The fight-sequence between Wynonna and Eliza was both hilarious and badass.
I'm glad to see the one-liner attrition rate is still at maximum capacity.
Seeing Wynonna fracture and break so early was the perfect decision. It would be inhumane of her not to break. Scrofano played it so tenderly that if anyone didn't have a tear in their eye...well, you are heartless souls.
Dolls standing at the top of the snowy hill by the homestead was so cheesy it was Stilton—yet it was charming. But it's kind of unclear now—is he in hiding? After all, weren't the gang blessed to protect Purgatory with the Black Badge's knowledge?
Doc Holliday's lack of hat is something that cannot go on.
The clear set-up for the season is that it's not just Revenants threatening Purgatory—it's an abundance of gross monsters. So expect to see many a disgusting thing. But I hope it doesn't slip into procedural again—it was so charming when it had its arcs that continued and curved and twisted and finished.
‘Wynonna Earp’ anoints our screens with full-bodied charm, snark, emotion and badassery as we dive right into a mission to save Agent Dolls.
‘Wynonna Earp’ launches its second season into another stratosphere. Following Willa’s (Natalie Krill) death by Wynonna’s (Melanie Scrofano) hand, plus Waverly’s (Dominique Provost-Chalkley) demonic-goo possession, the gang regroup to save Dolls (Shamier Anderson). Dolls has been carted off to imprisonment by the Black Badge. Thus a mishap of a mission ensues!
Firstly, we welcome guest-star and ‘Lost Girl’ favourite Rachel Skarsten as Eliza. When Wynonna snoops around Dolls’ sleeping quarters, that’s when Eliza bursts out and ambushes her. Smashing a lamp over Wynonna’s head, Wynonna can only concede that Eliza’s kind of badass—and has really great underwear. Welcome back, Emily Andras’ never-ending wit!
The gang hatch a slapstick plan to save Dolls, including poking fun at Provost-Chalkley’s English accent (Nicole comments it’s the worst she’s ever heard after Waverly says “toodles“). But ultimately, whilst Agent Lucado (Kate Drummond) and her machinations are halted by her boss, Kevin Hanchard (‘Orphan Black’) the entirety of this episode’s comedy is thrown out the window by the end. They’re released, so long as they protect Purgatory in the name of the Black Badge. Does this mean Lucado will have to work with the gang? (Please say yes).
Finally, Wynonna—perhaps the embodiment of this aptly titled premiere—collapses as she breaks down in Willa’s room. Waverly and Nicole screech to a halt as Nicole’s stripped of her ‘Agent’ status and tension boils between them. The heart-lifting score at the end as it’s revealed Dolls is alive is near-overwhelming, but it puts everyone in their place.
We kick off season two with a whole load of badass—and relationship dilemmas galore.
Despite the temptation to drift off into a grittier, darker world, Emily Andras rightly chooses to keep the theme of ‘Wynonna Earp’ light—and it makes for a belter of a first episode.
Rachel Skarsten and Melanie Scrofano kicking each other’s asses with lampshades and Skarsten in her underwear? Wynonna bitterly bragging about her heir status to Eliza’s unimpressed raised eyebrow? Provost-Chalkley, the personification of a full English breakfast, getting told by Barrell her accent’s awful? Doc’s continual tendency to tip his non-existent hat?
Post-finale, season one, Emily Andras had a choice to make. She could’ve gone down the dark route, or she could’ve stuck to her guns. We’re glad she picked the latter. What makes ‘Wynonna Earp’ so endlessly watchable is that it’s self-deprecating and it’s got true heart. Each witty quip is delivered with comical sass. But as a viewer, you feel that behind-the-scenes, the cast and crew freakin’ love the show. When that happens, addictive plot-lines and irresistible characters just sprout.
This episode felt like a crossover between ‘Mission Impossible’ and ‘Mr. Bean’. It’s got the premise of a kickass, heroic break-in. It has the humour of Mr. Bean and “toodles!” (oh, Waverly). Quite the perfect mix. What ‘Wynonna Earp’ has that a lot of other shows lack is a sense of self-awareness. It doesn’t pretend to be something it’s not. ‘Wynonna Earp’ lacks pretence. Andras’ story is endlessly funny and often beautiful.
Eliza: “…I took you out with a lamp—”
Wynonna: [claps sarcastically] “And yes, that was awesome.”
The most remarkable thing is we see how far these characters have actually come. Would early season one Doc save Dolls? No! Tim Rozon’s brave, gentlemanly Doc shines in this episode. His affection for the Earp girls is startlingly clear. For someone who started the show as perhaps the most mysterious—especially in his affiliation—Doc is for sure someone who may be the most transparent in his intentions right now.
Steel Bars and Stone Walls: it didn’t so much describe Dolls’ situation as it described Wynonna’s.
Melanie Scrofano’s performance in every episode has been consistently excellent. She elevates herself, truly, in this premiere. After killing Willa, potentially losing Dolls and nearly Doc, it’s insane how she’s still walking. Even Waverly confronts her about it.
It’s one the best moments of the episode.
Wynonna: “Look, I need you to be okay. So why am I dragging you into this again?”
Waverly: “Uh, because I love you? Because you couldn’t stop me if you tried?”
Since we’ve covered ‘Wynonna Earp’ at TV After Dark, we’ve crowned their relationship as simply the best. We’re sticking by our guns. Provost-Chalkey and Scrofano’s chemistry is undeniable, and the soft “sorry” Waverly whispers as they embrace is heart-breaking. Their confrontation is brimming with tears, and you get the feeling that if their relationship was tested by Willa in season one, their relationship may well be the foundation that doesn’t crack as everyone else’s falls apart around them this season.
It’s still early days to talk about Waverly’s demonic possession, because we don’t know it’s extent truly—but it seems like she is genuinely Waverly when being so. And scarily, our theory is that it’s a kind of necrosis that may creep up and engulf Waverly’s soul if left untreated or unspotted. But it’s Wynonna who breaks our hearts, ultimately, as she sobs at the end.
Dolls is alive—and that is hope. But it doesn’t take back what Wynonna has done. It doesn’t take back all of season one—and finally, finally, we see all of that slam down on Wynonna’s shoulders.
The question is: will Wynonna pick herself up, or will she at long last let others help her to her feet?
Waverly & The Demonic Goo: no, it’s not an alternative punk band name.
This was the big cliff-hanger of season one.
And boy, did the season two premiere deliver the answer in a haphazard, hilarious way. Though Waverly’s gun was aimed at a monster escaping the Ghost River Triangle, Waverly’s still very much affected by the demon-goo. So what is it? It’s disgusting—that’s an answer. Also, it’s seemingly controlled by Waverly, too.
With her heart-to-hearts with Nicole and with Wynonna, clearly the true Waverly is still within her. She’s still a dork; still loving; she’s still insatiably charming. But it seems very unstable. Waverly uses it in the freakish Black Badge lab to fend off a monster, but she nearly loses control by nearly beheading Nicole in the homestead.
Is it a necrosis-type matter, as we mentioned above? Will it grow and grow until it consumes our beloved Waverly? Will she spill, or is Bobo’s revelation haunting her mind and confidence with Wynonna?
Moreover, is it affecting the fan-favourite ship ‘WayHaught’? By the end of the episode, Nicole dodges a kiss from Waverly, exhausted by the rescue mission. Exhausted by, perhaps, everything. After Bobo and Willa’s disappearance, shouldn’t Nicole and Waverly be allowed a normal relationship? But they’re not, and Nicole may be stepping into unknown territory now.
Nicole: “Better get back to the station…I’ve still got so much paperwork to do.”
Waverly: “…Yeah, I’d best check on Wynonna…”
There it is. There’s the conflict of interest, stated out loud. And it’s unfair because it’s Nicole’s job and it’s Waverly’s sister. But we hope, for their sake and their fearless journey in season one, that they remain strong—and that Nicole, and Wynonna, play a key part as Waverly must undoubtedly deteriorate with all that black goo in her.
FINAL VERDICT: If ‘Wynonna Earp’ wasn’t your dish last season, then please give it another go. For devoted Earpers—we think you’ll be squealing with joy.
Emily Andras: kudos! Kudos, kudos, kudos!
What. A. Comeback.
We will never pretend ‘Wynonna Earp’ is perfect, but we absolutely respect the thousands of Earpers who think it is. And we think every single Earper will be clawing their faces off at that return.
The score towards the end, where Wynonna settles into Willa’s room and sobs, is tenderly done by Robert Carli and Peter Chapman. Quite like fellow Syfy show ‘Killjoys‘, the choice of music on this show is eccentric and fantastic. When you want badass, it delivers. When you want your heart broken, it delivers. It’s so fitting that it’s practically another cast member.
But it’s Andras’ writing and story editor Caitlin D. Fryers’ consistent wit that keeps this show running. The scenarios our cast are placed under are frankly ridiculous—but it works, because it’s ‘Wynonna Earp’. If it was any other show, it would just be stupid. But here’s the importance of Andras’ show: it is not a pretender. Not pretentious. Self-important. It’s a rollercoaster with a ninety-degree drop every half a second. Heart-racing and spectacularly, deathly fun.
Kudos to the cast, too, for slotting back into their characters like it’s their second skin. Scrofano is, as ever, illuminating. Tim Rozon shines in this episode as Doc gets his heroic moment, and we’re looking forward to what the deliciously tart duo of Kevin Hanchard and Kate Drummond get up to this season.
This is gonna be one heck of a ride.
QUESTIONS & COMMENTS:
- How awesome was the fight scene between Scrofano and Skarsten? It was scruffy, hilarious and so well choreographed, too. I wish we’d seen more of Rachel Skarsten—she was perfect as the derisive Eliza.
- Nicole mocking Waverly’s English accent as Dominique Provost-Chalkley goes above and beyond her normal English-ness and assumes the spirit of Buckingham Palace was hilarious.
- I love that this show just endlessly pokes fun at itself.
- How come nobody has asked that question before? Where did Dolls sleep?!
- Please can Doc Holliday have another hat? His motion to tip the hat towards a lady every single time was beyond funny.
- Any guesses on how far Waverly’s goo storyline will go? Will it consume her? Will she become a demon? Who will find out first?
- Speaking of Waverly…we wonder how she’s internalising that Bobo-bombshell. Bobomshell.
Catch WYNONNA EARP on Fridays 10/9c on Syfy.
‘Wynonna Earp’ Review [2×01]: “Steel Bars and Stone Walls” [PREMIERE]