Monday 22 May 2023

Yellowjackets - They’ve changed because of her.

Yellowjackets: 2x08 It Chooses.

Lottie: And now we have to give it what it wants.

Does a hunt that has no violence feed anyone?

Lottie, after Shauna’s beating, appears to be close to death. There is blood in her urine and she is running a fever. This is beyond Misty’s skill. Lottie has served as the person who has given everyone hope, a spiritual guide towards survival in the absence of food and hope for rescue. With her being out of commission, everything seems to fall apart. Mari hears the dripping noise again, and has visions of bodies and blood. Taissa sees her reflection split in two, the Other One returning after weeks of absence. Akilah realises that Nugget, her pet mouse, has been dead long enough for its body to be completely desiccated. 

Lottie is not there to guide them, but it is like her intentions, her lessons, are reverberating beyond her ability to voice them. While Nat and Ben talk about that maybe, in the end, it wouldn’t be too bad for Lottie to die – because it has become obvious that everyone is following her now, including Tai and Javi – the girls decide that something must be done to procure food, and the idea of killing a dying Lottie does not even occur to them. If anything, Lottie’s survival appears to be paramount even to their own. 

So they draw cards, to designate who will become prey. It’s ritualistic, and shared, like that could absolve all of them from guilt. It feels like something Lottie may have come up with except Lottie is not involved at all, her ideology has taken on a life of its own. In the end, Natalie, the one person apart from Ben (who is off in the woods, on a path of discovery, looking for the tree that Javi has been drawing) who does not believe in Lottie, draws the wrong card. It’s significant – Natalie is the hunter, the person who ensured their physical survival before winter started. In a way, she’s their most important and essential team member, but this isn’t the kind of survival that they are looking for anymore. Shauna puts Jackie’s pendant on her. Natalie insists that she look her in the eye when she slits her throat. At the last moment, Travis intervenes, telling Natalie to run. 

Maybe this is what has become hazy is recollection, what they can’t remember in detail anymore. It is difficult to comprehend how Natalie could have ever spoken another word to any of these women. It explains why Taissa was paying for her rehab. The transformation of everyone into a bloodthirsty pack, almost appearing to cherish the hunt, is horrifying (there are some hints that maybe this isn’t Tai – that this is when the Other One fully emerges – but we’ll have to see). There is no hesitation here, as if the cover of a ritual has given them moral absolution. What saves Natalie is Javi’s conscience – he promises to show her a place of safety that no one knows about (it appears to be the very same warm cave that Ben has just discovered) – an attempt that is cut short when Javi breaks through the ice like the moose that Natalie once followed did. She is about to save him when the pack arrives, when Misty cautions here to leave him, to let him become the prey. They all stand by and watch him freeze to death in the water, each and every one of them complicit in his death. The idea of a sentient wilderness with a will that chose Javi instead of Natalie is an excuse they need to survive.

We already know that this won’t be the last hunt. Likely this is how there are so many girls who are unaccounted for in the present – they let the wilderness choose again and again, until they were rescued. In the present time, with everyone united in Lottie’s compound, all the secrets come out (there are so many wild ones it’s almost funny). Van and Lottie learn about Adam. Everyone finds out about Taissa hiring Jessica Roberts and Misty killing her “for the good of the group”. They finally put the pieces together to realise that Jeff was the blackmailer, that Shauna has been lying to them. Lottie listens to all of this and it fits perfectly into the conclusion she has come to. The wilderness has followed all of them home, and it is once again asking for a sacrifice – as if all those sacrifices made originally weren’t just about bare survival, about starvation, but a price they had to pay. She has, in true cult leader fashion, prepared a tray of teas, one of which is poisoned. She offers to choose last – but I do wonder, if at any point in the past, Lottie was ever truly in the selection pool. For now, nobody seems particularly inclined to take her up on the offer, but we’ll see if anything happens to change their minds. 

Random notes: 

Does it seem a little bit too convenient that Natalie is the one to draw the Queen card, as the only doubter in the group? 

Detective Matt/Jay may not have done what Callie tries to pin on him but he comes across as an entitled asshole, and historically, threatening Shauna’s family has come with a steep price. 

Misty reveals that she was the FBI and calling Walter her boyfriend a beat before Walter sends off an email to the police department! Also the reveal that Adam donated bone marrow to a friend, which feels like another one of those classic Adam red herrings – could’ve been Walter. 

After Kevyn suggests to Jeff that he could still get out with Callie, after outlining how horrifyingly surgical the dismemberment of Adam was, leads to a hilariously bloody nightmare in which Shauna attacks Jeff with her meatcarver arms. Also, we find out that Jeff knew about the baby – he tells Callie about it to try and explain exactly why Shauna is the way she is. 

Akilah pinning her mental sanity on her pet mouse, realising her mouse has been dead for a long time, and then stopping just short of eating it… 

For contrast, it is interesting to see how involved Van was in the past and how doubtful she is now, almost as if she had swapped places with Nat. 

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