Sunday, July 30, 2017

Wynonna Earp, Season 2, Episode 8: No Future in the Past

This is the episode so many shows need: it’s the episode that answers ALL THE QUESTIONS. Oh every series needs this.

It starts quiet with a much more gentle and touching relationship between Waverly and Wynonna - with Waverly continuing her exploration of the fact that she’s likely not an Earp. She talks about how cold their father was, possibly because she wasn’t his. And how Willa hated her - to the extent she arranged to have her fall through a frozen lake. She remembers Wynonna rescuing her, which Wynonna doesn’t.

Of course Wynonna insists she’s still an Earp.

Wynonna also goes to her doctor’s appointment where she continues to freak out over the possibility of having a child. The doctor catches on her anxiety and tries to offer her options - like adoption - but Wynonna is just completely spooked by the whole possibility and just runs out

And then vanishes, apparently into a black truck, leaving blood behind. Dolls is… perturbed.

E gives all the details to Sheriff Nedly who still manages to be low key awesome and he identifies the truck as belonging to Juan Carlo… so it’s probably ok since he’s a good guy. Dolls is less safe and checks in with the order at their fire station since Juan Carlo runs them - but they’re pretty much opting out as well. They fight demons. This isn’t a demon issue so they’re out. Dolls is not amused - “neutral men are the devil’s ally” is a nice quote.

Wynonna does manage to leave a message for him identifying where.

She has sort of being kidnapped (the blood on the floor is from Juan-Carlo - Wynonna smacked him one) by Juan Carlo - who was moved to act after the Widows dropped in to see him (he says “I put you in a box” showing some connection) and one bit him. They want the next seal

Juan-Carlo takes her to an abandoned church but he insists that everything she do be of her free will. Though he presents her with choices which she can’t say no to - truth about the widows, the Earp curse, pretty much everything. Free will but no real choice there

She goes in, badge and gun in tow, and says the words - and appears in the past as a ghost to see everything

And we mean everything

Starting with Bobo, antagonist of season 1 and serious Wyatt Earp fanboi back in his living days trying to get Doc to come help Wyatt take on the literally demonic sheriff of Purgatory and Doc not being a fan since he’s all grumpy and maudlin.

Then to Purgatory itself - Wyatt has managed to shoot and defeat the Sheriff there, evil Sheriff Clootie but his three evil wives (the Widows) are on the warpath and it’s down to the local preacher to deal with them

That local preacher would be Juan Carlo - damn I was wrong, looks like he isn’t an angel after all.

There’s a lot of back and forth here and revelation after revelation all really well done and drawing on all the questions of the last season - but to put it all together:

Wyatt shot the demon Clootie and then bound him in the Earth with some magical help from Constance Clootie, one of Clootie’s wives. Yes Constance is the Stone Witch that Doc had so much trouble with. While Constance hates Wyatt for the death of her sons, she can prioritise and imprisoning her husband was up on the list.

To keep the demon Clootie down Constance made three seals and she, Bobo and Juan-Carlo hid them in separate places. This is the man the two Widows wish to resurrect.

She also helped Juan-Carlo in imprisoning the two Widows in a box which could only be broken with a force of nature (or the explosives Doc used while visiting the Black Badge Facility)

The Earp curse comes from Clootie, cursing Wyatt and his descendants on his death and is why Wyatt left Purgatory. Everyone he killed by Peacemaker goes to hell and then wakes up a Revenant. We kind of new the shape of that - but it’s nice to confirm the source

But there’s more - look at that curse; there’s no clause in it for someone being shot by Peacemaker who is a good man. You’re shot. You go to hell. And during his showdown with Clootie, Wyatt shot Bobo who Clootie was using as a human shield. Bobo, a good, loyal friend and a good man.

But, in a desperately painful confrontation witnessed by Wynonna who sees every bit of the horror of this - Bobo may be good while alive, but “hell will burn that right out of you”. Bobo isn’t dead from the wound but it seems likely to kill him - and to add to the bitterness, Wyatt has rode off to find Doc and left him to die.

This also puts a whole new spin on the idea of how to deal with the curse without killing the Revenants, because not all of them were bad when killed.

To double down on the angst and painfulness of this we see Constance and Bobo after Constance put Doc in the well, to live for all eternity stuck down there, wearing her ring which makes him immortal. The ring that is also her seal - the third seal. Constance tempts Bobo to get the ring from the well and whether or not he saves Doc - after all, that immortality will also save him from dying and going to hell

Bobo tries to get Doc to give up the ring, but he won’t until he’s been released. Bobo leaves him there…  Wyatt riding off to find Doc and leaving Bobo to die has clearly left him pretty pissed.

When Bobo is dying alone, he sees Wynonna, the first to see him. He takes her for an angel and they talk - and it’s painful and brutal; among it he promises never to hurt his angel, even if he comes back as a revenant. He asks her name - and she says Waverley

And lo, the whole weird season where Bobo protected and helped Waverley becomes that much clearer. And that falling through the ice Waverley remembers? It was Bobo who rescued her, not Wynonna.

Just a reminder to make this all fit as well - present day Constance is dead - she was originally imprisoned in the salt flats but since then her severed head has been delivered to the other Widows - so she’s out of the picture. It also means the revelation she made back then - about her and Doc’s bonded lives and why Doc and Wyatt were cursed, missed a whole lot out.

My that was a whole lot to cover there. This has basically revealed so much and expanded characters like Doc and Bobo massively - but oh there’s more.

See while Wynonna is away in time travel dream land, Docs catches up to the church and Juan Carlo - who is dying probably because of the Widows. Juan-Carlo demands Dolls protect the church while Wynonna is unconscious as the Widows attack. He does manage to fend them off and barricade them both in the church despite the paralytic toxin they breath, but Juan Carlo is savaged in the process. Dolls shoots him to put him out of his misery

The Widows try to burn down the church to kill paralysed Dolls and Wynonna but some time travelling hinkiness has mortal Bobo ring the bell and attract attention from the fire brigade, saving them both

Wynonna and Dolls are all huggy and couply afterwards which is nice and they talk about how she was technically dead for a little while.

Technically dead - back to that curse fine print:
When the heir dies and the next heir reaches their 27th birthday all the revenants the previous heir killed come back to life. Wynonna died. And came to life. Aged over 27

The plot seems to focus on Bobo being back - but there was a whole lot of other terrible Revenants and serial killers she put down as well. Are they all back?

In a light side, Doc opts out of most of the episode saying he’s going to the salt flats (where Constance was captured) encourages Rosita to make friends with the Earps - because while it’s all awkward with her dating Doc and Doc being the father of Wynonna’s baby, the Earps are good friends to have. Especially since he promised to protect her and if it comes to it, allying with the Earps is a good way to achieve that

Rosita makes a definite good faith effort going to Waverley and Nicole and offering to throw a baby shower for Wynonna and she’s really good at it. Waverley is a little “who are you lady and why are you pretending to be my friend?” but Nicole points out she is part of their circle through their connection to Doc. She’s also trying - and as a fellow outsider to the Earp circle, she realises how intimidating it can be to try to break through and urges Waverley to give her a chance

I like this, I like that there’s no sinister motive or assumption of bad blood or intent on her part but that they make room for her sincere effort.

But then, while drunk, Waverley realises that Nicole has received the DNA tests she requested to see if she was really an Earp but that Nicole has kept it from her. Waverley is furious and storms out - refusing to be “protected” when that protection means control

I think this links to one of the ongoing themes of Wynonna Earp in general: control and agency. Wynonna hates the curse that is foisted on her, hated Black badge and basically hates any kind of authority. Sure part of it is her “rawr, I’m a bad girl” persona but part of it is a simple assertion of choice. Remember how furious she was that the time travel/coma thing took away her choices over what to do about being pregnant.

But Waverley has something similar repeatedly happen. Because she is sweet and nice and kind people tend to underestimate her,  but they also tend to baby her; assuming she needs sheltering, protecting et al. Precisely because she isn’t in everyone’s face like Wynonna doesn’t mean that her agency shouldn’t also be respected and honoured.

We can also guess from this that she probably isn’t the descendent of Wyatt Earp

In the end this was an awesome episode in which everything was laid out. I normally avoid visions and dreams as they feel like lazy exposition but this was perfect. More Mystery shows need to take note