Yellowjackets' Warren Kole Has A Confession About That Papa Roach Scene

In Showtime's "Yellowjackets," the dream of '90s alt-rock is alive and well and snacking on a human ear in the Canadian wilderness. You could draw up a playlist for this show and it would be like tuning into your local alternative station, back when FM radio was more of a thing, too. For Warren Kole, who plays Jeff Sadecki, husband of Shauna (Melanie Lynskey), there's one song, however, that was nothing if not an acquired taste.

We're talking about Papa Roach's "Last Resort." It would be unfair to call Papa Roach a one-hit wonder, since they've had six songs make the Billboard Hot 100 chart over the course of their illustrious nu-metal career, but for casual fans of a certain age, "Last Resort" is undoubtedly the band's best-known song. For his part, Kole would not even qualify as a casual fan, since he had never heard the song before it became the soundtrack of his character's life.

In the angrier, more unhinged season 2 premiere of "Yellowjackets," Jeff sits in the darkness of his parked car, haunted by flashbacks of intimate moments with Shauna and the nude sketches another man, Adam, made of her before she killed the poor guy and had Jeff help her cover it up in season 1. The knowledge that Shauna had another lover — and murdered him — became a weird turn-on for her and Jeff as they did the nasty in Adam's studio earlier in the premiere, but now it twists the knife in Jeff's head, and he does what any sane cuckold would do: air-drumming to "Last Resort."

Kole told Variety that he was not familiar with the song before this. "It was brand new to me." he said. "I hate it. But Jeff loves this song. He's listened to it a hundred times and picks out the drum solo."

'He's so in over his head and he absolutely knows it'

If you listen to the lyrics of "Last Resort," it overtly describes itself as a song about "contemplating suicide," with singer Jacoby Shaddix evoking images of self-harm in a way that makes Jeff's choice of music in "Yellowjackets" seem utterly masochistic. If this is the character's go-to song and he's listened to it "hundreds of times," as Warren Kole says, that suggests there may be hidden depths to Jeff, the cornball furniture salesman who answers the phone "McDonald's, chicken nugget department."

Or maybe Jeff just likes the music and he's not listening to the words? Kole sees the song as one that was originally "celebratory" for his character, in his youth, perhaps, when he heard it on the radio or saw the above video on MTV. Now that Jeff is an adult dealing with infidelity and murder in his marriage, there's a new dimension to "Last Resort," and it plays more like the anthem for a drowning man who's holding onto Shauna as his life preserver and feeding off her dark energy — though it may be self-destructive of him.

"It allows [Jeff] to let go of this pressure valve because he's so in over his head and he absolutely knows it," Kole said. "He doesn't know what to do, so he's gonna regress a little bit and have this moment."

Each song in "Yellowjackets" is chosen for a reason, and while the scene of Jeff air-drumming to Papa Roach only lasts about 30 seconds, it shows his pent-up frustration and gives a funny little glimpse of his inner life when Shauna's not around.

New episodes of "Yellowjackets" stream on Showtime every Friday and air on television every Sunday.