Watching Showtime’s Yellowjackets is like trying to solve a f*cked up puzzle where half of the pieces are missing and what’s left, when assembled, looks like an Edvard Munch monstrosity that will haunt both your dreams and your waking hours.
All this to say, we love the goose chase wild goose chase this show leads us on each week.
In episode three’s “Digestif,” a central mystery that’s plagued fans ever since the early days of season one rears his ugly, eyeless head once more. The spine-chilling specter aptly named The Man with No Eyes is a blood-curdling apparition that’s tormented Taissa Turner (Jasmin Savoy-Brown / Tawny Cypress) for quite some time now. He popped up in her youth and has made some eerie, unwanted visits at the worst possible times in Tai’s life. But, thanks to the show’s latest episode — and some insight from showrunner Ashley Lyle — we’ve got a better read on who this creep is and what he represents for Tai (and her sleepwalking alter-ego).
Who Is The Man With No Eyes?
The Man with No Eyes has been with us since the beginning of the show. He was lurking in the background during the opening credits before the writers gave him a backstory worthy of his weird, frankly demonic, vibes. In season one, the character was played by Braham Taylor and though he had no lines, the actor did a terrific job of terrifying us with his menacing stare — and terrible taste in menswear. We first met him in the show’s third episode. (A coincidence given his part to play in season two, episode three’s “Digestif”? We think not.) He appeared in the room when Tai went to say goodbye to her ailing grandmother. The two were very close and on her deathbed, Tai’s grandma tries to soothe the little girl’s fears about death, referencing a higher power and the “calling back” of the soul.
Later though, Tai’s grandmother appears to see The Man with No Eyes in the mirror opposite her bed and his presence unsettles her. She becomes anxious, asking “Who are you?” before telling Tai the man wants to take her eyes. Tai also sees him and begins to scream. It’s certainly not the peaceful, idyllic passing her grandmother had promised her.
Where Have We Seen Him Before?
The traumatic event of watching her grandmother die might have been the first time The Man with No Eyes appeared to her, but Tai’s been seeing him more frequently — in the woods and on the campaign trail. The other time Tai sees the eyeless figure in season one is when she’s preparing to pull out of the Senate race. After changing her mind and giving an impassioned speech that makes clear her intentions to keep fighting to win the election, she glimpses The Man With No Eyes amongst the crowd of supporters. There are other moments that allude to the spirit’s presence in Tai’s life like the drawings her Son Sammy made depicting both eyes (of all shapes, colors, and kinds) and eyeless faces, but it isn’t until season two that his connection with the wilderness is explored.
The Man with No Eyes pops up in episode two, just in time to lead a sleepwalking Taissa over a cliff. Luckily, Van is there to stop her, but the incident calls into question the malevolent nature of the spirit and his intentions for Tai. In episode three’s “Digestif,” The Man with No Eyes makes another appearance while Tai is sleepwalking. This time, with Van with her, she reveals he’s leading her somewhere and she goes when (conscious) Tai lets her. Whether that’s to find more symbols or to find another cliff’s edge, we’re still not sure.
What Does He Represent?
Some fans have theorized that The Man with No Eyes is some kind of curse tied to Taissa’s family considering both she and her grandmother, and likely her son as well, have seen him while the rest of the team can’t. Others believe he might be a spirit attached to the wilderness in the same way the dead man in the cabin in season one was. While showrunner Ashley Lyle didn’t confirm or deny any of those possibilities, she did tell fans at PaleyFest that his connection to tie isn’t just a supernatural one, it’s also psychological:
Tai has lived as this person who’s based her life on pragmatism. I personally believe that she would define herself as an atheist, if not, an agnostic. And yet as a young child, she had this incredibly informative, traumatic experience when her grandmother, who she was very close to, was close to death and had this sort of terrifying moment where she was anticipating, you know, the transition to the next life and expecting sort of angels and trumpets and instead had a terrifying vision. I think that for Taissa, who’s very much not in touch with her spiritual self, and very much not in touch with her ability to believe, or, her faith, there’s this sort of symbolic character of, you know, you could look at him as death incarnate. I think what he [the man with no eyes] represents is ‘the unknown’ and the unknown is something that Taissa is very uncomfortable with as a character.
It’s likely we’ll see more of The Man with No Eyes as the season progresses and the situation — for the girls in the woods and the women back home — worsens.