The Buzz: "Two Truths and a Lie" YELLOWJACKETS S2E5 Recap

Citizen Detectives, cult-like compounds, and cliffs.

By Reyna Cervantes · @JFCDoomblade · April 24, 2023, 1:30 PM EDT

Editor's note: All spoilers below! Proceed with caution and catch up on The Buzz right here.

Last week was an absolute bombshell of an episode for Yellowjackets. The long return of Javi in the past and the confirmation that Van is alive in the present throw many theories out the window. Hell, we even got a surprise visit from our long-deceased friend Laura Lee. My point is that Yellowjackets is no stranger to pulling the rug out from underneath us. What seemed to be a quiet point in the season has now blown the doors open for anything to happen, and I suspect it will only get more unpredictable from here. Let's dive into this week's episode and see what tasty morsels we can dig up.

We start the episode right where we left off, with Taissa coming into Van's video store and exchanging looks with her. Worth noting is the video store itself which feels like a relic from the '90s. It's almost as if Van was unable to ever fully leave the era where she experienced a great deal of trauma (and left her face visibly scarred). As Tai and Van exchange glances and recognization seeps in, Tai collapses.

In the past, we glimpse Lottie coming into her own. She appears to be leading group therapy/meditation/weird worship services and starts to flesh out her flock with fellow Yellowjackets who believe in her power. Not to jump to conclusions, but from what we've seen, this seems to be the start of a very lucrative life path for Lottie.

Flashing forward, we join Callie as she enjoys a Bowling date with "Ben" (who's totally not an undercover cop but totally is). She tests his interest in her and decides to have a playful bet where he has to kiss her. She wins the bet, he gets uncomfortable and gets up to use the bathroom. Bad timing, as the waitress returns with his receipt and debit card for the evening's entertainment. Callie looks at his card and realizes his name isn't Ben at all. She pops the name into a quick google search and discovers he's a cop. Cover completely blown by bowling date!

In the cabin, Javi is having trouble readjusting to the group. Travis keeps asking him where he went and how he survived for so long, but he sits in silence as if in a tranquil state of shock, which is throwing up all sorts of flags as we still don't know how he disappeared in the first place (aside from getting separated while everyone was tripping on shrooms but that's beside the point). Travis also has something else to deal with: Nat lied about Javi's death using his doctored bloody shorts as "proof."

Going off previously obtained information, Walter and Misty are still searching for the purple people. Using her cunning intuition, Misty surveys her surroundings and discovers a path leading to Lottie's compound. They're one step closer to finally finding Nat. Cutting back to Van's video store, Taissa reveals the real reason for her road trip. She tells Van that the sleepwalking is happening again, which brings a look of worry to her old flame's face. Elsewhere at Shauna's, Callie reveals her run-in with Bill. Informing her parents that she threw him off her trail, they fully realize that whatever mess they're in, Callie will be along for the ride. Knowing they need to shake suspicion, they arrange for Shauna to meet Randy in a seedy motel to stage an affair.

Travis confronts Nat about Javi's shorts. He's pissed that she would lie to him, while she attempts to justify it by stating she didn't want him to have false hope. Just when it seems their relationship is in a healthy place, the woods once again take something else from her. I bet she's coming to regret her decision a few weeks ago, eh?

Lisa and Nat share a heartfelt conversation in the workshop on Lottie's compound. We've seen a whole new side of Nat this season as she's opened up to Lisa, whereas she was closed off and almost cold-blooded in season one. It's a fascinating juxtaposition and just one of many examples of how Yellowjackets remains unpredictable. Instead of running and escaping from the compound, it's almost as if she wants to stay. They're soon joined by Lottie. Nat takes a look at Lottie's hand and notices the cut from where she made her blood offering. Misty and Walter finally arrive outside the compound's gate and demand to see Nat, who angrily turns them away.


In the past, Misty and Crystal's friendship has been blossoming. Misty was always somewhat of an outcast, and the Yellowjackets' equipment manager was never one to have many friends, so she's seizing the moment. As they empty the toilet bucket together, they share their deepest secrets. Misty makes the egregious error of revealing that she destroyed the plane's black box so they wouldn't be rescued. Crystal flips the hell out (rightfully so), and Misty attempts to calm her down. In the struggle, Crystal falls off the cliff they were emptying the toilet bucket off of. Another one bites the dust.


As Misty and Walter get in the car to leave the compound, he decides to drop a bombshell on her. He knows about her past with the Yellowjackets (who doesn't), and he suspects that she and her friends indeed have something to do with Adam's disappearance. Despite his friendly exterior, he's been suspicious all along. Furious, Misty decides to part ways with him, especially now that she has no use for him. Shauna arrives at the motel to meet up with Randy, where Detective Kevyn and his partner are indeed watching them. After an awkward exchange, Randy asks Shauna if this was about the interrogation with the FBI (aka Misty and Walter). Panicked, she asks what they questioned him about, and he reveals they wanted to know about Nat, stirring up a whole mess of confusion. Shauna then tells Randy to go into the bathroom and fill a condom up with his semen to leave behind as evidence of the fake affair. Randy struggles with doing this simple task, unfortunately.

Now that she's staying with Van at her video store/home, Taissa uses the opportunity to rummage around and finds a bottle of OxyContin. Confronting Van, she learns her mother died from cancer, and the pills belonged to her. It's implied that Van and Tai lost touch after a fallout. Meanwhile, on the compound, Nat finds out that Lottie has important info on her followers, such as bank account information. Just like she had Travis'. Was Travis secretly one of her followers? Why did he call her to communicate with "it"? Did they secretly keep in touch over the years? Despite learning the details about Travis' death, we still have many questions.


Back at the motel, Kevyn is ready to write off the Shauna/Randy affair as real when his partner gets a little ambitious and convinces him to search the motel room. While searching for evidence, they come across the condom that Randy used in the bathroom and discover that it's filled with soap instead of semen. Kevyn deduces that his partner's cover was blown and that Callie warned her mother in an attempt to throw them off their trail. He decides they need to watch and further question the Shipman family about Adam's disappearance. I love a good detective story!

Back in the past, a vicious snowstorm kicks up. Tai and Shauna are nowhere to be found, and Misty uses this opportunity to cover up Crystal's murder, claiming she is also lost in the storm. This inspires the rest of the group to brave the storm in search of their missing friends.


Surprise! Adult Van is abusing the OxyContin. Taissa catches her, they share a tender moment (and a kiss). This lovers' reunited moment is quickly interrupted by an unsettling moment. Van says, "You're the other one," all but confirming Taissa indeed has more than one personality and that she's known about it. Elsewhere, Lottie offers to help Nat remember more about the last night she was with Travis to search for clues explaining why he got so spooked. She's haunted by visions of death and the antler queen. She also sees brief flashes of being resuscitated by EMTs, almost as if she overdosed the last night they were together. She also hears her voice tell him, "we brought it back." They come to the conclusion "the darkness in us still lives." Outside the compound, the ever-persistent Misty shows up, claiming she has nowhere else to go, begging to join the cult and get some help. She's now on the inside whether Nat likes it or not.


The episode ends with the 1996 group finding Tai and Shauna, who they rush inside. In an unexpected turn of events, Shauna begins hyperventilating and goes into labor. Prepared or not, a new member is about to join their group.

This week's episode of Yellowjackets brings closure to some of the mysteries we had in the first season but, in the process, builds up a whole new slew of unknowns. Javi's back, but what the hell is his deal? We now have a vague idea of what happened the night Travis died, but what the hell is the "darkness" living in them? Exactly how long will the Shipman family keep up their ruse and avoid the cops? Perhaps most of all, what do you do when you're barely surviving and now have a newborn baby to take care of? I will say this, though: Yellowjackets has me hooked and is forcing me to put on my citizen detective cap more than once this season.

Needle Drop of the Week: "Mother" by Danzig

Perhaps most famous for being one of the founders and lead singer of horror-punk band The Misfits, Glenn Danzig spun off this new project in the late 1980s. Using less "punk" style vocals, he employs an Elvis-inspired wailing that eventually became his trademark. "Mother" was the band's first mainstream radio hit and is an anthem against Tipper Gore and the Parents Music Resource Center's (PMRC) music censorship in the early days of the Parental Advisory warning. With Shauna going into labor, the song is a fun choice as she's about to become a "mother," It brought a huge unexpected smile to my face (it's also my go-to karaoke song!)