Misty and the other girls carry a teammate who's trussed up. We can't see who the dead girl is.

‘Yellowjackets’ Season 2 is a Thrilling Ride—And It Fixes Season 1’s Pacing Issues

I’ll admit, I wasn’t enthralled with most of season 1 of Yellowjackets. The witchy survival story of 1996 was exciting, of course. The problem was that it was infinitely more exciting than the plodding 2021 storyline. Why the hell would I care about adult Shauna’s failing marriage when teen Shauna was staring down giving birth in the wilderness? Why would a senate race be interesting when Taissa’s teenage self was saving her girlfriend from getting mauled by wolves? The 2021 plots get more interesting near the end, when they erupt in kidnapping and murder and freaky hidden shrines, but at one point about halfway through the season, I actually stopped watching for awhile.

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Season 2 of Yellowjackets has none of those problems. Every storyline is taut, and every episode is thrilling.

First, there’s the 1996—creeping into 1997—plot. Winter has fallen, Shauna’s pregnancy is progressing, and the girls are getting increasingly desperate for food. The supernatural turn established in last season’s “Doomcoming,” in which the girls succumbed to the darkness infecting them in the forest, gains momentum in season 2, with pagan sacrifices and disturbing visions. Season 2 is filled with splendid folk horror, and it’s made all the better in jarring moments when the girls’ mundane lives creep back into the story, like when they wear their varsity jackets, or study for the SAT in a fading hope of going home.

Then there’s the 2021 plot. Natalie has been kidnapped, Misty is tracking her down, Shauna is trying to escape the consequences of murdering a guy, and Taissa is full on spiraling after discovering that she killed the family dog while sleepwalking. Along with last season’s cast, we’re introduced to the adult versions of two more survivors, Lottie and Van. Lottie is an especially intriguing (and sinister) character, and we see her adult persona gradually develop in the 1996 story. In fact, there are lots of moments when the characters’ divided stories sync up in the narrative, making for some satisfying emotional beats.

The one plotline that’s maybe less viscerally gripping than the others is Misty’s, as she plays citizen detective to find Natalie. However, her partnership with fellow sleuth Walter (Elijah Wood) is delightfully weird. Christina Ricci and Elijah Wood need to do a thousand twisted romcoms together, I’m just throwing that idea out there.

Wow, this season. Wow, wow, wow. Yellowjackets goes hard, it goes dark, it’s messed up in all the best ways and I want more of it. Happy Doomcoming, everyone! Our favorite teenage cannibals are back.

(featured image: Showtime)

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Julia Glassman
Julia Glassman (she/her) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and has been covering feminism and media since 2007. As a staff writer for The Mary Sue, Julia covers Marvel movies, folk horror, sci fi and fantasy, film and TV, comics, and all things witchy. Under the pen name Asa West, she's the author of the popular zine 'Five Principles of Green Witchcraft' (Gods & Radicals Press). You can check out more of her writing at <a href="https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/">https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/.</a>