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Yellowjackets' Showrunners Almost Cut Out That Shocking [SPOILER] In S2's Premiere

Contains spoilers for "Yellowjackets" Season 2, Episode 1 – "Friends, Romans, Countrymen"

"Yellowjackets" is back, baby, and the slow-burning descent toward starvation, madness, and cannibalism has begun in earnest. While the adult characters continue to grapple with violent sleep disorders, murder, and other pesky present-day problems, the 1990s timeline of "Yellowjackets" Season 2 takes place two months after the Season 1 finale

Since we last checked in, Jackie's (Ella Purnell) frozen corpse has taken up residence in the meat shed. Shauna (Sophie Nélisse) regularly visits to have unsettlingly animated conversations with the dead body, even if it means some of Jackie's extremities — her ear, specifically — fall off in the process. The episode ends with a bang when Shauna scarfs down her dead friend's ear, a moment that co-showrunner Ashley Lyle calls a "baby step toward the cannibalism."

Lyle and her colleagues Bart Nickerson and Jonathan Lisco workshopped the scene nonstop, at one point contemplating whether to cut to black before Shauna takes a bite. "We ultimately decided to go for it, but definitely debated endlessly," Lyle told Variety. "Cutting as it went up. And it felt as though — like, we're already here." Lisco added, "What's the point of cutting to black at that point?"

The showrunners really went for it with that ear scene

For the "Yellowjackets" showrunners, that shocking ear scene was so much more than a gimmicky slide into cannibalism. As Jonathan Lisco pointed out while speaking to Variety, not only does Shauna's hungry, pregnant body play a role in her ghastly decision, but so too does her complicated friendship with Jackie. "She adored this friend of hers," Lisco said, "but also in some ways, was always wanting to kind of destroy her." 

Ashley Lyle also spoke to the layered meaning behind the ear sequence, adding, "The ear is ... this metaphor for the intensity of those female friendships. And that bizarre desire to want to be the other person, and to almost want to consume the other person."

"Yellowjackets" has never been known to be precious or squeamish about violence, and the ear scene is no different, even down to the sound effects. "There's a crunch, yeah," said Lyle. "We went for it." For the showrunners, however, they're not including gore for the sake of gore, and "Yellowjackets" Season 2 promises to include even more disturbing surprises. "If we do our job right, the eating of a person will not be the most transgressive thing that these young women do in the wilderness," Lisco told EW. "That's just the tip of the iceberg."