DISCLAIMER: This recap of Yellowjackets Season 2 Episode 4, “Old Wounds,” contains spoilers. Proceed at your peril. 

Welcome back to The Wilderness, acolytes. “Old Wounds” embraces the theme of opening old wounds formed in the wilderness in the present day. For example, Lottie’s visions return, sending her spiraling. Taissa seeks out Van, who works at a video rental store. We know there was a falling out between them. Presumably, Lottie is the divider. Shauna reopens a relatively fresh (but older) wound when she tells Callie about killing Adam. You could say she even revisits her time in the wilderness as she mentions that the Yellowjackets did things they regretted. 

“Old Wounds” is a slower episode, action-wise, but significant character moments will yield fruit in the coming episodes. Additionally, we see the skeletal antlers in multiple spots in this episode, including in Paul’s home in Ben’s daydream and on the cover of the book he’s reading. Of course, there are two major reveals toward the outing’s end. 

Ready to delve into “Old Wounds”? Let’s get to it. 

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We open with teen Taissa (Jasmin Savoy Brown) finding another symbol on a tree during a sleepwalking episode. Van (Liv Hewson) follows her again. Van insists that something innate with Taissa knows about the trees. Perhaps if they chatted with Lottie, she could unlock whatever’s dwelling, potentially supernatural, within Taissa. Tai refuses, as she’s stalwartly against Lottie’s “magic.” As Tai walks back to the cabin, Van pulls out a map she created that documents the location of the symbol trees in the wilderness. They may or may not form an intriguing shape. 

Meanwhile, in the present, adult Taissa (Tawny Cypress) sleepwalks through the late Jessica Roberts’ apartment. She grabs a folder marked “Yellowjackets” and departs. Then, Tai wakes miles away in the middle of nowhere with an empty gas tank. She gets out and starts walking. (Side note: this week’s episode contains an Alanis Morissette version of the theme song. It’s glorious.) Next, Shauna (Melanie Lynskey) and Jeff (Warren Kole) have breakfast. Jeff is suspicious regarding the inexplicable return of their minivan. Shauna claims it was found on the side of the road. Maybe in Alternate Universe Land. Jeff reveals that the police know about Shauna’s affair. That could complicate things.

Lottie sits in the snow in front of an altar and slices her hand in Yellowjackets Season 2 Episode 4, "Old Wounds."

Courtney Eaton as Teen Lottie in YELLOWJACKETS, Season 2 Episode 4, “Old Wounds.” Photo Credit: Colin Bentley/SHOWTIME.

Callie (Sarah Desjardins) enters the kitchen and states her intention to spend the night at her friend Alana’s house before departing. Natalie (Juliette Lewis) observes quietly while Lottie (Simone Kessell) dresses to leave the compound. Lottie tells Nat she’s heading to the bank, but Nat doesn’t look like she believes her. Nat asks for the keys to Lottie’s cabinet as she plans to accompany Lisa to the Farmer’s Market instead of Todd. Lottie obliges. Misty (Christina Ricci) calls Taissa again with no response. Walter (Elijah Wood) reassures her that Tai or Shauna haven’t been kidnapped. Walter further persuades Misty to trust him and understand he doesn’t care that she’s a Yellowjacket. They blast some show tunes. 

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The episode cleverly segues into a wilderness sequence, featuring teen Misty (Samantha Hanratty) and Crystal (Nuha Jes Izman) belting out “Rainbow Tour” from Evita. And adult Misty just claimed she loathes musicals. To quote the legendary Cher Horowitz: “As if.” Teen Shauna (Sophie Nélisse) barges into the cabin from the meat shed, confronting the crew. She accuses one of them of taking additional shares of the bear meat. If anyone should be indulging a bit more, it’s the pregnant teen, aka her. Nobody ‘fesses up. Mari (Alexa Barajas) pins the blame on Ben (Steven Krueger), who reminds everyone that he can’t easily maneuver his crutches in the snow. 

Ben finally asks what we’re all thinking: Will they eventually eat him? Mari approaches him, looking aggressive, which makes me believe she would consider eating him if he died before them. Then, Mari pivots, hoisting the blame onto Natalie (Sophie Thatcher). Nat reminds them that she and Travis (Kevin Alves) are the only ones out there legitimately hunting for food. It’s not their fault that the game is gone. Mari and Van are thoroughly Team Lottie. They try to persuade the naysayers (Taissa, Nat) that she’s why they’ve had food thus far. Lottie (Courtney Eaton) looks uncomfortable. Nat proposes they conduct a contest: Nat versus Lottie. They’ll see who returns with food.

Shauna leans against the front of her minivan while standing outside in Yellowjackets Season 2 Episode 4, "Old Wounds."

Melanie Lynskey as Shauna in YELLOWJACKETS, Season 2 Episode 4, “Old Wounds.” Photo Credit: Colin Bentley/SHOWTIME.

Later, adult Nat and Lisa (Nicole Maines) drive to the Farmer’s Market. Nat questions anything and everything about Lottie’s (or “Charlotte’s”) quaint compound. Lisa reveals she was initially a nonbeliever until she changed her attitude. Nat apologizes again for stabbing Lisa, which the latter accepts. Meanwhile, Lottie attends a session with a psychiatrist. She’s been seeing one every six months for a decade. Lottie wants to increase the dosage of her medication because she’s experiencing visions again. This psychiatrist asks Lottie to look inward. Examine the message these visions are trying to impart. However, Lottie’s convinced they aren’t real. Ergo, they mean nothing. 

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Next, teen Nat and Lottie scatter in separate directions while Misty oversees the competition. Nat has the gun at her disposal, while Lottie is only armed with a knife. Lottie encounters a tree with the symbol. Nat stumbles upon some animal tracks in the snow and follows them. In the present, Shauna runs into Alana’s mother, where she learns that Callie hasn’t stayed over in a long time. This prompts Shauna to rummage through her daughter’s room for proof of her lies. She finds Adam Martin’s burned driver’s license in Callie’s desk drawer. Uh-oh. 

Shauna catches Callie walking on the sidewalk and urges her daughter to join her for an impromptu adventure. Where are they going? Shauna has no idea, but she’s along for the ride. Then, we see Misty and Walter sitting in a diner. Misty wants to ask about the cult; however, Walter would rather refrain from asking so they can remain undercover. We learn that Walter doesn’t have a job because he won six million dollars in a lawsuit from an accident. It’s a miracle he survived — he needed a metal plate surgically planted into his head. Eventually, Misty asks their waitress about the “purple people.” The waitress informs them about the cult selling honey at the Farmer’s Market every Tuesday. Oh, Misty. Ever to the point. 

Travis and Taissa sit in the cabin while Akilah stands behind them in Yellowjackets Season 2 Episode 4, "Old Wounds."

(L-R): Kevin Alves as Teen Travis, Nia Sondaya as Teen Akilah and Jasmin Savoy Brown as Teen Taissa in YELLOWJACKETS, Season 2 Episode 4, “Old Wounds.” Photo Credit: Colin Bentley/SHOWTIME.

Later, a trucker stops for Taissa after he spots her walking along the side of the road. This could get icky. The truck driver claims he voted for her, so perhaps it’ll pan out okay? Taissa climbs in as he gives her a ride. In the wilderness, the teens wait for Nat and Lottie to return. Mari hears the dripping noise again. She begs Akilah (Nia Sondaya), who’s studying for the SATs she’ll have to take when they’re rescued, to help her search for the source of the dripping. Akilah heads into the pantry and finds an adorable mouse, which she pockets. Here’s hoping she doesn’t have to eat him. 

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Lottie finds a tree stump altar in the snow. She cuts her hand, allowing her blood to drip over said altar. Nat finds something surprising underneath the ice on the lake. In the present, Lisa stops at her mother Sybill’s (Jenn Griffin) house. She wants to visit her fish, the 14th Gilly. Nat accompanies her. Even though “Charlotte” doesn’t forbid them from seeing their family, she’s not a fan of it. Inside, Sybill’s not convinced of her daughter’s happiness. Lisa claims she no longer takes medication and has everything under control. Sybill is still incredulous. 

Meanwhile, Shauna stops the van in the middle of nowhere. She confronts Callie regarding her lies, while Callie hurls that same accusation at her mother. Callie asks Shauna if she murdered Adam. Shauna explains she killed Adam because she thought he was blackmailing the Yellowjackets. As it turns out, he wasn’t — Jeff was blackmailing them. Callie, overwhelmed, doesn’t know what to think. Shauna reveals the Yellowjackets did awful things they regret in the wilderness. She’s not ready to talk about that yet, but perhaps she will someday. Callie appears understanding. 

Misty and Walter sit at a table in a restaurant in Yellowjackets Season 2 Episode 4, "Old Wounds."

(L-R): Christina Ricci as Misty and Elijah Wood as Walter in YELLOWJACKETS, Season 2 Episode 4, “Old Wounds.” Photo Credit: Kailey Schwerman/SHOWTIME.

Then, teen Van and Taissa look over the map the former created. We see the symbol tree positions make a gigantic shape of the said symbol in the wilderness. Taissa claims she doesn’t see it. Van asks Tai to help her find the next symbol tree location. Ben attempts to read The Magus by John Fowles. You know, the book about a man who suffers from psychological illusions courtesy of a trickster. Even the cover showcases an animal skeleton with antlers. Hmm.

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Ben daydreams about a what-could-have-been moment with Paul (François Arnaud), where he finds a photo album of pics of Paul with his ex. Paul insists Ben must have boxes full of past exes and events chronicling his life. Ben claims he doesn’t. I’m assuming, as a closeted man, he probably hasn’t had that many boyfriends. These daydreams, Ben imagining what might’ve happened had he stayed home, are heartbreaking.

Adult Nat eavesdrops on Lisa’s argument with her mother. Sybill doesn’t think Lisa can take care of herself, let alone her fish. Nat barges in and urges Sybill to butt out. She doesn’t care about Lisa. Sybill storms out. Before Lisa and Nat depart, Nat spits the 14th Gilly into a water bottle. Aw. Nat’s stealing fish for people now. Meanwhile, Misty and Walter learn the purple people cult is at the Farmer’s Market in the next town. Walter suggests they stay the night in a bed and breakfast before continuing their search. 

Misty, Crystal and Mari stand outside in the snow in Yellowjackets Season 2 Episode 4, "Old Wounds."

(L-R): Steven Krueger as Ben Scott, Samantha Hanratty as Teen Misty, Nuha Jes Izman as Teen Crystal and Alexa Barajas as Teen Mari in YELLOWJACKETS, Season 2 Episode 4, “Old Wounds.” Photo Credit: Colin Bentley/SHOWTIME.

Teen Nat bursts into the cabin to reveal she found a moose frozen in the lake. She needs help pulling it out. A group follows her outside to assist. Mari insists they should stay put until Lottie returns. They’re breaking the rules of the competition. Well, guess what? They don’t want to starve, so … too bad. Lottie is bleeding profusely from her hand. She stumbles through the snow until she spots the plane Laura Lee flew. She even finds Laura Lee’s teddy bear in the passenger seat and her cross necklace atop a metal hatch. Lottie opens it to discover a ladder that descends into a tunnel. 

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After descending the ladder, Lottie enters an elevator that opens on a mall. She finds the Yellowjackets eating in the food court, including Laura Lee (Jane Widdop). Laura Lee and the others encourage Lottie to eat. I love that there’s an alternate version of the theme song playing here. This scene is reminiscent of when Jackie froze to death — her imagining her friends are there to comfort her. Laura Lee encourages Lottie to wake up and keep going before she, too, freezes to death. We see snowflakes falling around them in the mall. Laura Lee urges Lottie to “go,” pushing her down. Lottie is now lying in the snow, barely conscious. 

Nat, Travis and the others fight tooth and nail to pull the moose carcass out of the frozen lake. Unfortunately, it slips through their collective grasp and sinks further into the depths, out of their reach. Nat sobs in Travis’s arms. In the present, adult Nat and Lisa sit and chat in a bar. The 14th Gilly chills in a pitcher of water. The women discuss their respective suicide attempts and whether they want to keep living. Both agreed to continue on, with Nat even brushing aside her shot. Misty and Walter check into separate hotel rooms. We see just how alike they are as they execute their routines onscreen. It’s cute how similar they are. 

Javi stands outside in the snow while covered in a blanket in Yellowjackets Season 2 Episode 4, "Old Wounds."

Luciano Leroux as Javi in YELLOWJACKETS, Season 2 Episode 4, “Old Wounds.” Photo Credit: Kailey Schwerman/SHOWTIME.

Next, Jeff and Shauna apologize to each other. Shauna reveals that she told Callie everything, much to Jeff’s shock. They made Callie an accomplice now. Callie enters the kitchen and asks if she can help prepare dinner. She legitimately wants to be there. Hmm. In 1996, Shauna draws a hot bath for Nat. Suddenly, Mari and the others bring Lottie inside. Nat gets out of the tub and helps Lottie in it so she can warm up. Nat also bandages Lottie’s hand. The pair mend fences. I’ll be curious to see how their relationship potentially evolves (then nosedives) in the coming months. 

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Later, adult Lottie sifts through her daily affirmations to lift her spirits. She finds, or, rather, hallucinates, a Queen of Hearts card among the stack of post-its with the eyes scratched out. It appears repeatedly. I think it’s related to the Antler Queen or a divine being Lottie might serve. Why? Because directly after this moment, she heads outside to a tree stump and runs a blade across the palm of her hand. As the blood trickles down, Lottie tearfully asks, “Can this just be enough? Please?” 

Then, in the wilderness, Taissa and Van search for the symbol tree. Taissa spots a person looming a few feet away from them. Van and Tai start chasing this person, knocking them to the ground. We see it’s none other than Javi (Luciano Leroux). Holy moly! In the present, Nat puffs on a cigarette while watching Lisa show off her fish to her friends. She glances at Lottie’s office and ponders whether she should open the cabinet. Teen Van and Taissa bring Javi back to the cabin, much to the shock and joy of those within. Lottie was right. Travis embraces his baby brother. Javi appears to be shell-shocked, as he doesn’t say a word. 

Adult Van stands behind the counter in her video rental store in Yellowjackets Season 2 Episode 4, "Old Wounds."

Lauren Ambrose as Van in YELLOWJACKETS, Season 2 Episode 4, “Old Wounds.” Photo Credit: Kailey Schwerman/SHOWTIME.

Next, the truck driver drops adult Taissa off in an unfamiliar town. She spots a video rental place called “While You Were Streaming,” a fun play on the film While You Were Sleeping. The board outside bears the quote, “This is my costume. I’m a homicidal maniac. They look just like everyone else.” It’s a quote from none other than Wednesday Addams, played by Christina Ricci. I love this nod to her. Tai heads inside, where we meet adult Van (Lauren Ambrose). Van’s shocked to see Tai. As we know, the alternate version of Tai wanted her to track down Van. 

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Adult Van is finally here! I’m excited to see Lauren Ambrose take on the older version of this character. Perhaps we’ll learn more about how and why she and Taissa fell out. Fun fact: if you recall from Season 1, there’s a scene where Van recounts the plot of While You Were Sleeping. Now, it’s the inspiration for her business. 

Javi’s return will undoubtedly sow the seeds of discord between Travis and Nat since she lied to him. I love Christina Ricci and Elijah Wood’s chemistry. Misty and Walter are adorable, and I dig how the creative team filmed their parallel scene. Lottie’s hypothermia dream sequence in the mall is so damn clever. I love when this series steps into Fantastical Land. 

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

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