Warning: Spoilers for Yellowjackets season 2, episode 2, “Edible Complex,” written by Jonathan Lisco and directed by Ben Semanoff. The young stars — Jasmin Savoy Brown, Kevin Alves and others — break down what happened in the past timeline while speaking to ET’s Deidre Behar about the Showtime series.
Following a satisfying start to Yellowjackets season 2, which not only brought back Jackie (Ella Purnell) but also saw Shauna (Sophie Nélisse) eating her late best friend’s ear, the second episode took things even further as the series made good on a promise first teased in the season 1 premiere.
In the present, Tai (Tawny Cypress) navigates her uneasy relationship with her estranged wife, Simone (Rukiya Bernard), Nat (Juliette Lewis) finds herself trying to understand what’s going on with Lottie’s (Simone Kessell) cult, and Misty (Christina Ricci) starts getting messages from fellow citizen detective Walter (Elijah Wood).
But it’s in the past where things are getting really desperate as Van (Liv Hewson) struggles help Tai (Jasmin Savoy Brown) with her sleepwalking, Nat (Sophie Thatcher) and Travis (Kevin Alves) are unable to hunt down any animals or find any real signs of Javi (Luciano Leroux) and the group learns about Shauna’s “chats” with Jackie’s dead body.
Not only that, but the change in seasons continues to increase the challenges faced by the young survivors stranded in the wilderness. “Winter is the biggest threat and the biggest bully, definitely to Taissa,” Brown tells ET. “Like, it’s very much in the way of getting everyone out and getting everyone to safety and it really brings the mood down.”
What’s more, it’s creating “a pressure cooker,” Hewson says. “Like, not only are we all trapped here, but there literally are no animals for us to hunt. We cannot go outside because it’s too snowy… Not only are we estranged together, but we’re all estranged together in this one room.”
Eventually, the soccer team comes to a decision to cremate Jackie, whose frozen body has been sitting in the shed for two months. But instead of burning to ashes, Jackie gets covered in a pile of snow, turning her pyre into an outdoor oven.
Ultimately, everyone aside from Ben (Steven Krueger) decides to collectively eat the now-cooked body, with the scene jumping back and forth from the reality of the soccer team eating human flesh to their “Doomcoming” personas enjoying a decadent dinner. While the group seemingly enjoys their first real meal in months, Ben watches on in horror.
“It’s not so much an aversion to doing something practical to keep ourselves alive, it’s more he sees what comes over them and he is reacting to this kind of trance that they have entered,” Krueger says of his character’s apprehension. The actor adds that Ben “realizes that they are so far gone and he has lost control of this situation that he has no choice but to start to back away from the rest of the group and just figure out how to shift gears into his own survival mode.”
With the two versions of what the cast has dubbed, “Jackie Feast,” shot on two different days, Alves says there were “two very different vibes” on set. “The day that we’re out in the woods as a group, all dressed up — we’re clean for once on this show and it was so nice and it was just such a great day,” he shares.
While shooting “the banquet was fun,” filming with “the mannequin was not,” Hewson says of the prop that served as Jackie’s cooked body. Alves adds that “it was really hard to stay in it for very long.” “There was some emotional weirdness that crept up for a lot of us. There was also dry heaving. There was some, like, going away standing in a corner,” they reveal, with Brown confirming that there was some “real vomiting” on set.
“A couple of people actually did need a bucket,” Brown says, explaining that the mannequin was so life-like. “It was just so well done. Like, we have an amazing props department, an amazing effects [team] and they made that body look and smell and taste, I don’t know, so real.”
Even though they were eating jackfruit, it was still hard for some of them to stomach. One of the cast members who lost it on set was Sammi Hanratty (Misty). “I did throw up on set. It happened twice,” she admits, explaining that “there’s just moments where you’re like, ‘Yeah, this is all pretend…’ And then you’re like, ‘Oh my god. Like, it’s Ella.'”
“It just looked so real,” Nélisse adds, before revealing that “it was just so hard to disassociate. I mean, we were all doing it full out.”
As co-creators previously revealed to ET, the cannibalism on the series wasn’t going to be drawn out this season. “[After] winter hits, it’s sort of the apex of everything that we’ve seen building toward,” Ashley Lyle explained at the time. “I would love to reassure all our viewers that we’re not going to drag out cannibalism for five seasons. It is very much coming, but we want to make sure we get there the right way.”
Now that they’ve gone there, it’s a question of, what comes next? But the showrunner explains, it’s not just about seeing the remaining survivors feast upon one another. There will be consequences. “Some of the audience may think that it’s a slippery slope to that being where things go. But if you wake up from having done that, there’s also another way to go, which is that they can be filled with such self-incrimination and guilt,” Jonathan Lisco says.
“They can say, ‘We’re never doing it again, no matter what happens. We’ve broken that taboo but we’ll never do it again.’ And as the episodes proceed, you’ll see Natalie going off to hunt the moose. So, I think if they had their druthers, they would not be eating each other,” Lisco continues.
He adds, “It’s not merely that the seal has been broken.” But then again, “we know there’s Pit Girl,” Bart Nickerson says, teasing, “There’ll definitely be more cannibalism at some point.”
Yellowjackets season 2 airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Showtime, with episodes also available to stream early, starting Fridays on the Showtime app.
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