Thursday, June 20, 2024

Purgatory Without Wynonna is a Much Grimmer Place

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Wynonna Earp Season 2, Episode 11, “Gone as a Girl Can Get”

It’s the penultimate episode of this season, Earpers, and boy was it a rollercoaster ride. A rollercoaster filled with flaming booby-traps, Bobo del Rey, sexy boobs, and why the heck did I get on a boob thing? I think I may still be a bit drunk on excitement from getting not only a like from the glorious Dani Kind for one of my tweets (I love you, Dani!), but also getting the much coveted Emily Andras retweet (I’m still flailing).

Where was I? Oh, right. The episode. According to Emily Andras, this is what last night’s episode was about:


And one thing’s for sure, she’s not at all wrong.

OMG, what?

Stuff’s going down on a revenant infested Earp homestead. Waverly—all gussied up in a wedding dress and pink flower crown—and Nicole run into the barn and find Jeremy. Just as Waverly claims she’s found ‘it’ and knows how to get Wynonna back, the barn explodes. After the credits roll, we’re back to Doc in the well, freaking out and screaming for Wynonna. He gets out with the help of Stevie, who takes him to the Earp Homestead, or should I say ‘Holliday Haus’. Seems in Wynonna’s absence, Doc is in charge of the revenants. And he’s shipping out the drugs Rosie cooks up for him. Doc frees Rosie from her imprisonment (at his previous orders), and heads over to find Dolls.

“No, we cannot die. I’ve only had sex one and a half times!”—Jeremy

At BBD, Dolls has the Widow Mercedes in containment, and he’s torturing her for information. She taunts him about Wynonna being missing and about raising Clootie. Doc busts in to enlist their help to find Wynonna. Nicole knocks him out before Dolls can shoot him (Doc really did eff things up in this universe didn’t he?). At the police station, a harried Nicole has to manage an incompetent rookie named Lonnie and the ‘coyotes’ plaguing the town; in this alternate universe (AU), Doc blew up Nedley, so she’s sheriff. Waverly brings her lunch from Shorty’s and even across timelines, the chemistry between them still crackles. But their simmering tension is interrupted when Waverly has to meet her groom-to-be outside.

“Are you gonna make a demand? Because if you’re going to make it, make it now before I shoot that compensating mustache off your smirking face.”—Dolls

Stuck in containment with the Widow Mercedes under Dolls’ orders, Doc reveals that he, like her, knows that the universe isn’t right. Outside, Waverly meets up with her fiancé…and thank god it isn’t Champ. It’s Perry, and he’s worried about her serial cold feet (3 called off weddings?? Dude, maybe she’s not that into you.) He admits he hired a private investigator to find the person who killed her dad and Willa. She goes to see Bobo, who’s been locked in a mental institution. He tells her there’s a spell and urges her to leave and find Wynonna. The Widow Beth tries to break the third seal herself, but the spell takes two.

“Because knowing something about me, before me is a total invasion of my privacy.”—Waverly

Waverly digs through a chest of her family’s things and finds her mother’s wedding dress. Meanwhile, the Widow Beth frees her sister from BBD, and Doc convinces Jeremy that they’re living in an alternate reality and needs his help to end the spell. Doc gives Jeremy his hat (!!!), then takes it back when Jeremy awkwardly asks Doc out :(. Clad in her mama’s wedding gown, Waverly storms in on Doc at Shorty’s. Dolls arrives, and a shootout between him and Doc ensues. Doc deals Dolls a fatal shot in the chest (thinking he had his body armor to protect him). While down, Dolls shoots Doc through the stomach, killing him. A dying Doc tells Waverly to find the Iron Witch and destroy the trophy; Dolls crawls away, apparently still alive.

“I do hate it when we argue.”—Doc, while dying

Nicole picks up Waverly and offers to take her to find the Iron Witch. Jeremy finds Dolls just in time for him to die in his arms, whispering Wynonna’s name. Nicole and Waverly find the Iron Witch, who explains the spell and that it was worthless, as her sister is still dead. She lifts the glamor for a few seconds for them to see what the world is truly like, and tells them where to find the trophy: the revenant infested homestead. Waverly then breaks Bobo out of the mental institution to help her get on the homestead. Jeremy meets Rosie to ‘complete the mission’ from Dolls. He convinces her that they’re in an alternate reality, that BBD is behind it, and recruits her help. Meanwhile, the Widows can’t seem to get their magic to work.

“I killed him; I killed Doc, but it felt empty…like he was my friend.”—Dolls, while dying

At the homestead, Bobo directs Nicole and Waverly to dig up the talisman to expel the demons. The Widows arrive, and Bobo flees to the homestead proper. Bobo’s arrival causes chaos and division, which Waverly and Nicole use as a cover to get to the barn. This brings us to the opening scene of the episode, and we now get to see the rest of the story from the barn to the bomb. Nicole and Waverly run into Jeremy and Rosie, attempting to dismantle BBD’s ‘operation’. The Widows catch up to Bobo and take him captive. Rosie tells them where to find the trophy, then runs out into the yard and dies. Waverly tells them if they blow up the barn, it will destroy the trophy and break the spell. All they have to do is trust that they’ll all survive.

“Listen [Perry,] I can’t really talk now, I’m in a barn wired to explode. Also I think I’m gay, call you later?”—Waverly

A bit sooty and disheveled, Jeremy, Nicole, and Waverly wake up back in their timeline and head out to look for Wynonna. Elsewhere, the Widows attempt to torture information out of Bobo. He admits to finding Clootie’s coffin when digging for the Stone Witch’s sons. He also breaks the third seal for them, because Clootie has the power to prevent him from going back to hell. Nearby, Wynonna wakes up and has one moment of peaceful contemplation with her baby before she sees Bobo with the Widows. She finds the broken seal in the grass and, of course, baby Earp picks just that time to start hinting that it’s time to come into the world.

Favorite One Liner: “My god, is this what we are without her?”—Doc

I Gotta Say…

I’m a bit speechless by how excellent this episode was. Once again, Alexandra Zarowny delivered a tense, romantic, poignant, and frightening episode all at once. Everybody dies to save the world, but not in the Rogue One way. We get noble sacrifice, but also survival for our faves; it’s a tough balance to pull off, but worked really well. The dramatic tension had weight to it, and the survival was a true catharsis rather than a cheap ‘given’. Though if Nedley, Doc, Rosie, or Dolls didn’t make it back, I’m rioting.

The dialogue lept to life from the screen and the direction was pure magic. Like the transition from the Widow’s discussion of the answer being in the rings to Bobo’s ring-clad hands. Then to cap it off with the pregnant (heh) imagery of the father of the Earp curse and the next Earp heir being birthed into the world at the same time? Absolute perfection. I love how it flips the script on the age-old trope of “as one life dies another comes into the world.”

I also appreciate how well the writing did with creating believable ‘echoes’ in the alternate universe. Like with Waverly overreacting to Perry’s well-intentioned invasion of her privacy with the PI. Or Nicole’s genuine surprise at wearing her own wedding ring. This timeline was both believable and also wrong at the same time. We could see how Purgatory could have ended up this way without Wynonna while at the same time seeing the cracks that lead the characters to perceive it’s lack of substance.

The one who never saw the cracks until the end. OW.

My big question after last week—other than how they’d get Wynonna back—was who was getting married. I’m quite pleased Andras and the writing team chose not to bring back Champ. He was probably who fans would have expected Waverly to be marrying, since they were together when the show started.

However, it intrigues me that she ended up with Perry. He’s the opposite of champ: sophisticated, ambitious, and, more importantly, based outside of Purgatory. See, without Wynonna, Waverly has a reason to follow through on her dreams to leave town. Looking back on S1, it’s pretty clear that part of Champ’s appeal, other than being high school sweethearts, was that he would keep her from leaving Purgatory. Even with Wynonna having left town prior to S1, Waverly couldn’t leave. There was a chance Wynonna might come back, and there was the Earp curse to research since Wynonna didn’t seem interested in her birthright.

Wynonna tied Waverly to Purgatory, both out of love and familial obligation. So Waverly chose someone who would not pressure her to leave town. Without Wynonna, Waverly’s ready to leave Purgatory as soon as possible. Yet the tug is still there, the feeling that there’s ‘something missing’ with Perry. Yeah, that might be a lack of spark because of her love for Nicole, but to my mind, the most significant meaning for that is that Wynonna isn’t there. The something ‘missing’ that prevents her from her dream of leaving town is her sister, the same reason she couldn’t leave in S1. Wynonna ties her there even in her absence.

Holy crap Earp sister feels. Can I also say that everyone telling Waverly to be a hero and save Wynonna (and the world) just kills me. The refrain of Wynonna’s name drummed into me, it got in my blood as I watched, just as it was getting into Waverly’s. Wynonna, Wynonna, Wynonna. Remember, Wynonna. Remember who she is. Bring her back. We need her.

Heck, even Bobo urged Waverly to ‘fly away and bring back Wynonna’, and there’s no love lost there. It was poignant, coming from him. Yet there’s a bitter, twisted irony in Bobo’s fixation on Wynonna’s death and destruction. Little does he know she’s the one who protected him in the past, who held onto him when he was dying and who he rescued in turn. She whispered Waverly’s name, but still, Wynonna is ‘his angel’ in the literal sense.

Yet Waverly has become a kind of talisman to Bobo, the one good thing in his life and the one person who he will neither cross nor hurt. She’s a sign that there is still goodness in him, and is in that sense, the ‘angel’ on his shoulder, compelling him to do good in spite of himself. It’s tragic, twisted, sad, and messy, and I can’t wait to see how it all turns out.

Speaking of Bobo and Waverly, I’m not sure who was more uncomfortable in the scenes in the mental institution, me or Waverly. His invasion of her personal space makes sense since he thinks of her as his guardian angel. But still, it doesn’t diminish the creep factor. For all that she knows in this universe, he’s the guy who killed her family. He may think of her as a protector figure, but to Waverly, he’s a monster, and the disconnect there was palpable in their scenes together. My hats off to Dominique Provost-Chalkley and Michael Eklund, who played these scenes impeccably.

But let’s pause here for a second. What’s up with Bobo? Is it just me or is he even more erratic than he was in S1? Is the pain in his head purely from being in the AU? But then why isn’t anyone else affected the same way? What motivates him to want to help Waverly find Wynonna? Is he just crazy at this point? Delusional? Why would he care if his arch-enemy is missing? I mean, it’s excellent acting, and doesn’t take me out of the story too much, but still, I want to understand. That his ultimate goal is to escape returning to hell, there is no doubt, but some of his actions don’t quite fit. He has no reason to bring Wynonna back. And if the goal was to join forces with the Widows all along so that he could get Clootie’s help, why did he run?

At this point, he feels like a force of chaos, but one that can’t decide if he’s chaotic good (helping Waverly take down the homestead) or chaotic evil (crushing the final seal). Maybe that last trip to hell did more psychological damage to him than normal. I mean, he was a bit of a loose canon in S1, but now he just seems kind of unhinged, or at the very least highly unpredictable. Still, it’s in a highly compelling way. Michael Eklund acts his face off, and I can’t stop looking at Bobo. Hell, Bobo has the power to crush a seal with his fist and blow the dust in the Widows faces. I’m so happy Bobo’s back, you guys. The dynamic between his sheer power and chaotic behavior, the Widow Mercedes’ gory doomsaying, and the Widow Beth’s chipper, sing-song-y destructiveness is a wonder to behold

Oh, and did you all catch the neat little verbal callback Waverly had to Bobo when she was talking about Doc?

“He’s violent and insane, a huge part of the reason why Purgatory went to sh*t, but when he died…have you ever met someone and instantly known in your heart that they meant something to you?”—Waverly

That’s about as nice a summary of Bobo’s place in her life as is possible. I love when the writers do this.

I have a lot of feelings about Bobo, okay?

Doc broke me in pieces. This episode showcased just how much of a changed man he is. He went the extra mile for Wynonna, but it was his wholehearted trust in Dolls that really kicked me in the feels. He believed in Dolls’ goodness at every step. Dolls wouldn’t put him in containment if there was real danger; Dolls wouldn’t hurt Jeremy; and of course, Dolls wouldn’t actually kill him. He was ultimately wrong because this wasn’t ‘his’ Dolls, yet that very mistake is heartbreaking. He so believes in and understands the ‘real’ Dolls now, which is a huge step for Doc.

Doc knows the real Dolls so well that he purposefully shot him where he ‘knew’ he would hit body armor. He believed he would be bruising Dolls, not killing him. And Doc would compliment Waverly on how beautiful she looks as he’s dying. Follow that up with him calling her baby girl and I think a piece of my soul died. Another piece died when Dolls said that killing Doc was a hollow victory because he’d killed his friend.

Through Doc, and Dolls, we see what Purgatory would be like without Wynonna. Without her, the men she loves kill each other instead of working together. Without her, Doc blows up Nedley, takes over the revenants, and becomes a drug-king and crime boss. There was no better way to showcase just how much Wynonna does to help people be their best selves than this episode.

Wynonna is also the only reason that people are brave enough to face the reality of demons in town. You almost want Wynonna to see what Purgatory was like without her. Because for all the weight she carries, seeing the good she does, how much light she brings to the world and helps her friends and loved ones choose their better angels, might just lighten it a little.

We almost get to see what that would look like in the field. She’s calm, happy, at peace with the world despite the grass in her thong. And then…Wynonna has never looked more vulnerable than the moment when she feels the baby coming and hears Clootie’s growl. Way to end the episode on a suckerpunch, Wynonna Earp.

I see you, Andras Zarowny

  • Even in an AU, WayHaught gets cockblocked. Can’t catch a break lmao.
  • DOC GAVE JEREMY HIS HAT. All I’m saying is it’s a good day for the small but devoted fans of the SS Doc/Jeremy.
  • This is the first time that the makeup isn’t really working for the Widow Mercedes’ head wound. It looks a bit…spinach-and-cheese-y.
  • I reaaaaally want to know why Mama Earp really left. Like. Desperately.
  • Waverly had a hamster named Pikachu and a fish named Spish.
  • I see you and that quote from Ruth (“Where you go, I will go.”) that’s used so much at wlw weddings!
  • I’m glad Greta explained why Doc remembered Wynonna when no one else did, but it would be nice to have an explanation for why Mercedes is so visibly rotting on her feet. Is it all because she was shot once by Peacemaker? I thought she told Wynonna that Peacemaker couldn’t kill her?
Look at this precious cinnamon roll and her pet cemetery.

See you all next week for the season finale, “I Hope You Dance.” I barely survived this episode, so I have no idea how I’m going to make it through next week!

Images Courtesy of SyFy

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