Where to stream it? Showtime or the Paramount+ w/ Showtime bundle
Starring: Sophia Nélisse, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Sophie Thatcher, Courtney Eaton, Liv Hewson, Samantha Hanratty, Steven Krueger, Kevin Alves, Melanie Lynskey, Tawny Cypress, Christina Ricci, Juliette Lewis, Simone Kessell, Warren Kole, Nia Sondaya, Alexa Barajas, Nuha Jes Izman
Directed by: Jeff W. Byrd
Written by: Sarah L. Thompson & Ameni Rozsa
Intro: Yellowjackets Season 2 Episode 3 Review
Currently streaming via Showtime and the Paramount+ with Showtime bundle, this weekend's episode of the psychological horror drama series, Yellowjackets, digs deeper into the secrets of a few missing characters, either dead or alive.
The second season's third episode is titled “Digestif”.
Minor spoilers ahead for those who have not seen Yellowjackets Season 1, along with the Season 2 premiere and its second episode.
This weekend's episode title is an interesting one as it continues from the previous episode‘s theme of consumption. Viewers will be delighted at this episode's thrills without much happening to necessarily drive the plot forward. In screenwriting, it becomes a challenge of “show; don't tell”.
In this case, fans of the show will have to read between the lines of what is said, how it is said, as well as the context of the dialogue further on in the series. Aesthetics aside, executive producers Ameni Rozsa and Sarah L. Thompson along with their writers' room do an extravagant job of delivering a dialogue-heavy episode with some action.
Given that this is Yellowjackets, it is no surprise that this episode conveys a subtle theme of “performance.” That is, not just from its actors playing characters but also from characters who demonstrate degrees of portraying lies as truth.
It Is All an Act
In one subplot, we see adult Misty Quigley (Christina Ricci) bonding with fellow “Citizen Detective”, Walter Tattersall (guest star Elijah Wood). On one hand, they inflict some slapstick comedy-level harm upon Randy Walsh (Jeff Holman), which provides top-tier comic relief. Still, the two characters' dynamic flourishes beautifully from this point forward, and we learn that “everybody's hiding something”.
Furthermore, Taissa Turner (Jasmin Savoy Brown and Tawny Cypress) continues to spiral down a dark path with her double during her seemingly sleepwalking state. Teenage Taissa's nightmarish ventures into the cold wilderness lead to a bittersweet discovery later this season. Meanwhile, adult Taissa is prompted into a search for an uncanny face, teasing a huge moment for the Yellowjackets down the line.
However, I believe the best performance from characters lies within Shauna Sadecki (Melanie Lynskey) and her husband, Jeff (Warren Kole). Despite acting like a teenager when it comes to an old peer and an officer of the law, Kevyn Tan (guest star Alex Wyndham), Jeff reveals his specific reason behind displaying himself as the fun, “dad jokes” patriarch. In actuality, he truly is a good man and a strong, adventurous male role model who happens to be in a bad place. I adore his dialogue with his wife about strawberry lubricant, one of the heartfelt moments that may go underappreciated.
Moreso, adult Shauna is a standout when it comes to performances. Her monologue in the latter half of the episode is Gothic and disquieting. This is a moment that needs to be replayed and can earn the actor an Emmy nomination for that alone.
New Jersey Steel Magnolias
Teenage Misty Quigley (Samantha Hanratty) and her new friend Crystal (guest star Nuha Jes Izman) bond over their love for theater. Specifically, in this episode, there is something regarding Robert Harling's off-and-on Broadway stage play, Steel Magnolias, that I found notable. The play ends with a dead daughter, an allusion to a fallen member of the Yellowjackets. However, it might also foreshadow the death of another child figure later this season.
Next to Lynskey, Izman delivers one of the best lines in the episode during a brief conversation about cannibalism. Furthermore, her character, Crystal, teaches Misty about the art and craft of acting: “It’s all about failure. You keep failing to find what’s true about the character [until]… You found the biggest truth of all: we’re made of lies.” It is not that the Yellowjackets are failures per se. Rather, we will come to find that they are all good individuals dealing with harsh internal and external conflicts.
Performances and Character Developments
By definition, this is not much of a spoiler, but… Ben Scott's (Steven Krueger) witnessing of the Yellowjackets' resorting to cannibalism urges him down a fever dream spiral. It may not mean much since it is only a metaphysical element to the character. However, Scott having red-hot reveries with his male love interest, Paul (guest star Françoid Arnaud), exists to showcase life as a possibility of security. As with teenage Shauna Shipman (Sophie Nélisse) and Taissa, viewers will now have to deal with what is reality and what is merely occurring in the characters' imaginations. Krueger has only begun to put on a good performance.
Adult Natalie (Juliette Lewis) and Lisa's (guest star Nicole Maines) dynamic is a good one that should not go unnoticed. Maines portrays Lisa perfectly as a foil to Natalie, almost as if they are one and the Same. Fans might enjoy where this specific subplot will head in the season. It is one of the more meaningful subplots between the survivors and secondary characters, although do not expect any huge revelation just yet.
Final Thoughts: Yellowjackets Season 2 Episode 3 Review
Make no mistake; this episode of Yellowjackets does not rely on exposition. Instead, what the writers provide is a handful of teaching moments about performance and self-discovery through some sacrifice. While somewhat backgrounded, pay special attention to adult Charlotte “Lottie” Matthews (Simone Kessell), her comparison of a late peer's death to the insight of one queen against other queen bees, and her role as an empath. The next episode rips off old bandages, and you will not want to miss what happens!