Welcome to our Yellowjackets Sting Meter. We’ll measure the erratic, unexplainable behavior of the show’s main lineup, ranking them according to how dangerous, deadly, and certifiably insane they appear in each episode. Who’s just a whacky worker bee and who gets crowned Mad Queen of episode seven’s “Burial”? Let’s find out.
The brakes have blown. The rails are gone. And Yellowjackets is just careening wildly into a hallucinatory hellscape filled with jazz numbers, teenage fight clubs, and baby goats named Bruce. We couldn’t be happier.
After the devastating finale of episode six, the show returns this week with some light-hearted fare (still of the f*cked-up variety). As the snow begins to thaw and the girls emerge from the tragedy of Shauna’s stillbirth, new tensions arise within the group and one team member looks to end it all. In the present, a bit of forced self-care brings deep-buried issues to the surface and delivers a shocking twist we probably should’ve seen coming.
Episode seven’s “Burial” is asking all kinds of disturbing, self-reflective questions of our favorite cannibals — and there’s not a mudbath in sight.
Queen Bee – Misty Quigley
Misty Quigley has officially lost it. She may have never had it. But if she did, it’s gone now. And by it, we mean her sanity. When we chatted with Sam Hanratty about the show’s curly-haired wildcard, the actress revealed that the loss of Crystal (Nuha Jes Izman) would send her spiraling to new depths, and in episode seven’s “Burial,” we’re beginning to once again catch glimpses of the power-hungry teen so desperate for attention, she destroyed her team’s only chance of being rescued back in season one. In the past, Misty is covering up her tracks, faking concern for her dead bestie so that the other girls don’t suspect her of foul play. She does a good thing in the process by convincing Coach Ben to hobble away from the cliff’s edge, but does saving one life serve as penance for taking another? (At least she kept those flesh-eating mean girls from snacking on another girl’s bones.)
In the present, try as she might to escape the water coffin designed to penetrate her damaged psyche, Misty ends up floating through a bird core song and dance routine that might just be the whackiest thing we’ve seen on this show. John Cameron Mitchell singing rag-time tunes in a giant Parrot costume accompanied by a top-hat-wearing Elijah Wood? We’ll have whatever psychedelics the writer’s room was dosing with when they penned this beautiful monstrosity.
All of the Yellowjackets need therapy, but no one needs it more than our favorite mini-van murdering mom, Shauna Shipman. The loss of her baby has finally hit her — in the past and in the present — and as it often does, grief twists her into a warped, angry shell of the person she used to be. She unleashes some of her anger on her teammates, beating Lottie to a pulp while the rest of the girls look on, shocked and terrified. In the present, despite dismembering a human being just a few episodes ago, Adult Shauna is having an existential crisis over the idea of killing a baby goat. No one’s told her she’ll have to slit Bruce’s furry little throat, but she agonizes over the possibility all the same until finally coming to the realization that yes, losing a baby so young and so tragically has actually stunted her emotional development and erected a barrier in her relationships with her husband and daughter. Maybe this whole “self-care” thing works after all?
We’re sorry to say this, but Lottie Matthews is a hot mess. In the past, she’s sacrificing her face to Shauna’s fist – for the wilderness we guess? — despite knowing that she won’t be receiving any medical attention (or anti-inflammatories) after the fact. In the present, she’s been having conversations with her imaginary therapist and basing her entire approach to her glaring mental health issues on advice from her own hallucination. Girl, leave the self-help Goop-ing to Gwyneth Paltrow and go see a professional.
Ben is disassociating so much that even his hallucinations are like, “Bro, wake up.” And things only get worse when he has to be talked off a cliff – literally – by the child who tried to roofie him into not being gay. Maybe we should just let Ben end it all.
Van has lost belief – in Lottie, in the mysticism of the wilderness, in herself. She’s convinced Tai there’s a purpose in all of this and misplaced that same ideology in the process. In the present, she’s foraging herself a bottle of liquor and revealing a terminal cancer diagnosis before making out with her married high school sweetheart. Van’s not crazy, she’s just depressed.
Without her sleepwalking alter-ego to stir up some chaos, Tai’s been fairly low-key in both the past and the present. She’s trying to keep everyone’s spirits up, to be a pillar of support for a grieving Shauna and a deflated Van. She’s painting sheds with makeup brushes and admitting she needs help — though she won’t be getting any from Lottie’s delusional cult-leading self anytime soon. She’s sharing her feelings and encouraging others to do the same, finding belief where there isn’t any proof, and protecting the weak (read: Misty Quigley). What do we call that, people? Growth.
Nat is a full-on convert of this heliotropic-simping intentional community and as happy as we are to see her mental health (supposedly) flourishing, her blind loyalty to Lottie is troubling. To say the least. What are the writers doing with Juliette Lewis this season? Somebody explain it to us.
Citizen Detective Thread
- What happened to Lottie’s actual doctor, who most definitely did not go on sabbatical?
- Is Van really sick, or is this just another way for her to put distance between herself and Tai?
- Why would Coach Ben’s hallucinations rebel against him now?
- And why the hell would he let Shauna destroy Lottie’s face like that?