I won’t even try and hide it. Let’s get things out of the way right from the get go, and lay all our cards out on the table. To say the Wynonna Earp finale made me emotional is an understatement at best. I can’t recall the last time I have been so emotionally invested in an hour of television, where I cared so much about what happened to every single character. Good or bad.
Television is a world of escape for many of us, and that feels especially true these days, where the world at large can be pretty terrifying at times. It’s always great to be able to turn on one of my favorite shows, and immerse myself completely into its world and characters. Thankfully, Wynonna Earp’s Season 2 finale, “I Hope You Dance,” written by showrunner Emily Andras and directed by Paolo Barzman, not only allowed me to do just that, but it provided a cathartic, emotional thrill ride in the process that has perhaps, left me more deeply invested than ever before.
The best kind of television shows for me are the ones where I may not know much about the plot happening each and every week, but I know for certain that I care about the characters. It’s not what is happening around those characters per say, but rather the decisions they choose to make that’s important to me. How the decisions those characters are making affect not only them, but those around them is what, more than anything, will have me coming back each week.
I’ll be honest, upon first watch of the Wynonna finale, I’m not sure I caught half of the plot specific points that were answered, or new questions that were posed. That’s not to say Andras’ script wasn’t sound, gratifying and great from a plot point of view. I got that the baby was Doc’s and Waverly wasn’t a revenant, but catching specifics on Peacemaker glowing blue or what this new demon was didn’t fully register. The important part is that I didn’t care.
“I’m the Earp heir. They are always coming for me, and everything I love.” – Wynonna
I didn’t care because I knew what I felt. The emotional stakes have never been higher on Wynonna Earp, and that’s all that mattered because these characters have become so damn important to me. Every single one of them. More than anything I want my television shows to make me feel something, make me get invested and give me a sense of joy. TV is an escape after all. It’s clear after this finale, that as long as Emily Andras is driving the Wynonna bus and Melanie Scrofano is riding shotgun, there’s no show on TV that has the ability to trigger my emotions quite the way it can.
Finales are a tricky beast. You have to balance wrapping up plot points and questions that have plagued your characters over the course of many episodes, with knowing what threads you can still leave dangling to give yourself somewhere to go next year. Finding that balance can be hard because you want to leave your audience feeling emotionally satisfied, especially knowing they are going to have to wait almost an entire year if and when they get new episodes from you. You want them happy and full, so when think back on your show, they remember the journey that you took them on, and they know they want to come back for more. Nothing would be worse than a bitter audience. Thanks to Andras’ writing and Scrofano’s amazing performance, that Wynonna Earp finale will be sticking with many of us for months to come, but only in the best way possible.
The decision by Andras and the Wynonna Earp writers to use Scrofano’s real life pregnancy, and integrate it into the plot, has been well discussed by now. It may not have been what they originally planned for Wynonna’s journey, but now having seen this season play out, it’s hard to imagine any other path for the Earp heir. Andras and Scrofano set out to do Fargo on the small screen, bringing us a pregnant demon-hunting superhero, and it’s safe to say they have delivered that on all accounts. While the journey has been fun to go on with Wynonna, how the baby situation would be resolved in the finale was still pause for concern among many fans.
Wynonna’s decision to send her daughter away, where no demons or revenants could find her, not only was one of the strongest and most selfless decisions she could have made, but also provides a renewed sense of purpose for her to break the curse. I would not want to be the demon or revenant standing in her way come Season 3. She’s no longer fighting just to save herself, but now also her daughter. While playing Scrofano’s pregnancy definitely seems like it was the right call, the show couldn’t realistically have a baby on board in Season 3, making this decision by Andras make even more sense.
“You’re wrong, Wynonna. You’re the best of us.” – Waverly
Wynonna’s decision also had such a huge impact because of the powerhouse performance turned in by Melanie Scrofano. Andras rightfully put her star front and center in this finale, and when you’re dealing with an actor of Scrofano’s ability, that’s going to be the right move each and every single time. Sure, some may say that tapping into the emotions of what Wynonna was going through may have been easy for Scrofano, given she was just as pregnant at the time of filming as Wynonna, but it doesn’t make what she did any less magical. In fact, it had the opposite effect on me. It was all the more impressive and awe inspiring. Simply put, Scrofano was captivating. She made me absolutely ache for what Wynonna was going through one minute, and then be both astounded and in awe of her strength the next.
Every character on Wynonna Earp had a more powerful journey this season because of what Wynonna was going through. Consequently, every single actor on Wynonna seems to have their best moments when acting opposite Scrofano. She’s an absolute force, and can always be counted upon to bring nothing but her best to a scene. As a viewer, one can’t help but feel lucky that Scrofano is Wynonna. This show is called Wynonna Earp for a reason, and Scrofano not only inhabits her and gives her bite, but she also instills her with a strength and heart that more than anything, makes us completely invested and rooting for Wynonna to succeed time and time again.
As much as can be said about Scrofano’s performance, the same could be said for Andras and her voice behind the scenes. While Scrofano may embody everything that is Wynonna Earp on screen, it’s Andras’ heart, smarts, ideals and wit that make the show what it truly is. Andras seems to have mastered the skill of giving us just enough resolution — defeating the Widows, discovering Waverly isn’t a revenant — to satisfy some of our curiosity, while also posing plenty of new questions to keep us coming back, hungrier than ever before to dive into her world.
A fine example of Andras’ skill as a writer was perfectly bookending the season where Wynonna becomes a mother herself, with the introduction of Mama Earp. It turns out that Wynonna has known all along how to get in touch with the Earp sisters’ mother, and her decision to send her own baby away now sheds brand new light on the relationship she’s had all along with Mama Earp.
What secrets has she been hiding about leaving her daughters to be with their father? Might Wynonna be a little more understanding about these things now that she’s had to walk away from a child herself? And what does this mean not only for the Earp sisters, but for Waverly as she continues to struggle with her identity? Mama Earp has long been on all our minds, and it seems as though Andras knew the exact right moment to have her finally appear.
Andras and the Wynonna Earp writers have left us with not only questions about Mama Earp, but plenty of other plot specific points — Who is Bulshar? Why did Peacemaker glow blue? If Waverly isn’t a revenant then what is she? Why does Bobo still call her “kin”? — However, I find that it’s not those questions that keep me up at night, thinking about this finale over and over again in my head.
Nope, it’s more the sound of utter desperation and pain that is in Scrofano’s voice as Wynonna yells at Waverly, and reminds her that she’ll always be an Earp to her. It’s the look of complete sadness and devastation on Scrofano’s face, as Wynonna looks at the perfect child she just got to meet, knowing she has to part ways with her. It’s the pain, regret and sadness shared between Wynonna and Doc as they discuss the child they barely got to know, but that will no doubt spur them on and drive them in many ways going into Season 3.
This is the absolute beauty of Emily Andras’ writing. Clearly, you can’t have a show without plot, and I’m not saying a good plot is useless. I’m just saying that Andras and Wynonna Earp realize that plot isn’t the most important thing. Characters that get me emotionally invested, make me feel things and make me cheer for them are what truly matters. Why else would I care about the world of Wynonna Earp if I didn’t care for those living in it?
This Season 2 finale made me feel like I’ve never felt before for these people and their futures. Thankfully, Syfy and Space have already renewed the show for Season 3 so I won’t have to hold my breath, worried I won’t get to see more Wynonna. Scrofano and Andras used this finale to make one thing perfectly clear. When it comes to Wynonna Earp, I’m all in.
What did you think of the Wynonna Earp finale? Add your thoughts below!
Wynonna Earp Season 3 will premiere on Syfy and Space in 2018.
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.