The wildest show on TV is back.
The second season of Yellowjackets ramps up the mysticism and mystery as it follows the dual timelines of a team of high school soccer stars who accidentally crash-land in the Canadian wilderness. In this next installment, the unforgiving winter means resources are scarce and tensions are high, pushing the teens to resort to drastic measures with consequences that haunt their future selves.
There’s something for everyone in season two. Murder. Starvation. Kidnappings. Hallucinations. Weird Symbols. And New Age cults styled in bohemian rags practicing the kind of forest rituals that would leave a Goop writer salivating. But we’re keeping track of it all in a way that feels fitting given the nature of the unhinged players in this dark and twisted survival game.
Welcome to our Yellowjackets Sting Meter. We’ll measure the erratic, unexplainable behavior of the show’s main lineup, ranking them according to how dangerous, deadly, and certifiably insane they appear in each episode. Who’s just a whacky worker bee and who gets crowned Mad Queen of episode one’s “Friends, Romans, Countrymen”? Let’s find out.
Queen Bee – Lottie Matthews
As far as cult leaders go, Lottie Matthews has certainly earned the right to be worshipped at the altar of her own making. At the end of season one, she brought down a wild bear with just a switchblade and a bit of spunk, sacrificing the animal’s heart to a lone stump in the woods and naming herself the conduit between this sentient wilderness and the group of hungry, terrified teenagers trapped in the thick of it. Scoring a shed’s-worth of meat for your hormonal peers means they’re more willing to drink your bloody herbal teas and trust your psychic premonitions — but Lottie’s no one-trick-pony.
In the present, she’s found a way to mold the minds of the weak and suffering without the aid of starvation. She’s had her brain fried thanks to a years-long stay at a Swedish institution, and she’s emerged from her insanity cocoon as a backwoods self-help guru in flowing kimonos with a blowout to match. She’s having visions, hearing voices, and forcing grown men to expose their flaccid penises while being buried alive by disciples donning animal masks. She is an icon. She is the moment. She is … absolutely f*cking terrifying.
Van is the kind of ride-or-die who happily camps out in a haunted attic and suffers nightly rope burns and lip munchings to keep her partner from wandering the woods in a sleepwalking haze. Get you a girlfriend like Van.
Yes, Coach Ben is technically the only “adult” in this situation and he should be taking a more active role in leading the girls away from occult sacrifices and cannibalistic ideation. But he’s tired. He just lost a leg. Let him make his little maps and sleep on his rusty cot and dream about the gay life he could’ve led, okay?
Travis is just a teenage boy and as such, he will never reach Queen Bee status. In fact, I’d be surprised if he graduates to two stings over the course of this season. His panic attacks and hunting prowess make him a liability, but not a threat. Yet. If he insists on having these delusional hallucinations of his (most likely dead) brother Javi though, we’ll have to re-evaluate.
Teen Misty is still paying her dues for that whole shroom-poisoning-orgy debacle last season so as annoying as her culinary input is at the moment — of course the stew needs more herb girl! It could also use more meat if Shauna would just wrap up her kiki with that human popsicle — she’s fairly tame in this episode. Her adult counterpart is slightly more unhinged — who sends guests home with a plastic container of punch? — and her cookie decorating skills leave something to be desired. But, you know how it goes. Misty’s gonna Misty.
Jeff just had to help his wife destroy an apartment full of her nudes painted by her dead ex-lover. Let Jeff get sweaty raging out to Papa Roach in his minivan and accidentally set a tiny tree or two on fire, okay? The world’s burning anyway.
Nat’s a good person with a solid head on her shoulders who’s being peer pressured into drinking blood and giving her boyfriend false hope that his missing brother isn’t buried under feet of snow. She’s also a recovering addict who recently attempted suicide and is now a hostage of Lottie’s cult. I’d say an errant fork lodged in the meaty bit of her captor’s hand is the least violent thing she could’ve done but blood was spilled so fine … two stings for Nat.
Taissa’s sleepwalking episodes are getting dangerous and deadlier — in the past and in the present. Her dead-eyed alter-ego is taking out her night terrors on poor Van in the past while Tai refuses to seek help from Lottie in her waking hours. In the present, she’s slowly cracking under the pressure of an impending divorce and her recent election win. She’s beheaded one dog and adopted another – someone rescue Steve before it’s too late! — and her estranged wife is threatening to go to the press about it all. This woman needs the number of a good therapist, stat.
It’s always a joy to watch Melanie Lynskey go completely off the rails but, while adult Shauna has a comedically hard time prepping for a police interrogation and scrubbing any trace of herself from her dismembered paramour’s art studio, it’s Sophie Nelisse who gets to chow down on the scenery — and a wayward ear — this episode. Shauna’s gone full Norman Bates, playing MASH with her dead friend’s frozen corpse and pocketing the bits of her that break off when an imaginary argument gets a little too heated. Eventually, she decides to snack on that lonely appendage and it’s hard to tell whether she dipped her toe into the depth of cannibalism because she misses her best friend or, you know, pregnancy cravings.
Citizen Detectives Thread
- Is it just us or does the weird symbol in the woods look a bit like the scar on Van’s face?
- Why didn’t Simone confront Tai about the family dog sacrifice before the fiasco in the school pickup line?
- How did Lottie know where to find Nat? More importantly, how did she know when to find her?
- What’s the significance of the burial therapy experiment that Lottie’s cult performs?
- Why didn’t Shauna laugh at Jeff’s nugget factory joke? It was funny.