Friday, April 19, 2024

Crazy Chick with a Bun in the Oven

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Wynonna Earp Season 2, Episode 7, “Everybody Knows”

The one with a Wynhaught road trip to a strip club. No really. This is everything I ever wanted of my Wynonna x Nicole brotp. Bonus points for not-so-subtle crushing on Doc from Jeremy, adorable drunk!Nicole, Dolls being a real stand up guy, and lots of Earp Sister feelings.

Doc levels up, too.

And yes, the title is a reference to a scene from S1, and a very fitting one at that.

OMG, what?

Wynonna and Dolls go hunting for Tucker and find the Black Widows doing their best to seem not at all suspicious. Wynonna’s not convinced, so Dolls agrees to keep an eye on them. At the homestead, Jeremy explains that the Widows are unclassified demons, but no one knows what the seals are for. Wynonna meets her new OBGYN, who looks like she’ll hold her own against the Earp gang. She wants blood samples to fulfill Wynonna’s desire for DNA testing. Wynonna admits to Waverly that Doc may not be the father, but chickens out on telling Doc himself. He offers to be as involved as she wants him to be. Outside, Doc has a run in with a ghostly boy from his past seeking to close out the warrant on his head.

“Is it bring your own speculum?”—Wynonna

At the bar, Waverly assumes his skittish behavior is due to Wynonna’s news, and she sticks her foot in her mouth when she comforts him about it. Jeremy also sticks his foot in his mouth while on a stake out with Dolls. Only the discovery of a scrap of Black Widow veil in his pocket saves him. Wynonna’s rattled about the whole ‘getting blood samples thing’ and Waves asks Nicole to keep an eye on her. Wynonna takes Nicole to a strip club called Pussy Willows, where they get drunk and Wynonna opens up. After her experience being tortured last season, she coped, as she does, by drinking heavily and pursuing other physical sensations to remind herself she’s alive. Wynonna also points out the dude she had a one night stand with: the bartender, Jonas. Too bad he’s a Revenant and that means her baby might be half-Revenant.

“You know Doc, the more he feels the less he says. Like a masseuse.”—Waverly

Waverly calls to check in on Wynonna, but Nicole is a bad liar (and drunk). Waverly figures out they’re at a strip club before Wynonna ruins Nicole’s phone to end the call. Back at the sheriff’s office, Doc looks to be making a run for it/gearing up to confront his past when Jeremy asks for his help. He needs Doc and Dolls to help him brew an antidote to the Widow’s venomous breath, but instead only succeeds in binding the three of them together with invisible strings (I’m so here for this). A bounty hunter named Reeves arrives and strings up Doc, only he wasn’t prepared for the invisible strings. Jeremy and Dolls manage to free Doc and knock out Reeves before making a break for it.

“You don’t become Wynonna Earp by confronting problems head on.”—Wynonna

At Pussy Willows, Jonas reveals himself to Wynonna as a Revenant and that he knows who she is. He gets a bit frisky, only to find the baby bump, though that doesn’t stop him from being gross. His behavior is finally enough, so Wynonna elbows him in the throat while a quite drunk Nicole still manages to shoot out the lights. Jonas follows them outside; he’s thrilled at possibly spawning a ‘new race’ and wants to be Adam to Wynonna’s Eve (hrrk). He runs when Wynonna pulls Peacemaker on him, only to run smack into Waverly’s door. At the office, Doc, Dolls, and Jeremy flee Reeves only to run into a whole host of ghostly bounty hunters ready to string him up for having sex with a judge’s wife. Twice.

“Well sh*t, things just got worse.”—Doc

The bro-est of bro trips in the best possible way. Classic Jeremy.

Dolls delivers an impassioned speech defending Doc’s changed life, while also calling him a jerk (Oh, Dolls, never change). The bounty hunters are unmoved. Just when it seems like Doc won’t make it, Dolls recognizes Reeves as a US marshal. (The very marshal who inspired him to take up the mantle and work for BBD in fact.) Dolls reminds Reeves of his oath then pulls rank on him and declares Doc to be in his custody. Thus, Reeves’s bounty is at an end. Reeves accepts Dolls’s declaration and hands over the bounty on Doc’s head, which Dolls destroys.

“You even screw up cooler than me!”—Jeremy, to Doc

Meanwhile, the ladies have taken Jonas prisoner in the trunk of Nicole’s car and aren’t sure exactly what to do with him. Wynonna is concerned he will tell the other Revenants about the baby and try to hurt them both. Waverly wants her to kill Jonas outright. Wynonna lets him out to talk, whereupon he sl*tshames her until she shoots him and sends him back to hell. But not before he admits that a human/Revenant baby may have happened once before. Thus ends Wynonna’s chance for getting a DNA sample for her OBGYN, but she doesn’t seem fazed. She and Waverly agree that whoever, or whatever, the baby is, they’re going to raise it together and raise it to be good.

Waverly: You’re a godd*mned superhero.
Wynonna: I’m a single mother.
Waverly: Same thing.

At the sheriff’s department, Jeremy sleeps while Doc and Dolls have a moment to collect themselves. Doc admits he might not be the father, but Dolls challenges him to step up anyway. The baby needs a good father whether it’s biologically Doc’s child or not. At the homestead, the reality of what Wynonna faces has settled in, evidenced by her willingness to say ‘baby’. She begins to gush about Waverly being an aunt. But Wynonna’s talk about the baby ‘being an Earp’ no matter what touched a raw nerve. Waverly breaks down, admitting that she may not be Wynonna’s sister, or even an Earp at all.

Favorite One Liner: “I’ll be as involved as you desire, no more no less.”—Doc

I Gotta Say…

Tonight proved that Brendon Yorke truly shines as a comedic writer, especially with situational comedy. The more light-hearted tone this episode—notwithstanding that final scene that broke my heart—worked well as a palate cleanser to last week’s heavy, creepy tone. It wasn’t without it’s heartwarming scenes and genuine emotional depth, but it was basically a hilarious road trip (brotrip?) movie. Or should I say two brotrip movies tied together with the theme of ‘past indiscretions’.

Director Paolo Barzman’s artistry was especially strong in the final scene. The placement of the bannister between the sisters echoed similar visual placement of objects between the sisters in other episodes this season. In fact, one of the interesting visual messages this season has been a division between Wynonna and Waverly. Walls, doors, and now the stairway bannister all represent the ways life is trying to drive them apart. And yet, they always find a way to come together. It’s a beautiful story to see unfold.

All too often, such ‘walls’ are used for cheap drama on other shows, or even go unaddressed, but Wynonna Earp has consistently chosen to bust them down and show strength in sisterhood rather than cattiness between women. Unlike the relationships between some female characters on other shows these two have valid reasons to push each other away that aren’t just “we like different things”. Instead, Wynonna Earp chooses to show how love overcomes all barriers between family and sisters. That’s something to be thankful for.

Another thing to be thankful for: these three hanging out.

I also love how supportive and respectful Doc is. He’s willing to give her the space and help she needs, and this despite admitting that times have changed. This is how you do a baby daddy story, folks. Even Doc, who lived 100 years ago and spent a good chunk of the time since in a well knows how to be ‘all in’ and take responsibility for his part in making a human being without being controlling, paternalistic, or begrudging.

Even his hurt at discovering he may not be the father is handled well. Confronting his own past liaisons in the form of the ghostly marshals reminds him that he can’t blame or shame Wynonna for not knowing who the baby daddy is. And Dolls’s not so subtle prodding pushes him to see that even if he may not be the biological father, the baby will need good role models, a position he’s more than equipped to fill given how much he’s matured from the man he was. I’m so impressed.

Most shows would use this as an out for their male protagonist to take no responsibility. Or, as with Jonas, for the potential father to express repulsive entitlement over the baby and his presence in Wynonna’s life and the life of the child. Wynonna Earp veers left and offers up a moving, incisive commentary on the importance of found family as much as blood family. It takes a village to raise a child, so they say, and I think Doc is on board to be part of it alongside the Earp sisters.

That being said, I’m more ambivalent about the situation with the other potential baby daddy. On the one hand, the flashback scene worked well to explain Wynonna’s state of mind. This felt like exactly the kind of thing she would do to cope. As she herself said, “You don’t become Wynonna Earp by confronting problems head on.” It being a demon felt a bit…not quite contrived, but at the very least convenient. Don’t get me wrong, objectively it’s a potentially interesting twist, but it did stretch the suspension of my disbelief one step too far.

And yet, I do appreciate the no apologies approach to Wynonna’s choices. There’s no shame attached to her sleeping with whomever she wants to, at least not in the flashback, and this is a hugely important. Unfortunately, I thought that message was undercut by the Revenant calling her a wh*re and her downfall being ‘letting one of them inside her.’ That crossed a line for me. It’s an ineffable one, I know, the line between empowering women in the face of gendered slurs and actually reinforcing the patriarchal concepts behind them.

I admit that for many people, this may have worked. It just didn’t do it for me, particularly because this was the note the episode ended on. I would have liked a reinforcement of the no-shame message of Wynonna’s flashback to balance it. Part of it is a personal aversion to gendered slurs in general, especially ones related to female sexuality (like wh*re or sl*t). I’m not even that big of a fan of b*tch as a gendered slur against women to be honest, so even Dolls’/Wynonna’s funny bit at the beginning didn’t work for me.

I also find demon baby stories deeply troubling on many levels, so this also introduces an aspect to the plot that I’m not thrilled about. It was one of the things I didn’t want from this plot line, and while it still may not happen (Doc could be the dad), I’m disappointed. Especially after how stellar last week’s handling of Wynonna’s pregnancy was.

Sister OTP is everything.

From a plot perspective, it does serve to set up that heart-breaking final scene. As ever, the Earp sister scene stands out for its emotional poignancy and resonance. Finding out that the baby might be part revenant is the perfect ‘breaking point’ for Waverly to tell Wynonna what’s been bothering her. This scene brought that plot thread back into focus seamlessly and, as always, they break my heart in the best way. Waverly’s face as she tries to hold back tears, Wynonna’s shocked disbelief. Ugh.

And all the while at the back of my mind I hear Nicole Haught saying, “You’re the Earpiest Earp of them all.” I still think that line is important. I’ve had a sneaking suspicion Waverly is an Earp/Revenant hybrid—Earp daddy, Revenant mommy—since Bobo first said she ‘wasn’t an Earp’. This particular dynamic would not only explain Willa’s dislike of Waverly, but also Bobo flat out thinking she ‘wasn’t an Earp’. Plus, if Ward was as worried as Wynonna is about what the Revenants would do to an Earp/Revenant hybrid, raising Waverly in his home as his and Wendy’s own daughter fits.

I would also love for Nicole to be the one who sees the truth without even knowing it. The show likes to hide the truth in humorous one liners. Giving drunk!Nicole the line “You’re the Earp heir and he’s a Revenant, so that means the baby…it’s…it’s Waverly” could be one such example. Sure, in context she means the phone ringing, but still. From the mouth of (hot) babes, amirite?

Finally, I have to mention just what a mensch Dolls is. He’s supportive, gracious, and not at all jealous or territorial with Doc. Hell, he’s willing to confront Doc about being a better daddy to Wynonna’s baby because he cares that much about Wynonna being happy and having a good support network. Seriously. He is an angel from heaven and he deserves to be happy and have good things in his life. He’s also part dragon, so. Win, win.

He didn’t have to protect Doc. He could have let the marshals take him out, and that’s precisely the direction I’ve seen other shows go. Yet it never crosses his mind. As with Doc making the serum, so Dolls risks his life for Doc. I know it’s because they both care for Wynonna and her happiness (and because they have a genuine respect for each other now), but this is the stuff OTPs are made of.

Basically, despite a few moments that didn’t work for me and some hesitation about the maybe demon!baby, I am here for Wynonna Earp subverting expectations. Catty women? How about supportive, loving sisters instead? Jealous boyfriends? Nah, what about dudes who respect each other and put Wynonna’s happiness above petty jealousy and pissing contests? To all that, I say yes please!

I see you, Andras Yorke

  • I didn’t know how much I needed drunk!Nicole in my life, and now I need more. She’s so cute!!
  • I really dig Jeremy’s binding spell and the comedy that came from that. That is 100% my aesthetic.
  • Speaking of Jeremy, CALM DOWN WITH YOUR FLIRTING (but actually don’t because I love it).
  • I am more #TeamDolliday than ever after this episode. Baby Earp deserves two awesome daddies, okay?
  • Nice SDCC joke
  • Doc knows ‘fanboy’; I don’t know if I’m terrified or amused. Probably a bit of both?
  • Can Doc and Reeves have a stache duel?
  • The whole ‘invisible strings’ thing after Waverly talked about marionettes was pretty great.

Tune in next week for time displaced Wynonna and, maybe, some clues about Waverly’s history?

Images Courtesy of SyFy

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