The first teen cannibal takes a bite in the twisted premiere of Yellowjackets season 2

The first teen cannibal takes a bite in the twisted premiere of Yellowjackets season 2

Showtime’s buzzworthy survival thriller Yellowjackets has returned with its highly anticipated second season – and the premiere officially puts cannibalism on the menu.

This recap contains spoilers for the first episode of Yellowjackets season 2.

It was the winter of 2021 when a new Showtime drama about a stranded soccer team of teenage girls crash-landed into the world. Given the endless churn (and cancellation) of TV shows, the odds of a Lord of the Flies meets Lost mystery-box series keeping its head above water were decidedly slim. After all, did anyone really want yet another brutal survival thriller at a time when reality was already so bleak?

But woe betide anyone who underestimated the power of Yellowjackets. Alternating between 1996 and the present day as it unravelled the terrible things the teenage champs did to survive in the Canadian wilderness, and the terrible things their adult selves did to keep secrets 25 years later, the show became a word-of-mouth phenomenon, startling everyone with its propulsive narrative, seamless performances and spectacular then-and-now characterisation (take a bow, casting directors). Sure enough, the Emmy nominations came calling, alongside multi-season renewals and an ardent fandom that sent Reddit into overdrive. Trauma, it turned out, was one hell of a drug.

Simone Kessell as Lottie in Yellowjackets season 2 (Kimberley French/Showtime)

Now, the wait is over, and quite honestly, I’ve rarely looked forward to a second helping of a TV show as much as this, which is saying something considering I rarely ever make it through the first season of anything. How I’ve missed Juliette Lewis snarling WHAT THE FUCK at every opportunity, Christina Ricci adjusting her specs, and Melanie Lynskey drily telling a former high school student that she’ll “gut him like a pig” before taking a tequila shot, which remains one of my favourite lines of 2022. And after showrunner Jonathan Lisco casually teased that cannibalism is merely the “tip of the iceberg” in the second run, it’s time to head back to the wilderness to find out who eats whom, who survived what, and what exactly went on out in the woods 25 years ago. Let’s tuck in to the season premiere, “Friends, Romans, Countrymen.”

We kick things off with our resident Antler Queen, Lottie (Courtney Eaton), who we last saw in the season one finale offering up a bear’s heart to the wilderness and declaring, “Let the darkness set us free.” In the opening scene, she’s returned to civilisation in the aftermath of the girls’ rescue in 1998 and is scaring the hell out of her parents by refusing to eat, drink or utter a single damn word. If you had any concerns whatsoever about how the show would maintain momentum in season two, fear not: within the first couple of minutes, Lottie’s been subjected to a brutal course of electroconvulsive therapy, before we time travel to the present day, where we find newcomer Simone Kessell as adult Lottie, who’s reinvented herself as a new-age cult leader. Standing before a picture-perfect lakeside compound, she preaches to a crowd of purple-clad lost souls that they’re a) responsible for their own suffering, and b) need to unleash their ‘primal elemental self’. Now, where have we heard that before?

Jasmin Savoy Brown as teen Taissa and Liv Hewson as teen Van in Yellowjackets season 2 (Kailey Schwerman/Showtime)

Yellowjackets, as any viewer will know, is all about foreshadowing; and Lottie’s personal evolution has been perfectly plotted as we drift back to the wilderness to discover more about her rise as the team’s mystic Queen Bee. Back in the wilderness, it’s two months since Jackie died and full-blown winter has arrived at the creepy cabin. As Natalie (Sophie Thatcher) and Travis (Kevin Alves) prepare to head out on an early morning hunt, jackets stuffed with old porn magazines for extra warmth, Lottie performs a ritual with her own blood. An incredulous Natalie is predictably frustrated with the “wicca bullshit”, but Travis, still clinging on to hope that Javi (Luciano Leroux) is alive, is fully signed up to whatever the hell Lottie is selling – and it’s looking likely that the trio will only become further entwined in weeks to come.

Meanwhile, Shauna, our chief slicer and dicer, has taken to hanging out in the meat shed. Not only is she cutting down the last rations of grizzly bear, but our mum-to-be is also having confessionals with her best friend’s frozen body. In one hallucinatory sequence, a game of M*A*S*H goes awry when Jackie accuses Shauna of making the first move on Jeff, prompting a maddened Shauna to shove the corpse. Not only does our dearly departed’s ear then break off, but Shauna stashes it in her pocket for safe keeping; a grisly talisman that she clings to for the entire episode’s run.

Although the rest of the team are, quite rightly, freaked out by Shauna’s behaviour, there are two people having a jolly gay time of things: Taissa (Jasmin Savoy Brown) and Van (Liv Hewson), who are young, in love, and tied at the wrists at night in a bid to stop Taissa’s sleepwalking. One night while she’s asleep, Tai violently bites Van’s lip and draws blood. Luckily for her, when she wakes up, her girlfriend proclaims that she isn’t scared of her, and even writes “I [heart] u” in blood on her forearm. Young love, eh?

Christina Ricci as Misty in Yellowjackets season 2 (Kimberley French/Showtime)

Back in the present day, there’s business to attend to. We find grown-up Misty (Christina Ricci) helping Shauna cover up the murder of her ex-lover Adam (Peter Gadiot), who, lest we forget, found himself on the end on the wrong end of a sharpened knife after she incorrectly assumed that he was blackmailing the surviving Yellowjackets. The pair practise a police interview, and beady-eyed Misty, armed with a voice changer, really wants to delve deep into the relationship. Was the sex mindblowing? Did Adam fail to “get it up”? Nat and Taissa are also supposed to be there too for the frolics; only unbeknownst to Misty and Shauna, Nat has been tossed into a van by purple-suited hench people, and Taissa is… well, who knows. Eating dirt? Crouched up a tree? Tending to her sacrificial dog altar? 

Taissa’s problems aren’t ostensibly as grave as being kidnapped, but she’s still definitely faring worse than her chirpy teen self. Now single and living without her wife Simone (Rukiya Bernard) or son Sammy, she’s endeavouring to get things back on track since beheading Biscuit by paying a trip to the local dog shelter, and adopting what can only be described as a ‘yappy’ dog called Steve. But after Taissa rocks up to the school gates to introduce Sammy to the new pup, Simone emerges channelling her inner Hades, and delivers an ultimatum: step down from office and seek help, or she’ll never see their child again. It’s all very upsetting, as is Tai’s discovery of the bloody basement altar later on, where she promises Steve that killing Biscuit was simply a mistake and that she’s “going to do better”. Famous last words!

Sophie Nélisse as teen Shauna in Yellowjackets season 2 (Kailey Schwerman/Showtime)

Family time isn’t going great with Shauna’s crew either. Sarah Desjardins is on deliciously spiky form as Callie, who knows her Mum is covering up Adam’s disappearance but hasn’t yet copped on to the full extend of her shadow side. “You could start by not pretending like everything’s normal!” she yells at her mother across the kitchen cabinets, but Shauna has bigger problems to worry about. While looking through Adam’s possessions in her safe – i.e, stone-cold incriminating evidence – she has a horrifying realisation: not that she’s committed a murder, but rather that Adam has an art studio somewhere, as evidenced by splattered paint on one of the keys. Instead of calling the Yellowjackets, though – who are, let’s be honest, the only ones capable of covering up a murder – she ropes Jeff into the mix once more. At the studio, they discover the entire place is filled with paintings of Shauna in suggestive poses; and for what it’s worth, they’re gorgeous. Shauna isn’t moved by her ex-lover’s devotion, though, and instead decides to tell Jeff that the idea of her husband being unfaithful always turned her on. Before we know it, they’re going at it in front of the paintings, which they then proceed to deface with turpentine. And back at home, they burn Adam’s driver’s licence on the barbecue, and grill Frankfurters for dinner. 

Courtney Eaton as teen Lottie, Kevin Alves as teen Travis, Sophie Thatcher as teen Natalie, Samantha Hanratty as teen Misty, Sophie Nélisse as teen Shauna and Nia Sondaya as teen Akilah in Yellowjackets season 2 (Kailey Schwerman/Showtime)

While Shauna is committing crimes, Misty is playing citizen detective, unable to accept that her bestie would just abandon her. Heading to Natalie’s dingy motel, she sweetly threatens the manager, who tells her that Natalie took off in the middle of the night. Unsatisfied, Misty breaks into Natalie’s hotel room and spots splinters on the floor when the door was forced open, leading her back on the trail.

For Natalie, waking up chained to a bed in a room with bars on the room is far from an ideal scenario, as is discovering that you’re in a cult compound where everyone’s wearing pendants with the ominous symbol from the woods. Despite being literally bedbound, Natalie does a great job at psyching out her youthful captor, and manages to escape by seizing the opportunity to stab her with a dirty fork. After being chased through the forest by more of the purple people, she comes to a clearing where she finds a frightening scene reminiscent, possibly, of what went down in the wilderness: people wearing animal masks, beating drums, and preparing to bury a naked man in a ditch. That’s when Lottie appears in sweeping white robes, prompting Natalie to emerge from her hiding spot and prepare to beat the living daylights out of her with a heavy piece of wood. But Lottie isn’t perturbed by Natalie’s sudden appearance. “I have a message for you,” she says breathily. “From Travis.”

Yellowjackets season 2 (Showtime)

It’s the final montage of the premiere, though, that really delivers the WTF energy we all know Yellowjackets is capable of. While Natalie and Travis appear to find evidence that Javi might still be alive, and Callie, in the present day, discovers the charred remains of Adam’s driver’s licence, teen Shauna takes Jackie’s ear out of her pocket and scoffs it like a pringle. Sound the klaxon, we’ve officially got our first taste of human flesh.

Are we any closer to solving the show’s central mysteries come the end of the episode? No. But the addition of post-rescue flashbacks is a brilliant addition, the present-day timelines are gaining traction, and even if we now have more questions than answers about what creepy sh*t went down in the wilderness, Yellowjackets is at last shaping up to be the cannibalism drama we all hoped it would become.

Yellowjackets season 2 episode 1 is available to stream now on Showtime and Paramount+.

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Sam Houston's Hooten to coach New Mexico St.

Sam Houston's Hooten to coach New Mexico St.

New Mexico State‘s basketball program ended its coaching search Friday, officially announcing the hire of Sam Houston State’s Jason Hooten.

The Aggies zeroed in on Hooten earlier in the week, sources said, and were able to close the deal despite Sam Houston’s attempts to keep him from its intraconference rival.

“I believe Coach Hooten is a tremendous fit for New Mexico State,” athletic director Mario Moccia said. “Throughout his coaching career, he has demonstrated an ability to build hard-nosed, defensive-minded teams. Importantly, his programs are always modeled on character and integrity.”

Hooten joins the Aggies after 13 seasons at Sam Houston State, where he racked up six 20-win seasons and at least 18 wins in each of the last 10 seasons. He guided the Bearkats to the Southland regular-season championship in 2019 and also landed the top seed in this season’s WAC tournament.

Prior to becoming Sam Houston’s head coach, Hooten was an assistant coach with the Bearkats for six seasons.

With Hooten’s hire, New Mexico State is hoping to turn the page from an ugly season that left a cloud over the Aggies’ program. They canceled their season in February after hazing accusations against three players. A police report cited three players for false imprisonment, harassment and counts of criminal sexual contact against a teammate.

Three months earlier, a New Mexico State player, Mike Peake, shot and killed a New Mexico student in what police have called self-defense. Multiple investigations have been launched to determine whether coaches and staff members cooperated with police and were forthcoming with evidence following the shooting.

Hooten replaces Greg Heiar, who was fired shortly after the season’s cancellation in February.

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Lakers 'still not finished' after finally hitting .500

Lakers 'still not finished' after finally hitting .500

LOS ANGELES — The Lakers116-111 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday brought their record to .500 for the first time all season, needing 74 games to get even after a 2-10 start.

“Now it’s time, instead of constantly facing a deficit, we get to try to create a surplus, create a cushion between the wins and losses,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham said. “So the guys are excited about that.”

At 37-37, the Lakers reached .500 for the first time as a franchise in more than 400 days, dating back to Jan. 25, 2022, when the team was 24-24.

The last NBA team to reach .500 this late in the season was the 2003-04 Miami Heat, which took 78 games to get there, according to ESPN Stats & Information. The 1988-89 Washington Bullets also took 74 games and the 1983-84 Phoenix Suns didn’t get to .500 until Game No. 82.

“Big accomplishment but we’re still not finished,” said Dennis Schroder, who started in place of D’Angelo Russell (sore right hip) and finished with 21 points and six assists.

Lakers guard Lonnie Walker IV scored 20 points off the bench after only playing 12 minutes in L.A.’s past seven games, including five DNPs.

“He’s the guy who won us the game, it’s that simple,” Schroder said of Walker. “Everybody thanked him for that tonight. This is his win.”

The win was L.A.’s third in a row and gave the Lakers the same record as the Western Conference’s No. 7-seeded Minnesota Timberwolves. L.A. is No. 8, however, because the Wolves own the tiebreaker by leading the season series 2-0 with only one more matchup remaining.

“We got to .500, now it’s time to get on the other side and can have more wins than losses,” said Anthony Davis, who led L.A. with 37 points and 15 rebounds. “So it starts Sunday. We got an opportunity to be a game above .500 against a good Bulls team.”

Hosting Chicago will be the last of L.A.’s current five-game homestand before going on the road for a four-game trip through Chicago, Minnesota, Houston and Utah.

“We just have to approach these upcoming games, these last eight, like we’ve been doing since the deadline: Each game is its own entity,” Ham said. “We can’t worry about going 6-2 or 7-1 or 5-3. We just have to approach each game and dive and pour all of ourselves into each particular game. So we’ll continue to carry on as such.”

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Mueren al menos 7 personas después de que un tornado y tormentas dañinas azotaron Mississippi

Mueren al menos 7 personas después de que un tornado y tormentas dañinas azotaron Mississippi

ROLLING FORK, Mississippi — Un poderoso tornado azotó las zonas rurales de Mississippi y Alabama el viernes por la noche, matando al menos a siete personas, destruyendo edificios y dejando sin electricidad mientras el tiempo severo que produjo granizo del tamaño de pelotas de golf atravesó varios estados del sur e incitó a las autoridades a advertir a algunos en su camino que se encontraban en una “situación potencialmente mortal”.

El Servicio Meteorológico Nacional confirmó que un tornado causó daños a unas 60 millas al noreste de Jackson, Mississippi. Las localidades rurales de Silver City y Rolling Fork reportaron destrucción mientras el tornado avanzaba hacia el noreste a 70 mph sin debilitarse, avanzando hacia Alabama a través de localidades como Winona y Amory durante la noche.

Al menos siete personas murieron a causa del tornado en Mississippi, dijo a ABC News la forense del condado de Sharkey, Angelia Easton. Rolling Fork se encuentra en el condado de Sharkey.

El Servicio Meteorológico Nacional emitió una alerta cuando azotaba la tormenta que no se anduvo con rodeos: “Para proteger su vida, ¡CUBRIRSE AHORA!”

“Estás en una situación que pone en peligro tu vida”, advirtió. “Los escombros voladores pueden ser mortales para quienes quedan atrapados sin refugio. Las casas móviles serán destruidas. Es probable que se produzcan daños considerables en viviendas, empresas y vehículos, y es posible que se produzca una destrucción total”.

Cornel Knight le dijo a The Associated Press que él, su esposa y su hija de 3 años estaban en la casa de un pariente en Rolling Fork cuando ocurrió el tornado. Dijo que el cielo estaba oscuro pero que “se podía ver la dirección de cada transformador que explotaba”.

Dijo que estaba “inquietantemente tranquilo” mientras eso sucedía. Knight dijo que observó desde una puerta hasta que el tornado estuvo, estimó, a menos de una milla de distancia. Luego les dijo a todos en la casa que se refugiaran en un pasillo. Dijo que el tornado golpeó la casa de otro pariente a través de un amplio campo de maíz desde donde él estaba. Una pared en esa casa se derrumbó y atrapó a varias personas adentro. Cuando Knight habló con AP por teléfono, dijo que podía ver las luces de los vehículos de emergencia en la casa parcialmente derrumbada.

El alcalde de Rolling Fork, Eldridge Walker, le dijo a WLBT-TV que no pudo salir de su casa dañada poco después del paso del tornado porque las líneas eléctricas estaban caídas. Dijo que los servicios de emergencia estaban tratando de llevar a las personas heridas a los hospitales. No supo de inmediato cuántas personas habían resultado heridas.

Un exalcalde de Rolling Fork, Fred Miller, le dijo a la estación de televisión que un tornado voló las ventanas de la parte trasera de su casa.

El cazador de tormentas Reed Timmer publicó en Twitter que Rolling Fork necesitaba personal de emergencia de inmediato y que se dirigía con los residentes heridos de la ciudad a un hospital de Vicksburg.

El Hospital Comunitario Sharkey-Issaquena en el lado oeste de Rolling Fork resultó dañado, informó WAPT.

La Oficina del Sheriff del Condado de Sharkey en Rolling Fork reportó fugas de gas y personas atrapadas en montones de escombros, según Vicksburg News. Algunas unidades de aplicación de la ley no se encontraron en Sharkey, según el periódico.

Rolling Fork y sus alrededores tienen amplias extensiones de campos de algodón, maíz y soja y estanques de cultivo de bagre. Los funcionarios de emergencia abrieron más de media docena de refugios en el estado.

El gobernador de Mississippi, Tate Reeves, dijo en una publicación de Twitter el viernes por la noche que los equipos de búsqueda y rescate estaban activos y que las autoridades estaban enviando más ambulancias y recursos de emergencia a los afectados.

“Muchos en MS Delta necesitan su oración y la protección de Dios esta noche”, decía la publicación. “¡Mira los informes meteorológicos y mantente cauteloso durante la noche, Mississippi!”

Esta fue una supercélula, el tipo de tormenta desagradable que genera el tornado más mortífero y el granizo más dañino en los Estados Unidos, dijo el profesor de meteorología de la Universidad del Norte de Illinois, Walker Ashley. Lo que es más, este es húmedo durante la noche, que es “el peor tipo”, dijo.

Los meteorólogos vieron un gran riesgo de tornado para la región en general, no para el área específica, con hasta una semana de anticipación, dijo Ashley, quien lo estaba discutiendo con sus colegas el 17 de marzo. El Centro de Predicción de Tormentas del Servicio Nacional de Meteorología apagó una alerta de largo alcance para el área el 19 de marzo, dijo.

Los expertos en tornados como Ashley han estado advirtiendo sobre una mayor exposición al riesgo en la región debido a que la gente está construyendo más.

“Mezclas un paisaje particularmente vulnerable desde el punto de vista socioeconómico con un tornado nocturno rápido y de trayectoria larga, y ocurrirá un desastre”, dijo Ashley en un correo electrónico.

El viernes temprano, un automóvil fue arrastrado y dos pasajeros se ahogaron en el suroeste de Missouri durante las lluvias torrenciales que formaban parte de un sistema de clima severo. Las autoridades dijeron que seis adultos jóvenes estaban en el vehículo que fue arrastrado cuando el automóvil intentaba cruzar un puente sobre un arroyo inundado en la ciudad de Grovespr.

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