“Yellowjackets” Episode 104 Recap: Feel the Pain

Welcome to your Yellowjackets 104 recap. Pour yourself a chocolate martini or pop your favorite mixtape in your cassette player! It’s time for some dangerous activities like letting hormonal teenagers with zero firearm training hunt live animals and also playing mini golf while drunk on cheap vodka. Catch up on past recaps, and feel free to drop any theories in the comments below. Also, find my thoughts on the main title sequence, which was introduced last week, at the end of this recap!

Ensemble shows can be tricky in the sense that you want to let viewers spend a little time with every character but also manage to dig deep into each of those characters as individuals. Yellowjackets has so far excelled at striking the right balance between making these episodes still feel like they’re exploring the collective ensemble while also shining a spotlight on specific people week-to-week.

That’s especially crucial on this show, because the mere concept of the individual vs. the collective is baked into its premise. The teens find themselves having to fight to survive — together. But they’re also their own people with their own baggage. Moving as a group is difficult. They’re all processing at different speeds and in different ways. Surviving will require more cohesion, more cooperation. They’re a literal team. They know this. When Travis and Nat team up as hunting partners after being the only two to pass Ben’s prescribed two-round shooting challenge, they’re out of sync. They’re acting as individuals — Travis in particular. He’s focused on getting a ring back from his dead dad’s buried corpse to try to assuage some of Javi’s grief. And when he can’t go through with it, puking as he digs up his decaying dad, Nat steps in and does it for him. She takes out a knife and cuts through bone to get him the ring. He doesn’t deserve this offering from her — he’s a sexist dick all episode. But Nat knows the specific ways he’s hurting. She knows people are messy. Nat also knows they’re only going to get shit done if they work together. And it isn’t until they connect over the damage their dads have done to them that they finally are able to work together. They only speak this Dad Baggage in brief confessions. Travis says his dad never even liked him, and Nat offers this: “It doesn’t matter how shitty they are. It still fucks you up when they’re gone.”

But before we get into all that meat of the episode, I want reiterate this point: To survive, the Yellowjackets must work together. They must adopt a collectivist mindset.

And yet. Working together might have a dangerous side to it, too. Because we’ve seen the places they go together. That cannibalism sequence from the pilot doesn’t look like a bunch of individuals making individual choices. It doesn’t look like an every-person-for-themselves scenario. It looks like a distinctly communal ritual. The risk of groupthink in this case is explicitly lethal.

So yes, back to the crafting of an ensemble narrative. There’s all that happening on the teen side of things, and then there’s the present, where each of these characters — Taissa, Shauna, Nat, and Misty — exist on their own now. They’re trying to live lives completely severed from what happened to them. And yet, they keep being thrown back together. They can never really be rid of each other. Teammates for life. (Misty is definitely a bit of a different case than the other three. She actually does want to be tethered in some way. We’ve seen the lengths she’ll go to in order to be around Nat.) Structurally, the past few episodes of Yellowjackets have checked in with all of these characters, spinning threads between their past and present selves while also spotlighting one in particular. Last week, that was Taissa. The week before, it was Misty. Now, it’s Nat. But I wouldn’t say last week’s episode was Taissa’s Episode and this one is Nat’s Episode. The focus is subtle. And the story development still largely feels so connected and even enmeshed, even if on the surface it seems like the adult versions of the characters are in their own little corners. Yellowjackets isn’t shaped like a square. It’s more of a Möbius strip bending back into itself.

After all, Yellowjackets rather expertly uses time to establish that subtle focus on individual characters episode-to-episode — and not in a linear fashion. Whoever gets the “flashback-within-a-flashback,” so to speak, is our focus character for the week. “Bear Down” opens on the plane crash once again. We see the group collectively screaming and flailing, and then we move in close on Nat. She hallucinates someone next to her. It’s her father, and when he turns, a chunk of his head is missing. “You’ve already got blood on your hands,” he says. Nat wakes up from this nightmare to the cabin, where Lottie is awake and frightened. Nat comforts her by reminding her they buried the skeleton from the attic, and Lottie offers something like a reverse premonition: “Bad things happened here.”

Nat’s backstory, in particular, twists into itself. Last week, we got that great triple Taissa sequence at the end, but even though it all blended into a coherent three-layered horror dip with some overlap, Nat’s memories in “Bear Down” intersect even more. Quite literally. There’s that pop of a memory-hallucination during the plane crash. There’s also a gorgeous and aching sequence when adult Nat returns to her childhood home. Her mother’s still there, using an oxygen tank and offering less than zero affection toward Nat, romanticizing the past when Nat’s father was alive. And even without yet knowing at this point in the episode just how delusional her mother’s interpretation of that time is, her words ring false and twisted. Sitting down, adult Nat watches as her younger teenage self — hair not yet dyed her signature bleach-white blonde but instead dark brown — walks through the door, past a younger version of her mother asleep on the couch, leading a young version of Kevyn to her bedroom so they can talk about Nirvana and Dinosaur Jr., “Feel the Pain” playing on Nat’s boombox. Watching Nat literally watch her past self is devastating. There’s so much feeling and pain there. Without anything needing to be said.

Both young Nat and adult Nat are remembering the same exact day but for different reasons. This narrative conceit doesn’t seem to just be for the sake of convenience but is actually rooted in emotional truth in both instances. Adult Nat flashes back to the day her father caught her in her room with Kevyn because her mission in this episode is to try to get some information out of adult Kevyn. She uses a dash of emotional manipulation to meet these ends, agreeing to dinner with him and convincing him to dig up the toxicology report from Travis’ death. When adult Nat flashes back to this day, we get to see some of the warmth between her and Kevyn. It’s a sharp contrast to her scenes with Travis. Nat might not entirely return Kevyn’s obvious crush, but these two care about each other. She offers to paint his nails black so he doesn’t have to Sharpie them. Cute goth shit! But that warmth is violently interrupted when her dad comes home, yells at them both, and calls Nat a slut after Kevyn scurries away.

Young Nat only recalls that interruption and its aftermath. Only the violence. These flashbacks are brought on by the hunting challenge. When Ben proposes that everyone participate in a series of tests to see who will be in charge of the group’s only gun, the camera moves in on Nat. It’s clear she has some previous experience with a gun, and the second the dad flashbacks start (coupled with that opening image of his blown-off head), the assumption is of course that she killed her father.

Yellowjackets twists this into something else though. In another scene that jumps between two timelines, echoing the Taissa eyeballs sequence from the end of last episode, teen Nat and Travis finally encounter a deer in the woods. Nat’s got the gun. In the past, Nat’s got the gun, too. Her dad taunts her, even as the gun’s pointed right at him. She tries to fire, but the safety’s on, and he yanks the gun out of her hands and belittles her and her mother — who he has brutally beaten — while Nat shakes and cries. In the woods, Nat has forgotten to click off the safety, too, and Travis does it for her, encouraging her to breathe and focus. The fact that both Nats forgot the safety feels meaningful beyond plot contrivance. Nat hasn’t really chosen guns, hasn’t really chosen violence. They’ve happened to her. And they’ve become necessary tools for survival. Surviving her home and surviving the woods. She doesn’t kill her father. He trips and blows his own head off after she screams at him that he’s useless.

It’s easy to see parallels, too, between Nat’s dad and Travis. Nat aims the gun at her dad. During one of the shooting tests, Travis aims the gun at Nat. Just because she called him Flex, a nickname that reminds him of being bullied in seventh grade. Yet he has no problem making a gross and sexist joke about blowjobs to Nat earlier in the episode. Travis has a temper. Travis could be dangerous. Adult Taissa has informed us in dialogue in past episodes that Nat and Travis end up in an ongoing toxic relationship, and it’s easy to see the roots of that taking hold.

Adult Nat is spiraling about Travis’ death from last episode, convinced (probably correctly!) he was murdered. She reiterates this over the phone to Misty, who has an online article pulled up in front of her about what to say and not say to someone grieving suicide. I think it’s safe to say Misty is like a nerdy version of Villanelle in the empathy department. At episode’s end, she calls Shauna to tell her Travis is dead, saying it all through a giant smile. Again, she’s the only one who’s happy the band’s back together. Misty tails Nat’s date with Kevyn, ordering herself a chocolate martini in the process, and she also spots Jessica Roberts doing some spying of her own. Misty — in her Mossimo-ass floral pullover — marches over to Jessica and threatens her. Jessica is very much not threatened (and still delivers every line like it’s a flirtation? Is that just me? Does Rekha Sharma just inevitably ooze chemistry with EVERYONE?!). But it’s true: People don’t see a threat when they see Misty. But they should.

Yellowjackets 104 recap: A screenshot of Misty (Christina Ricci) holding a martini glass, wearing a floral pullover

chocolate martini & mossimo vibes

So far, Nat hasn’t really experienced what Misty’s capable of. Sure, Misty messed with her car. But Misty’s capable of much worse forms of manipulation. As an adult, we’ve seen her withhold pain meds from a patient as revenge. And as a teen, she is doing the most to ensure Ben doesn’t want her but needs her. She’s smothering him, not even abiding his simple request that she remain quiet while he tries to defecate and instead singing “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” while he’s in agony. Her chaos knows no bounds! She also kicks Ben’s crutch to make him fall, and the look he gives her suggests he might be catching onto just how devious she is.

Early on, we get explicit confirmation that Shauna slept with Adam at the end of last episode. In “Bear Down,” she goes on a full-day adventure with him. She tells him she wants to make up for her misspent youth, so they sit in a liquor store parking lot in Adam’s car and try to ask someone to buy booze for them like they’re ID-less teens. Two adults doing a bunch of stupid teenage shit because one of them didn’t get to do so in actual high school could easily be the premise of a mumblecore rom-com. It’s sweet and funny. If, you know, you forget that Shauna’s married and also that the real reason she didn’t get to do all these things in high school is because she was in a plane crash and had to survive in the wilderness for nearly two years and ended up getting swept up in ritualistic cannibalism. Really, Shauna’s impulse to turn an affair — already a fantasy space in and of itself — into a fantasy of youth and childlike rebellion is quite disturbing! Quick bursts of horror often interrupt the moments of warmth in “Bear Down,” and that happens just as Adam and Shauna are about to plunge into the river for their last teen activity of the evening, piercing the fantasy. “Someone’s gonna get hurt,” a hallucination of Jackie tells Shauna. It’s the first time we’ve really seen Shauna lose track of reality. But in a way, Jackie’s apparition is more real than what she’s currently doing with Adam.

OKAY, Adam theory time! Last week, I went out on a limb and suggested that Adam is maybe not real/a ghost/a figment of Shauna’s imagination/IDK. I’ve enjoyed that this show is currently making it blurry as to whether anything supernatural is going on. It could go a lot of different ways for a lot of different situations. Does Lottie have some sort of Theodora Crain-esque psychic ability? Is Taissa’s son being manipulated by a spectral presence or has he just inherited her trauma? And who or what is Adam! Yellowjackets remains ambiguous in its narrative underpinnings, and it’s not withholding for the sake of crafting cheap intrigue. It’s genuinely enthralling in its ambivalence! Again, another tricky balancing act. And tbh, the show will have to start delivering some answers/payoff on this front, but for now I’m still very much along for the ride!

All that said, while I’m not formally withdrawing my theory that Adam is Not Real, I have spoken to a bunch of people who are of the belief that he could be a grownup version of Javi, and I think there’s some solid evidence to support that! In this episode, we see young Shauna and young Javi connect when Shauna offers him some sheets of paper from her journal. I’m not fully convinced yet though. I’m most definitely overthinking it, but I just find that the actors who play young Javi and “Adam” have very different mannerisms. And this show has been so intentional and honestly uncanny in the ways it has matched its sets of actors that that alone throws me. But then again, I hope my current self doesn’t have the same exact energy as my adolescent self, because yikes! I wish we had seen what Javi was doing on those pages Shauna gave him — is he drawing and does it look good? Because then, yeah, maybe he became an artist like Adam is.

Adult Taissa’s first scene in the episode provides an intimate look into her marriage with Simone. We’ve seen them mostly in conflict throughout the episode so far, but this scene calls back to the very first time we met these two. In the pilot, Simone softly comforted Taissa when a photographer overstepped with a comment about her traumatic past. It made me wonder how much Simone might know (likely not everything, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s the only person Taissa has opened up to a bit). Here, she quizzes Taissa on details about the potential donors that will be at the event they’re readying for. But she also encourages Taissa to be herself, to not make herself fit whatever idea these powerful people have of her. Even if she doesn’t know everything about her past, Simone does really understand and support Taissa. Their marriage feels lived-in and, sure, messy. In the way marriages often are. At the event, the host gleefully informs Taissa that a whole roasted pig (“nose to tail!”) will be served, and Simone’s immediately concerned about her wife. “You forgot to eat beforehand, didn’t you?” she mutters to her.

I’ve been waiting to see if any of the adult Yellowjackets would have complicated relationships with meat. Back in the woods after Nat and Travis fell a deer, there’s a sequence of all the Yellowjackets in close up chowing down on the meat ravenously. Picking at flesh with their hands, juices covering their faces. It’s impossible not to think of the pilot’s scene of characters doing the same with human flesh. (It’s also difficult not to think of the skilled movement of someone slicing a girl’s throat in that pilot when we see Shauna slicing the throat of a deer.) Nat seemed incredulous that Misty would choose to eat jerky last episode. And Taissa is clearly disturbed by animal parts and meat. She downs champagne on an empty stomach and then hallucinates the plattered pig head as a deer head. Circular camerawork here does wonders; Taissa’s time at this event indeed feels like a dizzying display of wealth. And the people there are like vultures when it comes to Taissa and her pain.

After hallucinating a wolf prancing away, she manages to escape from a couple asking invasive questions about the plane crash, seeking solitude in a dark and quiet room away from the party where she can smoke a cigarette in peace. A rich white woman whose endorsement Taissa has been after approaches and, at first, appears as a friend, offering to split a Cliff bar with Taissa. But she’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing, her true nature becoming clear in a subsequent scene where she, too, wants to know what really happened to Taissa. “You trust me, don’t you?” she says before then self-righteously and patronizingly touting everything she has done “for Black women’s causes.” She also tone polices Taissa in the same breath. This racist, entitled bitch thinks she’s owed Taissa’s pain and also her obedience. It’s downright nasty. And it has been a recurring experience of Taissa’s. People are ravenous for her trauma. They mask inappropriate prying as mere curiosity. In essence, they want to cannibalize her story, sensationalize her survival.

Taissa is more than just what happened to her. So are Nat and Shauna. But Taissa gets it far worse from these hungry, rabid trauma porn hellhounds, and I don’t think it’s as simple as her being in the public eye as a politician. She’s also queer and Black, and white and straight people love to consume tragic, traumatic tales of marginalized folks, because it perversely makes them feel good about themselves. Taissa’s pain is hers. Her life is hers. But this woman at the party doesn’t want her to feel that. She’s as much a horror presence as a wolf in the woods.

Last Buzz:

  • So! I didn’t really write about the main title sequence last week, because it honestly surprised me! I wanted to wait to really let it sink in. Here’s my conclusion: It rules!!! And I’m told by my director friend (and friend of AS) Carly Usdin that the sequence was done by Digital Kitchen (the team behind other fantastic openings like that of Six Feet Under, Dexter, and True Blood) and that it was shot on handheld DV camcorders. It indeed has a very retro, home-video style but like make it Yellowjackets in the sense that images/shots of these young girls and women have a sharp, ugly edge to them instead of just seeming like your usual suburban smiley camcorder footage. There’s puke! There’s blood! It’s bodied and haunting, much like the series as a whole. Into it. I’m playing with the idea of analyzing one still/shot from it in this “Last Buzz” section in future recaps, so let me know if you’d be into that.
  • Credit to my girlfriend for pointing out to me that Misty is drinking from a mug with her pet bird on it! When will we actually meet Caligula?
  • Again, this show is so good at establishing tension, ESPECIALLY WHEN IT COMES TO THE GODDAMN WATER. Seeing teen Shauna casually swirling her foot around in the water just instantly filled me with dread. It’s extremely possible nothing bad is going to happen in the water at all for the entire season, and yet. I will hold my breath every time? Torture!
  • Jackie in her argyle sweater vest is killing me. She does seem like the type of girl who would be concerned with still sporting Looks even at a time like this! Frankly I can relate!
  • Also, Jackie and Van are good now because Jackie saved Van’s life when Laura Lee chaotically decided it was a good idea to hop into an abandoned old ass propeller plane the girls came across in the woods and start pushing a bunch of buttons. Laura Lee! Stick to praying.
  • Simone being a comp lit professor feels right and good. Love an academic gay.
  • Ben provides some expository dialogue: 1. He knows about hunting because his dad used to take him and 2. They don’t have to worry about ammunition because whoever lived in the cabin before had so much it looked like he was preparing for an apocalypse.
  • Before Nat shuts her down, Misty suggests they can “pop some pins in the old cork board” and solve Travis’ murder case together. Misty offers her own cork board but also assumes Nat’s got one, too. Also, later on, Nat yells at Misty that they’re not Rizzoli & Isles, to which I say: But couldn’t you be!!!!!!! Where is my Nat & Misty: Citizen Detectives spinoff!
  • (I didn’t search “Misty Quigley/Natalie ‘Nat’ Scatorccio” on ao3 YOU DID. But also there’s only one fic in there? Help me, homosexuals.)
  • Are you listening to the official playlist? I can’t stop listening to the official playlist.

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Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya is the managing editor of Autostraddle and a lesbian writer of essays, short stories, and pop culture criticism living in Orlando. She is the assistant managing editor of TriQuarterly, and her short stories appear or are forthcoming in McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Joyland, Catapult, The Offing, and more. Some of her pop culture writing can be found at The A.V. Club, Vulture, The Cut, and others. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram and learn more about her work on her website.

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  1. I’m pretty firmly in the “adam isn’t real” camp. I’ll have to watch again more closely, but I’m pretty sure we still haven’t seen him speak with or interact with anyone who isn’t Shauna. Or at least no one has interacted with him. Shauna never called his auto shop after she rear ended him, so she has never had to ask another person about him. We don’t see the hotel worker acknowledge him when he “randomly” runs into her there, and when Shauna asks the guy in the liquor store parking lot to buy them alcohol, she turns and tells Adam to wave, which we see him do, but he otherwise has no interaction. I agree that the show has done such a fantastic job casting the teens and their adult counterparts, so for me it doesn’t seem likely to be Javi. Plus, what would be Javi’s motivation to let Shauna believe he’s a stranger?

    I also have a maybe wild prediction that Ben is going to somehow find out that Misty is responsible for destroying the black box. Someone has to at some point, and I can totally see Ben getting more and more frustrated with Misty, somehow finding out that info, possibly/probably threatening her with it, and Misty killing him to keep him quiet. I mean, someone has to be eaten first.

    • Totally with you on the Adam isn’t real theory. But when it comes to Ben I think he’s still alive during the cannibalism scene because one of the furr-clad, hooded figures had a rather strange walk I noticed before we as viewers found out that Ben had to have his leg amputated after the crash. So he can’t be the first victim.

      Regarding possible victims/human snacks: I’m afraid the girl getting hunted and eaten might be Lottie. She might be the weakest link or somehow go be a threat to their survival without her medication. Which would suck because I really like her so far. Just a first theory, though.

  2. I would watch a show of Nat & Misty, crime solvers, but it turns out I would also watch a show about Misty & that elderly patient she brought to the restaurant; the one who ordered fancy whiskey and then told Misty “you remind me of my daughter, no one likes her much, either”

  3. Only one thing gives me pause about the “Adam isn’t real” theory; when he called her from the auto shop we see him in a setting that doesn’t have Shauna in it. While we didn’t see him interacting with anyone, it seems an odd choice to show him in a completely imaginary setting.

    These reviews are giving so much, I truly appreciate you doing them!

    • Yes, I agree 110% with this. There’s definitely something fishy about him, but between seeing him in the autoshop and in the driver’s seat at the liquor store, I’m feeling reasonably confident that he’s a real person.

      We also only see Shauna getting off to men who are the sexual objects of others’ affection. This could go double for Jeff if we assume that Shauna is dissociated from her pre-crash self—he’s been with Jackie and the “old” Shauna. Maybe triple for Jeff when we layer in their successful attempt at the furniture store role play, which happens after a) Shauna connects with her survivalist side and b) Shauna does something to upset Jeff that she then needs to paper over by essentially erasing herself (the way she sort of erases Jackie in her high school encounters with Jeff). And then of course she’s introduced jerking it to photos of her daughter’s boyfriend…

      So is Adam breaking that mold of boldly going where the woman she’s closest to has already broken a path to intimacy? Is he representing a new frontier for her? Is Shauna exploring a level of sexual/social development she skipped over, not simply because of the crash, but because there’s something in her that’s afraid of a truly new experience?

      • this is a great point re:Shauna preferring entanglements with people who are not really “hers,” so to speak. i also often come back to that first sex scene between teen Shauna and teen Jeff—where she begs him to tell him he loves her and doesn’t even care if he means it. she wants the fantasy of it and nothing more.

    • Yeah I think Adam is definitely a real person who is not Javi but someone else altogether who is using Shauna to get information. The way he keeps getting her to open up about her life tells me he already knows, but wants the full truth. He may or may not be connected to the crash.

    • agree that the phone call from the auto shop is maybe the biggest indicator he’s a real person. but i WILL say that i found it significant that we saw Shauna hallucinate/conjure a very present flashback-memory of Jackie in this episode. that Jackie interrupted and spoke in a very real and present way. so we know Shauna’s mind is capable of pretty detailed (and bodied!) blips in reality. could she imagine an entire phone call and experience it as if it were real? maybe! I’m honestly not even trying to convince people Adam is definitely not real lol I just like considering all the possibilities!

  4. Congrats on writing the best, most insightful recaps for this show! Here are some thoughts I’ve been having, though admittedly I haven’t done a rewatch yet—I’m so excited to go back because every episode is jam-packed with subtle storytelling gems.

    ~I do not love the credits! I think because horror is such an atmospheric genre, the simple title card worked better as a segue from each cold open. I enjoy the title sequence’s aesthetic, but there’s so much going on that it feels like a distraction from (and maybe offers spoilers for) the main narrative.I’d potentially prefer these if they were the end credits, but since nothing in this show is what it seems, I will happily welcome being proven wrong about their function as the opening to the show.

    ~My money is on Shauna as the veiled, horned leader from the cannibalism montage in the pilot. The second she stepped up to butcher the deer, I was like “oh shit, it’s her.” She also has the telling line to Javi that guns aren’t for her just before that, so I’m going to infer that she might be one of the people behind the tactical switch from firearms to traps. I think having Taissa be that person would be a little too on the nose for the show—if Taissa’s the lieutenant behind the “face” of power, that would mimic her dynamic with Jackie in the Yellowjackets hierarchy and potentially explain her determination to hold public office in the present. It would also explain the way that bad bitch Taissa seemed deferential in her meeting with Shauna, who doesn’t exactly exude authority in any scenarios other than rabbit butchering…

    ~What’s the deal with Mari?! Every time she shows up onscreen she’s a total enigma to me.

    ~W/r/t Adam being adult Javi—I don’t know how useful iMDB is here, but the actor playing Adam (Peter Gadiot)identifies as Dutch/Latinx, soooo not out of the question from a casting perspective? My overall theory is that someone survived unbeknownst to the main cast and that person is behind the postcards. We know Adam is an artist, so it’s possible that he’s the one sending them out.

    ~I ship Van and Taissa so hard, let’s make that queer subtext explicit!!!

    ~I also think there’s a supernatural element being set up with the etchings in the woods. My take on Lottie’s bad vibes is that she’s correctly attuned to the seriousness of their situation and perhaps the only person willing to admit how awful things are, but her schizophrenia will eventually be used to discredit her within the group when she’s also the only one willing to point out that supernatural things are happening. I’m hoping this doesn’t dig too deeply into the trope of “individual mental illness is the REAL horror” because uhhhh yeah, the cannibalism is right there and I’m not sure there’s a ton to say about it in this post-Hereditary, post-Evil horror landscape.

    PS: I’m a real Misty about this show so uhhhh yeah, expect a lot more comments from me and my new myna bird, Nero…

    • I originally thought of Shauna for the antler queen, but now I think she’ll be the one who bleeds and butchers the bodies, which is still a service role. AQ gets served the meat first, right? So she’ll be the HBIC who delegates and doesn’t do anything herself. Much like most people in upper management. Ha.

      • hmmm yeah is there also a connection to be made here between like her role as a Mother in the present (as far as I can tell, she doesn’t have a job outside of the home?). does she become some sort of matriarch of this group in the woods? idk just spitballing! i’m into the Shauna as antler queen theory!

    • characters i’d love to see developed a little more: lottie, mari, van, and akilah! i know part of why we don’t get a lot of them is because they’re missing in the present (and we don’t know yet who’s dead between them), but the little things we’ve gotten of them make me want more! love that akilah is bringing her girl scouts knowledge to foraging.

  5. First of all, YES! the tension around water is so high! Those are routinely the parts that make me the most anxious. Like, yeah, I know this whole thing devolves into cannibalism but. the water.

    I’m of the camp that Adam is real but something is fishy about him. Everything about him is too convenient.

    I’ve been having thoughts about Misty in comparison to Shauna and how we’re led to believe Misty is the more unhinged dangerous one and Shauna is the boring house wife…who sometimes kills rabbits with a shovel. But there are these little bits and pieces that keep popping up that make me wonder about Shauna

    – Misty keeps a photo of the team in her entry way while Shauna keeps the journals from when they were stranded in her bedroom (actually I think so far they’re the only two to be shown to have kept anything from their yellowjacket days)

    – Misty buys jerky vs Shauna killing, butchering, and eating a rabbit (and feeds it to her family without telling them before hand which makes me wonder if all the girls know about the cannibalism right away).

    – Misty manipulates her dates vs Shauna having an affair

    – Misty being contacted by Nat vs Shauna phoning Taissa and demanding a meeting (and showing up to said meeting with a vegetarian while wearing a lambskin lined coat)

    – And this one is just a vague ominous feeling but Misty watches a rat stuck in a swimming pool while Shauna hallucinates a warning from Jackie and then jumps into the water

    Also! I’m pretty certain Shauna is a part of the ‘hunting party’ while Misty isn’t. When we see the people in furs around the fire, there’s the antlered leader and then six other people behind them. Misty is noticeably not one of those six people. She brings them the ‘meat’ and defers to the antlered leader. And with the whole Shauna learns how to bleed a deer thing, I’m pretty sure she’s the one who slits the girl’s throat. I think Misty really really wants to be a part of the hunting party but the best she can do is serve the meat.

    And, related to that, my running theory on who the six people in furs are is that it’s the same group who got into the fight at the party the night before the plane crash. So, Taissa, Shauna, Van, Nat, Lottie, Laura Lee. The scenes are set up similarly with three girls on either side of their leader. Which would still leave the antlered leader a mystery though I’m starting to wonder if it’s Jackie and the necklace is a red herring. Maybe Shauna gave it to someone else, or maybe they give it to the next victim.

    Oh, and I’m pretty sure the whole Misty kicks the coach’s crutch thing was vengeance for not picking her to bleed the deer. She put her hand up before Shauna offers to do it.

    • wowowowow I am LOVING these Misty/Shauna parallels/contrasts.

      and YES I’ve been thinking about the parallel imagery between the fur-covered group standing in a line in the woods and the girls standing in a line after getting in a fight at the bonfire. the fact that it’s six and six makes me think it has to be an intentional symmetry so that group would be the same like you said!

      i’m of the belief that the necklace is absolutely a red herring! i don’t think that’s jackie who dies. but I’m not sure if I can totally see Jackie as the antler queen/leader? sure, she’s the team captain, but that’s what almost makes it too obvious? or maybe this is an instance where the obvious answer is also the answer that ultimately makes the most sense!

    • Oooh, I’m glad you brought up the rat stuck in the swimming pool, because that’s where my “Misty will kill Ben for knowing about the flight recorder” theory began. I think Ben will somehow find out about what she did, and to prevent him from ratting her out, she’ll either kill him, or, if this really is foreshadowing, maybe she’ll eventually be in a position to save his life and she’ll choose not to.

  6. re: adam is adult javi- i still don’t know if this is my most favorite theory but now i’m wondering about shauna and javi’s relationship in the woods. they def seem to be bonding over the journal and shared grief…and adult shauna has a thing for younger men…and i’m not fond of where that might be going

    also i agree w above commenter, van/taissa when? they have chemistry for days! and i want more liv hewson!

    • okay so @10ysson posited an interesting alternative theory re:adam last night, which was this: what if we combined the Adam’s Not Real and the Adult Javi theories? what if he’s adult Javi but also Javi died in the woods and also Shauna was somehow responsible for his death? love the idea of smashing the theories together!

  7. something that didn’t make it into the recap, but I’ve been thinking about it a lot, so here we go: Lottie says “it didn’t want him to leave” about the plane they find, in reference to the vines that have grown up around the plane, preventing it from being able to take off. what is the “it” here? some sort of being or the woods themselves? is there a humans vs. nature thing happening? @10ysson and I ended up talking about this a bunch, because she’s always talking about how nature/plants are always trying to “take back” space where we live in florida, growing into the foundations of houses, choking air conditioners, etc. could there be some “climate horror” coming on Yellowjackets? could The Woods not only be a setting but a character? THINGS 2 THINK ABOUT

  8. Thanks so much for recapping this show, Kayla!! Also thanks to everyone’s comments and theories!

    During the bridge scene with Shauna and Adam, I was trying to look at Adam’s hands and neck to see if he was wearing the ring that Travis gave Javi, but didn’t see it…thinking about re-watching the previous episodes to see if Adam is wearing it.

  9. Watching the episode I noticed an error in time. The song “Feel the Pain” plays on the radio while they discuss Kurt Cobain and his admiration of J. Mascis (Dinosaur Jr.). The context of the conversation was very present tense in reference to Kurt – as in he was still living; however, he died in April of 1994 and “Feel the Pain” wasn’t released until September of that same year.

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