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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

Bi, she/her. Gretchen is a Managing Editor for the Fandomentals. An unabashed nerdy fangirl and aspiring sci/fi and fantasy author, she has opinions about things like media, representation, and ethics in storytelling.

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Emily Andras, Wynonna Earp, and the Unkillable Queer – The RaconteurGretchen EllisXanDanySuou no NioiThat Which Dreams Recent comment authors
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Lisa Powell
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Lisa Powell

Even with all the Wayhaught and the excellent “I think I’m gay” Buffy callback, my favorite part of this episode was how the barn exploding moved seamlessly into the opening credits. Which goes to show how much of a “behind the camera” kind of nerd I am.

Gretchen Ellis
Guest

I noticed that on rewatch! The production team is top shelf.

That Which Dreams
Guest
That Which Dreams

– Nicole knows EXACTLY when Waverly comes to deliver her food.
– Waverly and that Sadie Hawkins outfit.
– If Bobo really is Waverly’s dad, then there was some real creepy incest vibes going on there.
– I’d really like to have some vanilla dipped doughnuts.
– The Earp sisters and doughnuts.

Gretchen Ellis
Guest

They really do have a thing for doughnuts don’t they? I think I need to get vanilla dipped doughnuts for the finale.

Suou no Nioi
Guest
Suou no Nioi

It was so nice to see Bobo again. He is a little muddled right now, but he seemed to get less so by the end of the episode, so I’m thinking maybe it was a combination of being freshly back from the dead and finding himself stuck in an AU. The combo would be disorienting to anyone, really. I found his breaking of the seal at the end to be odd, but I am holding out hope that he’s got something up his sleeve to help the Earps (or Waverly at least), because I just can’t imagine he would want… Read more »

Gretchen Ellis
Guest

Totally! I’m just curious if his headaches mean anything more than that, or if it really was, as you say, a combination of being back from the dead and stuck in an AU. Like you, I hope that there’s an internal conflict building for Bobo. It makes sense to me that when he’s not in direct contact with Waverly, at some level he reverts to his selfish impulse to escape hell. She’s the ‘angel’ on the shoulder without which he more likely than not will follow his inner demon. But I hope that seeing what he’s done by smashing the… Read more »

XanDany
Member
XanDany

This is a awesome combination of the Buffy episodes The Wish, Tabula Rasa, and Normal Again. I LOVED IT. They did a good job of showing just how different everyone would be without Wynonna in their lives. Doc was the most obvious, but even Dolls was much more like he was in episodes 1 and 2 of the 1st season. He didn’t trust anyone. OF COURSE Wayhaught is destined to be together in any universe- I love how there was no question about that, and I don’t know if Nicole is a hot gay mess or smooth as fuck. Probably… Read more »

Gretchen Ellis
Guest

Nicole is DEFINITELY both a hot gay mess and smooth as fuck. I just adore how she always has hearteyes for Waverly, no matter what universe she’s in. Excellent use of slo-mo to capture that feel. A+ Dolls for sure felt more like his Ep 1-2 self. It’s one of the few times where seeing what a male character would be like ‘without that one particular woman’ actually worked because Wynonna is the protagonist. She doesn’t exist for Dolls character development or growth, but we know that because she exists in his life, he’s become a better person. It’s the… Read more »

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[…] Andras still wasn’t done. In 2×11, Waverly, Nicole, and Jeremy (all canonically queer characters), detonate a bomb inside of the barn […]

Television

Netflix Is Resurrecting Avatar: The Last Air Bender…In Live Action

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Water…Earth…Fire. Long ago, the three books lived together in harmony. Then everything changed when Shyamalan adapted. Only the Bryke, masters of the franchise, could stop him. But when the world needed them most, they vanished. Ten years passed, and the fans discovered the new Avatar: The Last Airbender, from a streaming service called Netflix. And although their hype generating skills are great, they still have a lot of budgeting before it’s ready to adapt.

It’s been a solid decade since Avatar: The Last Airbender, considered by some to be the best children’s cartoon of all time, aired for the final time. Since then it’s lived on in comics and novels (there is no movie in Ba Sing Se). The sequel series, Legend of Korra,  which definitely didn’t  affect the writers on this site at all, also wrapped in that time but joins its parent show in the pages of comics, for better or for worse. But now, 10 years after our last on-screen adventure with the “Gaang,” Netflix announced via Twitter that they would be resurrecting the iconic series, with the original creators, and begin production. Not only that, but it would move from the world of animation into the flesh and blood world of live action.

Since the show and its successor wrapped, Bryke (a.k.a Bryan Konietzko and Michael DiMartino) and company have kept themselves busy. Konietzko has been busy working on his Threadworld series of science fiction graphic novels while Dimartino released his debut novel Rebel Genius. Netflix has taken several veterans of the Avatar into the show. For example Aaron Ehaz, the Emmy-nominated head writer from ATLA, recently debuted his own series, The Dragon Prince, for Netflix; and veterans of both ATLA and LoK Lauren Montgomery and Joaquim Dos Santos are the showrunners on Voltron: Legendary Defender.

Master Playwright Pu-on Tim, however, has yet to top his magnum opus

The new show, according to the scant information we have, will be a remake of the original show but not a direct translation. According to Bryke, who will be executive producers and showrunners, the new Avatar: The Last Airbender will “build upon everyone’s great work on the original animated series and go even deeper into the characters, story, action, and world-building.” While the core story of the show will likely not change, it’s clear that Netflix is allowing a great deal of freedom to alter the show as they see fit, with the benefit of a decade of hindsight and story changes. They also remain committed to a “culturally appropriate, non-whitewashed cast” for the program, most likely a response to previous (similarly named but definitely not related to the show) live-action programs that may or may not have turned Tibetan and Inuit coded characters white.

The only glimpse we have at the new show depicts Aang and Appa on the frozen wastes of the South Pole

The new show will be a partnership between Netflix and Nickelodeon as a part of Netflix’s lineup of shows aimed at children and families. It will enter production early next year. Keep an eye out here on the Fandomentals for news and, eventually, dissection of every little thing we learn when we learn it.

Are YOU excited for a new Avatar: The Last Airbender show? What are some things you want them to change? Is there anything they should leave alone? Sound off in the comments.


All Images courtesy of Nickelodeon and Netflix

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Television

Sherlock Sacrifices For Love In Elementary Finale

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Finale time! Will my wild theories turn out absolutely right or tragically wrong? Who knows! But wrong. Definitely completely I was wrong.

Last episode ended with the dramatic revelation that the season baddie, Michael the Vaguely Creepy Serial Killer, was beaten to death. The lead suspect is Joan. The episode begins with FBI Agent Mallick interviewing Joan. She hasn’t been arrested yet, but the FBI has questions.

Joan doesn’t have a reliable alibi. That would be too easy. She was alone with her mom, who has dementia. Mallick thinks that Joan fixated on Michael. She wanted revenge on him for the way that Michael hurt Sherlock, his victims, and Joan herself. But Mallick has more than just motive to back up her suspicions.

The FBI has a tape. Michael called his friend from the last episode, Bazemore, to try and explain his actions. That puzzled me, because last episode, Michael said that Bazemore ODed. I assumed that Bazemore died and that was why Michael attacked Joan rather than continuing the cat-and-mouse game. I can’t figure out whether this was a continuity error, my misunderstanding, or somewhere in between.

Anyway. Michael called Bazemore and they have it on tape. As he’s talking, he’s interrupted mid-sentence. He says Joan’s name, and then there’s the sound of a beating. That sure sounds suspicious. Joan can’t explain it.

So back at the brownstone, she and Sherlock meet with a defense lawyer. She warns them that Mallick is a dangerous opponent. Then she literally doesn’t show up again for the rest of the episode, making the whole scene supremely unnecessary.

Alone at last, Sherlock asks Joan if she killed Michael. If she did, he’ll help her get away with it. But Joan insists she didn’t and in turn asks Sherlock if he did. Also no. Thus, they are left with finding the real killer. They can’t expect much, if any, help from the police, who will be under pressure from the FBI.

Nonetheless, Sherlock asks Gregson for the files on Michael’s murder. Gregson refuses. He says that if Joan is innocent, the evidence will prove it.

Sherlock isn’t willing to wait for that. He breaks into the morgue and steals the autopsy report on Michael. He also performs his own autopsy and takes pictures of the corpse to show to Joan.

There’s severe head wounds caused by a blunt object. That could explain why he said Joan’s name on the tape; maybe he was just confused. Also of note is that someone neatly stitched up his stab wound from Joan. Joan doesn’t think it was done in a hospital. It reminds her of emergency medicine of the kind that would have been performed in the Vietnam War. Wow, that’s a really specific thing to just know off the top of your head, but okay. It gives Sherlock an idea.

He goes to an NA meeting and sidles up to an older man named Denny. They met before at a meeting. Denny was a combat medic in the Vietnam War and he too knew Michael. When Sherlock starts asking questions, the guy gets shifty, but with some pressure he agrees to talk to Sherlock privately.

Denny hadn’t known that Michael was a killer. Michael had simply shown up on his doorstep, bleeding, with a story about an altercation with a drug dealer. Denny obligingly stitched Michael up and let him crash on the couch. He was still there in the morning, gone by the evening, and shortly later Denny heard on the news that Michael was a) dead and b) a serial killer. He was scared of getting in trouble himself so he didn’t go to the police. Sherlock promises to keep him out of trouble if he’ll just help Sherlock in return.

The dynamic duo investigates Denny’s house. It’s the last place Michael was alive…and maybe dead too. Sherlock finds traces of a lot of blood that was cleaned up in a hurry. This could be the scene of the murder. When they spray Luminol they find traces of footprints. A woman’s footprints, the same size as Joan’s shoes.

So now they know where Michael was killed. But once again, the clues point to Joan. How did the killer even know where to find Michael? Sherlock proposes a theory. Agent Mallick is the real murderer. Perhaps she was afraid that she would never catch Michael. Killing him was the only way of stopping him. Now she’s pinning it all on Joan. That would mean that our two detectives can’t go to the FBI with this new crime scene. It would only be used to further frame Joan.

That is, if the crime scene was even still there. But it isn’t. Sherlock persuaded Denny to burn his house down and gave him money in exchange. Joan is furious but Sherlock angrily stands his ground. He’ll do what he has to in order to protect her.

Meanwhile, the FBI is still chasing Joan. Mallick and some other agents interview Bell. He staunchly defends his friend, even when Mallick threatens to use the case to torpedo his chances with the Marshals.

Bell doesn’t like to be threatened. Shortly after the interview, he meets with Sherlock privately and hands over the police’s files on Michael. The two men share a tense moment of friendship and wordlessly shake hands.

Michael’s body was lying in a pile of trash. When murder victims are found in landfills or dumpsters, the trash around their body is cataloged for clues. In Michael’s case, that trash is interesting. Joan and Sherlock know the murder was in Queens. Yet, his body was among trash from Harlem. How does that happen?

Joan and Sherlock check out a facility for garbage trucks and chat with a particular sanitation worker there. When the two first began investigating Michael’s case, you may remember that they discovered a man who had been convicted of one of Michael’s murder. With Sherlock and Joan’s help, he went free. This sanitation worker, a mechanic for the trucks, is the father of that man.

Sherlock thinks that fact is important. Obviously the mechanic has no reason to be fond of Michael. Maybe Michael’s killer recruited his help in disposing of the body. The mechanic could have stolen one of the trucks, driven out to Queens, picked up the body, then dumped it. That could explain why the trash was from Harlem.

The mechanic angrily denies it. First of all, the truck facility is guarded and all the trucks are GPS tracked. There’s no way that anyone could steal one. Secondly, if someone did kill Michael, he thinks that person is a hero. He isn’t going to help anyone, even the people that saved his son, catch Michael’s killer.

As the detectives continue to explore the facility, Joan wonders if maybe it was the other way around. Rather than taking a truck to Michael, maybe the killer brought Michael to the truck. It would be easier to sneak a body in than a truck out. If so, there facility has security footage. Her face would be on camera.

But nothing’s ever that easy. When Sherlock and Joan ask the guards for the security footage, they discover someone beat them to it. A law enforcement officer came to the facility and took the tapes, leaving behind no copies. Sherlock suspiciously asks if the agent was Mallick.

But it wasn’t Mallick. The cop was a man named Gregson. Are you thinking, “ohh nooo” yet?

Captain Gregson returns to his home to find it tossed. Sherlock is waiting in the dining room. He was looking for the tape but couldn’t find a copy. Gregson must have destroyed it.

Why would he do that? For one simple reason. Hannah killed Michael. After all, he killed her roommate, her best friend. In the time since then, she became fixated on revenge. She investigated his life, learned who all his friends were, so she knew he’d go to Denny after Joan hurt him.

It was never supposed to be pinned on Joan. Hannah didn’t even know that Michael was recording when she killed him, nor did she hear him say Joan’s name. (As for why he did that, we never really get an explanation.) She disposed of his body.

Gregson never knew of any of it until afterward. But eventually she came clean to him and he realized that her one vulnerability would be the security footage at the sanitation facility. She’s his daughter. He did what he had to in order to protect her.

Now they’re at an impasse. Sherlock demands he come clean to the FBI. Gregson refuses. He insists it will all blow over and the lack of evidence will vindicate Joan. Sherlock points out that regardless, her career and reputation will suffer. Gregson blames Sherlock for Michael’s involvement in their lives in the first place.

It’s Gregson’s daughter. It’s Sherlock’s best friend. Neither is willing to budge and they part in anger.

Sherlock returns to the brownstone and updates Joan. He thinks that they should tell the FBI anyway. They don’t have proof, but if the FBI is doing their due diligence, they should at least investigate the Gregsons. That could be enough.

But Joan understands why Hannah did what she did. She doesn’t want Hannah to go to jail or for the captain to get in trouble. She agrees with Gregson; maybe it’ll just blow over. They should wait things out. It could make her adoption chances harder, maybe impossible. But she’s willing to take that risk. Sherlock still wants to protect her, but Joan says that if he’s her partner, he should support her.

At this point, Sherlock does what he always does. He takes things into his own hands and goes to meet with Hannah Gregson herself. She too never wanted Joan to be a suspect. Sherlock tells her to confess, to admit where the murder weapon is.

The FBI come for Joan. But not to arrest her. Mallick has news for her. She’s no longer a suspect. Someone else confessed to the murder of Michael and even provided the murder weapon. But it wasn’t Hannah. It was Sherlock.

Well, not Sherlock himself. He turned himself over to the British consulate, struck up some sort of deal with MI6, and they sent a messenger with Sherlock’s confession. Britain is refusing to extradite him to the US and if Sherlock ever steps foot in the US again, he’ll be arrested.

Joan returns home in shock and finds Sherlock there. He’s not supposed to be in the country anymore, but he had to see her before he left. This was the only way he could think of to extract all of them from this situation without anyone going to jail for it. Joan is angry he didn’t try harder to fight, but for him it was worth it to protect Joan. She saved his life and taught him his life was worth saving. They emotionally say good-bye and finally admit they aren’t just partners; they love each other.

For the final scene, we see Sherlock in England, in the famous 221B, consulting with a client. But he isn’t really paying attention to the man’s story of a runaway bride. His neighbor next door is distracting him with a tremendous noise. He storms next door and knocks. The door opens to reveal, of course, Joan.

They walk down the street together. They have work to do.

Thoughts:

  • I predicted that Moriarty killed Michael. Hoo boy, I was wrong! I absolutely did not see it coming that Hannah was the killer! That was a deft twist. It made sense but surprised me.
  • That being said, why was there so much storyline this season about Moriarty if she wasn’t going to actually do anything?
  • The scene where Sherlock and Joan said goodbye was very emotional and touching but a little silly considering that obviously they weren’t going to really part. I was sitting there tearful, but also thinking to myself, “But why doesn’t Joan just move to England too.” And she did! I was worried, though, that the line about them loving each other was going to lead into a kiss or something, especially with all that romantic crap a few episodes ago. I’m very glad it didn’t.
  • It’s intriguing that the shots of them in England felt like a natural end to the show. Except…season 7 is already in the works. Hm.
  • So wait, is this the last we’re going to see of the rest of the American cast? No more Bell? We know he’s going to the Marshals, so he’ll be okay, but no goodbye scene? That’s sad. Farewell, Bell. I’ll miss you!
  • This is our season finale, so see you all next season!

Images courtesy of CBS

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The End Arrives for Jimmy and Kim on Better Call Saul

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Surely this comes as no surprise. After all, the previous two episodes of Better Call Saul made it rather clear how different their goals had become. Jimmy and Kim are two very different people on a fundamental, moral level, and however they may have fun together, the relationship was unsustainable. They simply disagree too strongly about life. I love them both, but I’m not sad to see it end here. Mainly because Kim needs to get away from Jimmy before it’s too late.

Unfortunately, she looks to be in for one last caper, and I hope she avoids running everything in the process.

Slow Death

For the third straight week, Better Call Saul started with a brilliant opening scene perfectly setting the table for the episode to come. It’s been clear since Jimmy’s blank, unfeeling reaction to Chuck’s death that his relationship with Kim would end. As the season went on it became clear the end would likely occur this season.

Most people likely expected a big blowout argument. Jimmy’s friendly relationship with Chuck ended with one. Considering Jimmy’s current side business, I assume most expected Kim to find out and lash into him about it. Or perhaps Jimmy would push further or do something “for” Kim that triggered the confrontation. It felt like a short fuse was lit between them and the explosion was inevitable.

Instead the opening scene showed us something worse; the slow, cruel death of communication and love between two people who just slowly drifted apart over the long months spanning Jimmy’s suspension. Two people who gradually stopped talking to each other, who lost the easy synchronization they once had. Two people who barely even see each other despite living in the same apartment.

It genuinely hurt to see just how distant they were in this episode. The company party at Schweikart and Cokely was every bit the equivalent of Walt’s infamous drunken rants or the horrible gym speech he gives after season 2’s plane collision. You could tell how cold and distant things had become between Jimmy and Kim. Jimmy’s escalating humiliation of himself and the genuinely nice company trip ideas Schweikart put forth was a clear misreading of the room and perhaps even an intentional one. It felt to me like he thought embarrassing Kim’s boss would somehow convince Kim of something.

By the end of the episode, they spoke to each other like old acquaintances rather than romantic partners. They barely sounded like friends. However Jimmy thought Kim would react to his ideas for Huell’s legal defense, she clearly did not react that way. Instead you had two people with very different ideas.

When Kim found out about Jimmy’s side business, she barely reacted. She clearly gave up long before then. Why bother reacting emotionally when she gave up that emotional detachment long ago?

And yet, this is Kim Wexler. She does not give up. She puts in the effort no matter how hard it looks. I don’t know what plan she wants to put in motion to end the episode, but it’s clear she’s trying one more time to rediscover what she and Jimmy lost. This stubborn refusal to give up is what worries people about Kim’s fate. She sure worries me. As Jimmy keeps moving further and further into the criminal world, will he drag a stubborn Kim along with him? Can she cut him off in time?

I think she will. I think this new scheme is a last ditch “have a baby for the marriage” kind of move, whatever it is. In the end, it won’t work. By the end of the season the relationship will be over and they’ll convince themselves they’ll stay friends. This “friendship” will consist of a few shared words at the courthouse when Jimmy’s defending drug dealers and Kim’s doing PD work. By some point next season it will be over for good.

But first we have the latest Jimmy/Kim caper.

Magic Markers

Let’s be clear about one thing; Kim’s not involving herself in anything illegal. Let’s kill that notion. If this episode made anything clear, it’s that Kim is not willing to put her law career in any serious jeopardy for Jimmy. Especially not for Jimmy’s bodyguard.

So what exactly is her plan? I’ve seen a few good theories, but by far the most compelling one to me was protesting. She’s planning to make a racial issue of the prosecution’s insistence of a max sentence for Huell. This is Kim’s Atticus Finch moment. She sees a chance to make a real name for herself using a real case striking at a larger societal issue. It’s everything the judge told her should would never get earlier this season.

Would that  work? I suppose Kim would have reason to think so or she wouldn’t do it. Saul Goodman would do this, but not Kim. So why did it come to mind? Did she notice that all the reduced sentences she mentioned to the prosecutor involved white people? Did she find some questionable history in the cop’s record? I guess we’ll find out.

Then again, maybe that’s not her plan at all. I’m curious what others think her plan will be. Considering how many markers she bought, some kind of public demonstration must be involved. Why else would she buy all that?

Whatever her idea, I imagine it will be a huge stretch. Huell attacked a cop and has a criminal record. This cop specifically arrested him before. This is a loser case with a ton of downside. Kim’s good, but is she that good? I assume that no matter her plan, she does have ideas of making a name off of it. But will that name be good?

I suppose knowing the inevitable destination of Jimmy’s life makes me nervous to see Kim partner with him one more time. We’ve seen time and again how Jimmy causes destruction for those closest to him. Has Kim’s loyalty pushed her into something she thinks will make her famous but will instead make her infamous? Is it possible this ruins her new gig at Schweikart and Cokely?

Kim’s idealism is one of her most admirable traits, yet I worry it will cost her dearly now. Or maybe not. Maybe this will be the kind of landmark case like Chuck has. After all, it seemed to have been Chuck’s death and eulogy that inspired her towards this new direction in her law career. It’s possible she now sees a chance to make her name just like she hoped, and to truly become a champion of the greater Albuquerque community now. That lure may be enough to override her common sense regarding Jimmy and his schemes.

If there’s one thing I’m sure about, it’s that Jimmy will take an immoral, possibly illegal slant to Kim’s plan. No matter how she protests, he’ll do it. And when it blows up in his face, he’ll learn nothing.

Other Thoughts:

  • Gus discontinuing Hector’s treatment so that he’ll stay in his current state of disability is the most cold-blooded thing anyone on Better Call Saul or Breaking Bad has ever done. Honestly, it’s borderline if not outright cartoonish. I’m not sure I actually like this development at all.
  • To be honest, there’s something a bit sick and exploitative about the Hector subplot at this point. Gus’s need for revenge is fine, it’s not like anyone considers him a good guy in the story, but there’s no counterbalance for Hector’s mindset here. He’s the equivalent of an overly abused voodoo doll at this point, and it’s getting problematic.
  • Don’t mind me, I’m just stuck over here in season 2 when Jimmy and Kim brushing their teeth together was the most adorable scene on the show.
  • Mesa Verde opened a Nebraska branch. I wonder if it will come into play for the Gene subplot.
  • Jimmy’s Saul Goodman cards are quite similar to his eventual lawyer cards. It’s a nice touch.

Images courtesy of AMC

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