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Yellowjackets Is Best When The Leads Are Together

Let’s tally the storylines of “Yellowjackets” season 2, episodes 1-6. Shauna (Melanie Lynskey) is dealing with the fallout of Adam’s murder and it starts affecting her family. Taissa (Tawny Cypress) is struggling with her mental health/dark visions and this eventually leads her back to Van (Lauren Ambrose). After being abducted, Natalie hangs around the self-care compound run by her old “friend” Lottie (Simone Kessell). Misty, the citizen detective that she is, investigates Natalie’s disappearance alongside Walter (Elijah Wood).

Each woman has not only their own storyline but their own supporting cast. That’s not to say those supporting casts are bad — I’m always down for more of Shauna and her dopey but well-meaning husband Jeff (Warren Kole). However, this results in a less cohesive series — no story takes primacy over the others and so the episodes blend together. The reason “Yellowjackets” season 2 took a while to get going is that I couldn’t discern its destination.

Thankfully, episode 6 ended with the adult survivors all reunited at Lottie’s compound and the season found its footing; episodes 7, 8, and 9 are the strongest of this batch. There was just one story to follow and those devilishly fun character interactions came back. My personal favorite, episode 8 “It Chooses,” was even about the Yellowjackets getting each other up to speed on what’s happened in their corners of the story. Instead of just exposition, this felt like a culmination and the threads finally wove together.

When the “Yellowjackets” writers’ room reassembles to plot out season 3, I hope they keep their chess pieces closer together on the board. This will not only give their lead cast more opportunities to bounce off each other like we all know they can but also result in a more compact, satisfying story.

“Yellowjackets” is streaming on Paramount+ and Showtime.



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