Sunday, April 23, 2023

REVIEW: 'Yellowjackets' - Natalie Searches Her Past for Clarity While Taissa Reunites With Van in 'Two Truths and a Lie'

Showtime's Yellowjackets - Episode 2.05 "Two Truths and a Lie"

Okay, Fellowjackets, rise and shine and don't forget your booties because it's coooold out there. Misty makes a leap of faith for her bestie, Natalie and Lottie play a game of surrender, Shauna finds herself unexpectedly randy, and Tai seeks out a movie recommendation. 

"Two Truths and a Lie" was written by Katherine Kearns & Sarah L. Thompson and directed by Ben Semanoff

Natalie was right. That was the message Travis left behind. Natalie didn't know what it meant. Lottie didn't either. They are desperate for the truth. Part of it comes across as Lottie deflecting from the accusations Natalie makes about her scamming the members of her group. Natalie would much rather focus on that mystery than address the darkness within her. That's the way the survivors have each conducted their lives. They haven't exactly been fulfilling or happy. They've gone through the motions of life burdened by this massive secret. They did horrifying and heinous things in the wilderness. It would be so much easier for each of them to blame some mysterious darkness for all that happened. Natalie overdosed the last time she saw Travis. When she was revived, she returned with the clarity that the survivors brought that darkness back with them. They each died in the wilderness. They were reborn through that traumatic experience. It shaped each of them even after they were rescued. They may have been condemned to those fates forever because Misty destroyed the plane's black box. She did so because the team finally depended on her. She still carries that mentality. Her friendships are defined by people needing her brilliant mind. She clings onto that meaning even when everyone else is trying to move on. It's impossible for them to do so. Travis sought out the darkness. He wasn't saved in time. He died. That haunts Natalie and Lottie. It brings all of these issues to the surface once more. Lottie has gone a long time without hallucinating. Now, it's become a common occurrence. The same is true of Taissa's sleepwalking. That could be completely conditional on the amount of stress in her life. She doesn't feel like she can ask anyone for help. Van especially has gone through all of this before. She has plenty of her own problems. The underlying love is still present. They've drifted apart over the years. The Yellowjackets can still only depend on each other. They can only be brutally honest about everything together. Shauna has created a new safety bubble within her family. Jeff and Callie know the truth about Adam. They work hard to keep up appearances. It's still all in service to lies others don't want to admit. Shauna doesn't want to accept the consequences of killing Adam. She had a team prepared to clean it up. Walter still gets precariously close to the truth. Kevyn and Matt acknowledge the deceit too. A burden lifts once Natalie submits to the therapy. It's not some revelatory declaration she makes. The concept of darkness within these characters has always been the central premise of the show. It's more profound in this instance because it's offered as a recognition of the destruction all of this has brought. It may not change anything either. No catharsis is easily formed. Instead, it's simply terror and dread over what lurks in the shadows within all of these characters' lives. Lottie sees that clearly as a representation of the Antler Queen. It defines all of their lives despite the distance between them in the present day.

The seasons appeared to be changing in the past. The ice was melting off the cabin's rooftop. Lottie leads the group in a therapy session outside. She strives for all of them to feel connected. She leads with an obsession over Shauna's upcoming birth. The survivors have to be prepared for the pending arrival of new life. That must be the priority for everyone. They can't afford to be divided. Shauna needs Taissa to be her friend and take her side no matter what. She's annoyed by Lottie's proximity. She's terrified by what childbirth will entail. She doesn't know how to provide as a mother. It's a daunting prospect made more extreme by their surroundings. Shauna ultimately has to lean on Taissa to safely navigate them back to the cabin once a snowstorm hits. That's the chaos that reigns down on this environment. It's nature taking a cruel turn. It offers a convenient excuse for Misty. She pushed Crystal off a cliff after confessing what she did. They developed a quick friendship. It was built on the idea they could share any secret. Crystal reveals she never corrected people when they referred to her by a different name. It was a way for her to fit in. More importantly, these secrets came from the prior world. When it actually pertains to the tragedy they've survived, they don't have patience for any action taken against the group. Misty is still condemned for poisoning everyone. Crystal was the only friendship she was afforded. And now, she cruelly pushes that away. She promised to kill her. Crystal simply wasn't given an opportunity to respond. The situation escalated so quickly. And then, her body was covered by the snow. The truth is physically buried. The focus immediately shifts to Shauna going into labor. Everyone must rally around that common cause. They all want answers as to why they haven't been found yet and how Javi survived for months away from the cabin. Nothing is forthcoming. Misty carried the truth. Her actions played a significant role in the many months they spend in the wilderness. Meanwhile, Javi only suggests that he found a friend who told him not to return. That fate still came for him. He is reunited with his brother. He's simply terrified into silence over what this means. It suggests the darkness is only truly getting started in this brutal landscape. It always has the potential to get worse. Everyone is desperate. As such, their true colors have been revealed. They share the lengths they will go to in order to survive. Those bonds are still unique decades later. The survivors endured this trauma together. They hide in the shame of it all too. They can't keep track of all that's happened either. Misty tries to lead with that confidence. It's impossible. The world is too vast and unpredictable for anyone to project any kind of control over how anyone will react or how life will evolve over time. Lottie helps people remain grounded. That's a constant. It provides momentary piece. It's a direction to pursue. It's not some great insight. It's just a way to be present when so much disaster continually befalls these characters in a dark, increasingly challenging world.