Who’s side are you on? That quickly becomes a major theme of Yellowjackets’ Season 2, Episode 2, “Edible Complex.” As Lottie (Courtney Eaton) gains favor among the other teens, some—namely, Taissa (Jasmin Savoy Brown) and Natalie (Sophie Thatcher)—find themselves more and more staunchly anti-Lottie, put off by her rituals, visions, and so-called wisdom. It puts a wedge in the relationships of some of our key couples. Ever since Lottie helped Travis (Kevin Alves) through a panic attack last episode, he’s started to believe in her as a guiding force. Meanwhile, Van (Liv Hewson) has been a Lottie disciple since Season 1. Neither Nat nor Taissa takes their significant others’ devotion to Lottie too well. This is likely a trend that will only become increasingly prominent as the season goes on and my guess? You’re either with Lottie, or you’re against her.
Natalie, for her part, is battling Lottie both in the present and the past. Teen Nat, incensed by Lottie keeping Travis’s hopes up about Javi (Luciano Leroux) being alive, dips a pair of Javi’s pants in some blood, rips them, and claims to have found them in the woods (low blow Nat), offering them as proof that Javi is gone. This will come back to bite her in the ass. Personally, I think Javi is alive. I don’t know how yet, but I hope the show gets creative with it. What’s extra creepy is Nat and Travis finally having sex, and Travis having visions of Lottie the entire time. He has fully drunk the kool-aid. It’s surprising—I thought Travis would be the last person to buy into the cult of Lottie.
Adult Nat (Juliette Lewis) is still stuck in Lottie’s (Simone Kessell) cult’s compound and finally finds out what happened the night Travis (Andres Soto making his debut as adult Travis) died, and the story Lottie comes out with is some weak sauce. She doesn’t tell Nat about the vision she had of Laura Lee (Jane Widop) in the middle of Travis choking to death, but I find it hard to believe even the rest of her story is true. She also claims that Natalie can leave the “intentional community” (ahem, cult) the next day if she wants, but I’m skeptical she will let her go that easily.
Also in hot water is Shauna (Melanie Lynskey), who the police have figured out surprisingly quickly was involved with Adam (Peter Gadiot). And while Callie (Sarah Desjardins) accidentally gives away information that Shauna and Adam were having an affair, she also saves her mom from an interrogation by pretending to bug her about going to the mall. So far we’ve only ever seen Shauna and Callie at odds, so it would be nice to see this bizarre turn of events bring them closer together. Callie may be right about her mom being totally crazy, but I’m still getting tired of her constant irritation. Jeff (Warren Kole) became way more interesting when he and Shauna joined forces, why not add Callie to that mix? After all, a family that covers up murders together, stays together.
Shauna’s not the only one gaining an ally this season. In the present, Misty (Christina Ricci) meets her match as a fellow citizen detective, Walter (Elijah Wood), offers to help her with her case in tracking down Natalie, but I have a feeling she’s going to get more than she bargained for in keeping this guy from uncovering some of the Yellowjackets’ secrets.
I wish I were as interested in Taissa’s storyline this season. Taissa as a teen is intriguing as she resists Lottie’s pull, but finds her sleepwalking getting worse. Van has to stop her from sleepwalking off a cliff in this episode. But adult Taissa (Tawny Cypress) is now dealing with more than just sleepwalking, she’s also having hallucinations. The upshot of the delusions mostly just put her in trouble with her (separated) wife (Rukiya Bernard). Even that car accident Taissa gets them in is probably just a device to push her and Simone further apart. At this point, Taissa and Simone feel like strangers, and their scenes together are entirely lacking in any sort of chemistry or charisma.
Taissa may be losing her mind, but in a lot of ways, she’s the voice of reason in the 90s timeline. She spends the episode as the only person concerned about what Shauna is doing with Jackie’s corpse (Ella Purnell, hopefully not her last appearance despite what happens next). She finally confronts Shauna, forcing her to acknowledge that it’s time to give Jackie a proper funeral and let her go. While Taissa’s right to step in, doing so has disastrous consequences. We don’t even know what the ripple effects of this will be.
One thing we have to remember is that in a way, the wilderness is a character in and of itself, with its own will. As Jackie’s body burns on the pyre the girls made, a strong gust of wind comes and knocks a load of snow onto the body, preventing it from fully burning to cinders. Instead, what our survivors awake to is the smell of perfectly roasted meat.
We’ve all theorized how cannibalism would begin. I thought it would be pioneered by our resident cult leader, Lottie, but if this episode is about whose side you are on, it turns out that pretty much everyone is on the side of cannibalism. And the person leading the charge? The same girl who ate her best friend’s ear last episode—Shauna. “She wants us to,” she says as she kneels before the body, hand on her very pregnant stomach. She makes the first cut, and as everyone tentatively follows her in trying a bite, it isn’t long before they’re ripping into Jackie’s body like animals. With psycho Misty, cult leader Lottie, and sleepwalker Taissa, we don’t give Shauna enough credit for being the craziest one on the show. Does anyone else watch each episode and think, oh my god, does Jeff really know all of this from Shauna’s diaries?
Only Coach (Steven Krueger) hangs back, and as he watches the teens savagely engage in cannibalism, you can tell by the look on his face that it’s just now dawned on him who he’s trapped in the wilderness with. He goes back into the cabin and closes the door, terror flooding him. At this moment, we’re all Coach Scott. How do we go on from here? What do you do the morning after you devour your friend’s body? I don’t know, but unfortunately for Coach, he’s about to find out.
Feature image courtesy of Kailey Schwerman/SHOWTIME
Yellowjackets 2x02 - 8.5/10