Editor's note: All spoilers below! Proceed with caution and catch up on The Buzz right here.
How the hell do you follow last week's "Edible Complex"? The stage has been set for cannibalism and cult shenanigans this season. How will this affect the Yellowjackets we know and love, in both past and present? Well, fear not! We got some of those answers this week, just not in the way we expected.
The episode opens up with Coach Ben in what appears to be the (pre-crash) past. Ben talks to what seems to be his secret partner (mentioned in season 1), and they share a very tender moment of Ben promising to embrace who he is and what he wants in life. This bliss is short-lived, though, as it's quickly revealed that it's all in Coach Ben's head. Is it a memory? Is it a vision brought on by Lottie? Or is it good old-fashioned regret? It's hard to say at this point. Elsewhere, Tai refuses to believe that the group went absolutely ham on Jackie BBQ, almost like she doesn't remember it. The rest of the group confirms they did in fact feast upon Jackie, whether they want to admit it or not. And not a morsel was wasted (Tai apparently ate her face)!
In the present, Tai wakes up in the hospital following the horrific car crash she and her wife Simone were in. Tai appears to have walked away with minimal injuries, while Simone is in critical condition and unconscious. Was it chance, or was she being protected by a higher power? Given what we're learning this season, I'm inclined not to write off the second answer entirely. Still in the present, Misty finally meets Walter face to face, who reveals he's a big fan of her exploits. She's built up quite the reputation on the Citizen Detective message boards. Here, he reveals the motel cameras were fakes but uncovered information that a certain someone was at the motel the night of Nat's disappearance. He comes up with a plan to pose as an FBI agent to interrogate the potential witness and invites Misty along to be his partner. Naturally, she accepts.
Elsewhere in the present, Jeff and Shauna are driving while discussing the messy Adam situation, worried the police are catching on and starting to ask uncomfortable questions. In a flash, they accidentally hit a pedestrian, and when they go to check on him, he pulls a gun and attempts to carjack them. In the ensuing struggle, Shauna defends herself and ends up with the carjacker's gun, but he gets away with their van. Jeff is either really amazed or really terrified.
Jumping back to the past, the group decides they need to get rid of Jackie's remains. Even though the ground is frozen solid, they don't want the scraps (and guilt) lying around. Nat agrees to take the remains with her on the next hunting expedition. Meanwhile, Lottie and the group decide that Shauna needs a baby shower. The clock is ticking, and a new life is coming in this storm of death, carnage, and cannibalism.
Misty arrives at Walter's boat to go through with the interrogation, hoping that it'll bring her one step closer to discovering what happened to Nat. She's mortified to learn that Walter's witness is none other than Jeff's best friend, Randy Walsh. Fearful of blowing the entire situation, Misty locks herself in the bathroom and communicates with Walter through an earpiece, Cyrano style, to follow through with their plan.
Back at the cabin, it's revealed that Ben's vision of his partner is some form of repressed guilt about what could have been. What if he hadn't gotten on that plane? What if he embraced his sexuality? What if he let his partner know that he loved him? It's a sad moment as we realize he might never see him again to make things right. After snapping out of it, we learn that Ben also fears the rest of the group for what they did to Jackie, as he did not participate in the consumption of the forbidden meat. Meanwhile, Nat takes Jackie's bones to the original crash site and says her goodbyes. She thanks Jackie and lets her know they might survive the winter because of her sacrifice. As she prepares to depart, she encounters an all-white moose, but it gets away before she can shoot it.
During Misty and Walter's interrogation of Randy, he's shocked to learn they want to know about Nat, not Jeff. Nobody has any idea that Jeff and Randy were the blackmailers in season 1. He's almost wondering why he's not being asked about this and reveals he knows little to nothing about what happened to Nat. After Walter makes a threat, Randy reveals two bits of seemingly useless information —a group of people dressed in purple (we know them to be members of Lottie's cult) were hanging around the motel before Nat disappeared, and they drank all the Fanta in the vending machines.
In the past, Tai's sleepwalking has been getting worse. She even starts to mention "the one with no eyes." Okay, this is getting stranger and stranger. What's going on in the woods exactly? Is there truly an Evil Dead-style entity out there? It's worth noting that in the season 1 title sequence, there was indeed a person with no eyes present, but it's suspiciously absent in the season 2 title sequence. No speculation here, just making mental notes in case.
Jumping forward, we see Jeff getting his gains in at the gym, letting some aggression out. While there, he spots Kevyn and confronts him about questioning Shauna, claiming Shaunsa was "very upset." Kevyn clocks this, and Jeff quickly backtracks. Kevyn relays to him that the department has pages and pages of texts between Shauna and Adam, deeper than a simple fender-bender exchange, before finally telling Jeff a "source" has shared that Shauna was, in fact, cheating. Mustering up his best acting skills, Jeff brushes off the claim because he "knows" his wife. Eventually, Shauna tracks her van to a chop shop and holds the owner at gunpoint to get it back. Something has shifted in her. She's more dangerous, or has she always been this audacious, simply suppressing it? One thing is for sure: I would never want to cross Shauna Shipman.
Coach Ben is overwrought and has visions of quitting the team on the day of nationals to be with his partner instead. He sees a life they could've had but realizes he was too cowardly to follow through. While having these visions, Travis notes that he looks sicker and sicker. The group also puts on the baby shower for Shauna, where Misty gives a great performance of a Steel Magnolias monologue to applause from the group.
Back in the present, Tai is haunted by visions of herself in the hospital bathroom, where she confronts herself, asking what appears to be an evil version of herself what it wants. She leaves Simone in the hospital and hastily leaves. Elsewhere, Misty realizes that the cult members could've used a credit card to buy drinks at the motel's soda machine and that she can use that information to track them down. Walter also confronts Misty about Adam, and she gives him a bogus story about how she knows Adam's mother and is only protecting her privacy. Walter also implies he's perhaps romantically interested in Misty, much to her shock.
Up at Lottie's compound, Nat participates in a group session where she and Lisa make a breakthrough with each other. Lisa is frustrated because she wants Nat to know they're trying to help her. Lottie offers Lisa a chance to get revenge by stabbing Nat with a fork, but she turns it down and instead embraces and forgives Natalie. Lottie must have a way with people because this wasn't the outcome I expected between these two characters.
Back at the baby shower, Lottie gives Shauna a blanket with the ever-mysterious symbol that she argues is a symbol of protection, much to Nat's dismay. When Shauna has a nosebleed and gets blood on it, the group is shocked to hear a flock of birds come crashing down on the cabin. Unsure what caused it, they round up the birds, the "blessings."
In the present, Lottie checks on the bees in her compound and is shaken to see that they are dead and that their honey has been replaced with blood in a gory fashion. When a compound member approaches her, she realizes it's a vision and is extremely shaken by it, ending the episode on a haunting note.
Yellowjackets is going to some dangerous places, in the past and present. It's hard not to feel like we're finally going to learn what the symbol means but also what supernatural forces are at play, if any. Sure these girls brought back trauma into adulthood, but it also seems something far more sinister might be at play. If this symbol is tied to something evil, how come it's also providing for the girls in the woods and the entire basis for Lottie's cult? I'm excited and nervous to see how far into the depths we go. When you touch darkness, it touches you back.
Needle Drop of the Week: "Bells for Her" by Tori Amos
A haunting track capped off this week's episode. Tori Amos has gone on record explaining that the song is about the end of a friendship and about how you can't resist the life force and prevent bad things from happening. Ultra fitting, given the recent events unfolding in Yellowjackets. Played on a modified upright piano, the track conveys a haunting melody almost evocative of the track "Tubular Bells" from The Exorcist. Spooky!