Wynonna Earp writer Alexandra Zarowny Previews “Shed Your Skin”

Michelle Faye
Michelle Faye

Can Wynonna Earp learn to play by the rules and follow orders? That’ll be the question on this week’s episode of Wynonna Earp, airing Friday at 10 p.m. on Syfy and Space. After having to sign blood contracts to work with Black Badge, Wynonna (Melanie Scrofano), Waverly (Dominique Provost-Chalkley) and Doc (Tim Rozon) will be forced to start hunting demons for their new bosses. “Shed Your Skin,” written by Alexandra Zarowny and directed by Brett Sullivan, will also see the changes in Waverly start to accelerate and Doc making a dangerous deal. Oh, and did we mention there will be spider creatures?

Since we always seem to have a hard time waiting for the next Wynonna Earp episode, we thought it’d be fun to get a preview about what’s to come now that we’ve had a minute to breath after that thrilling premiere. Writer Zarowny spoke exclusively to The TV Junkies about her first episode of the season, and is coming fresh off her Writer’s Guild of Canada Screenwriting award for Best Script From a Rookie Series for the Season 1 episode “Bury Me With Your Guns On.”

“Season 1 was a bit of learning curve where we were finding the characters and the tone of the show, it feels like in Season 2 we just gelled immediately and it is a complete season,” Zarowny said. She went in detail for us about how it feels to write Season 2 versus Season 1, including the fact that the writers’ room stayed in Toronto while filming took place in Calgary. All in all though, Zarowny enthused that the writers in Season 2 felt that “we kind of knew what we were doing the whole time, even if it really didn’t feel like it at times.” She hopes that “when you watch the whole thing it really feels like a journey. I’m so excited to see what people think of Season 2.”

 

The TV Junkies: So the writers room was in Toronto while filming took place in Calgary. What was that like and what kind of challenges did that present?

Alexandra Zarowny: I think it was really healthy for us because we didn’t have to move our families and our personal lives all the way out to Calgary. What time we would’ve spent dealing with our personal lives in Calgary we got to work on Wynonna here. We spent a lot of time going to an office in Calgary and then to our rental homes and didn’t go to set much anyways. So not being on set wasn’t a big deal for us, but the harder part was the meetings and not being able to physically be there.

One thing that was really great was the time difference because we could write and have story meetings before their day even began and it was a big bonus. It gave us more time to think about story which was a really good thing. But it was really hard to not be there for read throughs because those are really exciting and for the writers. It’s when we can actually hear what the words are going to sound like coming out of the actors’ mouths. It does make a difference being in the room with them as opposed to listening in which felt more removed. There were pros and cons, but I think we are really happy to be able to stay in our home city.

TTVJ: I can’t tell you how happy I was to just see these characters again. Do you guys feel the same way in the room and what was it like writing for these characters in Season 2 versus Season 1?
AZ: Season 2 is so much fun because we really knew the characters. Writing Season 1 of any series is a challenge, a fun challenge, but it’s harder work because you don’t really know exactly who they are, you haven’t seen them played by the actors and so by the end of Season 1 we felt like we had a good stride. We were all just revving our engines waiting to start that Season 2 room and we all came with so many really good, sparkling, crazy ideas because we knew exactly what that world was, the voices of the characters and exactly who we wanted to push them. So it was just a matter of getting in there and doing it, which was kind of a release because we were bottled up for awhile. It was so much fun!

Michelle Faye
Michelle Faye

TTVJ: In the premiere we saw the team sign blood oaths to work for Black Badge. How do things go with that partnership kicking off this week?
AZ: Things are a little rocky and there’s definitely a push/pull in the power dynamic. People are rattled and don’t know exactly where they stand and how to deal with the new hierarchy and their new Black Badge world in Purgatory. They do realize that demons and revenants aren’t going to stop coming so they have to somehow figure out how to work together.

TTVJ: Someone I was thrilled to see in this week’s episode was Workin’ MomsDani Kind. What can you tell us about her character and who she’ll be playing this season?
AZ: She plays Mercedes and through her we get a really delicious peek into Wynonna’s backstory. It’s something we’ve never really talked about before. She opens up the world a little bit in Season 2 as well, in so far as reminding us that there are other Purgatorians. She also lets us know the status of Purgatory after the big poisoning event of last season.

TTVJ: We also get our first glimpse at Tamara Duarte. Is there anything you can tell us about her character Rosita?
AZ: She is a delicious walking, talking mystery. That’s all we’ll say.

TTVJ: With seeing all these new characters get added to the mix for Season 2, how do you balance introducing them, but still keeping our core group the same and the way we loved them in Season 1?
AZ: We’re obviously so happy to get back to the characters that we love, but at the same time it’s always nice to open up the world a bit. In Episode 201 we see a shift in Black Badge and one of our main characters Dolls has gone missing, potentially forever, and that’s some big shoes to fill. I think it took a few characters to fill that. It’s also just a matter of kicking off a new season and storylines and it’s always delicious to bring in characters we’ve never seen before that are going to change the dynamic of our core characters. It keeps it fresh and exciting.

Michelle Faye
Michelle Faye

TTVJ: Tim Rozon always jokes that when he sees your episodes coming up he knows there’s a good possibility there will be a scene where he’s not wearing many clothes. He may hate that, but I think we all say ‘Thank you Alex!’ Is he right about that this week?
AZ: I think he has some good foresight when it comes to just people overall taking off their clothes and wanting to tear each other’s clothes off in my episodes. I like people to have sex and I like people to be happy. I want to make the characters happy and think everyone needs a little something something in their lives. I just want to see beautiful people and the characters I’ve fallen in love with make out all the time. [laughs]

TTVJ: After the Season 1 episodes you wrote I started calling you “The WayHaught Whisperer.” Those two had a little tension going on at the end of the premiere centered around Nicole’s career, so how are they dealing with that in Episode 202?
AZ: This is one of their first big disagreements as a couple that leaves them wondering if the bloom is off the rose, if the honeymoon is over and what that means for them and how much it scares them.

 

Are you excited for another week of Wynonna Earp? Should we be worried about WayHaught? Add your thoughts below!

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

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