Yellowjackets Season 2 Episode 4 Suggests That Cannibalism Might Be Just The Beginning

This article contains spoilers for "Yellowjackets" season 2. 

So far, "Yellowjackets" has always been at its most compelling when it's completely unhinged and feels like the story is teetering on the edge of believability. The marvelous mashup of genres is what makes the Showtime series so addictive and its ability to keep adding layers to all of the mysteries surrounding the core group, whether they're still stuck in the past or trying to make sense of the present. As the show moves forward, all of the pieces are starting to connect. That may take away from the Madhatter energy of the series at the expense of answering the big questions surrounding the Antler Queen, but audiences do need to start seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, regardless of how much fun they're having being left in the dark. 

In the fourth episode, "Old Wounds," of season 2, things are actually starting to come together, suggesting that everything that's happened so far isn't just a string of random coincidences. From the moment the survivors resorted to cannibalism after scarfing down Jackie (Ella Purnell), a ripple effect was set in motion that suggests they're all part of a grander design that seems to be leading them down a much darker path. 

In this week's episode, Lottie's connection to the supernatural becomes even more apparent when she's seen making a blood offering in both timelines. In the past, she's still trying to understand her potential powers; in the present, she's haunted by them. Shauna (Melanie Lynskey) is also a big factor in "Old Wounds" where she decides to have a conversation with her teenage daughter Callie (Sarah Desjardins) that no parent would ever want to have with their kid. That all leads to some pretty big signs suggesting the Yellowjackets committed some even darker sins out there in the wilderness.  

The most dangerous game

The effects of isolation and starvation are starting to eat away at the group and there's plenty of blame to go around with nothing of sustenance available. Teen Natalie (Sophie Thatcher) and Travis (Kevin Alves) have been tasked with being in charge of the hunt to no avail, and the group turns on them in favor of Lottie's supposed ability to provide through more mystical means. 

No one has eaten since the miraculous arrival of hundreds of birds that surrounded the cabin that was supposedly conjured up by Lottie's connection to the darkness in the woods. Coach Ben (Steven Krueger), whose fate is now in serious question, says it was a coincidence (stop talking, Ben, they're going to eat you!). But the rest of the group is starting to think Lottie may be the real deal. According to them, "She's better than a hunter," Nat says with disgust. 

As a way to reconcile, they have a hunting contest pitting Nat against Lottie and her visions to see who comes back with some actual food. This simple solution is going to have some very serious implications for the future of the group and looks to potentially send them into two warring factions. Starting the contest may be the first step that leads Lottie to fully become the Antler Queen leading her followers to hunt down their old teammates for sport. 

To add to that theory, Lottie almost freezes to death during the hunt after slicing her hand open at the symbol tree. Her blood offering sends her on an incredibly vivid vision just as Nat falls through the ice after trying unsuccessfully to pull a giant white moose out of the frozen lake. This begs the question, was Nat's loss because of Lottie's blood oath?

Three cheers for Lottie!

At the end of "Old Wounds," Javi (Luciano Leroux) makes his improbable return to the cabin after being missing for months. It's another victory for Lottie who predicted that he was still alive somehow. Javi's not speaking at all, which draws a parallel with Lottie back in the season premiere when she and the rest of the survivors were finally rescued in 1998. Lottie is unresponsive and her parents send her to electroshock therapy to "fix" her. Both Javi and Lottie experienced something so traumatizing that caused them to completely shut down, and their connection should play a part down the line as Lottie grows more powerful. 

Taissa (Jasmin Savoy Brown) also gets some much-deserved credit for knowing where Javi was located. That revelation helps Van (Liv Hewson) convince Taissa that there is a greater purpose for her than she's been ready to admit. "There is something deep inside you that's connected to all of this," pleads Van. Javi's re-emergence is so implausible that it lends credence to the idea that Lottie and Taissa really do have a psychic connection with the forest around them. 

Earlier in the episode, Van makes a map of all the symbols they've discovered that appears to make one giant symbol that matches the same circle head and triangle body that Lottie drew in the window back at the beginning of season 2. She wants Taissa to help locate the other symbols, a talent that Taissa definitely has after Javi is discovered right where she said he would be. 

This episode marks a turning point for Lottie and Taissa where their hidden abilities are now out in the open. Currently, there's a sense of wonderment among Van and the others, but the allegiances they choose from this point on may end up requiring a truly horrific offering. 

A slippery slope to possible human sacrifice

Part of the fun of "Yellowjackets" is how the writing is always questioning whether or not the teen versions of the characters experienced something truly magical when they were stranded, or if they all slowly drove themselves into a state of groupthink that led them to commit unspeakable acts. What is undeniably real, however, is the hard, unspeakable truth that there was some sort of human sacrifice that took place and the symbol represents that sacrifice. The symbol looks an awful lot like a person with spikes going through its body, and it's anybody's guess who that first offering is going to be. 

Shauna's (Sophie Nélisse) unborn baby could be a strong contender though, considering that her teenage daughter Callie's age doesn't match up with the timeline. Present-day Shauna seems to have no trouble at all telling Callie that her own mother murdered her lover Adam (Peter Gadiot) in cold blood, but stops short of telling Callie about doing "things we're ashamed of" out in the woods. Teen Shauna is already worried about how the group is seemingly obsessed with her pregnancy, which could be a dark harbinger of things to come. (Don't worry, they won't eat the baby.)

When Lottie first starts playing around with blood magic in the woods, she doesn't seem to know where it will lead. But when she has another bloodletting scene at the end of "Old Wounds" in the present, she whispers, "Can this just be enough, please?" Lottie is obviously tormented and her wounds still run deep. How many sacrifices has she had to make over the years? That, is a terrifying question. 

"Yellowjackets" episodes are available to stream on Paramount+ and Showtime's app on Fridays. They also air on the Showtime network on Sundays.