Yellowjackets episode 2 recap: What does that weird symbol mean?

Yellowjackets episode 2 doesn’t waste any time filling us in on what happens immediately after the plane crashes. Many passengers don’t make it, with at least one burning alive and another impaled by debris.

Jackie acts fast to save Shauna, who is still partially unconscious when they crash land in the forest. Before leaving the plane, Shauna notices Van (Liv Hewson) struggling to escape from her seat, flames licking aggressively at her back. She tries to save Van, but when the fire inches closer, Shauna convinces her to give up and save herself, a decision that will likely resonate as the season progresses.

Van somehow manages to survive and escape the plan despite Jackie urging Shauna to leave her behind, and Van isn’t going to forget what Jackie did anytime soon. To be fair, Jackie was just trying to save Shauna and had to make a split-second decision, and it doesn’t appear that she had malicious intent.

Yellowjackets episode 2 recap: Misty ruins everyone’s chance of being saved

The true star of this episode, at least in the past segment, is Misty. She’s the only girl there who appears to know anything about healthcare. Misty is the one who realizes Coach Ben’s (Steven Krueger) leg has to be amputated and doesn’t hesitate in chopping it off with an ax. She also takes care of his bandages and even cauterizes his wound in addition to helping others with slings and all kinds of injuries one would expect plane crash survivors to have.

In fact, Misty is so good at keeping everyone alive that even Van and Laura Lee (Jane Widdop) take notice. While taking a late-night bathroom break, Misty overhears them saying they all would have died without her. Considering the episode begins with a flashback to Misty answering a mean-spirited prank phone call from a girl named Becky, it’s clear that Misty is an outcast regularly tormented by the other girls in her class.

Yellowjackets episode 2

Samantha Hanratty as Teen Misty in YELLOWJACKETS EPISODE 2, “F Sharp”. Photo credit: Kailey Schwerman/SHOWTIME.

Now she’s in a setting where they all depend on her, and she’s thriving. In a particularly advantageous moment for Misty, she notices the flight recorder box nearby. The red light flashing indicates it’s working. The flight recorder is designed to record a plane’s operating data, so if there is a crash, the plane can be tracked and the crash site investigated.

In other words, that box is the only hope the girls have of being discovered in a timely manner. We know they don’t get rescued until 19 months later, and here’s why: Misty breaks open the box and rips out its insides, effectively stranding everyone in the forest.

Yellowjackets episode 2 recap: What does that mysterious symbol mean?

Present-day Natalie visits Misty to threaten her at gunpoint after receiving a postcard with a strange symbol. The symbol is directly related to whatever happened in the woods. One of the plane crash victims, the girl’s other coach, Coach Martinez (Carlos Sanz), fell out of an open plane door while still in freefall. He crashed landed in a tree, one of the branches impaling him.

When the coach’s son, Travis, sees this, Travis climbs to the top to rescue his father, resulting in the tree branch cracking and sending the coach plummeting to the forest floor. If there was any hope he was still alive after landing there, that hope disappeared the second the branch broke. But guess what was carved into the trunk of the tree? Yep, that weird symbol that keeps showing up everywhere.

yellowjackets episode 2

Juliette Lewis as Natalie in YELLOWJACKETS EPISODE 2, “F Sharp”. Photo credit: Kailey Schwerman/SHOWTIME.

Adult Natalie thinks that Misty sent her the postcard, but it turns out Misty got an identical copy. Taissa and Shauna got one, too. It’s highly plausible Misty could have sent it to herself, especially knowing the lengths she’ll go to feel important and needed, but for now, we’re left to believe someone else sent them all the postcards. How could someone know what that symbol means? Did one of them talk and reveal whatever secret it is they are keeping?

Natalie and Misty head to a local bar so Misty can show Natalie all the research she’s been doing into their situation over the years. She managed to track down Travis, who has gone to great lengths to keep himself hidden.

The mention of Travis clearly rattles Natalie. In the flashback sequences, we see Natalie try to reach out to Travis to help his brother, Javi, after the crash, and he tells her to mind her own business. It seems like they might have formed some kind of relationship during their time in the wilderness, enough that Natalie tries to call him episode ends with Natalie headed on a road trip to see him in person.

At least, she tries to leave, but her car won’t start. Misty conveniently shows up right as Natalie realizes she’s having engine trouble and offers to road trip with Natalie in her car instead. Obviously, Misty orchestrated the whole thing so Natalie would have to depend on her for a ride.

Yellowjackets episode 2 recap: Is Jeff having an affair?

Elsewhere in 2021, Shauna and her husband Jeff (Warren Cole)—yes, Shauna ended up marrying Jackie’s boyfriend, the same guy she cheated with behind Jackie’s back in high school—are having serious marriage troubles. They haven’t had sex in ages, and their therapist advises they try to fix that by revealing a fantasy to each other.

Melanie Lynskey as Shauna in YELLOWJACKETS EPISODE 2, “F Sharp”. Photo credit: Kailey Schwerman/SHOWTIME.

Jeff’s fantasy is a little bit of roleplay with Shauna playing a customer at his furniture store. It doesn’t sound all that sexy to me, but hey, whatever floats your boat, dude. Their first attempt goes poorly. But then Shauna catches another rabbit in the garden, viscerally skins it and cooks it into chili. Somehow a combination of that and flirting with a hot guy whose car she rear-ended gets her in the mood to give it another go.

This time, they actually make it to the bed. The pillow talk sours when Jeff goes to take a shower, and Shauna catches a text on his phone from someone named “Bianca,” asking Jeff to meet her in their “usual place” the following afternoon. It seems likely that Jeff is having an affair, which would give Shauna an opening to hook up with Adam (Peter Gadiot). Distracted by an argument with her daughter, Shauna hits Adam’s car with her clunky minivan. But Adam is charming and flirts with Shauna right away.

They exchange numbers, and Adam tells her to take her car to a local shop to get it fixed. When she never calls, Adam takes the initiative to call her first, revealing that he runs the shop and would fix her van for free—if she goes to dinner with him.

While a tempting offer, Shauna turns him down. It’s after rejecting him that she heats things up with Jeff again, and I doubt that is a coincidence. The preview for next week’s episode shows Shauna and Adam meeting up again. Will she take things to the next step?

(L-R): Aiden Stoxx as Sammy and Tawny Cypress as Taissa in YELLOWJACKETS EPISODE 2, “F Sharp”. Photo credit: Kailey Schwerman/SHOWTIME.

Yellowjackets episode 2 recap: What’s the deal with Taissa’s son?

The other main storyline in the present timeline centers on Taissa, her wife Simone (Rukiye Bernard) and her son Sammy (Aiden Stoxx). Sammy is struggling to make friends at school. At first, Taissa blows it off. She was a loner at his age, too, there is probably nothing to worry about.

But there is something strange about Sammy. For one, he likes to hang out in his room in complete darkness during the day, and Taissa notices that he’s papered his window with tons of disturbing drawings. Sammy claims that he did it to keep the woman from the tree outside his window from watching him.

Um, say what? Obviously, there is something weird going on regarding Sammy, and it probably somehow relates to whatever happened to Taissa in the woods.

New episodes of Yellowjackets air Sundays on Showtime.