Dani Kind's Mercedes is brilliant. Layered, earnest...but really funny as well. It's like she has a 'bitch' button she can't switch off because she doesn't even know about it.
Waverly's stealing all this show's moments. Eating the goddamn spider?! Really, Waverly?!
The tension and then WayHaught's make-up sex (oh you naive, wonderful souls) was genuine and gorgeously played throughout by Barrell and Provost-Chalkley.
Though it's an obvious set-up for rifts between Nicole and Waverly, I'm going to miss Nicole busting some ass by Waverly's side in the Black Badge Division. We all know Nicole's destined for more.
This episode just lacked the smash-bang-wallop the premiere had, but then again, most episodes will probably lack the smash-bang-wallop that the premiere episode had...
The longer we leave Dolls out, the more I forget about him. What's he up to? And does he plan on coming back soon?
‘Wynonna Earp’ and its Black Badge Division are utterly U-hauled by Agent Lucado and new-boy Jeremy: it’s the Clash of the Titans.
‘Wynonna Earp’ is known for its one-liners, but who’d have thought that Kate Drummond’s uptight Lucado would be the one to deliver them all? All with a super-straight face as she reads Wynonna’s (Melanie Scrofano) “paperwork”:
Lucado: “And I quote: ‘whatever gooed us stunk of living anus and was hairier than a pre-waxed Nedley.“
Wynonna: “What? That’s super accurate.”
Lucado mercilessly whips the gang into shape, offending pretty much all of them. If you thought early season one Dolls (Shamier Anderson) had a stick up the a-hole, Lucado’s is a permanently-jammed tree-trunk.
Tension remains high between a work-focused Nicole (Katherine Barrell) and Waverly as the gang investigate a suspicious case. It revolves around some new apartments, raised by Mercedes (Dani Kind). She’s only the second most hated figure in Purgatory…
The case involves some serious gunge and spider-demons (as if spiders couldn’t get any worse). It’s more of an infestation than it is a gigantic villain.
RELATED l ‘WYNONNA EARP’: Episode 1 Roundtable
The case, however, is very much background material for the relationships that revolve and evolve around it. Nedley (Greg Lawson) decides Doc (Tim Rozon) should take over Shorty’s. Meanwhile, Wynonna finds that with the case also looms a possible haunting from Willa (Natalie Krill). Will her past ever leave her?
Last but not least, a nice chunk of this episode is solely between Waverly and Nicole. Though the air is thick between them, the gap is not. Nicole is there, as always, for Waverly—and in a sweet, soft way, they consummate their relationship.
It’s not all sweet and cute though—when we get to the last scene. Like anybody had forgotten about demon-Waverly—who yanks the dead demon-spider from the jar and eats it. How’s that for an ending?!
‘Wynonna Earp’s Titanic aka WayHaught swerves by an iceberg as Nicole and Waverly hit their first, true speed-bump in Romantic Lovers Territory.
After her deputisation by Dolls getting reversed in the premiere episode, Nicole’s bitterness hasn’t been well-hidden. It was her chance to really make a change after understanding the true nature of the town. And it causes friction between Waverly, who is the essential research component of the Black Badge Division, and Nicole. And they love each other.
This is where facebook statuses change to “it’s complicated“.
There is strength to the subtlety of Barrell and Provost-Chalkley’s acting. One of their strongest scenes in season one was the scene in the police car. The pair argued, culminating in Waverly’s “just friends” and Nicole’s dismissive scoff. But it was wonderfully played. Barrell’s naturally soft Nicole was still charmed by Waverly—you could feel it. However, she was obviously annoyed. Provost-Chalkley’s Waverly was oblivious and angry, and perhaps too much so. To the point where when she realises what she may miss, and dashes to the sheriff’s office to finally kiss Nicole, you know why the desperation is there.
Nicole: “As long as you want me, I will be by your side.”
Inevitably, the two make up. They share an innocence that is sweet, but also fun and sexy, with the way Nicole cheekily hoists Waverly up as their kisses grow passionate. But they’ll still say genuine but cute things like “I like you” and “I like you too”. And we hope that as hot and passionate as they grow, ‘WayHaught’ never lose that sweetness and pure romance.
The new cast regulars/recurring members are fitting in wonderfully—with Drummond’s snooty Lucado taking the winnings with her hilariously hateful performance.
Agent Lucado is truly something else. But again, this is what makes ‘Wynonna Earp’ so good. In season one, Lucado was a mysterious Black Badge leader who reeked of villain. Now she’s grown into a high-maintenance, snappish, still powerful leader. If Dolls was a strict boss, what does that make Lucado?!
Jeremy, (Varun Saranga) episode one’s hysterical tech whiz, is the perfect fit for the division. Geeky and far too much so, he provides the wealth of intelligence and equipment they never had before. He’s endlessly likeable. Tamara Duarte is another key addition. Her instant chemistry and no-nonsense attitude with Doc leaves us with more questions than answers—but isn’t that how we take our characters in ‘Wynonna Earp’?
We’d say keep an eye for Duarte’s Rosita. ‘Wynonna Earp’ is at its best when it peels back the layers of our characters episode by episode, and Rosita seems like this season’s onion.
But we think many would agree that our original arrangement was our favourite. We’d never prefer N*Sync without JT. Whilst Dolls is hiding, we air-punch triumphantly as the devious Earp sisters crack on with the case behind Lucado’s back. It’s exciting, it’s rule-breaking, and as Waverly asks:
Waverly: “So…our shit-show’s back?”
Damn right it is, Waverly! For how long—we’re not entirely sure—but we loved a little off-the-record hijinks behind Lucado’s perfectly-arched back.
“When one of us is gone…you’re…gone.”
What ‘Wynonna Earp’ does best is draw a sense of scariness and hint at a truly heart-rending storyline…and then churn funny lines out of it. It’s the charm of ‘Wynonna Earp’. True from the heart, but also funny as they come. In this episode, Wynonna, who previously broke down due to it all, finds herself haunted by Willa.
Wynonna: “She’s…haunting me. She’s full-on, Woman in Black haunting me!”
Her hysteria only grows during the episode, but even if it’s Willa or not—Wynonna’s psychologically not over her. At all. When an Earp’s gone, they’re gone. But for Wynonna, when an Earp’s gone, they remain stuck in her head. It’s nightmares galore, and if Wynonna is sending Revenants to hell, then she must live in her own personal hell too.
It draws us to Waverly too, who for the first time is truly thinking about Bobo’s words. It’s not enough for her to abandon Wynonna, and we’ve seen no signs of thinking about it. But we get the feeling that a seed has planted and something will sprout. That, plus the freakish demon-half of her. For now, Waverly is firmly cocooned by Wynonna & co.
Wynonna: “We’re on the fury road express, baby girl, and there aren’t enough flaming guitars and gassy generals to bring us down.”
Waverly: “Oh, I like it when you’re scary.”
Wynonna: “I’m afraid the scary’s just beginning.”
But is Wynonna right about something else? Waverly’s “other half” seems pretty demon-ish to us. Revenant-ish. And Wynonna puts them to hell. What will the black goo make Waverly do before she must be controlled? Lastly, will it be down to Wynonna to control whatever is possessing an unwitting and unknowing Waverly?
FINAL VERDICT: ‘Wynonna Earp’ inevitably slumps after its swaggering, jolting, brain-zapping premiere—but retains its core of easy fun and gungey monsters.
Breaking a second episode following a premiere that throws everything onto the table was never an easy task. However, Alexandra Zarowny does well by throwing in some funny one-liners and incorporating a wonderful new cast of characters. If Emily Andras did an excellent job just introducing them, Zarowny has the undoubtedly harder job of actually making them work for the first time—and she smashes it.
The only slump is perhaps the case, which is weak. It’s hard to decipher whether ‘Wynonna Earp’ is back as the ‘demon of the week’ show or if it’s something more. With Waverly’s arc and Wynonna’s constant ‘haunting’, there is potential for expansion. We could get a glimpse into Dolls’ long-term plan. We could even focus more on the supposedly uncontrolled Revenants. But everything seems to be on the back-burner right now, which makes this episode slightly on the filler side of things.
Another thing that’s obvious is the continuity between writers when it comes to writing the characters and the relationships. You can never really tell when Andras or Zarowny or D. Fryers is writing ‘WayHaught’, or Doc, or Dolls. Andras is probably the most quip-filled when it comes to Wynonna, and also the most heartbreaking, but it shows that just as well as the cast have gelled on-screen, so have the writers, to a point where every episode feels like a joint writing effort.
A warm welcome back for Brett Sullivan’s direction, too. Gone is the slight cheese of season one’s first two episodes is back comes a kicker of some sharp, dramatic shots. The show’s heightened all-round, production-wise, but we think perhaps the episode required just a little more oomph.
QUESTIONS & COMMENTS:
- Is the MVP Jeremy’s inverted nipple? Yep. I think it is.
- Lucado’s quip about Doc Holliday’s purpose in the Black Badge as…drinking whiskey…was hilarious. We miss Dolls, but Lucado running the office is pretty darn funny too.
- So what exactly is Dolls’ long term plan to come back?
- Did I miss the purpose of Waverly stealing Nicole’s desk-bell?
- Seriously, if you have an answer, tweet us @TVAfterDark! I’m genuinely curious.
- How do you think Waverly’s possession works? She seems utterly oblivious, but there are moments where she seems to be able to control when she wants to ‘transform’.
- Lucado (to Waverly): “You…get some coffee” and Wynonna and Waverly’s offended “hey…” was hilarious. More of Lucado offending the Earp sisters, please!
- I loved Waverly and Nicole this episode. I know shippers will be screaming ‘WayHaught’ and ‘draw me like one of your French girls…” but they were so organic and gorgeously acted by Dominique Provost-Chalkley and Katherine Barrell. Props to Zarowny. It felt just right.
Catch WYNONNA EARP on Fridays 10/9c on Syfy.
‘Wynonna Earp’ Review [2×02]: “Shed Your Skin”