As one of the first reviews since the WGA writer’s strike started, I want to say that I would not be able to give insight into these mediums I enjoy without the writers who formulate these characters and storylines. Diving into film and television for nine years has been a joy. I hope these amazing creatives get the compensation they are seeking.
Our last Yellowjackets scene in “Two Truths And A Lie” was of Shauna going into labor in the cabin. We can all agree this is the least probable scenario where this could happen. It’s freezing, no medical tools are available, and Shauna is malnourished. Thank goodness Misty paid attention to the sex education class that Ben was teaching. Otherwise, we’d be in a world of trouble. There were a couple of nice touches in that one scene – young Van making fun of Randy and the code that Shauna and Jeff were using to have a relationship behind everybody’s back. (Although the Jackie thing seems obvious).
But nothing can prepare you for the real thing, and the group has to act fast because Shauna’s baby is on the way—the logic vs. mysticism theme that’s been at war throughout this season comes into play here. Akilah at least tries to offer a steady hand while Misty is having a freakout about Crystal dying. Things look terrible – Ben enters his imaginative spaces and sees him and Paul playing charades with another couple. It’s not a good situation.
Looking at the whole order of events, there’s a moment where Akilah, Taissa, and Natalie all look at Shauna in shock. (thankfully, it was just the placenta). When young Lottie talks to young Misty and mentions she can save “their baby,” Misty instantly calms down and goes into a focused trance. We saw it earlier in the season with Travis and his panic attacks – Lottie has an emotional power growing within the group.
I want to briefly deviate from our conventional review settings and go into what I call “Murjani’s Spooky Wilderness puzzle pieces” (because there have been many of them).
So, there has to be a link between the essence of nature on the island and the survivors of the plane crash. Lottie supposably taps into it a lot, and the group’s breathing and speaking during the meditation inhibit something through the wind. An understanding that has taken hold over the group is that something else must be sacrificed to gain something. I found it interesting that Crystal’s death coincided with Shauna going into labor and the storm worsening. Perhaps that would satisfy whatever entity to get the baby and Shauna out of the woods.
Again, this comes up when some of the group gives an offering on top of the skull (Travis providing his blood). So, this is supposed to work, and everything will be fine, right? Let me slightly move from all the spooky stuff and look at the young and older versions of Shauna. The Sadecki “will-they-or-won’t-they get caught” for murder storyline hasn’t been the strongest point of season two. However, present-day Shauna’s testimony with Matt gives much emotional insight into what we see in the past.
While in that room, adult Shauna speaks about how she had Callie to save her “guilt and shame” marriage and never wanted to be a mom. It’s a rare moment of Shauna pulling her walls down, and even if she can’t be connected to her family, she’s still trying to care for them. Returning to the past birth, we can see why Shauna is guarded and maybe a bit closed off. There’s a clever use of sleight of hand where we are made to believe that the baby is all good and healthy – but those scenes are an amalgamation of Shauna’s fears put together.
At first, she can’t breastfeed, the moment when Lottie does so, and the ultimate horrific scene of Shauna seeing her fellow Yellowjackets eat her newborn. It’s all bookended by a beautiful scene where she talks to her newborn out of love and says, “It’s me and you against the whole world.” Then, you’re pulled out of it and find out the baby died in childbirth. It’s a devastating end note and throws a wrench into the thinking the wilderness provides as soon as you do. Why didn’t it work? Is this another hallucination much like the ones Ben has been seeing?
Nevertheless, seeing this explains why Shauna cannot love how she wants to. It’s heartbreaking. Her experience is the personification of the remaining Yellowjackets in how they were robbed of a conventional teenage experience. Meanwhile, in the present, the adults have finally gotten back together. Adult Lottie fears it as it makes her have to acknowledge that there are more considerable forces at play. The safe haven she’s constructed is starting to fall like a house of cards. It feels so refreshing but oh so eerie for that to happen. For starters, the final shot of the symbol is within the patio between them all. Before that, a contrast exists between the experiences of adult Misty and Natalie.
Misty is looking to avoid any possible way to acknowledge her feelings of loneliness and helplessness. It’s why she’s so attached to Natalie and is the person who’s always needed to do something. Misty doesn’t have to take care of the wounds inside her if she can do so many things for others. On the flip side, Natalie is tackling those feelings of guilt she has with Travis and also with the horrible things the group did on that island. It’s sweet that her and Lisa’s friendship has progressed in a way that’s allowed Natalie to see the light. Yes, we all mess up, but “meeting it with passion is how we grow.”
So, why is the gang pulled together at this one location? Does it have meaning as far as proximity to the wilderness? Also, given this tragedy that happened in the past – will that be enough to push the remaining survivors into doing some heinous stuff to each other? We know the division is coming, but it may have needed a little push.