Yellowjackets Post-Cannibalism Clarity Is Hard To Swallow

This article contains spoilers for "Yellowjackets."

Last week's shocking episode finally brought cannibalism into the fold, and now our survivors are dealing with the aftermath after feasting on their barbequed queen bee, Jackie. Based on the skeletal hand shown, these kids picked her corpse clean like vultures. I say "kids," because the sole adult, Coach Ben, did not partake, and is having a rough go of it psychologically. Episode 3 opens with Coach Ben finally getting a flashback, having dinner with his very '90s boyfriend Paul (and his singular left earring). In reality, Ben is hiding out in his room and disassociating from the world, still rocking his "Holy s***, they're gonna eat me when I die" face from the last episode.

Nat and Taissa are the first to have post-cannibalism clarity, but there's one problem; Taissa doesn't remember eating Jackie. "Something ate her," she panics. "Taissa, we ate her," Van explains. Taissa is rightfully mortified, and claims she must have been sleepwalking. Van is confused because Taissa seemed very much awake during the feast, and doesn't seem to completely be buying it.

"You ate her face," she says, triggering Taissa to vomit and scream in horror. So, here's the question pounding inside of my skull ... did Taissa genuinely forget, or is sleepwalking something her brain is doing to protect her from trauma? Or is Taissa very much aware of what's going on and using "sleepwalking" as a get-out-of-jail-free card for her to distance herself from accountability?

Things are getting weirder than usual around the cabin, so let's dive in with this week's recap before we all get our bones picked clean.

Nat is still the savior of 1996

Seeing Jackie's remains out in the open is a pretty terrible reminder of what they all had to do to stay alive, so Nat offers to bring her bones to the plane so that when the ground thaws, she can be buried with Laura Lee and the others who passed when the plane crashed. "At least if you bury her out there, it'll look like she died with the rest of them," pipes Coach Ben. He's going through it mentally, but his judgemental comments are already laying the groundwork to give them an alibi whether he realizes it or not.

Nat decides to take Jackie to the plane on her own because as is usually the case, Nat is the heart of this team and often makes the hard calls others are too afraid to address. She puts the Bag 'o Jackie on a plane seat and gives her a little eulogy. "I think s*** is gonna get a lot worse," she says. "Another way to make everyone jealous of you one last time." She also thanks Jackie, acknowledging that she might be the reason they're able to survive the winter, which is devastating to hear from someone so level-headed.

She's interrupted by the stirring of a gigantic white moose, who charges the plane and disappears after she tries to shoot it. Was there really a moose or did she imagine it? Lottie did give Nat one of her "blessings" before she ventured to the plane. Is this Lottie's work in action or a very weird coincidence? "Yellowjackets" intentionally subverts the puzzle box show by leaving the supernatural/logic truths open to interpretation, so we likely won't know for quite some time.

Nothing boosts morale like a makeshift baby shower

Shauna is having some serious guilt about eating her best friend while also carrying the baby of her dead best friend's boyfriend, but Lottie tries to calm her down by saying "It's what she would have wanted." But Shauna's guilt is less about the actual act of eating Jackie, and more about how badly she wanted to eat Jackie. Lottie tries to cheer her up by pitching a baby shower for Shauna's son (she declared this matter of factly, and I have a sneaking suspicion she's right), which immediately lights up the rest of the girls.

Much like the Doomcoming dance from season 1, the baby shower is a great way to boost morale and keep them in touch with their humanity. Akilah and Taissa are working on making a bassinet for the baby, and Akilah mentions having a baby nephew that she's missing out on seeing grow up. It's a short but brutal scene because as she describes simple moments like how he laughs at everything, including the phone ringing, it's a reminder that there are lives and communities back in New Jersey that are missing them. Mari makes a terrifying mobile with wood spikes that is definitely a stabbing hazard but asks about a dripping sound that no one else seems to hear. I'M WATCHING YOU, MARI.

The new dream team of Misty and Crystal have the discussion everyone is too afraid to have, and admit to each other that cannibalism wasn't that bad. Sure, it's not as good as a tray of deviled eggs at a baby shower, but it wasn't that bad. Crystal then drops the bomb that it's not the first time she's eaten a human ... because she absorbed her identical twin in the womb. Not gonna lie, you had me in the first half there, theatre nerd.

The baby shower gets weird

Crystal convinces Misty that she should gift Shauna a performance since baby showers are more about the mothers anyway, and these two weirdos decide that the perfect piece to perform is Sally Field's devastating funeral monologue from "Steel Magnolias." No one is surprised she went for such a weird f***ing choice, so Travis goes to check on Ben to check it out. Worryingly, Ben is absolutely consumed with depression. Misty is wailing and crying in the background, which makes the visual of Ben seemingly accepting his fate all the more harrowing. But despite her unconventional choice of monologue, Misty's commitment has the girls all enraptured. Lest we forget – without art, we have nothing.

Lottie makes a blanket for the baby and includes the wilderness symbol, which Natalie is not thrilled about. "Just because you don't understand something doesn't mean it's evil," Lottie quips. Okay, fair, but then Shauna gets a nosebleed and blood gets on the symbol. Suddenly, there's banging everywhere. A flock of birds all seemed to drop from the sky. "We should gather as blessings," Lottie says. I've heard it said that bird poop is a sign of good luck ... so what does it mean when an entire flock falls dead from the sky while you're starving? Van is all-in on Lottie's "powers," as we knew from last season, but it's starting to drive a wedge between her and Taissa.

Taissa's sleepwalking is ruining her in both timelines again

Speaking of, Taissa's sleepwalking is getting scarier. She's now having full-on conversations with Van without remembering it and taking off into the woods like she's on a mission. Van starts prodding her with questions, and Taissa says she is shown the way by the man with no eyes, but only when "she" lets her. The "she" in this instance is Taissa, but when Van asks "Who are you?" Taissa shoots back an intimidating look. Van wakes her up to snap her out of it, and they're in front of a tree with the symbol carved into it. "You brought me here. You brought me right to it like you knew it was here," says Van. Taissa is freaked out because she remembers none of it ... or so it seems!

In the current timeline, Taissa is at the hospital with Simone after the last episode's car accident and is having terrible nightmares whenever she dozes off. She wakes up to a nurse who says Simone "isn't out of the woods yet," which is unintentionally hilarious and foreboding. The nurse notices that Taissa has drawn the symbol on Simone's palm, and she lies and says it's for luck. In a bathroom, Taissa is arguing with her reflection like in the movie "Mirrors." She screams, "Tell me what you want," and her reflection makes a hand motion that imitates Van's face covering after she was attacked by wolves. Taissa's assistant talks to her about how to spin the accident to the public, but Taissa takes her car and tries calling Jessica Roberts. Who, as we all know, is dead. It seems like this is going to be what motivates Taissa to track down Van. LET'S GO, LAUREN AMBROSE!

Misty and Walter are on the case

Misty shows up at the marina to "Seether" by Veruca Salt because this show continues to have the best soundtrack on TV. She's meeting up with Walter, who lives on a boat because "you never know when you'll have to lose the country sans passport." They're here to interrogate a witness about Natalie's disappearance ... WHO TURNS OUT TO BE RANDY. HELL YES. Misty then hides out in the boat bedroom while Walter talks to Randy, Misty feeding him lines in his ear.

Randy thinks he's meeting with the FBI on a boat because he's an idiot and Misty tells Walter to hit him after he insults Natalie. Walter slaps the crap out of him and Randy rightfully freaks out. The entire scene is gold, but Randy does remember Lottie's group hanging around and drinking all the Fanta in the vending machine. Jeff Holman is doing some career-best work in this scene, and I hope people are taking note.

After the interrogation, Walter asks why Misty is downvoting his Adam Martin posts, and she lies, saying she knows the family. She definitely doesn't, and Walter knows it. He admits that the woman who he brought to Misty's work isn't actually his mother, but a woman he knows. "Why would you do all of that just to meet me," she asks. "Maybe I'm just a bored Moriarity looking for his Sherlock," he replies. Someone ACTUALLY likes Misty, a feeling she could not process in 1996 and certainly can't now. Walter discovers the location of the vending machine buyers and asks if she wants to go on a road trip. 

Walter and Misty are coming for you, Nat!

Is Nat drinking Lottie's Flavor Aid?

Nat runs into Lisa, who is casually guarding Lottie's quarters and holding a hen before slaughtering it for food. She cuts its head off as a threat to Nat. "You should never swing an axe that close to your hand," Nat says, because she definitely knows her way around slaughtering meat. There's weird blood moss on the trees by Lottie's quarters, which is definitely not a coincidence. Lottie crosses paths with Nat and takes her to their beekeeper club. She gives a speech about the colony, talking about how the bees will "sting the old queen to death" once they have a new one. "Otherwise they starve," says Lottie. Oh, this is all a metaphor for Lottie taking Jackie's place. CLEVER, CLEVER!

We eventually see Nat with the heliotrope hoodie wrapped over her shoulders, as if she's slowly getting immersed. Lottie does some half-baked restorative justice exercise with Natalie and Lisa, where Lisa forgives her for *refreshes memory* stabbing her through the hand with a fork until it lodged into the side of her face. It's a weird scene, to be clear, but Lisa's forgiveness of Natalie seems to really impact her. 

Later on, Lottie goes to visit her bees to see that the honey has been replaced with blood. "Bells for Her" by Tori Amos is playing, because no one can capture the impending dread of a woman in the 1990s quite like her. As Lottie stares at her blood-soaked hands, she hears someone say "il veut ton sang," the French phrase Lottie repeated during the séance in season 1. Lest we forget, the expression roughly means "he wants blood." The phrase snaps Lottie back to reality to see that the bees are fine. Is this a vision of what's to come?

We need to talk about Coach Ben

Ben is having a rough go of it. Since he didn't partake in the cannibalism, he's extremely hungry, and it seems to be causing him to hallucinate. He starts seeing the girls, frothing at the mouth, trying to eat him. He also keeps replaying scenes of him and Paul in his head, like how Paul asked Ben to move in but he couldn't commit. He's scared and he's using the girls as a scapegoat, citing how they might take nationals as his reason for not taking the next step. "Moving in with you means everything in my life changes," he says. Ben is obviously closeted, but Paul doesn't want to keep waiting around for someone who isn't willing to be out. It's a very hard part of being in queer relationships, but also very real, especially in the 1990s.

Ben starts hallucinating about what would have happened had he not gone to nationals, and it is heartbreaking. He's in the outfit he was in the day the plane crashed, and shows up at Paul's apartment and says he isn't going to nationals. "I was committing to the saddest possible version of me," he says. "I'm gonna live how I want to, how I'm meant to and I'm gonna be the person I am. F*** everyone else." 

The two embrace and a news report on TV mentions the plane has crashed. Had Ben not made the decision to stay in the closet, he would have not only been with Paul, he wouldn't be in this cabin. Ben stares off in the distance, forced to accept that he did choose to be "the saddest possible version" of himself, and there's a high probability that these "vicious little monsters," as he describes them to Paul, are going to eat him.

Don't screw with Shauna Sadecki

Jeff and Shauna have breakfast at a diner, trying to work through their marital issues. Jeff says he can pinpoint the moment things started to fall apart, and it's when Shauna asked him to try strawberry lube and he rejected it because that stuff "is for bisexuals and goths." Look, he's not wrong, and I laughed very hard at this line. Shauna explains that she didn't cheat because of Jeff, but because she wanted to feel like more than a boring, predictable housewife. As they leave the diner, Jeff decides to drive to Colonial Williamsburg as his attempt at being spontaneous, because nothing is more exciting than a random vacation to a place middle schoolers get sent for their end-of-graduation field trip.

Plans are cut short when they get carjacked, and Shauna tries to knock the assailant out and steals his gun. "Are you Rambo?!" Jeff asks, with the confidence of a man who has forgotten his wife resorted to cannibalism as a teenager. The van is gone and Jeff is writing it off as a loss, but Shauna is not. She's got a gun now. She sneaks away that night to a chop shop where her van is, and tries to hold up the place. The guy doesn't take her seriously and insults her, which was a dumb move on his part.

She asks him, point blank, "Have you ever peeled the skin off a human corpse?" before diving into a monologue about what it's like to skin someone, describing how the sweatiness of a person before death makes it difficult, but that she wants nothing more than to skin this dude alive. This scene will undoubtedly be Melanie Lynskey's Emmy nomination clip. Anyway, she gets the van back and lies through her teeth when Jeff asks about it.

Buzzworthy moments and additional thoughts

This week's episode title is "Digestif," which is the word used to describe a drink (usually alcoholic) or portion of food eaten specifically to aid digestion. It's why your grandma offers you coffee with your dessert after dinner, or in my very Italian case, a Campari Spritz. This is the episode that's supposed to help the Yellowjackets process (aka digest) what they did last week, and as is the case with something like Campari ... it's a bitter process.

  • Remember last season when Shauna and Jeff had brunch with Jackie's parents? That sure reads differently knowing that Shauna ate their beloved daughter.
  • Crystal's line describing acting as "we're made of lies" is going to haunt me until the day I die.
  • There's a moment where Jeff has a face-off with Kevyn at the gym where he showcases that he too, is terrible at talking to the cops, but my big takeaway was how refreshing it is to see men in their 40s refuse to dress like sitcom dads from 1983. Jeff's got on a sleeveless hoodie and Kevyn's rocking a backward hat. Aging is meaningless, wear whatever you want, boys!
  • I love that Shauna cites "quarters" as one of her reasons to want to get the mini-van back. As an Aldi shopper with a quarter-controlled washer and dryer — I'd also steal someone's gun to save my quarters.
  • Walter's line "Forgive me, I have IBS" is going to be my new excuse whenever I want to leave a situation I don't want to be in, forever.

Until next week, "Yellowjackets" hive. Buzz! Buzz! Buzz!