[This story contains major spoilers from the second episode of Yellowjackets season two, “Edible Complex.”]
Yellow jackets released its most shocking episode yet – and the chain of events that ended with “Edible Complex” once again begs the question: Just how supernatural is this series?
The wilderness environment in the timeline of the 1996 show may well have become a character in the popular Showtime survival series. In the past timeline – where the Yellowjackets football team’s plane crashed and landed, which will eventually take 19 months – the wilderness haunts several of the teenage survivors. Lottie (Courtney Eaton) has emerged as a spiritual leader who communicates with the land, Taissa (Jasmin Savoy Brown) has sleepwalking visions, and the entire group became possessed (while also high on mushrooms) during last year’s “Doomcoming.” season.
And maybe they were possessed again in “Edible Complex,” when they made the decision to eat their dead friend Jackie (played by Ella Purnell). And maybe the ghost of Lottie that appeared during the sex scene between Travis (Kevin Alves) and Nat (Sophie Thatcher) helped get the party started.
While Natalie and Travis have sex, Travis imagines Lottie. Then snow falls on Jackie’s body as she is being cremated, essentially cooking her so she is ready to be eaten by the starving survivors. And Jackie’s food might provide just enough food to keep the team alive through the winter.
Coincidence or a heavy hand of fate?
If you ask Jonathan Lisco, the co-showrunner who wrote the second episode of season two, it depends on the viewer.
“We hope that audiences don’t necessarily interpret that, or absolutely interpret that, as a love triangle. It’s not like Travis is having sex with Natalie, it’s thinking about Lottie. It’s not that at all,’ Lisco said The Hollywood Reporter if we talk about the episode, which came out on March 31. “It’s actually a battle between faith and pragmatism.”
Specifically, the battle of faith revolves around the disappearance of Travis’ younger brother, Javi (Luciano Leroux), who went missing after Doomcoming and has yet to return. Lottie connects with Travis on a spiritual level and tells him to trust that his brother is alive, while Nat has gone out of her way to make Travis accept the harsh reality that Javi couldn’t survive two months on his own.
“Natalie loves Travis, so she doesn’t want this belief to become toxic and even more painful for him by believing that Javi is alive,” Lisco says of what motivated Natalie to plant a bloodied piece of clothing for Travis to find and take . that Javi was dead. “That’s a really nice relationship [Natalie and Travis] to have. But something in Travis still responds to faith, and Lottie represents that.
If you ask the three actors involved in the scene, they refer to their own film experiences. “I had such a different vision [of that scene]. Because on this show, you’re shooting something in one direction, and then you look at part of it, and then you’re like, ‘Okay, that’s very different,'” Eaton tells WebMD. THR. ‘I don’t think Lottie was the only reason Jackie cooked. But I do think she pushed that way unintentionally and sometimes on purpose. I feel like it’s a group collective that we’ve gotten to that point. I don’t think Lottie has that power swing – not yet!
In support of Lisco’s view, Thatcher and Alves agree that Lottie serves a specific purpose for Travis. “I feel like Lottie’s appearance, she serves as a kind of mother figure. I don’t think there’s anything sexual about it. That’s what I remember Ben saying,” says Thatcher (admitting she didn’t watch her own sex scene). THR from the episode’s director, Ben Samanoff.
Alves says when he read the script, he questioned Travis’ feelings for Lottie. ‘How does he see Lottie? Is it in a way that replaces Natalie, or is it a way that complements Natalie?” he tells THR. “We had a lot of questions, and when I talked to Ben about how we wanted to shoot it, we started to dig into the fact that all those flashes that we see have a very maternal nature to them, the way Lottie interacts with Travis in those visions , and we started to understand that he’s going through the same confusion I did when I read it: what do I see in this other person that really impacts me?As we see in episode one when she helps him and he has to cover himself, there is a lot of confusion.
With the Natalie-Travis spiritual Lottie sex scene then leading up to the group’s Jackie party — set both in reality and in a bacchanalian hallucination — Alves says the sequence of events seemed to happen in a heightened state of mind: “It had that supernatural feeling where you feel like you’re in everyone’s mind and this haze, and we’re not fully present as human beings anymore. It was so beautiful and horrible at the same time.”
As viewers have seen in the current storyline 25 years later, Travis never recovers from what happens to him in the wilderness. Travis allegedly committed suicide and left a message that Natalie was right about the darkness they all found when they were stranded. “I think you hold on to that part of your life where you feel like you’re becoming more of a person and more of a full human being, and it’s the most twisted time for him to become more of a full human being,” says Alves. “I think he’s growing as a person during the plane crash, so a lot of his identity is connected to what happened here. I don’t know if in many ways he ever leaves when he gets back.
Another reason why the show seems to have more of a supernatural presence can be explained by science and what happens to the brain when someone is starving.
“They are getting more and more delirious. They are getting more and more hungry. That has profound neurological effects,” co-creator Ashley Lyle told me THR. “But from the beginning, we’ve always talked about being fascinated by faith and faith and religiosity. We are more or less interested in the unexplained. People are constantly trying to find order and meaning in the unexplained. And especially when it comes to the bad things that happen to you. And so I think a lot of the reasons why this season feels supernatural is because our girls and our boys are in increasingly difficult circumstances and they want to find a way to control it – and they can’t. So they want to find meaning.
She continued, “And I think whether everything happens for a reason or is completely random is one of the biggest questions humanity has asked the universe around us. And that’s a question that could be asked of that scene. Does something happen for a reason? Is there some kind of divine purpose or supernatural purpose? Or is it a confluence of events that connect in such a way that they have certain consequences?”
Yellow jackets releases new episodes weekly on Fridays for Showtime subscribers and airs on cable Sundays at 9 p.m. Stay tuned THR‘s Yellow jackets season two coverage and interviews.