This Yellowjackets review contains spoilers.
Yellowjackets Season 2 Episode 6
“Qui” marks a thrilling ramp-up in momentum for Yellowjackets’ present-day and ‘90s storylines. The characters’ individual narrative threads continue to be woven together in unexpected ways, and it’s fascinating to watch the survivors’ dark tapestry of trauma and regret begin to take shape.
The episode opens with yet another brilliant showcase of evocative editing, transitioning from a flashback to health class in which teen Misty asks about the amount of blood in child labor, to Misty looking mortified as she stares at a screaming Shauna in the cabin, moments away from giving birth to her baby boy. Blur’s “Song 2” plays through the transition, signaling the urgency of the moment, but Misty’s not up for it.
Learning in the final scene that Shauna’s son was, in fact, stillborn, and that all of the scenes we saw of them together throughout the episode was a dream, is heartbreaking. The reveal feels more like a fake-out than a true revelation, but it doesn’t feel completely cheap or unearned. The nightmarish visions reflect Shauna’s deepest fears regarding Lottie and the group, so while they are technically visions, they come from a real place. When she asks the group, “Why can’t you hear him crying?!” it’s a haunting representation of the isolation she’s feeling in her heart. Shauna views Lottie and her influence as a serious threat, and seeing how that resentment manifests in the wake of her son’s death will be interesting to say the least.
Sophie Nelisse has been unbelievably good throughout the series, but these last few episodes in particular have showcased just how gifted she is. She conveys Shauna’s deep-seated paranoia through her eyes, and her wails of agony—both in the throes of labor and at the sight of her dead baby—are so visceral you can’t help but to feel her pain.
Melanie Lynskey has a terrific showing as well this episode, specifically when Shauna admits to her affair with the deceased Adam to Deputy Douchebag. The mother-daughter parallel interrogation thing doesn’t play out as effectively as it should, mostly because the cops aren’t very compelling as characters themselves, and because Callie’s material has been consistently inconsistent from jump. But the asides to Jeff (him bobbing his head to “Fuck Tha Police” is insanely funny and a peak suburban-white-dad moment) keep things entertaining, and the banter between the Sadeckis has become a strength of the show when it used to be a detriment.
We get check-ins with the adult Yellowjackets throughout the episode just to show where they’re all at mentally before they ultimately reunite at Charlotte’s compound. Tai and Van are clearly happy to be back in each others’ company, though their romance hasn’t exactly been rekindled, at least not yet. Nat is unexpectedly finding herself being pulled back from the brink of self-destruction by Lisa’s compassion (and her pet fish). Misty kind of misses Walter but is enjoying being a “mini celebrity” amongst purple people due to her history with Charlotte and Nat. And Charlotte is coming to terms with the fact that her visions are calling her to confront her past and the horrors she witnessed in the woods all those years ago.
Charlotte refers to the dark force that took hold of the group when they were stranded as a “god,” which is quietly one of the juiciest bits of dialogue in the entire episode. She says that they “did terrible things in its name” and thought they left it behind but now believes they brought it back with them. Time will tell when we actually find out exactly what’s behind all of the demonic energy that has contaminated the survivors’ lives for so long, but to hear Charlotte refer to the evil force so directly is like a breath of fresh air amid all of the at-times suffocating crypticness the show has inundated us with.
The episode’s penultimate scene, in which we see the adult Yellowjackets finally reunite, is exciting simply for the prospect of seeing this incredible group of actresses riff off each other all at once. That’s going to be epic to watch as the season rolls on from a narrative perspective, the gobsmacked look on Van’s face when she sees Charlotte framed majestically by the shimmering lake behind her is priceless. The present-day story is really coming together nicely with the addition of Van (and the subtraction of Tai’s tiresome domestic and career drama), and the ‘90s half of the show continues to provide horrific context to their psychological issues.