Sunday, June 11, 2017

Wynonna Earp, Season 2, Episode 1: Steel Bars and Stone Walls

A lot happened at the end of the last season, but rather than dwell on it, Wynonna Earp is throwing us right in at the action. I approve of this, I think; these are very action orientated people, especially Wynonna. They don’t sit around and grieve or digest or think or theories – they keep moving. Wynonna particularly isn’t a bigger picture kind of woman.

And they have action – since their dead sister Willa’s actions last season opened up the wards around Purgatory and allowed a whole new host of gribbly demons into the area – but the Peacemaker works just as well against them. Clearly fighting demons has also given them chance to work on their dramatic posing because there was a whole lot of that.

Doc also got his hat eaten. Everyone’s right, he does look naked without it.

They have a few things ongoing – Waverley and Nicole are still together and awesome and overt and fun.

More worryinging, last season Waverley touched some black goo left by the big cthulu monster and now she’s inclined to develop disturbing smiles, a fondness for weapons and eyes that turn black edged to edge while her voice gets a demonic echo-reverb. This does not bode well: that echo reverb is never a sign of good things.

Waverley and Wynonna have some definitely good sister moments – as it’s clear they’re both mourning Willa while equally clear neither of them have given themselves time to mourn.

Sheriff Nedley has used Wynonna as a scapegoat for the chaos of the town and to hide the supernatural – which means she’s still not popular – but Nedley, at least respects what she did for the town.

But Black Badge is still in town – clearing out everything Dolls has left behind. Dolls is now in custody held by Agent Lucado for breaking his orders. While he has enough pull to stop Lucado from nuking the town, he can’t get himself free and he’s destined to be taken to a terrible Black Badge prison that pretty much kills everyone. Lucado seems especially eager for this since she has a beef with him – it turns out when on a mission that went wrong he saved Agent Eliza rather than her husband and she holds a grudge.

Realising that Dolls is probably not keeping all of his toys at the police station, Wynonna and co track down Doll’s hotel room. There they find some of the fluid he uses to control his weird golden-eyed thing and… agent Eliza. In her underwear and she and Wynonna start fighting before they eventually manage to make proper introductions

I quite like how Wynonna and Eliza bounce off each other really well through the whole episode. They’re snarky, don’t entirely trust each other, and make numerous snipes at each other; but there’s a level of respect and some-day-we-could-be-friends and grudging admiration of their mutual kick-ass fighting skills. It would have been easy just to run with girl-hate as so many programs do, especially since both of them have an interest in Dolls so the spectre of jealousy could certainly be raised.

But she and Doc also realise that Dolls isn’t taking his medication and he’s due a dose- and they share his secret with Wynonna, with Doc saying he isn’t a man. So we’re still none the wiser.

She’s willing to help them all rescue Dolls, even use her own Black Badge credentials to help get them into a safe house. So planning, violence and threats lead to the location, use of security cards to enter the facility – with no guns and detectors to make it stick.

They enter, it’s all going fine – until they are locked in a corridor with Eliza’s cards not working. She swears she didn’t’ double cross them – they’re just all in trouble. Her eyes also turn golden like Doll’s are prone to – by what she implies, Black Badge experimented on them. She warns them that Dolls may not be in control and they may have to kill him – which is a lot to ask of Wynonna after just killing her sister

Plan B is for Waverley to infiltrate, pretending to be British Scotland Yard with a demon head to deliver for experimentation. This involves a terrible accent but everything else is done awesomely: Waverley is a skilled bullshitter (And Nicole mocks her accent). She gets to the lab, complete with demon gribblies imprisoned and speaks to Lab Tech Jeremy about how does one open all the security doors?

When shown by the so-very-naïve-guy she tries to knock him out – which she’s less good at. He’s conscious, bleeding, confused and then terrified because one of their demons goes into an utter frenzy at the sight of blood. They run out and hide – and Waverley confesses all and manages to recruit the very confused man onto her side. It sounds convoluted but it kind of works.

By opening all of the security doors, that frees Wynonna, Doc and Eliza – Doc goes forwards to find Dolls, locking the door behind him. He wants to rescue Dolls alone so if they have to kill Dolls, he will have to do it and it won’t be forced on Wynonna

That leaves Wynonna and Eliza to tear through the guards back to the lab. There they find Waverley holding the demon at bay with her black eyes and demon reverb voice – which they don’t see – since Waverley has hidden the peacekeeper in the demon head she brought; allowing Wynonna to kill the demon.

Doc finds Dolls – who also remarks at his disturbing lack of hat – and Lecado with a gun which she shouldn’t have, naughty. She points a gun at him and he shows off his scary collection of dynamite and how happy willingness to use it. Oops. Dynamite beats gun and Lecado backs off – right into Doll’s hands who promptly strangles her

Doc demands he stop – this is the moment to prove he’s in control. He does – he stops before killing her so Doc doesn’t have to kill him. He rescues Dolls, gives him a dose of his medicine so he can keep moving and then Dolls decides to make his own way out (before whispering something to Doc to pass on to Wynonna – presumably).

Dolls goes his own merry way, for some reason, while Doc is captured, beaten and dragged to the other characters who have all been captured as well (except Dolls, should have left with him). Oops, guess these secure facilities are more secure than they look

They’re confronted by Lecado and her gun – but she’s interrupted by Boss Man who is Not Impressed with her or her gun. Boss Man reveals the town was planned to be nuked but Dolls managed to call it off – that’s off the table (for now anyway). He even accepts that they need Wynonna to police all the revenants and other beasties roaming Purgatory. He even offers to sweeten the pot by saying he will help them end the Earp curse.

But in exchange he demands they all work for Black Badge. Eliza protests – as does Lecado – and Boss Man has Eliza shot

Well damn, I liked her – she and Wynonna were certainly beginning to work well together. That’s a shame. I thought she might become a season regular.

Since Boss Man is willing to kill everyone else to make Wynonna obey (Including poor Jeremy who was most certainly in the wrong place at the wrong time) she is willing to sign a contract – in blood no less, which is nicely dramatic and ominous. Everyone else also signs – including poor Jeremy. Seriously in the wrong place at the wrong time- but he may bring them a nice oracle character with lots of insider knowledge. Doc also is still missing his hat.

Boss Man asks if anyone else is aware of all this – and they say no, protecting Nicole from having to sign the contract as well. Waverley even swears on her mother’s grave no-one else knows, that’s how willing she is to protect Nicole.

They head home – and we get a dénouement now everyone has a moment to breathe. Wynonna and Doc have a moment – but while they’d probably have had sex before it’s clear now their relationship has moved a little beyond that

Waverley and Nicole reunite and talk – and Nicole is a little hurt. Obviously Waverley wanted to protect her, but if she’d signed the contract she’d be officially part of what they do, of the team; even acknowledging Waverley’s wish to protect her she feels excluded. I’m hoping that this + Waverley’s black-eyed-cthulu-possession thing isn’t going to lead to a rift between them – or either of them dying.

And Wynonna finally cries, grieving for her dead sister

I think it’s a real shame about Eliza, I liked her, she had potential and the rapport she had with Wynonna was excellent.