From hallucinations and guilt through to depression and suicide, whatever happened in the wild has very badly effected them.
When one of the survivors commits suicide, a strange sigil on the floor and a suspicious crime scene work in tandem to make it seem like this may be staged. But if that’s the case then who is the killer?
This essentially forms the framework for the entire series to follow, with plenty of twists, turns and surprising reveals across the season.
Now, there are a good deal of illogical moments and plot contrivances that will have you scratching your head. There are a few moments that string you along and go nowhere, while a couple of the characters make some pretty ridiculous choices. If you can look past that though, there’s a fair amount to like here.
When it comes to plot development, Yellowjackets does a decent job keeping things mysterious, although there is a fine line here between ridiculous and supernatural. There’s a fair amount in the finale to unpack, and the open, ambiguous conclusion will leave people conflicted over this one.
The characters are relatively interesting though, with plenty to unpack in both the present and past timelines. The one gripe with this though comes from the lack of tension surrounding certain characters. Given we know Shauna, Tai, Misty and Nat survive, any time they’re in danger in the wild it’s hard to be too worried about their safety.
The other problem this series has comes from its runtime. Given a second season has already been greenlit and the plan here is for a total of 5 seasons, there are a few filler episodes that drag out the story unnecessarily. The biggest culprit for this comes from episode 4 where absolutely nothing of note happens, failing to advance the story at all. In fact, it could have been cut altogether.
Aside from a few plot contrivances, Yellowjackets is a solid mystery thriller. Sporting plenty of intrigue, mystery and unexplained phenomena, this is one of the better mysteries to be released in quite some time. Just be prepared to be sucked in for quite the rollercoaster ride once you start!
Verdict - 7.5/10