No matter who you are or what your circumstance, there’s no denying that becoming a parent changes you. You’re suddenly responsible for the life of someone other than yourself, and you are inexplicably and irrevocably changed. Whether you planned for the moment for years or unexpectedly found parenthood thrust upon you, it doesn’t change the fact that your life will never again be the same. Suddenly all thoughts and moves become about someone other than yourself. There’s an inexplicable draw you now feel to another person to protect them, provide for them and keep them as safe as possible. In Season 3 of Wynonna Earp and Season 4 of Killjoys, both shows are delivering heartfelt, emotional and well-written stories of how the love experienced when one becomes a parent changes a person, even the most seemingly cold-hearted among us, and offers a chance at redemption and atonement for past sins.
On Wynonna Earp, exploring the sacrifices a person is willing to make for their child is not new territory for showrunner Emily Andras and her team of writers. Just last year, Wynonna was forced to make the ultimate sacrifice to protect her baby from revenants, as she sent the just-born Alice to live far outside of the Ghost River Triangle with her Aunt Gus. Moments after giving birth to her baby, already feeling the strong pull and change of emotions that happens when you first see your child, Wynonna still did what she knew was best for Alice and what gave her the best chance at survival.
Thankfully, the show hasn’t forgotten for one minute about what this sort of sacrifice can do to a person, even if they know in their hearts it was for the best. Becoming a mother can be all-consuming and take over most of our thoughts, even when the child is no longer there. This is definitely true for Wynonna, for as much as she may try to train her way out or focus on the task at hand, Alice is always in the back of her mind. She literally sacrificed a piece of herself for the betterment of her daughter and that thought is always at the forefront of everything she does. Wynonna Earp may have been a hard-drinking, reckless woman trying to find her place in life, but as soon as Alice was born her mission became crystal clear. She was going to get serious, step up her training and be the person — be the Heir — that Alice needed her to be and break that damn curse once and for all.
This season, Wynonna Earp has shown the audience how the after-effects of sending Alice away weigh not only on Wynonna, but on the baby’s father, Doc Holliday, as well. Typically on television when parents have to make a huge sacrifice such as this we don’t see how it truly affects both people involved. Doc Holliday is a man that never entertained the idea of having children. He’s a man that has been cursed to Hell for all the bad that he’s done, but through Alice, Wynonna Earp shows us that despite his cursed fate, he can still choose to do what’s right and fight for good. For his daughter, so she doesn’t have to. He can be more than just the man who is destined for Hell.
Then there’s Mama Earp, the woman thought for all this time to have abandoned three daughters with their alcoholic father and who we see sitting in prison earlier this season with what appears to be some form of mental illness. As the season has gone on, it was revealed that Mama isn’t crazy after all, but in fact she’d been protecting Waverly this entire time from a demon. To keep her baby daughter safe, Mama actually bound the demon to herself in order to keep it away from Waverly. She allowed herself to go to prison, and for everyone to think she was crazy, all in order to protect her child. Every single picture that was painted for us of Mama, or rather all the assumptions we made about her, were completely and utterly wrong.
We thought her to be selfish and only thinking of herself and her escape of Ward, when in fact everything was the exact opposite. When a woman becomes a mother they start to put someone else’s needs before their own, even when the baby is still in the womb. There’s an instinct that kicks in and compels so many of their actions. Michelle Gibson had this instinct and it drove her to do whatever she could to save Waverly and vanquish the demon that posed a threat. Wynonna Earp just went and completely flipped the script on us viewers when it comes to Mama Earp. She’s now someone to be cheered, revered and held in the highest of esteem because it was all for Waverly. Every seemingly crazy thing she did was to keep her baby girl safe. How can we not cheer for that?
Wynonna: I’m sorry about the mean stuff I said before. For thinking you were an asshole and the whole time you were sacrificing everything for us.
Mama Earp: Well, I’ll tell you what I did, I was a mom. And you’d have done the same thing.
Wynonna: I did. My little girl. Alice Michelle.
On Killjoys, there’s another couple that have unexpectedly found themselves as parents and partners in raising a child. Through the magic of Hullen, Delle Seyah recently gave birth to D’avin’s baby and both parents are already feeling an unexpected pull towards their child. While it was a complete and utter surprise when Delle Seyah found herself pregnant with a baby that was somehow Aneela and D’avin’s, now that the boy is here, and growing at an alarming rate, both parents find themselves confronted with some very unexpected emotions and a surprising urge to care for and parent their offspring.
Let’s face it, despite my ever-growing fondness for her, there aren’t many hearts colder than Delle Seyah’s. Through four seasons the only one that’s been able to thaw the Ice Queen has been Aneela, and without her around Delle Seyah is back to protecting herself and her heart at all costs. She doesn’t let a lot of people get at her tough outer exterior, but finding herself suddenly a mother, of sorts, to Jaq has already started to kick in her maternal instincts. She offered to name the boy after her grandfather, a revered leader of the Nine, saying that she knew that he “too will climb to great heights.” So we haven’t seen much from Delle Seyah, but the fact that she gave the boy a trinket before she left, telling him it was for emergencies and if he should ever need her help, is just further proof that even those who maybe don’t want it, still are willing to sacrifice and help their child when and if they are called upon. In the process, seeing Delle Seyah sacrifice, or at least make an effort with the boy, leads the character further towards redemption in the eyes of not only Team Awesome Force, but viewers as well.
Delle Seyah isn’t the only Killjoys team member who is now an unexpected parent though. D’avin also finds himself having to be a father to Jaq and while he’s only been alive a couple of days, the parental instinct has already kicked in at full force for D’av. He and John grew up with a father who was horrible to them and it’s already clear that D’avin wants to be better than what he received. Not only that, D’avin recognizes the way that Dutch was raised by Khlyen and how he doesn’t want to repeat that with his child. When Dutch wanted to train Jaq to be a weapon against the Lady, D’avin wasted no time in stepping in and stopping her. He even compassionately consoled his child after he thought he disappointed Dutch.
Jaq: Is there something wrong with me?
Jaq: Then what am I?
D’avin: You’re my son.
Parenthood is just the next step in this quietly powerful evolution of D’avin that we’re seeing this season. With Dutch in the green and Johnny Hullen-ing out earlier this season, it was on D’avin to hold the group together, to lead the charge and be the voice of reason. He’s been the quiet strength that the team has needed to get through this, a nurturer when they’ve needed him most and in a way, is more prepared than ever to take on this new role as father. He’s used to looking out for everyone and that instinct is only going to be amplified even more now that he has a son.
D’avin isn’t perfect though and he’s made mistakes in his past. He was a soldier that was used as a weapon and he’s had to make many tough choices throughout the years. But now that he’s a father, he has a chance to do better, to be better and step up for someone in a way that his father never did for him or John. For whatever we may have done in our pasts, when a child appears in your life and needs you to take care of them, it almost feels like a clean slate and new beginning where you can become a better person. You can become the person that child needs you to be and step up for them. All signs currently point to D’avin not letting his chance at some form of redemption through his child pass him by.
Whatever opinions we have of ourselves or whatever sins we have committed in our past, parenthood and the love of a child offers real salvation and a chance to atone for some of those sins. Parents make so many sacrifices for their children and often times will stop at nothing to protect them from harm. Through these sacrifices that love grows, the bond between parent and child strengthens and their character is shaped even further. Both Wynonna Earp and Killjoys have used parental sacrifice to flip expectations on their head, surprise viewers in new and exciting ways, and also continue to grow the characters at the core of their stories. They’ve confirmed what has long been known, whether or not one expects to be a parent, a bond forms and instincts kick in that prove there’s absolutely nothing a parent won’t do for their child.
What do you think of the parenting happening right now on Wynonna Earp and Killjoys? Sound off below!
Wynonna Earp and Killjoys air back-to-back at 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. ET on Fridays on SYFY and Space Channel.
Editor in Chief Bridget Liszewski comes from a long line of TV Junkies who fostered her love of television from a very young age. She's channeled that passion into covering both US and Canadian television shows, and is thankful everyday for the invention of the DVR. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, she loves college football and is a fan of sports in general. Bridget is always up for talking TV and you can follow her on twitter at @BridgetOnTV.