Several dark turns really raise the stakes in this episode, as Yellowjackets makes good on a couple of its more horrifying promises.
This recap of Yellowjackets Season 2 Episode 2, “Edible Complex”, contains spoilers.
Yellowjackets has been promising cannibalism for so long that now it’s finally here it almost feels a little passe.
Admittedly we got a taste – sorry! – in the Season 2 premiere, when Shauna ate the defrosted ear of her late best friend Jackie, so maybe that took the edge off. Maybe it’s the inevitability of the turn that made it ring a bit hollow. Or maybe it was the presentation, which we’ll get to in a minute.
Yellowjackets Season 2 Episode 2 Recap
Why does the group eat Jackie?
Either way, it was about time Shauna stopped conversing with her dead friend, for the good of the group. However much fun Ella Purnell has been having as the embodiment of both young Shauna’s inferiority complex and darkest desires, it was getting harder and harder to justify.
The idea is closure. Jackie, like the ground, is frozen stiff, but burial isn’t the only means of disposing of a corpse, so instead the decision is made to send her off on a big pyre. Nobody realizes they’re cooking her at this point until everyone realizes it all at once.
It’s important to note that there’s an explicit point made about not stripping Jackie off to preserve her dignity – even though her clothes, or at least her jacket, would be very useful! – so it can’t have just been me who noticed that they were cooked with her. The girls didn’t notice, anyway. They’re all starving. All it takes is one hand-wavey “it’s what she would have wanted” and the entire gang gets down to business.
For some reason, this sequence cuts back and forth to a dreamlike feast of the girls all wearing togas and laurels, perhaps to soften the savagery of it, but it’s a weird choice all the same.
Is there a supernatural entity in the woods?
With the cannibalism business out of the way, the second big thing we’re waiting for in this season of Yellowjackets is whether or not there really is some kind of otherworldly woodland entity overseeing things, which is definitely the implication.
The signs and symbology are obvious. Tell-tale gusts of wind. Lottie’s mysterious powers. It all seems to suggest the same thing, and the idea persists in the present-day storyline, again framed from the perspective of Lottie.
Travis, it turns out, was attempting to commune with that very spirit when he died. This is according to Lottie, anyway, who tells the story to an entirely disbelieving Nat, still smarting from having essentially been kidnapped.
But here’s how the tale goes regardless. Travis had the bright idea of hanging himself from a crane in the middle of a bunch of candles in the shape of that weird symbol. His logic is that as he’s right on the cusp of death he’ll be able to chat with the entity. Since Lottie is there, she volunteers to lower him back to the ground the moment he slips unconscious.
Wouldn’t you know it, though, but the batteries in the remote die, and the ghost of Laura Lee turns up, and when Lottie comes to her senses Travis is dead. Oops.
It’s incredibly difficult to believe this story, obviously, but we should probably note the whole business about entities, apparitions, and symbols.
Is Javi alive?
On the subject of Dead Travis, we might as well briefly highlight what Young Travis was up to in “Edible Complex”.
So, he and Nat continue to go out hunting. Lottie continues to insist, for absolutely no reason that anyone can discern, that Javi is still alive, so Travis continues to obsess over the idea. When they split up, Nat cuts her leg and wipes the blood on a pair of Javi’s pants she brought with her so she can lie to Travis and convince him he’s dead.
But is Javi alive? You’d think it’d be so unlikely as to be impossible given the climate, but the show has taken such an interest in the matter and has lingered over it for so long that I think it’s basically inevitable that he’s alive somewhere.
That night Nat and Travis have sex and he imagines Lottie being there the whole time, which is probably the least weird thing going on in the episode at this point.
Is Simone dead?
Regarding weirdness let’s talk about Taissa, because blimey!
So, in the past, Tai almost sleepwalks her way over the edge of a cliff following the eyeless man, having managed to sever the restraints that were supposed to keep her in bed. Van saves her, but she refuses to speak to Lottie about it, despite the fact that she might be able to help.
This, though, is tame compared to the present-day shenanigans, where Tai is trying to keep herself awake like she’s a supporting player in Nightmare on Elm Street. In her delirium, she imagines her reflection moving independently, then hallucinates Sammy having walked his way there after school. She calls Simone to tell her not to worry and get her to pick him up, then falls asleep at the table.
When Simone arrives, Sammy is nowhere to be found. The implication is that he has clambered out of the window. But while they’re driving around looking for him, Simone gets a call from Sammy’s school asking why she hasn’t picked him up. He was never with Taissa.
Simone, rightly, takes this as an indicator that Tai is very sick and needs serious help posthaste, but when she vocalizes that sentiment Tai stares her out like a psychopath and drives straight into an intersection, where her car is T-boned on the passenger side.
We don’t know if Simone’s dead or not, but if she’s alive, she’s absolutely not in a good way.
Yellowjackets Season 2 Episode 2 Ending Explained
The episode ends with the feast, and a disgusted Coach Ben looking on in horror as he hides in the cabin, the girls all kneeling around their friend as they devour her.
Also worth noting is Misty meeting PuttingTheSickInForensics, a citizen detective played by Elijah Wood, and Callie getting catfished by a detective working with Kevin in investigating Adam’s disappearance. More on both of these burgeoning subplots next week!
You can stream Yellowjackets Season 2 Episode 2, “Edible Complex” exclusively on Showtime.