Darkly delicious survival thriller Yellowjackets is back – and fans are ‘screaming’

Yellowjackets season two poster

Spoilers ahead for Yellowjackets season two, episode one – “Friends, Romans, Countrymen”

Turbulent, twisted and trauma-filled, Yellowjackets is back with more stunning performances from leads Melanie Lynskey, Christina Ricci and Juliette Lewis, more gore and more knife-edge tension. 

The mesmerising thriller series returned on Friday (24 March) with a premiere that proves this Showtime hit is absolutely deserving of its 94 per cent fresh rating on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. 

Yellowjackets follows a high school soccer team on their way to a tournament when their plane crashes in the wilderness. It’s a contemporary, female Lord of the Flies, packed with body horror, unreliable narration, coming of age moments distorted through the lens of extreme circumstances and the ever-present threat of cannibalism.

Working on a split timeline, we switch between the 1996 crash and subsequent battle for survival, and the present day, where survivors including Shauna (Melanie Lynskey), Juliette Lewis’ addiction-beset Nat, newly minted state senator Taissa (Tawny Cypress)  and Christina Ricci’s adorable sociopath Misty, contend with blackmail, murder and the mental consequences of their trauma. 

Viewers are blessed with two excellent casts, one playing the teenage soccer team and the other embodying the adult incarnations of surviving characters. 

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Season one left us with a present-day cliffhanger, ending with Nat kidnapped in the middle of a suicide attempt and Taissa’s wife Simone finding a terrifying alter in their basement featuring their son’s doll, the head of family dog Biscuits and what appeared to be a bloody human heart. 

Fans have taken to Twitter to delight in the show’s return, with a first episode that gives viewers plenty to, er, chew on.

Season two’s premiere, “Friends, Romans, Countrymen”, introduces the adult version of Lottie, a marigold yellow-clad cult leader. From what we’ve seen of teenage Lottie in the wilderness, from putting a bear heart on a shrine to adding her own blood to tea for the two hunters of the group – Nat and Travis – this will surprise precisely no one. 

Lottie Matthews has already been dubbed “mother” by Twitter, and quite frankly, who are we to argue?

One fan was quick to point out the shudder-inducing meaning of the episode’s name, tweeting: “The title of the first episode of season 2 is damn clever – when you think about the next line in that quote, and what happens at the end of the ep.” 

“Friends, Romans, countrymen” is the first line of Mark Anthony’s famous speech in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. It continues: “Lend me your ears.” I’ll just leave that there. 

Yellowjackets ain’t short of sapphic overtones, and we were treated to a genuinely beautiful scene between teenage Taissa (Jasmin Savoy Brown) and Van (Liv Hewson) – what better way to say “I love you” that drawing it in blood on your girlfriend’s arm?

The iconic moment where Shauna’s husband Jeff headbangs in his car to Papa Roach’s “Last Resort” strikes us as enduringly meme-worthy – and surely had all the 80s and 90s kids among us “SCREAMING”.

And most importantly, we hope and pray that Biscuits’ (RIP) replacement Steve emerges unscathed.

Dare are we say it? This season is shaping up to be even better than the first. 

Yellowjackets is now streaming on Paramount+ and Showtime

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