“Yellowjackets” Season 2 Review – Episode 2 Raises New Questions and Drives Characters Toward Madness

The season two premiere of Showtime’s “Yellowjackets” edged us closer to the long-anticipated turn to cannibalism for the survivors trapped in the wintry wilderness. Shauna (Sophie Nélisse) attempted to work through her grief and guilt over Jackie (Ella Purnell), leaving her frequently visiting and conversing with the frozen corpse. A scuffle that resulted in Jackie’s body losing an ear presented the perfect opportunity to give in to hunger. Episode two, “Edible Complex,” addresses the fallout of discovering Shauna’s visitations while positioning Lottie, past and present, as the center point of converging troubles.

In 1996, Shauna’s unhealthy coping mechanisms got exposed, prompting Taissa (Jasmin Savoy Brown) to demand they remove Jackie’s corpse from the equation entirely. She finds comfort in Lottie (Courtney Eaton), who intervenes on her behalf. Lottie’s influence within the group grows more prominent, and “Edible Complex” sows the seeds of an impending wedge between lovers Taissa and Van (Liv Hewson) over Lottie’s mysticism. Nat (Sophie Thatcher) also finds herself at odds with Lottie’s coddling of Travis (Kevin Alves) in regards to his desperation and panic over his still-missing brother.

Yellowjackets Sophie Thatcher and Kevin Alves

(L-R): Sophie Thatcher as Teen Natalie and Kevin Alves as Teen Travis in YELLOWJACKETS, “Edible Complex’. Photo Credit: Kailey Schwerman/SHOWTIME.

The 1990s timeline continues to reflect the present, where Nat (Juliette Lewis) violently lashes out at Lottie (Simone Kessell) over whisking her away to Lottie’s cult compound. Misty (Christina Ricci) continues her quest to find and aid Nat, bringing a potential new ally into the mix with a citizen detective (Elijah Wood). Taissa (Tawny Cypress) continues to deteriorate mentally, with her hallucinations and time lapses barreling down an unsettling and catastrophic path.

“Edible Complex” returns to a season one thread to reveal critical new information; adult Lottie has answers regarding Nat’s search to uncover the truth about Travis’s death. Like most mysteries, Lottie’s reveal raises multiple new questions. Through Lottie, “Yellowjackets” toes the ambiguous line between reality and supernatural, though subtle imagery packs in a few chills when it comes to Taissa’s continued loss of control. However, Shauna’s (Melanie Lynskey) continued contention with her angry daughter stalls her forward momentum. But a new development promises to change that soon.

Simone Kessell in Yellowjackets

Simone Kessell as Lottie in YELLOWJACKETS, “Edible Complex’. Photo Credit: Kailey Schwerman/SHOWTIME.

The small moments laying the groundwork for the overarching season two story carry episode two in the present storyline. Much like the premiere, the past remains far more exciting thanks to the fraught tension and survival elements. While the protagonists face life-ruining traumas in the present, the past’s emotional intensity, combined with harsh winter conditions and starvation, upstages it. It helps that the episode culminates with shocking reveals that put many characters in limbo and hurdles the 1996 survivors past a point of no return.

The characters are scattered this early into the season, so episode two continues laying more groundwork and has yet to fully swing into its groove. But many of those separate pieces remain effortlessly intriguing, and the compelling characters carry the series even through those expositional setup scenes. Less effective are the new survivors introduced in the 1996 storyline; they only somewhat blend in as if they’d been there the entire time. But the potential they present in terms of meal options is enough to forgive. Even if more uneven than the premiere, season two continues to intrigue and ensure we’ll follow wherever the Yellowjackets roam. At the very least, the jaw-dropping final moments will leave you salivating for episode three.

Episode 2 of “Yellowjackets” Season 2 is available to stream now for Showtime subscribers and the episode will make its on-air debut on Sunday, April 2 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

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