“Yellowjackets” Episode 105 Recap: Seances, Blood, and Gay Makeouts Against Trees

Welcome to the Yellowjackets 105 recap! We’re talking all things “Blood Hive” (written by Ameni Rozsa and directed by Eva Sørhaug), so put on some PJs and grab your planchettes, because we’re having a gay seance in a cursed cabin in the woods, baby! We’re at the halfway point of the series, so it’s a good time to get other people into this show! Revisit past recaps here.


First of all, this is a Halloween episode! I love Halloween episodes, and my girlfriend and I have a new tradition of marathoning Halloween episodes of television in October, and I can’t wait to include this one next year!

We finally get some young queer romance! (And I love that it happens in the Halloween episode, because Halloween is indeed the gayest holiday.) I promise to get to that soon. I want to start this recap elsewhere though, because I’ve spent the past few recaps peddling my Adam Isn’t Real Theory, and many a hole has been poked in that theory, but “Blood Hive” finally does deliver definitive proof that Adam does indeed exist outside of Shauna’s mind. We see him perceived by another character for the first time. Specifically, Shauna and Adam run into Shauna’s mean teen daughter Callie at a weird Halloween party in NYC. Shauna, at first, thinks she sees Jackie in the throng of costumed drunk partygoers. She follows “Jackie,” but when she grabs her arm, it’s actually Callie, high on molly and wearing Jackie’s old Yellowjackets uniform. Shauna explicitly told her she wasn’t allowed to go into the city, and she’s caught. But Shauna’s caught, too. Callie sees her with Adam and immediately knows what’s going on.

So, yes, it does look like Adam’s real after all. But it’s safe to assume we don’t know everything about him/he’s likely concealing some part of his identity. The most popular fan theory at the moment is that he’s a grown-up version of Javi, but I’m yet to be totally sold on that. Even though he’s real, Shauna’s perception of him is still steeped in fantasy. There’s the affair element, but it’s more than that. Callie’s surprised Adam is so hot and young, but then she muses that Shauna does have that “whole Yellowjackets thing” going for her. Shauna balks at this. He doesn’t know about any of that, she insists. But Callie points out that if he knows her name and has the internet then, yeah, he knows. Shauna does seem genuinely surprised by this, and at episode’s end, she Googles herself and finds dozens of results about her story, about her life. It pokes holes in her fantasy.

I think Shauna got off on the idea that she could be whoever she wanted to be with Adam. She didn’t have to be the girl who survived a plane crash. She didn’t have to be the boring housewife her husband and daughter see her as. In a way, I feel like she has been roleplaying as, well, Jackie. Or who she might imagine Jackie would have become. She admits to Callie that she thinks of Jackie everyday. Callie thinks she’s wearing Shauna’s old uniform, but Shauna tells her it’s Jackie’s, given to her by Jackie’s parents on what would have been their daughter’s 40th birthday. It’s a grim reveal on multiple levels. Callie’s wearing a dead girl’s soccer uniform. And Jackie’s parents giving this to Shauna suggest grieving parents who are frozen in time, memorializing their daughter in understandable but slightly off-putting ways. Jackie still hangs between Jeff and Shauna in their marriage, so much so that even Callie knows it. When Shauna says she and Jeff have baggage, Callie immediately chimes in: “You mean Jackie.”

But I’ll come back to Shauna in a bit. Let’s talk about the queer stuff! Lots of folks (myself included) have been picking up on the vibes between teen Taissa and Van, and at last, we see them act on those vibes in a way that suggests they’ve been secretly dating all along. It was probably easier for them to sneak around back when they were just regular high schoolers, but it has been understandably difficult for them to find alone time in their new circumstances. About halfway through “Blood Hive,” they find a rare pocket of solitude and seize it to makeout against a tree. It’s brief but desperate in that way you know they’ve been thinking about/wanting to do this for days now. I mean, they probably should just wander out into the woods under the guise of collecting berries or something? But anyway, I’m happy for these two, even if the relationship is, for now, a secret. It feels like a very believable (and relatable — though in my case, it was varsity tennis) secret girlfriends on the soccer team situation. Their makeout is interrupted by Mari, who runs out of the cabin screaming because she thinks something crawled down her shirt. “Must have been the ghost,” teen Taissa teases.

In the future, adult Taissa’s sexy time is also interrupted by an unwelcome presence. She’s trailing in the polls in the suburbs after sticking it to that prying rich white lady last episode, but Simone admires her wife’s ability to be herself and speak her truth. “Are you trying to get in my pants?” adult Taissa teases, and Simone is like always. It’s nice to see them have a steamy — if brief — moment of intimacy. But Biscuit the dog breaks it up with a warning bark, and when Taissa runs to the window to see what’s going on, she yet again hallucinates a wolf. She switches into survival mode and grabs a letter opener off the desk, running outside in bare feet, ready to fight. She finds not a wolf but a message. Someone has painted SPILL on her front door.

Yellowjackets has been playing the long game with adult Taissa, spooling out a psychological horror slow-burn that I think is working quite well in terms of building tension and suspense but also really leaving things so ambivalent in terms of what’s going on with Sammy. He comes home from trick-or-treating (dressed like a sandwich! Sammy sandwich!), and everything is fine — until it isn’t. The happy little family evening takes a nightmarish turn when Taissa finds a can of red paint under Sammy’s bed. Sammy is insistent that he didn’t write spill on the door. He makes another reference to “the bad one,” aka “the lady in the tree.” The thing is: I believe Sammy. Whatever is happening to him is not his fault. The lady in the tree is real. I just don’t really know exactly what is manifesting here. Is it a supernatural presence? A child’s attempt to mythologize a real threat into something easier to understand? This has to be about more than Taissa’s campaign enemies. Someone or something means harm to her family, and it undoubtedly has something to do with Taissa’s past.

Taissa tells Simone she’s considering dropping out and says she’ll make an announcement. Simone assumes that announcement will indeed be that she’s ending the campaign, and that’s originally what Taissa sets out to do, but when she looks down at her index cards, something happens. The word spill becomes pronounced. The man without eyes appears across the street. Something’s happening on a slightly supernatural level, but it’s ambivalent. And that doesn’t feel like the show being obtuse; it’s effectively suspenseful and unnerving.

The past and the present are in constant conversation with one another. “Spill” is a significant word in the past as well, echoing into adult Taissa’s timeline. It’s said by Lottie in the past when she’s seemingly possessed by a spirit from the other side, saying they must spill blood. But before we delve completely into the seance, let’s back up to the episode’s opening scene. In it, the girls plus Javi perform a choreographed dance to “This Is How We Do It,” using a battery-operated tape player and a bucket to amplify it. They’re in their PJs, dancing around, having a silly fun time. It’s another one of those instances where Yellowjackets plays around with context and setting. In any other context, this would look like a typical sleepover. In fact, some of the girls seem to get a little lost in the fantasy of it, acting the way they would back home, briefly forgetting about their grimy, gloomy realities. When they hear a creaking sound from upstairs, they joke around that it could be the dead guy. But this isn’t just some scary sleepover story. They really did find a corpse in the attic and buried it. Nat offers a new piece of information, joking around that it’s the dead guy’s missing fingers trying to find their way home. It’s the first we’ve heard about the corpse’s cut-off fingers. I doubt it’s a throwaway detail. It injects more suspense and fear into the question of exactly how and why he died in that attic.

Jackie spends much of this episode being useless. Nat kicks her awake when she sleeps in one morning, and she groans about cramps. “No shit,” Nat says. They’re all on their periods; they all have cramps. This is the only time I’ve ever seen an on-screen depiction of characters’ menstrual cycles syncing up that wasn’t played merely for laughs. When it comes to survival horror, there’s often a focus on bodies, but a lot gets left out. The focus tends to be on hunger, on thirst, on how a body responds to not having the things it needs to run. Yellowjackets takes this even further though, brutally realistic in its rendering of how being stranded in the wilderness affects not just the mind but the body. We’ve seen characters piss in the woods, struggle to defecate, and now grapple with the reality of their periods. There’s a limited supply of pain meds (apparently, Misty’s got some that people can suck up to her for). They’re all being confronted by the reality of their bodies, unable to turn to modern inventions that helped ease pain and discomfort.

Jackie moodily emerges from the cabin to find the girls cooking breakfast, doing laundry, chopping wood, and boiling bloody rags that they’ve fashioned into reusable pads. It’s already baked into their routine, into their new reality. It’s still so rare to see menstruation depicted on television at all. And I love how casually Yellowjackets confronts it, the characters coming up with a quick solution. Travis, often a sexist dick, calls them disgusting. And he tells Nat she’s scaring animals away with her “lady blood.” Again, you can start to see the emergence of a potentially toxic dynamic forming between the two. They mess with each other, teasing playfully, eventually joining Taissa and Van in the Making Out Against Trees Club. But there’s roughness between them. Nat tells Travis off for his ridiculous comments about their periods, but she’s also undeniably drawn to him even as he insults her and the others. There’s something off to this romance. Adult Nat recalls a silent memory of Travis in bed, sun kissed, his chest heaving as he breathes. It’s a soft and warm memory. And then it’s interrupted by reality, Nat looking down at a photo of Travis’ dead body, his chest no longer moving, sewn back together post-autopsy.

“That cabin is like the blood hive,” teen Travis says, providing the episode’s titular line. There’s dual meaning there, even if Travis doesn’t realize it. He’s talking about their periods, but “blood hive” takes on another meaning once the seance unfolds. Something wants a blood sacrifice. Hearing “blood hive,” it’s also hard not to think of the show’s opening chapter. Of people working together, as if part of a hive, to spill blood.

The period plotline also leads to a major reveal: Shauna’s pregnant. She tells Jackie she thinks it’s probably just stress from the plane crash. “Good thing you’re a virgin,” Jackie says since, you know, she has no idea Shauna’s been secretly screwing her boyfriend. Shauna tries to fake her own period, soaking a rag with animal blood. Taissa watches Shauna, who isn’t really good at lying, lie to her best friend. Jackie never detects the deception, but that makes sense. Jackie’s only really thinking about Jackie right now. Shauna sees how the other girls snicker at her for being the resident prissy wimp. She doesn’t pitch in. Her biggest frustration in the episode is that the batteries for her tape player give out. She’s got tunnel vision, calling the whole period rags thing a “horror show,” apparently unaware of the actual horror show unfurling around her.

“Why am I the only one not getting off on this boring back to the land bullshit?” Jackie asks Shauna, who attempts to teach her how to carve deer meat. “I don’t belong here.” Yeah, Jackie, no shit, none of you do. Jackie’s not a full on villain here. It’s easy both to empathize with her and also be irritated by her the way the other characters are. It’s true that not everyone’s cut out for this shit. But it’s also true that she isn’t special. They are a team, and they have to act like it. She’s supposed to be the damn team captain, and she’s failing everyone. Shauna gives her a pep talk, and it’s the first glimpse that they’re roles are reversing. Shauna’s becoming the more in-charge one. “We need you Jackie,” Shauna says, giving her back her necklace. It’s meant to remind us of the series’ opening sequence, of a girl wearing the necklace crashing to her death before she’s ritualistically drained and eaten. Is it Jackie? Is there a deeper, more fucked-up meaning to Shauna’s words “we need you”? Do they need her…FOR HER FLESH?

Shauna being bad at lying is officially a pattern. As an adult, we see her stumble through her book club lie, which is her go-to cover up for clandestinely meeting with Adam. First of all, book club doesn’t seem like a very good excuse to begin with. How many times can one book club possibly meet? But also, I think that might be her playing to her husband and daughter’s expectations of who she is. They do see her as some simple, bored housewife, and I’m sure they do think she’s just meeting with other simple, bored housewives to talk and drink wine. When Jeff says he wants to come with her to the Halloween meeting, Shauna says they’re reading…“the girl in the train window.” So close, and yet, simply not a book. “I’m the only one in this family who thinks actions should have consequences,” she also laments, giving Jeff a hard time for not disciplining their asshole daughter.

I’m thinking a lot about Shauna lately. Someone in the comments last week threw out a bunch of side-by-side comparisons of Shauna and Misty I found sharp and smart (comment linked here). Misty seems more overtly unhinged and dangerous, but the danger is perhaps hiding in plain sight when it comes to Shauna, concealed by her seemingly average middle-class suburban mom surroundings. She’s bad at lying, and that’s both humorous and fascinating in the context of Shauna’s more manipulative and clandestine behaviors. Because yes, when it comes to the basics of lying, she’s bad in on-the-spot moments. But she’s no stranger to holding secrets. She withholds about her past from Adam. She sneaks into her daughter’s empty room to masturbate to photos of her boyfriend. She hacks up rabbits in her kitchen and then acts like it never happened. And she has, frankly, dom energy. We get a quick glimpse of her sexts with Adam, and it looks like this:

A screenshot of Yellowjackets episode five, "Blood Hive," showing texts between Shauna and Adam

Her “actions/consequences” line doesn’t seem like a throwaway either. It sounds…almost ritualistic? I’m increasingly thinking Shauna took on some sort of leadership role in the woods and perhaps could even be our antlered queen instructing the group to eat the flesh of the slain girl with a simple, chilling nod of her head.

My favorite Melanie Lynskey moment of the show to date comes in a monologue at the end of “Blood Hive,” when Callie foolishly attempts to blackmail her mother about Adam. Shauna slowly, matter-of-factly explains mutually assured destruction to her daughter, who suddenly realizes her mom is not to be fucked with. She might not wear it on her sleeve the way Misty does, but Shauna should be feared. She is indeed not to be fucked with. A dommey mommi icon!

Adult Taissa and Nat call her at episode’s end to loop her in and seem to treat her like a leader. They don’t know they’re being watched as they do so: Misty snuck a camera into Nat’s place via an owl-shaped diffuser. The adult Yellowjackets are, at last, coming together, but they’re also fractured, operating with different motives and sets of information. Misty’s a ticking timebomb, but Shauna’s a wild card, too.

Speaking of surveillance, I found it significant on a deeper level than just plot that teen Taissa is the one who figures out teen Shauna is pregnant. She carefully watches Shauna all episode and easily figures out she’s lying. Jackie’s Shauna’s best friend, and yet she’s completely oblivious to what’s happening with her. I believe Jackie genuinely cares about Shauna, but I also think Jackie is self-obsessed, unable to see things that are right in front of her. Taissa watching Shauna feels so queer and familiar to me. I remember watching girls before I was out. It wasn’t even necessarily sexual. It was almost like I was studying them. Trying to figure them out and, really, trying to figure myself out. Taissa asks Shauna how far along she is at the end of the episode, and it’s such a quiet moment that was either heartbreaking or heartwarming — I couldn’t decide — so maybe both simultaneously?

Okay, it’s time to move away from my Adam Isn’t Real conspiracy theory and focus on a new mystery/theory: What happened to Shauna’s pregnancy? Because the math doesn’t add up to this being Callie. (The crash was in 1996, and the “present day” of the show is 2021 according to the pilot, and Callie is in high school so 18 at the oldest.) So Shauna either terminates this pregnancy, has a miscarriage, or has a baby in the woods but then something happens, because where is that child in the present? Open to theories here, because I have no clue!

I feel so validated in my characterization of Misty as “nerdy Villanelle” from Killing Eve last week, because that is absolutely the energy she’s giving on Halloween. Wearing a cat costume at her work, she gleefully frightens young children trick or treating by SHUTTING OFF THE POWER ON A WOMAN’S LIFE SUPPORT MACHINES. She’s a demon! And she’s thrilled by it! “Blood Hive” also finally gives us what we deserve: a self-contained buddy crime-comedy story starring reluctant partners Nat and Misty. Nat calls up Misty (in her phone as Do Not Answer) to ask if she still knows a person who can hack Kevyn’s email so she can get more info about Travis’ death. It leads to the two of them walking into a low lit diner and pouring gasoline on a man’s crotch, threatening to light him on fire if he doesn’t help them get into the email. It’s funny and strange, and Christina Ricci and Juliette Lewis are just so good.

Adult Misty’s antics — while entertaining — are made more unsettling when placed in the context of teen Misty’s behaviors. Teen Misty continues to obsess over Ben, and he tells her point blank: “Don’t fucking touch me Misty.” Misty retaliates by putting poison in his tea. It doesn’t kill him, but it makes him puke and sends her message. Misty genuinely thinks hurting him will bring them closer. And Ben realizes he doesn’t need to merely push her away; he needs to manipulate her into thinking he’s on her side. He tells her he returns his feelings but that he can’t act on them because it wouldn’t be appropriate since she isn’t 18. He tells her it has to be their secret. Ben is the first one really catching onto the fact that Misty is dangerous. It’s making me wonder if Ben’s days are numbered.

Jackie at last does figure out what she can bring to the table: sleepover vibes. In the name of teambuilding and confronting their fears head-on, she proposes the seance in the attic. Again, it’s very regular teen girl shit if you simply forget about the fact that they’re stranded, living in a cabin where they found a corpse, and surrounded by a mysterious symbol that can’t possibly mean anything good. Jackie instructs Shauna to place candles on those symbols as if she has never seen a horror movie in her life!!!!!! The seance starts with a lot of silliness and giggles, Shauna operating the pendulum as they ask questions of the other side. Taissa opts out in favor of sharpening a knife downstairs (gay), and little Christian Laura Lee wants nothing to do with the occult either, so she instead reads her new Bible, an operating manual she found in the abandoned plane from last episode.

Javi breaks the spell when he asks a real question at the seance: “Are we all gonna die out here?” Suddenly, this doesn’t feel like a sleepover so much anymore. Right on cut: Things get weird. The pendulum answers with an infinity symbol, and some invisible presence bursts through the attic window like a gust of wind. Lottie screams as if she can see the presence, and then something overtakes her, speaking in French. Horror and humor collide brilliantly (Jackie says she and Lottie are in French class together but both suck at French). Eventually, they’re able to make out the message: “It” wants blood. It could be the woods, the cabin, something else? “We must spill blood or else,” Lottie says, slamming her head against the window.

There it is again: spill. Did the person who wrote spill on adult Taissa’s home really mean they want her to spill about her past or is that also somehow connected to whatever’s going on supernaturally? Because adult Nat and Misty also piece together that candles were lit in the shape of the recurring symbol beneath Travis where he died. “Travis didn’t believe in any of this shit,” Nat says.

Again, there’s a lot of ambivalence about what’s happening here. We don’t know much about the symbol or its significance or what really happened at that seance. I genuinely don’t think this is just an issue of Lottie being off her meds. If anything, Lottie has seemed to be the most prescient character on the show. Just like with Sammy, something is happening in a way neither of them can really explain but both know to be true. In Sammy’s case, because he’s a young child and has more creative imagination than an adult might, he seems particularly attuned to the spooky things that are happening. But he also doesn’t really have the tools to explain it to his moms.

The Yellowjackets — as teens and as adults — don’t really know what’s happening to them. We’re right there in that confusion and ambivalence. Taissa thinks the threat to her family has to do with the campaign, but it seems like much more than that. The past is calling them back, the word “spill” echoing across time. Nat suggests there were people who believed in something in the woods and people who did not. It leaves the door open for so many possibilities. And, sure, the show will have to deliver on those setups eventually, but for now, sitting inside the uncertainty is both disquieting and exhilarating.

Last Buzz:

  • I mean, yes, we all knew Van had to be queer, right? She’s the freakin GOALIE.
  • Finally: A Caligula sighting! Also, Misty’s citizen detective tag is African Gray. She loves her damn parrot.
  • Nat, to Misty, about the guy whose dick they just threatened to burn off: “You should ask that guy out — you two have so much in common.”
  • The opening sequence! I find something new to like about it every time I see it! My girlfriend and I had an interesting conversation about it last week: I thought of the sequence as having a home video aesthetic, and Kristen built on that. She called it found footage. Which feels especially fitting since these girls were lost and then found (or, at least, some of them were found). The mixing together of footage of them as teens and as adults but all still shot with the throwback 90s aesthetic ties back to what I wrote last week about the show’s narrative being shaped like a Möbius strip. Time keeps bending back into itself. This week, I’m obsessed with the moment where Jackie makes a throat slitting motion on the soccer field and then literally winks at the camera. Like wink wink, bet you’re thinking about actual throat slitting and cannibalism right now. Brilliant!

A screenshot of the opening title sequence for "Yellowjackets" featuring Jackie in her soccer uniform winking at the camera

  • Van doesn’t jump at the opportunity to sleep in the attic with Taissa! They could be doing so much making out up there! But ok, yes, I suppose the vibes are off in the murder attic.
  • And as always, here’s your link to the show’s 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 Miami. 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.

Kayla has written 393 articles for us.

41 Comments

  1. Gosh, I have so many theories:

    – Adam will eventually milk Shauna for details of the crash, I’m betting on it. Maybe for a book? Or maybe as detective for someone else, similar to that was Taissa was doing?
    – Re: Taissa’s spill-graffiti – I think as a result of the crash Taissa might have some split personality disorder (I’m spitballing here, but I think it might be because Van didn’t make it out?) and is doing the things herself. Or it’s someone related to Van (or someone else who didn’t get out) and who is suspicious of the whole story. Maybe Taissa blames/blamed herself and has some baggage which manivests itself in this kinda disorder? Or, like I said, someone else blames her.
    – The rich girl’s father who charted the plane, I think that he might get important eventually. He’s too rich not to play a role.
    – I actually think it’s Misty who sent the postcards. Also it was veeery convenient that she sees and recognizes the shape of the “recurring symbol” in those candlespots. IMHO the symbol was too elaborate to see it in those crime scene photos. Like, in one part she just draws a circle even tho it’s just one candle and it could mean like anything. I think (for reason not yet known) she wants to push the symbol in focus. There were other moments and scenes where I thought “huh, alright, at least someone is focused” but it’s just too convenient to be innocent, no?
    – Shauna’s gonna have an abortion in the next episode, the trailer hinted as much.
    – I think the girls are going to split up eventually.
    – Laura Lee’s gonna fly that damn plane, right? And maybe takes a few girls out with her. And maybe destroys the house as well if they’re really unlucky.
    – I also think the Coach will be the first to die, probably killed by Misty.

    Thanks for recapping this, Kayla. It’s my highlight of the week, second only to the actual episodes on Sunday.

    • See I actually don’t think Adam is after crash details. I do however think that’s what Jeff is actually doing! Like rather than having an affair he’s meeting with someone about writing a book about Shauna’s life or something like that…I guess it would be weird to take that meeting at a hotel but idk for some reason I’m not sold on him having a sexual affair and think it’s a different kind of betrayal!

      I love all these theories! GOOD POINT about the rich dad probably surfacing at some point. I thought the whole “he’s rich enough to get a private plane” thing was just a convenient plot detail to explain why no one else was on the plane when it crashed, but it feels specific enough (and this show has a lot about money/class baked into it) that we’ll probably meet him at some point?

      Writing these recaps is the highlight of MY week, especially when I get to read all these comments, which are so thorough and fun!

    • I agree with your theory that Taissa is the one doing the creepy things around her house – didn’t Sammy say, “I know you’re the good one” to her at one point? My bet is on PTSD / sleep-walking, and that it’s due to her and Van being attacked by wolves and Tai leaves Van to save herself, much like Jackie tried to do with Shauna when Van was in the burning plane. It would also cover why Tai sees so many wolves in her hallucinations.

  2. I’m convinced that Taissa is having a major stress-induced blackout period and is The Lady in the Tree. Sammy is differentiating between her (the bad one) and the Taissa we see (‘you’re not the bad one’).

    The established relationships we’ve seen so far between adults are ones that have historical context – Nat/Travis (survived the crash) and Shauna/Jeff (high school fuckbuddies who lost someone they loved). Misty seemingly can’t keep a romantic relationship going, so what if Simone is Akilah with a name change? There are parallels between Tai and Akilah talking on the beach to what Simone says to Tai about not being as big of a bitch as people think she is.

    The poor coach is not long for this world but holy hell did I laugh at his improv! “My sweet…Misty”. Poor guy is living in a real-life Misery situation here.

    • I’m super curious about what Lottie is doing in the next episode as well. Without her medication, she’s clearly struggling with symptoms of her mental illness. She’s hearing things/seeing things/acting oddly/etc, but I wonder if this is also a case of something otherworldly being able to contact her because her mental defenses are down (though I’m not sure if the show is going quite THAT level of supernatural yet).
      Maybe super-religious Laura Lee will go full-cult and start to look to Lottie as a spiritual guide or leader of sorts. OR she’ll lean into the whole ‘the power of christ compels you’ stuff, see Lottie as a connection to something dark or evil and that’s one of the things that ends up segmenting the group.

      • I have a few thoughts…

        1. Mari is the girl running through the woods in the opening scene of the first episode. She’s not that important to the team or show, thus far, and seems likely that she would be eaten by the group. In the seance scene, when blood is to be spilled, the camera focuses on her.

        2. Laura Lee or Lottie is the veiled, horned leader. Lottie is clearly a medium of some sort. Laura Lee is highly religious so she could turn into a cult leader. Taissa also appears to be a medium as well or is haunted by a spirit. The scene with her grandmother shows that.

        3. They result to cannibalism because “it” tells them to. Possibly after the wolf attack that is coming for Van. I agree with the others that believe Van is going to get the short end of the stick on this one. Also, Jackie is eaten by her teammates. She’s getting on everyone’s nerves. Shauna needs her out of the way so she won’t step up to save her.

        4. It’s way too on the nose but Misty seems to be behind the postcards. She doesn’t have a life and longs for the camaraderie of their time in the wilderness. I was surprised that she was surprised in the closing scene. Like girl, you know Nat can’t stand you. But Misty is a sociopath and seems to have a touch of Munchausen syndrome by proxy. So she was shocked that to find out that Nat doesn’t like her.

        5. There are other survivors. I’m on the edge of my seat about who they are.

        6. Shauna Shipman…only time will tell.

        I love this show.

  3. So happy to have Taissa and Van confirmed this week! Unfortunately I’m pretty confident something bad is going to happen to Van. Adult Taissa’s hallucinations/flashbacks make me think there will be a wolf attack at some point – and maybe Van’s the victim, which might explain why she in particular seems to be so traumatized by it. Kind of worried Van will be killed by a wolf and then end up the first victim of cannibalism . . . Eating your teammate who died of “natural” causes seems like an appropriate step on the path to eventually hunting them . . .

    Also think the victim from the first episode is Lottie.

  4. What I don’t understand is how Shauna found out she is pregnant by Jeff after the plane crashed. I assume she is pregnant with Callie, her now 16 or 17 year old daughter. But it’s been 25 years so how does that make sense… Unless she has another kid?

  5. This show! So much to ponder….

    – I do lean towards Adam as Javi, and even his name choice “Adam” as a lean toward Adam and Eve, and what young Javi might have considered back in the woods and his connection to Shauna.

    – I was pondering if the way things were worded, it’s not set that Jackie died in the woods. There is also death after rescue. We’re led to believe she didn’t live to be forty.

    – I do think Ben might be one of the first to go, via Misty-means

    – I think Misty sent the cards because she wants the “band back together” feeling, but there is someone else out there as well.

    – I agree with the comment above that Tiassa is probably the “bad one” as well, without knowing it. Even during the press release, which version of Tiassa was that who decided to stay in the race?

    – I do see Shauna as the “leader”. Just going back to the conversation with Tiassa in the diner, and the vibe from that dialogue. (Even more interesting for Tiasaa to send the “book agent” over to Shauna as one of the interviews…)

  6. *I think Jackie is the first to go and the necklace is somehow the symbol of who’s next to be hunted. Like a doom lottery and if you get the necklace you have to run naked in the winter in the woods.
    Also, does anyone thinks the girl we saw in the pilot running in the woods is Lottie?

    *Also, when Shauna and Taissa are in the dinner, Taissa seems stiff when Shauna grabs her hand, and she seems disgusted by the feeling. There were some weird vibes between them. Shauna acts like someone who knows she have some kind of power. Also it seems she’s compassionate but somehow it doesn’t rings true. Like a toxic ex. Or any kind of toxic relationship.
    We know Misty fakes and exaggerates and has to look up how to be sympathetic, and somehow Shauna does this but in a more natural way since she was a teenager sleeping with her best friend’s boyfriend.

    *I wonder if the lady in the tree it’s actually a real person, some creep scaring a child.

    *First, I thought Misty is behind it all, the postcards, the Travis murder, the lady on the tree but it’s to on the nose, right?

    *In a way, I think all the survivors have reasons to feel they peak in the woods and return there. Taissa was a leader, Shauna was strong, Nat was in love, Misty was respected.

    *I feel the cannibal thing wasn’t because they were hungry but because of power and sick games. And I wonder what was the role of Javi in all this. Maybe Shauna don’t recognized him because he hide or something?

    Anyway, the last time I was this invested in a tv show didn’t end up well (see:Lost) I got bored by the second season. Just like love.

    Also, I’m afraid I’m becoming a Misty 🤔

    But I’m enjoying the ride and this recaps. Yeeei.

  7. I love how many theories everyone has about this show!!!

    1. I’m with you Kayla, it seems increasingly likely that Shauna is the antlered queen. Especially the way that Jackie says Shauna is thriving in the woods, I’m convinced she becomes their leader and has the most to cover up about what happened out there.

    2. Absolutely NO WAY anything good is happening re: Shauna’s pregnancy, even if she does somehow manage to successfully give herself an abortion. The pregnancy is definitely not Callie, so either she has an abortion, she has a miscarriage, or she carries the baby to term and it dies (which is DARK, even for this show).

    3. Oh Jackie! Jackie’s major flaw is just being a flighty teenager when everyone else is doing adult shit. My heart goes out to her.

    4. I am SO CURIOUS when the big turn from working together to eating each other is going to happen, because right now they all seem to be handling any low level tension okay but eventually something is going to flip. Maybe when it gets colder and there’s less food, they’ll become desperate?

    I can’t wait for the season to finish so I can go back and rewatch to see what I missed!

    • Re:#4, I actually don’t think the killing/cannibalism has anything to do with hunger/food supply! Which I know someone else wrote in the comments above as well. It seems to be less about survival and more about some sort of ritual/sacrifice. Which I guess could be considered survival as well—just a little different than eating someone for food, ya know? Scarier tbh!

      • You’re totally right, I just rewatched the cannibalism/hunting scenes from the pilot and it’s extremely ritualized. They all walk away from the site, presumably to where they actually live, and it’s right by the plane crash which suggests that there is an element of appeasing the spirit that brought down the plane or that it’s an emotional location for the girls. That’s so much scarier than being cannibals out of necessity!

  8. God there was SO much in this episode. I loved it through and through. I know some people have complained about the slow pace, but I thought there was a lot going on in this episode and it makes me really excited to have a resolution/s at the end of the season.

    – In the next episode Shauna must have an abortion/miscarriage of some kind. My girlfriend and I pondered whether (morbid) this could be the first “flesh” that is spilled and eaten? People do eat placentas after all… Only slightly jokey thought, but what if? Also, I thought it was significant that Lottie says “it’s in you already” – reference to the baby or antler queen??? hmm

    – Totally CALLED it being Jackie’s uniform. Still waiting for teen Jackie/Shauna to make out but alas. I think Jackie will give the necklace to someone else.

    – My thought is that Jackie is still somehow alive/has been missing for 25 years. I can see it being much easier to disappear oneself before the internet was big. And they’re crafting Jackie to be in the out group, especially if she finds out that Shauna is pregnant since she’s the one tethering her to the main group. There has to be a twist, and my speculation is that there MUST be someone who was mistaken as dead. I think the plane might be key here.

    – I think Misty has been manipulating the situation to bring the survivors together through the postcards/ominous text. I didn’t buy her just “happening” to see the symbols in the crime scene photos. She likes being a part of the group and the crash was the first time that seemed to happen in her teenage life. Could be something about their 25th HS reunion coming up.

    – Also!! Misty and her damn owls!! I can’t hate her.

    – When they got that text I got that familiar dread from Pretty Little Liars. Pls Yellowjackets do us better lol

    – Feeling mixed feelings over the potential mental health diagnoses floating around. I can see them having Tai have dissociative episodes where she *is* the bad one/woman in the tree/person who painted “spill”. I can also see them going the schizophrenia route with Lottie when we don’t necessarily have a diagnosis. But I’m just generally very skeptical toward mental health diagnoses in popular media, especially when they’re already so historically stigmatized and so many misconceptions float around.

    – Prediction that the woman in the trees is maybe Jackie? IDK I just think she’s still out there…

    – SCREAMED when Tai/Van FINALLY made out. Also, c’mon go utilize that spooky attic!!

    • I also think Jackie could still be out there!!!! Also oh yes Lottie’s “it’s already in you” could absolutely have something to do with Shauna’s baby……………unfortunately, my brain immediately went to “season four of Charmed” here lmao. TBT Phoebe Halliwell carrying an evil baby.

      ok but for real, I really am starting to think Shauna is the key to a lot of the bad stuff happening……but why!

  9. feeling vindicated in this chili’s tonight because after the pilot i told my tv buddy ‘shauna is 100% pregnant and the team is going to find out when she doesn’t sync up with them.’ next part of the theory is something Bad happens to the baby, such as being eaten. although i’ve seen a theory that forest!baby is adam? or that forest!baby lived and is the woman in the tree? something is up with this baby

    absolutely thrilled to see more queer goalie representation! the gayest position for some of the gayest sports (soccer? gay. hockey? gay. lacrosse? gay.) plus shortening vanessa to van is very queer behavior! unfortch i do think that puts a huge target on van- not seeing her in present day and her being part of a happy couple means horror movie tropes incoming

    speaking of! i feel like i need a horror movie fan to list all the references and homages- i caught the exorcist vomit with coach and teen misty’s shining shirt (which i lowkey covet) but i’m sure there’s more

    i’m really hoping the woman in the tree is a real person and not some manifestation of tai’s trauma. i feel like pacing wise we might not even get that reveal until a future season? or like, we’ll get confirmation that sammy is seeing a real thing but not who or what it is then boom season finale

    not that melanie lynskey hasn’t been acting the fuck out of adult shauna, but it was an absolute delight to see her go hard! i want more of that side of shauna past and present

    i am rooting for laura lee to learn to fly this plane so hard even tho it would absolutely be the gateway for another horrible thing to happen to these girls

    thanks as always for the recap kayla!

  10. I feel like Jackie needs to find out that Shauna is pregnant, otherwise what’s the point? So either Shauna stays pregnant long enough for Jackie (and everyone else) to notice, or she miscarries early on but can’t hide it. I don’t think she successfully gives herself an abortion next episode (as we see her presumably trying to do in the teaser) because that would just be too easy.

    I love how the show keeps reminding us that, even though these kids seem to have somewhat pulled it together and are surviving out there in the woods, they are still just kids. The dance parties and the seances and the secret make outs are all things they’d be doing back in their normal lives. I also think it’s becoming more & more clear that Jackie is the most in denial about the reality of their situation. She’s still acting a lot like it’s a big slumber party and a rescue team is going to show up at any minute, whereas the rest of the group seems to have settled into a routine of not just short-term survival but longer-term living. They each have a role and jobs to do, and Jackie is keeping herself outside of that. I do like the theory that Jackie is still alive somewhere, but I also think she’s pissing everyone else off and could be the first to go when they start killing each other.

    Regarding Taissa, I don’t want her to be the lady in the tree but I can definitely see it. God all of these women have so much lingering trauma.

    On a happy(er?) note, Christina Ricci and Juliette Lewis slay every scene they have together and I love it/them so much.

  11. Proposed theory timeline into cannibalism

    *Coach dies (a result of Misty probably…)

    *Antler queen (maybe Shauna?) emerges to fill the gaping void of the last actual adult figure after the coach dies

    *Antler queen has new rules to keep everyone in line, if they are not followed they are exiled or something thus forming the two groups. The exiled and the followers of the antler queen.

    *Then either the people who are exiled take the gun, or somehow the gun was destroyed (maybe misty destroyed this somehow like she destroyed the blackbox, because she wants to feel important or needed after Ben’s death), or they run out of bullets.

    *With no gun, they switch to traps, traps are not as successful as they would like them to be going into winter, and everyone gets hungry and desperate. Because they are already fractured into two groups, the exiled become the prey and the antler queen and followers become the hunters.

    *I also don’t think at first that the antler queen followers all know they are eating human flesh until a bit into it happening. Like someone else’s comment said, Shauna fed rabbit meat to her family and lied about it. She could, in her rise to becoming the antler queen, be secretly supplying human meat (from a corpse…maybe Ben…) with animal meat, when the animal meat runs out, that’s when the group learns what it really is. By then it is kinda too late to stop, ya know?

    *The ritual comes from them trying to rationalize what they are doing. As if some form of ritual changes the meat from being their dead friend to some kind of life sustaining sustenance.

    Other thoughts:

    *I think Misty sent the postcards to “get the band back together” like everyone else said. But I do not think that she killed Travis, because the timeline does not match up. If she genuinely wanted to hurt the group, she would be pleased when watching the owl diffuser footage and seeing them panic, but instead she is insulted and hurt that they are rejecting her again. Like someone else said before, there is definitely someone else who is after the group.

    *I agree with others, that Javi and Adam are potentially the same person? Nothing new to add, just agree

    *I really really really hope it is not mental health related. We do not need any more poorly stigmatized mental health disorders on TV shows. And also I am hoping this show will not kill off all the gays/queer actors.

    *But someone’s comment about Taissa seeing wolves and maybe that is how Van dies is a good, albeit sad, theory of what happens and why it is so traumatic.

    Thank you Kayla for these recaps! They are a lot of fun to read every Monday. My girlfriend and I look forward to reading them after each episode, it’s been a great way to spend some time talking about different theories!

  12. I am super conflicted about Jackie’s fate. The most obvious answer is, she’s the girl running in the snow. The thing is, if she is the girl in the snow I don’t think she’s the first to be hunted down. The hunting party looks pretty well organized for a first run at cannibalism. So if she is the girl in the snow I think it’s the culmination of the group splitting, the Antler Queen’s people vs Jackie’s people final showdown so to speak. Maybe the Antler Queen’s people have been picking people off for a while.

    But, I can also see Jackie actually being the first one to suggest eating someone who recently died. She’s rejecting the whole woods survivalist mentality right now but we’ve twice been shown that she is willing to do what needs to be done to save someone. She sees the fire in the plane and decides there’s no saving Van but she can save Shauna if she pulls her out right now. And she pushes Van out of the way of the propeller blade later on and only avoids it herself through sheer luck. She makes life and death decisions for other people. She could easily look around at her living teammates and decide that eating one of her dead teammates is the best way to save everyone.

    If there is a group split and the coach is still alive my money is on Misty joining the Antler Queen out of spite. I very much so think the coach would be against cannibalism. But I also think he’s playing with fire by pretending to have a star-crossed lovers thing with Misty.

    Personally, I’m not super into the Adam is Javi theory, it seems like the kind of thing Shauna would figure out. I’m still more in favour of him being some random guy who is up to something suspicious.

    Another Misty vs Shauna thing: Misty with her parrot/owl/birds which she keeps in her home and loves but also uses to spy on people vs Shauna with her rabbit motif, the porcelain rabbits in her kitchen and the rabbits in the garden that she kills and eventually feeds to her family.

    And I am wondering if they all made it out at the same time or if some of them tried to hike out (or maybe fly the plane) only to return to the cabin and find out that a rescue team did come and pick up everyone else and they were left for dead/assumed dead. If there is a mystery teammate stalking them that would make the most sense, maybe they thought they had left Jackie for dead but actually she’s just been living at the cabin for years learning to fly that plane.

    Someone up above commented on why they didn’t use the gun in the pilot and why they might rely on traps instead, it might not be a matter of who has the gun or if the gun is still around, could just be that it requires a lot less energy to check on a couple of traps a few times a week in the deep snow of winter than to track and kill an animal or maybe the rules of the Antler Queen is that they don’t use the gun to hunt people?

    Also, loving that it’s Nat who jokes about the dead guy’s missing fingers when she’s the one who cut off the fingers of Travis and Javi’s dad.

  13. I’m loving these recaps and reading all the theories in the comments. I think they might turn to cannibalism just for food, the movie Alive came out in the 90’s about people surviving a plane crash in the mountains by eating the people who died. I think they also ended up having some survivors hike to civilization so they ended up getting rescued. I wonder if some of the team might end up hiking away from the rest to try and find a town or something, especially if there’s a cabin out there. There was a plane but no sign of a car or anything. So maybe some were rescued, and some tried to walk out and weren’t heard from again.

  14. I have to make a precision on my own comment because how embarrassing to have my facts wrong in an anonymous comments section.

    So, Shauna and Taissa in the pilot, they are at the dinner, Shauna touches Taissa’s hand, and Taissa reaction is one from longing, being nostalgic from a lost love. Which Shauna catches and rapidly moves her hand. I think is interesting the dynamic from this two since the start, they share something more.

    Also, in the intro the man with no eyes appeared but HE HAS EYES.

    So, don’t think I’m an obsessive with nothing to do but 🤷🏽‍♀️

  15. I finally caught up with this show after the first episode! I avoided the recaps/comment section but wow, there’s so much good stuff here.

    Okay, so Shauna is the leader, Tai is her right hand, Nat is the Huntress and Misty the carver of flesh. I have a feeling we’re going to see the group split, with Shauna leading the cultists and Vance and Laura Lee leading the rest. I say Vance because she and Tai are a thing but Vance doesn’t blindly follow her. One of the second group maybe survived and is now getting revenge, because clearly only the cultist group survived.

    I actually think that Shauna’s pregnancy is a fakeout. Either she is just late or maybe she’ll have a miscarriage (or just her actual period) when she kills Jackie (because there’s no way she isn’t killing her). Jackie is dying by Shauna’s hand and I think that’s going to be her grasp to power.

    Ben’s days are definitely numbered. I have a feeling he’s going to be torn apart, Maenad style.

    I don’t know what is up with Adam. Is he adult Javi? That was my first thought, but then again, why go after Shauna and not Nat who has more connection with his brother? Is he just a ghoulish fanboy? Is he the brother of one of the dead? A reporter?

  16. Others have mentioned it, but I am convinced there are other survivors. Specifically, I predict they split up at some point in the wilderness, so the survivors we met don’t know if others might still be alive. This is where I’m gonna go off the rails, but what if somebody (Jackie?) survived in the woods for the past 25 years, getting progressively further into the delusional and/or supernatural elements, and is now trying to draw them back into it, with killing Travis part of their continued beliefs. We heard someone (Laura?) say about the previous cabin inhabitant, “it didn’t want him to leave.” What if those who go out had to somehow sacrifice others girls to “it” in order to escape, and now those left behind are coming for revenge. And maybe Adam is affiliated with them? It seems significant that we still don’t know ANYTHING about how these survivors got out, and my money’s on their escape hinging on some kind of bloody betrayal.

    • Ok, just realized I contradicted myself…I think it’s less likely that the group split up, and more likely that the survivors who got out did so by somehow betraying others who they left behind.

  17. Don’t have any fun theories, but I figured you’d appreciate the Riverdale connections if you hadn’t noticed yet. Shauna’s daughter is Donna and the man whose crotch Misty and Nat covered in gasoline is Dr. Curdle Jr!

  18. Some thoughts:

    I am wondering if the show will do something similar to Lost in terms of showing us things that we think are are happening at one time, but actually another: I.E we think it’s 2021 but it’s actually further in the future/the past, or more jumping around the timeline on the island.

    I think Misty may get the others to turn on Ben by telling someone that they are ‘in love’ when she realises he is lying.

    We saw 6 people in the line in the pilot, so it’s definitely not all the girls there. I really like the theories that some left and some don’t. I also wonder if Misty somehow stops some of them from escaping i.e tampering with the plane.

    I wonder if Shauna and Jeff told anyone that they were together pre crash, or if they pretended they got together afterwards. I think it’s unlikely Jeff knows about Island Baby.

    Also – thank you to Autostraddle for tipping me off to this show so I would check it out. Teen murder/crime shows are my fave, especially when gay! Plus love unreliable narrators and time liney stuff, and it’s stopped me embarking on an ill advised Lost rewatch that I have been pondering.

  19. Love the show and this recap with all the theories! My wyfe has been encouraging me to get on here and I’m so glad I did!

    Here’s my spin on things:
    – note I have not rewatched any episodes yet but plan to at least rewatch the pilot soon
    – I think the spirit was saying that 8 ppl die. I counted 17 surrounding the crash victims burial and I think there were 9 at the ritual. But someone else said 6 so I’ve got to revisit that scene.
    -Agreed Taissa is the woman in the tree, split personality and yes likely has to do with Van.
    -Also yes Misty likely got the band back together with the cards. And def kills Ben soon.
    -I’m starting to think that Adam is Javi, but something happened to Javi to make Shawna think he’s long gone. Like maybe if the group splits the “prey” group includes Javi and he knows all the bad secrets, and came back to take revenge. Starting by killing Travis and now by manipulating Shawna (as that’s her specialty). It’s a much darker theory than his character seems but something is def wrong with his facade.

    Looking forward to the next one!

  20. One of my favorite details is that the oil diffuser Misty gives Nat is “gardenia and ylang ylang” scented, which are both incredibly sweet scents that would smell awful together

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