‘Yellowjackets’ Season 2 review: Our favorite messed-up cannibals return — with even more bite

    ‘Yellowjackets’ Season 2 review: Our favorite messed-up cannibals return — with even more bite
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    ‘Yellowjackets’ Season 2 review: Our favorite messed-up cannibals return — with even more bite

    Yellowjackets Season 1 was simply an amuse-bouche.

    The wonderful kickoff to Showtime’s addictive collection hinted at cannibalism and ritualistic sacrifice, but it surely’s only in Season 2 that we really get on the meat of what occurred to the Yellowjackets in the wilderness. This season dives deep into the supernatural hauntings that plagued the stranded soccer staff, in addition to the darkness that continues to observe them 25 years later.

    Given the show’s glowing reception and multi-season renewal, it is clear Yellowjackets creators Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson have more room to play. Get prepared for more genre-bending, more characters, and larger stylistic swings. While a few of these swings do not fully stick the touchdown, Yellowjackets Season 2 stays an irresistibly harrowing watch, complete with new mysteries, jaw-dropping horrors, and a constantly unimaginable forged.


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    The Yellowjackets face main penalties in Season 2.

    A woman in a black shirt sits at a table in the dark.

    Murder has penalties, as Shauna learns.
    Credit: Kimberley French/SHOWTIME

    Yellowjackets continues following two timelines in Season 2: the aftermath of the 1996 aircraft crash, and the survivors’ lives 25 years later. At the beginning of the season, each these timelines decide up with the widespread thread of the Yellowjackets dealing with the brutal penalties of their Season 1 actions.

    For the younger Yellowjackets, this implies mourning the lack of Jackie (Ella Purnell), who froze to demise after her teammates exiled her. It’s been two months since that tragedy, and a really pregnant Shauna’s (Sophie Nélisse) disturbing coping mechanisms ship shockwaves by way of the staff.

    Present-day Shauna (Melanie Lynskey) also finds herself in a little bit of scorching water as police examine the disappearance of her former lover (and homicide sufferer) Adam (Peter Gadiot). Instead of turning to the remainder of the core 4 Yellowjackets like Misty (Christina Ricci), Taissa (Tawny Cypress), and Natalie (Juliette Lewis), she leans on her ride-or-die husband Jeff (Warren Kole) for assist.


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    For many of the six episodes despatched to critics for overview, Yellowjackets retains the core 4 separate in the current. Taissa reckons with the horrifying impact of her sleepwalking — bear in mind her sacrificial canine altar? — in a storyline that leads her to ex Van (Lauren Ambrose). A kidnapped Natalie finds herself staying at a community run by Lottie (Simone Kessell). Not one to go away her buddy hanging, Misty groups up with fellow Citizen Detective Walter (Elijah Wood) to trace her down.

    While the sheer quantity of plot can sometimes really feel overstuffed, these branching storylines deepen the forged of characters in some thrilling methods. Obviously, it is a deal with to fulfill two new grownup Yellowjackets and see what life has thrown at them. But it is equally rewarding to see Jeff get an expanded role, alongside together with his and Shauna’s daughter Callie (Sarah Desjardins). Shauna and Jeff’s homicide coverup outcomes in a few of the season’s most darkly humorous moments but, permitting Lynskey to as soon as once more peel back the layers of Shauna’s housewife exterior to unveil one thing darker and more reckless.

    Wood’s Walter is also a welcome addition to the forged as a possible buddy to Misty. The two of them are a match made in heaven, from their Citizen Detective expertise to their love of musicals. Dare I ship them, despite the fact that they’re each public menaces? Oh, I dare.

    Yellowjackets Season 2 leans into the supernatural in a giant way — and numerous that’s due to Lottie.

    A young woman in a furry coat walks through snowy woods.

    Lottie takes middle stage.
    Credit: Kailey Schwerman/SHOWTIME.

    Season 1 of Yellowjackets teased us with an odd image, a person with no eyes, and Taissa’s horrifying sleepwalking self. The new season deepens these mysteries and hints at just a few solutions, however do not go anticipating full explanations simply but. For now, Yellowjackets appears content to show up the dial on horror. Mysterious lifeless birds and slack-jawed apparitions are all on the docket this season, together with rivers of blood and flesh-rending gore. Remember, it is a show about cannibalism… though by the end of the season, that may not be the worst transgression our Yellowjackets have dedicated.

    By far the most important supernatural aspect this season is younger Lottie’s (Courtney Eaton) connection to the wilderness. After killing a bear and sacrificing its coronary heart in the Season 1 finale, Lottie has turn into a form of non secular chief for the Yellowjackets. She carries out a bloody ritual to bless Natalie (Sophie Thatcher) and Travis’s (Kevin Alves) makes an attempt to hunt, and she or he encourages her staff members to nurture their relationship with the wilderness. Then, there’s the matter of her visions, which have helped the staff discover meals and impressed religion in a lot of her compatriots. These omens take a depraved flip in the current, although, as Lottie worries that the darkness they encountered in the wild has adopted them residence.

    As somebody who not often finds visions to be notably compelling or attention-grabbing storytelling units, I loved Yellowjackets‘ restraint relating to Lottie’s. Her mysterious powers are much less the main target than the rift they trigger between the staff’s true believers and skeptics, making a dynamic push and pull in the flashback sequences that extends to present-day Lottie’s own cult. Team member activates staff member, and Yellowjackets examines every character’s capability for cruelty as they slip ever-closer to the ritualistic cannibals we met in the show’s very first episode.

    Eaton delivers in her newly expanded role, portraying Lottie as a real believer who simply occurs to have been positioned on a pedestal by a few of her pals. It’s typically exhausting to buy people’s reverent therapy of her in the season’s early episodes, however Eaton performs Lottie’s dedication with such sincerity that it is easy to consider her actions, it doesn’t matter what these round her could also be doing. Her present-day counterpart Kessell is considerably more slippery, particularly given her obvious cult chief standing. As we study more about her time between the rescue and now, her motivations turn into more clear in ways in which illuminate Season 1 occasions as properly.

    Yellowjackets has at all times blended genres, together with psychological horror, teen drama, and darkish comedy. With the extra emphasis on the supernatural, Season 2 takes us further into this mix whereas incorporating even more surreal parts. Taissa faces off against her sleepwalking double in a mirror. In one dreamy sequence, one staff member stumbles right into a crowded mall whereas wandering the woods. In one other, one Yellowjacket fantasizes of a life the place that they had by no means even gotten on the aircraft. These departures from actuality give fascinating appears to be like at every Yellowjacket’s mental state and the alternative ways in which they take care of and compartmentalize their trauma.

    Other comparable departures, similar to a sequence in which the Yellowjackets view themselves as Greek goddesses, do not land as properly. The latter undercuts a pivotal second with tonal disjoint, to the purpose that my response to the scene was to not think about the horrific penalties of the scene, however fairly to sit down in confusion.

    Despite this, I nonetheless admire Yellowjackets’ dedication to going above and past the wild expectations it set for us in Season 1, each in terms of story and elegance. Season 2 is bolder, darker, and keen to take more dangers with its deeply disturbed characters, and it pays off. Could I take advantage of more solutions as to what the heck is occurring in the wilderness? Sure. But I belief that Yellowjackets will take us there. In the meantime, this season’s many twists, turns, and cliffhangers are sufficient to keep me hooked — and buzzing for more.

    Yellowjackets Season 2 begins streaming March 24 on Showtime, with new episodes streaming weekly on Fridays. Episodes also air each Sunday on Showtime at 9 p.m. ET, beginning March 26.