Yellowjackets – Bear Down Review

Friendships are a funny thing. They can vacillate. They can also stay true. In team building, they can be solidified. They can be gelled. However, when the chips are down, enemies can become friends and vice versa. In this fourth episode of Yellowjackets (Showtime) titled “Bear Down”, we’re shown that a friendship braid can take as many twists as it makes turns.

Spirits rallied, we’re all refreshed, right? Staring death in the face with a plane going down, you’re thinking about everyone but yourself, yes? Unless it’s your dickhole of a father. Tray tables up. Natalie is about to take a bit of a landing.

Awaking from her slumber, she (Sophie Thatcher) attempts to comfort Lottie (Courtney Eaton), but even burying the guy can’t help her.

“Bad Things Happen Here.”

Now “adult” Natalie (Juliette Lewis) is en route, with Misty (Christina Ricci) on call and she’s on a mission to prove Travis wasn’t a suicide case. Misty seems all in, with an alarming sense of alacrity… but the girl has other plans in mind, without her.

While cheerleader Misty (Sammi Hanratty) is trying to soothe a very pissed-off Coach Scott (Steven Krueger) with a song to get over a simple berm (i.e. step), Travis (Kevin Alves) is trying to hunt for food (i.e. squirrels.) After licking off an unsuccessful round, Coach Scott takes hold of the weapon to teach one of the girls how to use it.

This doesn’t sit right with Natalie. I wonder why…

In the palatial double-wide, she was raised in, grown Natalie confronts her mother, now on oxygen, amid the filth and fray, a guest enters: her former self. Sneaking in the ghost of Kevyn Tan (Sean Martin Savoy), she relives a simpler time. When the world could be shuttered off and the only thing more intimate than a kiss was a black nail painting sesh…

…And when the alcoholic, nay, rage-a-holic father (Derek Hamilton) storms in and slut-shames his daughter.

Now that we’re back in the sunny, bright reality of the fallout years later, Natalie gets to redeem the only vestigial ray of sunshine in that dark of a place: her mixtape for Kevyn.

As an adult, Taissa prims and proppers herself for glad-handing, but her creepy child, Sammy (Aiden Stoxx), has eyes on her. Though they dismiss him, there is an ominous air to this heiress.

Coach Scott teaching his adopted squad how to shoot a gun isn’t helping until Travis irks her to be a fitting marksman. Just imagining her dad’s half-blown-off head was enough impetus.

Though Nat gives up a leaf to Javi for writing, as all of this shit transpiring is bonkers, the depression is still felt.

Painting her lips, Natalie remembers her transgression. Her husband Jeff (Warren Kole) is a rake anyway, so fixing up and looking sharp isn’t the worst of crimes.

Speaking of target practice, Coach Scott has live rounds, a starving team, and a will to live. Though Travis licks off most of the shots, he’s not above pointing it at another, and Ben knows this.

His aim is true, but the bullseye for his affection is truer. Natalie can spoil shells with accuracy, but maybe not her adult life.

Not one to be beating around the bush, Nat relays to her bestie the script. Travis killed himself. Or did he?

There’s a true flirting and flitting about, but Misty also has a script too. Granted, it’s culling from geriatric patients, but the news is news.

While Nat follows Travis into the woods, knowing they may have a few more months in the shit, a grown Taissa (Tawny Cypress) meets up with Robert Garrity (Ben Wilkinson). Though niceties are lobbed, there exists pain in these woods. Smiles and handshakes can’t shake what is about to happen. On the menu? Pig.

As Nat and Adam surveil the liquor store, her proposing a guy isn’t the smoothest approach, but they could get fucking lit with cheap vodka and half bottles of fruit juice. Ah, memories.

As Misty knocks back a choco-tini, she’s also got Natalie’s six. It’s too bad reciprocity in Nat’s vocabulary.

At the mixer, Taissa’s being proposed by a lot of business partners. Though they may her ears, they most assuredly don’t have her eyes. That is saved for the decapitated pig… or deer head. Her memory is foggy.

Never mind the white wolf that is following her, white as the ghosts that are chasing her.

All this stress is making her want to spark up a drag, speak up to her constituent Diane Rafelson (Lauren K. Robek) and spill up all those beans. This can only go south.

Detective Kevyn (Alex Wyndham) spots Misty and though the girl’s been keeping a close eye on her, the emotion isn’t seconded. It matters none, however, as Jessica Roberts has a target on her back.

Never mind that Shauna and Adam are having a grand time. We almost forgot that she was chained to the bullshit of a husband. Never mind that his potentially winning shot means she has to let him in on a big secret. We almost forgot that she mentally is still in high school. She kicked the ball to him, so it’s his game to win.

Back in ‘halcyon days’, Akilah (Keeyah King) attempts to protect Misty, but bigger things are at hand. A newfound downed plane. Is it a fresh hope or a scaring off the team captain, who almost got her pretty face shredded off by the blades of something new? Lottie knows something is in the woods but is too scared to tell.

They can’t leave.

Adult Taissa is being smoothed over by Diane, but her sharing deets aren’t exactly on the table. These things are not easily found, neither are they wanting to be.

This matters more so than anything when a defender tells someone else to kiss-off. This isn’t a celebration, this isn’t a lie either. This is truth incarnate and the dirt digger is pushing herself more into the loam.

While Nat squirrels around Kev professed his love for her back in high school, we go back to the forest. Travis isn’t losing this battle and neither is she. Tackling him to the ground, a ring is paramount. Yes, it’s gross and ghoulish to steal it off a corpse, but this is now live. This is now what constitutes living. Welcome to the real world, baby.

Natalie brings the ring back by cutting the shit off. I mean I guess there was no one way around it, to his consternation.

This girl isn’t a rake, and neither is he. His PTSD isn’t holding up well, but neither is she’s. Natalie’s drunk stature isn’t computing, but neither is Keyvn’s.

It doesn’t help that she sent him off packing.

Oh, forget her unpacking. It’s nearly her unpacking. There isn’t some super Saiyan thing! This is one standing and only one.

At the bridges’ edge, Adam tests Natalie. This isn’t his first rodeo but neither is it his.

At the edge of dying, dad lets his daughter knows how to take the safety off. Bad start off to a nightmare.

You just offed a deer and lost your father, but you couldn’t give a fuck for either.

Once Liv sees the stuck deer, all is settled. I mean, dear, isn’t it?

Bleeding the deer out isn’t a question, but slitting the neck is a try. Misty is the only GAME in town, but Shauna offers. They’re eating good tonight!

As they feast, Misty troubles up Coach. It wasn’t her fault, except it was. She simply wants to take care of the hobbled dude.

She also wants to take care of Shauna. Travis is found dead. Her hubby isn’t finding her happy. This shit sucks for all involved.

I’m not aware of the falderal of this crap, but I’m aware of a troubling sign. Warnings abound and I can’t help but be found helpless as a viewer.

The talent in these videos is phenomenal. Our better protectors may lay sweetly but on top of our better halves, they are still dead. This isn’t fucking over our graves, nor is it kicking our dirt. This is a sticky situation. This is our death.

Hey, maybe this is the nicest place to rest next to a god, lest you forget it.

There are worse places to expire.

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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