Sunday, March 26, 2023

REVIEW: 'Yellowjackets' - Lottie Offers Hope While Shauna Remains Haunted Over Jackie's Death in 'Friends, Romans, Countrymen'

Showtime's Yellowjackets - Episode 2.01 "Friends, Romans, Countrymen"

Two months into winter, our survivors cope with falling rations, low morale, and their latest disastrous attempt to freeze a teammate out of the game. Shauna explores the secondary market for Yellowjackets memorabilia, while Taissa, Misty and Natalie all seek out best friends, both old and new. For those of you keeping the stat book: Lottie Matthews comes in off the bench.

"Friends, Romans, Countrymen" was written by Ashley Lyle & Bart Nickerson and directed by Daisy von Scherler Mayer

The wilderness revealed what the Yellowjackets needed to do in order to survive. What was required terrifies them. That's true in the '90s and remains the case in the present day. Everyone has been sworn to secrecy because it's better to deflect than address what truly happened out there. Cannibalism has always been the marquee indiscretion. However, so much endurance and sacrifice occurred that forever shaped these young lives. They try to hide from that dark truth. And yet, it defines who they are. Lottie lets out a primal scream upon her return to society. That pivotal moment is seen for the first time. The public is desperate for any detail as to how this group survived for over a year. Lottie provides them with a response. She became her true self unencumbered by medication. The team looked to her for guidance and comfort. Not everyone believes in the rituals she produces to ensure continued safety. A pattern has emerged in the two months of winter. It's a process they simply must do to ensure the same outcome. They can't take any risks. This landscape is harsh and dangerous. Any mistake could end in death. Ben and Natalie wrestle with the truth of acknowledging Javi has likely died. He went missing during the Doomcoming celebration. He was told to run. He did precisely that. Travis can't find his younger brother. Jackie froze to death during the first snowfall of the year. She was unprepared for the brutal turn in seasons. Her fight with Shauna was inevitable. It became lethal because of the plane crash and what the team had to do to survive. Similarly, Javi may have always had the instinct to run away from a dangerous situation. He wasn't hunted like his brother was that night. It was still scary. The response becomes more dire because of circumstances. Travis must endure the uncertainty. He doesn't know what happened to his brother. Lottie offers him hope. In a moment of charged connection, she receives a glimpse that points to survival. It's embedded within this environment. Nat opposes this offering of false hope. It's not productive. It may only heighten Travis' grief when the inevitable death comes to light. No one knows the truth though. They are each coping as best they can. That's true after they were found as well. The survivors each had to adjust to normal lives once more. They can never forget what happened. They still have autonomy over their lives. It's tragic because that was once again taken from Lottie. Her parents wanted an immediate cure to her unresponsiveness. Even after electroshock therapy, she reaches out to others in their times of need. She presents with that calming energy. As such, it's no surprise that she has returned to the wilderness as the leader of a community that seeks to help people find and accept their true selves.

Misty wasn't the only person spying on Natalie. Lottie was as well. The members of her group kidnapped her because they feared she would hurt herself. They interrupted her suicide attempt. She was broken after having to accept that Travis wasn't murdered. She never listened to the message implicating Lottie in that crime. Natalie is simply the latest person tied to a bed desperate to escape. Jessica couldn't survive that fate. Meanwhile, Natalie makes her break towards freedom right away. She's aided by a kidnapper who is tentative in what she has to do in this situation. However, Lottie still views Natalie as a friend. Moreover, she uses Natalie's history with Travis to convince her to remain. It's a way of once again lording control over the situation. It's all manipulative. Lottie has her loyal followers. Natalie runs through the woods eager to escape. She doesn't plummet to her death like several of the survivors are destined to do during the brutal winter. She still finds herself trapped in this world. Misty examines the clues of what happened to her friend. She acknowledges that something happened to Natalie. She's on the case. She's also trying to manage the citizen detective community's interest in Adam's disappearance. She wants to protect Shauna. Her answers have to be clear and concise when she's inevitably questioned by the police. Misty believes she knows how the system operates. That's not a chief concern right now. Instead, it's about managing expectations amongst Shauna's family. She has to control Jeff and Callie's reactions. Misty worries they missed something in the cover-up. Shauna is finally burning the clues that link to the past. She can't eliminate everything though. It only takes the right motivation to look further. Callie is motivated to do so. She can't deny the truth. She simply doesn't know how to confront her mother over the disappearance of her lover. That danger lingers over the proceedings. The same is true with Taissa. Simone wants her wife to seek serious treatment to address her issues. She's not well enough to manage the responsibilities of a politician or a mother. Taissa believes she can easily fix everything that she broke. It's not that simple. The shrine in the basement reveals the true horrors of what she is capable of. She can't deny that. Her family can't either. The loved ones of the surviving Yellowjackets have to accept the truth and continue to love these women. That's a tough ask. Not every presentation of love can be hopeful or romantic either. In the past, Van stays with Taissa despite how toxic that bond becomes at night. It's directly harmful to Van's life. And yet, she still takes this moment to profess her love. It contorts what a true expression of love should be. The girls have no where else to turn. They worry about Shauna talking to Jackie's body in the meat shed. Shauna hopes to preserve the body. All it takes is a severed ear lobe to tempt her one more. Hallucinogens were used to present the possibility of cannibalism to the group. However, Shauna is level-headed about what she does now. She eats the ear. There's no turning back after that. The line has been crossed. Those fateful decisions produce long-lasting consequences. And now, those patterns rear their ugly heads once more in the present because of how repressed these individuals have long been because of this trauma endured in the name of survival.