Officer Nicole Haught is always a positive. It was particularly pleasing to see Katherine Barrell flex her acting muscles as Haught was fleshed out a bit more.
The lack of Dolls made way for some fine Haught/Wynonna bonding.
"Nobody keeps booze in here, Wynonna. Except you!"
Waverly coming into her own as the courageous hero she is.
Can Waverly sing every episode? Her voice is tremendous.
I did miss Dolls and his deadpan snark--but his scenes with his clinical boss took away from an otherwise super-entertaining episode.
The Blacksmith was gone far too early! There was so much potential there.
Wynonna Earp stomps a massive fifty miles forwards in a fast-paced thriller that suddenly makes Friday the 13th seem very real.
Wynonna Earp running three solid storylines simultaneously seemed a bad idea last episode: it was enjoyable but a little frantic. In ‘Walking After Midnight’ the storylines not only meshed well—they individually kicked ass. Dolls (Shamier Anderson) is brought into meet the very corporate bosses of the Black Badge Division, unhappy with his lack of discoveries in Purgatory and is threatened with the closure of his division. It robs the always consistent Anderson of screen-time, but it’s a solid mystery with Dolls’ final revelation at the end.
Meanwhile, Wynonna (Melanie Scrofano) teams up with Officer Haught (welcome back, Katherine Barrell!) as they discover each other working late at night in the Sheriff’s office. Haught’s quietly disappointed she wasn’t invited to Waverly’s engagement party but it quickly stops being about drinking and Haught haplessly pining as they figure out a seriously dodgy case—one that they need the morgue for. In true Wynonna Earp fashion, everything dissolves into craziness and in a frantic, frightening sequence—Haught and Wynonna split up to find the source of a disturbance, only to find nothing, bump into each other again and one heck of a scary warning card for Wynonna, left in the cadaver’s mouth.
Waverly (Dominique Provost-Chalkley) makes some grave invitation errors for she invites the most annoying girls ever to Steph’s (Siobhan Williams) engagement party. She’s later unexpectedly joined by Doc (Tim Rozon) in easily the most thrilling parts of the episode. Because The Blacksmith bound Waverly to the skull of the Stone Witch’s (Rayisa Kondracki) ‘boy’, she’s in imminent danger all episode from the witch’s obsessive, dangerous hunt. Bravely, Waverly still searches for answers in the face of the witch’s frightening anger—and then smashes the skull to pieces like a shotput event against the barn wall. Wynonna arrives just in time, but Doc shoots the witch non-fatally. It’s the ending that has us yelling at the screen again: Haught and Wynonna jump in the police car to grab some breakfast, and it’s Doc at the end who finds a police car, driving with no-one at the wheel, both front-seat doors flung open.
Waverly undoubtedly champions this episode
Waverly’s all of these things: brave, talented, intelligent, thoughtful, mostly wary—and whilst Wynonna is entertainingly reckless, Waverly’s not your showy badass. Quite accurately, Haught notes this to Wynonna:
I think that Waverly has spent her whole life tailoring who she is to the people she’s with. She’s only now just starting to figure out what she really wants. – Haught
In the most enjoyable, ‘every show must have a montage’ sequence, Waverly prepares for Steph’s engagement party with some plump cushions and a sing-a-long in a tight dress (kudos number two for the second smatter of Provost-Chalkley’s lovely singing voice). It, of course, all descends to hell when two guests show up (one of them being Steph herself), Doc shows up and the ‘stripper’ Waverly did not order turns out to be one of the witch’s lackeys as the disastrous party melts into a stirring pot of curses, skulls and Waverly stabbing the stripper in the side of the head with a pair of scissors.
It gives way for Provost-Chalkley’s descent into frantic madness as she scrabbles around to protect the Earp home, all the while hilariously ranting—and Provost-Chalkley must take home some kind of award for the way she delivers this:
You are just as mental as your sister! – Steph
Yes, okay, Stephanie, you’re right—it’s all true! I’m a freak! Wynonna’s a freak! Doc’s a freak! But I’m a freak who knows the most lethal place to stab someone bigger than you is through the ear. Yes, I’m the freak who knows witches can’t cross lines of salt—which is pretty handy right now. And I’m the freak who…six months ago would’ve too polite to mention that that biiiig old diamond on your finger—not only is it cubic zirconium, but it is ugly—as—shit! – Waverly
It’s true heroics from Waverly and Dominique Provost-Chalkley in this episode: firstly, for putting up with her irritating party guests (seriously) and secondly, for facing off to the witch and smashing the skull right in front of her. Wynonna noted at the beginning of the episode that if Waverly felt lonely (not that she does, for she’s a “happily single girl with hair for days!”) she’d call, but this episode if anything proved—even further—than whilst the Earp sisters may always be bonded with the strongest love of the show, they are independent too. To sum up the party is Haught, who’s taking a statement from Chrissy (Dana Hollenbach):
[To Wynonna] Chrissy says she…scissored a stripper. – Haught
…Yes, that’s exactly what happened.
Officer Haught and Wynonna are the unlikeliest team-up in the world…and it’s brilliant
Melanie Scrofano and Katherine Barrell prove that literally everyone in this cast has unbeatable chemistry with the other. The team-up between them (on a Saturday night so it’s slim pickings) in Dolls’ absence made way for some excellent back-and-forth between the duo. Special credit to Barrell, who’s been sorely missed by the fanbase over the past few episodes, coming back to the show with a bash-and-a-half, and those love dough Waverly eyes. As per.
With Wynonna carrying alcohol, it makes for this goldmine:
[About who Waverly invited] Stephanie Jones. You know, one time, Stephanie told me I should think about getting a buttlift. – Wynonna
What? Your ass is like…it’s top shelf, man, it’s top shelf. – Haught
The hilarity of the duo quickly turns to action and then suspicion. When the pair goes down to the morgue to visit a body Wynonna suspects is a victim of a Revenant, someone else is there, toying with them. Someone else is there to try and freak Wynonna out by stuffing a playing card into a skull’s mouth. It’s intense, shudder-in-your-seat stuff—and it’s not long before Haught’s questioning this.
You wanna tell me what the hell’s going on? – Haught
Dry morgue airs, murder and the schnoz… – Wynonna
Bullshit. I think somebody’s trying to scare you. Toy with you. Why? – Haught
I picked up this case like an hour ago! How could it— –Wynonna
–Be connected to you? Yeah, I would really like to know that too. People get eaten by something? Call Wynonna! Guy gets murdered by a man in a mirror? Yep—Wynonna to the rescue! – Haught
In the very same scene, Wynonna turns on Haught as she advances forwards. This scene was definitely the best in showcasing the chemistry crackling between the unlikely duo of Scrofano and Barrell, and Wynonna makes a very valid point.
Alternately…I don’t suppose you have a deck of playing cards in this utility belt, huh? – Wynonna
Excuse me? – Haught
How do I know you didn’t double-back to mess with the body? Yeah, you’re awful interested in me and my sister and maybe I should be grilling the shit outta you. You’re the crazy one. – Wynonna
You of all people should know better than to try and make me question my sanity. – Haught
It’s something to ponder for the future: was Wynonna right? Wynonna sure seems to be buddy-up again with Officer Haught when they go for pancakes together at the end, but Wynonna Earp is terribly good at making trustworthy characters untrustworthy and vice-versa. Haught is evidently loved-up from afar with Waverly, but is she all she seems? There must be something other to Haught than her rockin’ Stetson and dimple charm, but maybe…that is Haught. Whatever the answer is: creator Emily Andras has set up a perfect dilemma with Barrell’s Haught, and it was refreshing for Barrell to get a meaty chunk of this episode’s story and show a new side to the rarely-glimpsed officer.
For all intents and purposes, the Earp sisters still steal the show.
Perhaps the conclusion foregone every week, but the Earp sisters—whether they have an entire episode or simply two scenes between them—absolutely win it. Scrofano and Provost-Chalkley are unrivalled in their enthralling chemistry. From the fun, relaxed bar scene opener which allowed for Waverly to verbally express her joy at being free from her boy-man to the end-scene in which Wynonna immediately scrambled over to comfort an injured Waverly. The way Scrofano plays Wynonna is just to a tee. Her sister is absolutely her first priority, and it’s evident in the way Wynonna sprints to a trembling, gasping Waverly’s aid.
It still offers that spring of comedy as a concerned Wynonna asks if she’s okay, and Waverly laments “I’ll never play piano again…” to which Wynonna unconvincingly replies: “Do…you play piano?” The pair simultaneously responds to this with a “No.” Comedy, action, problem-solving or this tender, gentle care—Scrofano and Provost-Chalkley are incredible together.
Final verdict: this scary jeepers of an episode was perfect for Friday the 13th as Wynonna Earp churned out its blatantly best episode yet in this thumping thriller of a ride.
The chemistry mix-up (you’d usually assume it’d be Doc and Wynonna with a plot and Haught and Waverly with another) is a welcome addition that works. Heavy, heavy kudos to the rousing script by writers Caitlin D. Fryers and showrunner Emily Andras, and the as-ever wonderful direction by Brett Sullivan. It’s fleshing out characters into an expanding world, and creating relationships spanning a wide web, not just restrictive pairings. This was an episode that could’ve gone mightily wrong—as many often do—when you simply cram too much in an hour. But Wynonna Earp didn’t fall victim to that at all, and the pacing never once felt off.
It was, in fact, the perfect horror for Friday the 13th. It is evident, the depth of which the writers know these characters to get their voices pinpoint-right whoever they are paired up with. It marks a nice return for Barrell as Officer Haught too, who was excellent in showcasing the many sides to her—other than just dreamboat-staring at Waverly (can’t blame a girl). Haught was questioning, suspicious, lamenting, and—okay, still dreamboat-staring—but Barrell played her to perfection. But the influence of Andras is heavy in this script: it’s like the characters to her are a second skin, and it showed.
Questions and comments to ponder:
- I refuse to go crazy over a chemistry-fuelled exchange of glances, but they stared at each other and smiled!
- What on earth happened to Haught and Wynonna at the end? Was it even them?
- Waverly offering Doc the barn to sleep in was incredibly sweet. Rozon and Provost-Chalkley—again, have amazing, underrated chemistry.
- Provost-Chalkley must be a trained West End/Broadway singer. I refuse to not believe this after the brief snippets of her singing thus far. Her voice is beautiful.
- This show has too many one-liners I want to cackle at.
- Rachael Ancheril—you were gone too soon! What a fantastic portrayal, though short-lived.
- What’ll be the creepy stone witch’s next move?
- Is this the welcome into the Black Badge Division for Haught we’ve all been waiting for?
WYNONNA EARP airs on Fridays 10l9c on Syfy.
Wynonna Earp Review [1×07]: “Walking After Midnight”