*WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
“Have you been watching Yellowjackets?”
Yes, bitch, YES! I love being asked about this show.
“No return, no return, no reaaaaaason!”
I even used writing this blog as an excuse to re-watch all ten episodes a second time. It feels like a secret covenant between those asking and myself has been made. Like, we know we’ve experienced the cult vibe and ridiculous nostalgia Yellowjackets projects, and it’s our secret for life.
Here’s my perspective on one of the best ensemble of characters of 2021. There were moments when I was watching where I was convinced the teenage versions of the cast were filmed in the ’90s. It’s more than the apparent similarities in appearance. It’s the way teen Natalie walks the same manic and fast-paced way adult Natalie does. The way the tone of their voices are the same. I’ve always found the way Juliette Lewis speaks as sexy and tantalizing. So, mimicking her distinctive dialog is something not any teen actor of this day in age can do, yet Sophie Thatcher (Teen Natalie) channels Juliette’s uniqueness perfectly.
I wouldn’t put it past the creators as co-creator Ashley Lyle mentions Alanis Morrisette’s influence. Her presence is felt throughout the show because of her voice of rebellion for young women at the time. It stands to reason a Robin Tunney tribute wouldn’t be included somewhere in Yellowjackets too. However, I don’t ever recall Robin Tunney ever playing such a conniving entitled asshole as Jackie is. Disagree or not, Jackie’s character mutated into one of 2021’s biggest douchebags.
My show’s favorites are the adult versions of Shauna (Melanie Lynsey). I’ve loved her since Ever After. Then, Natalie ( Lewis ). I mean, are you even an ’80’s or ’90’s cult film fan if you don’t love Juliette Lewis? She’s incredible in everything she’s in. And, it probably comes as no surprise that Misty (Christina Ricci) is one of my favorites too.
Shauna reminds me so much of myself. Sometimes being a stay-at-home heiress is boring, and there are times it feels like I failed myself. I often go back in time to think of all of the things I survived and had fun doing in my teens. I sometimes take that frustration from my boredom out on the ones I love the most. But I couldn’t kill a garden rabbit and then feed it to my family the way Shauna does but, I’d be lying if I said that wouldn’t be a satisfying boredom buster.
Teen Shauna ( Sophie Nélisse) is relatable too. More in my adult life, at a time when I felt I was being used and mistreated by alleged friends who just used me to make themselves feel better and more privileged. Then when I got upset and snapped, I was the bad guy. I don’t see Shauna as a villain despite her guilt or carnal ability to quickly kill innocent things in order to survive.
I do have to mention that I thought Shauna’s lover, Adam (Peter Gadoit), was grown-up Javi ( Luciano Leroux). Because, where is Javi? No one found him after Misty’s mushroom party, did they? The plot may thicken with that theory.
The dynamic between adult Natalie and Misty was cringy and frustrating but endearing enough to love the shit out of both of them. Misty is more difficult to love because of her terrifying temper and high intelligence level. Yet, she’s easy to adore as it’s obvious her intentions, although manic, come from a place of affection. I predict more of Natalie relying on Misty through the challenges both will face in Season 2. I am with Natalie when it comes to not settling on the alleged truth about Travis (Kevin Alves). The note he left, “Natalie was right,” was left unexplained, as well as the sigil that shows up throughout the season. Natalie’s intuition is strong despite her addictions. Most of the time, it seems like she is the only one who has every situation figured out and has the most common sense and compassion that her teammates lack. She’s pretty fearless too. I believe Misty will oddly be able to help Natalie channel them. Whatever works, right? I just hope the rest of the girls show up for Natalie how she continually showed up for each of them.
Answers are still needed! The pilot gave us a female Lord of the Flies and a Ravenous vibe. Yellowjackets cannot be compared to either. It was the vibe with all the pagan ceremony wear and perceived cannibal ritual. Was that random selection? Did someone volunteer as tribute in that scene? While the season finale was satisfying – a tad heartbreaking for Shauna but satisfying, there’s still no clarity about what that ritual was all about in the pilot episode.
The supernatural elements were left unanswered as well. Taissa’s sleepwalking seems to get more intense when she and the psychic and easily possessed Lottie (Courtney Eaton) bump heads in the teen portion of the story. That bitch got hit by a bible to keep her from completely going The Exorcist a few times there.
Oh, my goth! Can we talk about Taissa’s girlfriend! Van (Liv Hewson) kept defying death. Four times by the end of the season, by my count. Plane crash. Burned alive. Wolf – burned alive again. The team even said she has nine lives, and she’s still alive when the season ends. Quite a few characters are alive that aren’t even mentioned in the adult portion of the show. There has to be more! I wonder who’s alive, and we didn’t know it.
While the Yellowjackets are in the wild, starvation leads to hallucination desperation; why else would Laura Lee (Jane Widdop) attempt to fly an abandoned plane that hasn’t been used in an undisclosed amount of time. However, I have my theories about the little christian before her ambitious death.
Did anyone else find it odd in her flashback at her bible school day at the public pool that she dived her head right into the bottom of the shallow end of the pool? She was old enough to know better, and she seemed like she was in a trance a moment before. Or is it her way to get closer to god as the ’90’s hit, ‘Closer’ by Nine Inch Nails suggests? Laura Lee seems emboldened when her teammates take her Christian perspective seriously. I wonder if the team’s collaborative desperation kept everyone but the gay coach from stopping her from trying to fly that old plane out of the mountains, or did she honestly think she could not only survive but successfully do what skilled pilots couldn’t, thus saving her team. That teddy bear just burst into flames, ya’ll. I can’t decipher that sign. So, you tell me, was her death a disguised suicide, or did Laura Lee truly have the Jesus complex?
This show ended season one with a fuck ton of new storylines for us to interpret while we wait for season two. One of my earlier assumptions came true; another Yellowjacket made it out of the wilderness and is now seems to be a dangerous cult leader. Shauna’s daughter is about to find out how “cut throat” her mother can genuinely be. And, I’m pretty sure a demon that has attached itself to Taissa’s bloodline is beginning to feed on her soul.
This show is enthralling and captures everything I loved about being a teenager growing up in the ’90s. I can’t get enough from its spot-on soundtrack to the horror elements. Yellowjackets is the coming-of-age saga that I can say accurately highlights what it was like being a teen girl. The character’s helped me remember what it felt like to feel invisible – like I could defeat any odds against me while looking death straight in the eye without fear. The whole show embodies that nostalgic rebellion. Remember those days? When could we pop in a mixed CD into our disc-man, get drunk off of cheap screwdrivers, and fuck it all away? There’s so much more of Yellowjackets to enjoy, and if you can’t tell…I’m obsessed! Season 2 cannot come soon enough.
You can stream Yellowjackets on Showtime.