You know how sometimes you wake up feeling regretful after overdoing it at dinner? The Yellowjackets feel your pain.
This week’s Yellowjackets deals with the emotional fallout that accompanies having a friend for dinner. Like, in the Lecterian sense of the word. Also: We meet Coach Ben’s significant other, kinda.
Read on for the highlights of “Digestif.”
MEET PAUL | Let’s deal with Coach Ben first, because he is having a DAY after witnessing — yet not taking part in — the Jackie buffet the night before. As he lies in bed, freaked, he flashes back to being with Paul, aka the boyfriend he talked about in Season 1. They’re at Paul’s apartment in New York City, canoodling in the kitchen. (Paul is played by Midnight, Texas’ Francois Arnaud.)
As the episode goes on, and Ben’s empty belly growls loudly in the cabin, he recalls Paul’s offer to move in. They talk about how Ben said he’d make the change after the holidays, but it’s May. Ben stutters his excuses, and it seems like Paul has heard them before… and he’s tired of ‘em. He’s ready to be with someone who’s “ready to live this life with me. All of it,” he says. And though Paul says he loves Ben, he sadly kicks him out until he’s able to be who Paul needs.
Later, though, we see that Ben goes to Paul’s the morning of the team’s ill-fated plane ride. He proclaims that the closeted version of him is the most pathetic version, and he doesn’t want to be that anymore. An elated Paul hugs him. And just as I’m waiting for Paul to give his blessing for Ben to run and make the flight, because they’re OK after all, a news report flashes on the TV in the apartment: A plane carrying a girls’ soccer team has gone missing. Ahhhhh so we’re in fantasy land now, which jibes with the weird, static-y way these flashbacks have been framed (unlike other ones we’ve seen before in the show). Also: Poor Ben.
‘YOU ATE HER FACE’ | When Tai sees Jackie’s picked-clean corpse, she is horrified and wonders what happened to her. Van looks at her girlfriend, confused: “We ate her.” That sends Tai gagging; when she’s able to grab a breath, she says she must’ve been sleepwalking. “Tai, you ATE her FACE,” Van says, which probably isn’t supposed to make me laugh, but it definitely does. That cue gives Tai a flashback to the chowdown, which causes her to vomit and then scream.
After a discussion of what to do with Jackie’s body, Nat packs up the remains and brings her out to the plane wreckage, where Jackie will stay until the ground thaws enough to bury her. As Nat goes, a disconsolate Shauna watches from the house’s window. Lottie approaches and gently tells her that what happened was what Jackie would’ve wanted, “maybe not for the rest of us, but for you, the baby… some part of you knew that.” Shauna cries, ashamed. “But I wanted it, too,” she says. Lottie reminds her that they all did it together. Shauna is clearly worried that she might eventually hurt her baby, too, but Lottie says she won’t — and then says they should do something to prepare for “him,” but quickly amends to say “you.” One of the girls suggests a baby shower, and it’s on!
Meanwhile, at the plane, Nat apologizes to Jackie “for what we did,” and thanks her if the nourishment from her body turns out to be the reason they’re able to survive until help comes. “Rest in peace, Jackie,” she says, then immediately hears walking outside: It’s a huge, white moose. She shoots at it, not believing her luck, but then it charges the cabin and throws her backwards. When she’s able to right herself, the animal has disappeared.
IN WHICH VAN IS BRAVER THAN I WOULD BE | That night, when Tai becomes Other Tai, Van asks if she come with her on her midnight stroll. “Yes. Come,” Other Tai intones in the creepiest fashion possible. Van tries to gather as much info as possible while they walk. Other Tai says she’s trailing after “the one with no eyes,” whom she follows “only when she lets me.” And the she in question? “Taissa.” That brings Van up short: “Then who are you?” But she doesn’t get a satisfying answer.
When they arrive at a tree with a symbol carved into it, Van wakes up her girlfriend, who’s very startled to realize she’s in the forest again. Van asks who the one with no eyes is, and Tai has a flash of the guy in the mirror we saw in her Season 1 flashback, but she says she doesn’t know.
THIS BABY SHOWER IS FOR THE BIRDS | The baby shower arrives, and it’s as weird and grim as you might imagine. Misty performs a sobbing monologue from Steel Magnolias. (Crystal coached her, of course.) Ben chooses not to take part in the festivities. The whole thing is going smoothly, if oddly, until Lottie gives Shauna a blanket with a symbol on it. Natalie protests that she found the piece of cloth on the dead man upstairs, but Lottie counters that maybe he was using it for protection, and just because they don’t understand something doesn’t mean it’s evil.
As the argument grows, it becomes clear that a lot of the girls think Lottie is onto something. And then all of a sudden two things happen concurrently: Shauna’s nose starts bleeding, and there’s a huge, clattering noise on the roof. It’s birds, a LOT OF BIRDS. Lottie softly commands the others to “gather the blessings,” and the girls pick up the poor, deceased animals and lay them at her feet.
GO TELL THE BEES | In the present, at Lottie’s meditation center, Natalie snoops around and finds out that Lottie’s office (which has antlers over the door) is kept locked and is off limits to all the other purple people most of the time. Interesting. Later, on a different note, Lottie singles out Nat during a group session and things get really weird/potentially violent — with Lottie egging it on — between Natalie and the young woman she hurt on her first night at the center. But Nat’s victim eventually drops the knife she’s holding, says “I understand and I forgive you,” and hugs a flabbergasted Natalie.
Later, though, Lottie is shocked to see that the commune’s hives are filled with blood and surrounded by dead bees. As she smears her hands in the red stuff and cries, a woman approaches and asks something in French. When Lottie shakes herself out of her horror and looks up, it’s just a purple person asking about lunch… and the bees are totally fine and absolutely blood-free. It seems like it was another of her visions, which really freaks Lottie out.
MIRROR, MIRROR | After the car accident, Simone is unconscious, and Tai is in and out of reality the way that she was in the previous episode. When a nurse asks about the design Tai drew on her wife’s palm — one of the symbols from the woods — Tai has no memory of putting it there and quickly wipes it off. She rushes to the restroom to take some medicine, which is where we get more freaky mirror freakiness. When Tai turns her back to the glass, her reflection just keeps staring at her. Mirror Tai is mouthing something, and when Tai cries and wonders what it wants, Mirror Tai holds up her hands to partially cover her face, framing her left eye. Tai runs out of the bathroom — which is the first normal thing we’ve seen her do in episodes — and asks her assistant for her keys.
BIRDS OF A FEATHER | The citizen detective known as PuttingTheSickInForensics is actually named Walter Tattersall, and he lives on a boat at the marina. He admires Misty, he tells her when she shows up to help him play “Pretend FBI” as they question the guy from the motel. But they don’t talk long before Misty ducks below deck, because the dude in question is Jeff’s friend/blackmail partner Randy, and he’ll totally recognize Misty if he sees her. Using their cell phones and Walter’s earpiece, the hidden Misty feeds her new friend questions — and very questionable, faux-torture-style interrogation tactics — to see what Randy knows. The only thing he coughs up, though, is a memory of people wearing purple who drove a van and hung around the motel a lot. Misty is disappointed with this seemingly unhelpful eyewitness account, and Walter lets Randy go.
Later, Walter admits that he was only at the nursing home so he could meet Misty. And he’s likely not buying the story she tells about knowing Adam’s mother and wanting to help her get closure on her addict son’s disappearance. Still, it’s clear that Walter likes Misty… and that she’s a little weirded out by that. “Maybe I’m just a bored Moriarty looking for his Sherlock,” he says.
SHAUNA GETS IT DONE | During a conversation at a diner, Shauna admits to Jeff that her affair with Adam “made me feel like I didn’t know what was going to happen, and I liked that. I liked not feeling like this boring version of me.” With that in mind, Jeff tries to change things up on the way home by announcing that he’s being spontaneous and they’re going to drive to Colonial Williamsburg. And that random, if well-meant gesture, falls apart when they get carjacked.
Jeff, like a normal person, puts his hands up and tells the armed thief to take the vehicle. But Shauna, who’s solidly in her eff-around-and-find-out era, wrestles the gun away from the guy. A shocked Jeff stops her from doing more, and the carjacker leaves with the car. Shauna’s mad at Jeff. Jeff is unsure exactly what has become of the woman he married. As they argue and try to figure out how they’ll get home, she puts the gun in her pocket.
You know our girl isn’t going to leave things there, right? Later she tracks the car to a garage, has an Uber bring her there, and walks into the office with the gun drawn. She asks for her minivan back, which only causes the man there to patronize her. He points out that her hands are shaking, a sign that she’s not likely to actually go through with her threat to shoot him. So she starts discussing exactly how tough — though not impossible — it is to skin a human after you’ve killed them, and oh yes, now he’s listening.
“My hand wasn’t shaking because I was afraid. It was shaking because of how badly I want to do this,” she informs him. He’s nearly peeing himself in fear as he tells her to take her car back. “Thank you,” she says (and Melanie Lynskey’s entire demeanor as she utters that line makes me giggle), then she gets in the car and takes some very deep breaths.
Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? Sound off in the comments!