Yellowjackets Season 2 Needs to Let Its Worst Storyline Die
There’s gotta be a better way for Yellowjackets to pack in new Jeff memes.
Yellowjackets is nearing the tail end of its second season, which has featured more than its fair share of memorable moments. From the gruesome fulfillment of the show’s original cannibalism tease to the tragic fate that befalls Shauna’s (Sophie Nélisse) baby in its nightmarish sixth episode, Yellowjackets Season 2 hasn’t pulled many punches. That doesn’t mean the season hasn’t spun its wheels a bit, though.
Across its first seven episodes, Yellowjackets’ sophomore season has found a number of ways to stretch out certain storylines. Fortunately, thanks to the show’s consistently excellent performances and character work, most of the filler that’s been scattered throughout Yellowjackets Season 2 has been relatively tolerable. That can’t be said for the ongoing investigation surrounding the death of Adam (Peter Gadiot) at the end of Yellowjackets Season 1, which has emerged as the central focus of adult Shauna’s (Melanie Lynskey) storyline this year.
In case that wasn’t disappointing enough, Yellowjackets’ newest episode makes the mistake of reintroducing Shauna’s cover-up of Adam’s murder at the worst possible moment.
In Episode 7 of Yellowjackets Season 2, titled “Burial,” the show’s central adult survivors all finally spend some time together. While Shauna’s reunion with Natalie (Juliette Lewis), Taissa (Tawny Cypress), Misty (Christina Ricci), Van (Lauren Ambrose), and Lottie (Simone Kessell) leads to a handful of truly awkward moments as well, there’s something undeniably fun and exciting about getting to see Yellowjackets’ adult leads interacting with each other again.
In the episode’s second half, their reunion leads to some genuinely affecting emotional breakthroughs and bonding moments between the characters. Then, just when it feels like Yellowjackets’ present-day storyline has finally kicked into gear again this season, Shauna gets pulled away for an “urgent” phone call from her meme-king husband, Jeff (Warren Kole). Paranoid that the police may be recording their call, Jeff tells Shauna in an awkward, slightly coded way that Adam’s remains have been uncovered.
“Burial” cuts to black as Shauna tries to process the news, suggesting that the police attention on her and her family is only going to ramp up moving forward. Unfortunately for it, Yellowjackets has yet to successfully make a case for why viewers should be at all invested in the ongoing investigation into Adam’s murder. The danger it poses to Shauna and Jeff has never felt particularly genuine, and the storyline has the unfortunate luck of revolving around two of Yellowjackets’ worst characters, Kevyn Tan (Alex Wyndham) and his right-hand officer, Matt (John Paul Reynolds).
All of which is to say that Yellowjackets’ decision to cut away from some of the best scenes of its second season just to bring Kevyn and Matt’s investigation back to the forefront is a bit, well, disappointing.
The Inverse Analysis — Yellowjackets really doesn’t have any responsibility to explore the potential fallout of Adam’s murder. Throughout its sophomore season, the series has consistently ignored many of the logical ramifications of Taissa’s adult storyline, including the fact that she’s a newly elected public official whose life has totally spiraled out of control. (Seriously, what even happened to Taissa’s son after she and Simone got into that very dangerous car accident at the start of Season 2?)
If Yellowjackets can ignore those aspects of Taissa’s storyline, then we think it’s safe to say that the series can do the same for Adam’s death. As tragic and brutal as it may have been, it stopped adding anything of real value to Yellowjackets Season 2 a long time ago.