‘Yellowjackets’ Season 2 Episode 3 ‘Digestif’ Review – SPOILER
Back to the relative monotony of sleep walking and baby showers.
(Editor’s note: The following review contains spoilers for “Yellowjackets” Season 2 Episode 3, “Digestif.”)
“Once you’ve tasted the meat, it’s a slippery slope,” “Yellowjackets” showrunner Jonathan Lisco told IndieWire ahead of Season 2.
That’s exactly where our characters find themselves in “Digestif,” Season 2, Episode 3, written by Rich Monahan, Sarah L. Thompson, and Rozsa Ameni, and directed by Jeffrey W. Byrd. After waking up in the middle of the night and eating the cooked remains of a teammate, they must figure out how to proceed.
Refreshingly, the “Yellowjackets” aren’t the first to dive into cannibalism after consuming “Luau Jackie”; there is an immediate reckoning, each character handles the case differently, but the girls and Travis (Kevin Alves) aren’t exactly cannibals. Episode description on Showtime describes their current feeling as an “unusual hangover,” which is pretty much on the nose; memories are hazy, actions may not have been fully conscious, and they ate a lot before going back to bed. Nat (Sophie Thatcher) shakes and stares at the body, giving the impression that she may not have slept the rest of the night. Others appear bleary-eyed to take in the scene, and Taissa (Jasmin Savoy Brown) doesn’t fully remember.
Van (Liv Hewson) reminds Tai, even yelling at her about what happened, saying that Tai couldn’t have been sleepwalking because they were interacting and talking (she also introduces the chilling detail of Tai “eating his face”, which seems too much of a detail many currently). “Digestif” reveals A LOT about Tai’s sleepwalking, and by the end of the episode, it’s not believable that Tai didn’t do it, but it’s the most likely explanation. The next glimpse we get of the sleepwalker Taissa is when she sits up straight in the middle of the night and effortlessly loosens her bonds, waking Van up.
“If I let you go, can I go with you?” Van asks. Even if you suspected it, you’re still shocked when the person you’re talking to actually says, “Yes. He’s coming.”
As “Tai” races into the forest, they quickly discuss where they are going; sometimes it is unknown, sometimes it is led by the naughty man, somewhere it is only followed “when it allows”. “She” is Taissa and “I” remains a mystery. This conversation is so quick and proportionately scary, it’s one of the most poignant and creepy explorations of “Yellowjackets.” Tai isn’t just sleepwalking; he seems to dissociate, he seems obsessed. The Naughty Man is something she was scared of as a child and may be a projection of her subconscious – but that doesn’t explain how she saw him years ago or why she doesn’t identify herself when he chases her.
In the present, grown-up Taissa’s reflection continues to go rogue, this time uttering the words “go to him” and mapping Van’s bandages onto her face. Whether it’s hallucination, dissociation, or whatever, it’s a proven horror device that delivers the desired effect. Interestingly, the reflection maps Van’s bandages, which were only a few weeks after the season 1 wolf attack. It might just be an easy way to identify Van without words (and more effective than drawing a scar on his face), but could it be more than that? Van wore these bandages at least through Doomcoming, a night that unleashed all kinds of energy among the Yellowjackets in keeping with their connection to the forest. Did this version of the sleepwalker Taissa only appear in the wild a few months ago?
Teen Shauna (Sophie Nélisse) tells Lottie (Courtney Eaton) that “I feel so fucked up,” an evergreen thesis of the series. Lottie reassures him that they are all ate Jackie together, as a twisted callback to the team dinners they must have shared before the accident to get excited and nourished before a big game. This leads to Mari (Alexa Barajas) being dumbfounded: “Are we having a baby shower?” (eavesdropped? Mari STOP) and the girls’ faces lit up with an amazing excitement following the recent events. The desire to return to normal life is so palpable, so desperate, that it drowns out the absurdity of throwing a party while starving in the wilderness for a baby no one knows how to care for when it arrives.
The baby shower begins with a focus on Misty (Samantha Hanratty) and Crystal (Nuha Jes Izman), the strange outcasts in the group who quickly become best friends. It loosely mirrors the present, when grown-up Misty (Christina Ricci) teams up with Walter (Elijah Wood) during a citizen detective interrogation. Izman and Wood give quality, magnetic performances, but their characters are clearly spinoffs of Misty. Walter is especially doubtful; he admits that he lied to get close to Misty, which Jessica (Rekha Sharma) did in Season 1 with ulterior motives. She spoke to Misty exactly as she knew this ignored closet psychopath wanted her to, and though Walter was manipulatively doing the same. obsession with good intentions – the skull plug is Misty’s love language. Interrogating Randy (Jeff Holman) brings them closer and makes them vulnerable.
Adult Shauna (Melanie Lynskey) doubles down on feeling fucked up and shows her true colors in this episode by pulling a gun on a carjacker and using it to free the hostage-taker’s van. Unflinchingly, he tells the man at the junkyard how hard it is to peel human skin off flesh, how much people sweat after they’ve been killed, and how much he wants to pull the trigger. You get the sense that he’s wanted to say all of this for years—decades, if not—without fear of judgment or retribution, realizing that life outside the wild will never be as liberating as it is in it. “Yellowjackets” continues to emphasize that its tormented characters were their truest selves during the most harrowing, unfortunate times of their lives — and that they never know peace once they leave it behind.
- More on him later, but coach Scott (Steven Kreuger) doesn’t want this world. My theory since Season 1 was that Misty would kill him in a crime of passion, but what’s happening now seems a lot worse (I also thought she’d be the first to be eaten, so take that with a grain of salt).
- (Speaking of salt, I can’t stop thinking about how they ate Jackie unseasoned and I’m going to hell for it.)
- I leave out many of today’s stories because they are really you feel like you’re treading water. Fingers crossed that literally any of these take center stage later in the season.
- The interrogation scene is admittedly hilarious; this peak is forgotten by Randy, and so is the articulated off-peak Misty, and Ricci lets her go as she hides.
- I know I wrote about Taissa, but I can’t stress enough how worried I am for her (past and present!). Any concern seems insufficient!
- It’s so funny that “We’re not out of the woods yet,” the ominous Season 2 tagline is finally uttered by… Simone’s nurse.
- At one point, Mari says she hears dripping, which everyone ignores. Why include this if it is not significant? The cabin leaks as we already know, but is this something else? Hallucinating the sound of dripping blood?
- There is so much going on in this show that we hardly have time to realize how hot Kevin Tan (Alex Wyndham) is. Very hot!
- The “argument followed by bird-suicide” was not a “lost” parallel I saw coming. I have no choice but to stand.
- When Lottie says—almost casually—“We must gather as a blessing” about the dead birds, it is remarkable to see a handful of girls immediately comply and deliver them at her feet. Lottie’s authority is undeniable and affects more and more survivors.
- Travis “Are you ok man? You… seem weird to Coach Scott, with the same cathartic levity as when Coach says “Holy Christ” in Episode 2 when he finds out what Shauna did in the meat pantry. This show knows exactly when to laugh!
- For a long time, I thought Taissa’s eyes were intentionally red in the present to hint at her dark side; Then I met Tawny Cypress and found out she has stunning blue eyes, so those are contacts. FYI!
- The ending of this episode is one of my favorite and most haunting soundtracks of the entire season, and killer performance by Kessell with exactly zero words. Talk about phenomenal casting.
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