Yellowjackets Season 2 Just Outdid Season 1's Darkest Moment
The Yellowjackets have officially crossed the point of no return.
On Yellowjackets, things have somehow gone from bad to worse. The Showtime series’ second season has always felt like a slow burn toward, well, something, but it’s never been totally clear where Yellowjackets Season 2 is ultimately heading. After all, what could possibly be worse than the cannibalistic feast that ended its second episode?
In the season’s penultimate episode, titled “It Chooses,” viewers find out that Yellowjackets still has plenty of grisly tricks up its sleeve. Not only does the episode culminate with the younger Yellowjackets’ first real act of murder, but it also delivers moments of camp horror that feel like they could have been pulled right out of a Sam Raimi film. Amidst all of these surprises, Yellowjackets also calls back to “Doomcoming,” the game-changing penultimate installment of its first season, with a chase that feels eerily reminiscent of the drug-crazed hunt featured in that memorable episode.
Unfortunately for one of Yellowjackets’ few remaining innocents, “It Chooses” goes even further than “Doomcoming.” In doing so, the episode secures its place as arguably the wildest and darkest Yellowjackets installment to date.
Spoilers for Yellowjackets Season 2 Episode 8 follow.
Yellowjackets has murder on the mind in “It Chooses.” The episode’s present-day storyline revolves almost entirely around the discovery of Adam Martin’s dismembered body, and it even sees the adult Yellowjackets start to toy around with the idea of sacrificing one of themselves to The Wilderness. Poor Jeff (Warren Kole), meanwhile, is forced to look at close-up images of Adam’s severed limbs, which leads to him having a nightmare where a version of Shauna (Melanie Lynskey) with saws for hands (Bruce Campbell would be proud) cuts him open and slits his throat.
That said, most of the episode’s major moments unfold in the past. With Lottie (Courtney Eaton) on the brink of death, the younger Yellowjackets realize that she’ll need to stave off her own starvation if she wants to live. This realization leads the show’s teenage survivors to agree to participate in a game of chance. The rules of the game are simple: whoever draws the queen of hearts dies, and in a cruel twist of fate, it’s Natalie (Sophie Thatcher) who pulls the fateful card.
Before Shauna (Sophie Nélisse) can go through with slitting Natalie’s throat, though, Travis (Kevin Alves) tackles her to the ground. In the moments that follow, Natalie tries to outrun and evade her ravenous fellow survivors. At the same time, Coach Ben (Steven Krueger) decides to investigate the strangely unfrozen tree that has been perplexing viewers all season. Underneath it, he discovers a hidden cave with a hot spring and makeshift campsite. This spot presumably explains how Javi (Luciano Leroux) managed to survive for several months on his own.
Unfortunately, Ben doesn’t get the chance to tell anyone else about the location before the Yellowjackets cross a point of no return. In an attempt to save Natalie’s life, Javi starts to lead her across a frozen lake only for the ice beneath him to break. When Natalie tries to save him, Misty (Samantha Hanratty) tells her to let him die so that the other Yellowjackets will spare her life. The episode then ends with Natalie, Misty, and the rest of the show’s stranded teenagers pulling Javi’s dead body out of the water and, well, we know exactly what they intend to do with it.
The Inverse Analysis — In many ways, “It Chooses” serves the same purpose as “Doomcoming.” Both episodes allow the ongoing tensions of their respective seasons to finally boil over. What makes the former so much more horrifying than the latter, though, is the fact that the decisions Yellowjackets’ characters make in it cannot, in any way, be categorized as drug-induced. They willingly let their animalistic impulses run free and, in doing so, nearly kill one of their most capable teammates before letting an innocent boy drown right in front of them.
In case that wasn’t bad enough, there’s still one episode of Yellowjackets Season 2 left, which means the season may end up going to even darker places than it already has.