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Both in the past and present, the Yellowjackets are pushed to address their trauma and find a way to heal – even if it isn’t the healthiest of ways.
|Release Date (Showtime)||May 12, 2023|
|Writer(s)||Rich Monahan, Liz Phang|
|Newly Noted Characters and Cast|
|Caligula||John Cameron Mitchell|
|Previously Noted Characters and Cast|
|Adult Misty||Christina Ricci|
|Adult Shauna||Melanie Lynskey|
|Adult Lottie||Simone Kessell|
|Adult Taissa||Tawny Cypress|
|Adult Natalie||Juliette Lewis|
|Adult Van||Lauren Ambrose|
|Teen Misty||Samantha Hanratty|
|Teen Shauna||Sophie Nélisse|
|Teen Lottie||Courtney Eaton|
|Teen Taissa||Jasmin Savoy Brown|
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Too Much Trauma, I Can’t Get No Relief – Misty, Ben, Shauna, Lottie, Taissa, Akilah, Mari, Paul
The death of Shauna’s baby weighs on everyone. Misty, who relies heavily on being seen as capable, feels she failed Shauna. But, the mixed reactions to how she handled things really get to her. Some, like Akilah, believe in giving her the benefit of the doubt, even praising how she handled things. However, others, like Mari, pick apart her reaction and even bring up Crystal and how Misty hasn’t tried to find her.
Overhearing this, Misty makes a plea to find Crystal once the blizzard is over, and after she does this, she realizes she has to get to Crystal before the others. Why? Not because there could be any evidence she did anything but because it seems like some of the girls think they should eat Crystal like they did Jackie. Misty wants to save Crystal from that fate. Unfortunately, she is unable to find Crystal’s body but was ten or so minutes from finding Ben’s.
You see, Ben is ready to die. Memories of Paul have given way to feelings of abandonment, and he recognizes when it comes to these girls, he isn’t contributing much and can’t really contribute much. So, he seeks to end things, and when he hesitates, he even asks Misty to push him. She refuses, and even threatens to tarnish his reputation by revealing he is gay or lying and saying he tried to get them pregnant. Ben doesn’t care since he really wants it to be over, but with hearing Misty, seeing the real vulnerable Misty unable to handle being involved and witnessing another person die, he relents.
With that said, no one finds any signs of Crystal, but Lottie does wonder if Taissa could find her as she did Javi. Which Taissa doesn’t think is possible due to her other self and her sleepwalking, subsiding since taking Lottie’s chants and teachings seriously. And speaking of Lottie helping, she finds a way to help Shauna’s grief. How? Well, with Shauna not having Jackie’s corpse to talk to and feeling like she lost Taissa to Lottie, she wants to lash out. Hence, she assaulted Misty, accusing her of killing her baby and screaming out how she thinks everyone was feeding off her child.
But, to stop all this, Lottie offers herself up. She allows Shauna to pummel her to the point of looking like she got caught in machinery – and none of Lottie’s followers stop Shauna since Lottie feels Shauna needs this to get back into the mindset needed for their shared survival. Thankfully, after a certain point, Shauna stops, and while Lottie seems beaten to the point of being in a coma, she moves enough for Shauna to not have her death on her hands and for Lottie’s followers to swoop in to begin the healing process.
We All Could Use Therapy – Shauna, Misty, Van, Taissa, Lottie, Natalie, Walter, Caligula
With everyone on Lottie’s property, and Natalie leading the way, they are tasked with doing therapy. For Van, despite her being one of Lottie’s original followers in the past, she foregoes doing her “Foraging” therapy. As for Taissa? She was supposed to paint a wall with a makeup brush, but instead of doing that, she just talks to Lottie directly about her other half coming back and sleepwalking again, which leads to Lottie pushing Taissa to stop suppressing her other half and treating it as something bad, wicked, and something to be ashamed of.
As for Shauna? She is supposed to take care of a goat, and while she doesn’t get it originally, she opens up and breaks down why the task is so challenging. Between the trauma that is Jackie’s death, her first child, and who knows what else, there is an idea that if she gets close to someone, or something in the goat’s case, she’ll have to kill it. She expresses this to Lottie in saying that she even kept Callie at arm’s length out of fear that she would die if they became too close, and she even questioned if Callie was real at times.
This leaves Misty who is tasked with going into a sensory deprivation tank, which she isn’t strongly for. However, between Shauna making her feel othered by making it seem that, while they all did things they aren’t proud of, Misty was far more capable and adept to murder, she decides maybe she does need therapy or treatment. This leads to Misty going in and having visions of Walter, her bird Caligula in human form, and coming to a conclusion that, while she is a bit desperate for love, between her bird and Walter, maybe she is more loved than she gives herself credit for. Thus Misty calls Walter and leaves a sweet but awkward voicemail.
So, What Have You Learned? – Shauna, Misty, Van, Taissa, Lottie, Natalie, Jeff
At the day’s end, Natalie tries to have everyone talk about what they learned and went through honestly, but no one seems comfortable getting that real with the group. Misty, when pushed to talk about Walter, snitches on Natalie sleeping with Kevyn, and after a certain point, everyone seems to want to drink and have fun and not talk about the more complicated feelings. Be it Van having late-stage cancer, all of them having suppressed memories about life in the wilderness, or Lottie, who apparently is seeing that horned and masked being as her therapist.
In fact, Lottie was going to kick them out of the camp to avoid giving into the entity, but this level of camaraderie for them all feels like an overdue reunion, and at Van’s urging, Lottie sets aside her worries and drinks. All of this is only interrupted by Jeff calling to let Shauna know that Adam’s body has been found.
Things To Note
Question(s) Left Unanswered
- Why did Lottie’s followers let Shauna take the beating so far?
- Will the two girls who talked about eating Crystal become more prominent characters or was that a one-off scene?
- What is the exact cancer Van has?
- Has it really only been a week since Natalie tried to kill herself?
- Who has Sammy been with, considering one mom is in the hospital, and the other is hanging out with her ex and former teammates?
- What is with Taissa’s hesitation with Van? In modern times it makes sense since Taissa is married, but what about in the past? Did she think it was more so her other half into Van than her? If not, assuming their relationship was based on a trauma bond?
Notable Performances or Moments
Lottie Taking Those Hits
We’re all aware of Lottie’s trauma from before the plane crash, where she was made to feel numb due to her parents’ fear of her and her premonitions. In my mind, her taking those hits from Shauna was not only a means of punishing herself but seeking to match the mental and emotional pain to the physical. For as much as Lottie may come off strong and with leadership qualities, I think there is a level of imposter syndrome not addressed. Not to mention, even though her pills should have long worn off, I think there is also a certain lack of feeling that she can’t explain so letting herself be physically hurt was a test to if she can truly feel anymore and not just pantomime.
Misty Breaking Down When Ben Wished To Kill Himself
Because Misty is so weird, it can be easy to forget she is partly weird because life hasn’t often dealt her a good hand. Like Lottie, her life wasn’t the best before the plane crash, but now she has been thrust into a position that can be seen as prestigious. However, having expectations so low of your before and being, in Misty’s words, desperate for love is quite a modification for life.
So to become the person who can handle the more gruesome or hard to deal with things like chopping Ben’s leg off, dealing with blood, guts, and violence, it’s a double-edged sword. The good thing is, since Ben is often useless, you get to play the role he is expected to. Yet, as shown through Mari and pushed by others, it also makes people question you mentally and emotionally for being capable of repeatedly being, as Caligula put it, the closer.
Hence why, when Ben asks Misty to push him to his death, she was not only offended but had to come to the realization that her being counted on is less a position of praise and more to deal with their cowardice. And while she is capable of doing traumatic things, to be the one expected to put herself in the face of death and danger, it discounts that she is just a girl, like anyone else, who would love the be vulnerable, liked, and while she doesn’t want to be a damsel in distress, it would be nice to have at least someone she could rely on when she is overwhelmed. Hence her breakdown during Shauna’s labor and not having Crystal by her side.
Natalie, As A Healer
Natalie’s transformation from burnout to advocating for healing is an interesting development. Which I say without a hint of sarcasm, but rather, I’m glad they are really tapping into what Natalie could be good at. She has been through a lot, maybe more than the other girls, and I feel like she is able to bridge the gap between the new-age mysticism and spiritualism Lottie is into and what most could find normal.
Now, as for what this could mean beyond this season, that’s harder to say, but, considering how long we’ve been hard on Natalie, I want to focus on the positive.
The Wilderness Is A Being
Charlotte coming face to face with the Wilderness’ representative, the entity, whatever you want to call it, was alarming, in a good way. We have long assumed this being was Charlotte, and it could still very well be akin to Taissa having another side to her. Lottie has long been noted to have schizophrenia, so the possibility is there.
However, now there is a need to question how big of a role has this being played since Switzerland? Have the therapy sessions Lottie thought she was having long been with someone made up in her head, or was it a real person? Could this being not be evil, as Lottie in the past pushed, but is rather pragmatic instead? If not a loving entity that is focused mainly on the survival of the Yellowjackets, maybe even their success, and will damn any who gets in their way?