And she makes it double! If Dominique Provost-Chalkley shone last season, she dominates in season two of ‘Wynonna Earp’—aka the ‘DPC Circus Show’.
Well, she’s done it again!
Just to clear things up, we’ll have to rule out Melanie Scrofano’s phenomenally ass-kicking season as Wynonna. She’s the lead. If she weren’t, we’d likely write a sonnet for her mind implosion of a performance this season. But equally as impressive was Provost-Chalkley. Over the course of ‘Wynonna Earp’ season two, we’ve seen her cheerlead. Belt out a sultry ballad. Turn into a mini Bruce Lee. And, er, get possessed by a demon. All the while, we’ve watched brave Waverly choke down emotion as her love life hits the rocks. Her parentage is revealed as a lie.
Provost-Chalkley isn’t just our scene-stealer for a second year in the row for no reason. With Emily Andras‘ wonderful ability to show off every single talent Provost-Chalkley possesses, she genuinely makes us snort whilst simultaneously breaking hearts. Chemistry that has bubbled over from season one has only exploded into the next season. This is particularly with Shamier Anderson’s Dolls, newcomers Varun Saranga and Tamara Duarte.
Lastly, there’s her powerful and beautifully performed dance of love with Katherine Barrell’s noble Nicole Haught. The duo ride rough waters this season, playing with fire and lies and seductive sexiness. And it all comes naturally. There has to be huge kudos to Barrell too, who so easily plays the role of Waverly’s knight in shining armour. In this twisted world of Purgatory, the ‘WayHaught’ romance is refreshingly bold. A warped fairytale, it’s hard not to root for the duo’s happy ending when they’re played so well. All credit to every single member of the supporting cast. But let’s not forget who wore that clingy, sparkly dress and sung her heart out.
Still not convinced? (You are). Here’s some more gushing. Grab some towels.
There was a huge drama-dump on Waverly this season, and tiny Provost-Chalkley shouldered it like a champion.
Emily Andras also tasked the young starlet with planting solid traps in every episode. The slow-motion cheerleading scene is funny, sexy and potentially cringe-worthy. But the comedic timing of the golden trio that is Provost-Chalkley, Barrell and especially Scrofano make it work. Perhaps the biggest risk was having Waverly possessed to such a degree. There were moments during the season where Provost-Chalkley ran the risk of being a little too theatrical with her performance. It’s to be expected, though. Scrofano’s depiction of possession, later on, is far more Wicked Witch-like.
Yet what Provost-Chalkley champions among a very cliché-addled storyline littered with potential hazard-zones is a sense of empathy. The more you watch her, the more obviously demonic she is. But understandably, you understand why even her most loved ones only suspect something is amiss. They don’t get the full picture until it’s far too late. Though credit must be given to Nicole for clocking on immediately that Waverly tasted “different”.
Actually, the scenes she shares with Rosita that solidifies Provost-Chalkley as our scene-stealer. It’s not well-written, but Duarte and Provost-Chalkley sizzle well enough together to actually make the scenes believable. Granted, it’s a minor slip-up on the writers’ side. Usually, it’s the mind-boggling, frantically-placed plot bonanzas that bamboozle us. But this time, it was Provost-Chalkley—often with Scrofano or Barrell—who saved many an error in the scripts. The ability to pull back some reason and a big dump of emotion amidst a rocky script is quite something. And yet another indicator Emily Andras’ intuition with her cast is growing strong.
Following the challenge of matching up to last year’s ‘WayHaught’ storm, Barrell and Provost-Chalkley do not disappoint with this year’s complex, layered approach.
Perhaps the worst thing you can do to a same-sex couple is stir up drama for the sake of stirring up drama. We won’t deny that the second season of ‘Wynonna Earp’ hasn’t hit any snags. A particularly jerky episode nine was disappointing and oddly arrhythmic. But one of the steadiest plot points of the series remains the developing relationship between Waverly and Nicole, who stay impressively independent women.
The relationship hits all the heart-warming spots. Andras makes a point of reminding us that consent is sexy. Twice. Nicole is such a gentlewoman that you’ll start thinking of Fitzwilliam Darcy as a lousy pig. ‘Wynonna Earp’ can sometimes be criticised for the ridiculously fast-pace, which is enjoyable yet not a brilliant launchpad for relationships. It does, however, induce heartbreaking performances from the magnetic duo. Especially when Nicole almost succumbs to death and says this:
Nicole: “I have never loved anyone the way that I love you.”
Pacing has always been an issue on ‘Wynonna Earp’. It’s fine. No show is perfect. That must be a fact. A show may be seen as perfect, and that will be a fact for the viewer. But it cannot be empirically perfect. That’d be sensationally boring. Barrell delivers heavy lines, laced with emotion and regret. Provost-Chalkley churns out her best performance as Waverly yet. Desperate with no-one to turn to. That’s the beauty of how Barrell and Provost-Chalkley work. Synergistic. Apart, they’re entertainingly good. Together, they’re unbeatable.
Nobody is a match for the steamroller of a lead, Melanie Scrofano (as Wynonna) other than her little sister Waverly.
Anyone who’s seen ‘Wynonna Earp’ will immediately tell you that the show belongs to the titular character. So rarely has a lead actress burst onto the screen and hogged it so brilliantly. Melanie Scrofano is a perfectly sculpted work of art who’ll belly-bump you into awed oblivion. But the best thing about Scrofano is that she’s not the kind of lead who blocks other people from shine. Scrofano’s scenes alone are showstoppers for sure. And another thing she excels at is ushering everyone else’s game up. As the seasons have progressed, team-ups like Doc and Dolls have been endlessly entertaining, as has the ‘WayHaught’ storm. But kicking things off was always Scrofano.
Provost-Chalkley’s unabashed scene-stealing this season does not diminish Scrofano’s star quality. But as screen-partners they do not suck the life out of each other. They breathe life into each other. A stand-out scene to remember is from episode ten. Waverly faces the impossible choice between the love of her life, Barrell, or her sister Wynonna. The frantic back-and-forth of Waverly’s temptation, her loyalty, heartbreak is played solidly by Provost-Chalkley.
But it’s the final realisation between a guilty Waverly and a horrified Wynonna, when it dawns on her that her baby girl’s betrayed her that kicks us in the gut. You’d think, after seeing Nicole nearly die for an entire episode, we’d be glum over that. No. It’s the seconds-long guilt orchestrated across Provost-Chalkley’s face, and the relief-turned-horror on Scrofano’s that’s the ultimate heartbreak. The Earp sisters always had the relationship of the show. Watching the dissolution of that, the devastation laced in what should’ve been a truly happy moment, was cleverly done by all.
DNA results or not, there is no other Waverly Earp than Dominique Provost-Chalkley. If she snuck up on us last season, she completely destroyed us this season.
Without a doubt, season two of ‘Wynonna Earp’ was the ‘Dominique Provost-Chalkley Variety Show’. Literally. That is what it was.
And to be honest, we’re glad. It’s obvious that creator Emily Andras has been keeping an eye out for her cast’s strengths. And playing to it. Melanie Scrofano’s pregnancy was not a hindrance as it blossomed into an excellently played plot. Filled to the brim with emotion, intrigue, comedy, and trademark badassery. There has to be honourable shoutouts to newcomers Varun Saranga and Tamara Duarte. It’s a testament not only to the newcomers but to the existing cast for allowing them to blend into the obviously tight-knit team.
Tim Rozon boasted some of the best scenes of the season too. His acting chops were hung out to dry as he confessed to Wynonna he was “all in”. That he would do anything to ensure her wellbeing during her pregnancy. Lastly, we applaud both Andras and Katherine Barrell for realising that Nicole Haught, drunk as hell, was one funny, funny scene.
But for the rollercoaster of heartbreak, irrationality, tears, joy, fear, shock and brilliance Provost-Chalkley took us on. We’re quite happy to crown her scene-stealer for the second year in a row. Perhaps with Barrell as the Prince Philip to Queen Elizabeth. Yes, Barrell was that good. There aren’t many who can charm the television screen like she does. Waverly had some of the biggest shockers this season. And Provost-Chalkley rammed it right up to dramatic levels without ever going over-the-top.
Kudos. She had us at her smile and wave.
Keep it locked with us here at TV After Dark for our season two verdict! (Spoilers: we liked it).