It’s been two months sliced into the cold of winter since the Wiskayok team of stingers had been stranded in the wilderness. It’s naught but beautiful yet cruel snow and the only thing starker is the past of a bleak yet bountiful uncovering of deception, angst, and trauma of death. At this point, all goals scored are both wins and losses.
Opening with Sharon van Etten’s “Seventeen”… isn’t it a dream and a half?
Though the girls may appear to sleep tight, dreams aren’t anywhere in their future. They have to melt snow for broth. They have to flavor it with blood. Taissa (Jasmin Savoy Brown) has to tie herself to Van (Liv Hewson) and Shauna (Sophie Nélisse) needs to grapple with the fact that her best friend died a popsicle.
Lottie (Courtney Eaton) keeps watch over the dwindling colony. Natalie (Sophie Thatcher) and Travis (Kevin Alves) head out on a cold, bitter trek for food, but not without Lottie’s blessing in the form of a drink containing her blood. Apparently, it’s helped before and there’s something she knows or has that nobody else is aware of or possesses. Is it a gift or is it a curse?
In the chill and wilderness, Travis thinks he sees the cold corpse of his dead brother, Javi… but let’s trek back to 1998…
The girls are internet famous before it was a thing. They are celebrities. Lottie, on the other hand, is shaken. What does her perfect parental parasol do? Answer: Put her away and pepper it with electro-shock therapy.
No worries, though, since a grown Lottie (Simone Kessell) is in command of a wellness group of her devising. She’s the Tony Robbins of nature. She’s abandoned the raw for the faux. Trust me, the ‘elemental’ is still stirring in her. If the ball is kicked at her, she will surely kick back…
Meanwhile, a grown Shauna (Melanie Lynskey) is being tested by the ‘adult’ Misty (Christina Ricci). Her testimony is as shitty as her family life. This ain’t going to cut the mustard, but Misty is trying. Kudos to her for frosting a key point unto an actual baked good.
The reality is, things aren’t so cut and dry or cut a piece and try. Taissa and Nats aren’t coming, and she’s hurt. More about Natty, but she’s got her own ghosts to work out since Natalie left her high and dry in the last season without a note.
Misty knows there’s something missing. Was it a note? Was it a note of love? Of friendship? Or just simply a note that was not picked up under their noses?
Across the way, Madame Senator Taissa (Tawny Cypress) is at a dog shelter. Now, from what horrid, but well-placed decapitated head of their former canine on an altar we’d been privy to the last season, she’s apprehensive. All she knows is that the dog had been missing.
She opts for the opposite of what they had, a small, cute, unassuming puppy. That will bring her son back into her arms, much like a newborn pup to like anybody. Yep. Yelp. Sorry, I spoke out of school. She has people that are willing to pull strings though on her lesbian platform…
Her campaign manager is already thinking ahead, but it’s far from what she’ll be worried about once their shit hits the fan, which, to be honest, was only a shart.
Misty does some research on where Natalie stayed. The African Grey’s got a bit of Poirot in her handle and outwits the manager of a motel of miscreants whose identities check out the moment they check in.
On the other side of town, it doesn’t help that Shauna in the now is on the outs of her daughter Callie, (Sarah Desjardins). Though kept on the bench, she knows the score and somehow finds it more offensive that Jeff, her father, knows it as well.
Sometimes, in soccer, you have to be in the first third of the game to figure out where the other team lies. There are different positions to play. Hers was to keep it away from the goal. These are the Defenders. Her daughter is trying to piece it together. This makes her the Attacking Midfielder.
Her daughter is taking ‘it in stride’. Her mother told her father that she was cheating back in the year 1998.
Shauna is speaking, and having a full-on conversation with Jackie (Ella Purnell). It’s like they never left. The only thing is one of them had left and one of them is alive. Keep that in mind. Hear that until it goes silent…
Elsewhere, Tai notices that Van has a rope burn on her wrist, from them being tethered together. Van doesn’t mind. She doesn’t fear love. That can’t be said for Tai and herself. Not all viscera comes from love… or does it?
While Lisa stirs the pot for their dinner, being suspicious of Misty (Sammi Hanratty), Lisa and the rest grow weary of Shauna’s talking to a frozen, dead, cold dinner. Hey, she was packed in ice. The one thing that’s not thawing is the two months she’s been in this grieving period.
There is one player that copes with it when the going gets tough. She hums through it.
We all have our own coping mechanisms and they come to play in odd ways. Hers is in the theater. Put a pin in that call sheet.
Upon the deep conversation, they were never meant to have something good but both were destined to, Shauna reveals to Jackie, her bestie the first time their friendship was fractured. In Holmdel, NJ the corpse of Jackie keeps drilling for information, but sometimes when you drill, you hit pay dirt. In this sense, emotionally and literally, it was her ear.
The illusion is fractured. So is her ear. Humpty Dumpty can’t be put back together again.
Pocket the ear. Right? Though the girl is blue, this ain’t Blue Velvet.
Shauna cuts back the rations. Why? Is it for them or is it for her? To keep the illusion alive?
Modern-day Shauna realizes there is a secret her secret boyfriend had been keeping. It really didn’t help that the key was splashed with yellow and blue. Buzz… buzzz buzzz…
Phoning Jeff (Warren Kole), high off on selling his business off and not wanting anything to do with this, he goes all in on them going all in on the last vestige of an artist’s life… erasure. There’s only one problem… this person had an affinity for her. Nudes, watercolors. Inks.
Granted, that’s only a little blood drip in the pond to what winner Taissa is facing. She tries to buy her son Sammie’s affection with a puppy but is met with staunch fuck you vibes by her erstwhile wife. Nope. Tai is someone that is untested in the market of trauma and she isn’t even aware… which is one of the most unsettling points.
It’s fucking tragic that a traumatic experience sets you off and you don’t even know it, almost like a somnambulism.
On one hand, you win, and on the bigger hand, you lose. Trauma is a thing and it’s not to be trifled with and much less understood.
Our minds are stronger than we know and concurrently weaker.
The breaking and melding points are sometimes at a crossroads. This comes when Misty gets information from a manager of the hotel… before breaking down, then, placing the pieces together.
We are truly stronger than we give ourselves credit for, however.
This you would think when Jeff comes across Adam’s paintings of his wife nude or her admitting to him she fancies her husband fucking someone else out of fear of losing him. Kinks aside or rather in play, the husband and wife have a fuckfest in front of her paintings. This gets weird. Backed by the Garbage track of “I Would Die For You” leave some ingredients out only for our dirty us to put them back in.
This is evident when 17-year-old Shauna is called for dinner, pocketing Jackie’s ear.
When the triangle is non-verbally rung, all leave Misty at the back of the line. Can’t be too careful. She has to get the water. Though others have been talking…
Leaving the present-day Shauna and beau to literally scrub the evidence and…
Leave the only singing team member to help and find a good friend in the nascent and crafty Misty.
Ostensibly, Natalie and Travis had been mapping out their environs from 7 miles north, south, east, and west, and had a decent mapping out for extraction. They seem the only sensible ones actually wanting out of this frozen Hell Hole.
Javi they know is fucked, but Coach Ben (Steven Krueger) wants to keep it together along with Natalie. For the team. They buzz together. They can also die together.
From picking herself back up, modern-day Misty realizes that Natalie (Juliette Lewis) was kidnapped. What was in this kidnapping?
A warm bed with leather constraints is Natalie’s only refuge, ironically. She’s a wild card. Though given food, she as a survivor knew more than her captors could ever lead on, buying herself someone by stabbing another in the hand and running away. She had a drop on them from the charm around their neck.
As Jeff regrets the hate fuck with his cheating wife by way of Papa Roach blasting through his speakers, he joins his love. Together, they burn Adam’s last remnants. License, journals, et al. They are parents trying to cover up a murder… but the worst is trying to cover up the truth about their most heinous crime… their daughter aka a fleshy snitch.
Speaking of trying to burn the past, Taissa is now just finding out hers. She plunges further into a cavern she knows or remembers little about. It all leads her to the decapitated head of their last dog on an altar. Remember that? Because she doesn’t. Helloooo, nurse.
I’d be out if she pon d’ replay this newly acquired pup.
At the dinner table, moms and pops make good as if nothing ever happened in front of their daughter’s eyes. Like her mother didn’t survive and process a horrible thing. Like she didn’t cheat on her husband. Like she didn’t tell him about it.
Their progeny knows the score, with one minute left in the game. They manage to go on Stoppage Time (look it up) and their daughter isn’t having any of it.
Back in the primal, Natalie and Travis enjoy the warmth of a fire. It’s the little things… the simpler things. Javi is most likely dead and he experiences a panic attack. Lottie is the only one that can save him, making him see something others cannot.
Natalie is pissed because she thinks Lottie is giving him false hope, but apparently, she is onto something.
We’re back to where modern Natalie does modern things. Like stabbing her captor in the hand with a fork. Rule number one: a free hand to eat is a free hand to do as thou wilt.
It matters none since no amount of running will escape the secrets Lottie may hold.
Getting back to the comfort of what Van and Tai may hold, literally, being tethered together, no matter what Tai’s carnality would rear itself, even going as far as nearly tearing the lip off of her beloved, Van ain’t going nowhere. It’s a trap inside of a trap.
Hey, love is love though, right?
This is exemplary when it’s all spelled/spilled out in blood. Van rules. She is staying. For better or worse.
Once modern Natalie finds her way in the stumbles of cultural burying, it is only then she sees the face of her captor… a grown Lottie. That has a message. From Travis.
Closing on one of the coolest songs of the ’90s (Tori Amos’ “Cornflake Girl”), we realize that there are more mountains to climb, more things to uncover, and more mysteries to unravel.
This ends with a young and starving Shauna eating Jackie’s ear. The Host has consumed the host. The game must continue. Zero stoppage time.
Yellowjackets season two opener took a backseat to the violence of the pilot. Well, the pilot of the pilot took a seat to the pilot. He was dead. I believe this new season is going to go more underrated and go subcutaneous. It’s going to give us an uncomfortable itch we just won’t be able to scratch.
I anticipate this new season is going to take the back seat and open up the widening gyre. It will be filled with blood, it will be filled with mire. It’s now winter, and as fluffy as the snowflakes may drop, the blood will drip more, and the more that is unsaid, the more the undead will squawk.
At this point, all goals scored are both wins and losses.