So much of Yellowjackets seemed set to deal with trauma, the ongoing nightmare that the girls, now women, are still trapped in, even decades after the crash. But more the third episode, “Welcome To The Dollhouse” introduces us to the trauma they entered the woods with—in Taissa’s case, it’s something terrible that seems to have been haunting every stage of her life.
The episode starts, rather sweetly, with a burial. The devastated girls gather ’round their dead teammates’ graves. They hold hands, and search for nice things to say about them all, lamenting that they didn’t know them better or have more profound things to say. It’s been three days now since the crash and hopes for rescue are beginning to wane. Misty, having doomed them all last episode by destroying the rescue transmitter, is fixated on the coach’s recovery, feeding him what she can while his bloody stump causes him agony.
Things begin to look up when Taissa, returning from a hike, spots a lake. Jackie doesn’t want them to leave the crash site but gets outvoted. The factions are beginning to form: We know that one girl (probably a girl, technically could be the coach or Travis) will end up behind the horns and veil so Jackie and Taissa now seem like likely candidates.
Down at the lake, the girls have a moment of pure joy frolicking in the water. It’s hard to believe they’ll soon resort to hunting each other, but darkness creeps in the edges. They discover an abandoned cabin in wilderness that looks straight out of The Evil Dead. Plethora of blankets aside, it’s no great sanctuary—the tinned food is rotten, the floorboards creak, and, as poor Lottie discovers, there is a desiccated corpse in the attic. Bringing in the cabin in the woods is an enjoyable little reframing of the narrative; up until this point, viewers may have assumed the show would be hunting a very human type of monster.
This is coming back again in the present day with son Sammy, who in three episodes has gone from sweet to full Damian. He attacks other kids and stares his mother down with all the power of Lucifer but seems to have relaxed by bed-time. He asks his mother, “Why don’t people like you?” and tells her “you’re not the bad one.” When asked “Is someone else the bad one?,” he shakes his head. Are there two Taissas? Is this a possession by something in the woods he’s talking about? I don’t know but I want answers soon. For all that Yellowjackets is setting up so many mysteries, I hope the show doesn’t resort to a single exposition dump to explain everything in the final episode. It bodes well that the journalist storyline comes to a conclusion, where it is revealed she has been hired by Taissa to try and get information out of the others, checking to see if anything nasty could be leaked during the election run.
We’ve also got new questions surrounding Shauna, Misty, and Natalie in the present. Least compelling is Shauna, who does some seriously low-skill stalking to find out where Jeff is going and with whom. She follows him to a hotel but doesn’t manage to convince the receptionist to give her the room number. Then, out of nowhere swoops in Adam, the world’s most suspicious man, to buy her a martini which, as martinis so often do, leads to them getting a hotel room together and start the full-blown-affair portion of their relationship.
Far more exciting are Nat and Misty’s antics, with Christina Ricci and Juliette Lewis’ continuing to have delightfully unhinged odd-couple chemistry. They further their quest to find Travis, who has changed his name and is living in the middle of nowhere. When the ladies break in, they find nothing but a small pay stub and an expensive bottle of booze. Before they can investigate further, a high-strung cop enters, pointing a gun, and arrests them for breaking and entering.
Thankfully, as always, Missy is good in a crisis and has been cat-fishing Nat’s old pal Detective Kevin just in case he came in handy. It’s a little convenient, but Ricci going about her perky busy body antics continues to be sublime. Sadly, when they get back to Travis, they find him hanging from his neck, long dead. It seems the expensive booze was a makeshift final meal. It’s a beautiful bit of acting from Lewis as the devastated Nat confronts the reality that Travis is dead, made all the sadder by the flashbacks where you see their bond being formed. Misty finds a final note from Travis with a cryptic “Nat was right”—though right about what exactly can just be added to the long list of unsolved mysteries we are racking up.
- They come across a bear carcass in the woods that’s had its sides ripped out. When asked how this can happen the coach does some hardcore foreshadowing and puts it down to wolves saying “wolves can kill anything if that pack is big enough.”
- I very much enjoyed Misty is telling Natalie about the guys she unsuccessfully dates, including one who asked for her socks and still never called.
- Is there anyone sadder than the poor coach who’s stump wont stop attracting flies and Misty. When he cried out “I cant just be like this now. Why couldn’t I have just died?” it might be the darkest thing said in a very crowded field of dark things.
- Not looking forward to the plot twist that Jeff isn’t really having an affair.
- We also learn that Taissa has been paying for Misty’s rehab. Misty seems to have gone to rehab a lot. How rich is Taissa supposed to be?