In case you’re new, my Wynonna Earp “Countdown to Season 2” watch-along recap series begins here.
We begin in Shorty’s. Wynonna helps Waverly carry down some of her stuff from her apartment so they can move into the Homestead together. Wynonna takes a little time to flirt with Doc/Henry. The Earp Sisters still don’t know that he’s Doc Holiday. Wy declares that he appears to be a guy who’s “Running from or looking for something. Seems like you’re just my type.” He plays hard to get.
In “the City,” three Revenants witness the unearthing of a time capsule buried in 1906 buried by “Shirley Dixon,” an important founding resident of the City. The Revenants get hold of her diary. One the Revenants starts to “get an itch” and decides he needs to stab a city official. A lot of times. Viciously. With a huge knife. Yikes. I’m really glad it’s mostly out of frame. Ick.
At Black Badge HQ with Wynonna and Dolls, Waverly reveals her giant Research Bulletin Board of Research, which she’s moved from her apartment above Shorty’s. We learn a tiny bit about the geography of the cursed land. Waverly calls it the “Ghost River Triangle,” which seems to include “the City”? I guess this explains the presence of Revenants in the club scene from the previous episode, also the fact that there could be a club – because let’s be real, it ain’t in Purgatory, that’s for sure.
This is apparently the first time Waverly has mentioned the word “cursed” to anyone because it sounds “kookoo bananas” to say out loud. I’d like to mention here how adorable she is in this scene and how much I love Waverly. I also love actress Dominique Provost-Chalkley, which I have discussed at length in a previous post. She is magic. That is all I’ll say about that for now. Expect more later.
“The Seven” are the seven Revenants that attacked the Earp homestead and killed their sister Willa. Okay, got it! I was confused but now I’m not.
Wynonna: I want them to tremble in fear before me.
Dolls: You’ve got powdered sugar on your nose.
He goes on to stack a bunch of folders brought by Waverly and mumbles something about them being great resources or something.
Waverly: Sorry, uh I spent years on that research.
Wynonna: Welcome to Team Shut Up And Do What He Says. Sometimes we get donuts.
Haught (knocking this time, unlike last episode) pokes her head in the door at the end of the scene to mention that some news came in about something “unusual.” She and Waverly exchange a nervously cute “Hi there, uh, I like you” sort of look. Dolls distinctly notices it. HOW ADORABLE WAS THAT? OMG. Hi, I am gay.
So that scene establishes several things of importance in this series: 1) The existence of the Ghost River Triangle, 2) The Revenants are trapped in it, 3) The Seven are the ones who attacked the Earp homestead – maybe you already figured that out but I missed it somehow? 4) More tension between the fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants Wynonna Method vs. the very much by-the-book Dolls Method, 5) Wynonna loves donuts, and 6) WayHaught is so cute I can’t stand it. God, Nicole’s little smile help me Lord(e).
Aaaaaand Waverly finds a picture of Doc, as in an old historical picture of Doc Holiday. And it’s our Doc / Henry / John Ford extra / Val Kilmer lookalike. Hello!
A sexy lady named Bethany comes to visit Doc in his trailer, announcing another job Bobo has for him. Doc declines because he didn’t get paid for the last job. He dismisses the lady at first, despite her seduction attempts, asking for Bobo to come tell Doc what he wants to know. The seduction works anyway because apparently Doc was trapped in that well for a really super long time.
Dolls and Wynonna confer about the incident in the City involving the Revenants nabbing Shirley Dixon’s diary, the Deputy Mayor getting mauled, and a guy at a bus stop getting his hand severed. Shirley Dixon was “the country’s most famous deaf-mute poet.” Wynonna recognizes the ring leader of the diarynappers as one of the Seven from the homestead.
They talk through the hand and diary incidents, deciding that the Revenants are collecting items for a ritual. I really would not have thought of that, but okay I guess that’s why I’m not a member of the Black Badge Division. Hand Guy was convicted of murder but let off, and “the left hand of an innocent murderer can open gateways.” Uh, okay?
Invented folklore ftw. I mean I guess it’s invented? But that’s what good invented folklore does. It makes you question whether it’s invented or not. See the entirety of Buffy 4×10 “Hush,” for a primer on invented folklore that makes you question if it’s an actual Thing or not.
Wynonna: A mute’s voice? An innocent killer? What’s next?
Wy heads out on her own looking for another paradox of a similar nature. Meanwhile, dude from the Seven is busy digging up the grave of somebody named Stanley Gatewood, and he murders an attendant who tries to stop him. In an overly enthusiastic stabby way.
Back at Shorty’s, Doc claims to be writing a book about Old West life and asks Waverly about her research. He peruses her old copies of the Ghost River Chronicle. Apparently Doc’s looking for a mysterious blonde woman. Wave finds out that Doc is staying at a trailer park run by one Bobo Del Rey.
Wynonna visits her father’s grave, also Willa’s. She notices a commotion and finds Stabber Revenant digging. He throws dirt in her face and runs off.
They use the name on the grave to find their way to an old bank (now pawn shop) where Shorty and Champ also happen to be shopping. The Revenants have already made it there. Whatever ritual item everybody is looking for can be found in the vaults below the shop. Stabber from The Seven aka Marty shoots out the door at Wynonna and Dolls. The Revenants take Shorty and Champ hostage. Marty has calles dibs on Champ’s body. Champ: “I get that a lot.” Champ is a dummy. Shorty gets knocked out.
Just as Dolls and Wy argue about how they might go in and take the Revenants, Sheriff Nedley and some backup officers show up, including Nicole haught. Wynonna volunteers the safe combination and herself as bait to negotiate with the hostages. We learn that Wy has “sorta” been in a hostage situation before. Uh, okay. She reluctantly gives up her gun to Dolls, who touches her gently on the face (?) before covering her at gunpoint as she makes her way into the hostage scene. Weird. We soon learn that Black Badge has “facilities outside the Ghost River Triangle,” and if the Revenants harm Wynonna, they’re guaranteed “a fate much worse than death.” Hmmm…
The Revenants release three of the hostages, not including Wynonna, Shorty, or Champ. Shorty’s heart condition is acting up, so that’s not great. The Revenants “need three people” for whatever ritual they’re doing. Uh oh.
Dolls asks Haught to call Waverly and tell her that Wynonna is “in a situation,” when Haught notices, “Hey, isn’t that Champ’s truck?”
Dolls: Waverly’s boyfriend?
Another *look* from Dolls. He KNOWS.
Back at Demon Trailer Park, Doc decides to extract himself from his dealings with Bobo, with a reminder that he, unlike Bobo, can “roam wide and far.” Bobo reminds Doc about the Stone Witch. Bobo knows where she is and will deliver her to Doc if Doc can get close to Wynonna. Throughout this whole exchange, Waverly lurks in the background but is given away by her phone ringing (Haught calling from the hostage scene.) Doc shoots to hit the trailer next to her so that she’ll run off.
In the pawn shop, one of the Revenants drags Wynonna into the basement to help them. In a rage, Marty has stabbed Gary, another Revenant, who’s lying on the ground immobile. He pulls the knife out of Gary’s chest. Head Revenant: “Calm down, Marty. The Witch chose us three for a reason.” Marty is a little too quick with that knife. They want her to fix Gary, but “That’s not how the curse works.” They threaten to shoot her, so she produces the combination and starts opening the safe.
Cut to Shorty’s. Waverly is working with a box of her research materials, looking at a list of people with the name “Constance Clootie” circled. Doc busts in and grabs her by the elbow. STOP IT, DOC – DON’T HURT MY BABY! She reveals that she knows he’s Doc Holiday, chastises him for working with Bobo when he’s supposed to be a friend to the Earps.
He insults her intelligence and claims she can’t help her family. I imagine he’s doing this to protect her, trying to get her to stay out of things. But A) he obviously doesn’t know her that well because we already know she’s far more tenacious than to let a few insults keep her down, and B) that is a really asshole way to protect someone. So I am officially really mad at Doc right now for being shady and hurting poor Waverly’s feelings when she’s only trying to help.
Also, haha. She grabs the paper with the list of names and runs off with it. So eff you, Doc! Clearly that was some info you wanted and aren’t going to get now. Hah!
Oh yeah, the hostage situation. Wynonna finally cracks the safe, and the Revenants bust into it to find the item belonging to Stanley Gatewood, aka a locket belonging to “Stan’s two-timin’ wife’s locket,” aka “a loveless heart.” They leave the shop with Wynonna as a human shield. Wah wahhhhhh. And they drive off with Wynonna, Shorty, and Champ in an ugly 80s Chevy two-tone brown van – no resistance whatsoever. Because otherwise the hostages get shot. Um, didn’t anyone see this coming? ::raises hand::
We join Wynonna, the hostages, and the Revenants at an undisclosed ritual location. Head Revenant prepares the ritual items inside a circle of rocks. He says some info-dump stuff about the Stone Witch and crossing the boundary. Wynonna reaches behind her ear and pulls out a chip. Dolls put it there when he so lovingly touched her before sending her into the pawn shop unarmed. The old tracking device as out-of-character face-touching ploy – good one! And yep, Dolls is already there watching them through a telescope thingie.
Sadly, Shorty’s heart condition is not responding well to this stressful situation. Also he’s bleeding? Did Marty already stab him a little bit before? Huh. So Marty gets antsy and stabby (again?) but Head Revenant won’t let him and ends up shooting Marty for being annoying, which of course just disables Marty but doesn’t kill him. Head Revenant reveals that they need bodies for some kind of possession and that Champ’s is now the only “good one.” He can transfer into Champ’s body and walk out of the Triangle in human form. Champ flips out in complete and utter fear for the 37th time this episode.
Head Revenant talks about all the grisly, power tool-based murders he’s going to commit as soon as he walks free. Then he starts the ritual. Wynonna tries to distract him with some harebrained idea about how the Revenant could use her body instead, but it doesn’t work. Then she tells Champ to run “for Waverly.” Wy and Shorty have a touching exchange, wherein Shorty realizes that Wynonna is the heir and protecting everyone from demons and such.
The ritual ends, but Revenant Dude can’t possess Champ now. Uh oh. Where’s he gonna go? His inky black smoky essence leaves his body and heads for Wynonna and we get the classic line:
“This is not the kind of penetration I’m used to.”
At the last second. Shorty steps up and takes the demon smoke into himself. Instantly, he becomes glowy eyed and all douchey like the Revenant from before. But too bad, dude. You used the ritual all up. Hah hah! No take-backsies!
A mid-1980s pink boat Mary Kay Saleswoman of the Year Cadillac pulls up, which is Shorty/Revenant’s ride apparently. He turns to go hop aboard when Wy throws a rock at him. This angers him, so he turns back to come after Wynonna. She attempts to talk to whatever’s left of Shorty in there, but “Shorty ain’t here, bitch.” Okay, then.
Wynonna and Shorty/Revenant wrestle on the ground. Dolls, are you really gonna try to use Peacemaker? Because I really don’t think that’s going to work out well? Aaaaand it doesn’t. He knocks the Revenant off of Wy, she gets up, and Dolls gives her the gun back.
She dispatches Revenant Gary, Stabby Marty gets it too, and now she has to deal with Shorty. There is still some Shorty in there fighting the demon. He tells her she has to shoot him. Ugh. This is heartbreaking. I liked Shorty. He was a Good Dude. He hears stuff from the demon and starts talking about what they did to Willa, and that gives Wy enough motivation to shoot.
But he doesn’t disappear into hell. Only the Revenant part does. How horrible. God, Wynonna has experienced so much trauma. The drinking is clearly self-medication. This is heartbreaking. I feel so many things for Wynonna Earp.
Back at Shorty’s (but without Shorty himself now), a memorial / wake type event is happening, and Nicole comes to see Waverly, who’s crying. Nicole grabs Wave’s hand impulsively across the bar. In a sweet, comforting way, not in an opportunistic way. Then Champ comes over and grabs onto Waverly, possessive dude style, smothering her in kisses that she appears to pull away from. Nicole lets go immediately. Waverly reaches across the bar again, clearly wishing Nicole was still holding her hand. She thanks Nicole for leaving a voicemail about the hostage ordeal: “That was really sweet.” Nicole leaves awkwardly.
Champ: I dunno. Something about her rubs me the wrong way. Miss Officer Whatshername.
Waverly: It’s Haught.
Waverly then bursts into tears that are clearly not only about Shorty. Champ immediately makes the whole situation about him. Wynonna has told Wave that Champ was “brave,” which he wasn’t at all. His entire involvement in the hostage scenario was nothing but scenes of him cowering in fear and Not Contributing at all. Champ then smothers Waverly in more clearly unwanted kisses and declares how he’ll never leave her side. She looks unhappy.
This scene, my friends, perfectly illustrates how it feels to be trapped in compulsory heterosexuality, being stuck in the relationship that you, the world, your family all think you’re supposed to have when your real feelings are pointing you in an entirely other direction. But you just suppress them for everyone else’s benefit, or because you feel you have to hide. Ugh. I feel you girl. Have totally been there. It’s kind of like being stuck in the Ghost River Triangle. Oh, hey…
Officer Haught and Marshal Dolls discuss the “official” facts of the case, which has been “handed over to Metro.” Dolls informs her that “the stress of the ordeal was too much for [Shorty’s] heart condition.” Umm, what about the blood and the gunshot wound to his head?…. Ohhh OOOHHHHH. It’s not really handed over to Metro! I get it!!! Black Badge took over the situation. Got. It.
Nicole looks over to Waverly, who crosses the room to stand with Wynonna. Dolls notices Nicole following Waverly with her eyes.
Haught: She said she was glad I called.
Dolls: I’ll bet.
HE FREAKING KNOWS.
Talking to Wynonna, Waverly laments that she wasn’t able to help.
Wynonna: I’m not even sure we’re the good guys.
Waverly: Well, good guys seem to be in short supply these days. Believe me. You are definitely one of them.
Wynonna learns that Dolls was there on the scene the entire time when the ritual took place, to see if the Revenants could succeed in transferring into a human body.
Wynonna: Even if Shorty had to die?
Dolls: Collateral damage. This is a war. And this is what victories might have to look like.
Wynonna: With all the shit I’ve done in my life? Dolls, working with you? I don’t think I can look in the mirror.
At the homestead, Wynonna, probably half drunk (who can blame her?), carries a flask as she walks in to find Doc sitting at her kitchen table. He makes some kind of shady friendship overtures towards her. Hilarious one-liner alert! Wynonna: “If you’re about to propose a threesome, I’m tired, and I haven’t shaved my legs.” Instead, he reveals himself to be Doc Holiday and declares himself to be at Wynonna’s disposal.
So at this point in the series I kinda hate Doc. First – and lest we forget – he reminds me of Val Kilmer in that Wyatt Earp movie from 1993 that made all my male college friends grow twirly mustaches and call each other “huckleberry” and revel in a weird, annoying form of Old West fanboy masculinity for several months. But far more relevant to the story at hand, he has targeted Waverly for death, is mean to her, and is befriending (or be-something-ing) Wynonna at Bobo’s behest. He was allegedly a friend to the Earp family back in the day but now totally isn’t. Meanwhile, he also hates Bobo, but he also wants to find the Stone Witch so he’s working with Bobo. So for now I guess we’ll assume he’s just only out for himself at the end of the day and screw everybody else. Or he’s a double agent. Or something.
Anyway, until further notice, Doc is Not Cool in my book. I am completely immune to his alleged charms and his John Ford Old West fancytalk.
I also kinda hate Dolls. On the one hand, he stands for something Good, i.e. trying to rid the world of murderous demons. But on the other hand, he also stands for a faceless institution that ignores human concerns like, oh, friendship? Family? Human emotions? I don’t hate him right now, but he’s on thin ice. Yes, Shorty had heart problems, but he probably could’ve been saved. Thinking of other people as “collateral damage,” is – do I even have to say this? – reeeeallly shaky moral ground. At best.
The only person Wynonna can or should rely on at this point is her darling sister Waverly and our dear trusty Officer Nicole who Can Do No Wrong.