Yellowjackets – Doomcoming Review

In the long-standing tradition of high school dances, Homecomings have always played second fiddle to Proms. Throw in Cotillions, and they’re just straight third-stringers.

In the penultimate episode of Yellowjackets (Showtime) titled “Doomcoming,” we’ll learn that no matter what the pageantry is called, it all ends in one of five ways: drunk, ashamed, naked, bloodthirsty, or all of the above. Wait, that can’t be right.

Once again, picking up where we left off, but Adam’s (Peter Gadiot) biggest misstep wasn’t sleeping with Shauna (Melanie Lynskey), but rather letting a Yellowjacket into his studio apartment. All survivors of the horrendous eight months out there have some trauma affixed and this time, she makes it known.

Frantically rifling through Adam’s drawers (not that kind), Shauna accusatorily lashes out as flashes of sex and trauma flit about in her addled brain… until it all. Comes. CRASHING. DOWN.

What do we have here tucked away in Adam’s desk? The unauthorized story of Flight 2525? And what do we have here in Shauna’s hand? A blade?

Better yet, what we do have on our hands, is one dead body and no feasible alibi.

In the woods, where eating is a matter of toil and not a privilege, Akilah (Keeya King) and Shauna (Sophie Nélisse) scrounge up to grubs for the others and at this juncture, the rest don’t blink an eye consuming them cooked. In their eyes, they’re chowing down on fucking marshmallows. Well, all save for prima donna turned fatalist Jackie (Ella Purnell), who doesn’t see the point, prompting Mari (Alexa Barajas) to fetch some Boisin Berry hooch.

Jackie figures, if alcohol is on hand, so should a party be. With an approximation of it being around Homecoming and a Full Hunter’s Moon the night next, plans are laid for a “Doomcoming,” drunkenly welcoming their impending demise.

Ya thought that was grim? What present Shauna finds out while stowing away her dispatch tool in the safe is the little gift that keeps on giving: her diaries. It looks like she’s been sleeping with the enemy longer than she’s been sleeping with the “enemy”.

Asking hubby Jeff (Warren Kole) the glitter’s point of origin has him dead to rights, balls in a vice. A move that was only supposed to put Taissa or Natalie at his mercy only put his beloved’s neck on the line? All for what? A sinking business that was put him in deeper with some loan sharks?

The punchline to that joke is that though he’s paid them off and is convinced nobody has to die is someone already has. Though Jeff got in deep, Shauna got in deeper by getting it deeper.

In preparation for the night’s festivities, costumes, gowns, decor, and all, Misty (Sammi Hanratty) shoots her shot with Coach Scott (Steven Krueger) by asking him to be her date. After a nearly outright rejection, he relents and makes her the happiest girl in the forest.

Elsewhere among the trees, in-the-know Jackie adds fire to the flame, by revealing to Shauna dying a virgin isn’t an option for her, setting her sights on Travis (Kevin Alves). Buzz, buzz

BUZZ word is “kill” upon Shauna admitting to Jeff her deed. After his unmitigated disbelief and her trying to fake him out as if he were on the opposing side, her cunning as an erstwhile Mid-fielder has run dry. They’re on the same team. Jeff never cheated on her. I think they call that in sports an “own goal.”

Sounds familiar, with Jackie advising Misty to go for it with Coach Scott. Self-preservation tends to be as much of a thing with the girls as self-immolation.

Back at ye ole’ happy homestead, Jeff’s willing to take the fall for Shauna, as he’s the one who got them both into this pickle. Shauna refuses, as a not-so-simple act of sacrifice will have rippling effects that will burn down the whole metaphoric house they strove so hard to build. Now that all is out in the open between them and accepting those secrets have lain the foundation for their said house, the only thing to do is buy fire insurance through Taissa and Natalie.

With the Goo Goo Dolls’ “The World I Know” serving as an ethereal backdrop, the girls tie down to gussy up. Misty extracts some hidden ‘medicinal’ help, Jackie does her locks, Lottie (Courtney Eaton) chooses her gown (compliments of Laura Lee), Taissa (Jasmin Savoy Brown) surprises Van (Liv Hewson) with couples’ masks, Shauna struggles with getting her dress on for obvious reasons, Natalie (Sophie Thatcher) puts some shade on the windows to her soul, and Travis helps out little bro Javi (Luciano Leroux) with a tie, a timeless move.

With the pot for the stew boiling, there’s only one thing missing- the mushrooms. Mari incorporated them into the stew, so what was intended as a tea for two is now a trip for all. Misty, after all, is never one to show her hand… until she does.

Adult Misty (Christina Ricci) doesn’t let her guard down, however, even with Jessica Roberts (Rekha Sharma) regaling her of stories from the field. Jessica attempts to get under her skin by alluding to the fact, over the course of 25 years, all survivors have maintained correspondence with each other, save for her.

With her only true close-to-the-chest contact on the outs, Natalie (Juliette Lewis) is hungry for an answer. Across town, Taissa (Tawny Cypress) thirsts for her life before politics. Though her campaign manager (Michelle Choi-Lee) thinks Simone and Sammy will return, Tai knows what lies dormant… until it doesn’t.

With the candles lit and morale uplifted for just one night, the Doomcoming commences. Everyone makes their entrance, but all eyes are on the Belles of the Ball; Tai and Van who make their relationship official, sealing it with a kiss.

Misty’s worried observations of them consuming the consommé soon melt away as she knows Coach Scott as well is eating up. Though Shauna insists Jackie eat, if it ain’t meat, she’s not game. Instead, she has her eye on another type of carnality and with Natalie icing him out, Jackie seems like a ‘no-brainer.’

Coach Scott raises a toast to both Tai and Van’s union, as he’s truly in solidarity 100%. Lottie seconds a toast to the fallen Laura Lee before leading the group in a slow dance, acapella. What ensues is a fleet moment of escapism where the outside world is no longer a thought, save for some like Misty and Natalie, when reality seems to hit closer than ever.

Under Shauna’s watchful eye, the trap is set; a snare with Travis’ name all over it.

It turns out Jeff knew about Shauna’s past years ago through her chronicling the grisly ordeal. What surprises Shauna more is Jeff’s desire to stay armed with that knowledge because of his love for her. A Midfielder’s versatile in playing both offense and defense but in the case of her feelings, neither was to her benefit. There’s no time for rumination, however, as it’s time to huddle up.

With Natalie providing Coach Scott a proper bottle of booze though refraining herself, the two have a nice sit-down. And by sit down, I mean a nice “zonk out”… along with the rest of the squad. Though they may be a small distance away, everybody is truly in their own world.

Misty does in a moment of lucidity goes to find Ben while others feel the earth swell underfoot. With Shauna’s baby giving her first kicks, Lottie assures the group that starvation won’t be of concern for much longer.

Up in “Dead Guy’s Alley”… I mean “Attic”, Jackie cuts to the chase, placing the moves on Travis. He momentarily pumps the breaks, throwing out the L-Word concerning Natalie, though Jackie’s disillusionment on friendship, and loyalty chops through the bullshit. By virtue of this bleak but refreshing outlook, something ignites in Travis.

As the rest are on the comedown, they notice that Nat and Ben are compadres, but Jackie and Travis are a pairing that is not holy or just. This causes Lottie to lead the swarm, leaving Javi in the dust.

With Travis inside, the squad outside howls and hollers along with the wolves, trekking for the hunt.

Both Jackie and Travis have officially lost their V-Cards. Did you know in house fires, the Point of Origin begins with a “V”?

The group descends upon the house and upon Travis and locking Jackie in the closet may have worked in her favor, as each one takes turns on the young buck, kissing, licking, biting, and tearing before he can jet.

The girls give chase to the “stag.” With a fire in their eyes and a growl in their guts, Javi is only spared by Shauna and told to run.

Elsewhere, brought on by the lustful atmosphere in the cabin, Tai and Van become a meal unto each other in a more romantic way. Complying with Tai’s earnest request, Van takes off her mask, revealing a scarred visage. Taissa is head over heels with this new look.

Unaware of the ensuing carnage, Coach Scott’s epiphany about love has Natalie in her own pursuit. A witness to this inspiring declaration, Misty pounces to Ben’s side, only to be handily rebuffed. He’s had enough and reveals to Misty, the woods, and to the heavens above that he’s gay as the day is long. Live that truth, Coach!

Coming upon the cabin, Natalie finds Jackie captive, but there’s no time for explanation, as the hunt is afoot.

With the bestial caterwaul of the gang in full concert, the ‘deer’ is finally caught and bound.

Before Shauna makes the defining incision to bloodlet, Natalie puts the kibosh to the human kabob. With him set free, Lottie confronts Natalie, for darkness is part and parcel of survival for each and every one of them. All Misty can do, as always, is cheer silently from the sidelines.

The only space she can’t be a fly on the wall, however, is in Adam’s apartment, where both Taissa and Natalie rake Shauna over the coals concerning the corpse counting the lights before them.

With Nat zero inches closer to solving Travis’ murder and Shauna’s DNA all over the joint, the trio is far from being out of the woods, yet, there is one player, however, that can suit up and take the field. Something tells me it’s going to sting Natalie far more than her being out fifty racks.

Misty puts on her finest makeup to dazzle at the Reunion with an approving nod from Jessica. Homegirl might be flipped, after all, wanting to meet with the journalist’s ghostwriter connect for a potential tell-all. Still, Misty openly admitting a desire to break the seal on a 25-year-old mystery might be part of her rouge, I mean ruse.

A ghost materializes at her front door. At Misty’s mercy, Natalie must eat crow in order to make her a part of the team. At least it ain’t eating one another for a change.

One can’t say we’re in the home stretch because it’s not a true race yet. Race against time, maybe, race against hunger, sure, but it’s not a race against each other.

In races, only one victor remains, that’s the rule. These girls act and react in unison, for they are a squad. Now, Travis being the first to go makes sense, as he isn’t one of them. It’s not anything personal, for Heaven forbid if it gets to that, it’s not even called a race- it’s called shirts vs. skins.

Robert Kijowski
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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