Wynonna Earp Writer Brendon Yorke On How the Past Will Haunt Wynonna and Doc

Michelle Faye/Wynonna Earp Season 2, Inc./Syfy
Michelle Faye/Wynonna Earp Season 2, Inc./Syfy

While Wynonna Earp is a show that definitely provides us with lots of laughs, thanks to more one liners than we can count each week, you wouldn’t really describe it as a comedy. However, this week’s episode, “Everybody Knows,” written by Brendon Yorke and directed by Paolo Barzman, airing Friday at 10 p.m. on Syfy and Space, really brings the laughs. As showrunner Emily Andras promised, Wynonna (Melanie Scrofano) starts to look for answers about her pregnancy and hits the road with Nicole (Katherine Barrell) in an unlikely team up.

Elsewhere, Doc’s (Tim Rozon) past indiscretions start to haunt him, and Dolls (Shamier Anderson) and Jeremy (Varun Saranaga) must help him out of an interesting jam. Does this have anything to do with the recent demise of the Stone Witch? For more on that, as well as what we can look forward to this week, The TV Junkies recently caught up with writer Yorke, who also serves as a supervising producer on the show. He also shared with us why he enjoys writing for a genre show like Wynonna after past stops writing for shows like Degrassi: The Next Generation and The Listener.

 

The TV Junkies: What do you enjoy most about writing for Wynonna and how is it different from other shows you’ve written on?

Brendon Yorke: There’s a lot to like about writing for this show! At first I enjoyed the challenge of figuring out how to tell grounded stories in a supernatural universe. This is nothing new to genre writers, but I had to force myself to let go of certain rules and limitations that a genre audience doesn’t necessarily hold you to. As time has gone on, the real pleasure of writing for Wynonna Earp is knowing that, however crazy or challenging the stuff we come up with might be, the cast is going to elevate it to another level. They’re amazing.

As far as Wynonna being different from other shows, having a Melanie Scrofano would be the number one difference. In my case, I have been lucky enough to write for many genres of TV over the years, so just about every show I’ve worked on is very different from the others. But this is the only one with a kickass female gun-slinging demon hunter.

TTVJ: If I can make yet another Buffy/Wynonna comparison, you guys have also proved that men are capable of writing great female characters and stories. What did you love most about the direction of this season and doing a pregnant Wynonna Earp?

BY: It has always been one of my goals as a writer to strive to write female characters as honestly as possible. And though I will never be able to 100 per cent understand what it’s like to be a woman, I have spent a lot of time in their fictional heads trying to do just that. For the record, I’m not 100 per cent sure I know what it’s like to be a man either, but I try to fake it as best I can.

Wynonna being pregnant was obviously not something we had planned to incorporate into a second season of the show, but sometimes you’re thrown a curveball and you still try to hit a home run (I know you get sports metaphors!). After the initial panic subsided and Emily and the other writers looked at it in the cold light of day, it became obvious that we could make some serious lemonade from these lemons. The questions raised by a pregnant Wynonna were a story gold mine, especially with this particular pregnant woman who was already not super great at dealing with personal problems. Avoiding being knocked up was also her life’s work, so to see that go up in smoke gave us a lot to work with for the rest of the season. It also gave us the challenge of trying NOT to have every storyline revolve around Wynonna’s pregnancy – and since the character would naturally go through periods of pregnancy denial, so could we!

TTVJ: At the end of last week’s episode, Doc really seems to believe he’s the father of Wynonna’s baby, but that actually may not be the case. What can you share about how she starts addressing that issue this week?

BY: Not much, other than to say that since Wynonna hasn’t consulted any medical professionals throughout the first several months of her pregnancy, there may be some questions that need answering ASAP. And Doc, being old-school and not at ease with talking about these things, doesn’t have a whole lot of insight into who may or may not be the father – despite knowing that he and Wynonna definitely did the thing that makes babies at least once, AKA “The Nasty”.

Michelle Faye/Wynonna Earp Season 2, Inc./Syfy
Michelle Faye/Wynonna Earp Season 2, Inc./Syfy

TTVJ: Nicole isn’t the first person you’d guess as Wynonna’s companion on this journey, but I know that’s a relationship Emily has mentioned you guys wanted to grow this season. What’s fun for you about the dynamic between those two characters, those two actresses, and getting to write scenes for them?

BY: Obviously, the Wynonna/Waverly sister relationship is the core of the show. But sometimes there are things Wynonna might want to talk about with someone who isn’t her sister. Maybe there are things she’s ashamed of having done that she can’t admit to Waverly, who is as tied up in the Earp curse as Wynonna is.

It’s also fun to play around with the “in-law” type of relationship since all of Wynonna’s mixed feelings about Waverly (love, guilt, admiration, concern, etc.) can bubble to the surface. As Waverly’s feelings for Nicole become stronger, Wynonna can’t help but feel jealous that someone is taking her baby sister away from her. At the same time, Nicole coming to Wynonna’s aid without necessarily telling Waverly what that involves can test the loyalty in their relationship. It’s fun! And having Melanie and Kat bring these characters to life is a joy to watch.

TTVJ: This episode has some of the funniest moments we’ve seen on Wynonna. What are the challenges to writing full on comedic scenes versus sprinkling in one-liners or the usual laughs we get from a Wynonna Earp episode?

BY: Comedy is really, really hard. Not just to write, but also to perform, direct and edit. It takes a lot of work and preparation to make it seem spontaneous, which is what makes it funny. Whenever we get it right, it’s a testament to everyone trying their best to make it work. Lots of times it doesn’t, but when it does it’s really satisfying – in the way that, for me, it’s more fun to win in team sports than individually. Again – you get sports.

TTVJ: Doc’s focus may be elsewhere this week because he has some other trouble to worry about. Can you preview what he may be facing this week?

BY: You see, it’s not a good idea to make deals with demons, witches, or what have you. There will always be a price to pay, and the debt collectors can be remarkably patient. All I can say is that there’s a connection to Doc’s connection to Constance Clootie and the blast from the past that comes to bite him in the ass. Not literally in the ass, but it does rhyme nicely.

 

What has you most excited about this episode? Sound off below!

Wynonna Earp airs Fridays at 10 p.m. ET on Syfy and Space.

2 Comments