September 29, 2023

Gabbing Geek

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Yellowjackets “Old Wounds”

Season Two, Episode Four

Oh hey, another good casting choice for an adult member of the team as Lauren Ambrose pops up as Adult Van.  Ambrose’s career hasn’t been as good as some of her Six Feet Under costars, but I’m generally always glad to see her.

Granted, she doesn’t really do much here, but that works out fine for me.

Anyway, here’s why I love Yellowjackets:  Shauna feels she needs to tell her daughter Callie the truth about what happened to the dead guy.  Yes, Shauna confesses to murder.  But here’s what makes the moment work:  the joke with Shauna and Jeff is that they are two rather drab, dull, and ordinary sububanites.  Many of their scenes show Jeff is something of a dork and Shauna is frequently befuddled and socially awkward.  It’s hard to believe Shauna is even remotely dangerous, but of course, she survived in the wilderness for an unknown amount of time, and she has that dark past, so of course she could kill a man.  But the scene plays out where Shauna just tries to explain what happened.  And it is such a Shauna explanation, full of hems and haws as she tries to, basically, explain her plotline from season one in a way that sounds like she’s telling a newcomer to the series what happened when said newcomer has only seen a couple scenes.

Shauna believes this will bring Callie closer to her parents for some reason.  Jeff, on learning this, doesn’t believe it for a moment.  But then the amazing part happens:  it appears that Shauna was right.  Callie is actually being a considerate kid, and she told her parents the truth about what she’s been up to.

Then again, that seems to be a minor theme here:  Misty understands how to learn what she wants while her partner Walter, a man who won enough money from a lawsuit that he need never work again, seems to think Misty’s more upfront questioning of locals as the pair search for what neither is aware is Lottie’s cult won’t work.  But Misty’s methods do work, possibly because Misty is awesome, even though she hasn’t figured out she might have a thing for the squirrely guy with a metal plate in his head.

Basically, this is Yellowjackets, a show that jumps back and forth in time and tone, going from teenage years to adulthood while also going from gonzo crazy to deep exploration of psychological trauma, and all with a grace that a lot of lesser shows wish they could pull off.

Now, what’s Van been up to?  If she’s just been a barista all this time, I may be a little disappointed.