DISCLAIMER: This recap of Yellowjackets Season 2 Episode 2, “Edible Complex,” contains spoilers. Proceed at your peril! 

Welcome back to The Wilderness, acolytes. “Edible Complex” finds the teens hitting a point of no return. The episode, as a whole, leans into the show’s intrinsic horror sensibilities, and it’s damn glorious. This outing is easily one of Yellowjackets‘ best. We’ve got nuanced performances across the board, a character introduction, much-needed answers regarding Travis’s death, narrative developments for both timelines and the c-word. No, not that one. Cannibalism

Ready to delve into “Edible Complex”? Let’s get to it. 

RELATED: Yellowjackets Season Premiere Recap: (S02E01) Friends, Romans, Countrymen

We open with Shauna (Sophie Nélisse) standing in the meat shed, noting how little the group has left before they starve. Jackie (Ella Purnell) appears, and Shauna chats with her. Jackie remarks on the dwindling rations. Shauna insists Natalie and Travis will find game out in the snowy wilderness. Then, Jackie addresses the ear-lephant in the room: What on earth did Shauna do with her ear? Shauna claims she merely pocketed it to bury later, but Jackie knows better. 

Walter pushes his mother, who's in a wheelchair, around a nursing home in Yellowjackets Season 2 Episode 2, "Edible Complex."

(L-R): Elijah Wood as Walter, Betty Jackson as Walter’s Mother and Laura Mac as Lynette in YELLOWJACKETS, “Edible Complex,” Season 2 Episode 2. Photo Credit: Kailey Schwerman/SHOWTIME.

Jackie asks Shauna to braid her hair to conceal her missing ear. They reminisce about old times. Nothing’s wrong here! Meanwhile, Misty (Samantha Hanratty) and Crystal (Nuha Jes Izman) give Mari (Alexa Barajas) sh*t for overcooking their meal. Mari rolls her eyes, commenting that there are “two of them now.” Taissa (Jasmin Savoy Brown) believes it’s high time they drag Shauna out of that meat shed. She’s seven months pregnant and talking to a frozen corpse. Lottie (Courtney Eaton) urges Taissa to refrain from acting out because Shauna is grieving. 

Next, Taissa notices someone has taken a dump in the pee bucket. Ew. She asks the culprit to ‘fess up. Everyone sits in silence. Fed up, Taissa ventures into the freezing woods to dispose of the waste herself. In the meat shed, Jackie asks Shauna to do her makeup. We see Jackie’s makeup container materialize, seemingly out of nowhere. Shauna does as she’s asked. Jackie procures a blade and begins cutting the flesh from her forearm. She knows Shauna ate her ear and that the latter’s ravenous. She has a baby to feed, after all. Jackie encourages her to, you know, eat her, and not the fun kind. Suddenly, the knife winds up in Shauna’s hand. The editing and sequencing in this scene are brilliant. 

RELATED: Browse our Underrated Horror Movie of the Month archives!

Later, Callie (Sarah Desjardins) puffs on her vape while sitting in bed with Kyle (Khobe Clarke). She launches into a teenage angst-riddled monologue about her parents and ends the speech by breaking up with Kyle. Sorry, Kyle’s mom, Callie will take those pancakes to go. Then, in 1996, we see Van (Liv Hewson) notice Taissa broke free of the rope binding her to Van. Van races outside in the cold and runs through the wilderness. Taissa is sleepwalking, following the enigmatic No-Eyed Man. What’s his deal?

Adult Lottie wears a yellow silk dress with a purple kimono while looking pensive in Yellowjackets Season 2 Episode 2, "Edible Complex."

Simone Kessell as Lottie in YELLOWJACKETS, “Edible Complex,” Season 2 Episode 2. Photo Credit: Kailey Schwerman/SHOWTIME.

Anyway, Van saves Taissa before she walks off a cliff. Thankfully, Taissa wakes after that close call. Yeesh. Side note: notice that damn symbol on the tree next to Taissa? They return to the cabin, and Van holds her girlfriend close. 

Next, in the present, adult Taissa (Tawny Cypress) downs espresso shot after espresso shot to stay awake. She exercises and keeps active. At one point, Taissa sits in front of her three-way mirror. While her head’s down, we see the reflection in the center mirror lift her head and face Taissa with a sinister look on her face. It’s like something out of a horror movie. In 1996, Taissa chops wood with the others and watches members of the Yellowjackets chat with Lottie. Natalie (Sophie Thatcher) observes while Travis (Kevin Alves) engages in conversation with Lottie. 

Then, Nat and Travis embark on their daily hunting trips to find food. Travis is all in on whatever Lottie’s selling. He believes the drinks she offers him and Nat with her blood are symbolic. Nat wants to search for game in one direction, while Travis insists they’ve already explored that area. They part ways, with Nat coordinating a meeting place where they’ll regroup later. 

RELATED: Movie Review: Scream 6

In the present, adult Lottie (Simone Kessell) and Nat (Juliette Lewis) talk about the latter’s “cult.” Well, according to Lottie, it’s not a cult. Lottie reveals her followers only kidnapped Nat to save her from herself. After Travis died, Lottie had them keep tabs on Nat to ensure she stayed safe. Meanwhile, adult Shauna (Melanie Lynskey) tries to convince Callie to join her on a girls’ trip to the mall (how very ’90s of her). Callie reveals she’s going to hang out with Kyle … even though they broke up. 

Adult Misty (Christina Ricci) calls Taissa to ask why she and Shauna dropped off the radar. She opens the Citizen Detectives site to ask for advice regarding how to hack a vintage security camera. One user, @PuttingtheSicinForensics, who she’s been battling online lately, reveals he has an answer. However, she must stop sh*tting all over his Adam Martin theories. 

Simone and Taissa sit in a car while talking in Yellowjackets Season 2 Episode 2, "Edible Complex."

(L-R): Rukiye Bernard as Simone and Tawny Cypress as Taissa in YELLOWJACKETS, “Edible Complex,” Season 2 Episode 2. Photo Credit: Kailey Schwerman/SHOWTIME.

Then, teen Taissa confronts Shauna about her trips to the meat shed after she finds Jackie’s frozen corpse with makeup on and braided hair. Taissa airs Shauna’s secret to the whole cabin. Everyone looks at Shauna, aghast, while Lottie defends her. Taissa insists they must burn the corpse. Shauna has to stop this for the sake of her unborn baby. 

RELATED: Browse our Horror With a Side of Cheese archives!

Kevyn (Alex Wyndham) stops by Shauna’s house to question her regarding Adam. Shauna reveals they got in a fender bender and exchanged insurance info, but that was the extent of their interactions. Kevyn informs her about the texts they found on Adam’s phone. Shauna makes a paltry excuse, to which Callie presses her mother to hurry it up so they can go to the mall. After Kevyn departs, Callie asks Shauna why she lied to a detective. Shauna claims she did it to protect Jeff, but we know better. 

Taissa finds Sammy (Aiden Stoxx) at her place, playing with Steve the Pup. She calls Simone (Rukiya Bernard) and informs her of Sam’s arrival, claiming he visited her of his own accord. Simone leaves to pick up her son while Taissa sends Sam to his room to hang with Steve. Meanwhile, Misty’s at work, monitoring the Citizen Detectives page to see if @PuttingtheSicinForensics responded. Suddenly, a man named Walter (Elijah Wood) arrives with his mother, who’s in a wheelchair. He pummels the nurse caring for his mother with incessant questions. When he passes Misty, he grins. Misty finds a letter addressed to her inside the refrigerator next to her lunch. Hmm. Methinks this is her new friend. 

Travis puts his hands on Lottie's arms while looking desperate in Yellowjackets Season 2 Episode 2, "Edible Complex."

(L-R): Andres Soto as Travis and Simone Kessell as Lottie in YELLOWJACKETS, “Edible Complex,” Season 2 Episode 2. Photo Credit: Kailey Schwerman/SHOWTIME.

Later, teen Nat brings bloodied and torn cargo shorts to Travis to prove Javi is dead. We see her pull said shorts from Javi’s luggage. She slices her leg and rubs the open wound all over them. Nat lies to Travis to prevent him from continuing to search for his little brother. While I know she thinks it’s a lost cause, it’s not cool to lie to someone when the potential death of a loved one is involved. He sobs in her arms. 

RELATED: Catch up on the murder, mystery and mayhem with our Wednesday recaps!

Next, adult Lottie tells Nat the story of Travis’s death. She claims he reached out to her. We see a flashback sequence featuring adult Travis (Andres Soto) and Lottie. Travis was losing his grip on reality. He claimed the wilderness had come back to haunt him. Travis also stated the only way to confront the darkness was to get as close to death as possible. He remarked about what Van and Lottie saw when they tangoed with death — their visions. Lottie placed her hand on his chest and helped regulate his breathing. She told Travis he was trapped in trauma’s grip. 

Lottie stayed with him that night, but he left once she fell asleep. Oh, and according to Lottie, he believes Nat’s presence would’ve worsened the situation. Lottie found the note he wrote to Nat and instructions to access his bank account. Lottie arrived at the ranch where Travis worked to find he lit candles as if to perform a ritual. Travis’s objective was to hang himself until he passed out so he could “talk to it.” He persuaded Lottie to monitor him. Once he lost consciousness, Lottie planned to bring him down. 

Lottie, Shauna and Taissa stand in front of Jackie's funeral pyre while looking sad in Yellowjackets Season 2 Episode 2, "Edible Complex."

(L-R): Courtney Eaton as Teen Lottie, Sophie Nélisse as Teen Shauna and Jasmin Savoy Brown as Teen Taissa in YELLOWJACKETS, “Edible Complex,” Season 2 Episode 2. Photo Credit: Kailey Schwerman/SHOWTIME.

Unfortunately, the buttons on the crane stopped working. Lottie couldn’t figure out how to lower him. While Lottie struggled to lower the crane, she heard a familiar voice: “Put your faith in him, your guiding light.” Laura Lee (Jane Widdop) emerged from the shadows, dragging her teddy bear horror-movie-style. Lottie turned her focus on Laura Lee, and the crane behind her slowly lifted Travis’s body further up. Laura Lee’s face distorted and grayed, morphing into a bona fide monster. Visions inflicted Lottie’s mind a mile a minute, visions of her falling into the water after her baptism and Laura Lee burning in the plane explosion. 

RELATED: Nope: The Subversion of Spectacle 

After hearing Lottie’s story, Nat vows to exact her revenge against the latter. She believes Lottie will receive her comeuppance. Lottie urges Nat to rest, not-so-subtly hinting that she’s stuck here. In the present, Simone and Taissa realize Sammy’s missing. They see the window open in his room. The pair hop into Taissa’s vehicle to search for their son.

Next, in 1996, the girls carry Jackie’s corpse from the meat shed. Van and the others muse whether they should take Jackie’s letterman’s jacket for warmth. Shauna vehemently declares that nobody should touch Jackie’s clothes. Lottie takes off Jackie’s necklace and returns it to Shauna. You know, the one pit girl dons in the pilot episode. 

The teens wear Grecian clothing while sitting at a table and surrounded by candles in the wilderness in Yellowjackets Season 2 Episode 2, "Edible Complex."

(L-R): Sophie Thatcher as Teen Natalie, Courtney Eaton as Teen Lottie and Jasmin Savoy Brown as Teen Taissa in YELLOWJACKETS, “Edible Complex,” Season 2 Episode 2. Photo Credit: Kailey Schwerman/SHOWTIME.

Later, Callie chats up a guy named Jay (John Reynolds), who is eyeing her from across the bar. They commiserate with each other over their parents and crossword puzzles. Sparks seem to fly. Meanwhile, teen Shauna bids farewell to Jackie before the crew lights her funeral pyre. Shauna delivers a heartbreaking ode to her best friend while everyone mourns with her. 

RELATED: GGA’s Favorite Scream Queens

Adult Nat tries to sleep in her new quarters at Lottie’s not-cult. When she lies down, Nat’s plagued with a vision of law enforcement shining a flashlight and placing a breathing mask over, presumably, her face. Nat shoots up like a rocket, panicked by the vision. Meanwhile, Misty reads the letter from Walter, who invites her to interrogate a man who’s been living at the motel for three months. Said man believes the FBI is after him. Oh, and that security camera outside the motel? It’s a dummy. Interesting. 

Then, we see Callie’s boy pal Jay is named Matt, and he’s a detective who works with Kevyn. Kevyn didn’t ask Matt to tail Callie or go undercover, but the latter is a bit of a wildcard. Matt mentions what he heard from Callie about her mother having an affair. Chances are that affair was with Adam Martin. Matt believes they have enough to pin this on Shauna. However, Kevyn wants to take things slowly and gather more evidence before they bring her in. 

Ben stands in the cabin with the door open, revealing the teens crowded around a fire in the snow in Yellowjackets Season 2 Episode 2, "Edible Complex."

Steven Krueger as Ben Scott in YELLOWJACKETS, “Edible Complex,” Season 2 Episode 2. Photo Credit: Kailey Schwerman/SHOWTIME.

Next, teen Nat and Travis start making out, which leads to sex. While they’re having sex, Travis keeps seeing Lottie with them. A bright light surrounds her. Sometimes, Travis glows with that light. Other times, it illuminates Nat. At one point, Lottie cradles him. It’s a f*cked-up spiritual threesome. Outside, a gust of wind knocks snow out of the trees, falling on top of Jackie’s corpse as it burns. 

RELATED: Kurt Wimmer and Kate Moyer Talk Bringing Children of the Corn to Life

In the present, Taissa and Simone receive a call from Sammy’s school. We learn he never left school. He’s been waiting for Simone to pick him up for two hours. Simone urges Taissa to get help. She’s experiencing some kind of psychotic breakdown. Taissa’s facial expressions shift to that sinister look from the three-way mirror reflection. Suddenly, a car crashes into them. Uh-oh. 

Meanwhile, in the wilderness, the teens smell something cooking. It’s Jackie! They find her corpse is charred to a crisp. Everyone surrounds the smoking pyre. Shauna claims, “she wants us to.” The scene transforms into an ethereal dinner party in a glittering forest, with our teens donning Grecian clothing with elaborate hairstyles. A sumptuous feast lies on a table before them. Complemented by Radiohead’s “Climbing Up the Walls,” we see the gang descend upon Jackie’s corpse, ripping it to shreds. This display intercuts with the Grecian dinner party, where they engorge strawberries and other delicacies — you know, not human flesh. Admittedly, this song is perfect for this sequence.

The teens stand in the snowy wilderness while looking at something off camera in Yellowjackets Season 2 Episode 2, "Edible Complex."

(L-R): Nuha Jes Izman as Teen Crystal, Samantha Hanratty as Teen Misty, Alexa Barajas as Teen Mari, Sophie Nélisse as Teen Shauna, Courtney Eaton as Teen Lottie, Nia Sondaya as Teen Akilah, Sophie Thatcher as Teen Natalie, Jasmin Savoy Brown as Teen Taissa, Steven Krueger as Ben Scott and Liv Hewson as Teen Van in YELLOWJACKETS Season 2 Episode 2, “Edible Complex.” Photo Credit: Kailey Schwerman/SHOWTIME.

Ben (Steven Kreuger) watches the horrific scene from a distance before heading inside the cabin. He shuts the door. Holy motherforking shirtballs. 

RELATED: Every Nightmare on Elm Street Film, Ranked

Phew, what an ending. Season 2 is even weirder and more macabre than its predecessor. The gloves are off, and Yellowjackets isn’t messing around. The editing in this episode is seamless and so well done, cleverly weaving together the separate narratives. Sometimes, by utilizing certain characters as tie-ins, which is brilliant. The end sequence is one of the best I’ve seen on TV in a hot minute. Jaw-dropping. Despite knowing we’d embark down the cannibalism route, it still shocked me to see it unfold. 

Sophie Nélisse has already gone above and beyond on the acting front, and we’re only two episodes in. She deserves every praise directed her way, as does the rest of this talented cast. Tawny Cypress continues to wow me with every scene. She goes full-on horror queen here. 

I love that we’re seeing the seeds of discord blossoming between the teens, from the pee bucket incident to whether they should take Jackie’s clothes. Lottie’s presence affects everyone and divides the believers from the nonbelievers. Sometimes, religion and trauma go hand-in-hand. 

Do you think Travis will find out about Nat’s lie? Will he find evidence that Javi’s alive? Will Lottie’s influence further divide the group into two factions? Is Ben not long for this world since he no longer has authority over the girls? Will Shauna and Jeff kill Kevyn? Only time (and more episodes) will tell. 

Yellowjackets streams new episodes every Friday on the Showtime app, and if you bundle Paramount+ with Showtime. You can also catch their cable network airings every Sunday at 9 pm on Showtime

Every Friday the 13th Movie, Ranked

Melody McCune
Follow me!