The Buzz reawakens this week after taking a time out for… wait, that can't be right? Apparently, something important happened last week called the "NFL draft"? Whatever that is, Yellowjackets finally returns after the sucker punch of a cliffhanger that left Shauna right in the middle of bringing a new life into the cabin. We thought things were bad before, but they're about to get dire. How does one even feed a newborn when stranded in the woods? Especially when the mother has been starving for months. I'm sure the new baby will also be a constant reminder of Shauna's betrayal. Putting it lightly, this baby is coming into a very stressful environment.
The episode opens with a flashback of our beloved Yellowjackets in a school classroom. Pre-crash, so you won't see any antlers here. It's also right in the middle of an awkward sex ed. class led by coach Ben. We're treated to some early interactions between Randy, Van, Tai, and Misty. The real focus of this, though is an interaction between Jeff and Shauna as he passes her a note saying how much he had fun during "tutoring". Frustrated as hell, Shauna gets us, drops the note back on his desk, and loud enough for the class to hear, tells him what Jackie's favorite flowers are. Jumping forward to the cabin, Shauna is in labor big time. The rest of the Yellowjackets panic as no one has ever delivered a baby.
Finally returning to the present, we pick up on Misty turning in her personal possessions as she looks to join the ranks at Lottie's compound. All this for the sake of Nat, who doesn't want to leave. Here Misty comes face to face with Lottie after not seeing her for years (let's not forget that everyone had assumed she was incoherent in Switzerland). Misty is quick to call Lottie out on the grift and accuses her of brainwashing her followers, Nat included. Meanwhile, at Van's video store, she and Tai discuss the sleepwalking issues, and there's an implication that Tai has more than one personality. The hidden side of her awakens when she sleeps.
Back at the cabin, Shauna's contractions are intensifying. There's a lot of blood, and the birth is imminent. Everyone expects Misty to jump to the task of delivering the baby, especially since she was one of the few paying attention in Sex Ed. Unfortunately for everyone, the sight of blood causes Misty to freak out, secretly recalling the recent demise of Crystal, and she freezes up. She and Crystal planned on delivering the baby together, and the guilt eats her up almost as savagely as the girls tore into Jackie's corpse. As the rest of them struggle to deliver the baby, Travis takes it upon himself to make a blood offering on an animal skull. He asks for the woods to protect Shauna, and the rest of the Yellowjackets follow suit with their own offerings.
In the present, after the arrival of Misty, Lottie begins speculating that some force is bringing them all back together. For the record, Nat, Misty, and Lottie are all in close vicinity now, and Lottie had a run-in with Travis before his death. After years and years of not talking to one another, it is a spooky coincidence that they're suddenly coming back into each other's lives.
Meanwhile, Coach Ben is still haunted by his mistakes with his partner. After these past few episodes, I fear something drastic will come from this. Especially given that he never came out, hiding his sexuality. That burden is some heavy stuff to live with, especially when you're unsure if you'll ever get another chance.
Jumping back to the present, Kevyn and his partner have called Shauna and Callie in for questioning regarding the disappearance of Adam Martin (and the fact it was soap in the condom in Randy's motel room). They're alarmed when they learn they're going to be questioned separately. Shauna comes clean about having an affair; meanwhile, Callie tries to use her age as leverage against talking to Kevyn about her side of things. Meanwhile, Jeff waits in the van listening to a particularly famous and fitting N.W.A. song. At Lottie's compound, Misty calls Tai and tells her that she and Nat are there. Tai is shocked that Lottie isn't locked up somewhere.
Back at the cabin, everyone surrounds Shauna and begins to pray to the woods for her safety. Their offerings weren't in vain, as she gives birth to a boy and the tired mother passes out. Things are about to get a whole lot more complicated with the new mouth to feed, considering the rest of them are barely surviving the winter.
Jumping forward, Tai decides to call Shauna, not knowing that she's in the middle of being questioned for Adam's disappearance. Jeff answers and makes up an excuse for why she can't come to the phone, and this is where Tai drops a bit of news: she and Van are heading to Lottie's compound to meet with her, Misty, and Nat. All this under the guise that it's a self-help facility. This sets off a lightbulb in Jeff's head. After Shauna and Callie return to the van, he suggests that Shauna also go to Lottie's for the sake of saving their family. He feels that Shauna is getting a little too unhinged lately, and it would be good for her to go. Lottie's premonition is coming true after all.
Shauna struggles to breastfeed her newborn baby. After starving for so long, it's safe to assume she's struggling to produce breast milk. Tensions rise between Lottie and the new mother as she also attempts to take care of the baby, but Shauna doesn't want her anywhere near him. After struggling for some time, she's finally successful in breastfeeding and shares a happy moment with her baby.
Van and Taissa arrive at Lottie's compound and experience a happy reunion with Misty and Nat. Van makes it clear she has no intention of staying and is only there to drop Tai off. Shauna soon arrives, and it's clear that all their paths have led to this reunion. Van's intentions change when she sees Lottie from a distance, and it almost looks as if something has awakened in her. With all the surviving Yellowjackets in attendance, we get an aerial view of the compound, where it's revealed that it's one giant sigil. I'm starting to think nothing good can come from this.
At the cabin, Shauna wakes up and can't find her baby. He's not in his crib, and she gets up to look for him. She walks out into the main part of the cabin, where she finds the group huddled over something. She then notices that they're covered in blood and eating something. To her horror, she realizes that they're eating her baby! We cut back to Shauna waking up after having just given birth. It was all a nightmare. Her fellow Yellowjackets surround her, tears in their eyes. They tell her they thought she was gone, and Misty breaks awful news: her baby didn't make it. Her child was never alive. Tearful, Shauna refuses to believe it, saying she can still hear him crying, and the episode ends.
Holy moly, what an episode. Are sinister forces genuinely at play in both the past and present? It sure is starting to look like that. Also love the fact that the writers took the common prediction about Shauna's baby and threw it out the window, instead delivering a far more emotionally impactful outcome to that subplot. It almost makes me wonder how a trauma like that will affect her in the present day. And what's going to come from the Yellowjackets reuniting in adulthood? As we've learned from the past, when this particular group gets together, very bad things tend to happen. We'll have our answers soon as we're full steam ahead on the second half of this season!
Needle Drop of the Week - "Fuck Tha Police" by N.W.A.
Probably one of the most prolific protest songs of all time, "Fuck Tha Police" is a staple of '90s music that Yellowjackets uses expertly. Not only does it show another side of the '90s with the rise of West Coast hip-hop, but the song also caused the FBI to issue a warning to N.W.A. and their management expressing their disapproval of its lyrical content. Though it's played as a joke in the episode with Jeff rocking out to it in the family van, it's a symbolic reminder that Shauna could be in huge trouble if Detective Kevyn finds what he's looking for to connect her to Adam's disappearance.
Also, the song is just fantastic.