Wynonna Earp’s Melanie Scrofano Takes Her Character to A New Level in Series’ Game Changer

Syfy
Syfy

*** Warning: This article contains spoilers for the Wynonna Earp episode “Let’s Pretend We’re Strangers”***

Make no mistake, your eyes have not fooled you. That pregnancy test at the end of Wynonna Earp read positive and Wynonna Earp is indeed about to become a pregnant, gunslinging, demon fighter. The goo that entered Wynonna and her sister Waverly may be gone, but the Earp heir has a whole new and complicated situation to deal with. In order to accommodate Scrofano’s own real life pregnancy during shooting, the Wynonna writers have written it into the storyline for Season 2.

“Let’s Pretend We’re Strangers,” written by John Callaghan and directed by April Mullen, not only changed the game, but basically took the little perfect snow globe world Wynonna fans know and love, and shook it all up. While this reveal is far from a bad thing, I’ve still got a feeling that nothing will be the same in Purgatory, ever again. In the process of introducing the pregnancy and dealing with the goo, showrunner Emily Andras and her team provided the perfect vehicle to showcase just how talented Wynonna Earp’s leading lady truly is, something I have no doubt will be proved even further as we now get to the really meaty portion of Season 2.

To go back in time a bit to last week’s episode, when the demon goo transferred from Waverly to Wynonna, the prospect of what we would be getting from Scrofano trumped all other feelings I had. Yes, there was the initial shock of the goo transfer, but I couldn’t help but be thrilled about what it meant. It meant that viewers were going to see the “Full on Scrofano,” as she’d really be able to flex her muscles and take this character somewhere we had never seen her go before. I’m happy, but not surprised, to report that if possible, Scrofano far exceeded any expectation I held of what her performance was going to be this week.

While we’re still early into Season 2 of Wynonna Earp, we’ve been privy to many different sides of Wynonna, but we’ve never seen this unhinged, uninhibited Wynonna that was present for most of this week’s episode. As the demon had most of the control, viewers got to see who Wynonna may be if she was free. When the demon was in control, we saw what a Wynonna who was unburdened by any curse, demons or the infamy that her name brings to her, and through it all, Scrofano was masterful.

Syfy
Syfy

Taking Wynonna on a small roller coaster of different emotions in a short period of time is nothing new for Scrofano. We’ve seen her gut punch us before with her ability to bring the drama and tears one minute, then flip a switch and have us cracking up in the next with a perfect line delivery. It’s clear at this point that there’s nothing Andras and her team could throw at Scrofano that she wouldn’t be able to do. Yet, as I sat watching this episode, with a demon-infested Wynonna in charge of things, I was still in complete and utter awe of Scrofano and her talents.

The ease and quickness with which Scrofano was able to switch back and forth between “Goononna” and the real Wynonna was astonishing. One minute the demon would be toying with Dolls, taunting him about what he had to do, and in the blink of an eye Scrofano would pull the real Wynonna to the surface. Through a change in her look or the tone of her voice, she’d then stab us in the heart as she told Dolls, through her tears, to do what’s necessary. It was the same ability we saw Scrofano demonstrate in scenes with Dominique Provost-Chalkley’s Waverly and Katherine Barrell’s Nicole Haught. In short, Scrofano is Wynonna through and through, and has full mastery of the character.

There’s a lot of crazy things that happen on Wynonna Earp, but Emily Andras and her team have written these characters in such a way that viewers are willing to go along for all of it. The writing always keeps the characters grounded and true to who they are as people, and that’s a major key. However, another is that the actors, led by Scrofano, make viewers really, really care for what happens to them. Overall, Wynonna Earp has really ascended to another level in Season 2. The writers know these characters better, the actors are stronger and their strengths are being written into the show, which causes jokes and heartfelt moments to land and cut even deeper. All that being said, when you watch an episode like this it’s hard not to see that Scrofano pulls the entire group up to another level, and yet, she’s just getting started.

The reveal about Wynonna’s pregnancy, and the show’s choice to embrace it as part of the storyline, means Scrofano is faced with the new challenge of playing the pregnant superhero — something we’ve not really seen on TV before. I again find myself sitting here with a joy, a giddiness and an excitement knowing that this is just another thing for Scrofano to meet head on and subsequently, blow us completely away. In fact, I’m sure I’ll be writing many more pieces like this in the coming weeks, all about the show’s choice to write that pregnancy in. In doing so, they seem poised to deliver a real portrayal of a woman, and show just how powerful, all supernatural abilities aside, she can really be.

Syfy
Syfy

However, right here, right now, I’m focusing on this week’s episode. Up until this point, had anyone asked me what my favorite episode was, I probably would’ve said Season 1’s “Two Faced Jack.” It’s no coincidence that it also hinged on Scrofano being able to effectively convey the craziness, horror and seriousness of the situation Wynonna found herself in. Just as the show does in “Let’s Pretend We’re Strangers,” they allow Scrofano to do what she does best: embody every facet of Wynonna and allow the audience to immerse themselves completely, all while eagerly awaiting what she’ll do next. She has a command of the screen that had me physically leaning forward in my chair, toward the screen, on more than one occasion while watching this episode.

The goo taking control and possessing one of the Wynonna Earp characters wasn’t something new. Dominique Provost-Chalkley has also done a wonderful job, and really showed her growth as an actress this season, by subtly showing the demon’s growing control over Waverly in the weeks leading up to this episode. However, make no mistake, Wynonna is Scrofano’s show and that’s crystal clear after her performance this week.

Where things go from here for Wynonna, the Earp sisters and the whole Wynonna crew is a little up in the air, given the dire situation they find themselves in. Yes sir, it’s scary times in Purgatory and new villains and demons await, seemingly around every corner, but I’ve got a feeling we’re all going to be OK. As long as Scrofano is the one wielding Peacemaker, I not only do not fear the revenants, the demons, the emotional storylines, but I welcome them with open arms.

Scrofano’s sandbox has never been bigger to play in than it is right now. Wynonna Earp viewers should all sit back, relax and revel in the fact that week to week we are privy to something special. The world at large may not be aware of the talent that is Melanie Scrofano, but we sure are, and every episode makes me more and more grateful that she’s chosen to share her gift with us. Showrunner Andras may be the driver on this crazy bus that I never want to get off, but Scrofano is right up there beside her in the captain’s chair, and together they make one hell of a team!

 

What did you think of that game changing episode of Wynonna Earp and Scrofano’s performance? Add your thoughts in the comments below! Stay tuned for more in our weekly chat with showrunner Emily Andras!

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

One Comment