How Do You Solve a Problem like (a Missing) Wynonna?
What is a world without Wynonna Earp in it?
A little less kind, a little less funny, and without some truly fabulous hair.
With Doc (Tim Rozon) getting a reality check as to who he’d be without Wynonna (Melanie Scrofano), the rest of the gang unknowingly go about their daily lives with no clue that something crucial is missing. It’s nothing short of delightful to see Waverly (Dominique Provost-Chalkley) and Nicole (Katherine Barrel) rediscover each other again, including a truly touching storyline in which we see Waverly understand her own sexuality.
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Dolls (Shamier Anderson) takes on the Widows, now emboldened by their new reality, but ends up at a crossroads with the friend he didn’t know he had in Doc. The friendship between Doc and Dolls is a constantly evolving one, and it’s heartbreaking to see how at odds they would be without the unifying voice that is Wynonna. Emily Andras and writer Alexandra Zarowny weave a completely new world within the one we know and shake up everything we thought we knew along the way.
Taking on this alternate universe this week is our panel of fantastic Earpers:
Cat (@catmsquared) – Earper, English grad & part-time adult.
Danielle @samsjazzff- forever fangirl with no chill
Hillary Esquina (@ryesquina) – Earper. Writer. Fangirl.
Sierra Allyce (@sierraallyce) – Actress, Artist, passionate tv show follower
Brittany (@brittania_) – Critic and writer at TV After Dark
1. We lost Doc AND Dolls in the cursed alternate universe, but we got a glimpse of their friendship before they died. How did you feel about seeing them go? Did they do Wynonna proud?
Cat: I was ugly crying at both deaths. Even trying to be logical and believing there’s no waaay they would actually kill off both of these characters and definitely not in the same episode (…right?), I still had a lot of feelings. I liked how Doc was so open and verbal about their friendship, trying to use it to stop potential violence between them. Then in contrast, Dolls didn’t acknowledge or feel anything about their friendship until after Doc’s death. It fit for the narrative but also for their characters. Doc has become the straightforward voice but Dolls consistently takes longer to recognize what’s in front of him in a personal aspect.
Although if Wynonna is proud of them, I’m not so sure. They both seem due for a Wynonna-style scolding for killing each other and making Waverly do all the work.
Danielle: I’m having a lot of Doc and Doll feels right now. I think they would’ve done Wynonna proud. Doc trusted in Dolls to do the right thing, he knew him better than I think either realized.
Hillary: I’m hoping that the cursed alternate universe is the only place we will have to watch them both die. That was hard because we know what they mean to each other and to Wynonna. The action that Doc took showcased that he had good intentions, despite the fact it didn’t work out; whereas Dolls made decisions that were very calculated until he realized they were friends minutes before he died.
Sierra: Watching both Doc and Dolls die within seconds of one another was absolutely heartbreaking, especially being the cause of each other’s deaths. They have such a beautiful friendship that you don’t often get to see in a tv love triangle. And those last words from both of them were just so beautiful; “I think he was my friend” from Dolls, and Doc calling Waverly Babygirl, it honestly had me tearing up. I think they absolutely did Wynonna proud, even if Dolls had a difficult time remembering how not to be a BBD hardass.
Brittany: I was so shocked that they died at each other’s hands! There’s an implicit trust between the two in the normal universe that Doc obviously was holding onto, and it was hard to see Dolls look at him like an opponent. I think Doc certainly did Wynonna proud, in that he did what he had to do to help Waverly. That’s all Wynonna would want.
2. Waverly had a pretty compact coming out story in this episode, from thinking that something is “missing” in her relationship to declaring that she might just be gay (gee, Waves, ya think?). Did you love the retelling of #Wayhaught in this universe? Were you expecting that at all?
Cat: I actually love how very consistently gay Waverly is in this episode. I was concerned at the end of last week’s episode that this new or alternate universe would feature ‘straight Waverly’ for the purpose of shock and I’m so happy to be wrong. If they were going to draw out this alternate universe arc beyond one episode then I would have liked a slower conclusion to remembering who she is and who she loves but as it was, I’m happy that they took the time to make it clear that YES, Waverly is definitely gay. No demon cursed trophy-land is going to change that!
Danielle: I figured that they would eventually get Waverly and Nicole not only working together but emotionally together again.
Hillary: When last week hinted at this alternate universe, I was nervous what that would entail. I had hope that Nicole and Waverly would find each other again, but wasn’t sure how Emily Andras and Alexandra Zarowny would handle bringing them back together. I always had faith in #Wayhaught though, so I was pleasantly surprised by the retelling because it played on the amazing chemistry between Kat and Dominique while still remaining true to the alternate characters. Plus seeing their second first kiss, having Waverly even say “I’m gay” for the first time, and finally hearing her say “I love you” proved that at the end of the day – we should all have faith in true love.
Sierra: Honestly that whole sideplot entirely threw me off guard in the best way. I was definitely expecting her to end up getting back with Nicole by the end, but not at all like that. Everything about it was so funny and cute (especially Nicole’s giant crush, the lipstick and suddenly deciding she likes pickles) and honestly just a great weight off the chest from the stress of ep10. I think it was incredible and gave us some of the best one-liners of the season.
Brittany: I didn’t even dare hope that WayHaught would happen in the alternate universe. I think queer viewers are very used to having things taken away, so I just assumed Waverly would be with and marry a man, and she and Nicole wouldn’t get that happy ending. I was so happy to be proven wrong!
3. Doc went pretty rogue without Wynonna, even if he didn’t know it. What about Wynonna keeps Doc on the straight and narrow? What does she change about the people around her?
Cat: I adored how surprised Doc was to discover the world of bad he created without Wynonna present and I really hope he gets to reflect briefly on that at some point next episode. Wynonna doesn’t truly hesitate when there’s some big bad who has to be defeated, no matter how scary or threatening it might be and I think that inspires Doc since he can’t always make the same claim. It seems like the same kind of inspiration Wyatt gave to him, that challenge to do better. Without Wynonna and subsequently Waverly, who is also important to keeping Doc in line, it’s too easy for him to fall into his habits of self-preservation. It also changes his story from the moment he was able to get out of the well. There’s no chance for him to make amends for how things ended with Wyatt. Doc is just left with a lot of guilt and unanswered questions.
Danielle: I think in Doc’s case, having Wynonna there reminds him of who he used to be, before Constance ‘saved’ him. But I also think Wynonna sees people as they are. She sees the good in Revenants like Bobo, Fish and Rosita. She draws the good out of those close to her.
Hillary: I think Wynonna brings out empathy in everyone in their own way. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but she has a different kind of connection with everyone on this show. Doc caring about others is the main reason why he has been able to stay on the straight and narrow because he has a sense of loyalty to those he cares about.
Sierra: I think something that’s interesting about Wynonna and her relationships with those around her is that she tends to bring out the best in them, whatever that may be. Wynonna tends to be a wild card who marches to her own drum, but at the same time she often grounds those around her. I could definitely understand how Doc would go rogue, because being around Wynonna is what softened him in the first place. Same goes for Dolls. She’s this incredible type of person who brings out the best in everyone she loves.
Brittany: I think the Earps make Doc want to be a better person. It’s like they remind him of a person he used to be and could be, and he loves them in his own way. He’s lived for so long and naturally has become very jaded, but Wynonna is just so very alive. She’s bright, and fiery, and I think her determination to protect the people around her inspires them all.
4. Bobo’s story has grown more and more complex, and with it his character more empathetic. Is he the kind of villain you root for, or do you still want to see him put down after what he did to Willa?
Cat: Bobo is every type of villain I root for and I hope we continue to see him fleshed out in the next episode AND next season. I would love to see him struggling with moral decisions next season that might not have bothered him so much in season one.
Danielle: If I root for a villain, he is the kind I do root for. I love the complexity they gave him at the end of season one and they are expanding on it. I want him to be reluctant ally of Team Earp, neither willingly cooperative nor outright hindrance. I hope he helps bring Clootie down.
Hillary: I wouldn’t say I’m rooting for Bobo, but I don’t necessarily want to see him put down again. Finding out his history and knowing all these different elements from his background has definitely made him a complex character. He’s invested in the Earp sisters much more than anyone realized, so what else is there to Mr. Del Ray?
Sierra: Goodness I have a really love hate relationship with Bobo. He obviously has a big heart under all those layers of hell, which we saw in Robert Svane. As Bobo, I certainly don’t like the dude, but I could absolutely see him change and become a better person (er- revanent), if he would just take like two minutes to calm down and chill with his theatrics.
Brittany: The best stories give their villains dimension, and I think that’s what Bobo was lacking in season 1. Now that we know how he became a revenant and why he is the way he is, it makes him more interesting. I don’t think it excuses his actions (nothing ever could or should), but I do want to see more of him all the time. I can’t look away when he’s on screen.
5. The Widows’ plotline is slowly coming together now that the third seal is destroyed (thanks to Bobo). Are you excited for the resolution of it, or are you ready for it to be over?
Cat: I’m excited for the resolution of it because of how great I think it’s going to be for our Earp sisters. They seem to be setting it up so that the sister’s own struggle to work together will be pitted against the ability of Wynonna & Waverly to work together.
Danielle: I’m ready to be done with the sisters, they don’t feel as cohesive of a ‘big bad’ as the revenants did. And they feel like they are there just to get us to season three’s big bad. Demon Clootie.
Hillary: I’m excited for the resolution for sure, but at the same time I’m definitely ready for the next plot line. Having Dani Kind & Meghan Heffern as part of this story line has been awesome, but I kind of miss the historical and revenant side of this show.
Sierra: I’ve loved watching the Widows storyline and how it has effected the story! I’m definitely super interested and excited to see what Demon Cloodie is like and how they’re going to find a way to defeat him, especially since the peacemaker has kind of been the go to for getting rid of monsters, and that isn’t really going to work this time. And as much as I hate the Widows, they’re wonderfully developed characters, and I mean they killed Tucker so that’s one point for them.
Brittany: Controversial opinion, but I’m so tired of the Widows. I feel like their story has been dragged out for so long now, and there’s no way that Cloodie will be all he’s been built up to be. We’ve spent 10 episodes with the Widows and we’ll only get one with their husband — to me, that’s a really odd villain choice. Cloodie feels less like a season-long villain and more like the big boss at the end of a video game.
6. Wynonna and Waverly take turns saving each other, but Waverly went above and beyond this week — she was ready to die in order to bring Wynonna back and save all their lives. How much do you love the bond between them? What’s next for the Earps?
Cat: I love their bond like Doc loves dynamite. I’m wondering if they’re setting us up to see the challenge of wanting a ‘normal life’ (Wynonna with the baby, Waverly & the mentions of marriage in these last two episodes) next season versus their responsibilities as Earps.
Danielle: Their bond is one of my favorite sibling bonds on tv. They feel so real. And they’ve only gotten stronger. I have a feeling the truth about Waverly and the baby are going to bring them closer once they come to terms with the truth.
Hillary: The bond between Waverly and Wynonna is seriously one of my favorite things on television, but how will Waverly’s betrayal affect them moving forward? It was in the name of love, so I’m hoping Wynonna will forgive her. In the meantime, they have a much bigger problem, so I’m guessing personal feelings will be out to the side so they can defeat Clootie.
Sierra: Oh my goodness the sisterly love in this show is just overwhelmingly awesome, they always end up going to these great lengths to help each other, and seeing Waverly so certain and ready to die in order to save a sister who she barely remembers really had me on the verge of tears. I honestly can’t wait to see how much closer they become once Wynonna has the baby. That’s the next thing that I’m really looking forward to.
Brittany: I love seeing a relationship between sisters portrayed like this on TV. For all the fabulous siblings TV has shown us over the years, a true ride-or-die bond between sisters has been few and far between. I see my sister and I in them every episode. I love that they don’t hesitate. If one is in trouble, the other drops everything to get to her. Theirs is an unbreakable bond that I think really does reflect a lot of sibling relationships in real life — minus the guns and demons, of course.
7. Okay, the pregnant elephant in the room (not a fat joke, Wynonna!): the next Earp heir is coming! Is Doc the father, or is this kid a tiny bit revenant? What are your baby theories?
Cat: I think Doc is gonna Dad™ this baby regardless of if it’s a revenant or not. I do hope that Doc is the father from a storytelling perspective because to me, that would suck to kill off the revenant baby daddy when they could have drawn out that kind of tension. I also might be enamored with the idea of Doc holding Baby Girl Earp in a blue nursery.
Danielle: Whether Doc is the biological father, I don’t think it matters to team Earp. But biologically I’m leaning towards him not being the father and that Baby Earp and Waverly are both going to be part revenant. But in the long run, that’s not going to matter to Wynonna or Doc.
Hillary: I think the theories are fun to discuss, but I’ll put my faith in Emily Andras and the writing team for this one. I think whoever the father is will provide some very interesting storylines for them to pursue in Season 3.
Sierra: I truly think that the baby is going to be half revenant. What with it continuing to grow when everyone was taking their long nap, and it showing up right after Wynonna slept with Mr. Sexist. And it would make it a lot easier for Waverly to tell Wynonna that she’s half revenant. But let’s be honest, no matter who the biological father is, the whole Earping Crew are going to parent that baby. A family can be a demon hunter, an immortal cowboy, a lizard man, a revenant scientist, a sweet gay genius, a ginger cop, a small bi aunt, and their half-revenant baby.
Brittany: I’m in some weird limbo where I want to know who the father is, but I also just don’t care. It doesn’t matter to me who helped make that kid — it’s Wynonna’s through and through, and I’m more invested in seeing Wynonna as a parent. I’m also excited to see the whole gang take turns babysitting. I get the feeling that baby will have more joke onesies than the Homestead can hold.
Final Verdict: Wherefore Art Thou, Wynonna?
Wynonna Earp delivers an episode in which its titular hero is largely missing. Her absence spreads to the people who love her like wildfire, igniting a need to find their way back to each other, as well as their real home. Waverly in particular shines as a woman trying to reconcile the death of her sister with her uncertain feelings on her own identity.
The obvious and purposeful omission of Wynonna highlighted how key she is to the series. Without Wynonna’s wit and bullheaded determinedness, the show doesn’t have the same special spark to it — and that is a shame with only one episode left in the season. However, the genius of reminding both us and the characters how much we love Wynonna makes for a fun, fast-paced hour of well-crafted television.
Everything about this episode worked like a well-oiled machine, pushing both the Widows’ plot and the character relationships ever forward. The imminent arrival of the next Earp heir truly gives this episode a penultimate vibe.