Yellowjackets Recap: The First Supper

OK, Yellowjackets faithful: Time to dig in.

Think of last week’s final scene — of Shauna biting Jackie’s dismembered ear — as an appetizer in advance of the full-on cannibalistic bacchanal that rounds out Sunday’s hour. Because the show does not shy away from showing us exactly how hungry, and how altered, these girls are after several months in the wilderness.

In the present, Tai is in a very bad way (no, like, worse than you thought), and we get Lottie’s version of the night Travis died. And who’s that guy Callie’s talking to in the bar? Read on for the highlights of “Edible Complex.”

THINGS GET WORSE | In the winter of the team’s extreme discontent, the meat stores are dwindling quickly. Shauna is seven months pregnant and still spending far too much time hanging out with Jackie’s one-eared corpse; she’s taken to doing its hair and makeup, courtesy of a Caboodles that survived the crash. She also slices into Jackie’s arm like it’s a filet mignon, though it happens during a moment when she’s on a break from reality, and she seems horrified when she realizes what’s happened.

Elsewhere, Lottie and Travis argue about his increasing willingness to humor Lottie and her mystical schtick. When they split up to hunt, Lottie cuts her leg so she can wipe some blood on a pair of Javi’s pants she’s brought with her, then finds Travis and lies to him that she found them hanging from a branch. When he sobs, she hugs him. “Javi’s gone,” she whispers. “It’s OK.”

In less sad yet more disturbing news: When Van wakes up to see that Tai isn’t in bed, she finds her in the woods, about to follow the very creepy Man Without Eyes over a cliff… right near a tree with one of the symbols carved into it. Van can’t see the man, and when Tai wakes up, she’s freaked that she a) cut the restraints that were supposed to keep her in bed, and b) almost plummeted to her death without even realizing what was happening. But when Van suggests that Tai talk to Lottie about it — “I think she might be able to help you” — Tai says absolutely not, then forbids Van from doing so.

BURN IT DOWN | Maybe Taissa is still addled from her unplanned midnight stroll. Maybe what Shauna’s doing with Jackie is just messed-up beyond compare. But when Tai finds the mom-to-be making Jackie into her own personal life-size Barbie, she loses it. She loudly calls Shauna’s behavior out in front of the other girls. Lottie tries to intervene. “She was her best friend, Tai,” she starts, but Taissa isn’t having it. Shauna gets mad when Tai brings up “the good of the baby,” but it barely matters: Tai has decided that they’re getting rid of Jackie’s corpse that evening. When Shauna points out that the ground is too frozen to bury her, Tai suggests cremation, and the process gets underway.

Jackie is laid on top of a hastily built pyre. Lottie removes Jackie’s gold necklace and puts it on Shauna, who lights a torch and stands near her best friend’s body while everyone else looks on. “I don’t even know where you end and I begin,” she says tearfully. “I’m sorry, and I love you.” Once the fire is lit, Travis — who has returned with Lottie — balls up Javi’s pants, places them in the flames and says goodbye to his little brother.

Later that night, Travis and Natalie have sex in the cabin, but he keeps having visions of Lottie, glowing and touching him, then appearing in the corner of the room. At the same time, while everyone else is asleep, a giant gust of what I can only assume is eeeeeevil wind jostles the trees near the pyre so much that they dump a heavy load of snow on top of Jackie’s body. So the fire is still going underneath, but she’s essentially now in a giant bamboo steamer.

YOU A SNACK | Some time later, everyone is awakened by the smell of their friend roasting. Though that sounds horrifying, and it IS, they react like they’ve just caught their first whiff of the most delectable meal. They stumble out of the cabin to find Jackie laid out like a holiday ham. The fire beneath her is out, and all the girls look at each other like, “You thinking what I’m thinking?” Shauna rubs her belly and in a detached voice says, “She wants us to.” Dinner bell has rung, ladies!

As they start to chow down, the action is intercut with scenes from a bacchanalian fantasy in which the Yellowjackets, dressed in toga-like get-ups and laurels and such, enjoying themselves thoroughly — and messily — at a lavish meal. But we also get frenzied shots of the starving, scared teenagers attacking Jackie’s body with abandon. When Coach Ben sees what’s happening, he is disgusted, and quickly retreats to the cabin as the girls kneel over their friend and devour her.

TAI TIMES TWO | In the present, Tai is drinking too much coffee, killing herself with workouts and running on the least sleep possible. And all of that would be bad, but it’s upgraded to AHHHHH WTF?! when her reflection in the mirror starts moving independently of her. (Side note: I am a grown-up human adult, yet anytime this kind of thing appears in a TV show or movie — like Black Swan :shudder: — for days I refuse to make eye contact with myself in a mirror as I walk away from it. Because what if it’s looking back at me like THAT?)

Tai is pleasantly surprised when Sammy shows up at the house, saying he walked from school and that Simone doesn’t know he’s there. So she calls her estranged wife to let her know not to worry, then falls asleep while sitting at the table. An angry Simone arrives later and Sammy is nowhere to be found. But the window in his bedroom is open, so his moms hop in the car and set out to find him.

However, while they’re driving, the school calls Simone and wonders why she hasn’t picked up her son in the two hours since classes ended. Yep: Sammy was never at Tai’s place, it was all a messed-up hallucination, and it’s even more proof for Simone that her wife is very, very ill. As Simone is commanding her to get help, Tai gets a strange look on her face and just stares at her from the driver’s seat as the car picks up speed… until they’re T-boned at an intersection.

THE TRUTH (?) ABOUT TRAVIS’ DEATH | At Lottie’s cult — I’m sorry, “intentional community” — she explains to Nat that kidnapping her was not part of the plan: “After Travis died, I was worried you would do something stupid. So I sent my friends to keep an eye on you and, surprise, you stuck a gun in your mouth. They had to act fast. You’re welcome, by the way.” We learn that Lottie’s followers call her “Charlotte,” wear heliotrope-colored clothes and cater to her wants and needs.

As they walk the grounds, Lottie explains that Travis called her the night that he died. He was afraid, saying the wilderness had come back to haunt him, and that he knew what he had to do. He left the note “Tell Nat she was right” and the info for his bank account. And as she remembers, we see them at the spot where he eventually hung himself — but he didn’t actually want to die. His plan: Get thisclose to death “so I can talk to it, you know?” he tells her, then she’d press the button that would make the rigging go slack and allow her to bring him down and revive him. But the control buttons got stuck on the rigging’s remote, and “It was a horrendous accident,” Lottie says, clearly traumatized. Still, though, Nat thinks there’s something her former teammate isn’t telling her. Natalie vows to stop her. Lottie resignedly says that at least that vendetta will keep Nat alive, so it’s a win. Then she notes that the next ride out isn’t until the morning, so Natalie is stuck there for another night.

MEET A NEW CITIZEN DETECTIVE | After Misty asks her citizen-detective pals for help hacking the camera at Natalie’s motel, a group member who goes by the name PuttingTheSickInForensics replies, and they taunt each other a little bit via message board. It’s not long after that a young guy in cargo shorts (hey, it’s Lord of the Rings’ Elijah Wood!) takes a tour of the nursing home where Misty works, ostensibly to find a place for his elderly mother, but he gives Misty a knowing look as he passes the nurses’ station. She then finds an envelope addressed to her in the break room’s fridge. Though it seems to contain just a blank piece of paper, she later realizes that there’s a message — from PuttingTheSickInForensics — written on it in invisible ink. Her mystery man tells her he’s going to pretend to be an FBI agent and interrogate a guy who’s been living at the motel… and would she like to join him?

‘WE’RE GONNA NEED MORE’ | The police, in the form of Kevin, stop by Shauna and Jeff’s house to ask some questions. Chief among them: “Did you know Adam Martin?” She says they got into a fender bender but aren’t still in touch, which is technically true! But Kevin knows there were “quite a few” texts between the two of them. The situation is getting a little hairy when Callie, who’s been watching the whole interaction, interrupts and pretends like she and Shauna have somewhere to be. Kevin leaves.

Callie wonders why her mom lied, and Shauna spouts some nonsense about how the cops would turn an admission of an affair into something more sinister and how she was trying to protect Jeff and… yeah, Callie’s not buying it. She goes to a bar with a friend, where an older guy catches her attention. His name is Jay, he lives in Brooklyn but he’s back in his hometown to help his mom move, and he’s played by Search Party’s John Reynolds. They flirt a bit.

But we later find out that “Jay” is really Det. Matt Saracusa, who’s working with Kevin to investigate Adam’s disappearance. He tells Kevin about the tidbit Callie casually dropped: That her mother is having an affair. And he’s ready to bring her in. But Kevin disagrees. “Shauna’s smart,” he says. “We’re gonna need more.”

Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? Sound off in the comments!

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