It’s been slightly over a 12 months since Yellowjackets took our TVs by storm with a juicy Misplaced-style thriller that introduced us all again to our days of fervent hypothesis. Showtime’s psychological thriller a couple of highschool ladies’ soccer crew stranded within the wilderness within the mid-’90s, and what turned of the survivors, had all of it: a number of timelines, psychological horror, suburban comedy, and, after all, the dreadful data that lots of the ladies who survived to the current day most likely had a darkish cultlike dalliance with cannibalism.
Now the present is lastly again. After a season 1 finale that left us eager for extra (in methods each good and fewer so), what’s most exceptional concerning the season 2 premiere is that it simply seems like… the following episode within the first season. This isn’t essentially dangerous — Yellowjackets is a reasonably stuffed present, and easing again into issues so viewers can remind themselves of every part in play earlier than leaping into new dilemmas is a strong method. It simply feels a bit gradual, given all of the anticipation — maybe giving loads for fan theorists to chew on, however leaving others wanting extra.
“Pals, Romans, Countrymen,” because the premiere is named, strikes as rapidly as it could actually in its introduction to the various plates Yellowjackets has left spinning in midair since final 12 months. Within the current day, Shauna (Melanie Lynskey) has a homicide to cowl up along with her husband Jeff’s (Warren Kole) assist, Tai (Tawny Cypress) is celebrating her success in native politics whereas concurrently dropping her household due to a situation that’s inflicting her to do disturbing issues in her sleep, and Nat (Juliette Lewis) obtained kidnapped by a cult.
Photograph: Kimberley French/Showtime
Nat’s kidnapping is the place the true ahead momentum occurs in “Pals, Romans, Countrymen,” as many fan suspicions are confirmed: The cult is headed up by Lottie (Simone Kessell), who seems to be frustratingly benign regardless that every part about her cult (and every part we learn about teen Lottie) leans type of sinister.
The ’90s forged principally will get some good character work, as Jackie’s (Ella Purnell) demise leaves the group rocked and Shauna (Sophie Nélisse) struggles to manage. After which there’s a brand new layer added: a short flash slightly bit additional to the Yellowjackets’ lives instantly post-rescue, principally specializing in Lottie and her issue reintegrating again into regular life.
Photograph: Kailey Schwerman/Showtime
As an episode of tv, “Pals, Romans, and Countrymen” is merely high-quality. As a dialog starter? It’s fairly glorious. The introduction of present-day Lottie will likely reignite hypothesis if she actually is the Antler Queen, however on the identical time, Yellowjackets writers appear laying it on a bit too thick for that to be the reply. (Kessell herself argues that she’s enjoying a personality that genuinely needs to assist the present-day survivors heal. However that might imply numerous issues.) There’s loads of pressure round the remainder of the present-day forged, with Tai’s aforementioned troubles and Shauna’s new facet gig in homicide, having to keep away from the authorities and her nosy teen daughter. Additionally that post-rescue flashback? An excellent thought. Let’s hope there’s extra.
However as soon as once more, essentially the most gripping a part of Yellowjackets is, effectively, the Yellowjackets’ survival story, and watching them slowly fracture, reset, or unspool. For all the plot threads the collection is juggling, the present’s writers don’t appear to have misplaced their iron grip on this one. They usually’re ensuring the ladies proceed to battle in some… scrumptious methods.