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‘Yellowjackets’ Season 2 Blog: Episode Five ‘Two Truths and a Lie’ (2023) [SPOILERS]

After being introduced to grown-up Van (Lauren Ambrose) in the final seconds of last week’s episode, Two Truths and a Lie rewinds the action slightly. Jumping back to the start of the day, the opening quickly gets the audience acquainted with the older version of everyone’s favourite wolf attack survivor. Van now runs a VHS rental store that is steeped in eighties and nineties nostalgia. The reunion of Taissa (Tawny Cypress) and Van is one that fans have been yearning for, but it’s one that is met with an abrupt halt as Taissa immediately faints. 

Yellowjackets Two Truths and a Lie
(L-R): Christina Ricci as Misty and Elijah Wood as Walter in YELLOWJACKETS Season 2. Photo Credit: Kailey Schwerman/SHOWTIME.

In the past, Tai (Jasmin Savoy Brown) and Van (Liv Hewson) are still very much together. Keen to keep Van happy, Taissa is now a reluctant member of ‘team Lottie’. Each morning Lottie (Courtney Eaton) and her followers meet, form a circle, and perform a kind of group meditation. After Javi’s miraculous return was attributed to Lottie’s abilities, her number has grown, the circle now consisting of Mari (Alexa Barajas), Travis (Kevin Alves), Akilah (Nia Sondaya), Crystal (Nuha Jes Izman), and Misty (Samantha Hanratty), as well as Van and Tai. Both Shauna (Sophie Nélisse) and Nat (Sophie Thatcher) remain outside of the circle. Nat is wrestling with the fallout of her estrangement from former beau Travis, and Shauna is simply trying to keep some distance between herself and Lottie. This appears wise as Lottie seems to have become a tad fixated on Shauna’s unborn baby, announcing that it will be a boy. 

Back in the present, Shauna’s teenage daughter, Callie (Sarah Desjardins), is still hanging out with the older ‘Jay’ (John Reynolds) who is actually undercover detective Matt, one half of the team investigating the disappearance of artist Adam. He is using Callie for information about her mother and thanks to Callie’s former revelation that Shauna has been having an affair, he’s keen to keep her close. Matt isn’t keen enough to cross the line with Callie though, and after she makes a move on him, he quickly excuses himself. While he’s away, Callie discovers his real identity and demonstrating the same quick thinking as her mother, she tries to throw Matt off of the scent by giving Matt the name of Shauna’s lover. Callie names her dad’s (Warren Kole) best friend Randy (Riley Baron). Upon hearing the news, Shauna is less than thrilled to hear that Randy was Callie’s choice, but the family unit sees a chance to throw Matt and Kevyn off the scent for good.

In a sea of bleakness, the Sadecki family continue to be the humorous heart of Yellowjackets. Their escapades in Two Truths and a Lie is the perfect balm to all the terror creeping in elsewhere. The plan to trick the detectives is nothing short of comedy gold, the sequence allowing Lynsky the opportunity to show both sides of Shauna. Upon arrival at Randy’s motel room, Shauna enters and immediately orders him to pleasure himself in the bathroom. His reticence and confusion is met with the scary Shauana still angry about his involvement in the failed blackmail attempt. The interplay between the pair is wickedly funny, but the end results are going to cause problems. Randy is unable to perform for himself and decides to cheat, filling up a condom with motel lotion. His ruse is quickly rumbled by Matt however as he and Kevin sneak into the room after the deed is done. Now knowing that Randy is a red herring, and that Callie tried to trick them, they appear to be close to discovering Shauna’s murderous secret. Surely one of the primary Yellowjackets isn’t going to end up behind bars? 

After his surprise return during episode four, the teens are trying to uncover just where Javi (Luciano Leroux) has been. He has been out in the wilderness for months, but has somehow survived. Or has he? During their latest interrogation, one of the group remarks, “maybe he did die and that’s his ghost.” It’s a flippant comment, but one that, from what we’ve seen thus far in Yellowjackets, could have an element of truth to it. One person sitting out the inquisition is Travis. The girls resent this, believing his brother to be his responsibility, but Travis is still too angry to help. He blames Natalie for his brother’s condition, telling her that maybe he would be okay if they had found him sooner and not given up after discovering her faked death site. 

The disintegration of Travis and Natalie’s relationship continues to be one of the more bitter pills to swallow. Thanks to the present day narrative, the audience knows that Nat and Travis eventually reconcile as friends, but that information doesn’t stop their journey being any less painful to watch. Seeing them connect last season was one of the sweeter moments and as much of season two is highlighting, no one gets their happy ending in Yellowjackets. 

Yellowjackets Two Truths and a Lie
Nuha Jes Izman as Teen Crystal in “Two Truths and a Lie”. Photo Credit: Kailey Schwerman/SHOWTIME.

There is a breakthrough concerning Javi later on in the episode, but rather than speak with his brother, the boy opts to speak to Coach Ben (Steven Krueger). Poor Ben is still trying to keep himself to himself and Javi’s words may make the growing distance drift further. Javi doesn’t say much, just, “she told me not to come back.” When pressed by Ben who told him that, Javi simply replies with “a friend.” Has one of the girls been purposely keeping him away, perhaps supplying him with the bear meat – whose stock was revealed to have been dipped into last episode. Or could the ‘she’ he refers to be the glimpsed Antler Queen? Up until now most may have assumed that Lottie ascended that throne, but could their identity be someone, or something more sinister. 

Misty’s (Christina Ricci) past plays into her present in a big way during Two Truths and a Lie. After initially rebuffing Walter’s (Elijah Wood) attempts to connect, the highly-strung Yellowjacket appears to be softening toward him. Walter then quickly ruins it with a game of two truths and a lie. He intends it to be a harmless way to pass the time as they travel to Lottie’s (Simone Kessell) compound, and also an opportunity to get to know one another better. He doesn’t seem to understand the premise of the game though, sharing three truths. This method appears to irritate Misty, but her story in the past reveals that Walter is actually inadvertently triggering bad memories. 

A teen who has always been on the outside of the group, it has been lovely to see Misty and Crystal become friends this season. Through the snatches of conversation that the audience have heard so far, Crystal seems like a perfect match for Misty, the younger girl reflecting Misty’s strangeness and then some. However, as with many female adolescent friendships, their bubble has now burst. Misty agrees to accompany Crystal on the dreaded poo bucket trip, a chore that takes them to the end of a very high cliff. Along the way the pair decide to deepen their bond by sharing their biggest secrets with one another. Crystal begins by telling Misty that Crystal isn’t even her name, it’s Kristen. She was misheard during her initial introduction at the school and has never been brave enough to correct anyone. It’s a sad story, but one that spurs Misty to reveal her own.  

As the two arrive at their destination, Misty drops the bomb that she had found and destroyed the plane’s black box the night after their crash. Poor Misty is under the delusion that Crystal will understand her reasons – finally being liked and wanted by the others – but this secret is too much for their friendship to handle. Crystal is rightly horrified, Misty immediately realises her mistake, but the damage is done. Desperate to maintain her secret (and perhaps fearing ending up on the dinner table), Misty pleads with her former friend. The younger girl is too scared to process what is being said, and being afraid of the malice that Misty possesses she starts to back up until she suddenly falls off of the edge of the cliff. It’s a tragic accident, but one that, in light of Doomscoming, Misty knows no one will believe. 

The death of what was her best friend is a really sad moment for Misty as it confines her to the depths of loneliness again. Her position is even worse than before though as she now knows what the warmth of a friend’s connection feels like. The event also goes some way to explain why the adult Misty is so keen to cling onto the other Yellowjackets. She reveals to Walter that she has kept close tabs on all of the number since their return, but is aghast to discover that Lottie’s no longer hospitalised status has slipped her by. The reminder of her past failure of Crystal spurs Misty to do everything in her power to help Natalie (Juliette Lewis). This includes joining Lottie’s ‘cult’ after Natalie rejects her first attempt at rescue. Her plan causes an argument between Misty and Walter, leading him to tell her that he believes she killed Adam, something he doesn’t seem that upset by. Could Walter be Misty’s real deal soulmate, and if so, will they be able to reconcile. 

Natalie rejects Misty’s help as she is on her own mission to take down Lottie. After spending the last few episodes sneaking around the compound, Natalie finally achieved her goal of invading Lottie’s secret records. There she finds evidence that she believes outs Lottie as a charlatan, but her plan to dethrone her is met with indifference. Lottie’s people know of the files and this causes Natalie to break down, placing her nicely into Lottie’s hands. Together the two perform a regression under hypnosis, the goal, to uncover what exactly Natalie was right about in Travis’ suicide note. They travel back to the last time Natalie and Travis (Andres Soto) were together. It’s an interesting insight into their adult relationship, but one that highlights just how damaged each of them was. Natalie ODs and whilst under, has a terrifying vision. Upon revival Natalie warns Travis that “we brought it back with us.” The revelation seems to confirm Lottie’s own experiences and for the first time the two characters are on the same page. 

Yellowjackets Two Truths and a Lie
Juliette Lewis as Natalie in “Two Truths and a Lie”. Photo Credit: Kailey Schwerman/SHOWTIME.

Meanwhile, whilst all of these story threads have been playing out, present day Van and Taissa have been circling one another, trying to feel out their ex after so many years apart. Viewers have been in love with their teen counterparts and have been bereft that their relationship didn’t endure. Seeing them together again now as adults, the two have lost none of their chemistry. As they converse, they reveal that they were together for a while. The two reminisce about causing mischief at a friend’s wedding. It’s heartening to know that in spite of what they lived through after the crash that they did try and make a go of things as a couple. That they stayed together whilst all the other Yellowjackets scattered proves that they have real love for one another. Maybe, now they’re back in each other’s worlds, there’s a chance for them again. 

Their reunion isn’t all nostalgia for happier times however; Van is quick to realise why Taissa has returned to her life. After Van asks if “it’s happening again”, Taissa’s walls finally crumble and she admits just how terrified she is. Being out of control is not something that Taissa has ever been comfortable with, but now it is tormenting her. She still cannot ask for help, sharing that as afraid as she is, she will not risk anyone else she loves. Van views this as cowardice, which in itself suggests it was Taissa’s pride that led to their break-up. 

After a nocturnal encounter with the ‘other’ Taissa, Van understands the severity of the situation. Confronted with the darkness she had spoken to years before, Van knows how to speak with the being, and after some gentle prodding, is told that “this isn’t where we’re supposed to be.” This comment turns the identity of the ‘her’ that Taissa’s mirror-self urged her to seek out on its head. The particular placement of hands over the face seemed to heavily imply Van, but apparently not. The pattern could also maybe point to the Antler Queen, could it be Lottie afterall? Or is one of the other women that present Taissa has already seen recently? Was it their reunion that drew her darker half out again? 

Teen Shauna remains worried by Lottie’s behaviour towards her womb, and after waking from a nap to discover the other girl whispering into her stomach, she snaps. Desperate for someone to back her up, she looks to the others, but no one, not even Taissa, is willing to challenge Lottie. This causes Shauna to flee. Tai chases her, and after Shauna reveals all of her fears and anxieties, a storm sets in. The weather provides the perfect excuse for Misty to explain a missing Crystal and as it gets worse, the teens at the cabin become concerned for their absent friends. Lottie then calls a meeting of her ‘coven’ and their chanting appears to draw both Shauna and Taissa home. There’s no time to address this though as Shauna has begun her labour!

It’s a cruel cliffhanger to end on, but one that teases a very exciting sixth episode. The birth, and fate of Shauna’s child has been widely spoken of since her pregnancy was uncovered and the viewer is finally close to answers. As with the second episode of this season, which jumped into cannibalism, Yellowjackets really isn’t holding back. Other shows would drag the viewer along for entire seasons, but this one isn’t afraid to give the viewer’s what they want. At the same time the team are setting up plenty of new mysteries to sustain the show going forward. 

Two Truths and a Lie is as close as it gets to what could be considered a filler episode, taking its time to rearrange pieces on the board, moving them into formation for the latter half of the season. Despite this though, the episode is still as engrossing as all the others. Yellowjackets is a completely magical show, the type of which does not come around too often. 

Yellowjackets: Two Truths and a Lie

Kat Hughes

Yellowjackets: Two Truths and a Lie


A brilliant set-up for what is sure to be a fantastic next episode, Two Truths and a Lie does a lot with the little it shares.


Yellowjackets Season 2 screens exclusively on Paramount +. 

Kat Hughes is a UK born film critic and interviewer who has a passion for horror films. An editor for THN, Kat is also a Rotten Tomatoes Approved Critic. She has bylines with Ghouls Magazine, Arrow Video, Film Stories, Certified Forgotten and FILMHOUNDS and has had essays published in home entertainment releases by Vinegar Syndrome and Second Sight. When not writing about horror, Kat hosts micro podcast Movies with Mummy along with her five-year-old daughter.


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