‘Yellowjackets’ Cast Defend Logical Group Decision in Episode 2, Explain What [Spoiler] Tasted Like

Warning: This story contains spoilers from “Edible Complex,” the second episode of “Yellowjackets” Season 2, now streaming on Showtime.

It’s official: “Yellowjackets” went there. After the Season 2 premiere ended with — quite literally — a crunch as teen Shauna (Sophie Nélisse) ate the ear of her dead best friend, Jackie (Ella Purnell), the second episode took cannibalism on the show a step further. After the group found out that Shauna had been talking to and putting makeup on Jackie’s corpse, they thought it was best to burn her body. However, the smell of her body being barbecued drew the group outside, and they decided to eat her as a feast.

“She wants us to,” Shauna says before ripping off a piece to eat.

“I think I threw my script! I kind of saw it coming, but not that way,” Jasmin Savoy Brown, who portrays young Taissa, tells Variety about when she first read the scene. “I had a feeling we were gonna eat Jackie, because I thought it was logical. If I was them, I would have suggested it, to be honest. It’s winter and they’re dying! You do what you’ve got to do to survive. This show has though, I think, warped our brains. We’ll be on set like, ‘Well, what would you do?’ We’re all like, ‘Eat the person.‘ We’ve just been in the environment for too long.”

The group was actually eating jack fruit — or “Jackie fruit,” as Liv Hewson, who plays Van, quips — and rice paper that had been soaked and air-fried.

“It smelled so bad. I don’t know if that was the bad smell, or if it was the dummy that everything was stuffed into. Something smelled nasty,” Brown says.

Still, they ate it all — as messy as it was — to make it as realistic as possible, says Brown. “It’s kinda funny to do COVID tests and then also be like, ‘Hey now everyone just lick and bite this thing!’ We exchanged all germs possible, but couldn’t ride in the same van!”

While the rice paper didn’t taste bad, “it was just so hard to disassociate, because we’d walk on set and the fake corpse was laid out,” Nélisse remembers. “We were all taken aback, because there was something so disgusting about the whole thing.”

Coach Ben (Steven Krueger) is the only one in the group who chooses not to eat Jackie. According to Krueger, “if there was some logical discussion” behind the decision, Ben may have engaged.

“He sees this transformation take place on their faces and in their behavior, and all of a sudden, he recognizes that it’s not him and not the way we should be going about this,” he says. “He’s immediately repulsed. That ends up being this inciting incident that lights the match for the rest of the season about how he relates to these girls, about what his position is in the group, and about how he has to deal with the repercussions of almost ostracizing himself from the rest of them.

“They did such an incredible job of making that thing look real, and kind of delicious,” Krueger continues. “But I couldn’t look at it for very long. It was not for me!”

The scene cut between the starving group tearing apart Jackie’s body and an almost dream-like sequence of the Yellowjackets having an elegant feast in the woods, eating chicken legs. “The big challenge was making it feel like it was actually Jackie, and then transposing it onto an actual medieval-type feast,” says production designer Margot Ready. “We wanted it to be frightening and awful, but at the same time, feel like they’re being relieved from their hunger.”

Jazz Tangcay contributed to this reporting.

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