Yellowjackets cast members threw up filming that gruesome episode 2 ending
Warning: This post contains spoilers from Yellowjackets season 2, episode 2.
There's fighting with your best friend... and then there's eating her.
In the final moments of Yellowjackets' season 2 premiere, Shauna (Sophie Nélisse) shocked viewers when she took a bite out of Jackie's (Ella Purnell) frozen ear. But that was only the beginning.
In episode 2, the teens decided to do right by Jackie and finally, after two months of mourning, burn her body. Shauna wouldn't so much as let her teammates take Jackie's coat off her body (which honestly just would've been smart). But once Jackie's body started to burn, something ... weird happened. The Wilderness seemed to intervene, dumping a ton of snow on the fire, leaving Jackie's corpse perfectly cooked. And as hunger took over, Shauna and her teammates couldn't help themselves — they started to eat what was left of Jackie.
Kailey Schwerman/SHOWTIME Courtney Eaton, Sophie Nélissa, and Jasmin Savoy Brown on 'Yellowjackets'
"We had a lot of conversations early on in the writers' room and we were like, 'Let's just go crazy early and announce our intentions,'" co-showrunner Ashley Lyle tells EW. "We're setting the bar there and then we're gonna try to top it."
Co-showrunner Jonathan Lisco adds, "One of our many mantras is that the show is not about whether cannibalism [happens]. We tell you that in the pilot. It's about why."
As for the filming of the scene, let's just say it's one the actors won't soon forget. "It was definitely shocking for us when we walked in and saw dead Jackie on the wood," Sophie Nélisse says. "Even though we were eating fake, like, rice paper, the image was so vivid. What we were picking at seemed so real that our brains couldn't decipher and we were all gagging as soon as they called cut. It was gross."
Jasmin Savoy Brown adds, "It was rice paper for the skin and then the inside was jackfruit. The consistency felt like flesh. A couple people threw up. And if you think that's bad, it's only episode 2."
Kailey Schwerman/SHOWTIME Courtney Eaton and Samantha Hanratty on 'Yellowjackets'
In the moment, as the team tears into Jackie, the show cuts back and forth between the savagery at play and a Roman-like feast, as the players imagine themselves sitting down to an elaborate dinner in order to take their minds off of what is really happening. "Sometimes people say the show is so gruesome, but we certainly don't plan to be gruesome," Lisco, who wrote episode 2, says. "That's not what we're doing. But when it's objectively necessary to show the harrowing experiences they're having, we'll go there. But obviously we didn't want to do an entire sequence of them just devouring Jackie's corpse. We didn't think that was necessary. So the patina that we put over it is the fact that they all had to, for self-preservation reasons, distance themselves from what they were doing by imagining this kind of like pre-Roman feast. And then of course we could intercut that footage in a way that made it really vivid and dynamic.
"We really tried to come out of the gate with a one-two punch with these first two episodes," Lisco continues. "We are the kind of writers who feel like we can do this early, because the show is not just about shock value, it's not just about incidents or concrete plot. And we have a lot of emotional and psychological terrain to explore beyond what happens at the end of episode 2."
New episodes of Yellowjackets drop Fridays on streaming and on-demand and air on Showtime Sundays.
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