Monday, May 20, 2024

Nicole And Wynonna Do Buddy Cop Comedy on Wynonna Earp

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Wynonna Earp Season 3, Episode 7 Review “I Fall to Pieces”

Wynonna Earp doesn’t always have the most consistent tone, and most of the time, I don’t mind. It can be campy, heartfelt, and scary in turns. This week, we’ve got one of the more campy episodes. Nicole is getting ready to take over as sheriff, but there’s resistance from revenants and humans alike. Cue buddy comedy about a ‘by the rules’ cop and a ‘fly by the seat of her pants’ deputy.

OMG, What?

Wheee, alcoholism is a funny plot device!

We open on Wynonna getting it on with Charlie. In a unique twist, Nicole cock-blocks Wynonna when she arrives at the fire station with coffee for the firemen. Wynonna does a walk of shame while Doc learns that he can no longer wear Bulshar’s ring now that he’s compromised a vampire. Waverly tells Jeremy he needs to eat while Nedley reveals his secret stash of supernatural crime to Nicole. Now that she’s the new sheriff, she’s gonna need all the details. Mama finds Doc in her barn and asks him to get her out of town so she can get away for a while. Wynonna isn’t having the “work together with Nicole thing” Nedley set up. When Nicole gets frustrated, she knocks over an ancient-looking mirror. Elsewhere, a revenant busts his way out of a shed, and he looks pissed.

“It’s like hoarders meets storage wars, and I, for one, am here for it..”—Wynonna

Wynonna and Nedley meet up at Shorty’s. She rags on Nicole for having a stick up her ass; Nedley tells her to go easy on Nicole and that they’re more similar than Wynonna would like to admit. Nicole meets with the one of the local big wigs, Bunny, who hates her cat and finds her being queer “disgusting.” Mama takes Doc to Willa’s grave, where she says Willa would have made a terrible heir. Bunny tells Nicole, and Wynonna, that she’s backing Wynonna for sheriff. They both take this as well as can be expected: Nicole says Wynonna would make a great sheriff, which makes Wynonna actually want to be sheriff. Bunny faints at the sight of the revenant at her window. Nicole gets her in the cruiser, only to have it hijacked by frat boys.

“I get it. Purgatory is the thunderdome and I am Tina friggin’ Turner.”—Wynonna

Jeremy tracks down the hijacked cruiser, only to have it end up in revenant territory. Mama continues to drink and spill her past to Doc. Mama admits to freeing Bobo in exchange for information about Julian. This upsets Doc, which puts Mama onto terms for an agreement to help her leave to find Julian. Wynonna and Nicole try to free the frat boys by challenging the revenants to a drinking contest. Nicole frees the frat boys and tells them to get Bunny to safety. Waverly and Jeremy realize that breaking the mirror is what’s causing Nicole and Wynonna’s bad luck. Wynonna beats the revenant in drinking, but it turns out she was cheating, so she and Nicole have to split, fast, while handcuffed together.

“Stop quipping and run!”—Nicole

Doc finds Kate’s ‘souvenirs’—trophies of all the people she killed. Doc says Wynonna makes him better; Kate says she loves him when he’s at his worst and that he’s hers, forever. Nicole and Wynonna bicker, then get attacked by revenants. They have to work together to defeat them when the revenant who might have been freed from the mirror kills one of the other revenants and demands a wife from them. Jeremy and Waverly discover that when the mirror was broken, a gnome lawn ornament was also broken. This is the source of the creepy guy demanding a wife of Wynonna and Nicole. Turns out that they destroyed the revenant’s gnome wife lawn ornament, so once Jeremy and Waverly put the gnome back together, the revenant takes it and disappears. With Doc’s help, Mama leaves to go find Julian, who is lost outside the Ghost River Triangle.

“Oh god, I really wish we had a gnome bra.”—Waverly

Bunny shows up at the sheriff’s office saying she’s still going to back someone other than Nicole. Wynonna confronts her, telling her she doesn’t actually want to know the truth about Purgatory. She forces Bunny to back Nicole for sheriff, then Nicole and Wynonna crack open a couple of brewskis. Nicole opens up about being jealous of Wynonna being the hero. Wynonna shares the photo she found of Nedley and Nicole after the massacre. Nicole goes to Nedley and the two have a truly moving heart to heart. Wynonna returns to the homestead to find Waverly crying over a letter Mama left about going to find Julian.

“You’re wrinkling the crease in my khakis.”—Nedley

Wynonna takes her letter from Mama to read and runs into Doc, who brings her Bulshar’s ring. Wynonna reads Mama’s letter to Doc, which says she shouldn’t trust Doc. Wynonna asks why, but Doc doesn’t want to say. Wynonna slaps Doc when he tries to be honest with her about her refusing him. He ultimately reveals that he’s a vampire out of anger, then she walks away, saying he is no longer welcome on the homestead..

Favorite One Liner: “Julian made me feel like I didn’t have to break my spirit to be happy.”—Mama Earp

I Gotta Say…

We’ll start with what I loved about the episode, which is the dynamic between Nicole and Wynonna. They have great brotp chemistry. I’d watch a movie length buddy cop comedy starring the two of them for sure. Drunk!Nicole is always hilarious, especially when she plays off against Wynonna, who can hold her liquor much better. Was it a bit of a repeat of last season’s episode with the two of them? Did the situation feel a bit forced and the tension between their two styles of doing things unsubstantiated and contrived? Sure, but I sure do enjoy them together, so I didn’t really mind.

Nicole and Wynonna: a summary.

Bunny’s xenophobic, homophobic vibe was a bit over-the-top and hamfisted, but again, it didn’t detract from my enjoyment. It’s nice to see homophobia being treated as a one-off, overly absurd way of viewing the world rather than a system of oppression. I prefer a single jackass who hates queer folk and gets their comeuppance to having to slog through homophobic comments episode after episode. So all in all, not a bad choice. Plus, I did enjoy seeing Wynonna take Bunny down at the end. I like it when television treats obnoxious bigots with the disdain they deserve.

Unfortunately the Doc/Kate/Wynonna dynamic didn’t work for me. I’m over it. I was over it before it even started. As soon as Kate showed up in the premiere this is precisely the kind of contrived storytelling that worried me. None of this plotline has made sense, most especially Doc’s motivations. Why did he sleep with Kate again? Why did he want to be a vampire? Why is Wynonna of all people bringing up Alice to his face when she’s done nothing but sidestep their daughter, and their relationship, the whole season? It’s forced. It’s sloppily written, and I’m over it. Let’s do something other than women fighting over a man, please.

Speaking of which, I’m also not a big fan of jealously/cattiness among women being the driving force of the plot, which is precisely what drove this episode. As much as I enjoyed Nicole and Wynonna’s dynamic, the revenants weren’t entirely wrong to label it as cattiness. Given how well Nicole and Wynonna have worked in the past, it did feel forced to have them ‘suddenly’ not get along because of their different work styles. We get it. Wynonna hates planning and Nicole likes to play by the book. Did it have to be labeled as ‘catty ladies being catty’? Especially when Wynonna’s other major plot thread this episode actually did revolve around her being petty and jealous with Doc about Kate?

Which brings me to my biggest frustration this episode: The hell does Wynonna get to slap Doc for just being honest with her?

It would bother me less if the scene weren’t framed as if we ought to sympathize with Wynonna. I don’t sympathize with Wynonna. Not even a little bit. She flat out rejected Doc, as he said. She made it clear she did not want him last episode and proceeded to sleep with Charlie. He took her at her word and made his own choices. She has no ground to be angry about his choices when she rejected him.

Look, I’m all in favor of Wynonna getting her rocks off string free if that’s what she needs. However, it’s unfair from a writing perspective to have a female character flat out reject a male love interest, only to turn around and have that same female character act as if he ought to have been faithful to her. She said no to Doc, which she was well within her rights to do. But she can’t complain if he finds someone else.

And, why did he even choose to be a vampire in the first place? It’s not Wynonna’s fault he made that choice. That’s a writing issue. This season didn’t adequately set up any reason for him to choose becoming a vampire other than him feeling sad about Wynonna rejecting him. But even if he made that choice, he had every right to. She’d said no to a relationship with him, so he could do what he wanted.

For Wynonna to bring up Alice at this point in time not only feels contrived; it makes no logical sense. DOC has been the one consistently to bring up Alice this season. Wynonna has shut down any and all conversation about their daughter. Wynonna suddenly using Alice as a tool to guilt Doc about his choice to become a vampire is forced, sloppy, and inconsistent.

Wynonna has zero grounds to be mad at Doc, much less slap him multiple times. If the roles were reversed, this would read really, really poorly. Letting her slap Doc multiple times for things that she had no right to be angry about, much less use physical violence for, sits poorly with me. It was framed as if she was in the right to hit him, and she wasn’t.

The same goes for Mama playing off of Doc’s goodwill with Wynonna. She manipulated him the whole episode, getting what she wanted from him until she was done, then she crapped all over him about him being a vampire. Excuse me, Mama Earp. You used Doc to help you feel better about leaving your daughters then acted as if he had no right to say anything about your behavior just because he’s a vampire. First of all, how does she even know? Do vampires smell different or something? Or has she just been around Ward long enough to know?

But fine, she knew somehow. How does him being a vampire change the fact that she’s being awful by leaving her daughters after only just now finding a way back to them? Nice that she left them notes, but still. She’s being a pretty terrible person and mother right now, so she has no right to say that Doc being a vampire means he can’t call her out on that. I’m not really here for Mama Earp lecturing the guy who has spent two years protecting and helping Wynonna about what it means to have her best interest at heart. It’s bs. She’s been gone for years. Take a step back.

Pictured: a horrible bigot who gets treated like one.

However, I adore everything about the Nedley and Nicole dynamic. God. These two break my heart in pieces. Knowing that Nicole lost her family only makes this departure that much more gut-wrenching. He thinks of her as a daughter, and she thinks of him as a father figure. For someone who lost her family to a brutal massacre and then had to face homophobic parents, saying goodbye to Nedley has to feel conflicting. Nicole more than the other characters this season is learning what it means to step into someone else’s legacy. She’s going to take over for the person she had looked up to as a parent. She has to be a grown up and take responsibility, take leadership.

It’s a really cool story to tell because honestly, she’s the most together character of all of them. Despite only recently remembering she’s the survivor of the Bulshar massacre, she’s the one who seems to have her life together. Maybe it’s because she’s a suffering empath, but this hits home. While Waverly jokes around with Jeremy and Wynonna acts like a jerk, Nicole is out here taking responsibility and being an adult. Perhaps the only adult on the whole show other than Nedley.

The show handled his send off with such grace, gravitas, and heart. Sadly, it only makes me wish that this season had given Dolls the same kind of thoughtfulness. I love Nedley’s sendoff. It’s bittersweet; my heart aches in all the right places. And this same care didn’t go into sending off Dolls, a character who has been more central to the show since its inception. This is how you do a sendoff, folks and unfortunately, the show dropped the ball with Dolls.

I love Nedley. I love Nicole, and I wish they’d gotten a spinoff because I’d watch the hell out of it.

I see you, Andras

  • When Wynonna hits the siren, it’s a police siren not a fire engine siren.
  • Jeremy and Waverly being nerds was pretty adorable, though I wish they didn’t just exist to be comedy relief.
  • I viscerally distaste ‘bitch’ as a gendered slur, so hearing it twice in one episode irked me. Can we not do gendered slurs in a supposedly feminist show please?
  • Was there anything supernatural about the broken mirror or was it just there for set dressing?
  • Am I the only one who found the weird gnome revenant…jarring? Out of place? Just too weird for an episode with so much else going on? Seems like it could have worked without him.
  • Guess the money problems are no longer a problem again?
  • Speaking of things that didn’t feel necessary, Bunny backing Wynonna for sheriff. That lasted a hot minute, so why even bother making that a source of conflict?

Tune in next week for “Waiting Forever for You.” We’ve got a bloodthirsty Doc on our hands and Kate claiming that Doc turned her into a vampire even though Doc hasn’t been a vampire before last week! Can’t wait to see what plot contrivances come our way!

Images courtesy of SyFy

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