Spoilers follow for Yellowjackets season-two episode “Two Truths and a Lie,” which premiered on April 21.
Every week, Yellowjackets immerses us in dual eldritchian torments: the horror of being a teenage girl alone in the wilderness, battling hunger, clique drama, and a possibly evil supernatural entity, and the awfulness of being an adult forced to reconnect with the past you thought you’d left behind. Both are equally frightening, and both inspire endless theorizing — citizen detectives, get your inquisitive minds ready!
We’re now past the halfway point of the second season of Yellowjackets, and it feels notable that most major developments so far have happened in the 1996 story line. The eating of Jackie, the finding of Javi, the death of Crystal/Kristen (if she was even real in the first place), the confirmation that something supernatural is at least blowing snow around if not messing with the trees and blood sacrifices. Compared with all of that forward progress, Natalie’s insistence in 2021 that the Yellowjackets “brought it back with us” is a little Yeah, duh. “Two Truths and a Lie” isn’t a bad episode, but even with the introduction of adult Van and Misty lying her way into Camp Green Pine, the adult Yellowjackets story lines feel a bit like filler. (And no, that is not a reference to Randy Walsh’s use of strawberry-scented lotion!) Let’s get into it — no search warrant necessary.
Questions About 1996
UPDATED: Is Lottie the cause of the group breaking apart?
We’ve been tracking the friction between Lottie and Natalie, but after that baby-blanket fiasco and the events of this episode, we should probably prioritize Shauna. On edge because of her pregnancy, frustrated by what she sees as Lottie’s co-opting of her baby, weirded out by Lottie’s group prayers to nature and the sway she holds over the other Yellowjackets — Shauna’s going through a lot! It doesn’t help that Tai is now spending most of her time with Van and has stopped sleepwalking after attending what Shauna calls Lottie’s “fucking prayer club.” Shauna’s not wrong when she questions Tai’s insistence that “there’s one fucking team, and we’re all on it”: Coach Ben is on the outs, Natalie and Travis are fighting, Mari is getting weirder with the whole dripping-sound thing. The group is fracturing, and Lottie isn’t helping.
NEW: Did Lottie create a Yellowjackets mind meld?
On the flip side of Shauna’s doubt, though, is the fact that Lottie’s prayer techniques seemingly do help Shauna and Tai make their way back to the cabin after they’re caught in a spontaneous squall similar to the gust of wind that pushed that snow onto Jackie’s pyre. Tai repeats Lottie’s language about hearing the wind, the trees, and “my friends.” Van and Lottie lead a prayer back at the cabin about hearing the wind, the trees, and “our friends,” then suddenly the pair is back. There’s been a lot of theorizing since the beginning of Yellowjackets about whether the teens all fell into a shared delusion, and this development fits right in.
NEW: Does Crystal/Kristen exist, or is she a figment of Misty’s imagination?
I’ve seen this question popping up in our comments section and on fan forums, and it makes sense given Yellowjackets’ less than graceful introduction of new characters like Nuha Jes Izman’s Crystal, Jenna Burgess’s Melissa, and Mya Lowe’s Gen (she was an unnamed Yellowjacket teammate last season). Crystal in particular has so much personality that it was a bit of a stretch to accept she’d just been quiet and unnoticed in season one. But there have been moments this season when other people acknowledge Crystal, like when Mari calls her and Misty “two geeks,” so it didn’t seem feasible that she would be imaginary. Isn’t it weird, though, that when Misty comes back and tells the Yellowjackets that her “bestie” got lost in the snow storm, only Mari and Akilah are concerned and the group at large doesn’t do anything additional to find her once Shauna and Tai return? They launch into teen-sonar mode to bring in Shauna and Tai, but there’s no discussion of where Crystal might be and where they should search for her. A lot to “hmm” over.
UPDATED: How many more people besides Jackie got eaten in 1996?
I’m guessing the way we’ll find out whether Crystal was real is if the Yellowjackets bring up looking for her again or — and I’m just being practical here! — they decide to find her body and harvest it. If neither of those options comes up, then I think we can accept that Misty, so desperate for a best friend, made up Crystal. If they do come up, though, then surely Misty will have to lie about knowing where Crystal is to maintain her “we got separated in the storm” cover story for contributing to her death. If we get a shot of Crystal missing from the bottom of the cliff, then all bets are off.
UPDATED: Is Javi alive?
Last week, I wondered, Where was Javi sleeping, where did he get more clothes, how did he manage to avoid everyone for two months, and, does this now mean that he survived through 2021? Not too many answers for any of these queries yet, but we do learn something significant and potentially spooky: Javi has a “friend,” a “she,” who helped him survive and who “told me not to come back.” He doesn’t answer Coach Ben’s questions about who that “she” is, and he still hasn’t spoken to Travis or any of the Yellowjackets. But did anyone else catch the looks passing between him and Lottie? Curious.
UPDATED: What’s the deal with the “weird mossy tree”?
I wasn’t entirely clear on this, but I think Javi drew that sketch of tree roots that Coach Ben picks up and looks at (Javi at least walks out of the room with it), and what if these are the roots of those warming trees? Could whoever Javi’s “friend” is be living … under them? And take another look — flipped upside down, those roots sure do look like antlers, don’t they?
UPDATED: Do Lottie and Travis hook up?
Lottie follows Travis out of the cabin when he blames Natalie for Javi being missing for so long (which is unfair, since Javi was already gone for more than two months when Natalie planted his faux-bloody clothes), and we don’t see what happens between them afterward. Maybe they just listened to the wind and trees together.
Questions About 2021
UPDATED: Is Lottie still in communion with the entity from the woods?
The shadow of the Antler Queen making an appearance in Lottie’s quarters after she guides Natalie into a memory about the last time she saw the same Antler Queen? Can’t be good! Although, I still can’t figure out why Lottie mimicked so much of her time in the woods in her adult life if she didn’t, on some level, want to be close to all this weirdness. Natalie’s concern for Lottie’s heliotrope followers seems genuine, but it was pretty naïve — especially after her time with Lisa — to think that these people hadn’t already willfully given over both their finances and decision-making to Lottie.
UPDATED: Who, or what, is possessing Tai?
Whoever or whatever it is, it acts on Tai’s lingering feelings for Van — she says she still has “love” for Van — and kisses her while original Tai is asleep. We’ve been assuming that when Tai is under the influence of these entities, she’s doing what they want her to do. This kiss suggests the opposite — that the “bad one” does what some id version of Tai wants to do but can’t bring herself to, and if that is the case, it’s probably weird for Van to be analogous with a spooky basement altar in terms of stuff Tai wants to keep secret. Maybe we’ll learn more during their trip to wherever the “bad one” thinks they’re “supposed to be.” (Camp Green Pine, right? It has to be Camp Green Pine.)
NEW: Is what happened to Crystal/Kristen the reason Shauna, Tai, Natalie, et al. have avoided Misty?
For now, pretty much everything about Crystal is a question mark. But since the beginning of Yellowjackets, Shauna, Tai, and Natalie have all been incredibly resistant to hanging out with Misty despite her insistence that they’re all close friends. My first assumption was that their aversion was because they found out Misty purposefully broke the plane’s emergency transmitter (and because she’s a lot), but could it be because they learned Misty was somewhat responsible for Crystal’s death? Something to consider!
Questions About the Future
CONFIRMED: Does Elijah Wood’s citizen detective know Misty helped get rid of Adam?
Uh oh! The lie that seemed so unlike Misty now comes back to bite her, as Walter flat-out tells her he knows she fibbed about being close to Adam Martin’s mother (who is actually dead) and he suspects she was involved in Adam’s death — perhaps at the behest of one of her friends. This is all correct information! Walter’s tone during this exchange is almost disappointed (“You slipped on this one”), and I think Walter and Misty are so similar that he won’t take her “whatever this is, it’s over” proclamation as the last word. Did Misty ever actually listen to the Yellowjackets when they told her to leave them alone? She did not. I don’t think we’re done with Walter or his Hardy Boy machinations quite yet, and I don’t think Misty will have a hard time flourishing at Camp Green Pine! Although I do worry about who’s taking care of Caligula during Misty’s extended road trip.
UPDATED: Does Callie take Adam’s ID to the police? And how self-destructive is Shauna going to get?
Let’s go ahead and combine these questions at this point, because Callie — humiliated over how she was duped by Detective Saracusa — now seems pretty firmly on her parents’ side, so I don’t think any Adam news will pass through her. Is it smart for Shauna to involve her teenage daughter in additional layers of lies, though? Probably not. I’m surprised that Jeff went along with any of this, since he was so concerned last episode about Shauna telling Callie the truth, but I guess we’re seeing his ride-or-die loyalty in action. And I did laugh at Melanie Lynskey’s line delivery of “Don’t you dare think about me” and John Reynolds’ goofy dance when he discovers that Randy’s condom is full of strawberry lotion, not semen, so at least this prolonged subplot has some high points. I just would like it to wrap up at some point?
NEW: What does Natalie’s vision mean?
During Natalie’s guided meditation, she describes to Lottie the last time she saw Travis, which was during a cocaine bender that led to her overdose, when she had a vision of the crash site in which all the Yellowjackets died when the plane went down and she realized that “we weren’t alone out there.” To be honest, a lot of this stuff feels repetitive, especially because we dove into Natalie’s lingering trauma and guilt about Travis fairly often in season one. What’s new, though, are the confirmation of what Travis thought Natalie was “right” about (the supernatural stuff) and this image of Natalie in some kind of toga and knit hat with her eyes looking pretty demonic. “There was something, some darkness out there — with us or in us. It still is. That’s what I was right about,” Natalie says. Is this image a nightmare we should brush off or a glimpse of an experience to come? File this away in Lottie’s banker box for future reference.
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