Yellowjackets Is Reopening Old Wounds And Biting Into New Ones

This article contains spoilers for "Yellowjackets."

Now that we've recovered from yet another bleak visual set to a Tori Amos song, "Yellowjackets" season 2 episode 4 picks up in 1996. Tai's sleepwalking is continually sending her to trees with the symbol carved into them, but she's still claiming she has no recollection of doing it or why. "Something in you knows that these trees are here," says Van. As one of Lottie's disciples, Van wants Taissa to at least talk to her about what's going on, but Tai firmly puts her foot down. Always the logical one, that Taissa. Van has been keeping maps of all of the places Taissa has taken her while sleepwalking, trying to find a pattern. It's clear that a rift is forming between the two, solely based on whether or not they believe in Lottie's so-called "powers." It's only a matter of time before the rest of the team follows suit. 

In the adult world, Taissa follows "the Bad One" into Jessica Roberts' house to steal a folder marked "Yellowjackets." Taissa doesn't remember entering her house, only snapping back to reality after her assistant's car runs out of gas, but sees the image of a shop inside the folder. Based on the images released before the season started, the Bad One wants her to see Van. Knowing Jessica Roberts would have a file on her, she went to get it to track her down. Is the Bad One actually a viscous entity or just Taissa's subconscious? Seeing that she doesn't remember even procuring the car, this episode also seems to imply that her no-nonsense political side is related to the Bad One because that's how she got the car in the first place — by having a conversation with her assistant in a hospital waiting room.

Roll credits. Let's go!

Bonding over Sadecki family secrets

Shauna is still lying about how she got the van back, but Callie is lying about how often she stays over at her friend Alanna's place. That mutually assured destruction monologue from last season is feeling pretty relevant right about now. Jeff tells Shauna that the cops know about the affair, and Shauna immediately redirects the focus to be about Jeff and Randy's blackmailing scheme. Gonna be honest, I feel a bit sad for Jeff. He's still pretty torn up about Shauna's affair, but he loves her so much he's willing to help her cover up a murder. And they say romance is dead.

Shauna runs into Alanna's mom in a parking garage after a day of shopping, who totally narcs on Callie for not staying at their house. This inspires Shauna to investigate Callie's room, where she finds the last remnants of Adam's driver's license. Busted. She surprises her by picking her up from school, only to drive to a rural location where she admits she killed Adam and that Jeff is helping her get away with it. "He's not a bad person, he's just a bad criminal," she tells her daughter.

She also takes the time to explain that she and the team "did things out there that we're really ashamed of" but admits she can't tell her the whole truth. Callie respects the boundary and swears she won't tell anyone about the murder. I think I believe her. Jeff doesn't take the news well that Callie knows what's up, because this makes her an accomplice. However, for the first time in two seasons, Callie acts like she's part of the family and helps chop vegetables for dinner. This is huge for the Sadecki family. I guess nothing brings people together like covering up a crime.

Misty and Walter are still on the case!

Speaking of crime, Misty and Walter are on their road trip to find Natalie at Lottie's compound, and he's come handy with a box full of musical theatre cassettes. Misty immediately lashes out, thinking that Walter is a weirdo obsessed with the Yellowjackets, and that he clearly did his homework to know that Misty loves musicals. But that doesn't seem to be the case. Walter is genuinely impressed by Misty's detective skills, and claims to not be all that interested in her past traumas. He says his knowledge of her love of musicals comes from her making a reference to "Sweeney Todd" in one of her posts. He really does like her! She puts on "Rainbow Tour" from "Evita," because of course she does.

The two make a pitstop at a diner. Misty eats grapefruit and Walter makes breakfast tacos by putting eggs in ham steaks with maple syrup ... and mustard because if someone is going to out-weird Misty, it's him. Walter confesses he doesn't have a job because he's a millionaire after winning a lawsuit. "Even the experts don't know how I survived," he says. I feel like this is going to come back at some point. Misty asks the waitress about Lottie's cult, and she says they're terrible tippers. Yeah, no s***. Anyone who has ever worked at a restaurant on a Sunday can tell you religious people are the worst tippers.

Walter suggests they crash at an Airbnb for the night, and Misty insists on two rooms under fake names. In a bit of beauty, there's a side-by-side montage of them inspecting their rooms, sanitizing high-traffic surfaces, and wearing gold facial masks. Oh, I love them, but I'm pretty sure Misty is going to kill him by the end of the season.

Natalie and Lisa go on an adventure

Natalie convinces Lottie to give her a set of keys so that she can help Lisa out at the farmer's market since Lisa forgave her "for stabbing her in the face," and they head off on a drive into the city. During their car ride, Lisa explains that anyone on the commune can leave whenever they want, which Nat correctly clocks "gives the illusion of freedom." They're supposed to go to the farmer's market to sell honey but make a pit stop at Lisa's family home to visit her pet goldfish. Lisa's mom is super combative about her not being medicated, but Lisa stands firm that she's confronting her emotions rather than numbing them.

Photos on the wall show a very cheerful mother and a very unhappy Lisa, and it's clear it's the "must look happy so no one at the PTA suspects how broken our family is" type of faux happiness. Lisa says she wants to take her fish, but Mom says Lisa will kill it 'by opening up [her] arteries and leaving it to starve." Mom sucks. TIME TO GO NO CONTACT, LISA!

Natalie sticks up for Lisa because she's the queen of taking care of underdogs, and smuggles her fish out by holding it in her mouth and spitting it into a water jar. "Here's your f***ing fish," she says. Natalie stays true to herself in every moment. I love her so much. They totally bail on the farmer's market and head to a bar instead to have a deeply moving discussion about suicide. If you're a fan of the movie "Wristcutters," you'll likely enjoy this beautiful and honest talk about what it's like to be suicidal. There's no therapy talk here, just honesty.

Back at the compound ... Natalie still has the keys. Watch your back, Lottie.

Lottie is terrified

Lottie's psychiatrist is taking a sabbatical so she's talking to a new therapist, hoping she can up her meds. She shares that her visions are returning for the first time in decades, which sounds to me like Lottie's visions stopped once they were rescued. "They need to stop. The last time it became something different. It can't happen again. I work really hard and I've built something that's helping people. It's helping me. Can't go back," she says. This sure sounds like Lottie's visions made everyone do some very bad things in the wilderness if you ask me! Her doctor suggests she reframes the way she thinks about the visions because stress could trigger more to come. "What do you think they're trying to tell you?" she asks.

"Nothing," Lottie says, "because they're not real." Y'ALL I'M NOW QUESTIONING EVERY THEORY I'VE EVER HAD ABOUT LOTTIE.

Back in her office, Lottie is reading a bunch of gratitude cards from her followers but finds a Queen of Hearts card in her deck. If we recall, the dead man's deck of cards at the cabin doesn't have that card. SPOOKY. Lottie walks down a lit path of stairs, resembling the nature version of her cellar hallucinations, and gives a blood sacrifice on a tree stump. "Just be enough," she says. Uh, Lottie ... did you dig up that stump from the wilderness and transport it to New Jersey? And also ... "be enough?" Is this tree stump an Audrey II from "Little Shop of Horrors"?

Nat vs. Lottie

Back at the cabin in 1996, someone is stealing the bear meat. Coach Ben doesn't miss his chance to throw some shade by asking the girls if they'd eat him if he was the culprit, and Mari blames Natalie for a lack of food for not believing in Lottie's supposed powers. The confrontation stirs up the rest of the girls, and it's clear there are alliances being drawn between those who believe Lottie is attuned to the supernatural, and those who think it's all a weird coincidence. To settle the score, Natalie proposes a competition between her and Lottie, with whoever brings home more food declared the "winner." This is dangerous, sure, but if it means food that isn't human for the girls, I'm all for it. 

Before there can even be a fight about Natalie's rifle being an unfair advantage, Mari chirps that "Lottie doesn't need a gun" with the same energy as an elementary schooler bragging "My dad can beat up your dad." During the hunt, Lottie finds the symbol on a tree but says "f*** me" because it's clear she's not connecting to the spirit of the wilderness or whatever weird stuff she believes in. She eventually finds the altar stump and offers a bit of bloodletting. After her sacrifice, she hallucinates the plane that exploded with Laura Lee inside, but hey, we get a Leonard cameo! Her visions continue, with Lottie hallucinating a tunnel that leads to the mall, where she sees her teammates all enjoying the food court ... including Laura Lee. "If you don't get warm, you're gonna die," she tells Lottie. "You have to go."

Laura Lee pushes her and Lottie is back into the woods, cold and alone.

Back at the cabin

As the hunt goes on, Mari talks about hearing the dripping sound again that no one else seems to be able to hear. At this point, I'm convinced that Mari has a wicked case of cabin fever, which would hopefully explain why she's constantly getting on my last nerves. This is not a critique of Alexa Barajas, who is killing it this season, I just have very little patience with mouthy, judgmental busybodies like Mari. Akilah is still studying for the SAT because as a junior, she's still got a year of high school awaiting her when they get back. I love her optimism and her practicality, at least someone in this cabin hasn't completely given up hope. Mari asks her to help her find the sound, and being the team player she is, she reluctantly agrees.

While she doesn't find the source of the dripping, she does find a little mouse that she immediately starts to parent. Akilah is a mom-friend, and as a self-confessed mom-friend, I relate. Meanwhile, Coach Ben is still having "what if?" daydreams, like one of him finding a photo album his boyfriend Paul has of former lovers. "It's history," he tells him. "This is my past, you are my future." It's really heartbreaking to recognize that Ben is not just imagining the conversations he and Paul never got to have from a fantasy perspective of being in love and living happily ever after, but also the mundane little issues that can pop up in serious relationships.

At least in his imagination, his problems aren't centered on whether or not a group of teen girls is going to go feral and pick his bones clean.

The moose returns!

Natalie tracks down the white moose she saw last episode and finds it halfway submerged under the ice of the lake where Laura Lee died. A frozen moose means preserved meat, which could keep the team alive until Spring. She races back to the cabin for help, and Mari throws a tantrum because "I thought the rule was no assistance." Girl, do you want to starve? F*** THE RULES! She stays back instead of helping carve the moose out of the ice using ropes on its antlers, but it's doubtful she would have been of any help anyway. The team loses its grip on the extremely heavy beast, throwing Natalie headfirst into the frozen water. They get Natalie back to the cabin and fix a hot bath using fire and water, which implies they've found ways to bathe.

Mari and Akilah leave to fetch Lottie, who they find passed out where the exploded plane once was and a trail of blood from her hand. They carry her back and Natalie offers Lottie the bath. Mari wants to invade like the follower she is, but Akilah wisely pulls her away. MOM FRIEND IN ACTION.

"This is all my fault," Nat says, blaming herself. "Good game, you f***ing loser," Lottie jokes. The two share a "good game" sportsmanship handshake. Their beef is squashed ... for now.

How are you alive?!

Van finally shows Taissa the maps she's been making of her sleepwalking and notices the locations make the symbol shape. Taissa is still being logical, until Van snaps with, "I don't understand why you won't see what's right in front of you." According to Van's research, she's predicted a spot where a marked tree should be and asks Taissa to go with her to check. They come across a tree not with a symbol, but with melted snow and growing vegetation. It seems to defy the laws of nature but there's no time to investigate because ... TAISSA FINDS JAVI ALIVE!

They run back to the cabin with Javi, who isn't speaking and is staring off into space like he's seen some s***. There's something very off about him. Is it trauma? Is it because he's starring in his own reboot of "Pet Sematary" and back from the dead? How are you alive, Javi?! Mari, of course, gives all of the credit to Lottie, and Van won't let that stand. "Lottie knew he was alive but Taissa knew where he was," she says. Taissa is unsettled as hell because deep down, she knows Van is right. "There is something deep inside of you that is connected to all of this," Van explains. Taissa says nothing because she's clearly freaked out, and Natalie bails from the situation, knowing she will have to explain her fake Javi blood clothes to Travis.


Taissa completes her road trip

After waking up and realizing she's driven her assistant's car as far as it could go without gas, Taissa elects to hitchhike. She luckily finds a friendly trucker who proudly admits he voted for her, and finds her more relatable than ever now that he's seen her first-hand having a pretty bad day. As she steps in the truck, she notices he has one of those novelty pens featuring a girl in a bikini that turns nude if you flip the pen upside-down. The trucker is understandably embarrassed, but Taissa finds it hilarious and offers to buy it from him. It seems like Good Taissa is back from her slumber.

After a long drive, Taissa finally hops out of the truck in front of a retro video store run by, of course, adult Van. We're finally seeing Lauren Ambrose in action, and I again have to shout out the casting department for finding the perfect person to play my beloved Vanessa Palmer. Taissa and Van's reunion is not the cheerful excitement one obsessive 'shippers would expect. It's awkward. It's shocking. I have a feeling things did not end on good terms, or at the very least, terms that involved a lot of heartbreak and a lack of closure.

Buzzworthy moments and additional thoughts

While in the cabin, Coach Ben picks up the novel, "The Magus." Knowing that everything in "Yellowjackets" is symbolic of something, a reminder that this novel is about a man teaching English on a remote island who becomes overcome with psychological delusions put forth by a trickster ... and they get increasingly horrifying. Sure sounds like Coach Ben surrounded by Lottie and her budding group of violently defensive followers!

  • Early in the episode, adult Shauna says she wants to go to Kohl's. SHAUNA YOU ARE BETTER THAN THIS. At least go to Macy's, momma! 
  • For those who aren't familiar with "Evita," the song Misty plays in the car is about the Rainbow Tour that the real Eva Peron went on in 1947, which was a tour of Europe to try and bury the old associations with Nazi Germany and instead form new market relationships. I can't help but see this as symbolic of Misty needing to let go of the Yellowjackets trauma and form a new relationship with Walter ... or something!
  • I still stand by my prediction that Mari is the pit girl if only because she's becoming increasingly annoying and I think they're gonna eat her just to shut her up.
  • The new arrangement of the theme song sounds a bit more ... adult? Does it sort of seem like the OG arrangement is more rooted in the 1996 timeline, and the new version for the current timeline? Maybe? Who knows?!

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