Opening at Black Badge, BBD soldiers drag Mercedes into the cell, leaving her to die or getting eaten by Doc, who’s struggling to contain himself around the smell and sight of blood. Jeremy and their local werewolf friend, Freddie, are holding him back.
Meanwhile, Dark Angel Waverly is pontificating ominously in the third person about her duty and that the ‘affairs of man’ aren’t her concern. But Wynonna is not a man. She’s a woman who’s gone through hell (multiple times) to get her baby sister back. She isn’t going to watch her become something she’s not. Waverly takes that too literally and makes Wynonna blind before leaving.
Elsewhere in the woods, Rachel is keeping tabs on Cleo, as Wynonna asked her to. Cleo’s making the most of having the littlest of the Earp brood alone, sowing distrust about Wynonna. Rachel knows better than to listen. For all of Wynonna’s faults, she’s a good person.
Jolene’s hair starts burning, meaning she’s dead. Without a mark, the Reapers focus will fall back to its old enemy: an Earp. Cleo suggests there’s a way to turn Billy back, but Rachel will have to do it. Wanting to save Billy and protect Wynonna, she agrees.
A blinded Wynonna is stumbling through the woods, lost and alone. Just when it seems like a Reaper is about to get her, the arms that grab her aren’t those of a monster. It’s Billy, returned to himself. Turns out Cleo was telling the truth about that. Thankfully, he has Peacemaker. With Wynonna still blind, he helps her navigate the woods.
Back at BBD, Jeremy tries to talk Doc from his blood craze. He offers himself instead of Mercedes. Instead of biting him, Doc gives Jeremy a hug, his words having broken through the hunger. With Doc in control of his mind again, they can focus on escape.
Even with his superhuman strength, Doc alone can’t break the bars of their cell. Their werewolf friend can’t help because the iron would burn him. Mercedes offers another option: turn her into a vampire. Doc’s reluctant after he just got himself under control again, but she insists. If he doesn’t she’s probably going to die from the gunshot and if anyone was meant to be a vampire, it would be her.
Meanwhile, Nicole is making her way to the last place she left Wynonna when she intercepts a BBD communication via radio. Black Badge’s exit plan included murdering all the townspeople, but Nicole isn’t about to let that happen.
After some time, Wynonna’s sight returns to her. At the spot she left Rachel and Cleo, they find fresh blood. Billy deduces that Rachel was the one to turn him back since a Clanton can’t unreap a Clanton. He suspects Cleo must have taken Rachel to their ranch. He can’t step on the ranch without becoming a reaper again, so he needs Wynonna to go. Her priority right now is Waverly, but Billy begs; whatever has happened to Waverly can wait. At least for now, Waverly can take care of herself because Rachel is in trouble as long Cleo has her. Wynonna relents, knowing Rachel needs her more just then.
Doc, Jeremy, Mercedes, and Freddie the werewolf lead a prison break, releasing the captured people and demons. Before they can escape the compound, a lockdown is instated and gas begins pouring in—the same gas that turned all the personal at Monument into zombies. But then, the lockdown doors open and on the other side is the General, with Nicole holding a gun to his head. Sheriff Haught isn’t going to let government dickwads harm the people of her town.
Once they’re outside Jeremy is able to use some BBD equipment, learning the fog is gone. They’re a little too busy to question why it’s suddenly gone, focusing on getting the people out. There’s whispering that only Doc hears for some reason, and he elects to stay behind to find any stragglers and his guns.
On the Clanton ranch, Wynonna finds Cleo and a tied up Rachel. Cleo’s not worried, even with Wynonna pointing a gun at her, because Holt is back as a reaper to back her up. All the Clantons become reapers after they die, except for Maam because Cleo fed her to the others before she could turn. There are some things about being the Clanton heir that their mother never mentioned, like the fact the Reapers always follow you or they’re in your head constantly, demanding revenge. Cleo wants to be done with that, and she has a way to do it and pass it onto Wynonna at the same time. Using a brand with the Clanton mark Cleo begins the ceremony.
There’s a moment when Wynonna contemplates shooting Cleo in the back, but instead, she gives Peacemaker to Rachel, kicking Holt so she can escape. She tells hers to run and not to give Peacemaker back.
At BBD, Doc, sensing something is coming, is getting his guns ready. Waverly appears before him. She needs the book before she can go to the garden. Realizing he can’t reason with her, he refuses to return the book. While this conversation happens, the Clanton brand appears on his hand. Doc’s ready to fight Waverly if he has to, but before it can come to that he vanishes.
At the Clanton’s ranch, Wynonna and Cleo think the ritual didn’t work, but the Clanton heir didn’t pass to Wynonna, it passed to Doc. Doc pushes Wynonna into a barrier to trap her. It’s like he’s been possessed by the Clanton hatred. Doc wants a duel. At first Wynonna refuses saying she can’t without her gun.
Unfortunately, Rachel was captured by Holt and she drops Peacemaker into their ring. Doc threatens Rachel to force Wynonna into the duel. She agrees once he promises to spare Rachel. Taking up Peacemaker, she tries one more to reach Doc under the Clanton hate.
Meanwhile at BBD, Nicole and Jeremy secure a truck to get people out but Jeremy gets the feeling that Nicole needs to go to the stairs. When he says it’s because Nicole is the ‘only one she won’t hurt’, Nicole knows why she has to go.
Billy goes to Shorty’s looking for Nedley. He needs help with a spell so Nedley pulls out his spellbook and wolf’s head cap.
Wynonna and Doc take up their positions for their duel, but at the end of the count, Wynonna doesn’t turn around. Doc doesn’t shoot, because deep down he won’t give up his own code. Wynonna fires at a post in front of her. The bullet deflects to hit Holt, giving Rachel the chance to escape. Doc does fire at Wynonna, but his gun backfires. Sensing what was coming, he loaded the wrong bullets in his gun, making it backfire on himself.
Elsewhere, Billy’s trying to claim the title of Clanton heir with a spell, demanding the reapers stand down.
Doc begs Wynonna to kill him to end the Clantons and stop the reapers. She chooses to look for another way, and that other way appears in the form of Waverly. She asks Waverly to heal Doc, and she does so in exchange for the book. Not knowing how to stop her, Wynonna can only ask that Waverly stay. She simply states that Waverly did what she did because she loved Wynonna. As she leaves, reaper Holt begs her for a release, so she turns him and other reapers into magpies.
Nicole catches up to Waverly as she climbing the steps, begging her to stay. She calls herself the fail-safe and protector of the Ghost River Triangle. Nicole asks about Wynonna, the Earp Heir is meant to do the same thing. Dark Angel Waverly says Wynonna’s done her service. Nicole offers herself instead, to make her the protector of the Ghost River Triangle.
Nicole asks her to look in the book, certain she will be in there. What she does see makes angel Waverly hesitate. She asks if Nicole is sure, this deal would bind her to the Ghost River Triangle, making it impossible for her to leave. But Nicole states everything she loves is already there.
An ethereal glow binds Waverly and Nicole as Nicole vows to protect the Ghost River Triangle. She vows to be the angel’s shield. A blast of energy knocks Nicole off her feet, knocking her unconscious. Waverly, returned to the non-wing version we know best, tosses the book into the garden and runs to Nicole. Just like a fairy tale, she wakes Nicole with a kiss. She’s okay. A little worse for wear and sporting a brand/tattoo of angel wings and a shield on the back of her neck but she’s okay.
Back at BBD, Jeremy is wrapping up business. When he and Freddie run into the General again he demands Jeremy call in back up. Jeremy dismisses him outright, answering a call and saying everything is under control but unfortunately the General didn’t make it. He’s done letting Black Badge mess with Purgatory and everyone who calls it home. He leaves Freddy to deal with the General as he walks away.
Later, at Shorty’s, the gang’s altogether (minus Nedley, Billy, and Rachel who headed for burgers in the city). With the danger passed there’s nothing left to do but take stock of their day and share each other’s company. Nicole gets some small payback for four seasons of Wynonna interruptus when she and Doc try to have an intimate moment. Dark Angel Waverly and Black Badge are both gone. Doc is no longer a vampire, thanks to Waverly’s healing. And there is the most important thing to discuss.
With all the immediate threats gone there is only one thing left to do: get Waverly and Nicole hitched.
How fitting in the end this story comes down to three women: Wynonna, Waverly, and Nicole. The Champion, the Angel, and the Shield. Wynonna and Waverly were always the core relationship from day one. Wynonna came back to Purgatory for her sister. She ended the curse for her sister. She’s kept fighting and killing for her sister. Wynonna’s first instinct has always been to protect Waverly, be it from their father, the demons who hunt them or anyone else in between.
So in a way, it makes sense that the thing that made Waverly give into the darkest part of herself was to give Wynonna a reprieve. Waverly wanted to protect her sister and once her angel side took over, the best way she could make that happen was to take away the things Wynonna was tasked with protecting. If Waverly took her place on the throne, the garden would be sealed and she would be the Ghost River Triangle’s protector. There would be no need for a Champion, for the Earp heir. That’s why Wynonna couldn’t have been the one to stop Waverly, because in the most twisted way, leaving was Waverly showing her love for Wynonna.
But that’s not the end of their story. The Earp sisters started off this journey alone, but they didn’t stay that way. Nicole Haught entered this story as the outsider, but Purgatory and its people became her home. The Earps became her family. And after all, it was her turn.
Nicole has been the dutiful pillar, supporting Waverly and Wynonna, there to back them up no matter the plan. But there have been times she’s been left behind; when Wynonna drugged them before the fight with Bulshar when she couldn’t go into the garden with Wynonna. Even when she has been there at their sides, Wynonna was usually the one leading the charge.
It’s fitting when it is Nicole’s turn, the way she gives herself is offering to protect. To be Waverly’s shield. She took on Waverly’s burden, and she also took on Wynonna’s. For Wynonna and Waverly, protecting the Ghost River Triangle wasn’t a legacy either one wanted, and every time they embraced their legacy, it was to protect the people they loved, not out of any sense of duty to the fathers who left them this legacy. In the most dutiful princess act, Nicole chooses to share in those burdens. To lift some of the weight from the women she loves the most.
That’s not even touching the Clanton’s and Doc this episode. It all got wrapped up in a neat bow by the end. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Doc’s been on a journey for self-absolution and he’s found a place where he is able to look beyond the sins of his past and find a way to live is life now. And he’s lucky to have friends like Jeremy willing to give up their human life to stop him from making a choice he’ll regret. They end up turning Mercedes into a vampire anyway, but the point is, it was her choice (consent, always important).
There are two moments that stuck out for me with the Clanton’s storyline this episode, when a blind Wynonna allowed Billy to help her and when Wynonna gave Peacemaker to Rachel to stop herself from repeating the mistake she made with Holt. They were moments of growth for Wynonna, but for the Clanton’s themselves, not so much.
Each Clanton member ended where they started. Billy wanted to move beyond his family’s cycle of revenge. Cleo was holding the family’s hatred without really understanding it, she didn’t even realize their most hated enemy would be Doc, the man who actually killed the Clantons at the OK corral. But being antagonists introduced so late in the game, I don’t know if they needed an arc. They were an interesting foil to Wynonna and a tragic reflection of what the Earps might have been if Wynonna and Waverly didn’t have love at the core of everything they did.
Now, the only thing left is the wedding. Okay, so there are a few threads that may come up or just be left dangling. What happened to Eve? Is Wynonna going to bring Alice home? But even those aren’t brought up and are left open for the potential of a fifth season or a movie down the line (I do hope we at least get something with Alice), I can’t complain about a Wayhaught wedding being the focus for the finale. Wynonna Earp is a celebration of love in all its forms and Waverly and Nicole’s love story have been woven into the very fabric of the show. So let’s go to a wedding.
Best of Earpisms
- Mercedes becoming a vampire was perfect. Maybe she can hook up with Kate and they’ll become vampire partners in crime.
- The most Jeremy/Nicole interaction is him getting a supernatural sensation in his nether region telling Nicole to go save Waverly.
- Shout out to Freddie, the werewolf florist.
- There was a great callback to the pilot, with Wynonna shooting the post and the bullet reflecting to hit Holt. Something similar happened in the first episode, only this time there was a lot more confidence in her aim.
- Really though, Eve? Where is she? What happened to her?
- Wynonna Earp is really devoting the final episode to the wedding.
Images courtesy of Syfy
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