Previously on Wynonna Earp, Dolls was on the lam, Wynonna and her crew were forced to sign a Black Badge Blood Pact, but Waverly kept Nicole out if it for what she thought was her own good, and speaking of Waverly, something weird has been going on with her since she touched the goo in the season one finale and sometimes her eyes go black and she becomes who the internet has lovingly dubbed Gooverly and Gooverly does wacky things sometimes like EATING GIANT DEMON SPIDERS.
As if to help us cleanse our memories of that horrific event, this episode opens in what I thought for sure was a lesbian fever dream, but was as real as Waverly’s hair is long. So no, your eyes didn’t deceive you, we open on Waverly cheerleading.
The song is saucy and sings a thematically appropriate, “I’m the only one who can write my story,” while the camera speeds up and slows down to follow Waverly’s every shake, shimmy, and hair toss.
When the camera swings around again, Nicole is standing there, making the same face I was making. Just, aghast. Waverly is all smiles but feeling a little shy. She wasn’t sure if Nicole would be in it. Nicole assures her there was something for everyone there, and that the folks at the homecoming event will love it.
But that performance wasn’t for some hockey players. It was for Nicole and Nicole only. A private show before she had to go on patrol. Despite her girlfriend’s precious pout and other convincing evidence she should stay home, Nicole has to make sure the alumni of the high school stay in line. Waverly tries one more time, putting her hands in Nicole’s newly short hair and telling her how she would prefer the cop to use her hands, pulling her into a kiss.
Waverly has one more cheer for Nicole but as soon as her leg goes up for a high kick, her sister comes in and gets a show not intended for her. See the thing is, Waverly isn’t wearing any panties, which could have resulted in a little pre-shift fun times if it hadn’t been for Wynonnus Interruptus. Instead, Nicole scurries away, probably cursing the older Earp girls and their poor timing, and asking if Waverly will stop by the school later. Waverly says she will, complete with adorkable finger guns and a wink.
After Nicole leaves, Wynonna teases Waverly a bit, about needing a doorknob policy, about being head cheerleader and prom queen, etc. Waverly calls Wynonna out for looking exhausted and over-cleaning Peacemaker. At which point Waverly picks up the gun and says, “You’ve polished the shaft enough,” and at first I was VERY OFFENDED by a shaft joke being so soon after a queerleading scene, but upon rewatching I realized this had more to do with Gooverly’s penchant for shiny things than anything else.
Anyway, Wynonna has to go protect the people who made her youth miserable, because one the star players of the old championship hockey team found himself face-to-face with Oogie Boogie from Nightmare Before Christmas and was thus compelled to rip his own liver out with his bare hands.
At the crime scene, Nedley tells Officer Haught they don’t have time to deal with this today, what with all the drunk alumni about to be in town. So, despite Haught’s protests, they hand the case over to the ever-official, always-professional, definitely-not-eating-a-donut-while-snapping-photos-of-a-dead-body-with-a-cell-phone Black Badge Division.
Officer Haught is not pleased.
Over at shorties, Rosita tells Doc that whatever they’re working on in the basement isn’t going well/fast enough and she needs something “pure.” Also more tequila. Running a joint bar/science operation isn’t easy.
Wynonna comes in and is surprised to see someone so…new behind the bar.
And I feel like probably Rosita knows exactly who it is, because she offers Wynonna a spritzer, and it felt like a pretty pointed dig. No real bartender would ever a) actually recommend a spritzer outright or b) ever ask someone who looks like Wynonna Gunpowder-and-Lead Earp if she wanted a SPRITZER. Anyway, before Wynonna can figure out what her deal is, Mercedes calls her over to the other side of the bar for some afternoon tequila shots. Mercedes tries to get Wynonna back on the horse, and even goes so far as to call a stallion over, much to Wynonna’s chagrin.
Wynonna and Perry know each other from Wynonna’s troubled youth, and though Wynonna squirms away from the situation as fast as she’s able, Perry is intrigued, especially by her new “special detective” and gets her number from Mercedes. And you know what’s fucked? This is now two people, Mercedes and Perry, who knew Wynonna got sent away for believing demons were real when they were younger, who both also knew demons to be real, but still didn’t do a damn thing about it/mention it to her until they needed her help as an adult. And I know Mercedes already expressed her guilt about it, etc etc, but it just makes me extra sad for Teen!Wynonna because being a teenager already really fucking sucks without people telling you you’re broken because they don’t believe or understand a thing you know to be true.
ANYWAY After escaping the awkward social situation, Wynonna finds Doc to show him the crime scene photos, but he doesn’t really understand words like “hockey” so he’s going to sit this one out until she needs him. Just then, Rosita comes by and, again, MUST know some things about Wynonna, because she sidles up to Doc in a way she’s never done when they’re alone, and it does the trick of setting Wynonna OFF. She says Rosita seems “super smart” and says other things that internalized misogyny teaches you to say when you feel difficult things like jealousy.
Wynonna stomps back to the Black Badge office in the Purgatory Police Department and Jeremy gives her the lowdown on what some of the symbols on the Hellmouth Manhole may or may not mean. They have a little banter and it’s very cute but it’s also very clear that Wynonna still thinks Jeremy is Lucado’s puppet so she’s keeping him a Slenderman-arm’s length away. But what they do decide, more or less together, is that the liverectemy and the Hellmouth don’t seem to be connected, and that the hockey star was staring at the trophy when he died.
After Jeremy leaves, Wynonna gets a call from Perry, and tries to play it cool but ends up doing what I do on approximately 90% of all phone calls.
He thinks she’s fun and wants to pick her up, and she agrees because why the heck not. He’s cute, she could probably use a break from all the death and terror, Doc might end up getting a little jealous…what could possibly go wrong?
I’ll tell you what could go wrong. Perry could be a BUNNY MURDERER. And SURE ENOUGH as soon as he hangs up with Wynonna, he finishes BLEEDING A BUNNY and performing some kind of magic sacrifice situation. (For the record, I’m so using this as an excuse next time someone asks why I don’t go on a date with a girl who messaged me on Tinder; “She could be SKINNING A RABBIT and DRAINING IT OF ITS BLOOD at this VERY MOMENT.”)
Back at the Homestead, in a rare moment of extreme normalcy, Wynonna wants to borrow some lipstick from her sister.
But that normalcy is short-lived because as soon as Perry arrives and Wynonna leaves the room, Waverly goes Dark and EATS THE LIPSTICK.
But WHY. Also why am I so into Dark Waverly?! I get so excited when I can sense her coming. But also it’s stressing me out because I don’t want Dark Waverly INSTEAD of Waverly. I want both. Like when we had Willow and Vamp Willow in Dopplegangland.
At the pep rally at school, Wynonna is having the worst time though is mildly amused by Mercedes making a pretty passionless speech about taking back the town. Wynonna is distracted by Perry sneaking out and when she catches up to him, so does another star hockey player (they kept calling them “champs” which when Wynonna first said it, I thought she was saying they all were as useless as Champ…which…also true…except Perry) named Skip stumbles up to them, talking about how their buddy B-Train is dead and that it’s all their fault and Perry was supposed to fix it. Perry makes an excuse for him and shuttles him away, leaving Wynonna to wonder why they’re acting squirrelly and also why she never knew Bryce’s nickname was B-Train.
Hyped up on the promise of mystery and her date possibly being mixed up in the mysterious, Wynonna practically scoops Waverly up when she runs into her outside, but Waverly is going to go wait for Nicole to be off shift instead. Wynonna is having flashbacks to when Waverly missed her own Valedictorian speech to watch Champ play a video game (which broke my fucking heart, lemme tell you) and reminds Waverly that she’s come so far. She’s finally figuring out who she is and what she wants, and Wynonna doesn’t want her to start to forget again, to lose herself in the person she’s dating.
But Wynonna makes a critical error (through no fault of her own) by reinforcing this whole “you’re an Earp” thing, a sore spot for Waverly.
So Waverly throws in a dig at Wynonna’s own dating life and struts inside to boop her girlfriend on the nose with some cotton candy. And I’m not sure exactly when Gooverly was triggered – was it when Waverly got upset at Wynonna? Was it when she saw the demon trophy? – but either way Waverly launches herself at Nicole and kisses her on the mouth even though they’re in the middle of a homecoming crowd and also Nicole is on duty.
Nicole pulls back, reminding her that they can’t kiss while she’s in uniform AND in public – has to be one or the other. And while Waverly’s eyes aren’t black anymore they’re still metaphorically dark when she snaps, “Not good enough.” But before Nicole can address this out-of-character moment, she notices a dude filming upskirts of the high school cheerleading squad. Duty calls, and Waverly seems to snap out of it as Officer Haught springs into action and confronts the arrogant sumbitch, who doesn’t even flinch when he’s caught, but instead tries to blackmail Haught with a video of her and Waverly kissing.
Waverly shifts uncomfortably and tells her girlfriend that this human embodiment of cis male white privilege is Tucker Gardner. But that name means nothing to Officer Nicole Haught so she cuffs him and takes him away, leaving a nervous Waverly behind.
Meanwhile, Wynonna has jaunted off to Skip’s house to find him on his stoop wailing about B-Train. Wynonna notices a symbol on the door and on Skip’s forehead, which Skip says Perry made. Just then, Oogie Boogie shows up and almost makes Skip rip out his own insides right in front of her. She distracts Boogie long enough for Skip to get away, but then she’s left with no victim to protect AND no baddie, so it’s back to square one. Well, maybe square two.
Back at the precinct, Nedley is releasing Tucker to his sister Beth and Haught is HEATED. Nedley reminds her about what he calls a “display of galpalitis” and then also says “boys will be boys” and Haught feels like she maybe woke up in some kind of dystopian hellhole that she has lovingly dubbed, “Patriarchal Bullshit Land.”
Tucker hisses the PBL slogan at Officer Haught (“nasty woman”) as he leaves and Nedley puts her on desk duty and our poor little redhead truly can’t catch a break. She storms into the breakroom, but alas the room’s name is misleading, and she doesn’t find a break in there either. Instead she finds Wynonna, who is getting books for Waverly, which Nicole assumes is for avoidance reasons. When she confronts Wynonna about Waverly acting a little strange – almost cruel – since The Willa Thing, but ends up getting some trademark Wynonna Earp defensiveness, this time in the form of “do you think I don’t know my own sister” insecurities ON TOP OF “are we sure you’re good enough for my Brave Little Toaster” insecurities. By the end, Nicole tries to say “forget it” but Wynonna promises she won’t.
Wynonna goes back to the Homestead, where her little troop is gathered, and tells them she thinks Perry summoned a demon using a symbol. She’s feeling a little overwhelmed with all the demonic hullabaloo going on and Dolls still being MIA, but springs into action when there’s a knock at the door, telling her little sister to cover her with her big shotgun.
Perry had been eavesdropping at the door and is pleased to have confirmation that Wynonna knows the deal on demons…that is, until Doc knocks him out cold. When Waverly mentions that what she was about to say before Perry knocked is that the symbol he drew was actually a protection symbol, so maybe he’s not so bad after all.
They use vapors to wake him and he tells them his story about how the coach was sick of his team losing every year, so he forced his star players to do a spell and summon a demon who would grand them a wish: ten years of good luck, and then they’d have to pay the price. At 17, ten years is an unfathomable amount of time, so they all did it – they all ended up being successful and happy…and rich.
That is, until now. Waverly works out what kind of demon it is and that it came out of the trophy because she’s a tiny genius, and they run off to kill it. Before they do though, Doc pulls Wynonna over and suggests perhaps making this mission less hunt more gather. See, he wants the demon’s blood (don’t worry that it’s made out of bugs in a sack, it has to have blood in there somewhere) because what he and Rosita have been working on this whole time is the medicine Dolls needs to not go full lizard.
And friends, consider Wynonna’s mind BLOWN.
But of course she’s down with this new plan.
Waverly’s part of the plan was to go find out where Skip was, and as she’s leaving his wife (who she deems “stacked”) with that info, she stumbles across Tucker the Fucker. He almost sounds possessed by the collective droning spirit of the alt-right as he says things like telling her to smile and telling her Nicole can’t be her girlfriend because that would be wrong. Well, turns out Gooverly is a feminist too because she comes out in full force and grabs Tucker by his neck and lifts him high over her head.
Though honestly who knows if Gooverly was triggered by his douchebaggery or not, because she snatches his medical ID bracelet from him, drops him, then answers her phone as if nothing happened.
Across town, Wynonna heads to the school to get the trophy, and though at first she tries to speak Teenager to weasel it away from them, eventually they get in her face and she decides to handle this the Earp way and beat the snot out of these rascals. Mercedes tries not to fall in love with her on the spot as Wynonna triumphantly slow-mo walks out of the school, middle finger flying, trophy shining, big smile flashing.
Perry and Doc pull up during her victory walk and tell her where Skip is and why they’re stressed about it: he’s in the Purgatory PD holding cell, meaning their buddy Nicole might be in danger.
And sure enough, when Oogie Boogie gets there, Nicole tries to put herself between it and Skip fired up with adrenaline from the shit day she’s having.
She gets thrown across the room, stands up, gets thrown again. She’s contemplating her next move when Doc and Wynonna come storming in; and even though their last interaction was less than pleasant, the first thing Wynonna says to Nicole is, “Are you okay?”
The team fights the big bad and Wynonna is about to put that genie back in its lamp for good when it offers her a wish; anything she desires. And because of Scrofano Sorcery, you can see everything Wynonna Earp has ever wished flicker across her face.
But in the end she wishes Oogie Boogie back into the trophy, and with it she saw any hope of magically reversing the curse, of bringing back Willa, of finding out what life would have been like if she hadn’t shot Peacemaker back when she was 12. But she gives herself a tiny nod; she did the right thing, even if it wasn’t the easy thing.
As the chaos subsides, Wynonna and Perry share a kiss, but it’s clear Wynonna isn’t feeling it. She insists that’s on her because she’s broken, smiling sadly and sending him away, looking pointedly at her necklace. But it’s not so much about broken vs. not broken; I think the best of us are all a little broken. It’s about finding someone whose broken edges fit neatly into yours.
Nedley goes into the office to find Officer Haught cleaning up the glass her own body broke when she was thrown into it by a demon. Nedley says he wants to talk about how Purgatory really works so she settles in for story time. He tells her that the thing with Purgatory is that everyone in the town is just pretending that demons aren’t running amuck. They want the small-town life, and will deny the existence of “mermaid poltergeist” (THOUGH I WOULD LIKE TO HEAR THAT STORY). He then tells her that he wants her to be the Sheriff when he retires. But first he wants her to know: Black Badge might seem great, but someone needs to be there for the people when they have issues that don’t involve the supernatural. She says that it all sounds well and good but she does want to work with Black Badge when necessary and also there seriously needs to be more than two non-BBD cops in the whole town. He agrees, because he thinks Black Badge could use a little Haught insight now and then, and reminds her that being a good cop is important. To which she wholeheartedly agrees.
Oh and also? He’s been playing a long game on Tucker Gardner. He hands her a file and I can’t wait to see her ruin that spoiled rich boy’s life.
Speak of the devil, Tucker is in his mansion whining about Waverly and Nicole and about how they’ve both attacked him now and wahhh. Mercedes is inspired by Wynonna and has had enough – for one, Waverly is lucky she can pick up her shotgun, she’s so tiny, let alone Tucker – and stands up to her siblings, cutting Tucker off and sending him and Beth away.
Mercedes is very proud of herself and pours herself a glass of wine and is ready to make the most of this life she’s found herself in when suddenly time starts to move a little funny and her breath comes out cold and two shadows lurk behind her. One of them puts a fancy nail in her mouth and there’s a scream and a snap and, my friends, things are not looking good for our gal.
Back at Shorty’s, Waverly is translating a spell to get the demon corporeal again so they can get some blood from it when Wynonna tells her that Nicole was very brave. She asks Waverly if the two of them are okay and Waverly insists that they are in a sickeningly sweet way.
Wynonna reminds Waverly that she’s the very best of all of us and not to let anyone forget it. Waverly says she’ll go over there right now and remind Nicole of that very fact but first may she have her lipstick back? Wynonna reminds her that she gave it right back after she used it and Waverly doesn’t remember this but I mean I left my room three times today before remembering why I got up in the first place so surely everything is fine. Wynonna notices Waverly start to zone out looking at the trophy and makes her confirm she’s okay one more time before taking the trophy away.
As soon as she’s gone, Waverly’s eyes get mischievous again and she pockets a shiny silver cocktail shaker.
And I know I just joked about having a bad memory being #relatable (and it is) but I would also like to discuss this very important revelation. Waverly is still our Waverly, at least most of the time. When she goes Dark, she loses time. So Waverly has no memory of scaring a Piranha Plant demon or eating a spider or choking out Tucker. But it also seems like the transitions are not very cut-and-dry, because we never see her look like she’s aware she lost time – it’s not like blacking out then coming to. But what’s most important about this revelation is that this possession or curse or whathaveyou that is making Waverly crave non-food items and collect shiny objects is not controlling our Waverly all the time and only showing its dark-eyed soul once in a while. It’s not a body snatcher who goes in and out of a convincing Waverly impression, or a shape-shifter who can’t control its lust for silver. Which is important mostly because that means when Waverly is being our sweet, silly, smart, Brave Little Toaster of a Waverly, she’s the same as she’s ever been. She’s not completely lost to us. (And she did completely consent to sex with Nicole, which was a concern I saw some people have, and if it HAD been a total possession, could definitely have become An Issue Nicole and Waverly had to deal with later, and frankly still might be, but this to me is confirmation that Waverly was Waverly with her cute little smile and her gentleness consenting to sex with Nicole. That kiss in the school on the other hand…that might cause Waverly some confusion if Nicole brings it up again.)
While this was going on upstairs, Rosita and Doc were playing mad scientist downstairs.
When Wynonna goes down, she passes Rosita on the stairs, and once again goes after her to Doc. but now that Wynonna knows what they’re up to, he tells her who she really is, and that she has an advanced degree in biochemistry. Everything clicks into place for Wynonna and she realizes she was being petty af and chides herself on being a “superficial ass.”
The thing is, Dolls made Doc promise not to tell Wynonna because it’s dangerous and she could have gotten hurt, whereas Doc is a tad more expendable to Dolls. And now it’s my turn to chide MYself for being a superficial ass, because I thought Doc pulled a Blacksmith and was keeping information from Wynonna for selfish reasons. Sorry, Doc.
Doc tells Wynonna that they’re late dropping the drugs to Dolls and he’s not going to be okay for much longer. Wynonna doesn’t understand why he doesn’t just come back to Purgatory so they can help him, but Doc insists that coming back would be supremely stupid of Dolls.
Hey, guess what Dolls did? He came back. He’s dragging himself along the barn floor when he sees Waverly and calls out to her. But Waverly isn’t here right now, it’s Gooverly time, and she’s twirling and singing and looking lovingly at the newest addition to her shiny silver collection like that part in The Little Mermaid when Ursula is in human form and going by Vanessa.
And when she skips past him and he calls to her again, confused, she turns around, and gives him her best Dark Waverly eyes.
And do you know what the big, tough, stoic, military-trained, LIZARD MAN does when he sees her? He SQUEALS AND BACKS AWAY. And when the scariest thing in the room is scared, you know that’s not a good sign.
And y’all I actually cannot handle not knowing what’s going on with my Waverly. I’ve started falling down rabbit holes of maybes and what-ifs that make me sound like a conspiracy theorist. For example: Waverly, who was flitting about and singing, is attracted to shiny objects, not unlike a magpie (an incredibly intelligent creature capable of complex emotion and even imitating human voices). Also there’s a poem about Magpies that goes, “One for sorrow. Two for mirth. Three for a funeral. Four for birth. Five for heaven. Six for hell. And seven is the devil, his own self” which was featured in Lost Girl aka another show Emily Andras worked on you may or may not have heard of. And magpies are of the genus Pica. Pica is also a disorder that makes you eat non-food things like demon spiders and lipstick.
COINCIDENCE? Yes, fine, probably. But let’s not take “possessed by a magpie demon” off the table.