After an incredibly strong start, YELLOWJACKETS has been middling this season. The big “did they or didn’t they resort to cannabilism” question was answered early on, and then the show didn’t know where to go. Of course, that was just one of the many mysteries involving the plane crash, the aftermath, and what has happened since the survivors were rescued. QUI answers another one of those possibly the most heart-wrenching and mind-screwing outings to date.
QUI still doesn’t quite live up to “experience now,” as it spends far too much time with the older versions of Shauna, Taissa, Lottie, Misty, Natalie, and Van. The better story is happening back in the winter of 1996 as the repercussions of Shauna’s pregnancy and Lottie’s nature worship come head to head. YELLOWJACKETS continues to touch on whether something supernatural is going on when the more powerful story could be about how the trauma the crash caused stayed with the survivors for the rest of their lives.
In the present day, Detective Mustache (that’s my name for John Paul Reynolds’ goofy cop character) is trying to get answers about Adam’s disappearance from Shauna and Callie. It’s an expected turn of events, but the entire side plot about Adam is an unnecessary distraction from the survivors still dealing with their crash trauma 25 years after it happened. The addition of actress Lauren Ambrose to this season had me incredibly excited as I’ve been a huge fan of hers since SIX FEET UNDER. She’s been underutilized so far as adult Van, while Taissa continues to make one terrible decision after another. I’d rather see her struggle to keep her family together than seemingly forget about them for several episodes in a row.
Everything and everyone is seemingly coming together around Lottie, yet what we know about her character so far doesn’t seem to warrant this. Perhaps this is just the shift to learn more about her journey and how she ended up as some sort of guru. Elijah Wood showed up for a while as new addition Walter, but other than being a temporary foil for Misty, he didn’t add anything to the story. As a huge fan of his, I hope they’re more to Walter than what we already know.
And while I do want to see more of Van and Walter as adults, I really hope the story of the teenagers in the weeks and months after their plane crash retakes center stage. All of the best parts of QUI revolve around teenagers. It doesn’t need to be winter forever there.
YELLOWJACKETS airs and streams on Showtime.