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Yellowjackets - 2.05 & 2.06 - Review

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As season 2 of Yellowjackets begins its course towards the finale, one of the biggest mysteries since the show premiered back in 2021 has finally been answered, and the result is a lot more down to earth than many theories would have predicted. Still, it's not the only thing that happened during these last two episodes, so let's delve in.

As Adult Taissa's treck across states teased in episode 4, her reunion with a very much alive Adult Van is quite delightful, despite the circumstances. Lauren Ambrose is pitch perfect as Van's older self, and she and Taissa's rapport never feels stilted, even if they haven't seen each other in years. Van now tends a little VCR shop that (understandably) isn't doing great, she's dodging bills, and popping pills. What's most intriguing is that despite their horrific past, Van seems stuck in it. It's not just the cassettes, but her computer is a relic and her wardrobe seems lifted right out of 1996. You know how armchair psychologists will say that celebrities stay stuck at the age when they became famous? You could apply the same to the Yellowjackets, some of them have tried to grow past what happened, but most of them are still stuck at 17, forever trapped in those woods. It doesn't help that they have the sensation of having "brought it back" with them, either, with "it" being... the darkness? The malevolent entity that pushes for sacrifices of the flesh in exchange for survival? The smoke monster from Lost? Anyway, Van isn't doing so great, but Taissa can't sleep and is sacrificing small dogs for political campaigns she's all but abandoned, her wife is in the hospital and she's barely allowed to see her son so all in all, Van's half-life doesn't seem that bad in comparison.

After a not-so-unexpected appearance by Bad Taissa, intimating that "we're not where we're supposed to be" (if they go the "we need to go back" route, I truly will riot), Van and Taissa are in an impass as how to move forward, until a gleeful Misty finally manages to get through (the only reason Taissa picked up is because she thought it might be the hospital, and Misty wasn't calling from her own cellphone. I'd say poor Misty but... yeah) and informs them both about the resurgence of "Charlotte" Matthews and her wilderness inspired wellness center. Indeed, Misty, after what felt like an eternity of fruitless missions to find out what happened to, and then "rescue" Natalie, is finally reunited with her long lost BFF. A BFF who doesn't seem to have missed her, or want her there at all, but still. I'm starting to get confused about the laws that apply to Lottie's cult because both Misty and Shauna seem to think their legal troubles won't follow them there, which feels like wishful thinking at this point but who knows, maybe with enough blood offerings, "it" will manage to help them all avoid going to prison. In the process of getting there, Misty dumped Walter who was getting dangerously close to figuring out what happened to Adam and Shauna, well. Shauna is in a world of trouble because 6 episodes in, we're still stuck in this storyline.
See, Callie has finally figured out that goofy Jay isn't just a misunderstood soul, but actually a cop in disguise. What neither she, nor Shauna and Jeff, have figured out is that lying to the cops isn't a great idea. I know Shauna is touted as this matermind and maybe she is, but in this instance she doesn't seem to be thinking too far ahead. Her ploy to pretend that her affair was with Randy by pretending to have sex with him while the cops have received a tip to follow them, promptly disintegrates since Randy is unable to perform, and Jay will not let up. Of course, maybe Callie's strategy to drag Jay down by acting like he slept with her may yet work but it's still pretty risky. Which is why, per Jeff's advice, Shauna also sets off for the cult place and all the (known, living, at least) Yellowjackets finally reunite around Lottie and the wilderness symbol that is all over her cult.
Meanwhile, back in 1996, things go from pretty freaking bad to absolute horror real fast. First of all, Misty's newfound friendship with Crystal has somehow lulled her into the illusion that she can tell her anything. Except Crystal has normal, teen preoccupations, whereas Misty has huge, insane, secrets. Things escalate when she finally admits to tampering with the black box so they could all stay in the wilderness together because she finally felt like she belonged somewhere, and Crystal doesn't believe her when Misty hurriedly retracts by pretending she was kidding. I was expecting things to finally come to a head with Crystal telling the rest of the team but Misty threatens to kill her and, well, does. Crystal's presence was short lived since she only popped up in season 2 to provide Misty with some human contact, but I'm glad they at least adressed the fact that Misty is the reason they're all stuck and having to resort to increasingly horrible ways of surviving.
She's also at least partially responsible for what happens to Shauna and the baby, since if they'd been rescued none of what follows would have happened. Shauna is getting increasingly weirded out by how obsessed Lottie and her cohorts are with her baby (by this point, Lottie has them linking hands and chanting, but things quickly progress to blood sacrifices when the birth doesn't go as planned), but this takes a step back once she goes into labor.
I've mentioned before that I'm not a fan of the fake scenes we get almost every episode, because they don't bring much to the story or characters, and I'm getting really tired of knowing none of it is real while we wait for the actual scene to unfold. And I get it, this one was supposed to depict Shauna's very real fears of not being able to provide for the baby, as well as worrying about the rest of the team latching onto him like they did with Jackie. But in the end it just doesn't work for me, just like the mall scene didn't, or Coach's domestic fantasies. Still, Sophie Nelisse is fantastic in this role and once again gives a great performance. Thus, we learn that the wilderness baby didn't end up being whatever new character was introduced in the current timeline, it also didn't grow up feral and stay in the woods, and it wasn't used as a sacrifice. The birth didn't go well and the baby was still born, and while having him live would have brought on many terrible challenges, one does wonder how Shauna will recover, if ever. Her adult self certainly hasn't, since she finally admits her marriage to Jeff was out of guilt, and she never wanted to have another child.
As we head towards the last few episodes (IMDb still says 9, critics haven't seen the finale yet but up to episode 8 from what I can gather, so I'm still going with 9. If we get 10, then great! If not, we were prepared), one can assume that things will only get crazier, and with the adult Yellowjackets reunited, I hope it'll also get more interesting. Hope springs eternal and all that! As usual, sound off in the comments with your thoughts on the last two episodes!

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