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Yellowjackets S2E3: “Digestif”

Previously on Yellowjackets

TeenNat and Coach Ben talk about his boyfriend, so clearly we will be meeting him in this episode. Adult Nat stabs the acolyte I will now refer to as “Fork Girl” (she’s movin’ on up!) in the hand/face. The cops do dumb cop sh*t. Sammi isn’t real. Simone claims that Tai is “very sick,” but her injuries from the car crash may end up being the more pressing matter. Misty flirts with danger. TeenTaissa insists that they “get rid of Jackie’s two-month-old corpse,” so they do! By eating her!

Jackie’s charred corpse
RIP Snackie

“What kind of asshole puts cumin in a clam chowder?”

A great opening shot of Jackie’s skeletal hand, now looking very much like the pool monster from that episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark? In the cabin, Coach Ben is taking a page from Taissa’s book and slipping into a little fugue state of his own. He falls into a memory of his lovely, very neurotic boyfriend obsessing over making clam chowder for a family cook-off. It’s a sweet scene, verging on saccharine, but I’ll chalk that up to some rose-colored hindsight glasses.

So anyways, when and how do we think Ben is going to die? I’m gonna guess he starves to death around episode 7 or 8 (full disclaimer: while I am receiving screeners from Showtime, I have not seen past episode 3 at the time of writing this, so any thoughts on what will happen in the future are pure speculation on my part.)

“You ate her face”

Nat stares at Jackie’s body
Regret hangover

Outside, TeenNat stares at Jackie’s nasty-looking charred corpse and is sort of casually disassociating, which seems to be Nat’s way. Speaking of the corpse, I am a little stuck on how they ate a completely uncleaned—and clothed—body. Like, they were just happily munching on polyester fibers melted into her skin, and anyone who took a chomp out of that abdomen was fully treated to a mouthful of hot liquid sh*t and bile. Disgusting. I love it, but I’m also wondering why they all aren’t puking their brains out this morning.

TeenTaissa emerges from the cabin and, as I saw many guessing last week, she seems to have absolutely no recollection of the previous night’s feast. Oof, poor Tai. In both timelines, she’s just completely falling apart at the seams. Both Jasmin Savoy Brown and Tawny Cypress are doing an incredible job of capturing Taissa’s particular complex and contradictory mix of traits and emotions, going from headstrong to fearful to controlled to vulnerable to sensitive to wary within just seconds of screen time.

It’s also interesting to see all of the team member’s reactions to their little human flesh binge. Everyone (excluding Ben, Taissa, and perhaps Nat) is surprisingly casual about it! This makes sense to me, but it feels like a bit of a bold move on the part of the writers given how popular the teen timeline is and how often fans want to ascribe innocence and purity to their favorite characters. I’m curious to see how many people find this quick acceptance to be unrealistic or morally reprehensible. Perhaps this is my inner Van speaking (hi, I identify as a Van sun/ Lottie moon/Taissa rising), but it seems only natural that a group of starving teens wouldn’t get too hung up on cannibalism taboos when they’re contending with a rapidly approaching wilderness birth, cabin ghosts, evil alternate personalities, and surviving a harsh winter.

After TeenTaissa’s little freak-out, the rest of the girls discuss what to do with Jackie’s corpse. Which is looking great, by the way. Production design team, I love you. TeenNat volunteers to take it to the plane so they can bury it once the ground thaws. As a side note, I’m going to try to stop being such a bitch about all the background characters and will start referring to Mari, Crystal, Gen, and Akilah by their names, especially since the actresses are doing really nice work with very little time to shine. Speaking of bitches, Ben is snippy at the girls about their role in Jackie’s death. Don’t you want to live, Ben?!

His remark seems to rattle TeenLottie and we transition to a shot of her as an adult leading one of her followers through some sort of culty exercise. I am appreciating how the writers (and actors) are drawing a line between the uncertainty and vulnerability that TeenLottie wears on her sleeve and the calcified insecurity and desire for control that adult Lottie takes pains to hide. As the episodes continue, I am more and more able to connect the two parts of this character. I do still feel like the cult stuff is painted in overly broad strokes, though. I wish we could gain more insight into the dynamics, rules, aesthetics, history, and goals of this group because right now it still does feel more like a general representation of any cult instead of a specific cult.

The Yellowjackets symbol on Simone’s hand
Big divorced-guy energy to try and curse you, comatose wife

At a hospital, Taissa has a stress dream/stress hallucination about the car crash, but reality isn’t much better. Simone still seems to be in critical condition and it looks like Tai drew the symbol on her hand during one of her fugues. Tai tells the nurse that it’s a “sign of protection,” but as soon as the nurse leaves the room, she frantically wipes it off. This will become important later.

Agent African Gray

Misty walks up to a marina
Below Deck: Cannibal Cruise

Misty’s looking for PuttingtheSickinForensics at a dock for some reason? I love it. Romance. Intrigue. The siren call of the sea. Elijah Wood calls out to her from a boat called Great Expectations, which is curious. Pip and Estella parallels perhaps? I don’t know yet. Anyways, we learn that his name is Walter, which means I can finally stop typing out his whole screen name. A gift. He and Misty agree to team up to interrogate the motel witness, but a wrinkle in their plan appears as it’s revealed that the witness is Randy and Misty now has to hide in Walter’s boat to protect her identity. Hijinks!

For Bisexuals and Goths

Shauna and Jeff grab some food at a diner and talk about their marriage. Jeff muses about a bottle of strawberry lube Shauna got at a bachelorette party and wanted to try out with him. He shot her down and now worries that this was the beginning of him choosing to be the most boring version of himself. Jeff says he thinks that he contributed to Shauna’s affair and Shauna denies it. It’d be easy to assume she’s doing this to protect his feelings, but as she talks it becomes clear that the boredom she’s feeling isn’t stemming from a stale relationship, but from her disinterest in the mundanities of life back in civilization.

Then, they get car-jacked! And Shauna very smoothly gets the guy’s gun and tries to threaten him back, which upsets Jeff. The carjacker ends up getting away with the van plus a few items of sentimental value that were inside. I love these two, but this feels like a rather clunky plot contrivance.

I wouldn’t want to belong to any club that’d have me as a member

At Lottie’s compound, Nat scans the bulletin board to take a look at all the cult activities. Lottie appears over her shoulder and encourages Nat to join something. “I’m not a joiner,” Nat responds. But that isn’t really true. While she paints herself as a loner for self-protection (and while she does certainly have issues with authority), Nat has always wanted to belong to a group. I imagine this is why she joined soccer in the first place. We also see this in the way she seemed to thrive in inpatient, as well as in her adult relationships with Shauna, Misty, and Taissa. But even more than that: if she’s not much of a joiner, why is she still on Lottie’s compound?

The relationship between these two is becoming more and more interesting to me. Despite the fact that they’ve often been shown to be at odds, there seems to be a closeness there that Nat lacks with the other characters. I’m curious as to why.

Anyways, Lottie leads Nat to her beehives and gives a symbolic speech about the natural brutality of the bees. Also, as someone who has kept bees in my life (gay), I just want to note that the background activity here is very funny. It’s just a bunch of people smoking out the top box of every hive for no apparent reason. Go off.


In the past, we get a glimpse of the roots of the strange Nat/Lottie relationship as TeenLottie makes a friendly overture at TeenNat, who rejects it and leaves TeenLottie and Travis behind as she goes to dispose of Jackie’s remains.

Also, TeenLottie suggests a baby shower for TeenShauna and lets slip that she thinks (knows?) the baby will be a boy. Huh.

Good cop/bad cop/crazy cop/crazier cop

On Walter’s boat, Misty leads Walter through his interrogation of Randy. Part of her leadership includes demanding that Walter slap Randy in the face even though Randy is pretty forthcoming. Her reasoning for this is that Randy once made a kid eat a frog at recess. I really enjoy when shows take some pains to dismantle the myth of the genius sociopath. Misty is knowledgeable, crafty, persistent, and unflinching, but her critical reasoning skills and emotional range are pretty stunted. Anyways, these two are very fun together and do lots of cute flirting over threats of torture, even if they don’t learn a whole lot from Randy except for the fact that he noticed the cult members drinking Fanta.

Vicious Little Monsters

In the 90’s the girls prepare for the baby shower. TeenTaissa has a sweet talk with Akilah while Mari constructs some sort of terrifying mobile. There’s also a seemingly throwaway line about a dripping sound that only Mari can seem to hear. Since Yellowjackets doesn’t tend to do throwaway lines, I’m wondering what’s going on with that. Mari’s character is slowly drifting into increased focus as this season goes on, which definitely makes me think that they’re setting her up as Pit Girl.

Across the cabin, TeenMisty and Crystal bond and confide in each other that they both found Snackie to be a pretty delicious meal. Awww.

Coach Ben enters the cabin and hallucinates a rapid Gen attacking him. Doin’ great. He also flashes back to another memory of him and his pre-crash boyfriend having a tense little fight where it’s implied that he’s not comfortable taking steps to commit to the relationship due to his fears of being too conspicuously gay. Again, these scenes are a little trite (and these actors aren’t really working on a chemistry level for me), but it’s fine.

Over in the plane, TeenNat talks to Jackie’s bones and both apologize for eating her and thank her for potentially being the reason they survive the winter. We love a practical queen. Speaking of practical, she sees a gorgeous white moose that she tries to shoot. It charges her and, as someone who grew up in the woods in the Northeast, I can confirm that moose are at least this terrifying when they run in real life if not more. They are far too large. Anyways, it gets away, which leads me to believe that —rather than one of Lottie’s “offerings”—it’s some kind of omen.

“He chose me”

At night, TeenVan warily observes a slumbering TeenTaissa. When TeenTai wakes up in sleepwalking mode, TeenVan asks if she can follow and FugueTaissa agrees. TeenVan, ever the audience stand-in, tries to get some information out of our favorite split personality, to greater or lesser success:

Q: “How do you know where you’re going?”

A: “He chose me.”

Q: “Who’s he?”

A: “The One With No Eyes.”

Q: “Is that who you always follow?”

A: “Only when she lets me.”

Q: “Who’s she?”

A: “Taissa.”

Q: “Then who are you?”

No answer.

Their walk culminates at a tree trunk etched with the symbol. TeenTai wakes up and, as we’ve grown to expect, doesn’t remember anything. However, it’s interesting to note here that she does lie to TeenVan about knowing who The Man With No Eyes is.

The Man With No Eyes
Third wheel

“ACAB” – Jeff

Jeff’s at the gym. He lists some weights and then goes to yell at Kevyn. Good job, Jeff. F*ck that dude.

Meanwhile, Shauan takes a car service to go find her minivan. And oop, she has a gun! In an incredibly well-acted scene, she finds and threatens the carjacker. When he tries to pull the ole “you don’t have it in you to shoot someone” schtick, Melanie Lynskey delivers a truly terrifying monologue about skinning a human corpse and how very much she wants to kill him. He says she can take her van back, but there’s a long moment where Shauna is clearly struggling with an intense desire to kill him anyways. What a scary, scary, fascinating person Shauna is.

Shauna with a gun
A dangerously unbalanced woman

“There is no safe.”

We’re treated to a little fantasy sequence from Coach Ben where he imagines skipping the Nationals trip in order to live out and proud with his boyfriend. But, of course, in actuality, he’s slowly starving to death in a cold cot. Poor Ben.

While he sulks, the girls hold a baby shower for TeenShauna. TeenVan gives TeenShauna a “changing teepee,” which makes me think she’s been talking to TeenLottie about the baby’s gender. TeenMisty performs a monologue from Steel Magnolias and Samantha Hanratty eats.

 Mirror mirror mirror mirror, when will Lauren Ambrose appear?

(Yes, I’m a poet.)

Taissa stares at herself in the hospital bathroom mirror but someone else stares back. The Bad One isn’t content to simply observe her host/counterpart this time, though. She tries to communicate with a horrified Taissa, mouthing “go to her” and placing her hands over her face in a way that mirrors (sorry) Van’s scars. Lauren Ambrose Watch is at an Orange Alert! (I promise I won’t make Lauren Ambrose Watch a thing; I’m just excited for her imminent appearance.)

Purple People Eaters

Walter asks Misty out for a drink and they agree to keep looking into the Nat thing together, but the stage is set for some conflict down the road when Misty lies about why she keeps dismissing Walter’s theories about Adam’s killer. Later, Walter is able to find the location of Lottie’s compound from the credit card information of the cult members who were at the motel.

Walter and Misty
Freak 4 freak

Speaking of Lottie’s compound, she’s running some sort of vague processing activity for her members that she invites/forces Nat to participate in, which creates an opportunity for Fork Girl to forgive Nat for her fork crimes. The cult stuff is still pretty weak and ill-defined here, and Natalie’s cathartic moment with Fork Girl doesn’t really work for me. However, I’m enjoying Simone Kessel’s performance, and she and Juliette Lewis are working beautifully together as scene partners.

In the past, TeenLottie gifts TeenShauna a blanket with the symbol stitched into it, which TeenNat takes issue with. Remember how adult Taissa lied about it being a symbol of protection when she clearly felt threatened by it? It seems like TeenTaissa and the others will be learning that lesson shortly. TeenShauna gets a nosebleed, dripping blood directly onto the symbol. Following this, dozens of starlings hit the side of the cabin and fall to the ground dead. Chicken dinner!

Dead starlings scattered around a cabin

“We should gather his blessings,” says TeenLottie, which is a particularly interesting pronoun to use given her predictions about the baby’s sex.

TeenVan is first to follow TeenLottie’s orders with TeenMisty, Mari, Akilah, and several others joining her. TeenShauna, however, drops Lottie’s blanket to the ground (smart girl) and follows TeenNat and TeenTaissa inside. The seeds of the coming divide, it looks like.

In the present, Lottie inspects the beehives only to find them running red with blood. She has a little Lady Macbeth moment, which leads me to wonder exactly whose blood she has on her hands. If the forest divide turns into Nat/Shauna/Tai vs Lottie and the rest, it leads us to ask what happened to all the girls who believed so strongly in Lottie’s abilities. Out of all of them, only Misty and Van appear to have survived. Misty’s a cockroach and I can see Tai stepping in to save Van’s skin, but what became of the rest of them?

Of course the bloody hives are all a hallucination. One that ends when one of Lottie’s acolytes asks her if she’s joining for lunch, which Lottie first hears as “Il veut du sang” (“It wants blood.”) Someone’s psychosis is rearing its head again!

Lottie’s bloody hands

Episode Superlatives

Best villain energy: SHAUNA

Most heroic season arc: I’m thinking that Jeff, Nat, and Taissa are candidates here, but who knows?

Best MILF energy: Simone Kessell and Juliette Lewis bringing it this episode, I’m not gonna lie.

Acting MVP(s): Melanie Lynskey, Samantha Hanratty, Jasmin Savoy Brown, and Juliette Lewis. Overall fantastic performances this episode, though.

Dumb conspiracy theory of the week: Fork Girl is Shauna’s forest baby.

Pit Girl rankings from most likely to least likely:

  1. Mari: I mean, there has to be a reason she’s the most-highlighted background character, right? Except for…
  2. Crystal: If it’s not one of these two, I’ll eat my hat. Or my friend’s ear.
  3. Gen: She’s there also and also has dark, straight-ish hair, so who knows.
  4. Lottie: This is for hair reasons only. Plus, she seems like she could resurrect if she wanted to or something.
  5. Someone else who they find in the wood.
  6. There is no Pit Girl.
  7. We’re all Pit Girl.

That was Yellowjackets S2E3. Tune in next week.

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Written by Saskia Nislow

Saskia is a writer, ceramicist, horror freak, and queer creature. Find more of their stuff at or at @cronebro on Twitter and Instagram.

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