Yellowjackets: Digestif
April 12, 2023 4:45 PM - Season 2, Episode 3 - Subscribe

The girls experience an unusual hangover. Shauna learns the thrill of peer-to-peer car rentals. Natalie audits Lottie’s class in emotional apiology. Tai reflects, Misty hits the high seas, and you’ve never attended a baby shower like the one the Yellowjackets throw here.

other things
  • coach goes on a hunger strike
  • jeff has an adorable sleeveless workout hoodie
  • taissa's in the mirrorverse
  • baby shower, so of course we get the birds and the bees and the oh god it's full of blood
  • misty's watched steel magnolias a lot I guess
posted by Kybard (10 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I feel like we're not getting enough teen Misty. I do find it believable that Misty could be a good actor.

Does it seem to anyone else that there's some discontinuity in Nat's personality from then to now? The core of her is the same, but she was much more functional. Just the trauma of the crash does account for how dysfunctional she is now, but that would be true for everyone in a way that seems like her change wouldn't stand out. But Shauna, Taissa, Misty, and Lottie were all pretty messed-up before the crash and it just made them much worse. Nat was a tough, cynical but vulnerable teen who obviously survived some childhood trauma, but in a way that's pretty commonplace, not in a destined-to-be-a-cannibal way. Those other four, on the other hand...

I thought Melanie Lynskey's acting in the chop-shop was very, very good. I think the other actor should have internalized his fear more — it would have been scarier to see his eyes only change to terror rather than his entire face. But arguably Lynskey was also too expressive and he was playing off her performance. Even so, we really needed to see that eagerness.

Now that I think about it, I think the writing lampshaded this too much. Giving us an unexpected gruesome detail that demonstrates her credibility makes sense, but it also may be trying too hard —both for the character and the writing. Her response to his challenge that she doesn't want to shoot him and is afraid and trembling should have been "No, I'm just ... excited." And a deep breath and then a creepy deep calm.

One reason the writers and Lynskey may have made the choices they did was because they really want to show that she's neither competent nor in control of herself — which is all true. She's more Joker than Lecter. Nat is more rational and stable than her. Misty is more rational and stable than her.

As for Taissa...

The bad version of her is really fucking scary.

I didn't like how broad the humor was in the interrogation scene, though this sort of thing is part of the show's charm. Misty in the present seems to always be walking that line and since she's my favorite part of the show, I shouldn't complain.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:07 AM on April 13, 2023 [2 favorites]

Mod note: There's a note from a user wondering if this is Season 2 or not. Can fans of the show please clarify that concern?
posted by Brandon Blatcher (staff) at 4:57 AM on April 13, 2023

Yes, this is season two.

Re: the interrogation scene -- after a very tonally consistent first season, the show is mixing up tones in a way that's beginning to feel like the original Twin Peaks, where straight-up horror can be immediately followed by a scene that feels like an episode of Night Court. This seems intentional, but it's a real tightrope for them to walk. If it works, you have season one of Twin Peaks. If it doesn't work, you have season two of Twin Peaks. I think it works so far, but IIIIII dunno how far I'd push that.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:51 AM on April 13, 2023 [4 favorites]

Natalie and Lottie are interesting foils of each other. Lottie comes from a parents-will-charter-a-jet for you background; Natalie is used to fending for herself. As teens in S1, Lottie appears unhinged (is that too unkind to say) while Natalie is pragmatic and focused on survival. I think it's plausible that Nat delayed dealing with her trauma until substance abuse did it for her, but she's still the adult yellowjacket I'd be most comfortable getting marooned with (even without the hunting skills). I guess the one exception to this is Misty's friend crush; would Misty be that into Nat if there weren't something screwed up there? (But then, Misty was very into the Coach, and he seems like a genuinely good guy. Wait, is Misty a good judge of character?!)

I'm also a little interested about what comfortable, adult, cult-leader Lottie has to say about teen Lottie. My assumptions about teen Lottie have been that she's maybe a little psychic, maybe a little crazy, and generally well-intentioned. But I don't think selfless people end up leading cults, so now I'm side-eyeing teen Lottie's rituals a little more.

Nat saw blood-drenched hedges in the cult compound, and now Lottie gets a vision of bees drowned in blood. So....something is closing in. It's interesting that (IF we trust Lottie's story) Travis seemed to think something weird was going on before all the other Yellowjackets. (Doesn't most of the modern day story kick off with the blackmail plot and Nat trying to figure out what happened to Travis?)

if I ever black out my cannibalistic experience, PLEASE DON'T remind me out it by saying "you ate her face"!!!!
posted by grandiloquiet at 6:37 AM on April 13, 2023 [2 favorites]

“I think it's plausible that Nat delayed dealing with her trauma until substance abuse did it for her, but she's still the adult yellowjacket I'd be most comfortable getting marooned with (even without the hunting skills).”

Teens Nat and Van are the two characters I identify with and like the most — I really hope that I like adult Van as much as I do teen Van.

Yeah, it might just be that Nat's childhood trauma plus the crash led to her addiction and she's since just been a huge mess.

And that she seemed healthier as a teen than those other four — but seems almost ostentatiously messed-up now, also relative to the other four — might be a sign that she's actually sort of normal, considering all she's been through, while all the apparent normality of the other four are facades covering serious lifelong WTF.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:07 AM on April 13, 2023 [1 favorite]

Second Tori Amos song of the season! As in every other aspect of her career Tori Amos wishes she was Kate Bush, but I wouldn’t be at all unhappy if Yellowjackets does for Tori what Stranger Things did for Kate.

I loved the quick jump from Crystal talking about channeling her absorbed twin to the group suddenly getting invested in throwing Shauna a baby shower (a very Jackie thing to do).
posted by Parasite Unseen at 1:46 PM on April 13, 2023 [1 favorite]

Another show this very week also used this particular Tori Amos song. Was it Beef?
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 10:56 PM on April 13, 2023 [1 favorite]

It was. Well, the "Cornflake Girl" song was in Beef. I find Tori Amos kind of annoying and feel like this show could use some more PJ Harvey, but whatever.

It's hard for me not to just pick up the baton and post the thing for the next episode, but I want to tell you, it's so good. Oh my God.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 11:05 PM on April 13, 2023 [2 favorites]

When the show starts in Season 1, it's clearly setting like Nat and Misty are the least "stable" of the adult Yellow Jackets. As the show progresses, Nat is clearly the one who's messed up, but messed in a normal adult way. Misty is weird and scary, but in a non-neurotypical can't read the room obsessive type. Tai and Shauna, who seemed the most put together are instead the most deeply screwed up with Shauna being scarier (to me) because she's in more control of herself.
posted by drewbage1847 at 4:02 PM on April 14, 2023 [4 favorites]

> Does it seem to anyone else that there's some discontinuity in Nat's personality from then to now? The core of her is the same, but she was much more functional.

I have several people in my life who grew up in unstable conditions and spent their teenage years in foster care, and teenage Nat is breaking my fucking heart nailing the similarities. Capable of being highly-self-sufficient, unafraid of experimentation, helpful, and extremely pragmatic until you can't keep it up anymore and it accumulates and you fall the fuck into a black hole is...a thing.
posted by desuetude at 8:28 PM on April 16, 2023 [3 favorites]

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