Yellowjackets season 2 episode 4 review and recap: "We're back in business"

Courtney Eaton in Yellowjackets season 2 episode 4
(Image: © Showtime)

GamesRadar+ Verdict

After last week's episode seemed to threaten a gear change from charged current to distracted meander, we're back in business in the latest installment of the Showtime thriller.

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After last week's episode seemed to threaten a gear change from charged current to distracted meander, we're back in business in the latest installment of the Showtime thriller. Before we get properly into Yellowjackets season 2 episode 4, though, be warned: there are major spoilers for the episode below, so turn back now if you haven't seen the episode yet!

This week, we open with Taissa (Jasmin Savoy Brown) sleepwalking in the wilderness, and Van (Liv Hewson) loyally following her. Taissa leads her to another one of those mysterious symbols carved into a tree and Van is adamant that she talks to Lottie (Courtney Eaton) about what they've found, believing that their teammate will be able to decipher what the woods are trying to tell them. 

Meanwhile, present-day Tai (Tawny Cypress) is also sleepwalking. While her 21st Century storyline has been moving at a somewhat glacial pace, we're finally getting somewhere this week – after leaving her hospitalized wife's bedside at the end of episode 3, she wakes up in the middle of nowhere with her car out of gas and a file labeled 'Yellowjackets' on the passenger seat. Prior to making the trip, we see flashbacks of her sleepwalking self breaking into Jessica Roberts' house after trying to contact her as she left the hospital last week. Remember Jessica the private investigator from season 1? Well, she had intel on all the Yellowjackets, and this file, which includes a bunch of addresses and other personal information, seemingly belonged to her. 

Elsewhere, Misty (Christina Ricci) and Walter (Elijah Wood) set off on their road trip to try and find Nat (Juliette Lewis) and the "purple people". We're sensing a bit of a spark here – could romance could be bubbling under the surface for these two? But, also, is Walter everything he seems? This week, he reveals that he's a multimillionaire after suing a scaffolding company whose structure collapsed on him and caused damage to his skull. Millionaire who lives on a boat? It's all looking a bit villainous to us, Walter, sorry. 

Back in the '90s, tensions are rising in the cabin as the girls' food supply continues to dwindle (come on, gals, could we not have saved some of Jackie for later?), as Shauna accuses someone of stealing some of their bear meat and Ben voices his discomfort at the bacchanal-esque events in episode 2 for the first time. Mari (Alexa Barajas) blames Nat, the group's designated hunter, for their lack of food, and says Lottie has been more successful at feeding them. Like several of the other girls, Mari seems wholly convinced that Lottie is in possession of some kind of special, supernatural abilities. In order to settle the matter, Lottie and Nat are both sent out alone to see who can return with something to eat.

Alexa Barajas in Yellowjackets season 2

(Image credit: Showtime)

Meanwhile, in the present day, adult Lottie (Simone Kessell) is secretly seeking medical help and requesting an increase in her medication dosage to tackle her visions that have returned for the first time in "decades". When her therapist asks her what she thinks they mean, she replies that she doesn't think they mean anything because "they're not real" – it seems that being put on a pedestal as some kind of oracle by the other survivors might have left its scars. The show is doing a great job of slowly peeling back the layers of Lottie's present-day iteration, and it's clear we're still just scratching the surface of her character.

Shauna (Melanie Lynskey) tells her daughter Callie (Sarah Desjardins) that she killed Adam and that Jeff (Warren Kole) was also involved. Callie, though, has also been lying – she says she's been hanging out with a "friend" after school, but that friend is undercover police officer Jay (John Paul Reynolds) who's trying to get intel on Adam's disappearance. With more carefully crafted character work, we can see adult Shauna's behavior becoming outwardly erratic – while it may have been obvious to us, as viewers, for a while now, present-day Shauna's selfishness and recklessness are becoming more apparent to those around her. By telling Callie the truth, she's made her an accomplice, and Jeff (understandably) isn't happy.

Back in the wilderness, Lottie is up to her usual shenanigans and slices her hand to drip some blood onto a tree stump – the same stump that she used as an altar for the bear's heart in season 1. With the cold getting to her, she starts to hallucinate and thinks she's found the plane that Laura Lee attempted to escape in last season. Entering the plane, things get a bit trippy as she then descends a ladder that takes her into an elevator, which in turn takes her to a shopping mall where she finds her teammates (Laura Lee included) sharing a meal in the food court. 

Meanwhile, Van has drawn up a map of the symbol-inscribed trees found by Taissa. When all the points on the map are joined up, they form one large symbol – but there's one missing, and Van is determined to find it. A reluctant Taissa eventually agrees to accompany her, and they find more than they bargained for: Travis' (Kevin Alves) younger brother Javi (Luciano Leroux) is in the woods, somehow alive and well, despite being missing for weeks. Lottie has been saying that Javi was alive from episode 1, so Mari and co. are quick to praise her for her foresight, as Yellowjackets season 2 continues to do a great job of fleshing out the dynamics within the group and revealing how Lottie became the leader that she is today. Just how Javi stayed alive in the cold that nearly killed Lottie after only a few hours, however, remains to be seen.

And, if one bombshell to end the episode wasn't enough, we get another one for good measure in the present-day timeline. We finally see where Taissa was attempting to get to as the truck drops her off outside a VHS store in a small town – because who should be working behind the counter but Van, whose adult appearance in the show has been highly anticipated ever since Lauren Ambrose's casting was announced. With Tai and Van's reunion sure to be an emotional one, we can't wait for episode 5.

New episodes of Yellowjackets are released every Friday on Paramount Plus – make sure you stay up to date with our handy Yellowjackets season 2 release schedule.

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Entertainment Writer

I’m an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering everything film and TV-related across the Total Film and SFX sections. I help bring you all the latest news and also the occasional feature too. I’ve previously written for publications like HuffPost and i-D after getting my NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism.