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Yellowjackets S2E8: “It Chooses”

Yellowjackets S2E8: “It Chooses” was written by Liz Phang & Sarah L. Thompson and directed by Daisy von Scherler Mayer.

Previously on Yellowjackets

We have a whole lot of plot threads to resolve, including (but not limited to!):

  • Wtf happened to Javi
  • Shauna and all her crimes
  • Elijah Wood and his search for justice/weird Moriarty sex games with Misty
  • Randy??
  • Pit Girl
  • Akilah’s stupid f*cking mouse
  • Will Fork Girl kill herself, y/n?
  • Will Ben kill himself, y/n?
  • Van and Tai are the end of Fried Green Tomatoes
  • Jessica Roberts is dead I’m pretty sure, so will there be any fall-out to that?
  • Adam’s sexy torso
  • All the maenad stuff
  • Callie and her baby crimes/Copstache and his almost sex-crime
  • Mari is an asshole all the time, which is maybe significant to the narrative? Who knows
  • TeenVan is losing her religion
  • “It wants blood”
  • Travis and TeenNat are fighting
  • Travis has a boner for TeenLottie
  • Is adult Nat still interested in figuring out what happened to Travis?
  • Lottie is crazy/an oracle/a con artist
  • I guess Simone is probably in the hospital still? But also maybe dead!
  • Sammi exists, is neglected
  • Something’s gonna happen with those cards
  • Crystal’s body disappeared, but to where? Do we care?
  • Misty’s literal decades of crimes
  • Other Tai: what’s up with her?
  • TeenNat and TeenLottie: friends or enemies? Or, as all the thirsty shippers out there are hoping: something more?
  • Is Nat brainwashed by Lottie’s cult or just really into residential treatment programs?
  • TeenShauna TKO’d TeenLottie
  • Oh yeah, The Antler Queen

Let’s see what’s picked back up this episode and what’s crammed into the finale/left for next season!

Van looks annoyed
Can we please move the plot along a little bit before my tragic death?

Mystery Meat

Starting with the 1996 storyline, I just want to say: this season has pulled so many punches in previous episodes that I’ve gone back to eating my breakfast while I do my first watch-through because I no longer expect to see anything that’s going to remotely gross me out. However! This opening scene with Misty and Mari lugging a truly wrecked Lottie over to laboriously pee bloody urine (that apparently smells like rot) into the piss-bucket really got me this time. Good job, Yellowjackets team! I had to save the rest of my eggs for later.

I was torn on the teen storyline this episode. On one hand, it was great to finally see some forward movement within a few of the disparate plotlines. On the other hand, it all seemed rushed as hell.

So, the situation is: Lottie is dying. Which I appreciate as a choice because a beatdown like that really would be life-threatening under these conditions. Lottie’s not the only one, though. Everyone’s starving and the situation seems much more dire than it has in earlier episodes. Like I said, this is great because we’re finally moving somewhere with the cannibalism storyline. However, it does feel a bit contrived that everyone starts very acutely losing their minds with hunger in the same episode.

Misty cares for Lottie
Misty attends to the ground beef I bought 3 weeks ago and left in the back of the fridge

Anyways, Lottie tells Misty that — should she not make it — she wants the other girls to “make use of [her]”. Honestly, would not want to eat someone in that condition, but, like, it’s a great sentiment. What a team player. Meanwhile, Tai is fugueing out, Mari is seeing the walls ooze blood, they’re considering boiling belts for a little bit of protein, and Akilah’s been cuddling with a dead mouse this entire time. Yup, that’s what that whole thing was all about. Did it feel like a good use of screen-time? No. But did the final reveal ultimately justify the previous scenes? Also no.

But, whatever, this is all fine and good and in keeping with where this season’s been leading us. Everyone’s desperate and out of their minds and the group is weirdly more cohesive than ever. Again, that works fine for me given Lottie’s little stunt at the end of last episode and Shauna’s subsequent chagrin.

Then things go a little off the rails.

Queen of Hearts

The first thing that happens is that Ben, who has a new lease on life now for whatever reason, suddenly becomes curious about Javi’s whereabouts during the time he was missing. He somehow puts together a a similar map of the symbol trees to the one Van created earlier in the season and rifles through Javi’s drawings until he has an epiphany. He hikes out to the stump where the snow is melting and pushes his way through its root system into a cave underneath. There, he finds evidence of a little fire and some animal bones, indicating that this is where Javi’s been hiding (and also indicating a possible new food source?).

While all this is going on, things are getting dire back at the cabin. After Misty breaks the news that Lottie’s dying and passes along Lottie’s request, it seems to light a little spark in the rest of the group. Before I get into what I didn’t love about this, let me at least give them credit for the fact that they have been gradually teasing out how most of the girls have been considering cannibalism more and more over the past few episodes. Everyone is suddenly very eager to have an excuse to eat someone. But not Lottie, Shauna insists. Tai backs Shauna up. Lottie is too important to eat. The rest of the girls agree, or at least pretend to (though I suspect some of them just didn’t want to eat a potentially septic corpse). But they need to eat something. Or someone. And, if their understanding of the rules of the forest are correct, they need a sacrifice if Lottie’s going to have any chance of surviving her injuries and subsequent infection.

Here’s where they begin to lose me.

Someone chooses from a deck of cards
I can do this cool card trick where I make an important plot point disappear and then I conjure the queen of hearts out of thin air

Remember how, in season 1, they found a card deck that was missing all of its queens? And then we all got excited about the queen of hearts card with the scratched out eyes in the intro credits/Lottie’s vision? Well, it just appears. And not in a spooky or significant way or even a way that’s remarked upon by any of the characters. No, instead, Van just holds it up to indicate it should be used and everyone’s like, “Oh yeah, the queen of hearts card with the scratched out eyes, can’t believe we forgot that we’ve had it all along. This is very casual and expected.”

So, there’s that. (Did they cut a scene or something?)

Then, they draw cards. Wow, that moved fast! The best I can say about this scene is that I think it was smart of them to show how Misty’s regaining her status in the group. Our girl thrives in a crisis. But why is Nat there? And participating without giving any push-back? Why is Javi there, for that matter? Nat ends up drawing the queen of hearts but Travis, who conveniently made up with Nat in an earlier scene for no apparent reason other than to make sure this moment happens, pushes the girls away and tells her to run.

Nat runs. And the girls run after her, entirely feral now, wielding weapons and screaming like how we saw them in the season trailer. Nat makes it to the lake, where Javi finds her and tells her that he knows somewhere she can hide (Yeah, your weird little root cave. We got it, dude). Sure. As they run across the frozen lake together, the surface begins to crack under their weight. Javi falls through and immediately begins drowning, which I’m not even going to take issue with at this time. Who knows? I’ve never fallen into a frozen lake while starving. The rest of the girls reach them and watch as he struggles for air. When he finally goes still, they pull him from the water. BBQ’s back on, folks!

The girls chase Nat over the ice
That’s the spirit, girls! That’s the focus and energy that took you to Nationals!

So, I’m happy we’ve gotten to this point, right? If the season had to accomplish anything, it was to tell us a convincing story of how the Yellowjackets ended up resorting to, not only cannibalism, but ritual cannibalism. And they got the job done, I guess. But given how much character work has been ignored this season, this huge moment felt a little empty. I wish I had felt more about Javi’s death. Even more than that, though, I wish Nat’s choice to let him die in order to save herself felt more significant. And I wish the girls going full wolf-pack felt more inevitable.

But, at least we got there! And wrapped up some plot threads along the way! Now, for the adults…

Drinking the Kool-Aid

After last week’s little family reunion, everyone’s fighting! Shauna tries to leave to go deal with the Adam situation, but Van gets a whiff that something’s amiss and throws her keys in the bushes. They all go to the “Sharing Shack” where Misty, Tai, and Nat get upset at Shauna for telling Jeff their business. Meanwhile, Van and Lottie are furious about being kept out of the loop and Shauna questions what Other Tai’s been up to. Misty uses her little detective brain to figure out that Jeff was the blackmailer all along, which puts everyone into a tizzy, but then she lets too much slip about Walter, so no one’s that pleased with her either.

While the ladies hash out their issues, poor Jeff and Callie are left to deal with a warranted search by awful Kevyn and Copstache, who are two characters I’d love to never see again in my life. Kevyn tries to get Jeff talking while Copstache searches Callie’s room (completely unsupervised by any colleagues even after her accusations) and taunts her. And, like, I don’t know guys, it’s not like they’re behaving terribly in an unbelievable way (they are cops after all), but it all seems so operatic and ridiculous that it’s hard to get a real sense of stakes here.

Kevyn and Copstache
Please remove these men from my screen/life

After the cops leave, Jeff has a little dream about Shauna stabbing him and essentially telling him she’s going to ruin his life (a bit on the nose there, bud). And I hate that I already knew he was going to have a dream like this because the blood splattered family portrait in the preview was so obviously a fake out. He wakes up and he and Callie have a little heart-to-heart that I couldn’t care less about.

Walter, in the meantime, is back at his rich-guy house, listening to show-tunes and reading up on Adam’s murder. As he works, we can see messages from people on not-Reddit congratulating him for investigative prowess. He sends an email to the police, claiming that he has info about Adam’s murder and, though I’m pretty sure we’re supposed to think that he’s about to rat Misty out here, I’m almost certain it’s another fake-out.

Finally, back in the Sharing Shack, Lottie’s like “Guys, guess what? I have a solution to all our problems! Let’s play Jonestown-roulette!” She brings out a platter of glasses, one of which has been poisoned, and encourages them all to drink. The only way out of their current circumstances, she claims, is to let “it” choose. After all, it’s how they’ve always done it.

A platter of glasses filled with liquid
Where’s a Javi when you need one?

Where We’re at Before the Finale

Remember all those plot threads I listed at the beginning of the recap? Let’s check in on them before we head into the final episode of the season.

  • Wtf happened to Javi – partially/unsatisfactorily resolved
  • Shauna and all her crimes – unresolved, maybe resolved by the end of the season?
  • Elijah Wood and his search for justice/weird Moriarty sex games with Misty – unresolved, likely resolved by the end of the season
  • Randy?? – lol the writers clearly have no real interest in this character
  • Pit Girl – still unresolved, might end up as the season cliff-hanger
  • Akilah’s stupid f*cking mouse – resolved, so stupid
  • Will Fork Girl kill herself, y/n? – leaning yes on this one, probably in the last episode
  • Will Ben kill himself, y/n? – resolved, seems like a no, unfortunately
  • Van and Tai are the end of Fried Green Tomatoes – unresolved and will probably remain so until the end of next season
  • Jessica Roberts is dead I’m pretty sure, so will there be any fall-out to that? – I’m guessing they’re just hoping we’ll forget about this one?
  • Adam’s sexy torso – discovered and resolved!
  • All the maenad stuff – seems like they’re playing fast, loose, and inconsistent with this
  • Callie and her baby crimes/Copstache and his almost sex-crime – likely explored next season, unfortunately for all of us, unless Callie kills him in the finale
  • Mari is an asshole all the time, which is maybe significant to the narrative? Who knows – we’re getting some movement on this one, weirdly (I’m betting she dies in the finale)
  • TeenVan is losing her religion – not expecting any more movement on this one this season
  • “It wants blood” – definitely gonna be the focus of the finale
  • Travis and TeenNat are fighting – unsatisfactorily resolved
  • Travis has a boner for TeenLottie – unresolved, probably won’t be
  • Is adult Nat still interested in figuring out what happened to Travis? – unresolved, probably won’t be
  • Lottie is crazy/an oracle/a con artist – I don’t even know if the writers themselves know where they’re going with this
  • I guess Simone is probably in the hospital still? But also maybe dead! – this is def gonna be an off-screen info dump
  • Sammi exists, is neglected – see above
  • Something’s gonna happen with those cards – well…
  • Crystal’s body disappeared, but to where? Do we care? – I’m actually wondering if this is gonna come up in the finale
  • Misty’s literal decades of crimes – this one we touched on this episode and I expect it to be an ongoing plot point, which I’m fine with
  • Other Tai: what’s up with her? – see above
  • TeenNat and TeenLottie: friends or enemies? Or, as all the thirsty shippers out there are hoping: something more? – I care about the first part, truly do not about the second, and I’m really hoping they do something with this
  • Is Nat brainwashed by Lottie’s cult or just really into residential treatment programs? – would love to see this addressed in the finale, but i’m not optimistic
  • TeenShauna TKO’d TeenLottie – vaguely resolved
  • Oh yeah, The Antler Queen – given some cast interviews, I do think we’ll learn more about this next episode
Shauna makes a stank face
My expectations for the finale. Prove me wrong!

That was Yellowjackets S2E8: “It Chooses.” See you next week for the finale!

One Comment

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  1. Another great review.

    I actually was a little shocked by how dissatisfied you were with this ep. To me, it seems like the only ep that was thrilling this season. But, I do get your grievances. Especially the one about the mouse (you are so right so much screen time wasted). You also reminded me of how hyped up the queen card was in season 1 and then…just shown in this ep. You questioned why Nat joined in on the ritual, but I remember her being one of the first to remind everyone that they are on the brink of death if they don’t eat. I think that’s a partial explanation.

    One thing, you sometimes refer to Travis as “Kevin” in the beginning and the end of the review.

    About Shauna. Did you find it weird that after the ep she beats up Lottie that…..we don’t see much of teen shauna this ep…at all? We didn’t get to see how she feels about the aftermath, or even question what she did (I don’t think that would be too far off given that she was apparently concerned about Lottie not having a blanket in this ep or something lol)? I know we already saw a lot of her but it didn’t make sense to not see her as much in this ep considering what she did in the previous one.

    As for Javi, I actually was shook and his death kinda gutted me, the way he kept asking for Natalie to help him and them just watching him struggle and drown. But you are right, we weren’t really close with Javi. We never got to grow with him or care for him. He should’ve been made out to be everyone’s little bro, like everyone equally looking out for him. Only then the death would TRULY hit.

    Also, the subreddit for the show right now a lot of people are in denial about the bad writing happening in this season. I can’t even fault them given that media literacy is not taught in a majority of schools. but damn.

    If you were a writer on the show, what would you’ve done differently?

    Anyways take care for now!

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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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