Tue. Mar 28th, 2023

Yellowjackets Season 1 was simply an amuse-bouche.

The wonderful kickoff to Showtime’s addictive collection hinted at cannibalism and ritualistic sacrifice, however it’s solely in Season 2 that we actually get on the meat of what occurred to the Yellowjackets within 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 present’s glowing reception and multi-season renewal, it is clear Yellowjackets creators Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson have extra room to play. Prepare for extra genre-bending, extra characters, and greater stylistic swings. Whereas a few of these swings do not fully stick the touchdown, Yellowjackets Season 2 stays an irresistibly harrowing watch, full with new mysteries, jaw-dropping horrors, and a persistently unimaginable solid.

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The Yellowjackets face main penalties in Season 2.

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

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

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

Current-day Shauna (Melanie Lynskey) additionally finds herself in a little bit of scorching water as police examine the disappearance of her former lover (and homicide sufferer) Adam (Peter Gadiot). As a substitute 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 within the current. Taissa reckons with the horrifying impression 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 group run by Lottie (Simone Kessell). Not one to depart her good friend hanging, Misty groups up with fellow Citizen Detective Walter (Elijah Wooden) to trace her down.

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

Wooden’s Walter can be a welcome addition to the solid as a possible good friend to Misty. The 2 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 an enormous method — and a variety of that’s due to Lottie.

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

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

By far the largest supernatural ingredient this season is younger Lottie’s (Courtney Eaton) connection to the wilderness. After killing a bear and sacrificing its coronary heart within the Season 1 finale, Lottie has grow to be a sort 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 he or she 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 within the current, although, as Lottie worries that the darkness they encountered within the wild has adopted them dwelling.

As somebody who hardly ever finds visions to be notably compelling or attention-grabbing storytelling gadgets, I loved Yellowjackets’ restraint in terms of 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 within the flashback sequences that extends to present-day Lottie’s personal cult. Group member activates staff member, and Yellowjackets examines every character’s capability for cruelty as they slip ever-closer to the ritualistic cannibals we met within the present’s very first episode.

Eaton delivers in her newly expanded function, portraying Lottie as a real believer who simply occurs to have been positioned on a pedestal by a few of her mates. It is generally laborious to purchase folks’s reverent therapy of her within the season’s early episodes, however Eaton performs Lottie’s dedication with such sincerity that it is simple to consider her actions, it doesn’t matter what these round her could also be doing. Her present-day counterpart Kessell is considerably extra slippery, particularly given her obvious cult chief standing. As we be taught extra about her time between the rescue and now, her motivations grow to be extra clear in ways in which illuminate Season 1 occasions as effectively.

Yellowjackets has at all times blended genres, together with psychological horror, teen drama, and darkish comedy. With the additional emphasis on the supernatural, Season 2 takes us additional into this mix whereas incorporating much more surreal components. Taissa faces off in opposition to her sleepwalking double in a mirror. In a single 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 they’d by no means even gotten on the airplane. These departures from actuality give fascinating seems to be at every Yellowjacket’s psychological state and the alternative ways wherein they take care of and compartmentalize their trauma.

Different comparable departures, corresponding to a sequence wherein the Yellowjackets view themselves as Greek goddesses, do not land as effectively. 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 slightly to take a seat in confusion.

Regardless of this, I nonetheless recognize Yellowjackets’ dedication to going above and past the wild expectations it set for us in Season 1, each by way of story and elegance. Season 2 is bolder, darker, and prepared to take extra dangers with its deeply disturbed characters, and it pays off. May I exploit extra solutions as to what the heck is happening within the wilderness? Certain. However I belief that Yellowjackets will take us there. Within the meantime, this season’s many twists, turns, and cliffhangers are sufficient to maintain me hooked — and buzzing for extra.

Yellowjackets Season 2 begins streaming March 24 on Showtime, with new episodes streaming weekly on Fridays(Opens in a brand new tab). Episodes additionally air each Sunday on Showtime at 9 p.m. ET, beginning March 26.

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