Yellowjackets – Season 2 Episode 1 Recap & Review

Friends, Romans, Countrymen

We begin episode 1 of Yellowjackets season 2 right after the revelation that Jackie froze to death outside and Lottie, Van, and Misty offer the bear heart to the powers that be to “let the darkness run free.”

It seems like this season will also have a dual storyline format; one set in the past and one in the present. But the one in the past briefly picks up from 1998, roughly 19 months after the crash when the girls were rescued to show glimpses of what happened. We might have this trend continue in further episodes. So season 2 of Yellowjackets might actually have three timelines!

The first visuals after the events of season 1 show the girls sleeping in the camp. Only Lottie, Natalie, and Travis are up. The latter pair are going out to find Javi, while Lottie sits by the window. Before they leave, she smears their hands with something she keeps in a small pocket pouch and makes them drink water with her blood to make sure they are protected in the wilderness. In the brief 1998 flash, we see the girls being rescued. Media people go crazy as they look for the story of the decade.

Our focus is on Lottie, who has not spoken since she came back. She isn’t eating or sleeping like usual and her parents are worried. They try to give her shock therapy to “maker her right” but Lottie has haunting visions. We see her calming down another patient in the facility she is kept in by simply putting her hand to the other patient’s heart and saying, “they will help you too.”

In the present, we see a grown-up Lottie preaching to a group of people. She asks them not to “hide from themselves” and not “blame others for their sickness and misery.” Her disciples must come to terms with their primal instincts and discover themselves.

Misty and Shauna practice a scenario when the police pick her the latter up and question her about Adam. Misty’s questioning is more mischievous than constructive and Shauna ends the session. Tai picks up a dog that looks like her old one to make sure the transition for her family is easier.

The kennel owner expresses her sincere opinion that she voted for Tai because she believes she will do good, which gets Tai thinking for a second. On her way back, Tai is told to meet with the teacher’s union and manage them as they won’t be able to deliver on their promises during the election.

Talks of re-election are already picking up, stressing Tai who has not even taken to office yet. Misty gets tense while surfing an independently run website by true-crime conspiracy theorists. One of the reviewers notes that Adam’s mystery lady friend might be suspicious. Callie is upset with Shauna for taking the Adam situation too casually. Callie also feels conflicted about what it would do to Jeff and their marriage.

Back in the past, Shauna imagines having a conversation with Jackie in the meat shed where her body is kept. This is mainly because of how guilty Shauna feels for betraying the trust of her best friend and not getting the chance to make things right. This is inherently visible in the conversation Shauna and a dead Jackie have about Jeff and how Shauna cheated on Jackie.

When the emotions get the better of her, Shauna knocks down the body and Jackie’s right ear falls off, which Shauna panicky keeps in her pocket.

Mari tries to strike up a conversation among the group – Misty, Ben, Lottie, and Keeya – about Shauna’s weird behaviour with Jackie and the latter’s death. But Lottie shuts her up. Shauna comes back and says since they are running out of food again, she has further rationed the meat. In the present day, Shauna has still kept a few things belonging to Adam. Among them, she finds a bunch of keys which has access to an art studio that gets her reeling.

She immediately phones Jeff and tells him about it. Shauna thinks the studio is near the Jolly Hitcher. She is worried about what might be in the apartment. When Tai goes to pick up Sammy from the school, Simone is waiting out of sight. The moment Sammy sees the new dog, he rushes toward Tai but Simone abruptly stops him. She confronts Tai about the ritual she performed in the basement but Tai does not remember anything. Simone also threatens to go to the press if Tai does not step down and seek treatment.

Back in the past, Travis panics when he imagines he sees Javi’s dead body in the snow but Natalie calms him and says it is just a fox. Javi remains a big question mark since season 1 had no explanation for what happened to him. The dingy art studio is filled with large extremely well-done paintings of Shauna. Jeff sees them and is confused and upset. Shauna concedes that imagining Jeff with someone else made her scared and perverted. They proceed to have sex.

Shauna proposes they burn the paintings. Back in the past, Misty is on water-drawing duty and has a confrontation with Crystal, who cannot help but sing the song “The Glory of Love” out of her head. She offers to teach Misty how to sing and she seems interested. Ben had instructed Natalie to map out the area and she draws a small portion on paper. Ben pieces it together on a big board but neither believes Javi is alive.

In the present day, Misty looks for Natalie at her house. She convinces Larry, the manager, to give her access to the apartment, which she figures out was broken into. We see members of the cult have tied up Natalie to a bed. She is being kept hostage. But the real question is: to what end? Jeff tries to process what happened in the studio. He proceeds to burn all of Jeff’s belongings with Shauna on the barbecue grill. Tai misses Sammy and smells his shirt. She goes to check out what Simone was pointing to and is shocked. What is really going on with this lady?

Back in the past, Natalie and Travis sit near a fire and even though the former tries to tell him that Javi is dead, Travis does not believe it. Suddenly, Travis gets a panic attack and Lottie suddenly appears and does the same thing she did to that woman in 1998: keeping her hand on Travis’ chest. He calms down and sees a vision of candles being lit up in the place of the offering. He also has an erection by the end of it. Natalie reprimands Lottie for what she said and asks her to stay away from Travis.

In the present, Natalie lures the girl looking after her and stabs her with a fork. She frees herself and makes a run for it to escape the camp. She happens upon an ongoing ritual of the cult members, something similar to the Antler Queen ritual we saw in the first season’s premiere. Natalie wants to kill Lottie but she says she has a message from Travis for Natalie.

In the past, we see Tai suddenly start kissing Van but she pushes her back. Van reiterates that she is not scared of Tai but perhaps she should be. Callie meanwhile, finds a small photo of Adam from his license in the base of the grill, confirming her suspicions about her parents.

In the past timeline, we see Natalie and Travis heading up further north and spotting an untainted tree on their way. Shauna nervously paces to and fro with Jackie’s ear in her hands. She looks at it for a while and then closes her eyes and puts it in her mouth.


The Episode Review

Well, well, well. Episode 1 of Season 2 brings us our first glimpse of cannibalism from the camp in 1996, even if it was very short-lived. Shauna taking a taste of Jackie’s ears foreshadows what might happen to the other girls whom we do not see return in the small glimpse we saw after they were rescued in 1998. Lottie seems set to be taking centre stage this season.

She seems to have acquired magical powers due to her sacrifice. Not just in the past but also in the present, Lottie is our augur for what will come next. Tai’s mystery is a little hard to break down. She faces a tangible threat in Simone and it is unclear why she cannot remember the gross tableau in the basement.

Misty is vigilant to any threats to her friends and they are lucky to have her. The interaction with Larry in the motel was acerbically funny and quite effective. Shauna’s secret has blown wide open as Callie found Adam’s photo and an online conspiracy theorist too seems hot on her trail.

One couldn’t have asked for a better season opener and a more excitable kickstart to learning answers to the burning questions about the Yellowjackets.

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