REVIEW: ‘Yellowjackets,’ Season 2 Episode 7 — “Burial”

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Yellowjackets Season 2 Episode 7 — But Why Tho (1)

Despite a late-in-the-episode interlude that shows the adult, surviving members dancing and reminiscing, embracing as if not bonded together by violent wreckage, Yellowjackets Season 2 Episode 7 is unrelenting in its misery. With only two episodes left of the season, we watch as the characters in the past are driven by sheer desperation and animalistic instincts, as they succumb and/or encourage brutality as means of release.

From two team members (in the endless seeming cast of extras) suggesting that if Crystal/Kristin (Nuha Jes Izman) is actually dead, it wouldn’t be too bad — the first open endorsement of cannibalism, though they tack on that it would be a waste to the wilderness if they didn’t — to Lottie (Courtney Eaton) allowing Shauna (Sophie Nélisse) to beat her to a bloody pulp, granting catharsis, these girls and their games are losing the element of pretend. To survive, as hinted in the promo, they’re going to need to start being assertive to ensure they live another day.

Early in the episode, Van (Liv Hewson) confesses to needing a reason as to why she’s still alive, despite the wilderness trying its damndest to kill her at every option. Hewson is tremendous at the moment, delivering a soft, yet sturdy performance as someone losing their resolve to keep going in an environment that, by all accounts, wants them dead. It makes the later revelation that adult Van (Lauren Ambrose) has cancer all the more devastating, because by the time we’ve finally regrouped with her, her time is already on the way out, and we don’t yet know if she was ever given her reason or if she forever sought it out.

Ben (Steven Krueger) has a similar story, and his question of why he’s still alive leads him to contemplate suicide, though he begs that Misty (Samantha Hanratty) might give him a push. Standing on the same ledge that Crystal fell from, Misty anguishes over his question, berating him, threatening him, and, finally, collapsing into tears, overcome with grief at the possibility of failing to save another person. While Ben doesn’t know she’s responsible for Crystal, he was there as she tried with everything she had to keep Shauna’s baby alive, and something about her admission and fear backs him away from the drop. His being led to that point where he doesn’t care if the team devours him, and encourages Misty to out him once they’re saved, has been telegraphed all season.

We’ve watched as his past and present, two lives that failed to intersect due to his reluctance at accepting his sexuality, have increasingly blurred throughout the season. This was the culmination. While he may have been spared, Yellowjackets Season 2 Episode 7 hardly announces his safety. Instead, by stripping him of this decision, there’s a sense of dread that when he does meet his likely fate, it will be much crueler than what he’d had in store for himself.

Yellowjackets Season 2 Episode 7 — But Why Tho (1)

Because things aren’t looking up in the flashbacks, despite the snow letting up, allowing them outdoors following the blizzard that had locked them in. No matter how bad things have been, and how dire their circumstances have been the entire time, their starvation is being challenged by the continued winter as well as the constant tension within the cabin and the clear need for release.

It’s part of what makes the current-day scenario far-fetched. While there’s no doubt that seeing all of the adult versions of these characters finally together offers a bit of a thrill, it also comes across as fan service. No matter Natalie (Juliette Lewis) being at Lottie’s (Simone Kessell) camp for a week, it’s a swerve to force viewers to believe she’d be fully embedded in the self-care mysticism Lottie preaches.

Similarly, Shauna’s (Melanie Lynskey) breakdown isn’t earned, no matter the context of her losing her child in the previous episode. The scene of them dancing and swapping stories works because of the actress’s chemistry, not because it’s believable that any of them actually enjoys every one of the other.

It needed a bit more time or a bit more exploration into how they’re the only ones who understand what the others are going through. No one else will ever understand the evils they witnessed and acted on. The quick pace of the episode doesn’t earn their friendliness with one another, that hostility we see in the past needs to bleed a bit into the future to justify the moments of levity.

Yellowjackets Season 2 Episode 7, “Burial,” is yet another brutal and bizarre episode of television that leans into the experimental structure and character bits. With only two episodes left and the characters in the past and present both having been pressed up against a wall, the series is going to be forced to contend with unanswered questions while resolving storylines that have the chance of further muddying the narrative trajectory.

Yellowjackets Season 2 Episode 7 is available now to stream and airs Sundays on Showtime.

Yellowjackets Season 2 Episode 7 — “Burial”
  • 7/10
    Rating - 7/10


Yellowjackets Season 2 Episode 7, “Burial,” is yet another brutal and bizarre episode of television that leans into the experimental structure and character bits.

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