A Queen Yellowjacket outlives the King. Think about that. Workers tend to die off while tending to the greater good. The male is supposed to die off once the deed is done, but what if the deed was done? What then?
Yellowjackets also tend to fight another off if it’s not familiar and it is in this season finale of Yellowjackets (Showtime) titled “Sic Transit Gloria Mundi” that when there is no King, Long Live the Queens.
Awaking in front of the bored out tree that would’ve served as the squad’s sacrificial altar, Lottie (Courtney Eaton) and company groggily come to. Shauna (Sophie Nélisse) retrieves the knife she almost ended Travis’ life with, a look of worry blended with disgust.
On the outside of the “outside”, Misty (Christina Ricci) gingerly passes her ol’ pal Gloria’s room. Engaging the two nurses, her countenance and excuse for picking up her Tupperware provide a cover story before she escapes with gloves, bags, and oxygenated bleach for Natalie (Juliette Lewis). All things come at a price, and Misty requires one painless gesture on Nat’s part: her countenance at the 25th Reunion.
On the outskirts, however, Travis (Kevin Alves) isn’t feeling very welcome, despite being the sole object of desire from a cadre of teenage girls. Although wounded, Natalie (Sophie Thatcher) seems the most vulnerable, as he’s the only person in the godforsaken sticks that means anything to her. His machismo is just as visible as the scar on his throat, but his only mission, for the time being, is to search for Javi, expressly without Natalie’s help.
At the apartment, Shauna (Melanie Lynskey) and Taissa (Tawny Cypress) are greeted by Natalie and her “solution”. From where anybody stands, it seems as though the two aren’t exactly welcoming, but seeing as though everybody else IS standing, Misty’s the only one who can help with the one who isn’t.
You would think the act of dismemberment would faze her, but it’s actually having to lie to Natalie’s face about Travis’ while taking an electric turkey carver to her former fling that is turning Shauna’s stomach. She’s also confronting a cruel farce that maybe all of them, Travis included, are just god’s unwanted children and that he just had the spine to show his maker that there was never a god, to begin with.
When faced with a bag of the head and arms of Adam (Peter Gadiot), Taissa is wishing that losing a Senate race was the only thing she had on the plate for this week. Misty’s got that covered, however. All Shauna and co. need do is bury the rest.
Once Lottie, Shauna, Akilah (Keeya King), and Mari (Alexa Barajas) approach the cabin, Jackie (Ella Purnell) is all too swift to cast aspersions over every single member of the team… before Coach Scott (Steven Krueger) reveals that they were all drugged.
Before the spotlight can be put onto Misty (Sammi Hanratty), however, a nice grizzly bear steals it. This isn’t for long, however, as Lottie’s able to approach the beast fearlessly before it lays down, leaving her to stab it clean through the fucking dome piece. The ursine only operates through a system of submission and dominance so I think we now know who the true momma bear is.
With the Class of 1996 frivolities underway, Jeff (Warren Kole) reassures Randy (Jeff Holman) that keeping a cool profile will have no one the wiser about their joint blackmail. It does seem as though if not ears, at least eyes are burning from across the room, as Allie (Tonya Cornelisse) approaches Jeff, clearly shooting her shot. Oh, you remember Allie from the first episode, right? The freshman whose leg was nearly an art piece, compliments of Taissa’s slide tackle? A guess blackmail runs quick and thick, like blood.
Like a lot of high school reunions, there’s a bit more of coulda in her voice than is comfortable. She ‘coulda’ been on that plane. It’s the equivalent of “I coulda’ gotten’ the STD from the QB that won the State Finals.” I think the Z-Gen these days call it ‘clout chasing’.
As Class Chair, Allie’s banking on the girls being there, but legends are never late; just slightly inconvenienced.
While Misty was making an appearance at Gloria’s wake to morbidly drum up what was never there to her daughter Deb (Beverly Breuer), her friend at the morgue was sending the deceased to a nice fireside chat with a few friends: Adam’s head and arms.
Entering the door, on the eve of her election results, Taissa breaks down. Worse for wear, Shauna in the shower breaks down. Natalie tries to pretty herself up for a promise she was sworn to keep.
Whereas one has something political to lose, another has the freedom to lose and the third has nothing to lose, keeping up appearances was always at play.
Before making their grand appearance, Tai, Shauna, and Natalie take one breath out before slinking to the Offspring’s “Come Out and Play” and with Misty by their side in classic 90’s slow-mo, for a moment, they seem not to make, but rather slay the scene.
With Misty wanting to encase the moment for posterity, and with Allie bombing photo-op, reality congeals like rivulets of blood.
As the rest of the team divest the freshly killed bear for sustenance, Misty is neither wanted for help nor trusted. Used to being on the outside is something she can cope with but Van (Liv Hewson) being on the outs with Taissa (Jasmin Savoy Brown) isn’t something that even a Goalie can anticipate. Her only true ally’s outright dismissal of the nigh-death vision is something that plants doubt into her head. Granted, this prognostication may have something to do with what was in Taissa all along, but it ain’t nothing that a big ol’ hug can’t cure, right? Talk about a diss missle.
Speaking of people in fear of being alone, an all-grown Natalie takes the moment to observe their State Champion Trophy, alongside a craftily made trio of pictures of head Coach Martinez along with his two sons, Travis and Javi. My question is, who knew Travis was gone quick enough to stage a memorial?
Kevyn (Alex Wyndham) approaching her side has her coming to grips with the second love of her life killing himself. With now two loves down, one alive, one dead, the threes only make sense to Natalie. In soccer, the way to get to a goal is a three-point maneuver, splitting the defense in order to get that point that’s been waiting in the wings…
With Shauna threatening to spill Randy’s guts before he spills the beans, tequila shots are in order for the table.
Once the rest of the team sits down to the bounty of nature, Jackie isn’t game for an invocation to nature or whatever fortuitous happenstance they experienced together. Just like she wasn’t game for the Shoop session in the first episode. Taissa’s reticent to Van’s suggestion, but she obliges. Ya know who doesn’t care? Nature.
Amid the fake bullshit surrounding them at the Reunion, the table of the survivors seems like the only true energy in the room, so Natalie makes a toast to old friends, with Travis in mind.
The funny thing is once that mind eraser is swallowed, a reminder is shown, compliments of Allie, a microphone, and a slideshow. The cheesy backing track of Enya’s “Only Time” only Kraft’d what we all abhor of moving forward from high school—looking back.
(Her censure on Doug though had me laughing out loud for a solid five minutes though.)
Trying to make themselves the least known entities, they are the class legacy: tragedy. Winners with bigger losers.
In the wilderness though, Lottie expresses victory from sacrifice. Van imploring all to give thanks to something is beyond her, beyond them, with Lottie all in with benediction… all but Jackie with Misty calling her out on not being one in gratitude, which the others take umbrage with.
This leaves emotional baggage between Shauna and the captain being hacked out on the floor for all to see. I for one, think Shauna spilled more with cutting into her bestie’s soul than she did with Adam’s corpse.
With the Crudités, sorry, I mean coup de grâce, Jackie never stood a chance. She’s thrown out to pasture, by Shauna’s word, and though Coach Scott protests, the team makes its own decisions; as one. Glory fades.
Back at the reunion, Jeff and Shauna must take the customary dance of King and Queen of the Court, though the same energy putting on airs to Seal’s “Kiss From A Rose” is the amount of energy that Jackie puts into a bundle of sticks with a lighter.
The thing is, what good is a bundle of sticks if the source isn’t reliable?
Hungover from her night out, Misty pays Jessica (Rekha Sharma) her daily visit. The rub is, Misty’s smarter than just giving up a story for fame and fortune. Still, on good faith that she will do, what her captive says what she’ll do, lips sealed, Misty gives up the keys to an outside castle (i.e. freedom).
The next morning has come and the votes are being tabulated. Simone (Rukiya Bernard) wants to be where her beloved isn’t, for fear of their child. With the blinking cursor on a concession speech and her family the same, Taissa is left alone, in the cold, much like Jackie.
Misty, always the observer, knows what an emancipated addict wants. In this case, cigarettes. Extracting them out from the trash bin, the intrepid reporter is on her way. This isn’t to say that Misty is that dumb in the dome, as once homegirl gets out and drives, she’s killed. Yes, cigarettes kill… but fentanyl-laced ones give you a Fast-Pass, without a person to track. Hey, addicts know addicts, no matter the poison.
With Jackie failing to start a fire, Shauna feels guilt, but this isn’t enough for her to back down on the Queen leaving on her own for the winter. The only thing is, she never had the Reigns.
Out in the cold and dark, Natalie finds Travis desperately calling out for his brother—the one he’s castaway for a good portion of his life. Life. That’s a luxury in this climate, as the air is getting colder, and though he rebuffs Nat, he ultimately loves and wants her. They are both scared children and their fear brings them closer in a way nobody else, not even the squad nor Kevyn could ever comprehend.
With Ultravox’s “Vienna” as the soothing soul track to their mutual desperation and ultimate love for each other rings, a plan was put into place. It was there, they just were too blind to see it.
As Jeff and Shauna appreciate a drunken win of the night, Callie (Sarah Desjardins) double cuts the high momentarily but is implored to partake in some popcorn and awkwardness, knowing what had transpired… well, half of it. The other half is ash!
The beauty of a good story is that you can get all that you need, but still find something to nitpick at, thus creating more layers.
Now, if you scrape at layers, it can leave one’s fingers bloodied and flayed.
Politicians keep their fingernails clean, so to speak, so as to leave no traces. Some receipts are more warranted than others, however.
Taissa has won, but with any chain gang, like any team, victories are felt uniformly as much as losses. If one goes down, so shall the rest, headed to the hoosegow, hand in hand.
That night, Shauna and the rest of the squad, cast Jackie into Death’s icy maw. Having the chance to save her, the Defender chooses to save for two. Jackie made her choice.
Of course, on the course, when Simone treks into her wife’s basement, she finds something that wasn’t prepared: a secret.
This isn’t Taissa’s surprise win, nor is it an answer but rather a ghastly revelation to her wife.
Before Natalie can reconnect with Travis, if there is a plane that exists for those who meet their demise in a very Cobain fashion, she’s kidnapped by what appears to be a secret cabal. This is all part and parcel for the others, whether they know it or not, compliments of Lottie Matthews. The funny thing about secrets is they are free to share but also come at a price.
Out in that cold and lonesome, Jackie’s biggest fear has come to life, which is a life worse than death. She’s a captain stripped of her armband. Still, Shauna finds it in her heart to apologize and bring her back into the fold.
Actually, they all welcome her back into warmth… They all accept her with open arms, including the Hunter (William Charles Vaughn).
The cold fact is that Jackie is dead, packed in the newly fresh snow and that is something all the living have to grapple with. Dissension among the ranks coupled with the cordate gift Lottie gives to her tree only assures they’re in for a long winter.