Previously on Wynonna Earp…
Wynonna Earp broke our hearts last week. For the first time, a main character died on the show and the stakes feel real. Unfortunately, they played into a harmful trope and Xavier Dolls (Shamier Anderson), a black man, died first. I love this show. I trust Emily Andras and the writing team. It’s taken me a hot minute to process my own feelings and listen to the mixed emotional responses of the fans. And it would be ignorant of me to not acknowledge the harm Doll’s death has caused despite Anderson’s request to exit the show.
He died a hero. He died saving his family. But we still need to do better. We should expect better. Dolls deserved better. But most of all, thank you Shamier Anderson for portraying Xavier Dolls and good luck in Hollywood.
It’s Time to Enter “Colder Weather”
Music supervisor Andrea Higgins kicks off this episode with a solid song choice: Beth Whitney’s “Raven.” We get an amazing visual of a tear as it rolls down a cheek and lands in Dolls’ military tags. Wynonna Earp (Melanie Scrofano), wearing Dolls’ tags and drunk in the woods, challenges Bulshar. She wants revenge. Thankfully, Waverly (Dominique Provost-Chalkley) and her girlfriend Nicole (Katherine Barrell) are nearby, watching over her. Waverly is worried but Nicole reassures her that Wynonna has Peacemaker and them.
But of course, a revenant disturbs Wynonna’s slurring challenges to taunt her. They finally got one of her own. She tries to take a swing at him but she drunkenly falls to the ground and too tired to fire Peacemaker. Fortunately, Waverly shoots him in the groin and he runs off with Nicole shouting, “Yeah you better run.”
Waverly makes the executive decision that no one is going anywhere alone, at least not until they bury Dolls. Wynonna isn’t too sure she can handle that though.
Cue Jill Andrew’s “Tell that Devil” – Sad and Slow
I spent most of this episode teary-eyed and this slow down version of the theme song didn’t help.
Tim Rozon plays Doc Holliday so well and this episode is no exception. Seeing as his final words to Dolls were unpleasant, it’s clear the guilt is eating him up. Doc’s mysterious vampire friend, played by the enchanting Chantel Riley, tries to comfort him. However, he wants none of it. She tied him to a stripper pole. He knows exactly where Dolls went because Dolls was a good man. Doc doesn’t need her to confirm it.
Doc reaffirms he needs to be there for Wynonna but Countessa warns him that he’ll always be competing with a ghost. In the mean time, she wants to meet his friends, which Doc strictly forbids. Countessa quips they’ve always had terrible timing, but as she leaves Shorty’s, Doc says they were just terrible.
There’s clearly a ton of history here. Riley’s ability to switch between moods (reminiscent, playful, serious, etc.) quickly is amazing as we see her character get under Doc’s skin.
Domestic WayHaught Talks about the Future
Back at the Homestead, WayHaught go over funeral arrangements with the funeral director. I love this scene. For one, Barrell has been toting this as the season of domestic WayHaught. I don’t think anyone considered this would include talks of future funeral plans. Which makes it an even better surprise because Nicole reveals she wants a sky funeral. Vultures eat your remains and eventually dispatch them across the land. At first viewing, I wasn’t sure if she was messing with the funeral director, but after another watch, she’s incredibly serious.
But the best part of this scene is Nicole shutting down this basic dude. He assumes they have husbands. Nicole immediately grabs Waverly’s hand, kisses it, and goes, “Yeah that’s right, baby. It’s so important.” All the while she’s holding major eye contact with the funeral director. He tries to stick them in his heteronormative box, but they’re not having it.
Of course, all this gets Waverly thinking about her funeral plans, which she realistically assumes she’ll be buried with the Earp family. However, Ward continues to prove he’s the worst father ever when the director reveals Ward only purchased 2 additional plots outside of himself and Willa: one for Mama Earp and the other for Wynonna.
That Poor A**Hole
At this moment, Wynonna enters and she’s still not ready to deal with this. Instead, she grabs another bottle of booze and leaves to shoot cans. Doc joins her. Wynonna has had to do funerals many times now: Ward, Shorty, and Willa twice.
But this one hurts because she doesn’t understand what happened on the ledge. Doc comforts her by telling her of Boot Hill back in his day and the ritual behind it.
Wynonna wants Bulshar but Doc reminds her they “need to do right by Dolls first.” They wonder if they should take him back to Arizona. But Dolls chose his family and it was them in Purgatory. The score in this scene is incredible because you can feel the pain radiating off of these two characters.
It wouldn’t be a Wynonna Earp episode if a bus didn’t drop off yet another stranger (Peter Mooney) with a black star tattooed on his hand.
Everyone grieves in their own way
At the Homestead, the gang (minus Jeremy) process their grief differently. They’re discussing a wake to celebrate Dolls’ life, which Wynonna has emotionally checked herself out of this conversation. Waverly spirals and turns into a giggly mess over sandwiches, commenting on how Dolls will never eat again. Doc notes Waverly’s giggles are inappropriate, Nicole mildly defends her girlfriend, and Waverly asks if she should be unfeeling like him. This hits a nerve as Doc rockets his glass across the room and smashes against the door, startling Wynonna.
Doc leaves to stock up at Shorty’s. Wynonna checks back in and looks to Nicole for the next step. It’s the first of many great WynHaught moments in this episode. She trusts Nicole, even with Dolls. Nicole and Waverly agree to go to Dolls’ house to find an outfit for him to wear.
Wynonna doesn’t know where Dolls’ body is, but Nicole reveals it’s with Jeremy, who’ll be performing the autopsy. Wynonna charges out of the Homestead in a fury, not wanting anyone to cut open Dolls.
Doc returns to Shorty’s to find his basement ransacked. Upstairs, there’s footsteps. Doc exits to investigate as the camera pans to reveal Dolls’ drugs are missing. Doc finds Mooney’s mysterious character. They enter in a stand-off and the stranger reveals he’s a friend of Dolls.
At Doll’s place, Nicole reveals she’s a survivor of The Cult of Bulshar and Dolls provided her with BBD files to figure out her past. Waverly comforts Nicole as she relives the gruesome moment. It’s a huge role reversal for the WayHaught relationship. It’s nice to see a vulnerable Nicole but it doesn’t last long as she pushes forward to finish the task at hand.
Dolls Knew he was dying
Waverly and Nicole find an envelope addressed to Wynonna. Simultaneously, Wynonna barges into BBD to stop Jeremy’s (Varun Saranga) autopsy that’s not happening. Jeremy tells Wynonna that he knew Dolls was dying and so did Dolls. Wynonna is pissed that Jeremy hid this secret. Jeremy tries to explain it was Dolls’ wish and how the BBD drugs killed him, but Wynonna refuses to listen. She tells him to pack it up and kicks him out of the team.
Wynonna joins Doc and Quinn (Mooney) at Shorty’s. Quinn, tied to the bar with twinkly lights, shows his military tags. He’s a BBD soldier like Dolls.
Unfortunately, revenants have taken Dolls’ missing drugs and are injecting themselves with it. They hope to get BBD demon powers but based on what happened, these drugs are clearly unstable.
At Shorty’s, Quinn explains BBD tested on several people with this demon drug in order to create super soldiers, but now they’re all dead. Except himself because he had the wrong blood type. Dolls attempted to escape 6 times which surprises Wynonna because the man she knew wasn’t much of a rebel. Wynonna wants to know why Dolls didn’t go to BBD or a doctor for help, but Quinn assumes (Doc confirms) he stayed for Wynonna. She needed him and he wasn’t going anywhere, even if his life literally depended on it. Wynonna allows Quinn to stay for the wake but afterwards, he needs to leave.
Purgatory: Drawing people in Like a Moth to a Flame
Back at Dolls’ place, Waverly continues to spiral as she realizes Nicole’s past means her presence in Purgatory is most likely not a coincidence and none of them have a free will. However, Nicole grounds her because at the end of the day–free will or not–she loves her and she’s excited for their future.
Katalin, formerly known as Countessa, shows up and steals Waverly’s purse. In a comical chase sequence, sweet Waverly manages to knock over an elderly lady and Nicole calls the missing vampire “hot” twice, which causes a jealous Waverly. Unfortunately, Waverly lost Wynonna’s letter, the worst thing she’s done since Champ. Thankfully, she’s smart and recognizes who’s stolen it.
At the morgue, Nedley (Greg Lawson) watches over Dolls’ body. He tells Wynonna she should be at the wake and until she’s ready, Nedley will keep Dolls’ body safe.
Let the Wake commence
In a magnificent montage, the group (minus Jeremy) plus Quinn cheers to Dolls. Waverly’s made too many sandwiches. Doc eats Waverly’s sandwiches. Wynonna’s laughing. She’s gripping Nicole’s hand. There’s cozy WayHaught. It feels almost like family.
Waverly breaks off to talk to Doc, who apologizes about earlier and confesses his final words to Dolls was that “they were destined for Hell.” It’s going to be an interesting season for Doc because it’s clear he doesn’t want to go back to Hell. Fear forces people into desperate actions and I have a strong feeling Doc’s decisions this season will eventually cost the team at his own personal gain.
While Waverly is sympathetic, she needs Doc’s help to retrieve Wynonna’s letter. Both leave the party on the down low to pay a visit to Katalin.
Quinn and Wynonna laugh over nicknames of the dead BBD super soldiers before he questions who had Dolls’ back. He’s out of line and admits as much. While Wynonna believes BBD no longer exists, Quinn isn’t reassured. He thinks BBD may return for Dolls’ body eventually.
Down in the basement, Jeremy cleans up alone. Nicole comes down for more booze and they share a heartfelt moment. Nicole lets him know that he can say goodbye to Dolls too. Unfortunately, the moment is over when Jeremy realizes Dolls’ drugs are missing–specifically the rejected formulas.
Ain’t a Purgatory Wake Without Revenants
Revenants, juiced up on bad drugs, crash the wake. In standard Wynonna Earp fight sequence fashion, the team come together with bar brawl skills and Peacemaker sending demons to Hell. Jeremy smashes a plate, Nicole breaks a chair over a revenant’s head, and Wynonna quips at each dead revenant.
In the midst of all this, Wynonna uses a rotary dial phone with the longest wire ever to call Dolls and Waverly, who are on their own mission. Thankfully, Wynonna and the team have it handled, but Quinn is freaked that civilians had access to the BBD serum.
Wynonna corrects him and admits they synthesized the serum to help Dolls. Of course, she uses the opportunity to take a shot at Jeremy, still pissed at keeping the secret and failing to keep Dolls alive.
Welcome Back to the Gardner House of Horrors
Katalin is staying at the creepy Gardner house because Mercedes clearly abandoned it after last season’s face-stealing fiasco. Waverly questions Doc’s relationship to Katalin and he reveals she’s his wife. At this point, Waverly wonders who doesn’t have a secret wife. Same, baby girl, same.
The duo sneak up to the house, but Katalin invites them in before they reach the front door. I love this moment because it’s funny to see a vampire invite someone into their home. It’s a lovely turn of events.
Waverly bursts into full aggravation mode, which is understandable since she was just at Dolls’ wake. Katalin flips another tarot card–Temperance or the Angel card–but it’s upside down, meaning lack of long term vision. Comically, Waverly attempts to flip the table, fails, and shoves Katalin’s cards off the table. Katalin gives back her purse/envelope, wanting only an invitation. Waverly legitimately tells her that next time to simply slide into her DM’s if she wants an invite.
Katalin seems to want to join Doc and his group of friends. She observes Waverly’s fiery nature and thinks Doc stands by her because she’s like Wyatt. However, Doc informs her (and reminds us) Waverly is not actually an Earp. On this note, Doc exits and Katalin pulls a tarot card, which may possible reveal Waverly’s origins. But we can’t see it so we don’t know. There’s been a lot of angel references to Waverly. Is it a coincidence?
Tough Love – WynHaught Edition
This is my favorite WynHaught moment in this episode. Wynonna tries to steal Nicole’s beer and Nicole shuts it down, using that moment to tough love Wynonna to her senses. It’s okay to grieve but they all lost Dolls, not just her. Scrofano and Barrell shine in this scene. Wynonna has spent the majority of this episode either checked out or angry. Everyone, including Nicole, has given her space, but other are hurting, especially Jeremy by Wynonna’s unkind words. Nicole knows this and she knows Wynonna trusts and relies on her.
Wynonna still ends up stealing Nicole’s beer but she heads over to BBD to apologize to Jeremy. Unfortunately, Quinn has him tied up and torturing him with the good stapler. Quinn wants the BBD demon drugs because he plans to storm HQ for revenge. Honestly it’s a terrible plan but I get it. He wants to hold the organization accountable for his friends’ death. Plus he feels guilty because his orders required to bring his friends back every time they tried to escape.
Fish, Levi, Shorty, Eliza, My Sister Willa, My Own Father, Dolls
Wynonna talks him down. She list out the names–her ghosts that follow her, torture her. This moment is heavy. You can feel it in the way Scrofano walks across the room. Two of those names are revenants–good revenants who want this curse to end. She tells Quinn that the only thing he can do: “Live.”
As Quinn prepares to board the bus out of town, Wynonna warns him to never come back. But also if he finds BBD, please destroy their blood contracts. It makes me wonder if those contracts will come into play later this season, seeing as we believed HQ had been dismantled and therefore nullifying that agreement.
Wynonna gives Dolls’ military tags to Quinn. She tells him, ” Sergeant Dolls should be with his friends.”
Wynonna revisits the morgue. Jeremy assures her he had no idea about BBD’s experimental operations. Both agree they don’t ever want Dolls’ body to become currency. Honestly, that’s quite a line, especially in today’s current social climate.
Be Prepared with a box of Tissues (or Two)
Before I delve into this scene, I said it at the start and I have to say it here: Andrea Higgins did a superb job on song choice this episode. Connie Lim’s “Run Home to You” gave me chills as soon as it starts. I can’t listen to this song without thinking of this scene and immediately getting teary-eyed.
Wynonna carries Dolls’ cremated remains up the hill. He’s got a grave that overlooks the Homestead. Wynonna places the box in his grave. Waverly adds his black and white scarf. Nicole adds Dolls’ badge and salutes him. There were officers in the line of duty together. This moment breaks me. It’s such a nice touch and was not emotionally prepared for it. Doc adds in Shorty’s premium bourbon per Boot Hill’s ritual. He died with his boots on. Jeremy adds his “X” mug.
And finally, Wynonna hangs her necklace on his tombstone. When Dolls and Wynonna first met, he returns it to her. And he’s been returning it to her every single time. She knows he’ll return it again when it’s finally time. For now, he’ll hold onto it.
More Tears and Funeral Arrangements
It’s Earp sister time. Wynonna and Waverly enjoy the fire in the -20 weather. Because she’s uncertain about her future, Waverly asks Wynonna about her funeral wishes before Waverly reveals she doesn’t have a spot at the Earp burial ground. But Wynonna has no intention of leaving Waverly’s side, even in death. Plus the Earp burial spots faces towards her old high school and she’s definitely opposed to that.
Wynonna assures Waverly they’ll be buried on the Homestead and jokes that Nicole is not invited. Wynonna reiterates that Waverly is stuck with her forever. To think back to Season 1, it had been 3 years since Waverly had seen her sister. And now, they’re here, completely inseparable.
Waverly gives Wynonna the envelope from Dolls. She opens it and it’s a picture of the entire crew. It’s heartbreaking to think when Dolls took this picture, he was capturing this moment of happiness with his found family, knowing he was dying. Wynonna relents and decides Nicole can be buried with them. Provost-Chalkley amazingly deadpans, “Nicole wants to be eaten by vultures and then pooped out again.” Which for Wynonna is “hardcore.”
The final item is a wallet-sized picture of Wynonna. In a beautiful call back to Season 1, Wynonna had quipped to Dolls that normal people kept baby photos in their wallet. He had kept her.
Doc Pays a visit to Katalin
Doc decides to confront Katalin once again. She apologizes for the death of Dolls and brings up her own feelings of when she learned of Dolls’ supposed death. Katalin reveals Wyatt never stopped looking for Doc. Before Wyatt passed, he told Katalin about Doc’s immortality. There’s been a lot of tension between these two but finally Doc refers to her by her nickname: Kate.
Riley is such a great addition to the cast this season. Do I fully trust Kate? Not really but I’m excited for the drama she will bring. Plus, based on the promo she didn’t bite Doc so she at least abided by his “no teeth” rule.
Obviously this was an emotionally heavy episode and after last week. it was the episode we needed to say goodbye. I’m still not fully prepared for a Wynonna Earp without Dolls, but I trust Emily Andras and the writers. She’s driving this bus and there’s an awful lot of buses in Purgatory for such a small town. I grew up in a small town and there was never this many buses. On that note, see you next week for episode 4 “No Cure for Crazy” on SyFy at 9 p.m. Eastern.