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S01.E01: Pilot

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On the eve of a fateful flight, a championship high school girls soccer squad celebrates being a team by betraying one another. 25 years later, the survivors do their best imitations of well-adjusted people. Season premiere.

Official airdate: November 14, 2021 but the episode is now available streaming and on demand:

"SHOWTIME has released the premiere episode of its new survival drama YELLOWJACKETS for free sampling on streaming platforms and on demand. The episode is now available on Sho.com, Showtime.com and YouTube, as well as across multiple SHOWTIME partner platforms."

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Ooooo, this is some deliciously creepy Gen X girl jock Lord of the Flies weirdness and the soundtrack is hitting every one of my nostalgia buttons. Such a great cast! And while I could kind of guess what was coming a lot of the time, there were still some curveballs, like Shauna's husband.

Guess that freshman's broken leg ended up being very lucky for her.

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So, is this at all inspired by the real life plane that went down in the Andes back in the 1970’s, carrying a rugby team who also resorted to cannibalism to survive? They made a movie about it called Alive. 
 

Loved the pilot. Can’t wait for more episodes!

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I'm amused that now we have two currently-running shows about teen girls crash-landing in the wilderness and doing crazy stuff. Flashback structure aside, though, this is very different from The Wilds (which seems more geared towards teens, is set on a tropical island, is entirely contemporary, and has a conspiracy bent). I like the structure (has any adult casting been kept from us, or are these truly the only survivors, I wonder?) and I'm intrigued by the idea that mousy, chipper Misty somehow became the group's new leader and a frankly scary adult. I'll definitely keep watching.

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I came here to see how it is.  So….y’all liked it?  I tried, but couldn’t get past about 15 mins.  It just seemed dull and silly.   I suppose I’ll give it another try.   

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So I'm guessing Ella Purcell's character, Jackie, doesn't make it back alive since I can't find any reference to an actress playing adult Jackie.

So far I'm in for the long haul.

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I liked it, mainly because of the 90s nostalgia (I was a HS senior in 1996) and the amazing cast. 

I'm curious as to what deep, dark secret they're trying to hide. It's not like survival cannibalism is unheard of, so I can't imagine that reveal would mess up their whole lives.

The only issue I have so far is it's pretty obvious which girls live and which die based on who does/doesn't have an adult counterpart. I'm still interested in the journey though. 

Was Shauna's husband Jackie's former boyfriend?

Edited by BitterApple
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3 hours ago, BitterApple said:

I'm curious as to what deep, dark secret they're trying to hide. It's not like survival cannibalism is unheard of, so I can't imagine that reveal would mess up their whole lives.

Well, it appeared from the opening that one girl may have been murdered so they could eat her. (We might find out there's a different explanation as the season goes on, but it certainly seemed in the opening that she was fearful, she was fleeing from someone or something, and she fell into a pit someone must have dug and set stakes in.) Eating people who are already dead, like the real-life soccer team in the Andes did, is one thing. Murdering people in order to eat them is quite another.

Speaking of that girl, there seemed to be only one girl on the team who had hair like that who isn't confirmed alive in the present day, the rich one whose father provided the private plane.

One more thought - I wasn't expecting to see a couple of boys on the plane. The coach, sure. It is...convenient...that the guys are all dead. Maybe our little Lady of the Fireflies group decided to kill any surviving males for food first.

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The only issue I have so far is it's pretty obvious which girls live and which die based on who does/doesn't have an adult counterpart. I'm still interested in the journey though. 

I expect at least one surprise reveal based on Taissa's comment that there had been no sign of any of "the others" for months. She was talking to Shauna, and she'd already name-checked Natalie, whose whereabouts she did semi-know ("rehab" - but apparently not that she just got out). Misty is one woman, so there's at least one more woman out there.

I like that we've come far enough in TV that lesbian tropes can actually be used to fool viewers now. I didn't realize until right after Jackie left the car that Shauna was actually interested in Jeff, not her - in other words, about fifteen seconds before the onscreen reveal.

Given Taissa and Shauna's fight as girls, it was really interesting to see the two of them teamed up at the end.

So Misty wasn't being stupid/clueless when she pressed something against Allie's broken leg to "stop the bleeding," she was engaging her sadistic tendencies. Given those tendencies, and Natalie watching her, it seems like Natalie may feel that Misty was an instigator for whatever happened after the plane crash.

ETA: Forgot to mention, in the strange and fucked-up category, Shauna seemed to be masturbating in her daughter's bedroom to the picture of her daughter's boyfriend. Um...anybody have any thoughts on that?

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This looks like it is going to be equal parts  Lord of The Flies, Alive and Big Little Lies.      Maybe even I Know What You Did Last Summer with those creepy postcards.  What did the girls while do to  survive and what price did it pay on them years later?  

These are (mostly) teenage girls so who knows what they did.  We already see that some of them are capable of outright viciousness.  And I don’t believe for a second that busting up the freshman’s leg was an accident.    But then she turns out to be the lucky one.

I am guessing a lot of alliances are going to be made and broken and those dumb team building exercise are just going to completely fall apart before the season is done.

Edited by Chaos Theory
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Someone on a different forum noticed the medication the maid gave Lottie was an anti-psychotic, so yeah, I think things are going to get very interesting. You have Misty, who's sadistic, Taissa who has no problem using aggression to get a desired outcome and a girl with mental illness who's about to be off her meds. I'm thinking they're going to split into two groups, similar to Lord of the Flies.

And speaking of Shauna and Jackie, did anyone else think that baby comment Shauna made while banging Jeff was foreshadowing? I noticed adult Shauna had two kids, based on her pictures, but it was hard to tell the age of the one who wasn't featured.

Edited by BitterApple
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5 minutes ago, BitterApple said:

And speaking of Shauna and Jackie, did anyone else think that baby comment Shauna made while banging Jeff was foreshadowing? I noticed adult Shauna had two kids, based on her pictures, but it was hard to tell the age of the one who wasn't featured.

Yeah, I did kind of think that. Like maybe when she and Jeff reunite after she is rescued, she gets pregnant then and he marries her. It was what, 19 months that they were out in the wilderness? So it can't be her pregnant beforehand.

Which pictures are you referring to? The two I remember are the two that were shown right after the reveal of Shauna/Jeff, one their wedding picture and one present-day one with them with their daughter. I didn't realize there was a picture that confirmed her having a second child. It's odd not to include both children in the formal studio portrait that's hanging next to the wedding picture.

Is Lottie the rich girl whose dad provided the plane? I never caught that girl's name.

In the list of girls with issues would be that other girl who slapped her (drunk?) mom awake. Laura Lee will either be a lamb led to slaughter early on, too good, too pure for whatever happens, or her religious faith will become twisted into something cult-like.

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My line of thought is Shauna gets pregnant from their tryst in the car, and either gives birth in the woods or miscarries. If it's the former and the baby dies, I can see Jeff later marrying her out of guilt, thus sowing the seed for what is clearly an unhappy union. I'll have to rewatch the clip of the family pictures though, maybe I mistook Shauna for a second kid. For some reason I thought there were two daughters. 

Lottie is the rich girl, yes.

Edited by BitterApple
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1 hour ago, BitterApple said:

I'll have to rewatch the clip of the family pictures though, maybe I mistook Shauna for a second kid. For some reason I thought there were two daughters. 

Ah, no. It is Shauna. But I can see how it'd be easy to get confused because the arrangement for the photo is a bit unusual. For a couple with one child I'd expect the adults to be on one level, flanking their child on a lower level. Instead Jeff is sitting while his wife and daughter stand and flank him.

But maybe the daughter wasn't the first time Shauna got pregnant, or maybe Shauna and Jeff did just date for a little while, get married, and then have their daughter. (But I agree the bit in the car felt like foreshadowing.) The U.S. Weekly cover said it was the 25th anniversary - I don't know if that's the 25th anniversary of the plane crash or the 25th anniversary of when they were rescued 19 months later, but either way the daughter is too young to have been born shortly after the rescue. She had a prom picture in her room, so she's 18 at most.

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So  my spouse and I both watched this first ep and we have the same question... when they show the imagery of the meat cooking on the fire and then ultimately hands tentatively reaching for chunks of meat, at times we see what looks like animal skins and horns being worn by the people around the fire. Why? Obviously they're suggesting cannabalism  took place. Did they have the ability to hunt and kill  animals at times during the 19 months they were stranded? possibly just not in the dead of winter when the ground was covered in snow and ice?

Is this some deep artsy thing I  haven't  studied film making enough to fully comprehend and they're just imagining their animal nature? 🤔

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Judging from the footage of the plane going down - like that one poor girl who wasn't belted in getting flung all over the place - there should be a few dead human bodies already. But the weather is clear right now, unlike in Alive, where the people who died were frozen in the snow and thus preserved for the point when surviving members started to consider cannibalism. So I'm curious whether the girls will immediately think of cannibalism - it'll be Misty's idea, probably, if they do - or if that's something for down the road. If they don't do it immediately the bodies from the plane crash will spoil.

The point about snow and ice is a good one; they might have been hunting animals, and only eating people who had died already, but then turned to murderous cannibalism.

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On 11/8/2021 at 9:53 PM, Cranberry said:

I'm amused that now we have two currently-running shows about teen girls crash-landing in the wilderness and doing crazy stuff.

I thought the same thing, its interesting seeing the differences between this show and The Wilds and their similarities. Similar premises but seem to be executed in different ways. Especially as the girls here were lost for a lot longer, to the point of starting their own Wickerman cannibal cult. I really liked the first episode, I love that 90s soccer girl energy turned dark, I am very intrigued by what all went down. We already know some of the main characters who will survive but I am guessing they will keep a lot of the adult cast under wraps for awhile to keep up tension about who survives in the woods and who doesn't. So we get creepiness, drama, some dark humor, and sweet sweet 90s nostalgia. 

That freshman who's leg was busted really owes the girl who took her out a bouquet of flowers or something, that was the luckiest injury ever. 

I saw some of the twists coming, but not who Shauna's husband was, I wonder if she did end up getting pregnant? Could a baby have survived out there? Did they end up married because of mutual guilt? So we pretty much know that cannibalism went down, but it seems like some other things happened which the survivors really want to be kept secret. My first guess is that they went all Lord of the Flies and started murdering people for meat, but they could add on something else. 

I read an interview with the showrunner about how she came up with the idea for the show when she was reading commentary from people reacting to a proposed all female movie version of Lord of the Flies, people were saying that they didn't buy it because they thought girls wouldn't be as vicious as boys in that sort of situation. I am guessing this show is going to very much disprove that. 

Team manager Missy gives me real Jeanette from Cruel Summer vibes and if you've seen that show 

Spoiler

you know she's someone to keep an eye on. You know her kill count is going to get high.

 

Edited by tennisgurl
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I just rewatched the diner meeting between Taissa and Shauna. A couple things I didn't really think about before:

1) Shauna says she couldn't find anything about that reporter when googling. So maybe she's not a reporter? Could she be connected to one of the dead people and that's why she's looking into this?

2) That moment when Shauna touches Taissa's hand - I originally read it as platonic friendliness, but looking at Taissa's reaction and then the way Shauna removes her hand again when she sees the reaction, it feels more like there was a hook-up or actual relationship between them at some point in the past. Hmm. Maybe Jackie really was the one Shauna had a thing for, not Jeff, and the stuff with Jeff came out of that in some weird twisted way.

I like, by the way, that Jackie is not written as a saint even though she's something of a moral leader. When the girls were talking about whether to ice out the freshman player, one mentioned that Jackie wouldn't like it. And she got the team to reconcile with each other after they were all fighting. But at the same time, she's kinda terrible to Shauna, negging her quite a bit, and I noticed when she was supposed to say something nice about Shauna, it was how Shauna had always been there for her, demonstrating a teen's typical self-absorption. But at the same time, I'm sure she does care about Shauna. I appreciate the complexity of the characterizations, both with Jackie and the others.

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Agree 100% about Jackie. She has some good moments (sneaking Shauna the valium, loaning her the good luck charm, diffusing the fight at the party) but there's also times when the privileged princess comes out. For example, when Jackie told Shauna that Randy liked her and Shauna got snippy about it. Jackie said something like, "Just thought you'd want to know someone was interested," in a tone that implied the boys aren't exactly beating down Shauna's door. Also, when Jackie insisted Jeff drive her home first, even though Shauna's house was closer. Both girls had curfews, but clearly Shauna's wasn't as important as Jackie's. You can definitely see the Marcia/Jan Brady dynamic between the two, and it makes you wonder how those little resentments will play out in the wild. 

 

Edited by BitterApple
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Just started watching and love the show!

Spoiler

I’m rewatching the pilot now and they show the girl in the pit with a heart necklace, the same as Jackie is wearing in the bathroom mirror after her hookup. 

 

Edited by MCMLXXVII
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I just rewatched this too, and realized that the smoking, wine-drinking woman being interviewed at the very beginning has to be adult Allie. She says she'll never forget when she heard the plane went missing and that it could have been her - it's darkly hilarious on a rewatch realizing that that's Allie! The actress really made use of her five seconds of screentime.

When I first watched this, I totally thought Taissa took Allie out on purpose. But now, while obviously she did trip Allie intentionally, I don't think she intended to break Allie's leg. Right before that happened, Allie did some soccer move right and Taissa was like, finally. I think she just felt that if she was rough on Allie it would make her toughen up and have a breakthrough.

Shauna was lying to Jackie about a lot. Jackie thought they were going to room together at Rutgers, but Shauna had already applied for and gotten early admission to Brown. I wonder why she ends up not going. I can't imagine Brown retracting her admission under the circumstances. First, horrible optics. Second, colleges love "unique" stories.

There was a lot of tension within the head coach's family. The older brother, Travis, is cold to the younger brother, which maybe isn't that unusual for brothers at those ages, but I also noticed that when the head coach tried to kiss his wife goodbye she wasn't really having it. I think the alleged reporter is linked to that family.

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I don't know why it took me a second rewatch to realize it, but there's loser adult Randy (right after adult Allie), hinting that he had had sex with any of the Yellowjackets. As if.

Also, adult Shauna said that a bunch of her friends died, and then the rest starved and scavenged and prayed for 19 months. So does that mean the cover story is that all of the dead people died in the plane crash?

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I always have a hard time with these shows who have numerous characters at various ages to keep everyone straight but they have done a pretty good job with casting.

My biggest gripe however is how the description states "who survive a plane crash deep in the Ontario wilderness." Cut to them crashing with giant peaked mountains in the background. No. Ontario is on the Canadian shield... there are not mountains like that here. It's obvious they are filming on the west coast and given the show is them flying from east to west coast, I don't know why they couldn't have chosen literally anywhere in the actual Rockies. 

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Yeah, I am impressed at how the show managed to cast a bunch of different-looking girls. I had trouble keeping them straight initially, but only because there were so many girls, not because some looked similar. I am terrible at facial recognition.

I think there was too much air traffic over the Rockies, even in 1996, for anybody to believe they could go 19 months without being found. Also, I just realized there was extra significance to that comment about how they were going to fly further north than planned to avoid a storm system. I bet the pilots didn't file an amended flight plan and that's one reason it took so long for the plane to be found; they were supposed to be flying somewhere over the Rockies and so that's where all the search efforts got directed. And the storm system would focus their attention there: "Oh, the plane must have run into trouble in that storm system!" I'll take your point about that not being how the Ontario wilderness looks; I guess we'll have to chalk it up to creative license. It looks great.

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2 hours ago, weightyghost said:

My biggest gripe however is how the description states "who survive a plane crash deep in the Ontario wilderness" 

Yikes. That's like filming Little House on the Prairie in the Alps. 😁

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Weighing in, the first episode of any series for me is always a 'tester' to see if it kicks in and I watch the whole series. 

About this one "OH YEAH BABY!" 

I liked the show on Freeform about the missing girl, and Yellowjackets is just close enough, and it's cable, so it's going to be gritty. Melanie Lynskey can do no wrong. With Juliette Lewis & Christina Ricci onboard, it's gonna be GOOD.

Save me a seat.

I love when first episodes have a whole lot in them that doesn't seem to make sense, and lots that I can't get a grip on. The watching of subsequent episodes where everything starts falling into place is a great feeling. 

Edited by TVMovieBuff
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Late to the party, initially wasn't sure if I was in the mood for something so dark but one has to break up the monotony of reality TV with something so...

On 12/5/2021 at 12:13 PM, TVMovieBuff said:

I love when first episodes have a whole lot in them that doesn't seem to make sense, and lots that I can't get a grip on. The watching of subsequent episodes where everything starts falling into place is a great feeling. 

Same, I watched it twice. When the reporter visits Shauna and motions toward the celeb gossip rag in her grocery bag, doesn't the woman on the cover looked like a grownup Jackie?

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On 12/6/2021 at 6:00 PM, snarts said:

Late to the party, initially wasn't sure if I was in the mood for something so dark but one has to break up the monotony of reality TV with something so...

Same, I watched it twice. When the reporter visits Shauna and motions toward the celeb gossip rag in her grocery bag, doesn't the woman on the cover looked like a grownup Jackie?

I thought that too! Especially since they made a point of showing how much adult Shauna's life sucks and of course Teen Queen Jackie gets a fairy tale wedding on a tabloid cover. Both the quick flash of the cover girl and Jackie remind me of Susan Sarandon and her daughter who is also an actress.

 

ETA: I mean that's what I thought when I first saw the scene. I don't necessarily think that now. They might have just been showing the cover inset that shows the anniversary of plane crash with the caption, where are they now?

Edited by Tatum
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On 12/8/2021 at 2:57 PM, Tatum said:

ETA: I mean that's what I thought when I first saw the scene. I don't necessarily think that now. They might have just been showing the cover inset that shows the anniversary of plane crash with the caption, where are they now?

It is what I first thought as well! It was only on the rewatch that I realized that it was the cover inset they wanted to show, not the "Married!" main cover with a wedding photo.

I also realized afterwards that the "Married!" couple with the obviously-made-available-to-press wedding shot couldn't be Jackie (or another Yellowjacket), because Shauna mentions to Taissa during the diner conversation that they had agreed to stay out of the public eye, and then mentions seeing Taissa on TV. Jackie being famous enough that a magazine would put her wedding on the cover, and her giving the magazine a wedding photo for the cover, would certainly rate more complaints/discussion from Shauna than what Tai is doing.

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On 11/22/2021 at 6:16 PM, Bulldog said:

Were the only people commenting those who had never met a teenage girl before? 

I thought the same thing, when I heard about it a few years ago. I saw it all over twitter, and a friend agreed with me. They never went to high school? I dropped out, because it could be brutal.

I was going to wait to binge instead, but this afternoon, I was just curious. So, Juliette Lewis is going to get revenge for the others? And, if Jackie makes a habit of sharing her good luck charm, she could have loaned it to someone else, since they were in danger from the others. I kept thinking that she was dead, though. 

It took me a while to recognize Christina Ricci. 

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I'm not blown away, but this was interesting enough. I'll watch a few more episodes.

On 11/15/2021 at 1:23 AM, BitterApple said:

I'm curious as to what deep, dark secret they're trying to hide. It's not like survival cannibalism is unheard of, so I can't imagine that reveal would mess up their whole lives.

Yeah, but usually they would eat people who were already dead. Seems to me like these girls hunted some of their teammates...

Which would be murder, which has no statute of limitation.

On 11/15/2021 at 1:23 AM, BitterApple said:

The only issue I have so far is it's pretty obvious which girls live and which die based on who does/doesn't have an adult counterpart. I'm still interested in the journey though. 

The adults mentioned that there were some other women lying low. So there might be some surprise survivors in the second half of the season.

I would have said second season, but I'm not sure how you could stretch this premise to a second season. Although producers always seem to find a super unsatisfiying and immensely contrived way to do it anyway...

On 11/15/2021 at 4:49 PM, BitterApple said:

Someone on a different forum

What forum? I'm always looking for some TV discussion forums, there don't seem to be many around anymore these days.

On 11/19/2021 at 11:37 AM, T Summer said:

Did they have the ability to hunt and kill  animals at times during the 19 months they were stranded? possibly just not in the dead of winter when the ground was covered in snow and ice?

They'd have to. There weren't enough girls to eat, to survive 19 months. I assume there was just a very lean time where they to resort to canibalism.

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Rewatching the pilot, and noticed it's interesting how the coach tells Jackie that he made her captain because she has "influence" (which seems to mean she's the most popular, basically). He says this is important because " When things get tough out there, those girls are gonna need     
someone to guide them." He asks if she can handle that and she iirc nods but looks understandably unsure because what does that even mean?

But right after they face their first crisis when Ali's leg is broken. Misty runs up and tries to play doctor, of course. 

Jackie seems to be the person the furthest away from Ali. She doesn't go over to her, she stares from a safe distance and looks horrified. She later comes into the locker room and tries to give a pep talk, but it falls flat and even comes across as a bit dumb. Shauna handles things pretty well, calming Ali and telling her to hold her hand.

Later at the party Jackie does stop the fight between the girls. To Jackie ir probably feels like she's fulfilling the coach's words there at last, using her influence to guide the girls when they lose their way. And she is--but it's also showing us exactly where Jackie and her influence works best. Nobody knows it yet, but when things "get tough out there" it's going to be on the level of the Ali injury and not only was Jackie less good at handling that, her reaction was to remove herself from it and then deny the reality of it.

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