Yellowjackets season 2 episode 5 review and recap: "Reminds us who Misty really is"

Lauren Ambrose as Van in Yellowjackets season 2
(Image: © Showtime)

GamesRadar+ Verdict

This episode feels a lot like the destination the previous four have been leading to, albeit with plenty of rest stops along the way. The season's second act is about to kick off – but will it stick the landing?

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Warning: major spoilers for Yellowjackets season 2 episode 5 ahead!

One thing about Yellowjackets? It knows its target audience. Episode 5 treats us to a needle drop of 'What's Up?' by 4 Non Blondes (an '80s song that found recognition with a younger audience after its use in Netflix cult favorite Sense8) and a reference to The Watermelon Woman, Cheryl Dunye's cult classic Black lesbian drama, all within its first five minutes.

The song and the film recommendation are both small moments of adult Van (Lauren Ambrose)'s day-to-day life – or at least the life she was leading until Taissa (Tawny Cypress) crash-landed into her VHS store at the end of last week's episode. Ambrose is great as the adult version of Van, with her performance a seamless extension of Liv Hewson's teenage character. 

Taissa confides in Van about everything that happened to her in season 1 (building an altar in her basement, beheading the family dog – the usual stuff you catch up with an ex about) and she can't hide that she's terrified. We get a proper look at her sleepwalking self later in the episode when she kisses Van and tells her, "This isn't where we're supposed to be," a line that does threaten to veer us into Lost, "We have to go back" territory.

Elsewhere, there's trouble in citizen detective paradise as Walter (Elijah Wood) thinks Misty (Christina Ricci) is the one who murdered Adam, while it still seems like Walter is up to… something. The pair finally find Nat (Juliette Lewis) at Lottie (Simone Kessell)'s compound, but Nat sends them away – it looks like she still has unfinished business with Lottie. 

The biggest development in the '90s timeline is a temporal one – there's been a time jump of several weeks, if not months. It's still winter, but teen Shauna (Sophie Nélisse) is now visibly heavily pregnant, whereas she was barely showing in previous episodes. She's concerned that Lottie (Courtney Eaton) is "obsessed" with the baby, and seems equally concerned by a meditation-slash-prayer circle that Lottie has started to lead for the girls every morning. 

Meanwhile, the truth about what Misty (Samantha Hanratty) did with the plane's black box finally comes out – or at least it does to Crystal (Nuha Jes Izman), but she doesn't stick around long enough for it to spread any further. After she – understandably – reacts badly to Misty's confession, Misty threatens to kill Crystal if she tells anyone else. 

It doesn't come to that, though, as Crystal promptly falls off the rock face where they've been emptying the contents of the latrine bucket, a scene that serves to remind us of who Misty really is. Our introduction to her in season 1 was nothing short of chilling, after all – this is a woman who has a cell in her home and kills her patients at the nursing home. Her determination to save Nat and protect Shauna (Melanie Lynskey) in the present-day timeline has done a pretty good job of making us forget that, though.

Courtney Eaton as Lottie in Yellowjackets season 2

(Image credit: Showtime)

At the cabin, Javi (Luciano Leroux) isn't talking to anyone and won't tell them where he's been. That is, until Ben (Steven Krueger) finds a drawing Javi has made of a tree with long, winding roots and Javi tells him that his "friend" told him "not to come back." 

Back in the present day, John Paul Reynolds, charming in HBO Max's Search Party, is given less convincing material here as undercover cop 'Jay'. After spotting his real name on a receipt and doing a quick Google search, Shauna's daughter Callie (Sarah Desjardins) discovers that she's being hoodwinked, and tries to play him at his own game. 

This involves Shauna pretending to have an affair with everyone's favorite scapegoat, Randy – a plan that involves hiding out in a motel room and then leaving some, uh… evidence… in the bathroom trash can while police officers Kevyn (Alex Wyndham) and Jay stake out the parking lot. Unfortunately, Randy is unable to… produce… the evidence as a solo endeavor and, out of sight from Shauna, uses lotion to fill up the condom instead – which the police then find. 

Meanwhile, at Lottie's compound, Nat is reluctantly undergoing some experimental therapy at the behest of Lottie. We see a flashback of the last time Nat saw Travis alive – the pair were taking drugs and Nat accidentally overdosed. While she's passed out, she hallucinated a vision of the plane crash site, this time with no survivors, as the so-called "antler queen" (a term coined by fans to describe the mystery girl in season 1's opening ritual) walked down the aisle. Back in reality, Lottie sees the silhouette of a pair of antlers looming on the floor.

In typical Yellowjackets style, the episode ends with another bombshell – after getting lost in a sudden snowstorm with Taissa, Shauna goes into labor. Considering it's nothing short of a miracle that she's managed to carry a pregnancy to term in hostile conditions with no medical care, it looks like we're in for some pretty harrowing stuff next week. 

This episode feels a lot like the destination the previous four have been leading to, albeit with plenty of rest stops along the way. Now Taissa has reunited with Van, Shauna is about to give birth, and Misty has found Nat, the season's second act is about to kick off – but will it stick the landing? 

Yellowjackets season 2 releases weekly on Paramount Plus and Showtime – make sure you never miss an episode with our 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.