Sunday, April 9, 2023

REVIEW: 'Yellowjackets' - Ben Disassociates From Recent Trauma While Shauna Seeks Out New Thrills in 'Digestif'

Showtime's Yellowjackets - Episode 2.03 "Digestif"

The girls experience an unusual hangover. Shauna learns the thrill of peer-to-peer car rentals. Natalie audits Lottie's class in emotional apiology. Tai reflects, Misty hits the high seas, and you've never attended a baby shower like the one the Yellowjackets throw here.

"Digestif" was written by Sarah L. Thompson & Ameni Rozsa and directed by Jeffrey W. Byrd

The morning after the feast Taissa is horrified by what Jackie's body has become. She has no memory of what happened during the night. Van reminds her that she literally ate Jackie's face. It's a horrifying thought. One Taissa completely disassociated from. And yet, she can't deny that it happened. None of the Yellowjackets can. However, Taissa was disassociating long before this moment. It's not contained to the months in the wilderness either. She is still haunted by her sleep. Simone may die because Taissa was convinced Sammy had walked to her after school. Taissa was told she needs help. She is in over her head. She has coped for a long time. She may only mask the trauma. In every segment of her life, some dark force is calling to her. It's a presence visualized as a man with no eyes. Taissa saw it before the plane crash. And now, it leads her to the symbol that may offer protection. Lottie certainly surrenders a lot of hope and meaning onto this visual. Natalie remains practical. The owner of the cabin was dead when they arrived. He was surrounded by the symbol. It seemingly didn't protect him. It hasn't spared the Yellowjackets from death either. They remain trapped in the wilderness with no way of escape. Whenever they try, it ends in disaster. They have to surrender to the brutality of winter. Eating Jackie's body may be the only way they survive. The girls are still going through the motions of trying to offer a reasonable explanation for what happened when they are eventually rescued. Ben is doubtful the remnants of Jackie's body can convincingly blend in with the others who have died. And yet, Natalie delivers Jackie to be laid to rest alongside them. In fact, she views death as a blessing for Jackie. She didn't have to compromise herself to the darkness in this way. And now, she may have sustained life. It was a crucial sacrifice. It was made completely out of spite. She was betrayed by her best friend. Shauna was tempted long before the perfect meal was presented. She too feels the attraction to the inner darkness. She can't peacefully live as what society pressures her to be. She doesn't blend in like that. Like Taissa, she tried to do so for many years. And then, the affair with Adam ignited something new. She was drawn to the unpredictability. She didn't know what would happen next. Again, it's comforting to have that safety. If not for his fears, Ben would have been much happier if he simply moved in with Paul. He was only able to declare his love after the plane crash. That trauma inflicted more physical pain onto Ben than anyone else. However, he's isolated as the only adult amongst the survivors. His reactions are different. That internal tension weighs on him more severely.

Blood invades the world. Lottie is horrified by what it means. Blood is dripping from Jackie's bones. Shauna's nose bleeds at the conclusion of her baby shower. Blood runs down the side of a building. The apiary is infected. It's a horrifying image overall. However, the storytelling is really dependent on the terror of its ideas instead of maintaining momentum. It's creepy when Taissa's image in the mirror doesn't move. It serves as a form of communication with her darker side. And yet, the two are still so far apart. She may never escape or understand what's happening to her. It's better to run away from the reminder. Meanwhile, Shauna is terrified by her desire to kill. It comes naturally to her. She's not shaking because she's an innocent person holding a criminal at gunpoint. She seeks out the danger. It excites her. Jeff knows his wife did something to get their minivan back. He wants to embrace the peaceful existence they have long had together. That may no longer be feasible. Jeff read Shauna's journals. He stayed. He wasn't frightened by what the Yellowjackets did to survive. It's still different seeing this other side of Shauna. To him, she's not acting rationally. She's not afraid for her life while being carjacked. In fact, she intensifies the confrontation. She has these experiences that were far more terrifying. She survived. She knows precisely how it feels to kill someone and prepare their body to eat. The darkness was a necessity. It was a corruption of the mind. None of the Yellowjackets knew what they were capable of before the plane crash. The wilderness revealed new depths. It forces their minds to warp reality. Some dangers could very well be real. Some are just the perception of retribution for what they have done. They carefully balance all of that. It's easy to blame it on a mass psychosis. They surrendered their power to the great unknown. They had to focus on the immediate task at hand. They couldn't hesitate. That would only invite death in. That would prove they weren't meant to survive. These horrors haven't ended. They are each still trapped in their individual worlds. Ben's mind breaks because the trauma of the girls' consumption of Jackie's body was overwhelming. No one notices the horror he's in and respond accordingly. He views all of them differently now. He so badly wants that love with Paul. It's out of the realm of possibility now. He's not one of the characters who survives and prospers until the present day. More survivors may be revealed at some point. Even then, their lives are shaped by the secrets carried. Misty moves people with her monologue from Steel Magnolias. It may not be fitting for the situation. It's a form of connection. Elsewhere, Misty realizes she has to keep Walter close because he's just as determined to solve mysteries as she is. They are partners and adversaries. Misty can't manipulate him so easily. He plays the game just as effectively. However, real lives are at stake. Misty aims to protect her friends. This situation may only invite more danger in. She reluctantly must ask for help from someone who can't be trusted with the darkness this world consumes. It's not as easy as Lisa accepting that she doesn't need to stab Natalie to properly address the emotions building inside of her. Even then, it's a delicate balance of how much power and influence the Yellowjackets wield over others. That's basically the core drive of the overall story.