Yellowjackets Season 2 Episode 7 review: You can’t bury the past
Yellowjackets Season 2 Episode 7 brings the gang back together, while also tearing it apart, in one great emotional episode.
2021’s first season of Yellowjackets became a smash hit, with multiple Emmy nominations in 2022, and a greenlight for Season 2.
Fans have been waiting eagerly for said second season, which continues the story of a soccer team that was stranded in the wild for a year after a plane crash, and the ensuing trauma that lives on into their adulthood.
Thankfully, the second season is easily living up to the first, with the seventh episode now out. Let’s get into it, but first, SPOILER WARNING FOR YELLOWJACKETS!
Emotions run low and high in Yellowjackets
The episode opens in silence. Well, not exactly, Nirvana’s Something in the Way plays ominously in the background, as we see the snow pelting at the cabin, and the teenagers sitting solemnly inside. Even the opening credits feel somewhat off, as if shell-shocked from previous events. The ending of Episode 6 was clearly a big moment, and this episode wants to remind you of that.
Shauna certainly is far from forgetting it. She’s going through it in this episode, allowing for a great performance from Sophie Nélisse. Sometimes it’s hard to buy Shauna’s anger and need for violence as she is generally rather restrained as a character – both in her young and old form – but you feel her helpless anguish as she sobs for her baby and Jackie.
Misty is also struggling emotionally this episode. Crystal is not only dead, her body is gone, and people are starting to suspect that she did it. On top of that, people are still starving, and it’s off-handily mentioned that it would be good for them if Crystal was dead, as they could eat her, which horrifies Misty.
It is strange that a side character is the one to begin normalizing cannibalism, rather than a lead, but the way it’s brought up is very funny. She talks like one does when they’re bitching about someone, essentially saying, “Like don’t get me wrong I love Crystal, and I don’t wanna be mean, but wouldn’t it be great if she were dead so we could eat her?” Even the way people suspect Misty’s wrongdoings feels more like high school gossip rather than actual concerns. This tone is jarring, but that’s what sets Yellowjackets apart.
In a more serious scene, Ben, AKA Coach, is also at a breaking point, and Misty has to literally talk him off a ledge. So far his backstory has felt a little tacked on, but this moment definitely makes up for it. The way the pair talk as Ben steps closer and closer to the same cliff that Crystal fell off is surprisingly antagonistic at first, as Misty threatens to tell everyone about Ben’s dirty laundry if he jumps, to which Ben coolly responds that he doesn’t care.
Eventually Misty breaks down and begs Ben to stop, as she doesn’t want another dead body on her hands. Samantha Hanratty gives a great performance, and it’s one of the few times you really feel sorry for Misty. Often she can appear as a caricature – and we mean that in a good way, she brings much-needed humor to the show – but it’s easy to forget that she is also traumatized by her past.
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Cults are a good thing, apparently
In modern day Misty is still her hilarious self though, as she goes through Lottie’s methods of therapy back at the Compound. Just when you think she can’t get any odder, her emotional revelation comes in the form of a musical number, with bird costumes, top hats, and Elijah Wood, just to name a few of this moment’s wacky aspects.
The other older Yellowjackets also get emotional catharsis, albeit in different forms. Nat is completely transformed, open to communication and swearing off substances, though this questionably puts the concept of cults in a positive light, especially since Lottie is still encouraging Tai to listen to her other violent self. You would think that after the dangerous cult behavior the girls exhibited in the past, they would be warier of it in the present, but alas, they accept it pretty easily.
Shauna also talks to Lottie, and cries while explaining why she pushes her own daughter away: the fear of losing another baby. This is a welcome moment, as older Shauna hasn’t had much chance to emote this way in Season 2. These moments on the whole may be ethically questionable, but they give hope for the Yellowjackets; that while things are going bad, they don’t have to get as dark as they did back in the past. They all share stories and dance together to Florence and the Machine. Snow is falling, and the snow isn’t dangerous like it was in the Wilderness, but beautiful. There’s hope for them to get better.
The darkness is still lurking
Even Tai and Van get a lovely romantic moment, rekindling what they had as teenagers. But this is cut short as Van reveals that she is terminally ill. Seems like Yellowjackets is determined to kill off Van – as was originally planned in Season 1. There’s even a meta moment in the Wilderness as Van questions how she’s been able to survive everything she’s been through. The real answer is the fan’s love for her, which pushed the writers to keep her in, but that love may not be all-powerful.
Lottie is also still a worrying presence. In the present day, she’s seeing the Antler Queen clearly – with some arguably overplayed scary music to emphasize its dangerous influence – and in the past, she’s exhibiting extremely odd behavior. She allows an irrational Shauna to beat her into a bloody pulp, as she believes this will help Shauna deal with her pain.
The scene itself is brutal, and considering Lottie’s position of power over the group, it’s wild that everyone would just let this happen. But this is actually a good thing, as it makes Lottie appear more fallible, and a less cliched cult leader, once again showing why Yellowjackets is different from its contemporaries, in the best way.
Yellowjackets Season 2 Episode 7 review core: 4/5
Episode 7 continues the quality of this sequel season so far, and pushes it even further. We’re gearing up for the finale soon, and no doubt it’ll be wild.
Yellowjackets Season 2 began streaming exclusively on Paramount+ on March 24. Season 1 is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video, which you can sign up for here.
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