Wynonna Earp: Katherine Barrell On Nicole’s Renewed Sense of Purpose in Purgatory


What a difference an episode makes! After starting out Season 2 feeling very frustrated about being left out of Black Badge, Officer Nicole Haught (Katherine Barrell) finally got some validation and truth out of her boss on Wynonna Earp. Sheriff Nedley (Greg Lawson) finally acknowledged that everyone in Purgatory does indeed know that demons are out there, they just choose to ignore their existence. Nedley also told Nicole that he specifically recruited her from the big city to succeed him one day as town sheriff, and that it’s just as important to keep ordinary citizens safe. “Be a good cop. It matters,” he told her before revealing that he’s playing a long game against Tucker Gardner (Caleb Ellsworth-Clark).

In part two of The TV Junkies’ interview with Barrell she details what Nedley’s revelation really means to Nicole. She also discusses why, while she loves WayHaught, it’s good to see Nicole in scenes with other characters such as Wynonna (Melanie Scrofano). Barrell also previews what trouble Tucker may be stirring up for Nicole and what she thought when she heard about Waverly’s cheer routine.


The TV Junkies: What did you first think when you heard Waverly was going to be dancing in a cheerleader outfit for Nicole?

Katherine Barrell: I basically just turned to Domnique [Provost-Chalkley] and said ‘You know this is going to be all over the internet.’ I think deep down she knows, but she said ‘No it won’t!’ This definitely is the season of Dom, her amazing tricks and pulling out all the stops. They really wrote for Dominique this year. In the first season you’re really writing for characters not knowing who is going to play them, but in the second season you’re writing knowing exactly who you are writing for and their strengths and weaknesses. In the second season I could really see the writers writing for us and it’s so much fun when they write for an actor.

TTVJ: In Season 1 a lot of people really enjoyed the scene between Wynonna and Nicole and we get another one of those moments in Episode 203. Are you and Melanie just as excited as fans when you see those scenes in the script?

KB: I can’t speak for Melanie, but I definitely am. I love, love, love working with her and we have another really fun one that comes up later in the season too. Don’t get me wrong, I love working with Dominique, but after awhile you want to work with other people. You want to see how Nicole reacts around Wynonna. How does Nicole react around Dolls or Doc? For me, it’s just as an actor playing my character up against a different energy. I really know who Nicole is when I’m in scenes with Waverly. I know what that version of her looks like, so when I have the opportunity to work with some of the other characters it’s just another side of my character that can come out.


TTVJ: There was a bit of tension with Wynonna being worried about how Waverly is acting in her relationship with Nicole. Will we continue to see that tension build moving forward?

KB: Everyone has the best intentions at heart, but sometimes what they think is for the best is conflicting. I think Wynonna is just trying to protect Waverly. It’s so tricky too, the dynamic of Nicole coming in because of the Earp curse, because Waverly is so close to her sister, because they work together and Nicole has been kept out of that on a professional level. So on a personal level she also struggles because when she comes to visit Waverly, ‘Oh, Wynonna’s there,’ they live together and she’s in their house. So that tension carries through to the three of them whenever they are together because it creates an awkward third wheel situation.

Nicole is getting to a place too where it’s tricky because she wants to be respectful that she’s her sister and wants to protect her, but at the same time is like ‘Leave us alone! Knock!’ Nicole is so kind that she wouldn’t say that, but also Wynonna knows how to push her buttons. I think with any older sibling when your younger sister or brother is dating someone new you’re going to pick on the new person to see what they are made of a little bit. I think that’s what Wynonna does to Nicole.

TTVJ: We’ve now been introduced to the Gardner family and they seem poised to play a pretty big role. Given the file that Nedley gave Haught on Tucker, will we see him causing more trouble for her in episodes to come?

KB: Definitely. Tucker is a big problem for Nicole for the next little while and he’s pretty high on her radar. It’s great though because Nedley gives her this case and she can finally have something that is her case that she’s investigating. We also have some pretty great tie-ins with the Purgatory Case Files, the new online digital platform that we’ve launched, as there’s some really interesting crossover between what happens in the episode and what happens online.


TTVJ: Speaking of Nedley, he and Haught had a bit of a breakthrough moment where he acknowledged all the strange happenings in Purgatory. How does that revelation change their relationship and what did hearing that mean to Nicole?

KB: It’s him admitting how much he respects Nicole and also that there’s a goal for her in mind. She’s not just aimlessly floating around because I felt like before she was like ‘What am I doing here? I’m not going to be a part of Black Badge. I have Waverly, but on every other level of my life it kind of sucks.’ I love that scene and I just felt like it was such a beautiful father/daughter moment almost, where he takes Nicole under his wing and says ‘I see you. I see how good you are and it doesn’t go unnoticed.’ I think she needed to be acknowledged.

TTVJ: Anything else you want to tease about what’s coming up this season?

KB: The momentum doesn’t stop this season and just when you think something might be resolved something literally blows up. Just hang on because it gets even better, the game keeps stepping up and there are some massive twists and turns that I don’t think anyone will see coming.

TTVJ: I know you guest starred on a Private Eyes episode. Is there anything else outside of Wynonna we need to keep an eye out for?

KB: I’m returning to Season 2 of Workin’ Moms and we start shooting the beginning of July. I’ve been told we will see Alicia outside of the Mommy and Me group. I also finished one other really exciting project but can’t say just yet.


Were you happy to learn more about Nicole? What do you think is next for her? Add your thoughts below!

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