I have been starting to get a little worried about Yellowjackets, that they are going to get too “LOST” with their long teases and eventual answers (or lack thereof). But as of this week, I’m starting to feel more confident that they’re going to get it right.
Since episode 1, the heavy implication was that while most of the girls on the flight died, the rest survived by eating at least some of the others, a cannibalistic secret they all now share. But while that was implied, we never saw them come close to that for all of season 1, minus the brief flash-forward that teased it.
Now uh, yeah. They did the thing.
After last week, I thought that this would be a slow burn over the course of the season, with Shauna covertly snacking on Jackie’s ear. But what happened in episode 2 felt like it would normally be the close of a season finale. Spoilers follow.
The final sequence had the girls attempting to cremate Jackie’s long-frozen corpse. Except “the wind” (an evil spirit?) dumped a bunch of snow on the fire just when Jackie had been barbequed enough to start smelling good. With game scarce and food nearly gone, the girls go full feral on Jackie’s body, tearing it apart and eating it with their bare hands, the scene interspersed with a fantastical Greek bacchanalian feast celebration representing a sort of mental detachment from the reality at hand.
Every girl plus Travis partakes, though minus Coach Ben, who is the only one who doesn’t succumb to the hunger, and he’s horrified by what he sees. And since we’re almost sure he doesn’t make it back, it’s easy to have a hunch about who may be eaten next.
I’m just very glad Yellowjackets stopped beating around the bush and finally did the thing. And there are supposedly worse moments to come. In the wake of this episode, the showrunner has talked about how the moral choice in this situation is different than say, hunting and killing someone to eat them, as opposed to cooking up an already-dead corpse. And that further, bad choices will need to be made to come.
There’s a really great article over at Vulture about how this scene was filmed, which shot an hour of total footage of the girls eating both meals for just 40 seconds or so that made it to air. They had to joke around on set to lighten the mood, and the “Jackie fruit,” as they called it, was made out of things like jackfruit (ha), syrup, salt, pepper and rice paper for skin. Supposedly it actually tasted…pretty good?
Of course, there’s plenty Yellowjackets is still teasing, like how the rest of the non-surviving cast dies, and if this “evil spirit” that seems to be lurking in the woods is real or not, and what forms it takes, exactly. We also have yet to see adult Van, whom we know survives and appears this season, as teased ahead of time.
It’s still one of the most fascinating, disturbing shows on TV, and yes, I would consider it worth a Showtime subscription on its own, for at least as long as it’s airing.