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'Yellowjackets' Finally Answers Questions About Baby Shauna

[This article contains major spoilers for Yellow Jackets Season 2, Episode 6, “Qui.”]

Since Javi came back,Yellowjackets The clock keeps answering another big question from season one: What will happen to Shauna’s baby? Find out in “Qui,” the sixth episode of the second season of Showtime’s hit show, written by Karen Joseph Adcock and Ameni Rozsa and directed by Liz Garbus.

Garbus said she devoured the first season of Yellowjackets. So when she got the call to direct an episode of the second season, she was excited. “There’s no need to chase,” she told The Hollywood Reporter (in an interview conducted before May 2 writer strike). But her curiosity was piqued because the episode’s plot was kept under wraps. “We talked about different dates, and they didn’t really reveal anything, but they were like, ‘Well, we have this episode, and we really miss you…’ So there was that level of mystery.”

Once she got the script, it was clear why the show’s creative team, which included co-creator Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson and co-producer Jonathan Lisco will turn to the acclaimed filmmaker, who has spent her career documenting social justice Stories, including women’s issues.

“Qui” picks up where the previous episode left off, Shauna (Sophie Nélisse) Continue to work 1000 Wilderness Timeline. Led by Misty (Samantha Hanratty), the cabins come together as she lets go of the shocking (because of inciting Crystal

Death, played by Nuha Jes Izman) and borrows lessons from high school health class. Meanwhile, almost everyone turns to Lottie (Courtney Eaton), calling on the elusive power of the wilderness as Shawna toils. Then, a baby boy was born.

But when viewers see the end of the episode, they’ll come back and realize this is Garbus and the writers starting to cast “Qui” moment of devastating magic. Everything that has happened since then has been a dream. Ultimately, the baby doesn’t survive a difficult delivery, and a severely malnourished Shauna regains consciousness of reality in the episode’s guttural coda.

“The idea is to make Shauna feel grounded, like the audience is with her. You don’t have any knowledge before her, and you’re going through it right next to her,” adds Booth said. Below, the director dives into key episodes to share behind-the-scenes details (from the inspiration for Rosemary’s Baby to Nélisse’s “obvious sadness” and the crying of the entire cast), explaining why it’s a “Lottie-level miracle” Unable to save the baby, why it’s time to “demystify” childbirth in the postRoe era and unravel how this moment came to be. Melanie Lynskey As an adult Shauna, the trauma resurfaced in her performance.

What happened to Shauna’s baby?” is a looming but real season question. Ultimately, there must be an answer. The baby is coming. What drew you to helm this moment in the show?

I am so grateful to be trusted to work with Sophie and of course Melanie and everyone else, but especially with Sophie carrying such a heavy responsibility in the case of. She’s a really good co-star, and she turns out to be very, very rich. I love being able to do that deep work with her and with Melanie. Her monologue during the interview in the interrogation room is terrific.

When you recently had a relationship with THR, you say you often bring previous experience into a new project, like how you work with survivors I’ll be gone in the dark helped

Your Handmaid’s Tale

episode . What has your documentary-making experience here brought to the table?

Reason I’ll Be Gone in the Dark in The context of The Handmaid’s Tale is helpful because it’s about survivors and trauma. Yellowjackets, although the tone is different from Handmaid’s , the teenage and adult characters are in the throes of trauma. For adults, that’s a lot of unresolved trauma. For kids, they are in the middle of it. I think a lot of the same things apply there. It’s important to make people feel comfortable and have an emotional awareness of what makes people the best they can be and feel comfortable sharing, and that’s part of the actor-director relationship.

As a documentary filmmaker, I’ve seen people cope in crazy situations, from watching people go through loved ones who were about to be executed, to reuniting family members who weren’t executed After meeting 70 Year. In my career as a documentary filmmaker, I’ve been privileged to witness a lot, and sometimes these extraordinary human experiences don’t unfold the way one might expect in many ways. So it’s about taking the realism that I’m able to witness through my work and share with the actors. Hopefully it makes the show feel really unique, personal, real, down to earth, and very believable.

Sophie Nélisse as Teen Shauna in YELLOWJACKETS,

Sophie Nélisse plays Shauna, a teen in labor, in “Qui.” Kay Lee Schwarman/SHOWTIME

Yellowjackets playing Faith vs. pragmatism debate, and this episode really confronts that. Despite Lottie’s strengths (in the group and possibly mentally), the baby didn’t survive. Co-creator Bart Nickerson told me before that if you’re going to solve the problem of belief, you have to show both the presence of the belief and the absence of it. Appear. What did you talk to writers about that overarching theme?

I like the way Bart describes it. For me, as someone who works with Sophie on these shows, it’s about cultivating that sense of alienation. Even Tessa, who is her ride or die, is interacting with Fan, who is holding the amulet, looking at Lottie. Everyone around Shauna was clinging to that mental pillar, or that spiritual lifeline that got through this horrible experience, which is having a baby in the wilderness when you’re starving. But to Sophie, it’s all real. “My body hurts and I’m bleeding everywhere.” You can’t feel the reality, chaos, and pain of life more than you do when you give birth, right? I did it, I know it! So it makes this divide so obvious. Holding the amulet does nothing for these contractions. It contributed to the deep sense of alienation she felt.

Of course, in the dream timeline, she’s extremely estranged because only she can feed the baby, despite Lottie’s odd attempts. And she also really lost trust in all her compatriots in that dream timeline, including Natalie and Ty, and she started to doubt them. So the experience of childbirth is the polar opposite of anything otherworldly. It’s so down to earth. So it was a way of expressing the deep alienation of that character.

Halfway through, the episode begins its devastating magic. We begin to observe what we later understand as dreams. Can you talk about the treatment this time, why did you go this way?

Of course, I hope the audience will keep guessing. If you watched this episode, I think there were some Easter eggs in it times, you will be able to see us signaling that this is a different plane of reality. Before the Nightmare timeline, I changed some things about the cinematography and set design. But it’s definitely subtle, so you’re with Shawna on that journey. You are not ahead of her; you are with her. You don’t have any knowledge before her, you just go through it all by her side. Then there’s the moment she blacks out and opens her eyes, and Misty hands her a baby. And that signal was the beginning of another level of reality, and then it ended abruptly when she had her Rosemary’s baby moment in that nightmare and woke up. But of course, the reality of a baby not being born is even harder to swallow than the nightmare of cannibalism.

There are signs that labor is not going well. There’s a ton of blood; the placenta comes out first. How much do you want to alert the audience early on that something is wrong?

You know the placenta coming out basically means it’s not okay. But I don’t actually know what the chances of survival are. I think most people don’t know the ins and outs of labor signs. Many times, if the placenta is delivered like this, the mother dies. There was so much at stake in that moment. Shauna survived, thank God.

(L-R): Jasmin Savoy Brown as Teen Taissa, Sophie Thatcher as Teen Natalie and Sophie Nélisse as Teen Shauna in YELLOWJACKETS,

Jasmin Savoy Brown as teen Taissa and Sophie Thatcher as teens Natalie and Nélisse are on set.
Kelly Schwarman/SHOWTIME

(L-R): Behind-the-scenes with Jasmin Savoy Brown, Director Liz Garbus and Sophie Nélisse on the set of YELLOWJACKETS, Sophie Nélisse as Teen Shauna in YELLOWJACKETS,

The creator clarified early on that babies are not going to be eaten (like in Shauna’s nightmares). Can you talk about the screenwriter’s decision on the fate of the child-is it too unrealistic for a child to survive in the wilderness and starving mother in this situation?

It would be a Lottie-level miracle for the baby and mother to survive the starvation delivery. I think it has to do with the two planes of the show, as you Bart said, pragmatism versus faith, and pragmatism wins here. And I think it really shows the divide of the adolescent characters, the split between them. So it worked on many levels.

But what’s really interesting, and for me, one of my favorite moments, is Sophie’s incredible work at the end of the episode, where she wakes up and doesn’t Deny that this can happen. I still shudder thinking about her performance. When I say “stop” on the last take, or I know we’re done, and I walk up to Sophie and give her a hug, I look around and the other actors are crying. actors around us. Because Sophie had just given so much, the grief she felt, the loss, was so palpable that we all kind of went nuts. That moment as a director working with them was a very special moment.

How many times did she shoot for that waking up from dream/nightmare scene?

I had to look back. But we’ve done a good job of conserving Sophie’s energy and getting it right. One thing we did, and it was very useful, but it doesn’t happen with every show, is that we rehearsed. We spend time rehearsing in the cabin. As you know in this episode, the cabin doesn’t bring much relief. It’s pretty claustrophobic. There’s no outdoor hunting or eating scenes, it’s all inside the cabin because they’re snowbound and because they’re dealing with Shawna.

The episode must be realistic and well choreographed. We can rehearse the show both on set and with the cinematographer so we can really remember what we can do so when Sophie is ready we know exactly where we’re going and what we’re going to do What to do and where to do We are moving. There won’t be many wrong shots. So, that prep time really paid off. I don’t know if it was three or four, but it wasn’t a lot because we were so well prepared.

Liz Garbus

Conducting Nélisse on set, Brown (left). Kay Lee Schwarman/SHOWTIME(L-R): Behind-the-scenes with Jasmin Savoy Brown, Director Liz Garbus and Sophie Nélisse on the set of YELLOWJACKETS,

How do you gain Sophie’s trust when you come to direct an episode like this?

She is a phenomenal actress and she is so dedicated to her craft. As you probably know, she wears contact lenses to match her eyes with Melanie’s. She has blue eyes. It’s really hard to cry convincingly while wearing contact lenses. And she didn’t want to rely on a tearjerker, she wanted to be totally in it, to have that full-body experience. So we discussed taking off her lenses for her big moment in this episode, and her eyes would be stained in post. That’s something we have to go through with power; it’s more expensive because her eyes are always moving. So that’s one way I think we allow Sophie to do her best.

I sent her the birth scene from The Handmaid’s Tale – where is Lizzie Moss’ character June also doesn’t have any medical intervention, and she’s in an abandoned mansion in Gilead — among other shows. EvenYellowjackets Sophie NelisseJuno The birth scene in because although it’s a bit comedic, it describes the rhythm of the contractions very well. I also sent Sophie the medical video so there was a really convincing and real description of the pain and how it came in waves; how tired you felt and these fitful moments were how come. We just wanted it to resonate with anyone who’s ever had a baby.

You talked about the connection with young adult Shauna and working with Melanie, you see how her trauma resurfaces more clearly in this episode . In the adult Shawna’s monologue at the police station, she admits that out of guilt and shame, she gave birth to her daughter Carly (Sarah Desjardins). How real is she?

I think you have a good point. We are revealing the pain and trauma of this pivotal moment in the wilderness as she acknowledges and lifts the curtain: why she married Jeff ? How did all this happen? Obviously, she has such a strained relationship with her daughter, and I think it’s one of those moments where we really get to see how conflicted her feelings are.

And I think those feelings are also very relevant. Being Melanie’s age, at that point in your life, a lot of us question whether the choices we’ve made are satisfying. So she’s conveying something about the choices one makes in middle age, as well as the trauma of responsibility and the terrible guilt Jackie’s death , so with Jeff, also lost the child.

Melanie was in that interrogation room, it was for her to go to a place where she could be completely alone with her thoughts and go through this totally believable thing, even Even though she gave [the police] information that she should never have given him. But because Melanie has done this and gotten to know herself so deeply, you can believe she feels almost alone in the room and is unburdening herself of these issues in one of the only places she can be. She cannot say this to her husband. She can’t say that to her daughter. Shauna does need a therapist, but I think money is tight at home. Her relationship with her friends is… super weird! So this is a space where she can come in and really speak her truth. So it was a really big moment for her as well.

(L-R): Kevin Alves as Teen Travis, Nia Sondaya as Teen Akilah, Samantha Hanratty as Teen Misty, Courtney Eaton as Teen Lottie, Sophie Thatcher as Teen Natalie, Jasmin Savoy Brown as Teen Taissa and Sophie Nélisse as Teen Shauna in YELLOWJACKETS,

Melanie Lynskey as adult Shauna in “Qui”. Paramount+
Sophie Nélisse as Teen Shauna in YELLOWJACKETS,

There is a recent trend to show more dramatic childbirth scenes on TV; (L-R): Kevin Alves as Teen Travis, Nia Sondaya as Teen Akilah, Samantha Hanratty as Teen Misty, Courtney Eaton as Teen Lottie, Sophie Thatcher as Teen Natalie, Jasmin Savoy Brown as Teen Taissa and Sophie Nélisse as Teen Shauna in YELLOWJACKETS, Dragon House and Dead Ringers also comes to mind. These episodes were written before, but now they are released after the Supreme Court Dobbs summer ruling . Do you think the audience is more receptive? Do you think it will be so shocking?

You see, I think people are worth less and less as time goes on. We just went through the Yellowjackets cannibalism scene – so, childbirth is nothing! Showing the placenta, I think the props and special effects are really well done…

By the way, what is the placenta made of?

I know we put jam on babies, for the bloody part. Obviously, you have to be very careful about choosing what to wear for your baby. I’m not sure what they use to make the placenta. But regarding Dobbs, look, women’s reproductive health has always been a mystery, and I think it’s important to demystify it and understand the basic medical functions it serves. Look, if it’s about men, you can go to an ATM and get an abortion, right? This is something people don’t talk about. Now there’s more talk about menopause. Often women’s bodies are shrouded in mystery, so I think the more we can normalize and talk about it, the better.

I follow Yellowjackets Sophie Nelisse Regarding the young actors of Jackie Chan’s cannibal scene, many of them had physical reactions during filming. The cannibalistic scenes with babies are heightened in your episodes, and as you move around, everyone has different emotions on their faces, from despair to regret to bloodlust. Can you talk about what it was like to make the film?

I’m glad you saw this. You probably won’t be surprised that I show the cast of Rosemary’s Baby . We discussed it and how these quick close-ups would show and calibrate these wildly exaggerated reactions. It might not be the same as the Jackie eating scene, I wasn’t there so I’m just guessing, but doing that with Sophie in the cabin, all the loss was so exhausting and profound that when we found the baby, despite It was super dark, but it was almost a relief because they read the script and they all knew it was part of the nightmare, part of the unreality. So in some ways, the reality of Episode 6 is so dark that I bet they feel differently about eating Jackie, and it’s definitely part of their down-to-earth, pragmatic timeline.

The baby was not involved in that scene, but in others. How about filming with the baby?

We should talk about Sophie for this, because filming with a baby is really hard work. We have wonderful kids who are really easy going. But you could be doing your favorite thing, and then all of a sudden, babies start screaming when they shouldn’t. This is of course a big challenge. Sophie does this brilliantly. But yeah – when we’re shooting a baby-eating scene, there’s no need for a live baby. Those are props!

The Yellow Shirts gathered around Xiao Na to welcome her birth. Left to right: Kevin Alves as Travis, Nia Sandaya as Akira, Samantha Hanratty as Misty, Courtney Eaton as Lottie, Sarah Cher plays Natalie and Brown plays Tessa and Nellis. Kay Lee Schwarman/SHOWTIME(L-R): Behind-the-scenes with Jasmin Savoy Brown, Director Liz Garbus and Sophie Nélisse on the set of YELLOWJACKETS,

Others you know more about Coach Ben (Steven Krueger) and his inner journey. What do you want to accomplish with him?

Ben’s going downhill, right? He doesn’t eat Jackie. He was getting dizzy more and more. He’s losing touch with those he’s felt closer to throughout the season. I don’t know how obvious it is to the audience, but his flashback scene with his boyfriend has changed. It’s a reference to his emotional state and how distorted his mind has become. So, not only did we handle the performance for Ben, but similarly to Sophie’s timeline, we enhanced his changing state through sets and cinematography. Look at the scene and compare it to the last time you saw him in that apartment.

Sounds like an interesting conversation for a Reddit thread.

There are easter eggs in there, and if you pay close attention to the cinematography and sets, we do wink yellow at the timeline in the “real world” Jacket and Nightmare. It would be great for people to dig in and see if they can parse this stuff.

Beyond Yellowjackets , The Handmaid’s Tale Have you back for the upcoming final season and you are doing Ellen Pompeo’s new series on Hulu. what can you talk about

I am very excited about both projects. Working with Elisabeth Moss has been a transformative experience for me both as a director and on the set of Handmaid’s Tale. I absolutely love that team, that crew, that cast, writers and Lizzie. I’m so excited to be reunited with them because they put this extraordinary, extraordinary cultural phenomenon to bed, and that’s what that show is. I couldn’t be more excited to work with Ellen and create a new character for her after we all love her as much as Meredith Gray. It’s just a delicious challenge and the show will be great.

Interview edited for length and clarity. Airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on Showtime. Keep up with the Yellowjackets Season 2 coverage and interviews.



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