The long-awaited reunion of our remaining Yellowjackets members is upon us, hinting at plenty more drama to come. Shauna’s (Melanie Lynskey) adultery catches up with her and Callie (Sarah Desjardins), and the ’90s timeline becomes a tad more crowded. As the season gets closer to its finale the stakes grow higher and the separate storylines we’ve been following begin to morph together.
One of the biggest storylines Season 2 has been tackling is Natalie’s (Juliette Lewis) grief and desperation to find out what happened to Travis (Andres Sotos). With each episode, more and more has been revealed — not only about how he died, but what he and Nat’s relationship was like after the plane crash. It’s very obviously taken a toll on her most notably in this episode, as we see just how guilty she feels over it. While doing target practice, she delivers a gut-wrenching monologue that only further speaks to the pain she’s been battling for not only the past two seasons but for years. Venting to Lisa (Nicole Maines), Natalie says: “I’m poison, I ruin people. I killed my best friend, the only person I loved, the only person who knew me.” Lisa tells Natalie that it was not her fault and that there was nothing she could do, to which Natalie says that what was in Travis is in her now, speaking more to the thought that whatever cosmic, supernatural force was in the woods with them has come back to haunt them.
It isn’t just Natalie that’s been struggling with guilt and plagues of the crash, as Lottie (Simone Kessell) has begun having visions again, for the first time in years. She’s been visiting her therapist a few times now, whether to check in or to ask for a higher dose of her medication, but in the previous episode things got more dire, and she’s in a last-minute session here. Lottie’s also battling with guilt, as she tells her therapist: “I’m not worried that I’m I’ll, I’m worried that I’ve never been I’ll and that’s why all of this is happening. Travis coming, Natalie, and now Misty is here too. It’s like it sent them here to show me that it was real and that I wasn’t the only one who felt it out there.” When asked what “it” is, Lottie simply says “The power of that place. The God of that place.” She then goes on to say that they did some terrible things out there, in the name of that place, and that she thought when they were rescued they had left it behind, but it followed them back and is now taunting them. With how often it’s said that the team “did awful things,” it seems like we’ve only just begun to scratch the surface of what exactly happened out there in the wilderness, and more horrors are likely to be unveiled.
Misty (Christina Ricci) has just checked into Lottie’s cult — erm, intentional community. She’s confronted by Lottie, who shows her around, and Misty informs her that she is there to save Natalie, to which Lottie asks her to stay awhile, claiming it could be good for both herself and Natalie. After her argument with Walter (Elijah Wood), it may just be in her best interest to lie low; after all, he seemed fairly onto her, even if his call-out didn’t seem entirely malicious. However, it isn’t just Misty who checks into Lottie’s retreat. In the long-awaited reunion, all of our known living Yellowjackets reunite and come face to face with Lottie for the first time in decades.
Taissa (Tawny Cypress) finally answers Misty’s phone call (after ignoring them the majority of the season,) and is informed of Natalie’s whereabouts and all about Lottie. Since she’s reunited with Van (Lauren Ambrose) now, the pair strap in for a road trip to Camp Green Pine, where Van tells Tai that Lottie is a diagnosed schizophrenic — and she’ll drop Tai off, but she will not be going in with her. That of course changes once they arrive, and as everyone comes together and finally comes face to face with Lottie, Van freezes, a mixture of both surprise and terror on her face. Given how she’s one of Lottie’s most loyal followers in the ’90s timeline, what happened between them and now? What has her so utterly shaken? Is it simply the compelling power of Lottie that has caught her off guard after so many years apart, or did something much more dire happen that we’ve yet to see?
Another big plot of Season 2 has been the follow-up to Shauna’s murder of Adam Martin (Peter Gadiot) and more notably, Callie’s new involvement in it. Frustrated with her mom’s shady secret keeping, Callie sought out a confidant in a random man she met. While that was certainly mistake number one, the man (John Paul Reynolds) introduces himself as Jay, but is quickly revealed to us viewers to actually be an investigator named Matt Saracusa, who is working with Kevyn Tan (Alex Wyndham) on the Adam Martin case. Though Callie and Shauna believed they had covered their tracks by faking an affair with Randy (Jeff Holman) to throw Matt and Kevyn off the scent, the investigators saw right through it, and now both Shauna and Callie are being brought in for questioning.
Matt takes Shauna, while Kevyn questions Callie, and though she may have been a typical bratty teenager in Season 1, she’s grown to be a much more likable character and has come through for Shauna lately. That’s exactly what she does here as Kevyn throws questions at her. Callie begins to cry and says that Matt told her he loved her but was only using her to get to Shauna — and that she was a virgin before she met him. Kevyn tells her that Matt knows the rules and wouldn’t get as involved as she’s insinuating. He then proceeds to remind her that making false accusations is a chargeable offense, to which Callie boldly states: “Then fucking charge me, we’ll see who a jury believes.” In another room, Shauna tells Matt that she never wanted to be a mom, but life had other plans for her. She says she had a baby to save a marriage she got into out of guilt and shame, and then surprisingly admits to having an affair with Adam. She defends it as her simply being a bored housewife and that Adam made her feel young again for five minutes.
All while Callie and Shauna are being interrogated, Jeff (Warren Kole) is loudly blaring music with the windows down when Shauna’s phone begins to ring — Taissa is calling, and tells Jeff to inform Shauna that Lottie is out of the institution and running a wellness retreat. Natalie and Misty are already there and she and Van are on their way. When the girls finally emerge from the building, Jeff tells Shauna that he’s worried about her, that she’s out of control, and then prompts her to meet her fellow Yellowjackets at Lottie’s retreat. Thus, the final pawn in Lottie’s chess game is moved into place, and in an aerial shot, the eerie symbol we’ve come to know so well is etched into the yard of the campground.
As we found out at the end of the previous episode, Shauna (Sophie Nélisse) has gone into labor. It was bound to happen this season, as when the season began Shauna was noticeably further along, but it was still a surprise nonetheless. Misty (Sammi Hanratty) is naturally put in charge of coaching Shauna through the birth, but after watching Crystal (Nuha Jes Izman) die last episode (and being partially responsible for it), she’s noticeably shaken up. This is only furthered when she sees blood and has a flashback to doing CPR on Crystal, which results in her tapping out and saying she’s unable to help.
Shauna says something doesn’t feel right, and so Natalie (Sophie Thatcher) enlists the help of Coach Ben (Steven Krueger) who also says he is unable to help as he simply presses play on a tape in sex ed; he doesn’t actually know how to help birth a baby. In Misty’s absence, Akilah (Nia Sondaya) steps in and, with the help of her new pet mouse (which feels wholly unsanitary, by the way), takes over coaching Shauna through the birth. While this is happening, Taissa (Jasmin Savoy-Brown) has been encouraging Shauna and cheering her on, telling her she can do anything — and honestly, this friendship may just be one of the best and most underrated pieces of the show.
Seeing the grim circumstance Shauna seems to be in, both with having a team of inexperienced people helping deliver her baby and the hopelessness of being in a remote cabin in the middle of nowhere, Travis (Kevin Alves) cuts himself and lets the blood drip onto one of the many animal skulls hanging on the wall. Everyone (aside from Nat, Taissa, Akilah, and Shauna) offers something as well, which Lottie (Courtney Eaton) takes note of: “The wilderness recognizes your sacrifice. And so do I.” We soon find out that Shauna was right in thinking something didn’t feel right, as the placenta is coming first, which is not a good sign. Lottie confronts Misty, who is panicking because she and Crystal were going to deliver the baby together, and that won’t happen now. Lottie offers some strange motivation to her, saying: “You can still save Shauna. You can save our baby.” This kicks Misty into high gear, and she takes her place to deliver the baby. During this, Shauna passes out from pain and exhaustion, and when she comes to, the baby is born — and Lottie was right, it’s a boy.
All seems well with both Shauna and the baby, aside from the fact that Shauna isn’t producing any milk, and the baby certainly can’t eat proper food yet, but without anything, he’ll starve. Lottie echoes this as she holds the baby, much to Shauna’s chagrin, and says that he needs to feed, to which Shauna only demands Lottie hand her back her baby. She tries again to feed him, growing more and more distraught and frustrated with her own weakened body that she can’t provide sustenance for him to survive. As she snuggles him close, she whispers: “It’s you and me, kid.” In a relieving and relatively miraculous moment, he finally begins to nurse, offering a glimmer of hope in what seemed so grim a situation.
Only we’re thrown for a loop as Shauna lays down for a nap, and awakens to singing. When she looks beside her, she finds the baby is no longer next to her and quickly scrambles out of bed to find him. Horrifyingly, she finds the team huddled up and eating, only we can’t see what at first. It’s soon revealed that they’re eating Shauna’s baby. This has been a fan theory since Season 1, and though the cast has denied it at times, it feels like nothing is out of the question with this show, therefore it might just be plausible. Thankfully, it turns out to be a nightmare — except it isn’t just the team feast, it was the entire thing. From the moment Shauna opened her eyes earlier in the episode after passing out during the birth, everything was a dream — or, rather, a nightmare. The truth, as so heart-wrenchingly told to her, is that she passed out due to losing so much blood, and the baby didn’t make it. It’s hard to watch, and even harder to listen to Shauna’s cry of anguish, a spine-chilling conclusion to the episode long after the credits roll.
Given that this unexpected pregnancy played such a huge part in both Seasons 1 and 2, and Shauna’s character as a whole, the outcome is shocking. Of course, the fate of both her pregnancy and the baby was always sort of up in the air, as is the case with just about every character on the show — but a fakeout was so unexpected, and this is bound to have a hefty effect on Shauna going forward.