June 6, 2023

Until then, in the 1990s, Misty is done with her old bullshit once she overhears Mari and Akilah talking about Crystal’s disappearance. Though their conversation begins with compliments, with Misty being praised for handling Shauna’s labor with aplomb, it devolves into the usual criticism, with Mari speculating that Misty “did something” with Crystal.

Trying to save face, Misty suggests finding Crystal now that the snow has stopped, knowing what the outcome will be. But even that plan goes awry when she overhears Gen (Mya Lowe) and Melissa (Jenna Burgess) suggest that discovering Crystal dead wouldn’t be the worst outcome, because at least it would mean more food. Misty doesn’t want to eat her bestie, so she breaks out of her search party under false sobs to find the body herself. She can’t find Crystal, but she runs into Coach Ben, whose desperation has finally reached a breaking point.

He is about to jump to his death from the same cliff that caused Crystal’s demise when Misty emerges to stop him. Her first tactic is threats: they will eat him if he dies. She will tell his parents when they are all rescued that he has been trying to get them all pregnant. She will tell everyone he is gay. “Do it,” he says to that final threat. The only thing holding him back is Misty’s tearful plea, “I can’t have another death on my hands.”

It’s the only thing she says that can be somewhat sincere. He thinks she’s talking about the baby. We know her guilt goes deeper than that.

Even with the flashbacks-slash hallucinations with his lover Paul, Ben’s storyline has remained thin this season, and the fact that his big moment turns out to be more of a showcase for Misty highlights that. It’s Misty’s honesty that ultimately leads him to back away from the ledge, not his own revelation.

The tone of the 1990s scenes in this episode differs drastically from the 2020s scenes, and not just because the contemporary scenes feature the “Pink Elephants on Parade” from prestige TV sequences. In the wilderness, the girls are mired in loss. Shauna exists in a haze, unable to separate fact from reality. She looks for Jackie in the barn and lashes out at her teammates, who she still believes ate her child. Finally, Lottie offers herself as a literal punching bag to Shauna’s anger, and Shauna whines at her and pounds her face until it’s swollen and bloody.