It is time to talk about Tai. No, not me, your friendly Nerdist writer. I mean Taissa “Tai” Turner from Yellowjackets. There’s always been a lot to unpack with her, from her peculiar behaviors and wolf sightings to killing the poor family dog in some sort of blood ritual. In Yellowjackets season two, Tai is on a continual spiral as she begins to grapple with this more mysterious (and super chilling and mayybeee evil) side of her that’s causing some serious issues in her life. Who is Taissa’s other identity and what does this seemingly bad version of herself want? What does the eyeless man have to do with all of this, if anything? Let’s get into what’s going on with the legend that we affectionately call Evil Tai and what she’s up to in Yellowjackets so far.
What We Learned About the Other Side of Tai in Yellowjackets Season One
Yellowjackets actually introduced us to Taissa’s other personality in season one. We saw both ‘96 Tai and modern-day Tai exhibiting certain patterns of behavior like climbing trees and consuming dirt at night. Tai never remembers what she’s doing but others are obviously concerned about her, including Van and (years later) her family. In fact, Sammy tells Taissa that he knows she’s not “the bad one,” who looks into his window at night. So, we’ve known since then that there’s another side of Tai, perhaps another identity within her, that could be construed as evil or bad. We see this in action in the season one finale when Simone discovers that Tai killed Biscuit, the family dog, and put his head on an altar. We also see Tai winning her senator election (we’d vote for her, always) and smiling at us in an unnatural way.
Tai’s Other Identity in Yellowjackets Season Two
This leads us to Yellowjackets season two with Taissa being unaware of her disturbing actions. She expresses genuine guilt and remorse over Biscuit’s death, even getting another dog to appease Sammy. But the damage is done, as Simone forbids her to see Sammy and threatens to tell everyone about Tai’s actions. It seems the rise of Evil Tai is taking over her life. She’s downing cups of coffee, exercising vigorously, and popping medication to presumably avoid sleeping. Honestly, we cannot blame her because, well, sleepwalking is an obvious catalyst for some of her actions.
But we see Evil Tai showing up in the mirror with those stern eyes. She’s a true horror queen who will not be contained. Tai begins to imagine entire scenarios, like Sammy coming to her house after school. After she and Simone discover the truth in the car, Evil Tai fully takes over, eyeballing Simone ominously. This leads to a major car crash where Simone’s side of the vehicle is hit pretty hard.
In the past, teenage Tai’s sleepwalking is getting beyond dangerous in the wilderness’ icy conditions. This comes to a head one night when Van tracks sleepwalking Tai, who is following that mysterious Eyeless Man for some reason. (He deserves an all-caps title. Also, his new haircut is rad.) We still don’t know much about this eyeless man except that he first appeared when Tai’s grandmother passed away years prior.
She nearly walks over a cliff before Van tackles her and, of course, she still doesn’t realize what’s going on. So there’s a clear connection between Tai doing things in another state, whether it is involving her other identity or sleepfollowing our sexy forest friend, and either serious injury or death happening.
Van believes Lottie can help but Tai refuses to do so. They never come to a clear resolution because there are more important things on the, ahem, wilderness menu for now.
In episode three, teen Taissa is shocked and then disgusted to learn that they ate Jackie. This confirms what many fans suspected: that Tai wasn’t fully awake and aware of her actions during the great feast. It seems that she’s spending more and more of her time in this fugue state. In the present, Tai is in the hospital with Simone after their shocking car accident. She’s okay but Simone is in critical condition. A nurse points out Tai’s artwork that she put on Simone’s hand: that weird Yellowjackets symbol. As we have seen so far, it appears to be a symbol that the majority of the wilderness group associates with protection. However, Tai seems horrified by it and wipes it off, hinting that maybe there’s something darker tied to its meaning and her personal relationship with it.
Back in the wilderness, Tai wakes up and Van decides to follow her outside. Tai power walks into the woods while Van asks how she knows where they are going. She replies (in a voice that’s not quite like hers) that “the one with no eyes shows” her, which is indeed the Eyeless Man. But, Tai also says she can only follow him if “she” lets him. That “she” in question is Taissa, which makes Van (and us) wonder who Tai becomes in this state. The Eyeless Man leads them to a tree with the symbol on it, and Tai isn’t sure why this is happening to her. It seems that Lottie and Tai are the two most powerful people in the wilderness right now because of their mysterious connection to the symbol.
Present Tai is still popping pills and feeling guilty in a hospital bathroom. She turns around and sees the other Tai (hey girl!) in the mirror, who mouths what appears to be “go to her” as Tai frantically asks what she wants. Evil Tai then places her hands strategically over her eye, making a triangle of sorts. What does that mean? We will get into it a bit later…
In episode 4, Van shows Teen Tai a map that shows all the trees she’s been finding, which form the shape of that symbol. The always pragmatic Tai says that it’s a bunch of random points that could make any shape. Van wants to prove her point and invites Tai to look for a tree that should be in a specific location. They don’t find the tree but they do somehow find Javi after over two months. Van tells her that there’s something deep inside of her that is connected to everything, which only makes the whole Other/Evil Tai and Eyeless Man conundrum even more curious.
Present Tai is still spiraling. It appears that she’s back in her house but then we see Evil Tai digging through things and looking fabulously creepy. Suddenly, Tai wakes up in the car she borrowed, which is out of gas. She is confused and notices two things: that she has the Yellowjackets file that the detective kept on them and that she’s a long way from home. Her GPS is set for Oberlin, OH, which she is still a good ways away from. At this point, fugue state Other Tai (or Evil Tai) is truly wreaking havoc on her life and taking over in a big way. Tai has a job as a STATE SENATOR that she is not doing right now. She picks up a ride to the Ohio address. And the episode caps off perfectly with us finding out where Tai goes: to Van’s wonderfully gay video store. It appears she is the “her” that Other Tai wanted her to go to.
In episode six, we discover that some time has passed in the wilderness timeline. Tai is no longer sleepwalking and agrees to go to Lottie’s “woo woo” sessions to appease Van. Later on, Shauna goes into labor out in the woods during a snowstorm with only Tai by her side. Tai taps into Lottie’s meditation strategy to lead them back towards the cabin. It’s the first time we have seen this and honestly, we don’t know what it means for Tai at this point.
In the present, we further see Tai at Van’s time capsule of a shop/apartment. Van realizes that the sleepwalking is happening to her again and presses Tai about the severity of it. We don’t get to hear the conversation but we know that Tai told Van about the dog sacrifice and presumably everything else that’s happened. After some tense moments, Van still admits that she won’t let Tai leave in the state that she’s in. Tai admits that she’s terrified and doesn’t want to hurt anyone else she loves. She breaks down into tears and Van offers her comfort.
Later on, Other Tai takes over and makes her move on Van before telling her that “this isn’t where we are supposed to be.” It’s a haunting statement that leads to some serious questions about where they should be. Is it the woods? Or does she simply mean that Van needs to come back to New Jersey to be with Tai? We shall see.
In episode 8, we discover that teenage Taissa saw the Other Tai in a reflection. The group is hungry and she’s in a sort of hallucinatory state when she looks out the window, seeing her actual reflection and a smiling other Tai in another window pane. Tai turns around and there is the other Tai for just a moment before Van breaks this state to ask Tai if she is okay. This is yet another interesting way that Tai’s other identity shows up as though she is a completely separate person.
What Does Evil Tai Want in Yellowjackets?
Right now, we have no idea what Tai’s bad identity wants from her in Yellowjackets season two. Maybe she wants Tai to reconnect with the wilderness. Perhaps she was the one that sent those postcards from season one as an invitation. Or perhaps there’s an even greater spirit that is drawing her out to wreak havoc. We will have to wait and see what’s going on with her.
It is a lot to process, especially when you throw Eyeless Man in the mix. As far as we know, adult Tai is not seeing him but he obviously plays into her overall life. Sammy also saw eyeless figures in season one, too. Taissa’s other identity could have a connection with the Eyeless Man on Yellowjackets; however, it seems she’s up to her own agenda for now. Maybe Evil Tai is leading Taissa towards mayhem and societal freedom while the eyeless man is a vehicle to open her eyes to new truths and enlightenment.
That symbol that Other Tai does in episode three looks very similar to the Eye of Providence (or, the All-Seeing Eye of God). In the US, this symbol appears on the one dollar bill as well as on Freemason (a collective that holds many secrets from general society) lodges. It is meant to represent the eye of God watching over humanity. Like the Yellowjackets symbol, there are many conspiracy theories tied to this symbol with some saying it represents the Illuminati, is generally evil, or it represents some larger “big brother” that is always watching us.
So there seems to be a duality here of Tai interacting with a part of herself that is all-seeing while also dealing with an entity that doesn’t have eyes. It’s not clear if Tai’s gesture is a direct reference to this, but perhaps whatever entity that is in the woods is the “god” that is watching over Tai and the others. We thought Evil Tai’s “go to her” means returning to that spirit, that place in some way. But, for now, it seems to mean going to Van for some unknown reason. Is Evil Tai in love with Van? It certainly seems like it after that kiss. We ship it.
Both Evil Tai and Eyeless Man are tied to traumatic events in Tai’s life, so it is easy to say that they are all trauma responses that are all “in her mind.” But what if there’s something else going on here? Tai is already a driven and influential woman but maybe we are just learning the extent of her power. Surely more will come to the surface throughout Yellowjackets season two.