I’m Intrigued by Lottie’s Unraveling in ‘Yellowjackets’
Je veux du sang aussie
In the most recent episode of Yellowjackets, “Digestif,” we see more of Lottie’s lakeside retreat center, where she guides her followers in gentle rituals and exercises to help them heal from trauma and become the best versions of themselves. How nice!
Except it’s obviously a cult.
You don’t need to see much of the retreat center to know there’s something off about it. All the participants dress in the same hand-dyed, muted purple, while Lottie floats around in brightly-colored robes and shawls. It’s not clear how much freedom the participants have to go against Lottie’s rules. Lottie dresses down Lisa when Lisa brings her a smoothie with maca root instead of ashwagandha. Plus, no one seems to think it’s odd that Lottie had Natalie kidnapped and chained to a bed. Lottie insists to Natalie that Camp Green Pine isn’t a cult, but the fact that she has to state that to begin with tells you all you need to know.
Meanwhile, in the past, we see the beginnings of Lottie’s cult-leader mentality. In season 1, she dons the headdress that transforms her into the Antler Queen. Before Natalie and Travis go out to hunt in season 2, she gives them ashes for protection. It’s not long before the rest of the team sees her as a spiritual leader.
And it’s not just an act. As we’ve seen, Lottie is genuinely connected to the mysterious power in the forest. In the first season, a bear lies down before her, offering itself. In “Digestif,” Lottie sews the mysterious symbol into a baby blanket for Shauna, after which Shauna gets a nose bleed and a dozen starlings plummet from the sky onto the cabin. Teen Lottie knows that she’s infused with real power—and that power is catching up to her in the present.
Lottie needs to remember where her bread is buttered
At the end of the episode, Lottie goes to visit her bee hives. The bees are all dead, though, and the hive frames are covered in blood. “Il veut du sang,” a voice says offscreen: “He wants blood.” The line is similar to the phrase that Lottie said herself while in trance in season 1. Then Lottie snaps out of it, and sees that the bloody hives were just a vision. The bees are perfectly fine.
It’s understandable that Lottie would want to get away from the spirit in the woods. After all, it’s tied up with her painful experiences with mental illness. Plus, we don’t know what’s in store for the girls in future episodes. It’s clear that things are going to get much worse in that forest, and if I were Lottie, I’d want to escape it, too.
But what Lottie can’t see is how harmful her woo-woo self-help cult is. It’s harmful to the participants who think they’re getting mental health treatment and a spiritual community, when in actuality they’re being scammed. By building her entire livelihood around a toxic form of love and light, Lottie is using the trappings of spirituality to manipulate people and run from her own problems. (This form of abuse is known as spiritual bypassing in real life, and is depressingly common in alternative spirituality circles.)
When she receives the vision of her bloody hives, Lottie gets a potent wake-up call: the force that gave her power hasn’t forgotten her, and it’s calling for her again. How she answers the call, and what happens next, remains to be seen.
(featured image: Showtime)
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