Last week’s episode of Yellowjackets Season 2 perfectly walked the line between something resembling sweetness and comfort and some seriously devastating blows (quite literally). But the season’s eighth episode, titled “It Chooses,” takes the more devastating approach, and any hint of joy we saw previously is now squandered. Not only do our Yellowjackets have to deal with the fact that Adam’s (Peter Gadiot) body has been found in the present-day timeline, but revelations begin coming out left, right, and center among the group, with long-withheld secrets finally being revealed and causing more harm than good. And in the ’90s timeline, the team is dealing with the aftermath of Shauna’s (Sophie Nélisse) brutal beating of Lottie (Courtney Eaton) — not to mention food supply is still null and the effects of starvation are starting to take their toll.
After getting the news that Adam’s body has been found, Shauna (Melanie Lynskey) is forced to share the news with her fellow Yellowjackets. Since Van (Lauren Ambrose) and Lottie (Simone Kessell) do not know who Adam is, nor their involvement in his death, the teammates must mask their panic in an attempt to keep it that way. That plan proves to be futile when Taissa (Tawny Cypress) snaps at Van, who immediately calls her out for lying and point-blank asks her if they had something to do with it. When she doesn’t answer, Van storms over to Shauna, takes her car keys, and tosses them away, saying that no one is going anywhere until they tell her and Lottie what is going on, and so they do. But in telling the group, everyone gets mad at Shauna for telling Jeff (Warren Kole) what they did. It’s during this confession that Lottie ushers everyone to reconvene in the sharing shack so that others don’t hear them since they’ve been having this conversation carelessly out in the open.
In the sharing shack, everyone gets caught up with the present-day events, and Van represents us all as she says “This is what you’ve all been doing with your lives?” Shauna says it’s in all of their best interest that Adam is gone, but Taissa points out it’s particularly in Shauna’s best interest, to which Shauna says that she’s not the only person with secrets that were threatened to be revealed. Natalie (Juliette Lewis) then reminds Shauna that she purposefully shared more of their secrets with Jeff, kind of negating her point, but Shauna simply says she was scared and needed Jeff on her side. Taissa says that they all want things they can’t have, earning an icy glare from Van. Shauna calls her out for it, asking how she even found Van to begin with, to which Tai says it’s not hard to find that information these days. Misty (Christina Ricci), ever the pot-stirrer, pipes in and says that Tai should’ve just asked her for Van’s address instead of outsourcing, as she’s had her address for a while now. Nat catches onto that and asks what Misty means by outsourcing, and thus the truth about Jessica Roberts (Rekha Sharma) finally comes out. We’ve known for a while now that Taissa hired Jessica to dig into her fellow Yellowjackets, and we of course know that Misty knew about it due to her little kidnapping arc, but such a thing had yet to be revealed to the rest of the members. This information naturally upsets everyone due to feeling like a betrayal, and Shauna asks how Taissa knows that Jessica won’t go rogue with the information. Misty once again pipes in and says that she took care of it, like she always does, which doesn’t exactly sit too well with the group.
Shauna also mentions that the FBI has been asking questions about Natalie, which Misty dismisses as actually being herself and Walter (Elijah Wood). She begins telling everyone about how she and Walter were trying to find out who kidnapped Misty, and how they interrogated Randy (Jeff Holman) since he had been staying at the same motel as Natalie. She then says that for an innocent man, Randy seemed terrified and that he brought up Jeff at one point. Shauna brushes it off by saying that they’re simply best friends and it was probably nothing, but Misty says it sounded like they had done something bad together and were afraid of being caught. This is how Shauna’s lie unravels. Misty says that she didn’t give it much thought at the time, but now that she thinks about it there was another person who had access to Shauna’s journals the entire time: Jeff. Taissa jumps on this, saying that when Shauna found glitter in her closet she assumed it was from Adam — but in reality, it makes a lot more sense for it to be Jeff. Natalie directly asks Shauna if their blackmailer was Jeff to which she finally says yes, adding that she was worried if they found out it was Jeff that they’d try and kill him. This only makes things more heated, and though Natalie tries to mediate by saying they should talk rationally, Lottie surprisingly says that this time talking and therapies won’t fix anything.
We’ve been watching throughout this season as Lottie has slowly lost grip on reality, her hallucinations once again taking over and messing with her. We also know that said hallucinations have become more perilous as more and more of the team showed up, so this moment felt imminent. She tells the group that something has guided them here and that even though she’s tried to will it away and fight it, it’s too powerful, and that they should just give it what it wants — one of them. She then sets down a tray of drinks and explains that one of them contains a phenobarbital solution, which is used to euthanize animals who are suffering, quickly and painlessly. Shauna says that their lives aren’t that bad that they need to do this, so to prove her wrong Lottie goes all around the circle and starts rhyming off everyone’s flaws. Everything from Taissa killing her dog and almost killing her wife, Misty actually killing someone, Shauna running the risk of losing her family, Natalie nearly killing herself, and Van has lost her lust for life. Van then says that Lottie should take one for the team and be the sacrifice, but Lottie reminds her that’s not how it works and that the wilderness has to choose.
On the flip side of the present-day timeline, Jeff and Callie (Sarah Desjardins) are paid a visit by Kevyn Tan (Alex Wyndham) and Matt Saracusa (John Paul Reynolds), who have a search warrant. Callie follows Matt around with her phone recording while he searches her room, and tells him that all the jury will need to be on her side is to know that he, a grown man, seduced her, a teenager. He retorts by saying that when they find out how much of a liar Shauna is they’ll realize the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree (though he says it with a bit more colorful language).
Elsewhere, Kevyn asks Jeff where Shauna is, and he claims she’s at a spa with some friends, to which Kevyn theorizes that maybe Jeff kicked her out after she admitted to her affair with Adam. Jeff simply says they’re working that out. Saracusa joins them and tells Jeff he wants to show him some pictures: of Adam’s dismembered body. They point out that his body was cut up very cleanly, something like what you would see from a doctor. Jeff is quick to remind the detectives that Shauna isn’t a doctor, so she couldn’t have done this, but they remind him that Shauna has the survival skills to do this. Kevyn also points out that whoever did this had the foresight to remove his hands, feet, and head, and even looks to have used something to remove Adam’s tattoo.
That night, Jeff has a dream that at first doesn’t seem to be a dream. Shauna comes home and the pair start kissing before she stabs him with an electric kitchen knife, slicing off a piece of his abdomen. As Jeff backs away in fear, we see that Shauna’s hands are now electric knives, a clear sign that the pictures got to him more than they seemed. She begins cornering him and tells him to stay calm just before slitting his throat. He awakens with a start and finds Callie sitting on the couch drinking a beer because she can’t sleep. She asks him if she’s like her mother, to which he says, of course, she’s strong and doesn’t take flack from anyone. But Callie says that’s not what she means. Jeff then says that Shauna lost a lot while out in the wilderness, more than just Jackie (Ella Purnell), and then reveals to Callie that Shauna was pregnant and that she had a baby, which she lost. He seems to struggle to get the words out, and it’s the first time we’ve seen him acknowledge that pregnancy and child. Now that we know how that storyline played out for him, too, it makes it all the more heartbreaking. He tells Callie that all of that weight is only his and Shauna’s to bear, though.
On a more minor note — minor as in it’s a brief moment of the episode, but will likely play a huge part in future ones — Walter finds out that Adam’s body has been found. He doesn’t so much as think before he’s sending an email to the police department saying that he has information they may find useful. It’s unclear whether he’s going to try and throw them off, or throw Misty under the bus, but anything seems possible.
Back in the ’90s, Mari (Alexa Barajas) and Misty (Sammi Hanratty) are helping a very beaten and bruised Lottie stand long enough for her to pee. There’s blood in it, which Misty says could be an infection in her kidney; after all, Shauna did pummel her pretty hard. Mari complains about the smell of it, so Misty tells her to stop being a brat and go empty the bucket if it’s bothering her so much. She goes to do just that, but as she’s climbing down from the attic she drops it all over the floor and begins to cry, the stress and fear of the situation taking a toll on her.
Downstairs, Akilah (Nia Sondaya) is playing with her mouse friend that she found a few episodes back. She has big plans to introduce him to her nephew and buy him a house with plenty of tunnels for him to crawl through. But when Tai (Jasmin Savoy Brown) asks to see what she has, Akilah brushes her off. Tai tells her that the mouse is dead, but Akilah doesn’t believe her until Tai physically takes it from her and holds up its skeleton. It’s the first of many moments in this episode in which we see the effects of starvation starting to truly wrack the team. Mari sees blood leaking from the walls when she once again investigates the dripping she’s been hearing, and Taissa is seeing her other half, the sleepwalking half, in both her reflection and standing behind her, smiling menacingly. She tells a concerned Van (Liv Hewson) that she’s simply lightheaded. Van then passes Mari a leather belt she found in Jackie’s luggage and wonders if it can be protein. Mari drops it in the water she’s boiling, announcing they’ll be having belt stew. The desperation falling over the team has become more and more futile as the season has gone on, but this is a whole new low.
Tensions are also high between Shauna and the rest of the group in the wake of her beating Lottie. When Shauna goes to grab a blanket for her teammate, Gen (Mya Lowe) makes a snide comment about how it’s rather funny considering she didn’t have concern for her before. Van interjects and says that Lottie took the brunt of Shauna’s anger to protect the rest of them. On the sidelines, Natalie (Sophie Thatcher) and Coach (Steven Krueger) are chatting and Nat says that it might not be the worst thing if Lottie dies, to which Coach agrees. Nat mentions that everyone has changed because of Lottie, like she has some sort of weird control over them, but she also says she saw Javi (Luciano Leroux) kneeling at one of the symbol trees, and Coach perks up at that. He later goes through Javi’s belongings and finds drawings he’s made, finding one in particular that he keeps, and fixes up his crutches to make them better able to handle snow. We find out why later on when he sets out to find the tree Natalie mentioned. He compares Javi’s drawing to that of the real spot and finds steam rolling out of an opening. Peeling back some foliage, he finds that he can crawl inside and when he does, he discovers an entire underground hideout complete with a fire pit and bones. What this place is though, we don’t know yet — and if later events are any hint, we may never learn.
Travis (Kevin Alves) and Natalie finally make up this episode as well. After she’s finished helping Javi make some gloves, he sits next to her and tells her that she’s a good person, and he’s sorry for ever making her think otherwise. Upstairs, Misty is checking on Lottie who looks to be fading fast and hard. Lottie tells her that if she dies that the team is not to waste her body, and makes Misty promise. Misty later informs the team of this, but Mari says the wilderness won’t let her die so they shouldn’t worry. But Travis raises another point — it may not want her to die, but she’s starving so there’s no way she’s going to live. Tai says they need to find a way to stay alive, but it can’t be by eating Lottie.
With an animal skull in the center of a team-wide circle, and a candle lit among it, Van shuffles a deck of cards, showing off a queen of hearts as the chosen one. One by one the deck is brought around the circle and each person picks a card. Misty pulls an eight of diamonds, then Van moves on to Akilah, Van, Shauna, and the rest, until, one by one, everybody picks a card that is anything but the queen of hearts. After pulling safe cards, Javi and Travis embrace in relief. But Natalie is up next and she shakily reaches for the deck, and as fate would have it, she pulls the queen of hearts. This entire time we didn’t know what they were drawing for, but when Natalie steps into the middle of the circle it was suddenly clear that they were drawing cards to pick a sacrifice. Shauna tells Nat to turn around before placing Jackie’s heart necklace on her. She then raises a knife to her throat, but before she can do it, Nat turns around and tells Shauna she’ll have to look her in the eye when she does it. Before she can, Travis tackles Shauna to the ground and tells Natalie to run, having been the team’s chosen sacrifice himself once before.
The team chase after her, with a few staying behind to keep Travis in place, but Javi follows the team. However, he isn’t there to hunt Natalie; instead, he wants to help her. He tells her he knows a place where she can hide and that she’ll just have to trust him. This place is likely the very hole in the ground that Coach has found, but we don’t know for sure — because as Javi and Natalie run across the frozen lake, the team catches up to them. They’re about halfway across when the ice suddenly begins to crack and breaks under Javi’s feet. Nat immediately launches herself to help pull him back up, calling for the rest of the team to help. Misty comes to them but just when it seems like she may be there to help, she pulls Natalie away as Javi struggles helplessly. She tells Natalie that if she saves Javi they’ll just kill her, so instead the team just watches Javi drown as he calls for Natalie to help him. It’s brutal and sad, and just shows how far into desperation the team has fallen. After pulling Javi out of the water and concluding that he is, in fact dead, Van simply says that “the wilderness chose.”