‘Yellowjackets’ Season 2 and Why I’m Finally Starting To Like Callie
Callie is winning me over.
Navigating the treacherous waters of disliking a character is no easy feat. There are times when that dislike comes from an irrational place or even internal biases, but other times not liking a character comes from us not being given much reason to. Showtime’s Yellowjackets season 1 introduced us to plenty of unlikable characters, and there’s nothing wrong with admitting that. Just like so many male characters over the years, women should get the chance to be complex and, yes, even “unlikable” while still being the protagonists of the story and people we root for.
But the contrast with the complexity of most of the show’s characters is exactly why I find Shauna’s (Melanie Lynskey) one-note daughter, Callie (Sarah Desjardins), so aggressively unlikable in season 1. In the first season, Callie comes across as an ungrateful white teenager who is consistently antagonistic towards Shauna—normally for no good reason—leading to many folks disliking her and finding her annoying. It wasn’t until season 2 (which is still airing) that I found myself seeing Callie’s character a bit differently. Callie is no longer a mere foil to Shauna’s plans and desires in life. She’s now a character with a story of her own that’s both linked to and somewhat independent of Shauna.
In season 2, the unplanned murder of Adam (Peter Gadiot) is still causing problems for Shauna, Jeff (Warren Kole), and Callie, and rather than stay in Shauna’s perspective of the aftermath, we’re now getting more of Callie’s POV. Finding out her mom has killed an innocent person, on top of cheating on her father, who she seems to have more affection for is not easy for Callie to process—at least not initially. The reactions that Callie is has towards Shauna (no matter how up or down), in light of all this, are helping me appreciate her character in a way that I didn’t expect.
Teen girls aren’t always written in a way that comes across as authentic, and that’s something I’ve always disliked. Not every teenager has the same issues (taking into account marginalized identities and home life etc.), and sometimes teen girls are written to be annoying and without substance. But Yellowjackets isn’t your typical show featuring teen girls. The teen girls aren’t written to be vapid surface-level characters that only care about dating and shopping. Callie may not be a Yellowjacket who has dabbled in cannibalism in order to survive in the wilderness, but she’s every bit complex as the teen Yellowjackets we see in the ’90s flashbacks.
The moment that Callie finds Adam’s partially burnt ID, everything falls together and to pieces for her in that moment. Her character goes from being a brat for no reason, to acting out for understandable reasons. I’m loving the ways in which she’s taking control of her life, being calculated like her mother, showing how smart she is (in her attempts to trick creep undercover cop Matt), and her refusal to ignore what’s going on at home. She may still have her annoying moments, but in my eyes, she’s not a character I want to dismiss anymore.
Season 2 has yet to really slow down, and Callie’s character is guaranteed to have a moment of catharsis involving the Matt situation. Whether or not she involves her mother in her confrontation is something to be seen. Of course, if Callie calls him out for being creepy, as well as tells him off, I’ll be guaranteed to love her character ever so. I’ll officially join the Callie Club and defend her as well as I can.
(featured image: Showtime)
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