‘Yellowjackets’ Just Repeated Its Biggest Season 1 Mistake

Yellowjackets Season 2 is already proving to be darker and sharper than its first. With every new episode it releases, the breakout Showtime original series just seems more and more willing to confront the darkness that is at the center of its gruesome story. For that reason, the first five episodes of Yellowjackets Season 2 have featured more than their fair share of memorable moments.

That doesn’t mean, however, that Yellowjackets’ sophomore season has been a total improvement of the show’s first. On the contrary, by sticking too closely to its own, original formula, Yellowjackets Season 2 has repeated one of the biggest mistakes of its debut run.

Yellowjackets Season 2’s present-day storylines have grown significantly more interesting now that its adult survivors are actually starting to interact with each other again.

Showtime

By the time Episode 5 of Yellowjackets Season 2 has come to an end, Juliette Lewis’ Natalie, Simone Kessell’s Lottie, and Christina Ricci’s Misty are all, for the first time this season, in the same place. The episode, titled “Two Truths and a Lie,” also follows Tawny Cypress’ Taissa and Lauren Ambrose’s Van as they spend a day together for the first time in years. “Two Truths and a Lie,” in other words, marks the first time all season that more than just two of Yellowjackets’ adult female cast members have gotten the chance to truly interact with each other.

Lottie and Natalie have, notably, been together since Yellowjackets Season 2 began, but it’s worth noting that the series has kept their interactions to a minimum up to this point. Their breakthrough meditation/therapy session together in “Two Truths and a Lie” feels so impactful for that very reason. However, now that we’re halfway through Yellowjackets Season 2, it seems fair to say that the show has struggled to maintain the same kind of intrigue and compelling interpersonal drama in its adult storylines as it has in its numerous flashback sequences.

Yellowjackets’ first season similarly struggled to strike a perfect balance between its two timelines, and the show’s adult storylines all became infinitely better once it let its adult actresses work together on-screen. Based on “Two Truths and a Lie,” it seems safe to say that the same has already proven to be true for Yellowjackets Season 2.

Thanks to an early clip released by Showtime, we know that next week’s episode of Yellowjackets will see the adult versions of Shauna (Melanie Lynskey), Van, and Taissa all join Natalie and Misty at Lottie’s wellness compound. That means Yellowjackets Season 2 has essentially followed the same path as the show’s debut season, which kept most of the series’ adult characters apart until its sixth and seventh episodes. Once they were together, Yellowjackets’ present-day scenes all became, frankly, significantly more compelling to watch.

There’s no reason to believe that Yellowjackets’ forthcoming present-day reunion won’t have the same effect on its second season, which begs the question: Why is Yellowjackets so intent on keeping its adult characters apart all the time? When you have a cast of adult actresses that includes Juliette Lewis, Christina Ricci, Melanie Lynskey, Tawny Cypress, Lauren Ambrose, and Simone Kessell, it seems undeniably strange to decide two seasons in a row to keep them separate from each other for more episodes than they’re together in.

In its fifth episode, Yellowjackets Season 2 finally started giving Juliette Lewis the kind of material that a performer of her caliber deserves.

Showtime

The Inverse Analysis — In Yellowjackets Season 1, it made a certain amount of sense for the show’s present-day characters to be apart from each other. Building toward an inevitable reunion between its adult survivors similarly felt like a good place for Yellowjackets to start. Coming off the events of the show’s first season, though, it makes less and less sense for Yellowjackets’ adult characters to have spent as much time apart from each other this year as they have.

Worse yet, the show’s decision to keep them apart for almost the exact same number of episodes as it did in its first season suggests that this may be a pattern the Yellowjackets creative team is planning on sticking to every year. Here’s to hoping that’s not the case because routinely making viewers wait six or seven episodes for a present-day reunion is the kind of choice that will wear thin faster than Yellowjackets’ creators may think.

New episodes of Yellowjackets Season 2 premiere Fridays on Paramount+ with Showtime.

Yellowjackets Season 2 is already proving to be darker and sharper than its first. With every new episode it releases, the breakout Showtime original series just seems more and more willing to confront the darkness that is at the center of its gruesome story. For that reason, the first five episodes of Yellowjackets Season 2…

Yellowjackets Season 2 is already proving to be darker and sharper than its first. With every new episode it releases, the breakout Showtime original series just seems more and more willing to confront the darkness that is at the center of its gruesome story. For that reason, the first five episodes of Yellowjackets Season 2…