Yellowjackets – Blood Hive Review

Inherited things can be difficult. If your parent dies, something as simple as a train set could be a burden to keep up the legacy and maybe just as painful.

That pales in comparison to something that was bred into you. I’m not talking about skill but rather a curse. There’s no running away from that. Welcome to the fifth episode of Yellowjackets titled “Blood Hive.”

In spite of their plight, the girls still seem to filch a few moments of happiness with a dance party. As Montell Jordan’s iconic “This Is How We Do It” serves as the track on which team spirit keeps chugging along, the squad is momentarily in sync as one to the joy of Misty (Sammi Hanratty), Coach Scott (Steven Kreuger), and Travis (Kevin Alves). That is until the batteries and no matter how much Van (Liv Hewson) tries to remedy it, turns out the entertainment found them.

Footsteps in the attic give way to an air of dread. Lottie (Courtney Eaton) is shocked others heard it as well. Taissa (Jasmin Savoy Brown) is hardly convinced, but Mari (Alexa Barajas) proposes it could be the corpse. Lightening up the room, Natalie (Sophie Thatcher) suggests something a bit more grotesque, but Jackie (Ella Purnell) dismisses it all before Coach Scott suggests they all hunker down for the night. Sleep tight!

The next morning, ever the early bird Misty checks on Coach Scott rest, but gets an “eyeful-more”. It’s perfectly okay to be in awe of one’s splendor in the morning! Touching it, however, isn’t, causing Coach to erupt at her and not in a good way!

Sleeping beauty Jackie is wrested from her slumber by Natalie. Having cramps isn’t any excuse either, as the whole team is synced up.

As Akilah (Keeya King) readies makeshift tampons for the team from gauze, a primped Jackie notices Van and Laura Lee (Jane Widdop) doing laundry while Taissa and Nat chop wood. Akilah reminds her that of the two pots boiling, one is for the ‘bloody soldiers’ while the other is breakfast. Before she can indulge in the spoils of others’ labor, Mari reminds her that nobody eats for free, demanding she fetches more water.

At the lake, Jackie notices Lottie in pajamas, waist-deep in it, mind deep in a trance staring out. Jackie writes it off and attempts to fill the pail. Hauling over the fucker only 3/4 full and slamming down on the ground from exhaustion isn’t impressing the girls at chow time either, though we do catch a glimpse of Van making eyes at Taissa. I mean, we all knew it was coming.

Shauna (Sophie Nélisse) offers to help, but Jackie’s curious as to why she’s so chipper. Being late doesn’t sit well with the poor girl, but thankfully Jackie is none the wiser, thinking she’s still retained her V-Card.

In 2021, Shauna (Melanie Lynskey) flirts in her kitchen with her new toy, Adam, negating her motherly duties of making breakfast. Daughter Callie (Sarah Desjardins) seems to not mind, as she plans to head out tonight. It’s Halloween! and she’s most definitely heading out into the city although according to her mom-dukes, she’s most definitely not. She’s on candy duty, as attends ‘Book Club’.

Even when Jeff (Warren Kole) enters, mom can’t catch a break, staring deceit right in the handsome face. He offers to go, but he isn’t the only one that can pull the wool over another’s eyes.

In her hotel room, Natalie (Juliette Lewis) gets a call from Kevyn (Alex Wyndham) with the unfortunate news that Travis’ system was clean. Though the hottie coyly asks for reciprocation in the form of a date, Nat has bigger fish to fry by eating crow.

Cutely clad in cat ears and Halloween scrubs, Misty (Christina Ricci) picks up. Though she doesn’t get an apology from Natalie, she does agree to reach out to someone that can hack Kevyn’s files. Though shit is starting to get serious, Misty can’t help but celebrate the holiday by scaring a few trick or treaters with taking her patient off life support for a few moments.

Back in the wilderness, Shauna realizes her breasts are getting more tender, so in order to throw the scent off, she falsifies her own rag with deer blood just before Taissa can catch her in the act. It’s a clever move, but only if a tree falls in the woods and nobody is there to see it.

With Taissa (Tawny Cypress) trailing in the polls by a large enough margin to throw in the towel, Simone’s (Rukiya Bernard) comforting her only brings something from her past to her doorstep- a howling wolf, in plain view, just outside. Though her killer instincts kick in, armed with a letter opener, she finds nothing in the street, only to come back to “SPILL” marked across her front door in red paint.

At camp, though Shauna’s entered her ticket in Aunt Flow’s bucket, Jackie doesn’t exactly care. Fed up with disdainful eyes all on her best friend, Shauna takes the diva aside and tries to teach her how to pop the kneecap of a deer. After refusing to even put in a little effort on preparing sustenance, Shauna’s at the end of her rope as well.

Jackie’s best asset is the pep she brings to the table, and Shauna concludes with even if she had shown more of that boost of morale to a limited goddamn hope situation, she wouldn’t be so fucking iced out. With the team needing their leader back, Jackie’s necklace is returned to her.

As Sammy (Aiden Stoxx) returns from trick-or-treating with his two mothers, Taissa notices a new flyer sent out by her opponent, mud-slinging about how she’s hiding from the truth. Simone thinks her rock should spill on the dude’s junkie daughter, but she chooses to go high. I suppose it matters none, as while putting away her son’s costume, she notices a can of red paint under his bed.

They must be reading Fifty Shades of Grey because Shauna gets her mask on with Adam (Peter Gadiot). Though uncomfortable with her age difference from the attendees, she attempts to enjoy the night.

Deep in the woods, Travis and Natalie attempt their marksmanship. Though his eye is on some menu choices, her aim is on him. His excuse is being deep in the crimson apiary, so it’s clear what he’s not exactly used to, and through a short, flirty anthropological lesson, the scent of the hunt takes hold.

Grown Natalie is visited by Misty, bearing a diffuser for her stress. The rub is that her contact wants to meet in public to discuss the terms of their deal. Natalie isn’t phased.

Speaking of bringing up evidence, Sammy’s confronted by his parents with the red paint. Though he swears he didn’t do it but rather ‘the bad one’ aka a lady in the tree. His reticence only is punctuated by a violent outburst.

In a super blood-red Chinese restaurant, “Stallion99” (Nikolai Witschl) meets “AfricanGrey”, but it’s really the girls that hold the cards. Though he wants in on the operation, he’s at the mercy of a simple flame, thanks to Misty spilling the gasoline Natalie siphoned from her car all over his dick.

At the cabin, both Van and Taissa get to steal a makeout moment for themselves before Mari screaming fucks it all up. Swearing there’s something on her, Taissa makes the tasteless joke of it being the ghost. To diffuse the situation, Jackie ebulliently tries to capture the omnifarious spirit of the team with a silly seance. Though Laura Lee’s protestations run high, Shauna reluctantly backs up her girl for the sake of unity and most are for it. Shit, since there’s no goddamned pitch around, this is the only game they can play as a team.

Among the half-naked crowd about 20 years their junior, Natalie’s letting loose with Adam and enjoying herself! As we now know with the survivors of this ordeal, good times are an illusion… much like the ghost of Jackie, that’s been staring at her. She goes to chase after the haunt of regret, only to find something worse: her daughter.

Shit like that doesn’t take the shit-caked cake though, as Adam goes to comfort Shauna in front of Callie’s very eyes. She’s shaken, but ‘stick in the mud’ mom takes her to at least get sobered up with Molly in her system.

At the homestead, Taissa is censured in her own House. Simone thinks that her play for State Senator is draining her away from a relationship with their son and more eating away at herself, physically as well as mentally. Painful as it is, Taissa will expel herself from the running.

While Misty tries to offer Coach Scott tea with the swelling in the part that is actually chopped, Jackie instructs Shauna on how to set up the candles, with all on the marks on the floor. As they try to ‘get rid of a ghost’, Natalie finds the round in her shotgun was one, with Travis toying with her. The chase is on and only ends with one way- a kiss. I believe their score is now tied.

As Natalie studies the morbid photos of Travis’ autopsy, she finds nothing but ligature scars that make her sting. Misty finds of the scene interesting spots that resemble wax stains and when all compiled, through a black marker, she links an ancient symbol. This is the scar on all the backs of the postcards survivors received.

Back in a happier land, Shauna speaks to her impaired daughter about Adam, but before beans are spilled, “Callie” knows that Jackie came between her and Jeff. The bomb is dropped that her daughter wore her uniform, gifted to Shauna for her 40th by her ‘rents. “Callie” is compromised, letting her true sadness for her mother shine through. This isn’t her daughter. This is her better angel.

As Jackie anoints the team with blood and earth, she summons the spirit with Shauna as the conduit. As Shauna identifies herself as ‘Jacques’, the others laugh. This is the basest of all emotions in times of impending stress. Though Jackie finds it annoying the girls aren’t taking this seriously, the pendulum swings for some of their queries, including Misty’s if someone she digs likes her back.

As frivolity ensues above, Taissa is prepping for survival whilst Laura Lee is studying one of the only useful ‘good books’ – a Cessna Skywagon 185 manual. It’s not enough though to keep Javi (Luciano Leroux) and Taissa from observing what all the fray is about.

Javi asks the most obvious question, which is if they will all perish in the woods.

This prompts some unknown force to send Lottie into a panic before becoming bestial and then French, speaking to the group. As the interpretation goes, ‘It must spill blood or else…’ but just as Laura Lee tries to get Coach to intervene, the violent vomit ensues.

With Lottie banging her head on the window and all of the girls in a panic, only Laura Lee throwing a Bible thrown at her can bring the Banshee to her senses, bring their teammate back.

At her morning press conference in front of the house, Taissa, backed by family is about to concede when suddenly the cards change her perception through the word SPILL. It is the only way that the wolf within takes over, not using her son’s vandalism to capitalize on a lie, but rather to once and for all stand for what she experienced in the wilderness. Politics is a bloody game, so sayeth the survival when certain chips are down.

Though wifey’s spooked the fuck out, the press is eating that shit up.

Back that fateful night, Ben Scott knows that Misty poisoned him. He simply wants to know why, though the answer is clear on both of their ends. She’s underaged and he wants to control the beast inside. Though agreeing to just keep it their secret, lest it becomes more prurient.

Let’s be honest, though, Taissa is only in denial sleeping in the attic to prove nothing happened and it only takes Shauna to grant her company.

Back at home, a hungover Callie, her real daughter is back, trying to blackmail her mother. The only catch is that survivors are one step ahead, so Shauna gives her a bit of a life lesson on cause and effect or at least mutually assured destruction. You don’t play a playa.

In the attic, that same ethos holds true, as Taissa knows she’s pregnant. Secrets painted on lips are the only vanity the girls have to survive.

Shauna searches up her results without being a cause célèbre like the one who knew her secret from the way back, but hers truly makes a stately visit to the rat-trap that is Nat’s digs.

Explaining the whole situation, both receive a text and with that, Misty’s mister was just surveilling all along. Though she’s enjoying popcorn, was this all her doing?

This episode had the most action that I’d seen since the first episode. That isn’t a bad thing. Holding one of the plots on the spookiest night made this all shine through even better. Affecting and affection are at times one and the same, but the series has me in a hold, not wanting to let me go and gasping for where the next thing lies. My guess? It’s possibly where the first true victim is.

 

Robert Kijowski
Robert J. Kijowski is a screenwriter who enjoys a good chuckle and an even better weep when indulging in art both good and even better bad. He enjoys the company of strangers in a theatre but adores the camaraderie of friends watching Netflix. He also loves to talk- a lot. This can be read through his recaps and reviews on the Workprint or heard through his weekly movie podcast, After the Credits. His presence can be felt through Facebook, Spotify or Ouija. Don’t use the latter though- he almost always ghosts people.

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