Wynonna Earp Recap: These Dreams Go On

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Hello, friends, and welcome to this week’s recap of Wynonna Earp! It’s season Bulshar, episode Groundhog Day, and I have to say, those “repeating” episodes are some of my favorites in other series (looking at you, Lost Girl and Legends of Tomorrow), so I was excited to see how this one played out. But it’s Purgatory, so of course it wasn’t all fun and games and shots and violin concertos. Grab some charcuterie, your travel axe, and your best fur coat (shirt optional), and let’s jump in!

Previously on Wynonna Earp, Bobo’s out of the well, Doc’s into the blood, Bulshar’s ring is stuck on Waverly’s finger, and Bulshar’s just trying to get to the Garden of Eden. So just normal times here in Purgatory.

We open on the Homestead and a heavy-breathing, lube-seeking WayHaught whose fingers aren’t where you thought they were, based on the noises. Which was probably the point. No, Bulshar’s ring is still stuck on Waverly’s digit, and Nicole doesn’t want to run the risk of getting off on a demon’s ring, so it’s a ban on sexy times until Waverly’s completely demon free. You know…again. Nicole is terrified of all the bad things it has done, but Waverly points out that the ring keeps finding its way back to them. Not her. Not Nicole. Them. I don’t know if this is true or if it truly belongs with Waverly, but I like the idea of it being for them. Together. When Nicole points out that it could hurt someone they love, including one of them, Waverly’s more open to taking more steps to get it off. You know, so they can get off.

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Spare a little candle

I also love that Waverly’s Cowgirl key holder is hanging at the homestead. I see this and always think of “like a coma?”

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Save some light for me

Nicole heads out to the barn to get bolt cutters, where Doc and Wynonna, uninhibited by any demon rings, have just done what Waverly and Nicole can’t. Twice. They tell Interrupting!Nicole to go away, and she says she’s going to tell Waverly they were fighting, not fucking. It’s simpler, I guess. They seem…happy. Almost giddy. Lighthearted. That should have been our first clue that it wasn’t real. When Nicole leaves the barn, she senses something, but doesn’t look around, and if she did, she would have seen her old buddy Bulshar lurking.

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Figures up ahead

Wynonna and Doc take a well-deserved snooze, and they’re surrounded by Bulshar and his beekeepers. We see real-life Wynonna and Doc, and they’re not basking in their afterglow; they’re in a trance. Well, shit.

At the sheriff’s station, a creepy jeweler is investigating Waverly’s fingers in great detail, and he’s super gross. Like, just beyond regular dude creepy. He’s super into the ring and also asks if she’s ovulating. (For those of you who thought he looked familiar, he was also on Lost Girl and about a million other Canadian shows.) He gets out a…ring saw (?) but it won’t budge. He notices the “paradise” by the sheriff’s station lights, but Nicole gets a call out to the “abandoned” Gardner mansion before he can ask any more questions.

Doc and Wynonna stroll through the woods, fish mug in Doc’s hand. Ethereal music plays and there’s a dream-like filter throughout this whole scene, and it’s achingly beautiful. Like, it’s so close to reality and so close to what their lives could be if things were…different. But also if things were different, they never would have met, with old Johnny Hank being an immortal so-and-so from the 18oos. She seems to forgive him for his abrupt choice to go Team Spike and says she only feels like herself when she’s with him. Peacemaker chooses that moment to give her a jolt, making her realize that something is wrong. They’re suddenly in a different grove of trees, dimly lit, surrounded by Bulshar’s beekeepers. Oh, and Doc’s eyes are covered in a white film.

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Moving in the trees

One of the beekeepers tries to make Wynonna eat the bezoar, and she attacks, then Bulshar appears. He shows her the tarot cards from a Kate’s original meeting, and he tells her he’s impressed that she was able to fight his glamour. She challenges him to fisticuffs, but that isn’t his style, is it? He doesn’t get his hands dirty. He reanimates one of his wives to go on his card errand, and he has his beekeeper minions to attack people and tree them. He’s no Fabulous Moolah. He’s barely even a Miss Elizabeth. He’s not gonna throw down with Wynonna. Instead, he blows more of his sleeping seeds in her face, causing her to slip back into a dream state.

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White skin in linen

Suddenly, Wynonna wakes up in Shorty’s basement, walks up the stairs, and opens the door…only to have to walk down a set of stairs to get to the empty bar, then is immediately shot by a random arrow. She wakes up in the basement again, arrow-free, and realizes it’s gone. She calls out for Doc, seeing his eyes projected onto some crates in the basement. Either something terrible is happening, or she’s gotten into the banana liqueur.

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Perfume on my wrist

He can hear her, and she explains what happened. She asks where he is, but he just tells her “nowhere good.” He can barely move, so Wynonna assures him she’ll find him. But she takes that same roundabout entry to the bar and this time avoids the arrow but is struck by a poison dart in the throat, then wakes up in the basement. Again. Doc’s projected on the furnace entrance now, and Wynonna talks about getting a white-hot spike in the eye, which didn’t tickle. Doc thinks maybe Bulshar just wants to punish Wynonna with pain, but it’s gonna take more than that to break Wynonna fucking Earp.

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And the full moon that hangs over

These dreams in the mist

Waverly and Nicole carefully enter the Gardner mansion, and what should appear before my wondering eyes but a magical Mercedes Gardner. Sure, she’s a little worse for the wear because reattaching a face is a tricky business, but her sass is still there. When her reaction to uninvited vampire guests is “squatters gotta squat,” Waverly smiles softly and says that both she and Wynonna missed her. She’s trying to get into the safe, but dipshit Tucker changed the combo on her. She is trying to gather up some cash for an underground facial reconstruction, which sounds like it could be like a really bad idea. Nicole, channeling that girl who used to smoke cigarettes behind church, aims and fires at the lock, breaking Mercedes’ cash bonanza free.

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Darkness on the edge

Back in Shorty’s basement, Wynonna is keeping track of how many times her day keeps repeating by marking it in chalk on the X where Big Bubba got his knife lessons from Doc. Doc begs her to take a moment and think about what’s going on, and she just rushes in again, assuring him that’s not her “brand.” We finally see where Doc is, and he’s trapped under some floorboards and is slowly being covered in dirt.

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Shadows where I stand

WayHaugtCedes has company — Derek the jeweler has tracked them down. Derek has no chill, though, and makes it clear right away that he’s a demon who wants Bulshar’s ring. But Derek wants to pay fealty to Bulshar, cluing Mercedes in that the ex-husband of her former face stealer is alive and well. Really, she takes all of this in stride. Bigger fish to face and all that. Derek and his surprise lightning fingers go to attack Nicole, but no one attacks Nicole with magical fingers but her best baby. Waverly burns Derek’s face with her ring hand, and he falls to the floor.

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I search for the time

On a watch with no hands

Wynonna wakes up from another simulation and adds a mark to Doc’s X. She knows she needs a plan but…has no plan. Doc tells her to rest, but she works the puzzle out with him instead. It’s like a video game…and that means there must be a way out. She just needs to find it. That thought is interrupted, though, by the fact that the floor is on fire. Seems her video game is leveling up.

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I want to see you clearly

She races up Shorty’s steps and enters the Homestead this time, and Doc’s still doing his best impression of Zordon, but this time on the fireplace. We see Bulshar gloating over switching worlds on our heir. She’ll be the one responsible for letting him enter the Garden, and she’ll know it was all her fault that humanity will come to an end.

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Come closer than this

Doc tells Wynonna to have some whiskey to soothe her nerves, and she takes a swig of what I think is banana liqueur and stomps her feet in grossness. But when she does that, Doc can hear it. He’s coming from inside the house! Er, or something like that. She realizes that he’s being buried alive by Bulshar, and Doc says it’s because he refused to help him. Wynonna leaves to get a crowbar, maybe from her secret B&E kit? She leaves the Homestead, and there don’t appear to be any attacks forthcoming, so she steps out into the snow.

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But all I remember

WayHaughtCedes is talking about Waverly’s sudden melting of Derek the demon. Mercedes tells them that if it is Bulshar’s ring, they’re well and truly effed, because the witches who stole her and Beth’s faces? The only thing they were terrified of was Bulshar. And who cares that Wynonna killed them? Mercedes’ face still looks like the “before” picture in a Very Special TLC program. Waverly touches Mercedes’ face and tells her she’s still beautiful, but Mercedes isn’t having it. Waverly wants to snip off the ring, willing to lose a finger as a casualty, but Nicole, despite being very concerned about the ring in the first place, doesn’t want to sacrifice those precious little fingers. There’s something bigger than both of them at work here, and Nicole wants to figure out what it is.

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Are the dreams in the mist

Jeremy calls and Waves tries to get his help to figure out how to demon-remove the ring, but Jeremy has bigger problems. He noticed something hinky on the parks cam, and he needs the full Unkillable Gay Squad to investigate.

Wynonna enters the barn and is met by a snarling, sickle-carrying Bobo. She shoots him, he falls, and she wakes up in the Homestead. Doc is coughing and is covered in even more dirt. Wynonna didn’t realize how many times she’s been stuck in her Bobo feedback loop. Since shooting him isn’t doing it, she leaves the gun behind when she goes to the barn this time.

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These dreams go on when I close my eyes

Every second of the night I live another life

They walk through the forest and work out that the disappearing stone staircase must be the entrance to the Garden of Eden. They happen upon a hand sticking out of a cluster of branches. Honestly, this is probably not the weirdest thing in the Purgatory forest.

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These dreams that sleep when it’s cold outside

Wynonna enters the barn and tries to reason with Bobo without her gun. She reasons that he, Constance, and Juan Carlo sealed Bulshar underground, so he has to know a way to defeat him. When he points out that the other two are dead and Bobo Del Ray isn’t exactly Robert Svane anymore, Wynonna admits that she needs his help. They attack each other and end up “dying,” or as close to dead as you can be in Legend of Bulshar, and Wynonna asks for help again. Waverly’s his angel. Michelle let him out of the well. He loved Willa (the true Earp heir). But he says that his will to fight is gone. Either Bulshar is a good guy or Bobo didn’t get the memo from Waverly, because he feels like Bulshar always wins. Bobo gave up, and so will Wynonna.

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Every moment I’m awake the further I’m away

Nicole throws Jeremy a hatchet to cut away at the branches, and Waverly realizes that it’s Bobo. Jeremy wants to attack him, but Waverly stops him. Nicole throws him a pointy stick, because that’s the best go-to weapon on shows that I like to watch, and they start the process of freeing Bobo from his wooden prison.

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Is it cloak ‘n’ dagger

Could it be spring or fall

Wynonna is…exhausted. She marks another attempt on the homestead floor…and the attempts are almost too numerous for us to count. Doc is as good as buried, but Bobo is the final boss she can’t get past to get the crowbar she needs. She asks Doc if this is Hell, and he knows it isn’t because they are together. He’s been to Hell, and that’s more of an “occupado by one” situation.

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I walk without a cut

Through a stained glass wall

She tells Doc that she never gave up on him, even if it seemed like she did, and she wishes he hadn’t given up on her. He tearfully says he would never give up on her, on them, or on Alice. He asks her to make one last attempt at saving him, and though she can’t find the strength in herself to do it, she can gain the strength from him.

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Weaker in my eyesight

The candle in my grip

Waverly shouts at Bobo to wake up, and he awakens both outside in the cold and in the dreamscape barn. Bobo tells them that Bulshar has control of Doc and Wynonna’s minds. He explains that Bulshar is everywhere — the trees, the groves — and he wants revenge.

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And words that have no form

Are falling from my lips

Wynonna enters the barn, but Bobo is gone. She grabs the crowbar and goes outside, only to be met by the giant bag of dicks himself. Bulshar stands next to a red door and blames Doc for bringing on this form of, er, Purgatory. If only he’d agreed to help Bulshar, things wouldn’t have been this bad. He makes Peacemaker appear at her side, but when she shoots him, the bullets don’t harm him. He holds up his “tower” tarot card, and she realizes that Peacemaker is the weapon, and it protects the Garden.

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These dreams go on when I close my eyes

Bobo says that Bulshar captured him and gave him the fairy-dust treatment. “It was like a waking dream,” he says, and asks if they’re a dream right now. He explains that he and Wynonna killed each other over and over again — as they’re destined to do because of the curse. She wanted to keep fighting, but Bobo gave up. Jeremy reaches out with his Chetri Sense and says that they’re close, and JereHaught takes off while Waverly and Bobo stay back. Bobo tells Waves she’s wearing her father’s ring.

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Every second of the night I live another life

Wynonna, armed with her trusty crowbar, is able to free Doc from the floorboards. He collapses into her, finally free of his worst nightmare, thanks to Wynonna. They’re just so grateful and happy to see each other; to feel each other. They agree that it’s time to take the fight to Bulshar, and they’ll face him together. They leave the house and approach the Narnia door, and the bag of dicks appears. He says they’re free to go, that they’ve won…but their fates are intertwined.

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These dreams that sleep when it’s cold outside

Every moment I’m awake the further I’m away

Wynonna shoots Bulshar with Peacemaker again, and this time he disintegrates into a million tiny pieces, like when his minion fought Dolls. They think the fight is over, and they go through the door.

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There’s something out there

I can’t resist

They enter the barn and think it’s over. Wynonna tells Doc she’s mad that Doc is a vampire, but she’s so happy that they beat Bulshar together. It’s a moment of joy — something that Wynonna hasn’t had for so long. Wynonna opens the barn door at the sound of Nicole’s voice, but instead of her third-favorite ginger standing there, Wynonna wakes up again in Shorty’s. Defeating Bulshar — it was all a lie, and she’s back at the beginning. No chalk marks, Zordon Doc, and no sign of victory.

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I need to hide away from the pain

An exhausted Wynonna crawls up the stairs and opens the door to Bulshar, waiting for her in a snowy clearing in front of the Homstead. He encourages her to surrender, and she refuses. He backs up and she sees that she’s surrounded by Waverly, Doc, and Dolls’ graves.

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There’s something out there

Wynonna tells herself that Waverly will come for her. She knows Waverly would never abandon her sister, and we see that she’s right — Waverly, Nicole, and Jeremy are racing towards Doc and Wynonna. Bulshar is busy getting inside Wynonna’s brain, though. He gets the Lone Wolf to admit she doesn’t want to be alone and convinces her that if she gives up the gun, she’ll get to go back to her life. He accuses Wynonna of wanting to punish her found family, but all she wants to do is save them.

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I can’t resist

But Wynonna is so very, very tired of fighting. And dying. And failing.

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The sweetest song is silence

That I’ve ever heard

The queers have found the staircase, and Nicole runs towards the danger and starts to just…walk up them. Jeremy stops her, though, because that just doesn’t seem prudent at this juncture. They’re interrupted by a shout from Waverly, who has found Doc and Wynonna.

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Funny how your feet

In dreams never touch the earth

The queers find Doc and Wynonna, and Jeremy’s groin says they’re alive but terrified. They work together to rescue them and tear the branches away.

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In a wood full of princes

Freedom is a kiss

Bulshar shows Wynonna the tarot card, and she realizes that he needs Peacemaker to enter the Garden. Bulshar has buried Doc alive, and she hears his disembodied voice coming from the ground, telling her to be strong. But she hears Waverly, too, and doesn’t realize it’s Waverly saving her, not shouting from her grave. That’s her breaking point. The combined voices of her Doc and her sister are too much. She just wants it all to end. Bulshar swears he’ll let them go if she gives up the gun.

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But the prince hides his face

From dreams in the mist

She apologizes to Doc and Waverly’s graves and says she loves them. Real or not, she has to end their suffering.

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These dreams go on when I close my eyes

Every second of the night I live another life

In the forest, Wynonna and Doc are alive but still in their trance. The queer rescue team tries to wake them up, and Nicole shouts at Waverly to move her ringed hand from her sister’s face. They wake up, though, and Doc is vamped out and terrified. Wynonna just looks numb. Jeremy tries to tell them they’re safe, and Doc asks Wynonna if she gave up Peacemaker. Wynonna just looks away, ashamed and disappointed in herself.

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These dreams that sleep when it’s cold outside

Every moment I’m awake the further I’m away

Wynonna and Waverly are in front of the fire at the Homestead. It’s real this time and not part of Wynonna’s repeating nightmare. She’s ready to give up because she says Bulshar has everything he needs now; now that she’s given up Peacemaker. But Waverly reminds her that they still have something that Bulshar doesn’t have — each other. Wynonna says that at least things can’t get worse…and Waverly slips off the Niagara Falls oven mitt and says that her father’s ring (per Bobo) is stuck to her finger. She can’t control its power, so it (and its power) are mitted for now. Waverly’s still optimistic, though — they can take the fight to Bulshar at the stairs. Wynonna doesn’t know what she’s talking about — she doesn’t know anything about any stairs. She thinks it’s because she’s not “good,” but Waverly knows that’s not the case.

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These dreams go on when I close my eyes

Every second of the night I live another life

At her mansion, Mercedes slowly pulls the bandages off her face. Waverly’s face-melting ring has had the opposite effect on her, and her face is back to full perfection.

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These dreams that sleep when it’s cold outside

Every moment I’m awake the further I’m away

Monica’s Random Thoughts of Randomness:
  • I’m a big fan of confident Nicole and her flirty ways. Damn. Nice to see her again.
  • I also liked her line about challenging gender norms. Another subtle “fuck you” to the patriarchy, which I tend to enjoy.
  • I wonder if the ring really is an old Haught family heirloom.
  • Wynonna saying that she only feels like herself when she’s with Doc made me so, so, so sad.
  • How Wynonna looked while she was fighting the beekeepers gave me serious Leia on Endor vibes.
  • Why didn’t Nicole step a little closer to shoot the lock off of the safe? I mean, I get it — super smart, gun in her sock, killer shot. But, you know, just to be careful?
  • I don’t think I could pick a favorite Mercedes line even if I wanted to.
  • I appreciate Jeremy’s off-color jokes at WayHaught’s expense. I feel like my friends and I make these all the time with each other, and it just speaks to the comfort level queer people feel with each other.
  • If we hadn’t been in a dreamscape of some sort, would those bullets have worked on Bulshar?
  • Does Doc get that Narnia reference?
  • Did Wynonna wake up on her own, or did Waverly’s ring have something to do with it?
  • Oh, so the stairs are only visible to the queers? Is this some sort of stereotype/interior-design thing?
  • In all seriousness, what if she (and presumably Doc) didn’t see the stairs because they’ve killed people, and the other three haven’t? Sort of like a thestral situation?
  • “I keep my words, just like I keep my curses” — this is one of the many lines in this episode that I wonder if we’ll come back to.
  • I like that they picked a Niagara Falls oven mitt — straddling that line between Canada and the United States. Clever.

We all knew Bulshar was evil, but we truly saw how evil he is in this week’s episode. He took two characters’ biggest fears and put them right smack-dab in the middle of them. Doc, with his hatred of confined spaces, basically had to relive his mother’s death. And Wynonna — brave, smart, lovely Wynonna, who tries so hard to save everyone and it usually works out — keeps failing, over and over. And she won’t give up. She’ll jump in front of a poison dart a million times because maybe in that million and first time, she’ll manage to duck it.

It’s interesting to me that Wynonna had to give up Peacemaker willingly for it to work for Bulshar to open up the Garden lock. And the Heir had to cross the boundary willingly to break the bonds of the Ghost River Triangle. It all ties together somehow, this notion of consent, but I’m not sure how. There is very little that Wynonna feels like she has a choice with in her life, and so willingly giving up her gun must have almost felt like a relief. Finally she’s free of that one tiny choice she never made, even if the consequences are a bit…problematic.

I loved the Earp Sisters moment at the end of the episode. They’re surrounded by like 17 piles of shit, and they just take a moment to find strength and comfort in each other. It’s nice and sweet and just exactly what they needed. Their biggest weapons are always each other.

I am really pleased with the queer representation I’m seeing this season from this show, in multiple ways, both positive and negative. Let’s start positive, shall we?

I think it’s easy for a show to introduce a character to have her be someone’s girlfriend, and then…that’s all she is. And Wynonna Earp has never done that with Nicole Haught. She has multiple storylines separate from Waverly, and it seems like she’s intricately woven into the mythology of the show. She is no Tara Maclay, or even a Maggie Sawyer. She has her own storylines and personality and relationships separate from Waverly, and that’s important to me.

I also like that the queers in Purgatory seem to travel in packs. Jeremy’s often with Waverly or Nicole, and especially Jeremy and Nicole seem more comfortable around their queer counterparts. This feels very real to me, because, with a few notable exceptions, I am my selfiest self around my fellow gays.

I think it’s easy for a show to reduce a queer couple’s existence to a purely physical one, and that’s not what has been done this season — or at all ever, really. We see connection — real, emotional, heartfelt connection between WayHaught. They talk about their hopes and their dreams and their fears and also about getting each other off. It’s sweet and sexy and mushy and just…real to me.

And then there are the heterosexual tropes that we see in a lot of shows that have been taken and adapted for WayHaught — the sexy holiday dance, the cheerleading scene, the “sounds like sex but is something totally innocent” move. It’s treating them like equals, and I appreciate it.

And the negative aspects of queer life are represented, too. There’s the obvious example of Bunny “ISIS!” Loblaw, sure, but that’s a gimme. Twice this season, Waverly has been referred to as a lesbian when we aren’t entirely sure that’s how she identifies. Neither were done in a malicious way, but it’s commonplace behavior from well-meaning non-queer people who want to place us in a box, so to speak. I’m sure that a lot of thought went into both Mama Earp and Mercedes’ language when it came to Waverly, and it all felt very true to their characters.

Oh, and one final note on this episode — Mercedes Fucking Gardner is back! Hooray! I can’t wait to see how this plays out.

This episode was funny and devastating at the same time — truly Wynonna Earp’s jam of late.

 

What did you think of this week’s episode? Share you thoughts below!

Wynonna Earp airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on SYFY and Space Channel.

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