Yellowjackets Are Up Bloody Premonition Creek With No Compass

Good news! One of my predictions from episode five came true! Bad news ... one of my predictions from episode five came true. "Yellowjackets" ends the holiday weekend with "No Compass," directed once again by producer Eva Sørhaug ("Witch Hunt," "90 Minutes" and from a script by Katherine Kearns ("Hacks," "Little Fires Everywhere"). It seems like we're out of the character specific episode woods, and while this week doesn't bring something nearly as emotionally relevant as Shauna's abortion attempt, the last five minutes will surely knock the wind out of you. It's time to lie to our best friends, lie to our lovers, and lie to ourselves, so let's dive in! BUZZ! BUZZ! BUZZ!

We're picking up exactly where we left off last week with Taissa's teeth covered in dirt and her own blood because mama's nighttime activities include climbing trees, eating soil, and making a midnight snack out of human flesh. Unfortunately, she's not got any time to waste on unpacking why in the actual hell she is self-cannibalising in her sleep, because she's gotta meet Natalie and Shauna to make the blackmail ransom drop. Back in 1996, Taissa is making good on her plans to head south to look for help but Van, Mari, Akilah, and Misty have decided to go with her. Coach Ben Scott is too relieved to have Misty out of his sphere to care, but Lottie's dream of a "blood river and red smoke" has convinced some (especially Laura Lee) to stay behind.

Shauna is Really Bad at Lying

Since Jackie's not a total idiot, she's losing her mind trying to figure out what Shauna is hiding from her and finally confronts her about her secret. Shauna finally breaks and tells Jackie she's pregnant, but lies and says the baby belongs to Randy, not Jackie's boyfriend. Unfortunately, Shauna is a terrible liar and her half-assed story about it being a one-night mistake after too many "Milk and Malibus" (I audibly gagged typing this) immediately makes Jackie suspicious since she was at the same party. COME ON, SHAUNA! JUST SAY YOU WERE SNEAKING AROUND! Welp, Jackie ends up stealing Shauna's diary and reads it, crying, over a fire. The jig is up, Shauna. I can't tell if Shauna's inability to lie is a sign of her character or a reflection of what a monster I was at her age.

Good news, it's definitely her character, because adult Shauna is equally as dreadful at lying. After Shauna, Natalie, and Taissa chase down their blackmailer (don't worry, I'll come back to this) she finds Adam hanging around her house at 4:00 A.M. and tries to act like she's not super into it. Adam is a walking red-flag and that Shauna needs to run, but the longer this affair goes on, the more it's obvious Shauna clearly knows that Adam is bad for her but does not care. Anyway, they bang it out in her MARITAL BED and fall asleep which leads her to hiding him in the closet and lying to husband Jeff about her night with the same convincing tone as a teenager lying to their parents about their boyfriend hiding in the closet.

Misty is The Monster of My Dreams

Teenage Misty doesn't have a lot to do this week, but she does deliver a hug to Coach Scott before she leaves with Taissa that overwhelmed me with second-hand embarrassment. Adult Misty, on the other hand, is continuing to be holding-a-journalist-hostage-to-the-tune-of-the-"Phantom of the Opera"-soundtrack levels of bats***, and I love her for it. I called her a baby Annie Wilkes in "Misery" during episode four, so seeing her VHS collection featuring "While You Were Sleeping, "Primal Fear," and "Misery" immediately fired up Dashboard Confessional's "Vindicated" in my brain, once again. Her love of "While You Were Sleeping" clearly comes from a very sweet moment of Van telling the girls the plot of the film around a fire, but her choice as an adult to make a hostage watch it while chained to a bed is uhhhh... Girl, whatever court-appointed therapist they made you see after the rescue did not do enough.

Misty isn't super keen on Jessica's claim that she's not the one blackmailing the group, and threatens to mail her dad a box of fentanyl-laced chocolates if she doesn't tell her everything she knows. All Jessica's got is that Taissa hired her, and that she knows Travis was murdered because someone cleaned out his bank account right after he died. So far that seems enough to keep Misty from killing her dad, but she's unpredictable and plays by her own rules so who knows where this hostage situation is going to go from here. At this point I think I'd risk double-crossing Tony Soprano before I'd piss off Misty F****** Quigley.

Natalie's Luck with Men is More Like a Curse

After convincing Taissa that she can't take the gun while traveling south to look for help, she also convinces Travis not to join them on their journey because she thinks she's in longing to change the subject with him. After the group leaves, those staying at home base head to the lake leaving them the cabin all to themselves. The two finally attempt to make the beast with two backs but Travis either can't go as hard as Natalie can, or he went too hard too fast. Either way, teen Nat is left alone and unsatisfied, half-naked in the bed, and Travis takes off somewhere and isn't seen again for the rest of the episode.

Adult Nat? She's continuing to go hard. She's got the ransom money, she thinks Shauna's plan to track the money is stupid and won't work (it doesn't), she and Taissa chase down the blackmailer through a store where he gets knocked into a barrel of glitter, and she pulls a gun on him. Taissa luckily knocks her aim so the shot goes off into the ground, saving all of them for adding a(nother?) murder to their growing closet of skeletons. Where did Nat get a gun, you ask? She snaked it from Kevyn of course! Unfortunately, cop Kevyn has to account for every round and he doesn't buy her story that she was "just playing with it." He KNOWS that Nat knows her way around a firearm, but she hits him below the belt by telling him that they were strictly screwing and his high-school crush on her is getting pathetic. Juliette Lewis' face is heartbreaking, and I genuinely don't think Nat meant anything she said to him.

Does Javi Grow Up To Be Adam?

I will happily confess that I'm a massive lurker of the "Yellowjackets" subreddit, because my brain is filled with a rolodex of increasingly ridiculous theories and I need people with even more farcical bananas ideas to make me feel sane. From the very beginning, one of the most popular theories has been that the mysterious Adam is Javi all grown up, and this is the first episode where I find myself getting worked into a shoot about it. In 1996, Javi is struggling with the loss of his dad in the plane crash and his first moment of hope comes after Shauna gives him pages from her diary so he can draw.

In this week's episode he is caught going through her stuff looking for the hunting knife so he can carve a wolf out of wood as an "art project" that he later gifts to her. In 2021, Shauna tries to dismiss Adam's crush on her by mocking his softboi antics as being "an artist" and "going with the flow." Adam has a back tattoo of two mountains, and when Shauna opens her safe in the pilot, we see that she has a drawing of two mountains inside, presumably drawn by Javi on the paper she gave him. Is this theory far-fetched? Yes. If this theory is false do I think show creators Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson planted these nuggets on purpose to make all of us go full Citizen's Detectives? Also yes. Either way, after that Domme text she sent him last week, I think Shauna KNOWS Adam is up to no good and she's getting off on out-playing him. WAIT. IS SHE ACTUALLY A VERY, VERY GOOD LIAR?!

Taissa, Van, and Those Melon Farming Wolves

I predicted weeks ago that Taissa's frequent hallucinations of wolves was due to her witnessing something go down between Van and some wolves, and I hate myself for being right. Early on in the episode, Van tells Taissa about how the time she went to New York City as a kid sucked because all she wanted was a soft pretzel and a horse and carriage ride, but her parents took her to see "Cats." She then confesses that she's going to join her on the journey south, because it'll get her one step closer to taking her to NYC and buying her a soft pretzel. Rules of lesbian representation in television state that if a character makes a cute gesture of affection, they're going to die.

Van grips a deer spine necklace given to her by Lottie as a token of luck on their journey, but when the girls come across a river flowing red water (like blood) she still follows Taissa. That night Taissa awakens (having climbed a tree and now wearing the spine necklace?) to find the girls trying to ward off a pack of wolves, but Van is attacked. Taissa fires a flare gun (making red smoke!!) and then axes the everloving s*** out of the wolf. Van doesn't move, and when Taissa turns her over, her face is like Jack Goodman in "An American Werewolf in London," but worse. We don't know for sure if Van is dead (she is seen in a flashback from the pilot looking like she's got fabric over her face AND one of the forest cult members is seen wearing her same "Coed Naked Soccer" t-shirt) but Taissa sure thinks she is and lets out a blood-curdling scream.

Buzzworthy Moments and Additional Thoughts

Highlight of the episode is Lewis' performance when she gives her tear-filled speech about Travis and snaps at Taissa and Shauna by telling them that they're just as f'd up as she is but they're better at lying to themselves about it. SHE'S RIGHT. If they weren't, Taissa likely wouldn't be EATING HER OWN HAND in her sleep and Shauna wouldn't be having an affair with a human red flag. Juliette Lewis has consistently been underappreciated throughout her career and this moment is such a great example of what a talent she is and has always been. I've been trying not to speak any more hyperbolic about the show than I already have, but we're genuinely seeing career-best performances from three women who have been acting since they were children in Lewis, Lynskey, and Ricci. (Tawny Cypress is obviously also incredible but she's the only adult of the core four that isn't played by someone who was also a massive star in the 1990s.)

  • In case you missed Van's reference, ​​Edmund F****** Hillary was part of the first group of climbers confirmed to have reached the summit of Mount Everest. She made a good joke, a great joke, even.
  • Laura Lee prays over food, a scrimmage game, and survival ... but not to bless the girls about to make a trek through the wilderness? She is absolutely going to start to worship Lottie.
  • Shauna telling Nat and Taissa "my daughter made it when she was cute" in reference to the painted tote bag she brought for the ransom drop made me audibly guffaw. I shouldn't love a mom actively hating her own kid this much, but god damn it's refreshing.
  • I talk a lot about how hard the soundtrack to this show slaps, but the chase scene to "Firestarter" by The Prodigy was *chef's kiss.*
  • Shauna: "It sure felt for a moment there like we were all going away for murder" Nat: "Like we haven't done a lot worse." I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHAT IS WORSE THAN MURDER, NATALIE!!!
  • Jeff coming home only to immediately hop in the shower is a serious cheater giveaway, but maybe it's because he's got glitter to wash off his body? HMMM?!

"Yellowjackets" is on Showtime every Sunday. Showtime app users can watch the episode early, but the channel broadcasts at 10 P.M. PST/7 P.M. EST.