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 three’s “Digestif”? Let’s find out.
Morning after regrets look a bit different in the world of Yellowjackets. The dry mouth? The pounding headache? The desire to gnaw your own arm off so you can slink away from the random body next to you, unnoticed and unbothered? That’s mere child’s play. Almost comforting in its familiarity.
No, for the teen girls of Yellowjackets, hell is a place of their own making, filled with the kind of shame that can’t be walked off. It’s a teammate’s burnt flesh regurgitating on snow-covered ground, a collection of bones, picked clean, to be buried, hallucinations of adolescents frothing at the mouth with unsated hunger, and the guilt-ridden-yet-gleeful admission that actually no, the act of cannibalism wasn’t actually that bad.
This is the hangover no one warns you about, and in episode three’s “Digestif,” all of the girls are suffering from it. In the past, they cope with jerrybuilt baby shower gifts and dark humor. In the present, they confront their darker natures, with guns and beehives, and bathroom mirrors that put the truth in plain sight. The kids, they’re not okay.
Queen Bee — Misty Quigley
Misty Quigley has always been this way. Were it not for an errant plane crash and a bit of cannibalism, she might still have ended up on a boat with a man named Walter Tattersall feeding him torture tactics through a Bluetooth earpiece. Misunderstood and ill-fitting to the teenage girldom she’s surrounded by in the past, Misty’s managed to find a friend who’s just as batsh*t as she is because, well, crazy attracts more crazy. Sally Field monologues as baby shower gifts. Critiquing the taste of Jackie Taylor, post-feast. Finding a f*cked-up Moriarty to her neurotic Sherlock Holmes by way of a failed interrogation ruse. Misty Quigley was always meant to reign atop the chaos ladder.
When we interviewed Tawny Cypress about her character’s wild journey this season, she was adamant that Taissa’s problems extended way past a bit of worrisome sleepwalking. She was right. In the past, Taissa has been consumed by this other personality so completely that she can’t remember dining on her teammate, despite seeming awake and fully present at the moment. She’s also lying to her partner about the man with no eyes who stalks her dreams at night. And in the current timeline, she’s drawing those weird symbols on the hand of her comatose lover before getting into miming arguments with her sentient reflection. Whatever meds Taissa was swallowing down with her gallons of espresso in the last episode, they’re just not working. Up that dose, girl.
Despite inspiring her teammates to build her an altar of dead birds, it’s Adult Lottie who feels the most dangerous this season. While Teen Lottie tries to keep the peace by throwing festive (if a bit rustic) baby showers and therapizing her friends, Adult Lottie is running some kind of cult commune, wielding sinister metaphors about queen bees stinging their young to death and decorating her cabin with antler skulls. Her hallucinations seem to have her spooked, but is that just because they’ve been dormant for so long, or do they represent a threat to whatever hive she’s trying to build out in this wilderness?
Sophie Nielssen got to nibble on her best friend last week so it’s only fair that Melanie Lynskey gets her unhinged moment in “Digestif.” Shauna doesn’t do much more than guilt-trip herself and feign excitement over some tacky homemade baby gifts in the past but in the present? In the present, Shauna passive-aggressively shaming her husband for his aversion to strawberry lube and holding a carjacker at gunpoint, and delivering sinister monologues that give in-depth instructions for how to effectively skin a human being alive. On the one hand, it’s bone-chilling. On the other, she’s got a point about the sweat.
I still maintain that Natalie is one of the more well-adjusted characters on this show, which is probably why she has addiction issues and thoughts of self-harm so often. She’s haunted by what the group did to survive, so much so, she can’t heal and move past it to live a normal life — no matter how many workshops Lottie encourages her to sign up for. But Nat’s brush with insanity extends to her past self too. Was that moose real or just a hallucination?
A newcomer to the lineup, Crystal has been quietly rising through the ranks ever since she befriended Misty earlier in the season. We don’t know much about the girl, but what we have gleamed is sufficiently unsettling. She’s a theater kid. She has a bleak outlook on humanity. And Jackie Taylor wasn’t the first time she “consumed” a body.
Coach Ben is pretending to be catatonic so that the rabid teen girls just outside the door don’t munch on his one good leg. He’s hallucinating alternate realities where he said yes to moving in with his gay boyfriend and ditched the small-town soccer team for a life in the city, filled with clam chowder bakeoffs and the freedom to kiss his partner in public. I fear Coach Ben is not long for this world.
“You ate her face, Tai.” — Real words Van was forced to utter, out loud, because her sleepwalking girlfriend won’t seek mystical help from witch doctor Lottie. Van does not deserve this, people.
Jeff could’ve gone strawberry! He almost did! But that’s not what lands him on this list. We’ve overlooked some of Jeff’s problematic behaviors — the blackmail, the treachery, the murder cover-up — because he’s just a simple guy who wants to believe his wife when she tells him book club is running late. But when he stopped Shauna from using that gun on some random in the street, it was time to draw a line. Her purse was in there, for god sake!
Citizen Detective Thread
- We finally get to meet Elijah Wood’s Walter Tattersall, and though he did enjoy slapping his perp around a bit too much, is he certifiable, or just a bored internet sleuth with money to burn?
- The Man with No Eyes. Who is he, and why is he so interested in Taissa?
- The symbol pops up three times in this episode, all in different contexts. Is it a form of protection? A call to the wilderness? Or a marking meant to map something Taissa’s other half is looking for?
Showtime’s ‘Yellowjackets’ streams for subscribes on Friday and broadcasts on Sunday nights.