Monday, October 1, 2018

Wynonna Earp: Season 3, Episode 9: Undo It

Waverley and Nicole are still having issues about the powerful ring that is now glued to Wavelery’s finger. Since it has a habit of killing people, they’re concerned about the fact they can’t get it off. They even call in a creepily obsessive jeweller, Dexter who is definitely a demon. He also can’t get it off, even with a saw.

And we have the return of Mercedes!

Yes I’m taking a moment to celebrate this - because Mercedes was awesome. I have a complete soft spot in my heart for unrepentant, terrible characters who run through the show being completely awful in glorious ways. Mercedes is the poster child for this wonderful awfulness

She’s not doing incredible well since last we saw her she had her face melted off. She still has scars and is in a lot of pain - and has been travelling the world getting a series of operations to put her face back together again. She’s troubled but more concerned with getting her money out of the safe and snarking about how very very very good (or very very awful) the magical ring could be.

When Dexter arrives tries to take the ring by force and Waverley melts off his face. This is not reassuring for anyone.

Wynonna and Doc awake in the barn having sex - and Bulshar arrives with a band of demonic beekeepers to cast some delusion magic on them both.

There follows a truly awful and powerful scene in which Doc is trapped under the floorboards being slowly buried alive while Wynonna tries to find a way to free him. But every time she dies - often horribly, in great agony including acid and red hot metal, only to groundhog day back at the beginning. Each time with Doc buried a little more. Wynonna starts our snarking and wisecracking but her slow, terrible grind down is really powerfully portrayed as she dies again and again.

Eventually she finds Bobo - and she starts killing him. Each death, again, setting back the clock. In desperation Wynonna, as they both die yet again, appeals to Bobo to work together to defeat Bulshar: but he’s broken. Completely broken by the despair of repeated deaths he has given up.

Luckily for him that Jeremy calls Waverley and Nicole and they find where Bobo is trapped, wrapped in roots (since plants and trees seem to be Bulshar’s thing) and manage to rescue and wake him up. He then tells them about what Wynonna and Doc are facing

Wynonna spars with Bulshar - but doesn’t manage to bring him down. But she does realise that Bulshar needs Peacemaker - the Tower - to get access to Eden for mystical purposes. He also cannot take it from her - he can only make her give it up

Which he tries, through series of deaths, resetting the day, trying to rescue doc, thinking she’s rescued him only to be  and a slow eroding of her will and hope. There’s an utterly tragic scene of her and Doc both bonding but Wynonna is just broken and desperately struggling to her feet again.

Which is no surprise when she actually breaks and gives him Peacemaker, just before Waverley, Nicole and Jeremy rescue her and Doc

Wynonna is obviously at her lowest point, depressed and defeated, fully seeing Bulshar has won despite everyone trying to reassure her. It’s a bleak moment.

But they still have Waverley offering support and telling her about her face melting ring - and, twist, Bobo reveals that this ring is actually her father (the Angel’s) ring

And that ring has magically healed Mercede’s face.

I have to praise the powerful depictions of this episode - it’s hard to show a protagonist giving up especially under torture. We have absorbed a kind of media narrative that good guys just don’t do that. The good guys keep on trucking. The good guys always resist. The good guys cannot be broken. So this was always a challenge - but the acting and the writing were top notch and really conveyed just how utterly Wynonna was broken down