After what feels like 19 months in the wilderness, the wait for season two of Yellowjackets is finally over and our girls are trying to survive the winter. Lottie seems to be firmly planted in the role of leader after she proved that, perhaps, she does have a special gift. It did look as though that bear came to Lottie and willingly allowed her to kill it, thus, providing them with some much needed food. Or was the bear just sick and happened to lose all will to survive right at Lottie’s feet? Regardless of what the real answer is to that, Lottie is now performing rituals on Nat and Travis before they leave on hunting trips. Nat isn’t sold on this particular superstition and Lottie makes it clear that she does not appreciate that.

We get our first flashback to when the survivors are brought home and all of the girls respond accordingly. Misty seems delighted, Shauna is combative and Lottie seems to be in shock. Her parents complain that she doesn’t speak and wanders the house at odd hours. Electroshock therapy is, apparently, the answer. Here’s the thing with Lottie’s alleged mental illness, though. Her father is a rich, powerful white male who clearly has no patience for a daughter who is anything but perfect and her daily dependence on medication was made very clear early in the first season, but what if she doesn’t require any kind of medication? What if Lottie is legitimately gifted and can sense other powers and entities? What if Lottie does have a peculiar connection with this mountain they crash landed on? Between the dead guy in the attic, the spooky symbol and the water that runs red, maybe Lottie is tuned into something beyond. Or maybe she desperately needs her Loxipene. (In the show, her prescription bottle reads Loxipene and one can only assume they are referencing Loxapine, which is a drug for Schizophrenia.)

Taissa chooses a random dog at the shelter in a desperate effort to replace Biscuit.( Friendly reminder: Biscuit was her son Sammy’s dog, but Taissa killed him while in one of her fugue states and placed his head and heart on an altar in their basement.) Unsurprisingly, her wife, Simone, is outraged to see Taissa show up at Sammy’s school: she tells Taissa that if she does not seek treatment, she will tell the press about the altar. Taissa legitimately has no idea what Simone is talking about until she finds it for herself and is truly horrified. Sammy knows his mommy isn’t “the bad one”, though, so hopefully Taissa will be able to find her way out of this. These fugue states also afflicted her when they were in the wilderness and I think we have only seen the beginning of the damage and chaos they cause.

Citizen Detective Misty goes online to see what the theories surrounding Adam’s disappearance are, and she finds someone who seems to have a really good idea of what happened. “A mystery lady!” We only hear this person’s narration of their own blog post, but it’s definitely Elijah Wood, and I am really looking forward to seeing him and Misty be wackadoo Citizen Detectives together.

While 1996 Shauna is having regular conversations with Jackie’s dead body, present day Shauna convinces Jeff to go with her to check out Adam’s art studio. As Garbage plays, Jeff quips that the place “smells like chronic,” which Shauna seems to also find charming/embarrassing. Unfortunately for Jeff, they find numerous paintings of Shauna despite her having never posed for Adam. While he tries to maintain composure, Shauna begins to tell him that she has always been scared of the thought of her husband with someone else, but also turned on. Shuana is a master manipulator and she should teach classes. The way she manages to turn this situation into hot and angry sex with her husband is diabolical. And then he helps her destroy evidence while making his token dad jokes! Husband of the year?

Nat and Travis aren’t just hunting for food, they are still looking for Javi. Realistically, it’s impossible that Javi would still be alive, (Jackie froze in one night) but Nat and Coach Ben continue to create a map of the terrain. On one outing, they happen upon a tree trunk that ,strangely, has melted snow around it’s base and moss growing. Could this be the signs of an underground hot spring? When Javi ran from the girls while on their Doomcoming hunt, did he find a place to survive the winter?

Misty does some detective work and figures out that Nat did not leave her motel willingly. Nat is being held captive at Lottie’s upscale cult retreat. After stabbing someone with a fork (awesome) she escapes only to find herself watching one of Lottie’s rituals. People wearing various animal masks are burying a naked man while others are rhythmically beating on drums. It’s all very Folk Horror and I hope we see a lot more of this. Always the emotional manipulator, Lottie tells Nat that she has a message for her. From Travis.

It’s great to have these flawed characters back on our screens and I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what the writers have in store for us. Will we find out if Travis was murdered? Was Adam just a random guy or did he know exactly who Shauna is when they had their meet cute? Is Callie really such a cranky teenager that she will expose Shauna’s crime? What show tunes will Misty listen to this season? It’s all so very exciting.

Side notes:
-Is the altar that Lottie sees during her electroshock therapy the same place that Javi was able to survive?
-Misty is so wonderfully crazy: she actually wrote “ I want my lawyer” on a giant cookie to help Shauna.
-Melanie Lynskey and Elijah Wood starred in the quirky I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore: fingers crossed we get a mini reunion.
-Callie was already annoying last season, but now she’s really getting the Skylar White treatment. There is absolutely nothing redeeming about her this episode.
-Was Crystal here last season? It kind of feels like she was just written in for a character to actually get along with Misty.
-The gruesome portrait that Jeff is staring at while he fucks Shauna is definitely a portrait of his wife. Maybe Adam really did see Shauna for who she is.
-Those are definitely not all of Shauna’s journals on that BBQ. And Misty would be so disappointed that Shauna was so sloppy as to try to burn Adam’s driver’s license. Of course Callie found it.
-Shauna eating an ear? Hannibal would be proud.

Episode music:
Sharon Van Etten: Seventeen
The Smashing Pumpkins: Drown
Garbage: #1 Crush
Papa Roach: Last Resort
Tori Amos: Cornflake Girl

Lisa Fremont

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