Sunday, April 14, 2024

Consent is Far Sexier Than Spiders on Wynonna Earp

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Wynonna Earp Season 2, Episode 2 Review, “Shed Your Skin”

Another week, another smashing episode of Wynonna Earp. I continue to be impressed, but not at all surprised, at how much the Earp team can pack into a single episode in terms of action, emotional weight, and sexiness. It’s the best damn hour of television I watch all week, hands down.

I’ll warn you, though, there are spiders this week. Remember Indiana Jones with snakes? That’s how I feel about spiders. It is a gesture of how much I love this show that I’m willing to watch it.

OMG, what?

Smoking in the shower, Doc? Really?

We begin with sexy music, twin shower heads, and suggestive banter from Doc and Wynonna as they wash off monster goo in a decontamination shower. Lucado creeps on them is in a tizzy about the lack of monster body (and having to stay in Purgatory). She thinks Wynonna helped Willa bring down the wall around the Ghost River Triangle. Elsewhere, a dude in a porta-potty at a construction site hears skittering noises and his buddy opens the door to gooey webs. Just another day in Purgatory.

“One last time, never touch the goo.”—Lucado

At the police station, Waverly really enjoys watching Nicole do police work. Nicole’s not super happy about the flirting at her place of work, and about not being an official member of the Black Badge Division (BBD) gang. At Purgatory’s BBD headquarters, Lucado’s busting everyone’s butt. Wynonna decides to go demon hunting “the old fashioned way,” Jeremy’s trying (unsuccessfully) to use math against demons, and Doc is acting shifty. Wynonna goes to the aforementioned construction site and finds Mercedes Gardner, an old friend. Mercedes flirts then explains she’s buying up the cheap real estate in town. Inside the building, Wynonna runs into revenant Earl, then a creepy lady in black who smells like “Shalidelle”, then an egg sac/what remains of a missing construction worker.

“In other news, I found Jesus.”—Wynonna

Wynonna cuts into the egg sac and finds goo. It’s a theme this episode, goo. She then smells “Shalidelle” again and says Willa’s name, only to turn around and find Waverly. Doc’s still acting shifty as he stares at lab equipment and mentions needing a cook. He then meets with Nedley, who wants him to buy Shorty’s. The Earp Sisters sport matching lab coats as Waverly dissects the egg sac and Wynonna struggles with feeling like the team is falling apart without Dolls. A demon spider (*hrrk*) jumps out of the egg sac and attacks. After a scuffle, Wynonna shoots it. Next stop: getting the gang back together Meanwhile, Doc meets with his prospective cook Rosita and offers her protection in exchange for work.

“ What’s this annoying positivity thing? Always been there or just a side effect of banging a hot redhead?”—Wynonna

Wynonna comes downstairs after her real shower to find Jeremy waiting for the gang’s ‘symposium’. When he leaves to find Doc, she once again reflects on Dolls absence and Willa’s death. Upstairs, Waverly reads from Willa’s diary and confides in Nicole that she may not be an Earp. Nicole comforts her, leading to kissing that’s abruptly cockblocked by Wynonna. Nicole leaves. Wynonna tells Waves she thinks Willa is haunting her; Waves suggests an exorcism of Willa by burning all of her things. Downstairs, Jeremy dissects the spider while Doc offers his own brand of snarky wisdom. Jeremy totally flirts, only to be gently turned down. The Earp sisters start the fire while over at the construction site, Mercedes gets a visit from the lady in black.

“Hey look, you are the Earpiest Earp of them all.”—Nicole, to Waverly

Wynonna’s all boozy inside from the fire and whiskey. So, she opens up to Doc about feeling inadequate to lead the team in Dolls’ absence; Doc tells her it’s okay to miss him. The discussion then turns to her feelings about him, and how she would never have pursued Dolls if she knew Doc was alive. She tries to kiss him; he turns away. She yells at him for turning off his feelings and not being loyal to the team. He defends his other pursuits, but does not explain. They part in anger; Wynonna close to tears. Jeremy then explains to the Earp Sisters that the spider was one of many just as Wynonna gets a call from Mercedes that the many are attacking her.

“I didn’t know when we rescued Dolls we wouldn’t get to keep him.”—Wynonna

Ready to smash the patriarchy, and some demon spider eggs.

Wynonna goes hunting for Earl. They discuss the emotional struggle of living under the curse (with Wynonna’s signature snark). Wynonna asks to see what remains of the original school the condo is being built on. At BBD, Lucado finds her floor safe empty. Earl shows Wynonna the chapel and she knocks him out when he gets protective. Waves shows up with a tire iron and they bust in. At the bar, Lucado shows up to confront Doc about the safe; he asks for cash in exchange for incriminating documents from the safe. She tries to hit on him; he turns her down.

“Oh, and Jeanie? This is what I bring to the team.”—Doc

The Earp sisters go all smashy on the egg nest, then strut the halls covered in goo but with swagger. As they leave, we see the lady in black is not alone; there are two of them. At BBD, Wynonna debriefs Lucado, but she’s distracted. Jeremy asks about the demon eggs and they realize that the school is a new Hellmouth hub for demon activity. Doc meets with Rosita, who has agreed to be his cook. Waverly and Wynonna discover what looks to be a gateway underneath the former spider eggs. For what? Nothing good, I’m sure.

“Did smashing the demon eggs make you wet?”—Jeremy

Nicole finds Waverly redecorating Willa’s former room. They discuss how normal (and awful) fighting is. Nicole offers Waverly a packet of forms she can use to prove she’s an Earp (or not). Nicole also offers to stand by Waverly no matter what. Cue sexy music, making out, and sexy times, but not without each of them confirming that this is what the other wants. (*fans self*). Fade to Shorty’s saloon, where Doc and Wynonna share a drink. Doc warns Wynonna not to underestimate Lucado. Wynonna starts to open up about her fears that something is coming, but Doc cuts her short to meet with Rosie about their home lab.

“I know that going down this road is really important to you. And as long as you want me, I will be by your side.”—Nicole

Back at the homestead, Wynonna admits she wants the lady in black to be Willa, as it might offer her some hope that she could save Willa even if she wasn’t able to do so when they were children. Or a few days ago when she had to shoot her. Waverly shows little regret. When Wynonna asks for her company/comfort, Waverly begs off due to Nicole being upstairs. Wynonna tells her to go get some (more). Waves encourages Wynonna to rest alone, then chows down on the spider carcass sitting on the table once Wynonna leaves. *hrrk* Good thing she had dessert first.

Favorite One Liner: “This may be a shitshow, but it’s our shitshow.”—Wynonna, summarizing the Wynonna Earp fandom complaining about Lucado

I Gotta Say…

“Shed Your Skin” more than lived up to the high bar set with last week’s episode. Alexandra Zarowny, who wrote this weeks episode, did an amazing job with the script. The dialogue was on point, equally funny, heartbreaking, and resonant in turn. All the beats were earned. The action kept up the lightning speed of last week without sacrificing depth or characterization. Tamara Duarte (Rosita) and Dani Kind (Mercedes) are excellent additions to the cast, and Varun Saranga as Jeremy continues to be delightful. I want to hug him.

The ability to create space for emotional resonance within such quick beats astounds me. Every time we stop to breathe from the action, we dive headfirst into the hearts of each of the characters. If the plot is the skeleton—and a mighty fine one it is—and the dialogue is the meat, the characters’ thoughts and feelings are the blood that gives this whole creature life.

Nicole’s persistent support for Waverly, be it supporting her quest to find out her history or calling out Bobo, is the soul of this season. She’s truly the moral center and compass that will guide this passionate, determined, and frequently dysfunctional team safely home. Not that it comes at the expense of her character or personal growth. The narrative allows her the freedom to feel hurt by Waverly as well as disappointed in her thwarted ambitions at her job. Yet it does so in a way that is both true to her characterization and mature; the drama never feels manufactured or driven by plot necessity.

While I’m on Nicole, kudos to Nicole (and the writers!) for calling out Bobo a “gaslighting sociopath”. I’m so glad she didn’t mince words about his character after what he did to Willa.

That WayHaught scene near the end, though. Holy crap. First off, good for the Earp team that they resolved that particular disagreement so quickly. Do I think Nicole needs to be a bit more honest about her ambition and why what Waverly did hurt her? Sure. At the same time, I’d rather they not drag it out another episode, so I’m willing to take an off screen heart-to-heart in exchange for resolution (or on screen, since it still could come up). Second of all, that was…that was some good stuff right there. Haught dayum. They had sex guys. We now know that WayHaught has had sex. #Blessed

I’ll say it again: Haught damn.

What stands out to me most is the dynamic between them. As has been true of their physical relationship since last season, Nicole is more than willing to let Waverly take the driver’s seat. It’s a refreshing, and undoubtedly intentional, subversion of the “Predatory Lesbian” trope that’s much needed on our screens. At the same time, Nicole never masks or hides her own matching desire for Waverly. In that moment where Nicole takes a step back and asks if Waverly is okay, I can’t help but see a call back to Wynonna and Doc’s conversation. Doc puts the brakes on Wynonna because he doesn’t want it; Nicole calls a time out to check in, then proceeds passionately forward, no holds barred. It’s authentic, beautiful, and damn sexy.

Speaking of, I appreciated the moment between Doc and Wynonna in the barn. In his signature gentlemanly way, he reminds Wynonna, “you are free to kiss whoever you want…only if they want you to.” I had to pick my jaw up off the floor after this scene, because I could not believe what I’d just heard. This is probably one of the best explanations of consent and sex positivity I’ve ever heard in my life. It’s masterful.

We’re seeing a much more honest and vulnerable dynamic between Doc and Wynonna this season, especially on Wynonna’s side, and I have to say, I love it. Wynonna’s so vulnerable in that scene, kneeling in front of Doc. It took a lot of courage (much of it liquid) for Wynonna to admit that she misses both Dolls and Doc. In one stroke she admitted to having feelings for both of them, complicated feelings, and sought a way to find reconciliation with Doc. Perhaps not in the most mature way, but this is Wynonna. The fact that she chose emotional vulnerability at all is a step.

Which is another thing we’ve gotten more of this season. Melanie Scrofano’s face can go on so many journey’s in the span of a minute, someone should give her frequent flyer miles. Or an Oscar. Or both. She brings such life to Wynonna’s feelings I can’t always breathe while I’m watching. Rubbing her face with the bear, heck, saving the bear in the first place. She’s so vulnerable this season, so fragile. We’re starting to see how much hurt, insecurity, and grief lie behind the snark and booze. It breaks my heart, but in the best way. There’s so much there to dive into, depth we all knew existed, but now seeing since her inner foundations are beginning to crumble. This independent rebel is losing her loved ones and isn’t sure how to swim on her own.

There are definitely lingering questions after this episode, though. We’re still only 2 episodes in, so it only makes sense. Who are the women in black? What are their intentions? Did they come through the demon portal or something else? What precisely is the goo inside Waverly and why does it only come and go? What the hell is Doc up to? Well, that last one I think I can speak to. His comment, “This is for a friend” gave it away. My bet? He’s cooking up serum for Dolls. I’m so sure of it, I’ll bet you a hundred dollars. And by that I mean purely hypothetical hundred dollars because I can’t pay you real money. Not that I’m wrong.

I see you, Andras Zarowny

  • Nice The Price is Right shout out with the See-doo line.
  • There is so much flirting going on. Jeremy with Doc, Mercedes with Wynonna, Lucado with Doc, Wynonna with Doc. Don’t stop, my multi-shipping heart craves all of it.
  • Doc really isn’t into anything more than flirting right now, is he?
  • I saw the look of horror on Jeremy’s face when he realized the innuendo he made to Wynonna and Waverly. He’s totally not straight. (I mean, he did flirt with Doc, too)
  • “Nevermind, itty bitty titty.”
  • That thing Nicole does with her finger when she lifts Waverly’s chin, amirite? *swoons*
  • Speaking of swooing, the Earp sisters in lab coats.

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If you want more ways to get engaged with the show and it’s world, there’s a fun little site online called the “Purgatory Case Files” where you can follow cases from the town and help Nicole solve them. Right now, Officer Haught is investigating a break in that may or may not be as it seems! Oh, and there chats between Nicole and Waves 😉 The Twitter feed updates regularly when new clues are available, so check back with it often if you’re interested.

Tune in next week for “Gonna Getcha Good”, which feels like a personal attack since it’s the episode with the infamous cheerleading outfit. You are gonna get me good, Wynonna Earp. Damn you.

Don’t forget to enter the Wynonna Earp giveaway!

Images Courtesy of SyFy. Special thanks to Emily Andras for the inspiration for this article title. 

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