“Yellowjackets” Episode 205 Recap: Van and Taissa’s Reunion Does Not Disappoint

Welcome to the Yellowjackets 205 recap, which is also the exact midway point of the season. TIME, WHAT A CONCEPT! “Two Truths and a Lie” was written by Katherine Kearns and Sarah L. Thompson and directed by Ben Semanoff. If you’re new around these parts, here’s the drill: My recaps are long and do not move in chronological order. You’re welcome to share your own theories and dissections (and disagree with me!) in the comments, where the conversations are always the highlight of my week! You can also ask me questions about what I think about anything I didn’t touch on or to elaborate on things! Seriously, I love to be all up in those comments! Let’s chat! Catch up on past recaps, and in honor of Jeff Sadecki, take the Wife Guy Quiz I made last week. Without further ado: Yellowjackets 205 recap let’s goooooo!


This is an episode about, as its title suggests, lies and truths — sometimes confessed willingly, other times uncovered. And in one particular instance, the truth is so much deadlier than any lie.

I typically like to end with my favorite or the most potent parts of an episode, but I simply cannot delve into any aspect of “Two Truths and a Lie” without talking about VAN PALMER, ALL GROWN UP.

After last week’s brief tease of Lauren Ambrose’s Adult Van, we get to learn a little more about this character. Van owns a video rental store called While You Were Streaming (if you recall, last season, she recounted the entire plot of While You Were Sleeping to the other girls on the expedition that got cut short by wolves) and lives above it. She’s out here loving Cheryl Dunye’s The Watermelon Woman and giving local women their gay awakenings by showing them 90s hits like the Parker Posey-starring Party Girl (a fun easter egg, as it was directed by Daisy von Scherler Mayer, who also directed the season two premiere and last season’s “Doomcoming”). We watch as Van goes about her day leading up to Tai’s abrupt arrival. Her home is full of 90s paraphernalia, she listens to “What’s Up?” by 4 Non Blondes, she has a sprinkle donut and a Mountain Dew for breakfast. Overdue bills accumulate on a rainbow rug.

Adult Van in Yellowjackets 205 saying "The Watermelon Woman"

“yeah, check it out, it’s #5 on Autostraddle’s top 50 lesbian movies of all time list

I read a theory last week that Van is a product of Tai’s fractured mind, isn’t really there, is surrounded by 90s movies and touches because she’s being remembered the way Tai remembers her — a film dork in the 90s. I do think we can squash that theory with this opening sequence in which we see her move throughout her day without Tai’s perspective present. But beyond that, I think this is a clear instance of where it might be tempting to reach for a supernatural answer when the reality is sitting right there (and is actually much more unsettling). Listen, no judgment on the donut + Mountain Dew breakfast combo — I respect it, but it also undeniably seems like something a 16 year old would throw back. Yes, Van is stuck in the past. But that’s not because she’s a spectral presence or caught in some sort of upside down. She’s stuck in the past and experiencing a bit of arrested development because she experienced something horrific and prolonged during formative teenage years.

When you add in the fact that Van had a bad mother, it further supports this story. The Van we meet is grown, but she’s also reaching toward the past. She explains VHS tapes and VCRs to the teens who wander into her store, baffled how these thick boxes could possibly be movies. We also learn she does work digitizing other people’s filmed memories, see her intently watching, on the precipice of tears, a stranger’s wedding on a small television. Van isn’t just stuck in a past; she also surrounds herself with other people’s stories and lives — whether that’s immersing herself in cinema or in the home videos of strangers. It’s clear that this is some sort of coping mechanism. All of the Yellowjackets we’ve met as adults have their own special ways of reckoning with the past — most of them, not the healthiest — and this is hers.

More troublingly, she also seems to have an oxy addiction. More on that in a moment!

Taissa shows up on Van’s doorstep the way we see her do at the end of last episode, and the scene continues. Tawny Cypress gives an amazing performance throughout the episode, but here in the quiet beginning of this reunion, I was immediately struck by how she made her face, her entire demeanor seem somehow younger. She looks like a scared, young girl. And that’s a fitting transformation given her history with Van.

Taissa in Yellowjackets 205, in close up on Van's doorstep

“You haven’t changed,” Taissa later says, seeing what we all see, a woman frozen in time. Van asks why she’s here, notes that it has been “a really fucking long time” since they’ve seen each other. She accurately guesses that Tai is sleepwalking again, but Tai doesn’t want to talk about that just yet. She presents Van with the tip and strip novelty pen from last episode, and now we know why she wanted to keep it. Taissa reminisces on how the two of them apparently swapped the fancy guestbook pen at Jeff and Shauna’s wedding for one like this. According to Van, Mrs. Taylor (AKA Jackie’s mom) almost had a stroke. “I can see her bosoms!” Van mimics in a goofy voice. Indeed, Van hasn’t lost her sense of humor.

This stands out to me for a few reasons. Firstly, oh god thinking of Jackie’s mom at Jeff and Shauna’s wedding…I bet she paid for it! And micromanaged the whole thing! We don’t technically need to see her character ever again from a story perspective — that great episode on Jackie’s birthday from last season tells us pretty much everything we need to know about the Taylors — but wow I would love to see her again. Secondly, this reveal is interesting from a relationship timeline perspective. It implies that Tai and Van made it out of the woods with their relationship intact and were in fact still together shortly after, which is when Jeff and Shauna got married. So then: If it survived the wilderness, when and why did their relationship end? And why was it bad enough that they haven’t had contact in so long?

Adult Van talking to Taissa on a couch

“hear me out: what if we just put this sleepwalking discussion on pause and watched Jennifer’s Body, no trust me, it’s having a cultural renaissance, Carmen Maria Machado wrote about it

But, have they really not had any contact? Because Van also knows about Sammy. When Taissa shares the gory details of the Biscuit altar, her first question is: “Did Sam see?” Has Van met Sammy? Met Simone? In some ways, Van and Taissa seem to know each other so well, the aftereffects of many years of intimacy. But in others, they’re distant. Taissa finds a bottle of oxycodone in Van’s medicine cabinet labeled for V. Palmer and confronts her about it, which Van correctly points out is none of her business. But she explains they were for Vicky Palmer, her mother, who got cancer a few years back and lived with her until she died. “Cancer scared the bitch right out of her,” according to Van. “People reassess their choices when they know they’re going to die.”

The only time we previously witnessed any context for Van’s home life was in the pilot, when we see her trying to wake up her passed out mother on a couch and, when unsuccessful, slaps her across the face. Adult Van’s words here (as well as Taissa’s, who notes she knows Van’s relationship with her mother was “complicated”) further paint a picture of parental neglect or perhaps worse. Again, this likely contributes to her chosen coping method of obsessing over movies and living in a carefully constructed past. Tai says something about her own regrets after they discuss Vicky, and it pushes Van over the edge. She mixes a High Fidelity reference with a Seinfeld reference: “I’m mixing my pop culture metaphors, because I’m fucking upset.”

Van just wants Taissa to do what she came here to do: to ask for her help. But Tai says she can’t bring herself to ask for help, because she doesn’t want to hurt any more of the people who she loves. It’s a devastating moment, and Cypress and Ambrose are so good here, especially when their characters start spiraling out. The scene really underscores the difference between comfort and healing. Tai seeks comfort in Van; she seeks familiarity. She knows Van understands the sleepwalking, and it’s nice to not have to explain something and to not be judged for it or turned away in fear (Van suggests Tai sees a sleep doc, and Tai responds flippantly like what is she gonna do, ask about the symptom that apparently makes her behead dogs?). But it isn’t necessarily healing for Taissa to return to Van. It’s destabilizing for them both. It’s reopening old wounds. Taissa is indeed putting Van at risk by being here, and perhaps it isn’t intentional, but she at least subconsciously knows that Van also won’t turn her away, even though she does know the worst of what she’s capable of when she’s “The Other One.”

And sure enough, The Other One shows up. Taissa falls asleep on the couch, and Van tucks her in sweetly. She heads to the trash can to fish out the pill bottle and take some, an easy thing to see coming given the fact that she’d held onto the pills in the first place. Taissa pops up behind her, silently, and pulls her in for an aggressive kiss. “What do you want?” Van asks, calling her The Other One. All she responds with is: “This isn’t where I was supposed to be.” She walks away.

When The Other One mouthed “go to her” two episodes ago, did she not mean Van? Did she mean someone else? Lottie perhaps? After the appearance of the eyeless Queen card last episode, I do sense some sort of connection between Tai and Lottie. It seems The Other One didn’t want to go to Van, but Taissa did. Again, there’s familiarity there.

Van and Taissa kiss

In the past, Taissa isn’t sleepwalking anymore. Van attributes this to Taissa’s new participation in Lottie’s blessings. Shauna can’t believe Tai has bought into this, but Tai says: “happy wife, happy life.” Later, Akilah makes fun of Tai for being “totally whipped.” It’s clear that Taissa is placating Van with her presence at these little rituals, but it’s also true Tai seems to be getting something out of them if the sleepwalking has indeed paused.

We finally see one of these Lottie blessings in full, and some things come into focus. Everyone sits in a circle as Lottie asks everyone what they feel, what they hear. Van describes the cold. Travis describes the sound of the wind through the tree. They’re basically…just doing grounding exercises?! Perhaps Lottie picked up on some of these when going through mental health treatments or therapy before the crash — or perhaps she’s just pretty intuitive. But yeah, I think there isn’t necessarily something supernatural to these rituals; they’re just straightforward grounding exercises and a form of meditation that allows the group to briefly forget their dire circumstances and focus on their environment in a present way. Of course there are mental health benefits to that! It isn’t magic; it’s group therapy. Perhaps Tai isn’t sleepwalking simply because she’s more grounded. But the ritual gets a little creepier when Lottie starts talking about the baby, and the group chants “we can’t wait to meet him” Shauna listens from the sidelines, obviously confused and afraid by what this group investment in her baby really means.

We’ll come back to Teen Shauna and her friendship with Tai in a bit, but let’s go ahead and jump over to Adult Shauna. The domestic chaos continues! Despite being let into her parents’ murder coverup, Callie is still meeting up with “Jay” as part of her little teen rebellion era. They go bowling, a scene that opens with Vancouver-based band Necking screaming out their song “Big Mouth.” I immediately had to check them out, and you should, too. I’ve noticed the world of Yellowjackets opening up a little more with moments like this, which was harder to do in season one due to COVID filming restrictions. Anyway, here’s Callie, a high schooler, and “Jay”, a smarmy cop, bowling in the middle of the day. Perhaps they read my piece about bowling being peak romance.

Callie tells Jay that if she gets a strike, he has to kiss her. Despite already crossing a lot of ethical lines with her, Jay seems unwilling to let things go that far, but he takes the bet after eyeing her low bowling scores. Callie bowls the strike, and he has to dodge her kiss and explain he’s taking things slow. When he goes to the restroom, the waiter brings their check, and Callie sees his name as M. Saracusa. She does the thing she gave her mother a hard time for not doing last season and GOOGLES THIS MAN, immediately learning he’s a cop. Later, she intentionally feeds him false information and tells him she found out her mom is sleeping with her father’s best friend, Randy Walsh. Poor Randy, always the scapegoat!

Callie confesses to her parents that she has been talking to a cop and accidentally told him about the affair but that she “fixed it” by telling the Randy lie. Jeff is incredulous; this is exactly why he didn’t want to involve their daughter in a murder conspiracy. Shauna, on the other hand, thinks it’s actually a pretty good idea to make the cops think it was Randy. Callie, rather bleakly, is thrilled by the thought that she has done something helpful. Callie keeps trying to get her parents’ attention, and regular acts of teenage rebellion aren’t cutting it! Her mom didn’t care she was lying about staying with a friend in order to have sex with her boyfriend. Her mom doesn’t care about her whereabouts enough to know she’s hanging out in bars and bowling alleys with an older man. But her mom does care about this, about making sure she’s still covering her own tracks, and hey, even if that means making her teen daughter an accessory after the fact, that’s cool! So many of the Sadecki family’s problems would be fixed if they all were just honest with each other, and doesn’t that feel right for a suburban family pretending everything’s fine all the time? In the case of this particular family, the stakes of avoiding the truth are murderously high.

Shauna, Jeff, and Callie in Yellowjackets

“his go-to drink was FIREBALL?”

Shauna latches onto Callie’s strategy and has Jeff arrange for her to meet with Randy at the motel, knowing the cops will be following her. Sure enough, Kevyn and Saracusa are right there on her tail, watching as she enter’s with Randy, who wasn’t told much by Jeff, but don’t worry he got some chips to share! Randy thinks this might have something to do with “the FBI” (Walter/Misty) interviewing him about Nat’s disappearance, but Shauna of course doesn’t know what he’s talking about. “I didn’t tell them about the b-mail,” Randy says, prompting Shauna to threaten him. I love when domme-y Shauna jumps out. “Don’t you dare think about me,” she asks after she instructs him to jerk off in a condom in the bathroom. Randy, unfortunately, can’t deliver, but he lies and fills the condom with lotion. Saracusa is so convinced Shauna’s affair was with Adam that he sniffs out the truth (literally — Randy used strawberry lotion). Kevyn points out this means he’s been made by Callie, and Saracusa says, as if he’s a cop character in a hardboiled detection novel: “She might be good, but I’m better.” I highly doubt it, Saracusa!!!! No one is more conniving than a teenage girl!

In addition to learning more about Adult Van after last week’s reveal, we also see some of the aftermath of Javi miraculously showing up again — though I wouldn’t say we necessarily learn much in this department. But that’s the point: Even the characters are still in the dark about how he possibly could have survived. Javi isn’t talking, and Travis doesn’t want to pressure him (Travis is also pissed at Nat, who cops to planting the bloody shorts). One of the JV girls, perhaps jokingly though it’s unclear, wonders if Javi actually died out there and this is his ghost. I’ve seen people speculate about Javi being an apparition or being caught for some time in some form of “upside down” or “alternate plane.” But as the resident Nothing Supernatural To See Here advocate, while I think it’s a mystery as to how Javi could have survived out in the wilderness alone, I don’t think he’s a ghost or that he got trapped in another dimension. I think he isn’t talking because he’s traumatized, and I think he has somehow found a way to hide out near or even under the cabin. He has obviously been in close enough proximity to steal bear meat.

“She told me not to come back,” Javi says to Coach Ben. When asked who he means, he says: “My friend.” He’s also drawing some creepy woodsy drawings, but we already know he has been coping via making art in the wilderness, like the wolf figure he carved last season. Who told him not to come back? Well, earlier in the episode, when Travis is trying to get him to talk, we do briefly see him look at Lottie and her look back. I said it last week, but I do think it’s possible Lottie was helping him hide for some reason, which would explain why she was so insistent he was alive. It’s also possible sleepwalking Tai could be involved here?

In addition to being an episode about truths/lies, this is an episode about friendship! There’s a really sweet scene between Taissa and Akilah (who yes, is still secretly talking to and hanging out with her pet mouse, whose safety I am worried about!). Akilah and Taissa talk openly about Lottie’s rituals, and Akilah says she started going because she saw Tai going. She then shares a story from before, about how her and one of the other JV players had a routine before every game involving “Easy Lover” and lucky socks and lucky shinguards. Tai teases her because the JV team lost a lot, and Akilah says “maybe we would have lost more without it.” Regardless, it was their special pregame ritual, and they could pretend it made a difference, that it made them play better or the other team play worse. “It’s not like we really believed in it, not deep down, but we still did it before every game.”

Taissa is more receptive to this than she usually is about even Van’s faith in Lottie’s rituals, and it makes sense. Akilah is putting this into words Tai understands. Pregame rituals. Lucky socks. It’s true that high school sports are steeped in superstition. I used to have my little prematch tennis rituals, too. And you don’t believe in them, but you also do. Team sports demand communal ritual, an almost supernatural level of connection between teammates. Sometimes it felt like my doubles partner knew which way I was gonna move before I did — and we didn’t even like each other! I think Yellowjackets is such a fascinating exploration of the human psyche’s attachment to patterns, to signs, to making sense of the inexplicable. Again, Teen Lottie is out here leading a grounding exercise! Of course it’s going to make them feel connected to something bigger than themselves. Even skeptic Tai is experiencing benefits.

On that note, I always love the little glimpses into Teen Tai and Shauna’s friendship. Tai was the first person to figure out Shauna was pregnant and also was going to assist her in having a self-administered abortion before Shauna realized it was too risky. Again in this episode, we see them connecting on this intimate level, but they also have some tension in their friendship due to Taissa’s increased involvement in Lottie’s wilderness circle. Shauna is fucking scared, and she should be. She’s about to have a baby in the woods, stranded, malnourished, unable to receive medical attention or any kind of real support. The only support that has existed for her has been Tai’s emotional support. She’s rightfully freaked out by Lottie’s obsession with the baby and by there being pressure on her as someone who is bringing a child into this fractured community of mostly teens. Lottie is making the baby into a symbol of hope, and that isn’t fair to Shauna. I don’t blame Shauna for getting mad at Lottie whispering to her pregnant belly while she sleeps. Lottie says it’s good to talk to them in utero, and Shauna says: “yeah, so they learn to recognize their mother’s voice.”

But hear me out: IS Lottie doing anything nefarious here? It’s important to remember that these are teens. Their knowledge is going to vary vastly when it comes to pregnancy, birthing, child-rearing. Maybe Lottie legitimately thought she was doing something good for the baby. Maybe Lottie really does see the baby as a symbol of hope and doesn’t want to steal it but just wants to cling to something that feels like change after so many months of the same.

“She’s obsessed with my baby Tai,” Shauna says after Taissa follows her into the wilderness. And she’s not wrong, but it’s hard to tell if something genuinely evil is happening here, and I’m leaning toward no. I think two things can be true: Shauna is correct to be alarmed by the team’s investment in her baby, and Lottie isn’t necessarily being fucked up by clinging to the baby. They’re both dealing with some heavy ass shit! Yes, Shauna’s situation is more obviously hard, but Lottie had to quit anti-psychotics cold turkey. She’s going through a struggle other people can’t see.

Shauna isn’t necessarily scared of Lottie so much as she’s mad at Tai. “I don’t need your fucking prayers; I need you to have my back,” she says. She doesn’t need Lottie to behave differently; she needs Tai to be there for her. And she could probably handle Lottie being weird toward her unborn baby if Tai were still on her side about things. “You’re supposed to be on my side, not Team Lottie,” she also says during this scene, suggesting a line has been drawn between Team Lottie and Team Shauna, a dichotomy I’m interested in seeing play out, because I think I previously thought things would be more Team Lottie vs. Team Taissa, as they were last season when Taissa decided to leave on her failed expedition.

shauna and taissa yelling in the snow

“what are you gonna do, Shauna?! have a friendship breakup with me like you did with Jackie and then turn me into Pad Tai?!”

Shauna yelling in Yellowjackets

“THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT I’M GOING TO DO BECAUSE THAT SOUNDS DELICIOUS”

Before they can come to any real conclusions about their friendship, Shauna exclaims in pain and a snow squall simultaneously blows in. The two have to navigate their way back to the cabin in the freezing cold and with limited visibility. Taissa ends up reciting Lottie’s chants from the blessing earlier, utilizing the mantra to push through this moment. Again, it’s typical grounding stuff, a way for Taissa to focus and sharpen her mind while under intense physical and mental stress. Taissa and Shauna making it back to the cabin in this snow storm as Tai chants these words isn’t proof of something supernatural on their side; it’s proof that these kinds of anxiety management techniques are powerful. Given her conversation with Akilah, the fact that she isn’t afraid to fall asleep anymore, and her love for Van, it makes sense that Taissa is newly invested in these techniques, even if she doesn’t believe in their mystical power. But it also means she’s going through a bit of a friendship breakup with Shauna, and friendship breakups with Shauna tend to be, well, lethal.

SPEAKING OF LETHAL FRIENDSHIP BREAKUPS. You know what I’m about to talk about…

Misty and Crystal. Yikes! Our two little cannibal freaks start out the episode strong by engaging in a classic game of Which 3 Famous People — dead or alive — Would You Like To Meet? Misty replies: Plato, obviously. Eric Nies of MTV’s “The Grind” so he could teach her how to dance. And…she hesitates, briefly, before confessing…Jack Kevorkian. “What he does is so brave,” she says. Crystal agrees, saying her family had to put down their pet beagle and so why do humans have to suffer in near-death more than beagles do? Plus, she adds, young Kevorkian was kind of hot?

Of fucking course these two are bonding over loving Dr. Kevorkian!!!! They’ve already bonded over enjoying the taste of human meat. They’re two horny theater geeks, and I know em when I see em, because baby I WAS ONE. Misty’s teenage idolization of Kevorkian makes me wonder if she has been engaging in some casual Kevorkian behavior at the nursing home where she works. It’s easy to conceive of, right?

After Crystal is charged with having to dispose of the shit bucket, Misty says she’ll accompany her. They’re best friends after all! Along the way to the cliff where they’ll dump the bucket, they confess rapid-fire secrets to each other. Misty says she hates deodorant and just pretended to be all out after the crash. Crystal says she let a boy finger her backstage during the dress rehearsal for Bye Bye Birdie, and Misty says she walked in on her parents having sex and wasn’t grossed out. Again, horny theater geeks.

Crystal says her real name is Kristen and that everyone got it wrong at practice but she didn’t correct them because they gave her the nickname “Crystal the Pistol,” and she’d never had a nickname before, never felt like she really belonged. I have a warped sense of status and rules when it comes to high school sports vs. high school theater, because I went to a performing arts school where sports bore little influence, but I know from others that as competitive and toxic as theater can be, varsity sports often come with a different kind of social status and hierarchy. The approval Crystal got on the field was likely different than the approval on the stage; high school athletes are often treated like gods.

Here, Crystal connects with Misty on a cellular level. Neither of them really experienced the high of popularity until these pivotal moments. For Crystal, that was receiving a nickname. For Misty, it was the plane crash.

Crystal in the snow, talking to Misty

“I love you so much that it transcends the time-space continuum, which is why I call you ‘bestie’ a term not really used to describe a best friend in 1996”

Misty seizes this moment of connection, and takes it too far. There is a heady feeling that comes with being let into someone’s secrets. But then Misty tells a truth that cannot be untold. One that I, to be honest, had almost forgotten about, despite it being such a striking image, because it remains one of the single most unhinged acts of teen anarchy of the entire series. Misty tells Crystal that no one liked her before the crash and that people started treating her as useful after it, so she destroyed the emergency transmitter. Not only was Misty willing to do something so wildly chaotic, dangerous, and life-altering just to keep being liked, but she also thinks this kind of secret is on par with the other confessions she and Crystal have been making to each other. This is a recurring theme in this series: the collapsing of stakes and tendency for characters to either extremely downplay or extremely exaggerate problems, choices, points of difference. Characters are myopic and often ignorant of the specific contexts in which they’re operating. We see this across the timelines and among many of the characters. Jeff cares more about an affair than he does about murder. Teen Shauna wants Jackie to feel lesser-than and banishes her from the group, which in their previous lives would have been dramatic, sure, but wouldn’t have been deadly. Taissa thinks she can just show up on Van’s doorsteps and have a normalish reunion between exes.

Misty thinks she can tell a deep, dark secret and it’ll make her friendship with her new best friend all the deeper.

What it does instead, of course, is push her away. Literally. Crystal’s face falls and she asks, in shock, “you’re the reason we never got rescued?” Misty tries to pivot quickly and play it off like she was joking, but Crystal replies, baldly: “You’re not that good of an actress.” In any other context, these words would be mean girl shit. “You’re not my best friend; you’re a psycho,” Crystal says, and she tries to get away from Misty, who closes in on her and offers to do anything for her, anything to make her not tell the others. Crystal asks if she’s going to poison her. “No,” Misty says. “I’ll fucking. Kill you.” Samantha Hanratty is positively venomous in this delivery; it’s the most vicious we’ve seen Misty ever since she axed Ben’s leg off with a smile on her face. Crystal startles and backs off the cliff, falling to her death. Later, when Misty descends the drop-off and approaches Crystal’s lifeless body, she makes a desperate bid and tries to perform CPR while singing “Stayin’ Alive” to stay on beat. Her efforts are futile, and she parts with the words “I’m sorry, bestie.”

Misty looking like she's about to k-word Crystal in Yellowjackets

🎶 “you could drive a person crazy / you could drive a person mad” 🎶

The moment calls back to the beginning of the episode, when Misty and Walter are riding in a car together and “Stayin’ Alive” is playing. Misty turns it off. At the time, we’re led to believe she’s just annoyed by Walter’s music choices and presence, but we uncover later on why the song might be triggering. Walter offers to put on Les Mis or Phantom, and Misty says she needs to focus. But Walter wants to play the titular game of Two Truths and a Lie, and he offers up three things about himself: that he once owned a small business that sold artisanal goat cheese made by a goat named Billy, that there’s a nonzero chance Barry Manilow is his father, and that he has a ton of stock in Taco Bell despite never having been because the beans upset his stomach. Misty makes her guesses, but it turns out all three are truths, which coincidentally only makes me further believe Walter is a capital L, LIAR.

Misty accuses him of breaking the rules, and he says: “There’s only ever one rule: win.” As I said last week, I think Walter is up to something diabolical with Misty. Someone in the comments last week put forth one of my favorite Yellowjackets theories at the moment, which is that Walter could be a cannibal hunting Misty. Sometimes, cannibalism is used in literature and pop culture as a means of survival or monstrous punishment; other times, it’s seen as a form of ascension, a forbidden fruit whose consumption equates to power and luxury. If Walter ascribes to that latter view of cannibalism, wouldn’t the ultimate form of cannibalism be to cannibalize a cannibal? The ultimate ascension, the mark of a true apex predator. References were made last episode to Sweeney Todd, Walter seems to have specific eating habits, and living on a boat would make it easy to get away with illicit acts.

Nat on the other side of a fence and Walter and Misty talking to her through it

“I’m not letting you in until you take back what you said about Kim Deal being overrated!!!!!!!!”

Misty and Walter find the compound and have a conversation with Nat through the gate. Nat admits that, yes, technically she was kidnapped but she’s running her own operation here and she doesn’t want Misty to interfere. Misty is shocked to learn Lottie is here, running this cult: “Lottie as in Lottie? Lottie who was committed to a mental institution in Switzerland?” Later, she tells Walter she’d kept tabs on everyone but somehow missed this, underscoring just how low Lottie has managed to lay in recent years. “You and your Hardy Boy can go home,” Nat tells Misty, and as brief as it is, I sure do enjoy seeing Juliette Lewis and Elijah Wood in a scene together!

“Maybe Lottie is jealous of what Natalie and I have,” Misty says to Walter after Nat turns them away. Van isn’t the only one stuck in the past. Misty still sees things in the crystalline way of high school social politics. Here is where Walter finally says he knows her tale about Adam Martin’s mother was a lie and that he thinks she probably killed him to help a friend. “Your friendships are a little more complicated than most,” Walter says, again highlighting that tension throughout the show of collapsed stakes and the skewed headspaces of its characters. Misty is defaulting to simple social structures by thinking Lottie is jealous of her relationship with Nat, when really Misty’s “friendships” are not simple at all, are not really functional friendships in the first place, and are also full of murder, kidnapping, and lies.

Nat, meanwhile, has been trying to figure out what the fuck Lottie is up to, and SAME. Nat attends a workshop in which Lisa and Lottie both encourage her to access her darkest thoughts as a means of healing. Nat quickly clocks the slash on Lottie’s hand, and even though Lottie dismisses it as an accident, the way Nat asks suggests she already knows Lottie has been defaulting back to her old ways of slashed palms and blood sacrifices. Eventually, Nat unlocks Lottie’s cabinet of secrets in her office. She bursts into a room full of Lottie’s acolytes in an attempt to expose their leader. She found files on all of them, including information on their personal lives, financial information, everything a cult leader might need to manipulate and control their followers. “She’s preying and profiting,” Nat says. “She is clinically insane, and her delusions have hurt people.”

The followers are unfazed. They know this already, have willingly turned over their information. Lisa says Nat should know better than anyone that we shouldn’t define people based on their pasts. With Adult Lottie, it’s harder for me to conceptualize innocence. Whereas I think Teen Lottie could just be misguided and wrong but not manipulative, it’s more difficult to give the same grace to Adult Lottie. But I also can see how her past may, while not defining her entirely, influence her desire for control over and devotion from others. Especially if she’s carrying guilt. And Nat has many times implied Lottie’s actions caused harm in the past.

Lottie tells Nat that what she’s really after isn’t in that cabinet but in her mind. Nat wants to know what really happened to Travis and what he meant by saying she was right, and Lottie does, too. “I want to understand what Travis was going through,” Lottie says. Nat replies: “You know what he was going through. You started it.”

Despite what Nat said last season about Travis not believing in Lottie’s mysticism, we’ve been given so much evidence to the contrary. Nat blames Lottie for something. What did Lottie start? What power did she hold? She convinces Nat to participate in some EMDR, and Nat reflects on the last time she saw Travis alive. We watch as she looks out onto a beach, but it turns out to just be a cheap painting of a beachscape in a grimy motel room. Nat informs us that at this point it had been a while since she and Travis had seen each other. He had a new job, was seeing someone. “Part of me wanted to ruin it, and another part of me just missed him,” she recalls. It’s a devastating bookend to the Tai and Van reunion in the episode, this one another charged reunion between two former lovers that goes more steeply south. Nat overdoses, and in her near-death experience, she sees the crash site, only none of them survived. It’s just burned corpses in a plane, and the Antler Queen enters. “We weren’t alone out there,” Nat tells Travis in the memory. “I saw it. I felt it. We brought it back. Travis, we brought it back with us.”

This is what Travis thought she was right about. That there was something out there they all brought back with them. Nat leans down, places her head in Lottie’s lap, and becomes Teen Nat. Lottie, frightened, remains an adult, but turns and sees her own shadow as the approaching Antler Queen. I don’t think it’s any stretch of the mind or an oversimplification to conceive of this “darkness” the group brought back with them as TRAUMA. They all keep searching for evil curses to blame, but maybe the curse was just their fucking terrible circumstances. They keep searching for monsters, but maybe the monsters were themselves. Inconceivable circumstances will sometimes make you do inconceivable things.

the shadow of the Antler Queen

increasingly, I’ve been on Team Lottie Is Not Actually the Antler Queen, but I must admit this is compelling evidence to the contrary

Yes, they brought things back from the wilderness. And I don’t think it’s reaching to define those wilderness leftovers as just extreme psychological baggage and damage. They’re being haunted, and I think there are several ways to interpret that. I know the timeline and timing of things has been a hangup for some people: Why would so much be coming to a head specifically 25 years after getting out of the wilderness? Well, I did the math, and it places a lot of the characters at 40-43 years old, and it could be as simple as them entering new stages of their lives, the past suddenly potent and present.

I know it frustrates some viewers, this teetering between what can be explained and what cannot, what could be supernatural but also might not be, but I love it. I want to be confused and conflicted, because these characters are. It doesn’t feel like we’re being kept in the dark for the sake of narrative manipulation; it feels like we’re being kept in the dark because the characters are, too. To demand definitive answers makes us like the vultures in-universe who want the surviving Yellowjackets to detail their trauma, to explain everything that happened out there in plain and digestible language. I like luxuriating in the ambivalence, in the television static.

We end things, fittingly, with a guttural scream. It’s from Shauna, who is clearly in labor. What fresh horrors will next week bring?


Last Buzz:

  • Okay…did not mean to bring so much of my own high school shit into this recap, but here we are! I did sports and I did theater, and both feel especially relevant to this particular episode!
  • Programming Note: Yellowjackets is off next week and returns the following week.
  • It is indeed one of the best lesbian movies of all time, but I also like to think Van’s personal relationship to The Watermelon Woman would hold special significance due to when it came out. The film came out in February 1996, which is just a few months before the crash. Whether it was one of the last movies she saw before the crash or she saw it for the first time shortly after getting out of the wilderness, it probably meant a lot to her as a teen!
  • Did people say “bestie” in 1996? I polled four queers who were teens in 96, including my fiancé, and they all unequivocally responded “no.” It would have more likely been “bff.” I’m willing to forgive this anachronism because “I’m sorry bestie” is indeed funny in this context of literal murder, and Samantha Hanratty’s line reading is delightful. Also, I’m just generally not a super stickler for such things! I just hope lines aren’t being written in for the sheer purpose of social media replay possibility.
  • Misty only begins to do Two Truths and a Lie and says she does not like monkeys and she thinks we’re asking the wrong questions about the moon landing, and I am willing to bet both of these are her TRUTHS.
  • Nat is obviously a very capable hunter in her youth, but she also misses sometimes, as with the moose, and I see this episode as Adult Nat hunting Lottie but then wildly missing the mark that’ll actually bring her down.
  • I love that visual transition from the snow squall into the static of the television. TV static has become even more of a recurring visual cue this season. It’s both nostalgic and haunting.
  • It is a little frightening to hear Taissa call Shauna’s baby “the hungry one.”
  • The “number two” card is the shit bucket chore card, and that feels like fitting humor for teenagers.
  • Okay, sorry to be this person, but here’s the aerial shot of Dead Crystal (RIP!):

a body sprawled in the snow from above

And…uh…is anyone else seeing what I’m seeing?

the Yellowjackets symbol over a dead body in the snow

GUYS, I’M JK slash mostly just making fun of how characters keep forming the symbol with dots that could kind of make any shape. But again, I do think it’s human nature to want to find patterns, so I don’t blame them.

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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.

Kayla has written 840 articles for us.

163 Comments

  1. I knew Crystal (sorry, Kristen) was going to die the second she befriended Misty, but falling down the poop cliff after finding out your potential rescue was sabotaged by a teen desperate to be liked is such a brutal way to go lol

    Also when “The Other One” shows up at Van’s, she actually says “this isn’t where we’re supposed to be” not “where I’m supposed to be” so it seems like The Other One was going to get Van and presumably bring her back to the woods? To Lottie’s cult maybe? This hiatus is going to be a long two weeks

  2. Dialogue on this show is such a regional thing. I grew up in the Delaware Valley (PA/NJ/DE) area. We did in fact use, from last week, “The worst,” which I saw someone on another site say people in 1996 didn’t say, but oh we did, in parts of the Delaware Valley. We did use bestie in 1996, in that area. My cousin in 48. She has been saying bestie since I was 12 and she was 15. I am the Yellowjackets age, so 1996 was my grad year, and I can attest, their dialogue is spot on for 1996 in the Delaware Valley. It’s like Mare on HBO. That area is so muddled. What someone does or says in Delco is twisted in Allentown, or the Poconos, or across the river in South or Mid Jersey. There are inflections of similarities all over that region but each also has unique idioms that don’t necessarily flow out into the rest of the US.

    • INTERESTING! love this added context. my survey of 4 was admittedly small but accounted for a wide range of regions! delaware valley seems close enough to NJ to make this slide…hmmmm might have to text some of my NJ friends who were teens in 1996 to expand the survey lol

      • Hahaha. It’s funny, when Mare premiered on HBO, my niece from Delco called and was freaking out about Kate Winslet. She did all the critiques and positives. My wife is from South Jersey, a spitball away from Philly, and I’m off the Poconos but went to college just outside Philly. I’ve lived all over up there and from town to town sometimes it’s like a different world. Lol.

    • I was a teenager in ’96, can also confirm no one said “Bestie” or even “whipped”, I don’t think? Though I grew up in rural Missouri where calling a fellow teenage girl a “heifer” was a vicious burn.

  3. It is, indeed, NOT a stretch to imagine that Misty has been up to Kevorkian-inspired shenanigans at the Nursing Home, but I feel obligated to point out that GLORIA “passed away” just in tome to slip Adam’s severed head and hands into the crematorium-bound casket, so… sort of like the evil twin of Kevorkian. Do NOT fuck with Misty. She can’t fight the SEETHER! RIP “Bestie”. F around and Find Out, for real.

  4. Okay! In RE “why is this all getting kicked up now,” yes, I think middle age is a factor—I turned 40 recently and was not expecting the level of mindfuck it’s been.

    But let’s not forget that there’s at least a few external factors. The crash was a significant enough cultural moment that its 25th anniversary warrants a blurb on the cover of Us Weekly and we know there are plenty of “Yellowjackets obsessives” roaming around.

    I think the biggest trigger is Taissa’s run for office—she hired Jessica Roberts (still pulling for you, girl!) to make contact with all of the survivors, and that’s the inciting incident of the entire series. Taissa wanted so badly to control the narrative of her life so she could win that she intentionally stirred up all this trauma in her teammates. There’s also got to be an element of self-preservation behind her decision to fund Nat’s stay at a swanky rehab around this time. How would it look for Taissa if it came out that she’s been funneling cash to her addict friend for years? Not “severed dog head in the basement” bad, but still not great!

    Nat’s stint in rehab is what pushes her to reconnect with her “purpose” and, inadvertently, Misty. Jessica Roberts’ visit to Shauna precipitates her reconnection with Tai. It’s not incidental that this is all happening in the “now” of the show.

    And beyond all that, we’ve got the vaguely threatening postcards (which I think are being sent by Other Taissa) and Jeff/Randy’s blackmail scheme. I can totally see Randy being reminded of the crash by that Us Weekly cover and being like “DUDE what if you blackmail those cannibal soccer chicks?”

    • Totally! I think Tai running for office is directly connected to her sleepwalking problem recurring — both due to lack of sleep and due to the hunger for power.

      I thought it was more or less confirmed that the postcards were being sent by Jeff and Randy which is why Shauna didn’t receive one.

        • yeah this is what doesn’t make sense! Misty would absolutely have mentioned if she got one of those texts. and Jeff did not admit to the postcards. I think the person who sent them was either Lottie, sleep Tai, or someone else entirely. I hope the show clears it up!

      • I’d have to go back and confirm but I’m pretty sure the postcards and blackmail attempts were separate. I think Shauna *did* receive a postcard and I know she didn’t receive the blackmail text.

      • I’m pretty positive that Shauna did get a postcard on the first episode but lied about it to the other women. I could be wrong but I don’t think we ever actually saw Tai get a postcard did we? She handed Shauna one when they met at Nat’s room but I think it was Nat’s.

        Also, I think the postcards were part of Taisa’s plan with Jessica Roberts. Would they all crack if they were reminded?

  5. I agree with everything you say about this episode and every single caption made me cackle with laughter. As someone who is 43 and graduated in 1996, this show has hit me particularly in the feels. I think you are onto a omething there that it’s a turning point in life and makes you want to seek out people who were once in your orbit, even if not friends, and find out what happened to them. I’ve been doing a lot of that the past year myself, tracking down people who have been lost among the way. And yeah, we said BFF not bestie back then, but it sure does make for a good one liner.

      • This one liner was something Samantha adlibbed. It was supposed to be a silent beat but Samantha felt like it was something Misty had to say to her best friend before she could go on to create, act out, and commit to the false narrative and lie she tells other later on. In order for the lie to be believable Misty has to start believing it too so she says this one final thing for closure and to say goodbye to her friend because a part of her does feel sorry and regretful before she completely pushes this act from her mind.

    • Oh, and also I keep thinking of that line from Nat in season one that Travis “never believed in any of that shit” but that becomes less true with every ep. He takes Lotties blessings, he joins the circle, etc. it makes me wonder if Nat is trying to rewrite history to deny what really happened.

  6. No Yellowjackets on my birthday!? A CRIME!!!

    The scene with Callie in the kitchen was so funny, mainly Shauna and Jeff’s reactions. When she asked them not to freak out, Jeff said “yes” and Shauna said “No.” When she confessed about her cop friend Shauna was mad she talked to a cop and Jeff said, “How old is he?” (Team Jeff on that one!!!) The thing is, the Sadecki family has never been more honest with each other and also have never been more united. Is it totally fucked up? YES! But I could not have predicted this level of cooperation based on where they were at the beginning of last season.

    Misty and Walter also continue to kill me with laughter in their scenes together (also loved Nat calling Walter a Hardy Boy) but they are DEFINITELY going to be trying to kill each other by the end of the season. And sorry Walter but Misty is going to win even though you seem very prepared. And I was definitely screaming “MISTY NO!!!” for the whole Crystal thing. Her body was definitely posed like that intentionally, imo.

    • It’s gonna be easy for misty to play Crystal’s death off as an accident as a result of her “getting lost in the snow squall” but I’m soooo curious how the actual discovery of her body is gonna go down

    • I kind of love the Sadecki family right now. They were so miserable and unconnected before but now that murder and blackmail are out in the open, they’re as close as ever!

  7. – It’s very weird to juxtapose Shauna in this episode with Shauna in episode two of this season. In that one Tai is attacking her and Lottie is defending her. Not only are Tai and Lottie at each other’s throats about her, but Shauna seems to shrinking into Lottie’s shadow for protection and looking to her to stop them from taking Jackie. Now she hates Lottie and wants Tai’s help.
    – Another another pairing was destroyed this episode. So far we have Lottie/Laura Lee, Shauna/Jackie, Misty/Crystal, and Nat/Travis seems to be in serious trouble. I’m hoping that the mouse doesn’t destroy Mari/Akilah somehow.

  8. My knee jerk is “The Other One” Tai is Javi’s friend. We know “The Other One” is capable of being present when Tai is awake.

    I’m also curious as to why Javi spoke to Coach Ben. Maybe he witnessed everyone eating Jackie, save for Ben, and thought he was a safer choice?

  9. Misty not wearing a seat belt had me the most tense I’ve been all season. I know they wouldn’t go there so soon after the Taissa and Simone crash, but still…come on, Misty — buckle up, babe!

    I normally find a couple of lines each ep ping as anachronistic, although it’s not a big hang-up for me either. Crystal exclaiming ‘Obsessed!’ was a rare exception that made me cringe, but I think that’s mostly because it reminds me of a UK TV presenter’s egregiously white saviour Instagram post https://nowhitesaviors.medium.com/what-we-can-all-learn-from-stacey-dooleys-white-savior-row-her-refusal-to-do-better-e30a2c6af0cc

  10. This episode heavily implied that they encountered some mystical darkness there and brought it back here. I believe that they are equally scared of darkness and the AQ that represents it; Lottie looked terrified. While I do agree that darkness is trauma, I think it is more than that. It is essentially human nature and what we are all capable of to survive or to get what we desire. I think they find it is easier to cope if they met it in the wilderness and it was not in them all along. So I am convinced that the AQ is in fact not one person but all of them in turns and in a sense all of us watching it with morbid curiosity.

  11. Randy had one job, ffs.
    Too bad they didn’t have a flavored condom to blame it on. Though even if the plan had gone through, Shauna is still overly confident while being a terrible criminal, and mustache cop was suspicious (and I know he’s supposed to be Callie’s older man rebellion, but idk how he reads as attractive to her and not, like, much older than whatever he said). It was kind of precious how eager Callie was to have done a good job via her mom with her hopeful “I did fix it?!” line.

    I, too, was struck by teen Lottie being positioned as a culty creep, and then the rituals they’re doing are just… mindfulness! I agree that she might not have malicious intent as far as the baby but she is still coming off as a super creep and we have that Rosemary’s Baby poster in Van’s shop to make us wonder. I cannot believe adult Lottie got that supernatural admission out of Nat or whatever she got and wondered if this is the first time for such an acknowledgement from Nat (also I paused her overdose scene so many times to see her flashes clearly and I was still super confused by them).

    Tawny Cypress and Lauren Ambrose stole the episode (though I cannot get enough of Elijah Wood) loved their performances and was taken by Van’s life of (queer) nostalgia.

    I did not expect to lose Kristen aka Crystal so soon and it bugs me that she slipped so Misty can kind of mentally absolve herself when she would have pushed her (like, right, she was going to push her one second later anyway??) and now she has this perfect cover story. But she doesn’t have a good pokerface because she can’t conceal that little smirk so I’m interested to see how it plays out and if people come to question her. Also I was devastated for Crystal to have to live with that information even for that brief moment. Misty is deranged that she couldn’t see that this was not an in-kind secret and that NOBODY else there would sabotage their rescue or tolerate her admission of this at this point. I feel like the vote to execute would be unanimous. I think adult Misty is for sure a serial killer nurse, beginning well before Gloria. I also think Walter probably knows this? I don’t trust that “I think you killed Adam because you lied about his mom” rationale he gave, he likely knew more than that and then some before he pursued her. I liked that cannibal-hunting theory too.

    My best guess on Javi’s friend is nighttime Taissa, which makes her my AQ pick of the episode I suppose, but she is so menacing that I don’t really know what I think. The potential to have concealed himself on the premises for so long, even with some sort of crawlspace, with so many people and so little space, seems remote, though for him to be so distrusting of them it makes sense that he’s seen more. It was too much to hope that we’d get any info on the tunnels this soon.

    Two weeks between episodes noooooooo.

    • oh and also being excited about the baby under the circumstances is unhinged. yes it’s a baby and a new life but shauna has the right idea to be terrified like a baby does not need to live this life. taissa tries to comfort shauna saying her pregnancy will be over soon but that is… worse. i understand they’re teenagers.

      i forgot about two truths and a lie! i loved them both in that scene and thought walter’s were all lies and misty’s were both true.

      • that was my thinking, too. maybe not gloria in a vacuum, but as more evidence for a suspicion he’d already held (it seems meaningful that he intercepts misty at her work).

  12. omg kayla i loved how you superimposed the symbol on crystal’s body and somehow i had the image on screen without the text below and i was like dude, that’s a stretch… and then i scrolled and saw your explanation and JK. totally worked. (and if not for the lack of anything on one of the arms, it’s actually pretty good).

  13. So…I agree that the darkness is their own trauma. And I think that the story is playing out 25 years later or whatever because Jeff triggered the survivors’ reunion of sorts through the b-mail. I think that coming back together through the appearance of the symbol and the suggestion of their being dark forces at play sent Nat, Tai, Shauna and Misty into a spiral. I also LOVE that we don’t know for sure about the supernatural side of things. What are ghosts if not traces that the past left behind. It will indeed be a long 2 weeks!

    • yeah I think it’s been triggered by a few things:

      – the 25 year anniversary is in the media (headline on the magazine Shauna has in the pilot), and the high school reunion is coming up

      – the stress of Tai’s campaign means she’s sleepwalking again

      – her sending Jessica around to check that none of them will talk has had a domino effect and set a lot of things in motion (potentially pushed Travis over the edge and got Misty suspicious, which lead to Jessica’s own death)

      – Jeff and Randy are blackmailing Tai and Natalie, who bring Shauna into their investigation

      – Jeff’s weird behaviour makes Shauna think he is having an affair, so she starts her own affair

      – Shauna then gets paranoid and thinks Adam is the blackmailer, when it was Jeff all along, and she kills Adam

      – the postcards! which we still haven’t gotten closure on. Jeff only admitted to the blackmail texts, and imo the postcards have a whole different vibe (also, Misty got a postcard and not a text)

  14. I’ve got to say, I’m really over this cop plotline. Like, I was over it in s1, but Kevyn at least wasn’t in that many episodes and he was clearly just a device to advance the Nat/Travis plot (although, couldn’t the goth kid have grown up to work at the coroner’s office or a mortuary rather than be a cop? YJ writers are creative enough to find a non-cop work around). It just feels like 3 years ago we were able to have a discussion on copaganda for 10 seconds, and now we’re just back to every show having a cop character or plotline. Why? Why are we taking precious minutes away from plot with our girls and spending it on scenes from the cops’ perspective? I DON’T WANT TO WATCH COPS I want to watch teens killing and eating each other, only one of these things is offensive to me and it’s not the cannibalism.

    • Totally understand what you’re saying here but I do find their plot line to just underscore the massive ineptitude and waste of resources of cops. like Jay isn’t even trying to solve a murder really, he’s just on an ego trip — and getting outsmarted by a teen in the process!

      • Are we supposed to see him as outsmarted? The episode ended with their wasted resources/illegal warrantless search vindicated. I mean, Callie discovered he’s a cop, but her lie to him didn’t throw him off the chase, and he wasn’t outsmarted by Shauna and Randy. I do think we’re supposed to be rooting for the Sadeckis, obviously, but I think we are supposed to like/sympathize with Kevyn, and even think Jay is kind of a good guy for not being willing to kiss Callie.

        And the whole “breaking the rules to get to the truth” trope is just *such* straightforward copaganda – the idea that whatever meager protections we have for suspects in this country are just nuisances that keep cops from getting to the truth is dangerous. And I don’t think the writers intended to send that message, it’s just such a trope it’s invisible now. That was the whole point people were trying to make in 2020, that these tropes are invisible and therefore insidious.

        I don’t know, I’m not trying to be a bummer on this thread – I love this thread, and love this show! But I’m disappointed with this plotline for many reasons, again, not least of which being that we could otherwise have more time with the characters/plots that are the reason we love the show in the first place!

      • I fully admit my anti-cop rage every time they come on screen is coming entirely from a place of “you leave our damaged little cannibals alone! I need them to get away with all of their murders and kidnappings and live happily ever after!”

    • I agree, I’ve found the cop storyline and by association the Callie storyline boring compared to everything else that’s going on. The scene with the cops staking out the motel and (illegally) going in to check it out felt like I was watchiing a police procedural which I do not enjoy.

  15. I continue to be deeply worried for both Akilah’s mouse and Lisa’s goldfish. Also they’re for sure eating Cystal (Kristen) next right? Low key very hyped for this body discovery

  16. I find this episode like a lot of episodes this season really encapsulates the show. What happens to these characters after the plane crash and what continues to happen after their rescue is devastating and the show does not shy away from that devastation ie that scene with misty and crystal, and the future scene with Ty and Van where they have both fallen so low in their own ways. The characters and the audience want to shy away from that devastation so they want to lean into the mysticism, or the story they tell themselves because the truth is too painful. They are all committing or taking part in acts of harm, violence, or self destruction in both the past and the present and because they can’t handle what they have done or are doing they attribute this mystic force to be the driving force instead of themselves. The audience falls into this belief to because it is hard to watch the characters that they love have the capability within themselves to fall so low and keep falling without an outside dark magical force. Also the people watching this show do not want to believe that they themselves could be capable themselves of these actions.

      • Totally! One of my current theories is that Walter is just straightforwardly what he says: a weird, lonely rich dude who loves true crime and admired Misty on their forum and likes her even more now that he thinks she might be a murderer in a “people writing love letters to serial killers” way.

        The theory being that the writers are using Walter (and Adam before him) to put the audience in the mindset of the survivors: paranoid, suspicious, and compulsively trying to make patterns out of unrelated data points. That they set us up with these red herrings of phenomena that read as supernatural and people that read as suspicious so that we see these things as the characters do, not as observers. That we’re seeing everything through the lens of their trauma.

        • oh my god the day I found out “people writing love letters to serial killers” was a thing…upsetting

          and yeah I agree, I think he’s the Adam of this season! I reckon he’s a weird dude who likes pretending to be a detective and thinks murder is no biggie. I also don’t think Misty is going to kill him. like, she might! who knows what that bitch is going to do at any given moment! but it would be a bit repetitive of her to kill someone at the end of the season like she did with Jessica, so I think they’re going to subvert our expectations.

          I think the Crystal plot line has very closely mirrored this relationship with Walter, again, to make us think she’s going to kill him, but you can see she’s learnt her lesson to not divulge incriminating secrets…note how she said nothing in the car when he was like “I’ve got you!”

          but also, I have no idea where the Walter thing is going! it would be funny if we just never see him again

  17. When Nat was having her flashback, right around the time she wakes up and says ‘yes’ after the paramedics ask if she can hear them, a figure flashes on the screen. It’s a closeup of antler-woman. It’s Natalie.

    • Good catch! I’m gonna finally gather all my evidence for arguing the cases that each of the main Yellowjackets (other than Misty) could be the AQ and put my findings in a separate article this week so stay tuned!

        • I’m still holding to the idea that all of them are antler queen at one point or another or AQ just represents their shared trauma.

          I like the idea that becoming antler queen means you have to make some sort of major decision like who to hunt or something like that. That each of them had to take on this responsibility.

          I didn’t notice that in Natalie’s flashback but I’ll definitely need to go back and try to see it.

  18. I was exhausted while watching last night, so I could have missed something.

    The thing that didn’t sit right with me is Misty came back to the cabin screaming Crystal disappeared in the snow, but the ENTIRE cabin snapped into “OMG, Shauna and Tai are out there.” Even when they were outside screaming for Shauna/Tai, not a soul yelled for Crystal until Misty awkwardly did so after about 4 people screamed for the other 2.

    I could be completely off, but that cabin scene just seemed way too odd for her to be a real person this entire “team” doesn’t care about at all.

    • I think there is definitely some social stratification between JV and varsity going on! Which is just another example of them applying their old social structures to their new circumstances

    • I think we got confirmation that Crystal exists during this episode, she had interactions with Mari and the group was concerned about looking for her for a split second until they realized Tai and Shauna were also in the storm. I agree it’s a combination of the social stratification of JV/varsity, the fact that there are fewer JV (Melissa and Gen could conceivably be more concerned about Crystal, not so much Akilah who has gotten in with varsity, but also the show has just chosen not to focus on them yet, whether intentionally or not is still TBD).

    • I noticed that right away too. They only cared about Tai and Shauna. I wondered if that’s because they are the characters the audience is most familiar with or if the girls themselves haven’t had much of a relationship with Crystal. I figured at least the other JV girls would be screaming for her (Akilah, Gen and Melissa), but it was only Misty.

  19. oh man I am so gutted we have to wait two whole weeks for episode six! in this economy?

    loved the recap, as per, and I really hope Van and Tai get around to watching Jennifer’s Body. I know they have more pressing things to be doing, but I would watch a whole episode of them watching movies.

    my unserious reactions to the episode:

    – love that this wilderness ritual Lottie is doing is literally just guided mediation. she would love Headspace!

    – really hope Officer Disgusting is next on Shauna’s stabbing list! hate every single thing that comes out of his mouth. je téléphone à la police! (except he is the police. realistic though. acab!)

    – “I do NOT like monkeys and I think we’re asking the wrong questions about the moon landings” I’m obsessed with Misty I’m sorry

    – losing my mind over a) Tai and Van at Shauna’s wedding together, b) the fact that Jackie’s mom was also there…awkward, and c) she hated the nude lady pen

    – Misty & Natalie reunited! sort of! for a few minutes! and it was so much more compelling than all of her scenes with Walter combined (no offence to Elijah Wood, I just think his dynamic with Misty is a bit too “hey, what if there was a male version of her”

    – following up on that thought, Walter should have used his detective skills to deduce that Misty would dump him for Natalie in a heartbeat

    – no offence to Crystal but I personally would have walked away from the edge of a cliff before confronting my sociopathic bestie. I’m just different that way I guess

    – when little Nat put her head in big Lottie’s lap 🥺😭😩

    – what did I do in a past life for them to make me watch Randy masturbate? why did we need that scene? and why did we have to HEAR it as well as see it? some really weird directorial decisions here

    – while we’re on Randy: he is not a compelling character, imo! he doesn’t deserve to take up this much screen time when we could be watching our main gals. I get that he’s comic relief or whatever, but I don’t think ‘bumbling idiot who acts like he’s still in high school’ is really that funny in the year 2023? also, Melanie Lynskey is extremely funny! and nothing rivals Juliette and Christina’s scenes together in terms of pure comedy! in case any of the show writers are reading this and care about one lesbian’s opinion: less of Randy, please, I’m begging

    • lol see I’m always a fan of bit characters on shows — especially on suburban dramas/thrillers and at this point that’s what the Shauna/Jeff/Callie plot line is for me. they add texture and specificity and weirdness

    • i knowww when crystal calls misty a psycho and runs away, she moves along the cliff’s edge. like dude run inland! better yet, crystal, run inland before you tell her you don’t believe she’s joking, or again when you get a second chance to let misty think you’ll keep the secret while she resorts to bribery and begging, instead of pulling a ben and goading misty while standing alone with her directly behind you at the cliff’s edge. sheesh.
      can’t judge whatever actions someone takes when they believe they’re in danger, but it’s more like she’s making these miscalculations because she doesn’t yet realize she’s in real danger. but i feel tuned into averting danger when i’m at the edge of a cliff alone or without any kind of conflict.

  20. oh, on Shauna vs Lottie, I definitely think Lottie is being weird and needs to chill. I don’t think she has nefarious intentions, but she’s kind of claiming a weird kind of group ownership over the baby? meanwhile Shauna is TERRIFIED, and I was entirely on her side when she told Tai she needed her to have her back. Shauna could literally die giving birth to this baby. so many things could (and probably will) go horribly wrong. she’s completely unequipped to deal with this whole thing. someone touching her belly and whispering things to the baby while Shauna is asleep is…unchill. they need to be comforting and supporting her, not freaking her out.

    I think all of this is going to massively backfire on Lottie when Shauna gives birth, no matter the outcome. she’s weirdly insistent that the baby is a boy, so even if it does survive, what if it’s a girl? will that shake the faith of the Lottie supporters? but what’s more likely is the baby is stillborn or something else goes horribly wrong, like anencephaly. going by the trailers, it’s not looking good!

    • As someone who has been pregnant, Lottie’s behavior seems both realistic, and also really uncool to me. In my experience, some people with minimal connection to a pregnant person will get really excited about the pregnancy, ask a lot of invasive questions, give unsolicited advice, and even touch or talk to a pregnant person’s belly without asking for consent. As far as I know, no one did this while I was sleeping, but no one except my spouse was around when I was sleeping. When you add in the fact that these are teenagers in an extremely dire situation, it doesn’t surprise me that this “normal” uncomfortable behavior would get turned up to 11. It’s not okay, but it’s not really surprising to me.

      And Shauna’s response makes a lot of sense to me as well. First of all, of someone is touching your body without consent it’s always valid to tell them to stop in no uncertain terms. But also, so many of us have been socialized to be polite and not make a fuss. So instead of firmly and clearly saying “I need you to stop doing X because it makes very uncomfortable”, we don’t say anything, and others can miss (or intentionally ignore) the non-verbal cues that we are uncomfortable. It seems like this has been going on for a while with Lottie focusing on the baby and Shauna feeling weird about it, but holding back until she snapped. One of the most fascinating things to me is how the characters in the wilderness still fall into these kinds of social patterns, even in this extreme situation.

  21. How much time do we think the girls have been in woods for? Shauna must be 8-9 months pregnant, but they haven’t been in the woods that whole time right? What month do we think it is/how long does it stay winter in the Canadian mountains?

    Also, I keep wondering if each season of the show will align with the weather (1st season=fall, 2nd season=winter, 3rd=summer, 4th=fall, 5th=winter) up to their rescue, since creators at some point said they wanted 5 seasons of the show. Thoughts?

    • they crashed in May/June 1996, the events of Doomcoming would have happened in September because they mentioned it would be homecoming time back home, and now it’s been at least two months…but it’s unclear how much time has passed since Snackie. it has to be at least January, right?

      I’ll leave it to Canadians/north Americans to answer the weather question, but I’m guessing the winters are loooong if it started snowing in September

      • Where I went to school, homecomings were mid to late October – I guess I’ve been kind of assuming that. That puts the first snow towards November, the S1 premiere early January. And if Shauna got pregnant in May, that tracks w a February birth.

    • Shauna’s entire pregnancy has unfolded in the woods, since Shauna got pregnant from the sex with Jeff that is shown on the show IMO, which took place after the party the night before their flight. I think this is clear storywise based on the simple fact that this is the sex between them that we’re shown, but it is also heavily implied from Shauna’s comment to Jeff about how if he impregnates her she will raise the baby to become a killing machine who hunts him down. Shauna tells Jessica Roberts that they were in the wilderness for 19 months. This would mean we’re around the halfway point since pregnancy is about half this timeframe, which is kinda cool.

      Assuming we haven’t been mislead about the location of their crash, I think we’re given enough info to narrow their flight to mid-May 96, their rescue to early Jan 98, and Shauna’s due date to the first half of Feb, 97 (I can share these calculations but they’re tedious and involve the pregnancy info, weather/climate info, and some anchors about time from the characters like nationals conflicting with prom, doomcoming being tied to homecoming and the full moon, and Nat’s comment about Shauna being 7 months along in S2E2 (thus 5 months along at doomcoming).

      I don’t have many feelings about when homecoming as an event should/needs to be, but looking at the climate around the Canadian Rockies, and the most conservative estimate of whatever is meant by the crash site being 600 miles north of their designated flight path (their revised flight path through Canada? Or their original flight path in the US?), it would be freezing throughout Nov-Feb and even most of March, and a lot of October (almost half the year). Before it would be freezing in October, it would be extremely cold. Since freezing temps and snow are common enough once into October, the first snow and freezing temp following doomcoming is likely to be earlier like late Sept/early Oct the way it sneaks up on them, rather than later when it would already be expected (actually, even September is likely to be too cold for how they’re dressed at doomcoming, but I don’t think it’s August so will just have to go with it). Anyway, this would put S2 starting around early December and then I’ve analyzed the data points we have in S2 to put together a timeline for how much time has passed between the start of the season and Shauna’s labor-

  22. The real question: what the hell kind of sandwich is shauna making with cinnamon raisin bread and mustard?!

    Also I don’t trust Walter at all but I’m also kind of worried about his fate. Now that we’ve seen what Misty does when someone gets a hold of her dark secrets, I think his sniffing around the Adam case is putting him at risk. He thinks she’s trapped with him, but he’s trapped with her.

    This was such a bananas episode, SO much happened. It’s gonna be a longgggg two weeks of waiting for the next one

  23. Unpacking these episodes has become my own therapy.

    – Tawny Cypress nailed being young Tai around Van again. I melted. Also you nailed it about the difference between comfort and healing. They will all end up in the woods again – but this time at Lottie’s Camp Green Pine. Looking for healing but it may not exist. Comfort may be there though.

    – Obnoxious cop Jay is being very similar to his cop in Stranger Things (his agent deserves kudos). Also chuckled at his Big Lebowski reference which went way over Callie’s head. He needs to be taken down though. Enough of him and Kevin.

    – Someone has pointed this out already but I’m amused that Lottie never wears purple herself. I don’t think she’s nefarious either. She just does what she knows how to do and it helps her keep her own shit together.

    – Walter…you didn’t even try to convince Misty after she grabbed her bags. Where ya headed to in such a hurry??

    – The Javi situation is really effing weird – like REALLY weird. Must stop trying to figure it out.

    – Danzig’s Mother = brilliant

    I think this show works so well because we see ourselves in these characters- the good, bad, and the cannibal 😂

  24. I agree that Javi’s friend is most likely the other Tai. She seems to have some innate knowledge of the terrain and could have easily met Kavi during her exploration then led him to a safe space. Since Tai was with Van, she wasn’t among the girls chasing Travis. She was also the one stealing meat that’s why no one spotted Javi and he only came out after tai stopped sleepwalking.

  25. OK first of all I continue to be obsessed with these very thorough recaps! My gut (ahem lol) instinct about Shauna’s irritation at Lottie talking to her baby/etc is that she’s worried the baby will be used as a sacrifice and/or eaten if Lottie convinces the group that’s a Needed Thing in order for them to get more food. It’s funny they almost like, don’t talk about the previous cannibalism, but I’d imagine Shauna might be feeling the most stressed about it (and Coach Ben, probs?) because she must be aware she might die in childbirth, etc, if not the baby sacrifice possibilities.

    It hadn’t occurred to me that Other Tai might have been the one who told Javi not to come back (or maybe led him into some survival place in the wilderness she doesn’t remember??) but I think that’s a great theory.

    I found it funny how when Lottie was freezing alone, the game seemed to momentarily play into the theory that there were mine tunnels that could connect them to civilization (and perhaps that’s how Javi had escaped, etc) but it was her dreaming. I do wonder if it’s foreshadowing for the mines being real, or if it was more of a red-herring.

    Overall I find myself less engaged with the adult storylines and I’m not sure why… It feels a little disjointed to me, or maybe there’s just something so absolutely compelling about where the girls are in the past that I find myself wanting to spend more time there. I am curious as to how and why adult Van isn’t part of Lottie’s cult, and how she also seemingly escaped Shauna’s husband’s attempts at blackmailing (maybe because she doesn’t have much money from the VHS store??) and why/how Misty hasn’t mentioned her or tried to track her down…. wouldn’t she be relatively easy to find, running her own store likely tied to her own name? I’m curious about the same thing Kayla pointed out in this post, though, about how if Tai and Van seemingly lasted post-wilderness and went to Shauna’s wedding, etc, what possibly made them split? How much had they kept in touch??

    • I wondered about the Van and Tai relationship too and part of me thinks it’s because Tai had such a driven vision of her future and Van didn’t fit that. I hope not because despite their issues, I love these two together. Totally good points about her blackmail and Misty not really saying much about adult Van…but she somehow missed Lottie? Hmmm

    • I’ve legitimately thought about editing together the wilderness scenes (or teenaged timeline) and cutting everything else to watch them all straight through. I think it would be a fun watch. I do like some of the present storylines (some certainly more than others) but it doesn’t compare.

        • that would be a really fun watch party.
          i might need someone with better software to do it.
          a long time ago i cut the L-word theme song out for an ex because it drove them bananas, even to hear a second of it before hitting ffwd. but it reduced the quality of the files by a lot.
          but this is a much more worthy and intriguing project-

  26. The striking thing that really stuck with me from this episode (other than the pulpy sound of Misty attempting CPR on broken Kristen’s body, which, of course, will exist in my mind forever) was the shot of all of them dead on the plane. I think it really connects with the main horror of the show. Not because I think they actually died, they didn’t. However, this idea of them losing themselves in the plane crash and them bringing something back, really hits on the idea that they came back and tried to live a normal life but it felt like pretend to them, like they weren’t their lives anymore.

    Obviously, the show is about trauma, but I think there’s a more specific idea being explored. I think the idea that we aren’t more than our trauma, that it replaces us and we can never be the same person again, is a horror that is familiar to many people with trauma. It’s an idea you have to overcome, you have to see yourself for all the parts that make you up, including your trauma. But, this show takes that idea to the extreme by personifying the trauma. The Deer Queen is the trauma that followed them, and they’re trying to leave it behind but they can’t escape it. They became the Deer Queen to survive, but now they have to accept that the Deer Queen wasn’t some separate horror that they fought, but something they did that changed them. If they can’t acknowledge the Deer Queen and what they’ve done, they’ll just regress to being the Deer Queen, a person who can handle it all and faces no guilt, and the Yellowjackets will really have been left behind on that plane.

    • oh man I wish more people were able to understand this metaphor!

      unfortunately the subreddit is filled with posts being like “wait…did they all die in the crash? have they been dead this whole time, like in Lost*? or did the Antler Queen revive them?” and it’s like oh my god why are you all so literal lol

      *not what happened on Lost, so I guess they weren’t paying attention to that either

  27. So, I have to mention that “The Other One” doesn’t say “This isn’t where I’M supposed to be, but “this isn’t where WE’RE supposed to be.” So certainly, this might be referring to both Taissa and her sleepwalking doppelgänger, but it could refer to both her and Van, or the Yellowjackets as a group.

    I mean, Other Taissa wouldn’t go to all the trouble of breaking in to the private detective’s home to find information about Van only to then decide to go somewhere completely unrelated but still on the way to Van’s location, and leaving said information where Taissa can assume that’s where they’re going. So yes, I do believe that she needed to find Van, but it’s more to do with collecting ALL the surviving Yellowjackets for something.

    I think Javi’s friend being Other Taissa is a good theory. His and Ben’s conversation happens when Ben discovers some weird drawings and Javi choosing that time to talk makes me feel that he was the person who drew them. This mirrors Taissa finding Sammy’s pictures of “The Bad One”. It would also be telling because both Javi and Sammy don’t connect her to Taissa.

    Now there’s something really important I have to mention. Every single surviving Yellowjacket don’t believe or mention anything OVERTLY supernatural happening. There is nothing they experience that they cannot write off as hallucination, mental illness, or cabin fever. Even Lottie thinks her “premonitions” are just a schizophrenic interlude (and incidentally her obsession with the baby could be written off this way as well. She’s been off her medication for a long while at this point.) otherwise she wouldn’t be so keen on getting them upped.

    So, finally, here’s my Antler Queen theory: they all are! The Antler Queen is the darkness that was there with them, that they brought back. It’s why Natalie was the Antler Queen in her vision. It’s the Shauna that told Javi to run. It’s Other Taissa. It’s why Lottie saw her shadow as it. “But we literally saw someone dress in the garb in a flashback!” Yes, sure. But I think that it now represents for all of them the horrible things they’ve done in the wilderness. A way to dissociate themselves from the actions. Like Shauna hesitating to include herself in their actions when admitting them to Callie. But it is a literal dissociation. It’s what happened at Doomcoming and when they feasted on Jackie. So when they finally devolve into the tribal cannibalism they aren’t just following the orders of Lottie, or Natalie, or Shauna. It’s a ceremonial role, like wearing the costume of a god to become them. They’re following the Literal Antler Queen: the darkness they tried to leave in the wilderness but they still brought back with them. Lottie’s spiritualism is just the first stones of the avalanche. Because even though there is factionalism right now, they all eventually succumb to it. Or end up on the plate.

    • Yes I’ve been leaning toward this AQ theory this season especially as I started becoming less certain Lottie was the Antler Queen. I think you’re right on the money that it’s a symbol and a way for them to dissociate and separate the worst things they had to do in the wilderness from themselves

    • I totally agree that the antler queen is all of them but ALSO

      So some pagan mythology holds that sacrifices were sometimes treated like royalty leading up to their sacrifice – given the best food, waited on, etc.

      What is the Antler Queen is the role they assigned the sacrifices before they were eaten? And she’s so scary because she represents both the dark power the girls can have and also that they are about to be killed to support the rest of the group? They all are the antler queen and they all fear being chosen as the antler queen!

    • I especially like this theory with the framing of the Antler Queen always having her face obscured with the headdress and mesh(?) eye covering. The garb of the antler queen can be a symbolic, ritual outfit donned for the cannibalism in the woods that adds a psychological barrier and disconnect between the person and her actions in the woods. Having the AQ’s face hidden and shrouded also gives a literal physical barrier between self and action, adding another layer of removal. In a way, it could be a way for them to compartmentalize their experiences, possibly even setting the AQ up as a symbolic receptacle for the trauma they can’t process. A literal scapegoat.

      I believe there have also been studies on people behaving differently when in costume or cosplay – it can change how self-conscious someone feels, and they can be less inhibited in their words and actions. It’d be really psychologically interesting if the girls took turns being AQ to enact their darkest impulses without guilt. Taking turns would also make all of them equally culpable, possibly why no one has turned on each other or spilled the beans in 25 yeats.

      It can also be a way to fill in for a grown-up, especially if Ben dies at some point. We as the viewers have accepted cannibalism is inevitable, but the teen girls still need some authority figure to defer to (like how they waited for Shauna to grant her approval before digging into Jackie).

      I’m just stream-of-consciousness rambling right now so sorry if this comes out all disjointed!

  28. I am loving the Lost references in this. They aren’t shoehorned but it definitely feels like the show knows how it connects to the most famous stranded plane crash show. The hatch last week, giant white moose/polar bear ‘we brought it back with us’ feels very ‘we have to go back’ to me, plus Nat’s vision of how they are actually all dead (but I trust YJ to have a much more satisfying ending)

    • I do think there’s some Lost DNA for sure and as someone who was obsessed with that show in middle+high school, I appreciate it! But yeah I hope it also continues to do things in more ambiguous and nuanced ways instead of becoming purposefully obtuse and manipulative the way Lost became

    • I like the little nods to Lost as well! it’s cool that they seem to be paying tribute to similar shows that came before them without actually mimicking those shows or borrowing on them too heavily. there are little sprinkles of Twin Peaks. the eeriness of nature is very present in Yellowjackets, and I loved the wind in the trees reference.

      re: Lost, I really like the John Locke / Lottie comparison. and you could definitely draw parallels between Jack and Natalie (non believers, awful fathers, substance abuse, wanting to ‘go back’ as adults). but yeah I sure hope the Yellowjackets writers have a tighter grasp on their story, lol

  29. I totally agree on the confused/inflated stakes. It’s interesting to me the things that they talk and worry about and the things that they allow themselves not to dwell on. In the adult storyline the four YJ covered up a murder together and then just went on their separate ways and if it weren’t for the police/Elijah Wood they wouldn’t think about it at all. And it hasn’t brought them closer together at all – they have other things to focus on. Similarly, in the wilderness they eat Jackie and only coach Ben seems to think about it…it just hasn’t come up again like they’ve all blocked it out or their brains are just not capable of processing that while dealing with everything else in the woods.

    Also side point – it’s really really dangerous to do EMDR without a trained and licensed professional. Adult Lotte may not be nefarious but she sure as hell is reckless with other peoples lives – the people that put trust in her and have imbued her with this authority/power. I guess the same could be said for young Lotte too..

    • I think it’s absolutely further evidence of how their lives were violently interrupted. As teens, they were forced to act like adults and self-parent themselves/each other in the wilderness. Now, they keep regressing or otherwise showing signs of arrested development (Van’s and Misty’s cases might seem the most overt but it’s all of them!)

      • Even Tai running for public office seems like an attempt to preserve the past in some way. It was likely one of her ambitions as a teen and then she just stayed on the path she thought she was supposed to follow

        • “she just stayed on the path she thought she was supposed to follow” Yes! This makes me think about in season one when Tai and Shauna are lying in Callie’s bed talking about what they *wish* they’d done and Tai listed a slew of experiences and accomplishments… and they were all real

    • it is frustrating that post-murder the adults haven’t reunited until halfway through the season, but in all fairness: Misty has been trying her darnedest to contact Shauna and Tai and gone all out to rescue Natalie, who was literally kidnapped, and Tai has…a lot of stuff going on

  30. I feel like I’m stumbling into a party an hour late but I just binged the whole series this weekend and what a ride! Also, thank you so much for these recaps! My last 48 hours have just been watching an episode, reading the recaps to see what I missed, and diving back into an episode. Maybe not the best way to watch but it made for a fun ride.

    For this episode:
    – I’m so excited to finally meet adult Van! Even though watching Taissa’s life fall apart is so sad. I really hope their stories don’t diverge for a bit, I want to see them reckon with their shared history so much.
    – After this ep, I’m agreeing Walter is going to be a problem, but I hope he sticks around for a little bit because I have a soft spot in my heart for Elijah Wood playing funky lil dudes. And seeing Misty be unnerved by someone so similar to her is fantastic.
    – It might just be the general cult vibes, but I kinda wonder if adult Lottie was a little inspired by Teal Swan? She has that real creepy “feel the pain” thing going on.
    – This show is so dark that it has me going “awww” over Shauna, Jeff, and Callie conspiring together. The family that slays together stays together?
    – I also kinda wonder if Randy is not long for this world either.
    – I still think there was something that was up with Adam (what is an artist in 2021 with no social media presence?!?!), but I kinda doubt we’ll get anymore on that front.
    – I’m trying not to think too much about the body horror (but also can’t stop thinking about the body horror) of teen Shauna’s pregnancy, especially since it looks like we get the delivery next week. There’s no way she or the baby was getting proper nutrients in that environment. Frankly, I’m not sure how all of them don’t have scurvy at this point. I’m at least relieved we know Shauna survives.
    – Poor Crystal! She didn’t deserve that end. And I wonder if that is going to be setting Misty up for more murderous activity in the near future (even if this one wasn’t entirely on purpose).
    – I really like the fine line between actual supernatural and the horrors of trauma that’s being walked regarding the “thing they all brought back with them”.
    – I also appreciate adult Nat still managing to be one of the most logical people (trying to expose Lottie’s shenanigans), while remaining true to old habits (that fish thing was so gross but also kinda sweet).
    – It’s killing me that several characters have been seen drinking Starry soda, when that wasn’t released until this year!

    I am so invested in this show and also so skeptical of it at the same time. I think binging it all at once (up until 205 at least) was really interesting because it let me see some of the throughlines and some of the goofs (like Jackie’s journal having movies listed that were released after she died). The creators sure like creating a lot of threads that can be tugged at. There’s a little part of me that wonders if we’ll be able get a satisfying conclusion or if they’ll just keep amping up the mystery. Especially in the age of streaming, where we may or may not get all 5 planned seasons. I know we won’t get ALL the answers, but I’m going to need at least SOME by the time this wraps up! So excited we have this space to talk about it :)

  31. I don’t have much to add but
    1) I really hate that Tai said “happy wife, happy life” like…it just feels so gross especially coming from one of the few queer people around
    2) A+ Company reference Kayla. it’s the little things they do together…!!

  32. people are getting really bored on the subreddit so they’re making posts called, like, “does anyone else think that the Tai and Van reunion wasn’t sweet or romantic and that they’re actually toxic and bad for each other?”

    and someone commented “of course they’re bad for each other but I don’t watch this show to see good things”. lmao

  33. One lil thing: Other Tai actually says, “This isn’t where we’re supposed to be”. So “we” rather than “I”, and “are” rather than “was”. It’s a meaningful difference so just pointing out!

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