Sunday, April 2, 2023

REVIEW: 'Yellowjackets' - Temptation Proves Irresistible to the Survivors When the Perfect Meal is Presented in 'Edible Complex'

Showtime's Yellowjackets - Episode 2.02 "Edible Complex"

The Yellowjackets barely made it through summer in the woods, but now as winter begins to bite, we'll see if hunger and desperation turn into full-on psychosis. While there may or may not be a dark and powerful force inhabiting the wilderness, their survival could depend upon what they choose to believe. Twenty-five years later, each survivor must ask themselves - is the darkness coming for them, or is it coming from them?

"Edible Complex" was written by Jonathan Lisco and directed by Ben Semanoff

25 years later, Lottie still possesses the ability to calm Travis simply by firmly placing her hand on his chest. That may indicate some kind of supernatural power that lingers far beyond their time in the wilderness. It could also simply be a bond shared by people who endured the same trauma. Regardless, it highlights the connection they share. That was true when Travis was desperately searching the woods for Javi. It was true in the present day when he feared the darkness had returned. He sought out a vision of clarity. Lottie could only provide him so much. He was uplifted by the notion that Lottie and Van saw something meaningful when they were close to death. As such, he was willing to push his body to its limit. Unfortunately, Lottie didn't save him. Instead, he was killed in pursuit of such answers. Lottie received her own vision. Laura Lee returned to haunt her. Natalie has complete clarity about bad things happening whenever people decide to trust Lottie. She was always a skeptic in the past. She hated how Lottie was giving Travis false hope about Javi's survival despite being missing for two months. Of course, Natalie was emotionally manipulative too. She faked evidence that could only indicate Javi's death. No body has been found. Natalie cuts herself to offer blood to the story. It absolutely hits Travis hard. It leaves him in such a vulnerable state. And now, he is seemingly altered every time he has sex. With Jackie, he was high on hallucinogens. That moment of peace was quickly destroyed by the Yellowjackets hunting him for survival. That was the first indication of their brutality to their fellow survivors. They would betray each other if it meant they could eat. That's their basic instinct. Sure, they hope to maintain their humanity as the winter grows darker and bleaker. They can only survive so long on their dwindling rations. Travis seeks connection with Natalie. He has very much wanted to have sex with her before. However, this entire moment is defined by thoughts of Lottie. They don't play out in a sexual context. Instead, it's primarily driven by the connection she offers. He seeks that out in Natalie even though she has a completely different mindset. Travis surrenders a lot of power in believing Lottie brings hope to the survivors. That spirituality may not make sense. It's still a way to feel uplifted during the darkest of days. It's all foolish to Natalie. It's trivial and serves no purpose. Lottie is no longer contributing to the group. It's still captivating though. The survivors become enraptured by her near certain understanding of the fate that awaits them in this environment. She believes Javi is still alive because she feels his presence. She can't offer a better explanation than that. She predicted the fates that would befall several of the survivors. She wants them all to make it out of this experience alive. However, the wilderness may have other plans for them. Lottie had that purpose in the past. In the present, Natalie condemns anyone willing to follow Lottie. The rituals are just a performance. They aren't connected to matters of life or death. Natalie got swept up in the moment once. She needs answers about Travis' death. And yet, it's impossible for her to escape despite her pledge to destroy all that Lottie has built.

Shauna took the first step towards cannibalism by eating Jackie's ear after it fell off her body. Taissa is disturbed when she simply learns Shauna has been playing with Jackie's body like a doll. It wasn't a healthy way to grieve. The group has indulged her enough. Time has come to move on. The body needs to be burned. That's the only method of disposal given the frozen ground. The situation ultimately creates the perfect slow cooker. Jackie's body becomes the most salivating meal the survivors have ever seen. It's irresistible. When they each wake up in the middle of the night, the meal calls out to them. It's all presented as an exquisite fine dining experience. Suddenly, they are out of the dangerous wilderness. Instead, they are transported to an eloquent table where every piece of food on the table must be consumed. They become animals as they tear Jackie's body apart. Ben is the only one who looks on in horror. He resists the temptation. He has the will to push through. That's a key disruption because the narrative has already suggested cannibalism is the only reason the Yellowjackets survived the winter. That's the dark truth that shames each of them. However, the temptation of darkness was present before that feast. Shauna was intrigued before the perfect meal was created for her through her sacrifice. She ate her best friend's ear. Meanwhile, lying comes so naturally to her in the present day. Callie doesn't know how to reckon with her parents' monstrous actions. She doesn't view her peers as understanding the intense pain she is feeling either. As such, she seeks comfort from an older man. He just so happens to be Kevyn's partner, who is investigating Adam's disappearance. It's all a little convenient. And yet, the stakes continue to grow. Misty feared they missed something in the cover-up. A citizen detective who is just as skilled as her seems to be on the case. He has already found her true identity at the nursing home and invited her onto an investigation. That's tempting to Misty because she has found someone just as committed and possibly unhinged as her. It's dangerous because he threatens her friends. Their lives are already in a ton of peril. Taissa almost walked off a cliff while asleep. Van saved her. It was a close call and Taissa lashes out by calling attention onto Shauna's weird behavior. She deflects from the underlying issue happening within herself. She still tries to avoid the truth despite Simone's recent ultimatum. It's only intensifying too. Taissa and Simone are involved in a car accident because Taissa was convinced Sammy made his way after school to come see her. She can't trust her own reality. That questioning puts more lives in danger. The lies continue to build. That's the focus of life for the survivors 25 years later. They may have escaped the wilderness. However, they aren't any healthier by bottling up what happened and letting it explode in other contexts. Lottie may be living in her truth as someone now outwardly exploiting others. And yet, she too doesn't immediately understand everything she sees. She remains haunted. That's scary considering the power she wields and the influence she maintains over her followers.