Warning: This post contains spoilers for Yellowjackets episode 6, “Qui”.
In the grand scheme of things, the fifth episode of Yellowjackets’ second season isn’t particularly gruesome. The bar has been set high, inches painstakingly raised by acts of murder, kidnapping, cannibalism, and animal beheadings. In “Qui,” there’s plenty of blood — a character gives birth after all — along with organs and bodily fluids that might make casual viewers a bit squeamish. But for star Samantha Hanratty (Misty Quigley), the hardest parts of the episode to digest weren’t tied to any kind of mysticism or supernatural symbolism.
Hanratty’s take on the eccentric, slightly-insane outcast has been a highlight of the show. Her Misty has an enviable ability to disassociate from reality whenever it’s convenient, excusing her bad behavior, painting herself both a victim and hero, and secretly reveling in the chaos she often helps to create. This season, she’s already eaten one teammate and killed another but Hanratty teases we still haven’t seen the team’s oddball equipment manager at her worst.
UPROXX chatted with Hanratty about filming that traumatizing birth scene, her doula aspirations, the non-ethical future of Misty Quigley, and why she would’ve eaten (part of) the baby.
Did someone actually throw up when you filmed the cannibal scene in episode two?
Ok yes, fine. I threw up. Courtney [Eaton] was gagging. I threw up. It was a great time. But let me tell you, by the fifth bite of Ella Purnell, I was like, ‘Alight, I’m tapped out.’
What’s Misty’s headspace like coming into this episode?
She’s not where she would have liked to be. She likes to be in charge. I think she’s always felt pretty good about the fact that she’s going to be the nurse at this stage. But now that it’s without Crystal, without this person that she thought she was going to go through all of this with … I don’t even know if she thinks she’s done anything necessarily wrong, but she is starting to have really bad anxiety for the first time, her first real panic attack. Which is good. It shows that she is a bit more human than some people might think.
If we’re going to get technical, Misty didn’t actually kill Crystal.
That’s what I like to say. There’s a lot of debate on Reddit, but I do think at some point, Crystal would have been un-alived, possibly at the hands of Misty. I think that the way it happened was not the way that it was ever supposed to, in Misty’s eyes. But I think she’s dealing with a lot of just overall sadness. She’s so frazzled. She’s supposed to be this cool cucumber. She’s supposed to be the one who has it together. And when she doesn’t, I think not being able to push that aside is really scaring her.
Is she more volatile now that Crystal’s gone?
I think that if Crystal didn’t come into the picture, we would have seen more of a dangerous side of Misty earlier on. Now that the distraction of a friend is gone, her main purpose is going to be remembered, and that is to have power and leadership in this group. I think that she is more dangerous than she’s ever been after the death of Crystal, because she really has lost the last thing that was keeping her somewhat sane.
What moment in this episode brings back the “old Misty?”
When Lottie comes to her and says, ‘We need you right now.’ It’s that quick shock back into, ‘This is my team. We’re here because of me.’ I don’t think she views it in a bad way. I think she views it as divine intervention that she made happen. But she’s like, we’re here because of me and I’m going to do what I’m supposed to do. Every decision she’s made, she justifies it in her own head that she’s done nothing wrong. And I think that’s one of the things that snaps her out of feeling sad. It’s back into, ‘Okay, time to perform, time to go into action, time to show them who I am, what I’ve got, what I’m made of, and be the hero.’ She never views herself as the villain in this story.
How did you prepare for and shoot that birth scene?
I’ve given birth on set before, so I’ve done a lot of research when it comes to births. I’m the auntie of seven nieces and nephews, I can’t wait to be a mom myself. Hopefully, by next year I will be starting my own family. So I’m very familiar with that whole process. I just wanted it to come across as authentic as possible. Misty knows a lot, but I also didn’t want it to be where she knows too, too much. I could see myself as Samantha being a doula for people at some point. But for Misty, I’m like, I don’t know if she’s at that point. You know what I mean?
Just little things like, if we were in a hospital, Shauna’s legs would have been propped up and we would have had her all the way at the foot of the bed and things like that. I definitely had to stop myself from being like, ‘That’s not accurate.’ To be like, ‘This is a group of teenage girls who don’t know what they’re doing.’
After this episode, I could see you being a birthing coach. You were very motivating.
[laughs] Jasmin [Savoy-Brown] even said while we were filming, ‘I would want you to be there when I give birth. I think I’d want you to be my doula.’ I’m like, ‘Thank you. That’s a huge compliment.’
The mechanics are one thing. How did you handle the emotions of filming something this traumatic?
Our show can get spooky and a little crazy at times. And for those types of scenes where things do get a bit outlandish, I’m able to take myself out of it. But when it comes to something so serious as childbirth and how dangerous it can be, especially if you’re not in the hospital … Before we started filming, my number one concern was making sure that the crew and cast were taken care of and that everybody had a safe place and a safe person to talk to.
Thankfully, we had our great intimacy coordinator on set and she really helped set the tone. Sophie Nelisse is an incredible actress, and there were times when I really started sobbing and needed to step away. Jasmin and I would go into each other’s trailers and just hold each other. This is a topic that many of us have been affected by in life. Of course, we want to create a fun, positive atmosphere, but there are days that are just harder than others. The second they called, cut, I was massaging Sophie’s feet. I was making sure that she was okay. I was checking in on others and they were checking in on me. We all got really close during the filming process of this episode.
And that fade-to-black ending …
I just got goosebumps. I almost felt a trigger response because it did feel so real. And like I said, I have four sisters. It’s something that a lot of people in this world have dealt with or know somebody who has dealt with — losing a child. And it’s not taken lightly. We never know what each other has gone through. If you’re watching this episode with your friends and with your family, it’s an important episode, it’s a beautiful episode, it’s a tragic episode. Maybe just check in with each other while experiencing this with these girls. I know, for me, I’m going to give a warning to my sisters and I’ve given warnings to a couple of people prior. But it is something to also be expected in the circumstances that we’re in out there.
Are there any scenes that were left on the cutting room floor? Did you end up getting to deliver a fake baby?
Ugh, I hate jelly babies. I’ve worked so many times with jelly babies. I don’t mean to be rude, but they’re so ugly and scary.
What is a “jelly baby”?
So I don’t love dolls. Dolls freak me out. It’s basically a doll but it’s made out of more flimsy material so that it can flop around. They’re quite heavy and they’re just freaky looking. They’re so flimsy and the neck never stays up.
In Shauna’s post-birth delirium, was it the placenta or the actual baby you guys were eating?
It was definitely the baby in that world, in her imaginary world. I’m not going to lie, no matter what, I think they should have eaten the placenta. It’s something that they should have cooked up. And honestly, I hate to get to this level of detail, but look, if Shauna is able to have any milk come out …
You’re struggling to survive out there at the moment.
I know it’s a sensitive time, a sensitive subject, but we’re dying.
It’s a fair point.
Maybe it was just a bit too far for the show. You can quote me on this, I know people are going to find this gross, but when I have a baby, I’m going to eat the placenta. I’m going to get it put into capsules.
They did it on Keeping Up with the Kardashians.
If Kim can do it, we can do it.
Cannibalism, murder, horrific birth scenes. Without giving too much away, is there anything that can top what we’ve already seen in the upcoming episodes?
Not only does it get topped, shit gets real. I just watched episodes seven and eight and I just did ADR for episode nine. And I’m not going to lie, I knew it was messed up, what we were doing. But re-watching it, my jaw was definitely on the floor with where things went.
Bad things have happened, and they’ve reacted in the name of survival. I’m just wondering when the girls are going to start doing bad things to each other.
That’s going to show very soon. You’ll see us dive into some non-ethical — if you want to call anything that we’ve ever done before ethical — you’ll see some non-ethical behavior this season.