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Yellowjackets - 2.03 - Digestif - Review

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After last week's descent into cannibalism, I'm not sure what I was expecting from this episode, but it being underwhelming wasn't it. Unfortunately, it didn't really work for me, despite some entertaining scenes and great performances all around.

Back in 1996, far from being subdued by what kind of meat was back on the menu, the girls seem to be going back to business as usual. The only one who freaks out is Taissa, whose alter ego was the one joyfully munching on Jackie's face, and who realizes with horror that she unknowningly went along for the ride. Methinks she should be more worried about Bad Taissa taking over for hours at a time, but hey, cannibalism does score pretty high on the crazy list. Taissa isn't having a great day, then or in present time. She survived the car crash (if it was an afterthought last episode, it's even more so in this one), but Simone is heavily sedated and sporting brand new art on her hand: the creepy symbol! Sleep-deprived and shocked, Taissa is losing it and trying to shake herself awake by going to the bathroom. Which was the wrong idea since her shadow self once again appears in the mirror. Not only to taunt her with that terrifying expression, but to actually ask her to do something. Now, people seem to be split on the meaning here because while I immediately assumed she was mimicking Van's mask from the wilderness, the one that initially hid her scars when she was too self-conscious to take part in Doomcoming, and deduced she was telling Taissa to contact Adult Van, another interpretation is that she was making the symbol itself. But then what was she mouthing at Taissa?! I am not yet versed into lip-reading and haven't seen anyone successfully interpret what she said, so I'm going with the "Call Adult Van" theory. Bad Taissa had already drawn the symbol on Simone, surely there was no need to repeat it. Plus, Taissa immediately calls Jessica Roberts (good luck with that, Tai, since the last we saw she'd had one hit too many of that laced cigarette Misty murdered her with, and crashed her car) which to me, means she's using her to find out where Van is, like she did with the other surviving Yellowjackets Jessica was investigating.

Cult-leader Charlotte aka "Who the hell is Lottie Matthews" aka "let me gift you a weird baby blanket for your unborn child who may be the reincarnation of the antichrist if I do my little rituals well enough" may or may not have been one of them, since we didn't hear about her from Jessica, but she isn't quite thriving either, despite what she wants to project to others. In present day, Adult Lottie (sorry, Charlotte is never going to catch on, I fear) is having weird visions about her bees (yes, her bees. Queen bees, in fact, who kill each other to survive, because "it's natural". Ring any bells?). So despite her namaste attitude, heliotrope overdose, and forgiveness kick she seems to be on, all is not well in Lottie-land. I have seen many theories about Fork Girl (also known as Lisa), from the hidden meaning in her name, to her possible origin (Shauna's wilderness baby, Lottie and Travis' secret lovechild), and the list goes on. I fear, however, that's she's just another red herring, like Adam was. Of course, we may learn that Adam is, in fact, Javi or related to Javi or something, and Lisa is Shauna's long lost forest foetus, but somehow I doubt it. Yes, she's getting screentime, but she's also probably just a decoy. Ah well, the theorizing is fun at least!

In 1996, the other girls are really starting to rely on Lottie anytime there's an issue (which happens about as often as you'd think in a camp of surviving teens who have succumbed to cannibalism), but Taissa, and especially Natalie, aren't having it. Natalie is the only one who is respectful enough to gather what remains of Jackie and lay her to rest in the plane, which leads to an emotional speech on her part and her very own vision of a white moose. Too bad he wasn't real though, he might have gotten them through winter.
"Well at least if you bury her out there, it'll look like she died with the rest of them."
She also isn't overjoyed when a bunch of birds decide to mass suicide on the cabin's roof after Shauna develops a sudden nosebleed, feeding into the "il veut du sang" legend. Blood spilled equals food from the wilderness, but it doesn't seem to work in a systematic way. Nothing happened when Natalie cut her calf in the last episode, so quantity doesn't seem like a reliable factor either. In present day, blood sacrifices seem to bring not game, but success (winning the election, Jeff's store's business unexpectedly booming), and one wonders when they'll make the link and how it'll lead to even more disastrous decisions and therefore, consequences. Part of the collateral damage may well be Coach Ben, who is surely but slowly starving himself to death, dreaming of better days and smarter decisions. Even his choice of hat (to keep warm!) makes it look like he's in (albeit ancient) hospital gear. Flashbacks to his life with boyfriend Paul remind us that this job wasn't all that it was cracked up to be, with Ben eerily calling the Yellowjackets "vicious little monsters", even then. If only he knew. Travis is the only one who seems concerned about Ben's quickly deteriorating state, and it seems it'll be only a matter of time when the question of who's going to be next, in the pursuit of survival. Because after all, that's what they're trying to do. As Akilah puts it, she'd pretty much do anything to see her baby nephew again. Anything. Or anyone. Which, once again, allows the show to go there thanks to the gray area that is how far you'd go to survive, when a lesser one would have been more black and white.
Teen Shauna is struggling too, because, I quote "everything feels out of control and I don't know what's going to happen next". Well, Teen Shauna, let me tell you, you may fear it but your adult self CRAVES it. Adult Shauna is about as terrifying as Bad Taissa, except she's doing it consciously and it involves killing people! The carjacker scene reveals just how deep this hunger for blood runs in Shauna's psyche, and how fake her suburban soccer mom exterior is. And yet she also retrieves Mr *checks notes* Schwoozums from her stolen car, to give him back to a sleeping Callie. So even if I don't doubt (much) that Callie would promptly be thrown under the bus if she ever contributed to sending Shauna to jail, there is still some tenderness left in Shauna. It also makes for hilarious scenes when Jeff and her are most afraid of being boring (no, not of the jail thing, weirdly enough) and end up talking about lube in a diner, or him asking her if she thinks she's Rambo (she probably does). Never change, you two!

My other favorite pairing is, of course, Misty and Walter (if that is indeed his real name). As expected, they are delightful together and I'd watch a whole show of them investigating innocent(ish) citizens with unconventional techniques. Poor Randy didn't know what he'd gotten himself into, but he did provide a lead for Misty in the Natalie Disappearance Case. Say what you will about Misty, but she is loyal to a fault (in 1996, I do wonder what happened to Crystal though. She absorbed her twin in the womb, but the question is... who absorbed her). I'm not sure Walter is quite what he appears though, and the theories about him really being FBI and investigating Misty in order to solve Adam's murder are appealing. Time will tell, but in the meantime, let's just enjoy them riffing off of each other.
I hope the next episode makes more progress and works better as a whole than this one did. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't up to Yellowjacket's usual standards. What did you all think of this episode? As usual, share your thoughts in the comments!

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