This Yellowjackets review contains spoilers.
Yellowjackets Season 2 Episode 4
Yellowjackets has been gradually advancing its storylines over the course of this season at a pace that for the most part has been deliberate and well thought-out. Last week’s episode, “Digestif,” was a welcome respite following the harrowing “Edible Complex” and it moved the narrative along without featuring any earth-shattering moments or reveals. This week’s episode, “Old Wounds,” ramps things up a bit, giving us two exciting reveals amid all the setup and foreshadowing.
Van and Taissa’s squabble over the latter’s sleepwalking having some sort of mystical origin comes to a head here, and the payoff is terrific. First of all, Van plotting the map of all of the carvings Taissa had led them to is super sweet. Could one ask for a more dutiful partner? Sentiment aside, the carving locations forming the symbol on the map compels Van to take Taissa’s relentlessly skeptical ass to where the final carving should be to prove there’s something supernatural going on here and…they find Javi!
It’s obviously going to be fun to see how Javi’s return affects the group. Turns out Lottie was right about him being alive all along, which should widen the rift between Team Nat and Team Lottie considerably. How will Travis react to Nat lying about the bloody scrap of Javi’s clothes she found? How will the group’s Lottie deniers continue to dismiss her now that her “Wicca bullshit” seems to be affecting the events transpiring at the cabin?
The hunt-off between Nat and Lottie was a bit of a bust for both girls. Nat and the group lost the frozen moose to the lake abyss, and Lottie almost froze to death. But their bathtub heart-to-heart seems to be the actual fruit of their labor—they’re starting to understand each other and bond over the pressure they’re under as leaders in the group. When they tell each other “good game,” it’s as if they suddenly remember they were teammates once.
There’s some weird team-building going on in the present-day at the Sadecki household, too. Shauna comes clean to Callie about murdering Adam, and while Jeff is initially upset when Shauna tells him she’s roped their daughter into their bloody cover-up, this new honesty policy seems to be bringing the three of them closer together. The three of them have been habitually lying to each other for so long that, while the Adam thing will probably ruin their lives in the end, at least they’re in it together and have started to establish some open communication.
The brilliant thing about present-day Shauna is Melanie Lynsky’s portrayal of a person who’s seen and done so much gnarly sh*t that it’s rendered her something of a sociopath. The way she talks about Adam’s murder so casually is disturbing, but it’s also wickedly funny and hits that twisted-humor sweet spot that permeates so much of the show.
The connection between Nat and Lisa continues to strengthen as they spend time with each other. Their road trip to Lisa’s mom’s house is telling—her mom is controlling as hell, and Nat can clearly relate, sticking up for Lisa and even smuggling her fish for her to take back to the compound. To Nat, it’s obvious that Lottie’s created an “illusion of freedom” to pull the wool over her followers’ eyes, and she’s trying to instill a sense of independence in Lisa probably because she sees a lot of herself in her. And their new friendship is mutually beneficial, too, with Lisa inspiring Nat to turn down the shot at the bar. Seems as though Nat has found something new to live for in the wake of Travis’ death.
Juliette Lewis’ perpetual snarl and venomous sarcasm is always entertaining—it’s kind of her thing. But what’s really tremendous about her is that the default dryness and irreverence makes the moments of sincerity all the more meaningful. You can tell Nat is truly starting to care about Lisa and wants to free her from Charlotte’s purple posse.
Speaking of Charlotte, she’s completely shook by her visions coming back after all these years. She feels a responsibility to her group and she doesn’t want everything she’s built to crumble along with her sanity. The therapist prompts her to ask herself what the visions are trying to tell her, but she’s determined to suppress them. “They’re not real,” she says. But she’s clearly terrified of someone or something when she makes a blood sacrifice on her knees and says, “Can this just be enough, please?”
Just like last week, the Misty and Walter schtick is entertaining and adorable. The fact that she doesn’t fully trust him is everything because the story would be less compelling if they simply hit it off from the start. The split-screen montage at the bed and breakfast proves that, whether Walter is hiding something from her or not, they’re alike in almost every way. It’s cute because they’re twins and they don’t know it! Christina Ricci and Elijah Wood’s easy rapport makes this storyline a lot of fun to watch, but we’re getting to the point where something big—a secret reveal, a kiss—needs to happen soon for fear of the gimmick going stagnant.
Other than the Javi reveal, the best moment in the episode is the last one. In a stupor, Taissa drives and hitchhikes miles and miles to find the video store from her “Yellowjackets” manila folder, and when she walks inside she finds…Van! Woohoo! Adult Tai has been falling apart, and it’ll be interesting to see if Van can be the one to put her back together again. That’s assuming she wants to, of course. We’ll surely learn why the two didn’t end up staying together, and with Tai and Simone’s marriage currently on the rocks, maybe there’s hope for a romantic rekindling yet.
New episodes of Yellowjackets season 2 premiere via Showtime.com on Fridays and Showtime on Sundays.