‘Yellowjackets’ Sting Meter: The Cat from Hell
Welcome to our Yellowjackets Sting Meter. We measure the erratic, inexplicable behavior of the show’s main cast and rank them according to how dangerous, deadly, and provably insane they appear in each episode. Who is just a wacky worker bee and who will be crowned the mad queen of episode three “Digestif”? let’s find out
Regret the morning after looks a little different in the world of yellowjackets. The dry mouth? The pounding headache? The desire to gnaw off your own arm in order to sneak away unnoticed and undisturbed by the random body next to you? It’s child’s play. Almost reassuring in its familiarity.
No, for the teenage girls of Yellow jackets, hell is a place they made themselves, filled with the kind of shame that can’t go away. It’s the burned flesh of a teammate vomiting on snow-covered ground, a jumble of bones plucked clean to be buried, hallucinations of youth foaming at the mouth with insatiable hunger, and the guilt-ridden but joyful admission that actually no, the act of cannibalism actually wasn’t so bad.
It’s the hangover no one warns you about, and all the girls suffer from it in episode three of “Digestif.” In the past, they got by with assembled baby shower gifts and dark humor. In the present, they confront their darker nature with guns and beehives and bathroom mirrors that make the truth clear. The children do not feel well.
Queen Bee – Misty Quigley
Misty Quigley has always been like this. If not for a plane crash and a bit of cannibalism, she might still have ended up on a boat with a man named Walter Tattersall, who fakes torture tactics at him over a Bluetooth headset. Misunderstood and incongruous with the teenage girl world that has surrounded her in the past, Misty has managed to find a friend who is just as wacky as she is because crazy people attract more crazy people. Sally Field monologues as a baby shower gift. Criticizing Jackie Taylor’s taste after the party. Finding the shitty Moriarty through a failed interrogation ploy to her neurotic Sherlock Holmes. Misty Quigley was always meant to rule the ladder of chaos.
When we interviewed Tawny Cypress about her character’s wild journey this season, she insisted Taissa’s troubles went well beyond a bit of worrying sleepwalking. She was right. In the past, Taissa has been so completely consumed by this alternate personality that she has no recollection of eating on top of her teammate, although she appears awake and fully present at the moment. She also lies to her partner about the man with no eyes who haunts her dreams at night. And in the current timeline, she draws these strange symbols on her comatose lover’s hand before mimicking quarrels with her sentient reflection. Whatever medication Taissa swallowed with her liter of espresso last episode just doesn’t work. Up to that dose, girl.
Despite inspiring her teammates to build her an altar out of dead birds, grown-up Lottie is feeling the most dangerous this season. While teen Lottie tries to keep the peace by throwing celebratory (if somewhat rustic) baby showers and treating her friends with therapy, adult Lottie runs a cult commune of sorts, employing sinister metaphors about queen bees stinging her young to death, and decorating her cabin with it antler skull. Her hallucinations seem to frighten her, but is that just because they’ve been dormant for so long, or do they pose a threat to the hive she’s trying to build in this wilderness?
Sophie Nielsen got to nibble on her best friend last week, so it’s only fair that Melanie Lynskey gets her crazy moment on Digestif. Shauna doesn’t do much more than make herself feel guilty and feign excitement over some cheesy homemade baby gifts in the past, but in the present? In the present, Shauna passive-aggressively shames her husband for his dislike of strawberry lube and holds a carjacker at gunpoint, delivering sinister monologues detailing instructions on how to effectively skin a living human. On the one hand, it’s bone dry. On the other hand, she’s right about the sweat.
I still contend that Natalie is one of the more balanced characters on this show, which is probably why she has addiction issues and thoughts of self-harm so often. She’s haunted by what the group did to survive, so much so that she can’t heal and get over it to have a normal life – no matter how many workshops Lottie encourages her to sign up for. But Nat’s struggle with insanity extends to her past self as well. Was this moose real or just a hallucination?
Crystal, a newcomer to the lineup, has quietly risen through the ranks since befriending Misty earlier in the season. We don’t know much about the girl, but what we’ve highlighted is disturbing enough. She is a theater child. She has a dark attitude towards humanity. And Jackie Taylor wasn’t the first time she’d “consumed” a body.
Coach Ben pretends to be catatonic so the rabid teen girls just outside won’t chew on his one good leg. He hallucinates alternate realities in which he said yes to moving in with his gay friend and left the small-town soccer team for a life in the city filled with clam chowder casseroles and the freedom to kiss his partner in public. I’m afraid Coach Ben won’t be around much longer.
“You ate her face, Tai.” – Real words Van was forced to say out loud because her sleepwalking friend did not seek mystical help from witch doctor Lottie. Van didn’t deserve this, folks.
Jeff could have been strawberry! He almost did! But that’s not what puts him on this list. We’ve overlooked some of Jeff’s problematic behaviors — the blackmail, the betrayal, the murder cover-up — because he’s just a simple guy who wants to believe his wife when she tells him the book club is late. But when he stopped Shauna from using that weapon against anyone on the street, it was time to call it a day. Her purse was in there, for heaven’s sake!
Citizen Detective thread
- We finally meet Elijah Wood’s Walter Tattersall, and while he enjoyed beating his abuser around a little too much, is he certifiable or just a bored internet sleuth with money to burn?
- The man with no eyes. Who is he and why is he so interested in Taissa?
- The symbol appears three times in this episode, all in different contexts. Is it a form of protection? A call to the wild? Or a marker meant to represent something Taissa’s other half is looking for?
Showtime’s Yellowjackets subscriber streams on Fridays and Sunday night shows.