‘Yellowjackets’ Star Samantha Hanratty Explains How Misty Knew How to Amputate and Cauterize Coach’s Leg

Episode 2 of Showtime’s new drama Yellowjackets brought Misty (Samantha Hanratty) off the sidelines. Misty sprung into action in the immediate aftermath of the plane crash. Of course, this only raises more questions about Misty.

[Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for Episode 2 of Yellowjackets.]

'Yellowjackets': Samantha Hanratty cares for Steven Krueger
Samantha Hanratty and Steven Krueger | Colin Bentley/Showtime

Hanratty spoke with Showbiz Cheat Sheet by phone on Nov. 19. We’ll have a lot more with Hanratty as Yellowjackets continues, but first she addressed Misty’s seeming advanced medical prowess. Yellowjackets airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on Showtime. 

Samantha Hanratty invented the reason Misty knows emergency medicine on ‘Yellowjackets’

Ben Scott (Steven Krueger) is trapped under a piece of the crashed plane. Misty knows his leg is gone and chops it off with a piece of sharp metal. Later, after they build a campfire, Misty cauterizes Ben’s wound. That’s a lot for a high school kid.

“That’s one question that I had as well for the writers,” Hanratty told Cheat Sheet. “We kind of created this backstory that her parents must be in the medical field and she’s kind of grown up reading different books and just finds an absolute fascination with the human body. I kind of came up with my own backstory that it maybe had gone a little bit further than just medical books. She just went into her own little world of educating herself on the human body.” 

Is that why Misty became a nurse in ‘Yellowjackets’?

Misty grows up to be played by Christina Ricci. In the present, Yellowjackets shows that Misty became a nurse for the elderly. However, Misty has a volatile relationship with some of her patients. Perhaps caring for Ben led Misty to pursue a medical profession after they were rescued. Hanratty agrees with that suggestion.

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“I think that’s a really good theory,” Hanratty said. “I think that makes sense. She has that desire to be needed and I think that definitely has come into play for her adult self, that she ends up in a profession where people are literally relying on her. I think she gets a taste of that the first time with Beth Scott.”

Misty’s backstory is only the beginning 

Episode 2 of Yellowjackets showed a bit more about Misty. In the first episode, she was just the equipment manager of the soccer team and riding on the plane. Episode 2 not only showed her rise to the occasion after the plane crash, but showed her past also. Just not as much of her past as Hanratty figured out on her own. 

“You get to see a snippet of her at 13 and then right as the plane is crashing, you get to see what is unfolding,” Hanratty said. “You get to have a better look at adult Misty as well. I think this is the big opening for her because in the pilot, we didn’t get to see much of who she is. This is the first real introduction.”

Hanratty played Misty at 13 also. Yellowjackets gave her orthodontia to distinguish Misty at 13 from, say, 16 or so.

“I do with the braces,” Hanratty said. “My dad’s a dentist. He approved of the braces.”