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[This story contains spoilers from the fifth episode of Yellowjackets season two, “Two Truths and a Lie.”]
An enjoyable addition to Yellowjackets for season two has been the arrival of Elijah Wood’s Walter. The oddball citizen detective has served as the perfect foil to Christina Ricci’s Misty in the present-day timeline of the Showtime series, as is exemplified by the game of Two Truths and a Lie that he insists Misty play while the pair road trip together in hopes of saving her friend Natalie (Juliette Lewis), who they believe has been abducted by the cult led by fellow plane crash survivor Lottie (Simone Kessell).
When playing the game, Walter breaks the rules by listing three truths. “Now you know a little more about me,” he says, after sharing that he owned an artisanal goat cheese business with a goat named Billy, that there’s a “non-zero chance” Barry Manilow is his biological father and that he has $175,000 worth of stock in Taco Bell, despite never visiting the chain restaurant. When Misty begrudgingly takes her turn, she says she doesn’t like monkeys, believes the wrong questions are being asked about the moon landing — and never gets to say her third option because they finally come across the location of Lottie’s compound, which they’ve been searching for the past couple of episodes.
If Misty had given her third option, she could have said that she murdered her best friend — and she might not have been telling a lie.
The fifth episode, titled “Two Truths and a Lie,” revealed that Misty in the past (who is played by Samantha Hanratty) killed her first true friend, Crystal (Nuha Jes Izman). Crystal was a new character in season two who emerged as the only Yellowjackets team member to bond with Misty as they fight out winter and try to survive following their 1996 plane crash. While taking a walk amid an oncoming blizzard, Misty and Crystal decide to share secrets. The bonding moment escalates into Misty confessing her deepest and darkest moment: Shortly after their plane crashed, she found and promptly destroyed the flight’s emergency transmitter because she finally felt useful.
“You’re the reason we never got rescued?” asks Crystal. When Misty realizes Crystal is rightly horrified, she threatens her to keep the secret. “I’ll fucking kill you,” Misty bellows, leaving Crystal so scared that she backs away and falls off the edge of a cliff.
When speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Hanratty said she recently watched the scene together with Izman, sharing that the co-stars have become close friends. “We just kind of held each other’s hands,” she said. “I’m going to cry, I can’t even talk about it. It’s emotional because I became really close friends with Nuha, she’s become one of my favorite people and she’s coming to the wedding [Hanratty is engaged to boyfriend Christian DeAnda]. She’s very much so involved in my life.”
When filming the scene, Hanratty said she surprised herself when she stepped into playing Misty. “I have to care about Misty to play her, so I have a lot of love for her. And my heart kind of broke for her when Crystal does turn on her,” she said. “Every time we did that scene, I don’t even consider myself a Method actor, but my heart literally would drop every time she rejected me, and I felt like I was turning into a little kid again. Scrambling to take back what I just did.”
She then quoted Misty’s CPR mantra “staying alive, staying alive,” which Misty chants as she tries to save Crystal’s life, and added, “I can watch it now and be able to almost laugh, like, of course this happens to Misty! But during the filming process, it was so heartbreaking and so sad, and it messes Misty up for quite a bit. This is the first person who has ever really loved her and who she has really loved, and it’s been taken away from her. But very quickly, if someone tells her, ‘snap out of it,’ she’s able to snap out of it.”
For Ricci, who depicts Misty’s trauma 25 years later in the present-day storyline, the actress can draw a clear line between what happened between Misty and Crystal to what happens between Misty and Warren. Despite the buddy-comedy vibe between the two that has been brewing all season, Misty abandons him when they arrive at Lottie’s compound because he catches her in a lie about Adam (Peter Gadiot), the “missing” local who Shauna (Melanie Lynskey) killed — a crime Misty, Taissa (Tawny Cypress), Natalie (Juliette Lewis) and even Shauna’s husband Jeff (Warren Kole) helped cover up at the end of season one.
“That is one of the things that perhaps informs her hesitancy to really get involved with Walter,” Ricci told THR of the Crystal reveal. “I think there should be a certain amount of hesitancy — and certainly with how he divulges that he knows who she is — that I think is terrifying for her, because the last person who knew who she was was Crystal, if you take the two sort of parallel storylines. I loved that, because I was excited for that to play out with Walter.”
Still, reading more about Misty in the past only reinforced what Ricci says she already knew about the character. “She’s innately not a trustworthy person, because her wants and desires and impulses negatively impact other people. She’s like a Lennie, she will crush the puppy to death. But also, when I was reading it, I realized this also puts any new relationship with a new person in jeopardy. Because to get close to somebody might be revealing who she is and then in that case, it’s going to end in tragedy.”
Wood’s role in Yellowjackets marks an onscreen reunion with Ricci, as the pair starred together in 1997’s The Ice Storm. And since the actor booked a season-long arc, “Two Truths and a Lie” won’t be the last of Walter. But Misty’s ability to swiftly put up a wall is sure to be a hurdle for the pair, even as viewers have been rooting for their blossoming possible romance.
As Ricci says, her character is skillfully able to repress any sort of introspection and move along. The episode ends with teen Misty lying about Crystal’s whereabouts as Shauna goes into labor, and present-day Misty zeroes in on her next task at the compound.
“She’s someone who sort of just moves forward, and doesn’t even necessarily feel guilty about anything that has happened,” she said. “I think she views most things as necessary. She took the most pragmatic action at the time.”
Yellowjackets releases new episodes weekly on Fridays and airs on Showtime Sundays at 9 p.m. Keep up with THR‘s Yellowjackets season two coverage and interviews.
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