Misty Quigley would like to make a few facts known. She did not have anal with Robbie Delgado, or anyone else for that matter, in the janitor’s closet at school. She’s never even been in the janitor’s closet. Also, she’s perfectly comfortable with misquoting Plato to better suit her purposes in letting you know that “You can think what you want. Opinion is the wilderness between knowledge and ignorance.” This quote is pulled from Plato’s 375 BC Socratic dialogue The Republic, where he actually says, “Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance,” but Misty swapped in “wilderness,” because she herself is as wild and strong as the scrunchies and butterfly clips that keep her curly hair in check. People just don’t know to what extent yet.
When the plane carrying the Yellowjackets from New Jersey to Seattle to compete in the soccer nationals falls from the sky into a patch of woods in Ontario, Canada, Misty is the first to jump into action. While still onboard the aircraft, she quickly assesses the situation and makes her way to the emergency exit so that she and the remaining survivors can escape the flames making their way back from the cockpit. The pilot and co-pilot are already burnt to a crisp, and Van, unable to unclip from her seatbelt, is in danger of becoming similarly crispy, but Misty, with the help of Taissa, Lottie, and a few other girls, get the door open so everyone who’s able to get out can. Shauna, passed out from either the impact or the valium that Jackie gave her during takeoff, gets pulled out by Jackie, who also gets in the way of her efforts to free Van from her seat. This is something that Van won’t let go of any time soon, as she eventually does make her way out, no thanks to her team captain.
Everyone is running around frantic and bleeding, and Misty hears coach Ben (Steven Krueger) crying out from a distance. She and a bunch of the others run over to pull him out from the plane debris he’s trapped under, and when they do, they see that one of his legs is mangled to the point of mush. Misty goes off into the woods without skipping a beat and returns with an axe that she uses to chop off the offending leg. Do most private planes come equipped with huge Game of Thrones–style axes as part of their emergency equipment? Thankfully, this one did.
After she chops off Ben’s leg, Misty goes around patching up anyone else who needs medical care. When asked how the hell she knows how to do all of this, she says, “I took the Red Cross babysitter training class. Twice.” Misty seems content, perfectly happy even, to be stranded here with her team. It seems to be a significant improvement from her previous life spending nights alone in her bedroom, fielding calls from bullies accusing her of anal. She has a purpose now. So when, later that night, she comes across the plane’s flight-data recorder box, she smashes it on a rock so no one will know how to find them.
In 2021, we see that Misty has made a nice life for herself, but she’s still burdened by the same insecurities she had during high school. On a first date with a guy who looks like he’d rather be cutting his toenails on the subway than talking to her, she fills the silence by listing off her turn-ons. Her shortlist consists of bubble baths, walks in the rain, muscular calves, escalators, knuckles, and steamed clams (obviously). When it’s time for her date to list his, he says “hair,” which she’s happy to point out that she has. She convinces him to have another drink with her and fakes car trouble so he’ll drive her home. She even gets him to come inside, but once they cross the threshold, they’re met by Natalie and her rifle, which is more than enough of an excuse for him to run out. He didn’t even get a chance to meet Caligula. His loss.
Natalie shows Misty an ominous postcard she got that has a mountain range on one side and the cursed tree symbol from their time in the wilderness on the other. The text over the front reads, “Wish you were here.” Natalie thinks Misty sent this postcard, but Misty got one too. She assumes it was sent by someone who knows what really went on when they were stranded for 19 months, and since she’s a citizen detective and works (for free) with others online to solve cold cases as a hobby, she and Natalie go to a bar to discuss things further. Misty has already proven her allegiance to the girls of Yellowjackets, but she’s also the one who would benefit the most from returning to the memories of the past that most of the others would prefer to move on from. If she really is behind these postcards, it’s probably not for the reasons one would think.
While at the bar, Natalie goes through Misty’s file folder of information about the crash and the postcard, and she comes across a photocopy of Travis’ driver’s license. We learn through flashbacks from the woods that Travis (Kevin Alves) is the eldest son of the Yellowjackets’ head coach and someone with whom Natalie grows close during their time in the woods. When Natalie later calls Travis from her hotel room, a guy answers and, after a long pause, says she must have the wrong number. The next morning she plans to drive to the address on his license to talk to him in person, but she finds that her car is mysteriously not working. As luck would have it, Misty just so happens to drive up with two cups of coffee and offers to drive them both. What I wouldn’t give to be in the backseat during this road trip.
While Misty and Natalie are making their way to Travis’s house, Taissa is dealing with her own present-day mysteries at home. She’s been spending too much time away from her wife and son, as she’s been preoccupied with her race for state senate, and she misses out on the parent-teacher conference that reveals that Sammy (Aiden Stoxx) is having a hard time making friends at school. He’s also been papering over his bedroom windows with horrifying drawings of black-eyed ghouls, which he says are to keep the “lady in the tree” from watching him at night. Considering that this last part is genuinely bone-chilling information, she takes it surprisingly well. I’d be like, “the who now?”
At Shauna’s house, her problems are more run-of-the-mill family-type stuff. Her daughter is vaping and doesn’t know what frozen meat is. Her husband is getting texts from a woman named Bianca asking him to meet her at “the usual place,” and the most exciting thing to happen to her as of late is accidentally rear-ending a cute guy named Adam (Peter Gadiot) who offers to fix her car for free if she has dinner with him. Normal stuff. Aside from the fact that she kills rabbits in the garden, cuts them nose to anus, guts them, and makes chili with their meat for family dinner. When she’s forced to attend couples therapy with her husband to mend their lackluster sex life, the therapist tells them that “Marriage lives up here (heart) and dies down here (crotch).” Still, for the surviving Yellowjackets, it’s common knowledge that in marriage, or life as a whole, there are much bigger things to worry about, and way worse ways to die.
Buzz Buzz Buzz
• I went to high school between the years of 1991 and 1995, and I’ll tell you right now that if someone were to have called my bedroom line to say anal at me, I would have immediately called 911.
• It is wildly mysterious that Natalie’s old best friend Kevyn, a detective, just so happened to be at the bar when Natalie and Misty were there to discuss that ominous postcard.
• Only Melanie Lynskey could make calling someone a “fucking asshole” sound like a casual and charming compliment.