Even the most thrilling of shows have a slow episode every once in a while, and this week it fell to my otherwise favorite current drama YELLOWJACKETS. Stories set around a central mystery (or, in this case, several) walk a fine line between giving away too much information all at once and not giving away it fast enough. A show like LOST was often charged with the latter, while its protégé HEROES dried up its secrets far too quickly. So far, YELLOWJACKETS has been nearly perfect with its information-giveaway pacing. That doesn’t change this week, but the rest of the story isn’t compelling.
In the present day (2021) timeline, the scenes between Shauna and her daughter Callie worked the best for me overall. A real heart-to-heart between these two has been long overdue. While the issues between these two feel more like “new wounds,” I’m hopeful we’ll explore their relationship on a deeper level. Sure, it could just be a teen and their parent having typical generational problems, but it truly feels like something older and more troubling is bubbling beneath the surface.
Misty and her new friend Walter are two peas in a pod. If you like Misty, you’ll like Walter. If you can’t stand Misty, you’ll probably hate him too. Their similar idiosyncrasies are cute, but I can’t help but wonder if Walter is really who he says he is. Christina Ricci and Elijah Wood are perfectly cast, and as long-time fans of theirs, I can’t help myself for loving the characters they inhabit here. Are they terrible people? 🤷🏼♀️ But I love to hate them and hate to love them too. Taissa’s story is absolutely the most discouraging to me, but it finally did end up somewhere that gave me renewed hope for her. She’s obviously brilliant and successful but continually makes the worst choices for herself. I don’t quite grasp how she made it this far in life skating by, ignoring so much of what she needs to survive. And while I understand mental illness is at play here, it would seem she has the resources to get help and save her family and career.
Back in the mountain winter of 1996-1997, the teammates have a competition of sorts going, with a potentially live-saving prize. Unfortunately, the only payoff here comes in the very last minutes, and everything along the way reminds me of all those LOST episodes where everyone just walked around a lot. I appreciate a good shock ending for sure, and YELLOWJACKETS brings it here. Most of the rest feels like filler.
YELLOWJACKETS is on Showtime and streams on their mobile Showtime app every Friday.