Maybe we should address the elephant in the room first. Watchers of Yellowjackets have been anticipating the moment that happens at the end of “Edible Complex” since the first episode of the series and the invention of “pit girl.” Now, the total-fledged descent into cannibalism is here. Spending any amount of time with a corpse long after a person is dead is abnormal. We’re far into Norman Bates territory two months after Jackie's death.
The conversations Shauna (Sophie Nélisse) was having with dead Jackie (Ella Purnell) are all her manifestations of fears, anxieties, and insecurities wrapped in one person. Shauna is carrying her late best friend’s ex-boyfriend’s baby. Shauna also feels responsible for Jackie dying of hypothermia outside – their fight caused her to leave. Even though they were best friends, Shauna never really felt like she measured up to Jackie’s beauty or who she was as a person. Thus, you have the makeup, adjustment of limbs, fake fights, and journal entries where Shauna tries to cope.
There’s the cutting of Jackie’s corpse after eating the ear. Shauna’s hallucination speaks to her inner-hunger of Shauna to do this. The collective is running out of food, and being in the wilderness for so long brings out your feral side. If there’s one thing that this episode does very well – it ties how dire the circumstances are in the cabin to the repercussions the survivors feel in the current day.
Adult Shauna (Melanie Lynskey) almost has this impenetrable wall of coldness around her. Meanwhile, her daughter Callie (Sarah Desjardins) struggles with all the heavy revelations she’s learned. Her mom not only cheated on her dad Jeff (Warren Kole), but she murdered a man. However, in a stroke of insight, Callie interjects into Kevyn’s (Alex Wyndham) impromptu integration of Shauna. As Shauna tries to explain why she lies to the police, she flips a switch and asks Callie to go through the back to keep up with the lie.
This is juxtaposed with Shauna trying to talk to Callie earlier to make a connection and being unable to do so. I do not doubt that Shauna loves her family, but there’s something wrong with everything happening. It’s almost as if the nurturing and “whatever it takes” parts of Shauna are battling inside of each other. That “rebel” streak arises in Callie, but it might lead to trouble, given she unknowingly tries to date a cop on the case.
Regarding relationships, Travis (Kevin Alves) and Natalie (Sophie Thatcher) are in a dicey situation. They’ve been going out in the wilderness to look for Javi, but nothing has turned up. With how cold that island has gotten, it wouldn’t be a stretch to assume Javi died of starvation or freezing to death. However, given that it’s his little brother, you can’t blame Travis for not giving up hope. This issue builds the nature versus logic tension between Lottie (Courtney Eaton) and Natalie – who wants nothing to do with it.
Lottie is sure Javi is alive and supposedly has a connection to the island in totality. Most of all, she serves as a calming presence for Travis. Something that Natalie takes offense to. Was it right for Natalie to stage Javi’s supposed death? Yes. Especially given that it was rooted in selfishness in wanting all of Travis’s attention. Despite this, while they are having sex, a specter of Lottie appears to Travis.
Is there a deeper meaning developing with Lottie and Travis’s relationship? Consider that when adult Travis (Andres Soto) was in trouble, he called adult Lottie (Simone Kessell) and not adult Natalie (Juliette Lewis) for help. It’s a hard pill for Natalie to swallow. If you look at their relationship, it’s not like they are a pillar of stability. When Lottie speaks of the night Travis dies, you’re unsure if you can believe everything you hear.
It’s the first time you see Lottie has visions of Laura Lee that perhaps might be her darkness. After all, Lottie’s blessing didn’t stop the plane that Laura Lee took from exploding. I feel that the wellness center Lottie operates is also a way for her to escape the real-life struggles of mental health she still experiences. If Lottie can help all these people overcome their impediments, she can still hold on to the aura she had on the island.
Adult Taissa (Tawny Cypress) has pushed her chips in the Nightmare Before Elm Street never sleep again method. It’s progressively taking a toll on her – all the cups of coffee in the world can’t combat sleep deprivation. This manifests in imagining Sammy walking home from school. Knowing this, her wife Simone (Rukiya Bernard) once again pleads with Tai to get help.
As this conversation continues, Tai takes on a menacing look as she causes a car accident. This is juxtaposed with younger Tai (Jasmin Savoy Brown) and her sleepwalking patterns worsening. Not only can she untie the hand bond between her and Van (Liv Hewson) while they are sleeping, Tai wanders in the woods. This is while seeing the man with no eyes.
It could be possible the past and present could have a connection. The man with no eyes as an entity is intriguing to me. Perhaps he possesses Tai in the present into doing his bidding somehow. “Edible Complex” gives a tiny morsel into this mystery.
The end of the episode probably has the most effectively eerie setup to a horrific moment. It just so happens that when Jackie’s cremation occurs, a massive gust of wind makes it so her body is preserved in a cooked state. I’m invested in the theory that the wilderness is alive and Lottie is connected. However, it’s not as fleshed out as why this is. The smell that wakes up the collective, Shauna consulting her belly to confirm what they should do, and the greek imagery of a feast is a lot to take in. It all precludes the animalistic ritual of the girls eating what’s left of Jackie’s body.
Coach Ben (Steven Krueger) has every right to look terrified. He’s weak, missing a limb, and could be slim pickings to be next if the collective decides to go after him. We must assume this is only one of the many dreadful things that happened on that island. No wonder the survivors are so messed up – this episode’s events are a literal point of no return for them. Even if you get rescued, there’s no way you can conceal this part of yourself.
Good for Misty (Christina Ricci) finding her match made in investigative heaven with Walter (Elijah Wood). The invisible ink bit seems like something Misty would do.