“Wynonna Earp” Episode 209 Recap: Check The Backseat

“Forever Mine Nevermind” is the scariest episode of Wynonna Earp since Jack the Ripper was in town. A freaky doll and Tucker the Fucker battled it out for Creepier Creep while Doc and Wynonna challenged Waverly and Nicole to an angst-off. And it made me gasp-scream at least four times, in surprise, in fear, from being grossed out, and more.

Previously, Doc offered Rosita protection (but from what?) and ended up dating her; Nicole, despite offering to be by Waverly’s side through the process of learning about her origins, decided to hide Waverly’s DNA results to try to protect her feelings, which backfired in a big way; Tucker escaped to go on a solo debaucherous douchebaggery mission instead of teaming up with the Widows; and Wynonna found out the third seal is Doc’s ring, aka the source of his longevity.

Phew. That was a lot already and we haven’t even started. Catch your breath though because we open with Waverly waving around fighting sticks like some kind of Sara Lance.

Waverly is waving around her kickass sticks but is still smirking

I believe this is what Tumblr would call “looks like a cinnamon roll, could actually kill you.”

Waverly whips those sticks around like they’re extensions of her own body and her ARMS and oof. I short-circuited. And! She’s fighting her sister! Her pregnant sister. Who tells her to bring it, then does a pregnant backflip and high-fives the baby in her belly. I love this show.

Dolls is coaching from the sidelines, telling Waverly to visualize someone she hates. Wynonna offers up her girlfriend’s name, which stops Waverly right in her tracks; she doesn’t HATE Nicole. They’re just in a fight! But as soon as she lets down her guard to say this, Wynonna lays her out.

Waverly is lying on the mat, having been knocked down

Yeah I would have stayed down there indefinitely.

Waverly is ready for the real fight and says they just have to find the third seal. Wynonna and Dolls, for some reason, don’t tell Waverly that they already found the seal. Instead, Wynonna asks Dolls for the night off and Waverly for the house tonight so she can have a one-on-one with Doc. And while she’s saying they don’t have to worry about the seal right now and asking for alone time with Doc, she’s also kind of flirting with Dolls, and Waverly is quite confused as to what’s going on.

Waverly is whipping around her sticks casually mid-convo

Ready to smash the patriarchy.

But Dolls agrees, everyone gets the night off. But after they finish training.

Meanwhile, across town, creator of the original Wynonna Earp comics, Beau Smith, is leaving an antique shop as Doc is entering it. Doc came to this shop for whiskey because apparently even when you have access to all the free whiskey you want by way of owning a saloon, sometimes you just really want to do a shot with a creepy doll.

The man behind the counter eyes Doc’s ring but Doc tells him that he’s not selling. The man is selling though, selling paintings of little girls holding creepy dolls, perfect for people who may or may not have a child’s room to decorate someday. So Doc tells him to wrap it up and that he’ll be back for it.

But as soon as Doc is gone the camera pulls back to reveal a very dead man on the ground, who I think perhaps is the actual shopkeep. And the man currently behind the counter? Has a tail. And knows Doc’s name. Just, all-around bad news.

Over at Shorty’s, Dolls is getting his weekly physical and restocking his meds, and Rosita says he’s doing great, and Dolls tells her that he feels better than he ever did on the Black Badge meds.

Rosita is looking in her little notebook

“Oh, isn’t this amazing? It’s my favorite part because, you’ll see…”

He wants a longer supply, but the serum has an expiration date, so she can only give him a week’s worth at a time. At any rate, he’s grateful, and in one of the most awkward exchanges I’ve ever seen, Dolls gives Rosita a gift card for a spa to thank her. It was pretty cute how bad at interacting with each other they were in this moment.

Rosita goes upstairs and is chatting with Wynonna; they’re teasing each other and being friendly. There’s that we’re-not-quite-friends-yet-but-we’re-trying air about them, which isn’t a bad thing, but you can tell neither of them are 100% comfortable around the other yet. But as a way to try to bridge that divide, Rosita offers to make Wynonna a drug cocktail that will help giving birth be slightly less physically traumatizing.

Doc comes upstairs and says she’s heading to Wynonna’s for dinner. Rosita is…mostly fine with it.

Rosita forces a smile at Doc

Nothing to worry about here.

And the discomfort she is showing read a little as jealousy the first time I watched, but knowing what I know now, I think it’s mostly just fear that he’s going to tell Wynonna her secret. (We’ll get to that.)

Over at the cop shop, Waverly is watching Jeremy watch cricket to try to win Dolls over, professionally, when Nicole comes in.

Waverly is making a sassy face as she throws shade at Nicole

Saltier than a salt flat.

Nicole tells the team a body has been found and Waverly lashes out, asking her if it’s a body she stole and hid, making everyone uncomfortable. The poor angel has a lot of anger building up inside her and no one to talk to about it and it’s bound to bubble over in a bad way now and then. Nicole looks wounded but keeps her business face on, telling them it calls for a Black Badge/Purgatory SD team-up.

They head out to the crime scene and find a super-crispy body. A true sign of trust is that no one questions whether Dolls maybe had too much to drink lost a little control last night, including me, until right now as I type this, even though I’ve seen the episode three times.

Nicole reads the medical bracelet on the dead body’s wrist and identifies it as Tucker’s.

Widow Beth comes in to claim Tucker and I mean I know Beth wasn’t exactly a peach before she got her face stolen but I’m pretty sure OG Beth would have been pretty upset about her brother dying. Widow Beth doesn’t really care much, claims her brother always loved to set things on fire, and asks if she can take him and/or his personal effects home. Dolls starts to question her but Widow Beth is over this so she feigns a fainting spell to get out of it. Maybe. She WAS rubbing her head a few seconds ago so it’s possible she’s getting weaker as her powers fade and it was a genuine faint with really convenient timing.

Either way, Widow Beth wakes up the way one could only dream to wake up: with Waverly Earp watching over her.

Waverly smiles down at the camera from above, lit like an angel

I would assume I was dead and I wouldn’t even be mad about it.

Waverly holds Beth’s hand and tells her she can sympathize with the loss of a sibling, and how it can still feel like a huge loss, even when said sibling was pretty terrible. Widow Beth calls Waverly lovely and while that’s true it makes me a little nervous, the way an evil being is drawn to her.

Nicole comes in, her face doing the opposite of what Waverly’s face is doing. And her scowl only deepens when Widow Beth apologizes for Tucker, saying everyone loves in their own way, calling them deviant and saying Tucker did truly love Waverly. Nicole is pissed and not afraid to say so. But Waverly scolds Nicole for being rude to a woman who just lost her brother.

Waverly has a finger out, scolding Nicole

Context is everything, Nicole!

There’s a time and a place, you know? After Beth leaves, Nicole and Waverly fight, and Nicole tries to explain that her motivations are all rooted in caring about Waverly and wanting to protect her, and Waverly tries to explain that Nicole can’t try to tell her how to feel or what to think, but they both came at each other with their word swords out and their defenses up so they’re not reaching each other.

Nicole looks hurt by Waverly's words

Someone lock them in an elevator together so they can process their feelings!

At the Homestead, Doc gives Wynonna the painting but it’s not as sunny anymore and the little girl and her doll look…well, dead. But Wynonna doesn’t have time to worry about it because the dinner she made (which looks like the kind of meal I’d make to myself but never tell anyone about) is ready. They sit down to eat and chat and Doc tells Wynonna that when he got to the salt flats, Clootie was already decapitated. Wynonna wasn’t to know who would do such a thing, and why, but Doc distracts her by shaking a rattle at her, thinking they’re supposed to be talking about the baby.

Wynonna is making jokes with Doc

“Babies come with names, right? I don’t have to do that part?”

But Wynonna is actually here to talk about the third seal…which he has.

After her fight with Nicole, Waverly heads to Shorty’s, where she’s eyeing a glass of whiskey and trying to put off drinking alone.

Rosita leans down to meet Waverly's mopey eyes

I think this was the moment I knew I was doomed to love this friendship forever.

Rosita comes over to drink with her, and gives her back the credit card she left at the bar, also giving her an opening to see if Waverly wants to talk about her fight with Nicole. Waverly admits that the fighting is ongoing and she can’t even go back to the Homestead tonight. She just wants a night off from everything, and Rosita knows just the thing.

Rosita and Waverly toast

“To days of inspiration, laying hooky, making something out of nothing.”

Back in NIGHTMAREVILLE, Wynonna and Doc are still talking like everything is fine because they don’t know what we know and what we know is that the DOLL in the PAINTING got BIGGER. It’s like three of the scariest Are You Afraid of the Dark episodes that haunted my childhood COMBINED.

But like I said, Wynonna and Doc haven’t noticed, so instead they’re talking about how Doc’s ring is the seal and he doesn’t want to give it up. Wynonna needs it though, because her new plan is to break the seal herself, let the Demon Clootie rise, and kill him herself, thusly ending the curse.

Wynonna has a pleading face


Doc hates this plan but guess what I hate more than this plan, it’s that the DOLL IS MISSING FROM THE PAINTING NOW. I used my very best horror movie “ALWAYS CHECK THE BACKSEAT” voice at them but alas, they want to talk about their feelings. Doc vowed to protect the Earps the second he met Wynonna but the thing is, he doesn’t want to die. She tells him she saw him choose an eternity in a well over a normal life of freedom, and tells him that it was Robert Svain who had him make that choice. Wynonna calls him selfish, and he calls her selfish right back. He tries to storm out, but Wynonna’s keys are missing, so they’re forced to confront their feelings a little while longer. To avoid this, Doc tries to just walk out, but Wynonna and her belly bump of justice won’t allow it.

Wynonna bumps Doc with her belly

I’m not pregnant but I might start doing this anyway.

We find out that when Doc was 14, his mother got tuberculosis and he would crawl into the space below her room and listen to her cry and pray every night. John Henry got better, but his mother went quick. And ever since then, small spaces, like wells, were not his favorite. Wynonna takes her hand and learns Doc’s mother’s name is Alice, so I’ve already added Welcome Alice Earp to the list of potential baby names don’t worry about it.

Doc and Wynonna hear a noise and Wynonna goes for Peacemaker but it’s not in her boot so she grabs one of Doc’s guns instead. He tries to play the big man on campus but she says she’s pregnant not helpless, thank you very much.

They split up and hunt around but can’t find the source of the noise, though Wynonna does eventually find Peacemaker in Doc’s coat pocket. She thinks that he thinks that she was going to threaten to shoot him if he didn’t give her the ring, but he just think she’s hormonal. Which, I know we’re talking about mystical guns and magical rings, but this is a legitimate thing that real life men do to real life women; they write off their emotions as invalid because they might be “hormonal.” Even the good ones, sometimes! So Wynonna stops him right there to tell him that no matter how many buns she has in the oven, she’s still Wynonna Goddamn Earp and don’t you fucking forget it.

Wynonna wags her finger at Doc


She demands the ring again, and he tells her to come and get it, and you know who’s loving all this? I’ll tell you. THE DOLL. Remember the doll? The one who is no longer in the painting? Well it didn’t pull a Harry Potter and shimmy into a different painting, it became CORPOREAL and is now in REAL DOLL FORM sitting atop a high shelf and keeping an unmoving eye on that ring.

And if your heart wasn’t already racing from all this murder-doll drama, don’t worry, because Waverly and Rosita are in bikinis in a hot tub together. Rosita decided to use her new gift card to give them the night off, but Waverly doesn’t know how to put her brain into relax mode. She’s just come back from getting every kind of infused water she can carry and she’s already trying to get up to get towels, so Rosita tells her to calm down.

Waverly feels guilty though; what if the Widows come back and they’re in a hot tub? What if her sister is being attacked by a painting of a doll come to life and she’s sipping bubbly?

Rosita and Waverly in the hot tub

It it hot in here or is it just…oh, right the hot tub. Nevermind.

But Rosita promises her that she can take a breath and just enjoy the moment. “Take care of yourself for once,” is literally what Rosita says, and Waverly looks at her like Rosita just spoke a language Waverly thought she made up. Ever since season one, Waverly has been struggling with autonomy. People always telling her to hide, Wynonna being overprotective, Dolls trying to keep her out of missions. People have slowly but surely been coming around, letting her go undercover, giving her fighting sticks, but it’s been a constant struggle. And her fight with Nicole right now? Is entirely about that. Nicole tried to protect Waverly from something Waverly didn’t want protection from. It’s not like an anonymous letter came to the station about Waverly’s heritage and Nicole hid it. Waverly sought out information, and Nicole blocked her from getting it. Her motives were pure, but it was a sore spot for Waverly.

So when Rosita tells her to take care of herself, encouraging her autonomy, even if just over her night off, it feels good.

So the girls settle in and hit the champagne and get to know one another. Rosita has three degrees, which Waverly is blown away by, and accuses her of being from a long line of scientists and supermodels, who must be super proud of her.

But Rosita says her family isn’t around anymore, but not to be too sad for her, because they’ve been gone for a long time. Before Waverly can inquire about exactly how long her family has been gone and what exactly she means by gone, Waverly’s phone goes off. Rosita can tell it’s Nicole and encourages her to answer it, but Waverly doesn’t want to. Rosita says she’s not trying to peep but she sees the word “sorry” popping up an awful lot, but Waverly explains that this isn’t a little squabble that will just blow over.

Waverly sips champagne

*sips tea, but fancier*

Rosita asks what happened, and Waverly says that she found out that her whole life was a lie, and everyone who supposedly loved her has been lying to her. Rosita is amused to see a little fight under that sweet exterior and says as much, and as if to prove there’s more where that text message, Waverly types a very mean text to Nicole telling her to give her space and including the best way to say “fuck you” without saying the words “fuck you” which is “have a nice life.” The whole time she’s drafting it out loud, Rosita is cringing and telling her to maybe stop, but Waverly sends it anyway.

Let me tell you a little thing about being Waverly Earp. When your exterior is sweet, when you have smiley resting face, and you approach situations with optimism first, it can seem like a free and breezy way to live. Look at her! She seems so happy! Not a mean bone in her body! And maybe that’s true. Maybe there are no mean bones in her body. But anger can make even the nicest bones act out a sometimes. Being a positive person isn’t just about living in light, it’s about constantly and actively fighting off the darkness. And when you’ve been fighting extra hard, when you’re just so tired, sometimes giving into the darkness feels like a rush. The crash is guaranteed and almost always immediate but it happens.

Waverly looks like she hella regrets that text

that feeling when you accidentally text the person you were complaining ABOUT instead of the person you were complaining TO

And for Waverly it is immediate, the crash, the regret. And after dipping into the darkness and quickly jumping back into the light, her eyes are trying to adjust. Maybe her anger at Nicole is deeper, maybe she’s a little mad at Nicole and a lot mad at Walt and Mama Earp, at Gus and Curtis, at Bobo, at Willa, at everyone who knew something huge about her and never bothered to tell her the whole truth. And she was taking it out on her girlfriend. Waverly says what they had was perfect and now it’s all messed up.

But Rosita says the truest of truths: Perfect is boring. Then she gives a speech that is both a really cool science fact and also a really great metaphor for life. She says that the reason champagne bubbles is because of imperfections in the glass; no defect, no bubbles, no magic.

And Waverly, sitting in a hot tub across from this beautiful woman, this woman who is the first person she’s met maybe ever who is anywhere near on the same level as her both intellectually/nerdily and also emotionally (Jeremy is smart like her but not really on her as far as emotional maturity). She’s been given permission to take care of herself, given the night off from the constant chaos her life has been since Wynonna’s 27th birthday. Permission to be imperfect.

So Waverly leans in and kisses Rosita.

Rosita and Waverly kiss

“Just remembering you’ve had an ‘and’ when you’re back to ‘or’ makes the ‘or’ mean more than it did before.”

And Rosita kisses her back. And for one moment, they’re free of the shit that’s been weighing them down, free of the secrets they’ve been keeping, free of fear and judgement and expectations. For a moment.

But then Waverly pulls back, and says almost to herself more than Rosita, “I’m with Nicole.” Rosita says that she’s with Doc, and they both are snapped back to reality. This isn’t really what they wanted after all.

Waverly regrets the kiss


And it wasn’t a smart move, and it’s something Waverly and Nicole will have to deal with, and probably Doc and Rosita too, but I think after this final defiant step into the darkness, Waverly realizes she prefers it into the light, and things are a bit clearer now that she’s back.

Rosita heads back to their room to get changed and Waverly follows soon after, apologizing for taking their bonding moment a step too far, but instead of just Rosita, she finds Tucker standing over Rosita, who is on the floor, looking kinda dead.

Tucker the Fucker looks like he has on some really bad tiger facepaint but really it’s just frostbite, adding to his creepfactor by at least 30%, bringing us to a grand total of 430% creepy. Waverly is surprised he’s alive, but the burnt body is of some kind passer-by who doesn’t listen to My Favorite Murder and picked up a hitchhiker.

Waverly gasps at seeing Rosita attacked by Tucker

“I knew Tucker BBQ was too good to be true.”

Tucker informs Waverly that he’s here to save her from the “bitches who call themselves” his sisters.

Tucker covers Rosita’s body with a sheet, saying she’s in a better place, and Waverly is horrified. Tucker says he saved Waverly from Rosita’s corruption and sniffs her hair and talks like he’s truly on a different plane of reality and it’s awful, but Waverly is a Brave Little Toaster and plays along like a champ, knowing it’s her best chance at survival.

He tells her about how he faked his death because the Widows stole his sister’s faces, and how at least one is still alive.

And sure enough, Dolls, who has snooped through Rosita’s things and broken into the Gardiner house with Jeremy on his heels, finds a faceless Mercedes crawling around in the basement and it is HORRIFYING. Dolls puts on his night vision goggles and lurks around, trying to face off with Widow Mercedes, but having to combat the hall of mirrors. It’s very stressful.

At the spa, Waverly is doing a great job of not throwing up all over Tucker as he touches her shoulder and calls her family.

But speaking of family! Waverly has to call Wynonna or else she’ll immediately come looking for her. Tucker agrees that this is a good plan, and grants her one supervised phone call.

But Wynonna doesn’t hear the phone ring when her sister calls. Wanna know why? It’s not because she and Doc are shouting at each other, which they are, but it’s because the doll is now HUMAN-SIZED AND EXTRA HORRIFYING and the doll has her phone.

Wynonna gets sick of all this fighting and points Peacemaker at Doc, demanding he give her the ring.

Wynonna points Peacemaker at Doc

It is notably not glowing.

And so she never hears her phone ring, and never hears Waverly’s voicemail. In a last-ditch effort to get out of this situation, she asks if they can go to her Jeep to get clothes, but Tucker says he’ll buy her something. Something more modest. As though revived by misandry, Rosita appears just then, smashing a bottle over Tucker’s head and saying Waverly can wear whatever the fuck she wants. Waverly asks how she’s not dead and Rosita says that it turns out it’s kinda hard to kill a Revenant.

Rosie's eyes glow red

Rosie the Revenant! We can do it!

And I screamed. What an amazing reveal. Even if you guessed it somehow (I sure didn’t) you have to admit that line, that look, that glow, that camerawork. Everything worked together perfectly to make that moment super impactful. And just like that certain things start to snap into place, like why her family is gone, why she was so squirrely around Wynonna, and why she might need protection from the fastest gunslinger and the Earp heir’s close personal friend.

Over in the Gardiner house, Dolls faces off with Widow Mercedes (not literally) and almost has her…

Widow Mercedes lurkily lurks like a lurker

Guess there’s no denying it’s Mercedes now.

…but then Jeremy swoops in and gets freeze-breathed in the face, giving Widow Mercedes a chance to get away.

At the Homestead, Doc finally gets fed up with Wynonna and throws the ring at her, but the creepy doll catches it and they finally notice the GIANT TERRIFYING THING in the room with them. Doc takes a protective stance and empties his gun into the doll, having no effect. Wynonna raises her own gun then and takes it out with one shot, thusly proving her earlier point. She’s pregnant, not helpless. And SHE’S the goddamn Earp heir.

Wynonna grits her teeth and demands the ring

You doubt my skills ONE MORE TIME

Doc and Wynonna realize their emotions were heightened by the doll, even if they didn’t exactly LIE at any point. Wynonna promises not to break the seal until the baby is born, and that she doesn’t want to do this TO him, she wants to do it WITH him. So Doc gets on one knee, picks up his ring, presses it into Wynonna’s hand, and kicks me square in the feels.

Then the painting bursts into flames. Worst baby shower gift ever?

Outside in the forest, Tucker is looking for Waverly, shouting her name, but Beth finds him before he finds Waverly. Tucker calls Waverly his “angel” and HOW DARE HE, and even Widow Beth agrees. She says that Waverly is special, and that she’s too special for an abomination like him. Which…is true…but seems suspicious coming from her.

Anyway all of a sudden I find myself more on Team Beth than ever because she unhinges that terrifying jaw of hers and eats Tucker to death.

Good fucking riddance.

Meanwhile, Widow Mercedes is off doing her own thing, doing a location spell of her own, totally done with her sister-wife, looking for a miracle. And the third seal. Her wish is granted and she gets some kind of answer which gives her a wild smile so surely can’t be good.

Widow Mercedes cackles wildly at her creepy spellcasting shrine

Maybe she’s just planning a really good brunch.

Rosita and Waverly, after the Great Spa Escape, go back to Shorty’s, where Rosita is pissed people were snooping through her lab. Rosita pours them drinks because they’ve already been up all night so why not. Waverly is eying her, trying to see the Revenant in her, but only seeing Rosita. Rosita teases her about being obvious about her staring and pours them both a drink, which Waverly toasts to Rosita saving her life.

Waverly and Rosita toast again

“The need to express, to communicate, to going against the grain.”

Then in what might be the most heartbreaking line of the episode, Rosita asks if Waverly is going to give her a headstart before she tells Wynonna she’s a Revenant. But Waverly isn’t going to tell Wynonna; it’s not her secret to tell. Waverly does have a secret to tell though: she might be half-Revenant. Her precious little face looks relieved for having come out to someone; she’s never said it out loud. She’s never had someone to tell who wouldn’t immediately freak out or refuse to believe it or try to assure her she’s not.

And it’s true, Rosita is honestly more surprised she hasn’t told anyone than anything else. She asks if Waverly has even told Nicole, and the memory of the mean text she sent comes back to her, and Waverly’s guilt returns in full force. She’s afraid Nicole won’t want to see her right now, but Rosita assures her that Nicole literally always wants to see Waverly, and sends her off to make up with her girlfriend.

And I think this scene is important, because it shows that the moment Waverly and Rosita had in the hot tub was exactly that: a moment. They’re both past it, it was nothing but a momentary lapse in judgement. Waverly felt more understood than she ever had and misinterpreted her feelings as lust until she didn’t. You might think it seems a little un-Waverly, but Waverly doesn’t even know who Waverly is right now. She’s trying to figure it out, and that’s going to be messy sometimes, but it’s so fully human. Even if she isn’t.

Cut to a knock on Nicole’s door, and we think it’s Waverly, and Nicole thinks it’s Waverly, but GUESS WHAT IT’S NOT WAVERLY. It’s Widow Mercedes, and I don’t think she’s there to bond over being badass redheads.

Nicole opens the door and is shocked it's not Waverly

Hopefully all of the salt Waverly threw at her all episode will protect her from this witch.

But lucky for Nicole, she’s got a girl who loves her on the way to see her, who has a sister with a magic gun who would do anything for her baby sister. I just hope they get there before the Widow steals that perfect face.

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Valerie Anne

Just a TV-loving, Twitter-addicted nerd who loves reading, watching, and writing about stories. One part Kara Danvers, two parts Waverly Earp, a dash of Cosima and an extra helping of my own brand of weirdo.

Valerie has written 573 articles for us.


  1. Me: Wants to comment something really deep and profound about this awesome episode of television.

    Dark Side Me: So close to 4:20… Blaze it

  2. “And I think this scene is important, because it shows that the moment Waverly and Rosita had in the hot tub was exactly that: a moment. They’re both past it, it was nothing but a momentary lapse in judgement.”

    That is pretty much how I interpreted it. The theme for this episode seemed to be “Does one mistake define who I am?” and I’d like to think it doesn’t.

  3. But seriously, this episode hit me right in the feels. Doc giving Wynonna the ring, Waverly processing her emotions, and Rosita being a revenant all made me scream. This show is never gonna slow down, and I hope it doesn’t.

  4. i really appreciate all the emotional depth that you’ve brought up in regard to Waverly’s actions over the past two episodes, Valerie. Waverly’s responses to Nicole are absolutely a snowball of responses to everyone else in her life who she’s felt betrayed by or who has lied to her.

    the one thing I can’t wrap my head around though is all this talk of Rosita being the first person in Waverly’s life in her intellectual level – yours is not the first recap I’ve read to mention this. I feel a little like Nicole is being treated like a “local flatfoot” just like she was (wrongfully) by Dolls and Wynonna last season. Nicole is a whip smart detective, she graduated top of her class at the police academy, she’s Nedley’s #1 pick for sheriff which, in a town like Purgatory, we know requires a lot of skill, intellect, and tact.

    This is not to take away the magnitude of having 3 PhDs (I’m working on one myself, I respect the hell out of Rosita for having three good lord woman) but I can’t help but feel a little like appreciating Rosita’s intelligence precludes appreciating Nicole’s as well :/

    all that being said, thank you for these recaps, im grateful for your insight & hard work!

    • I think Nicole has an emotional maturity that drew Waverly to her, and I do think she’s smart – but Nicole is street smart and life smart. I think she’s strategic and funny and thoughtful. “Super smart,” indeed. I’m sure she’s above average book smart, too, but she’s not on Waverly’s learn-dead-languages-just-for-fun level. She’s not casually-turning-science-knowledge-into-a-metaphor smart. That’s all I meant by intellectual. Sometimes when you’re that kind of smart, that thirst-for-knowledge smart, and you’ve spent your life surrounded by people whose eyes glaze over when you start talking about the historical origins of popular phrases, it feels so new and exciting to meet someone as smart as you – or better yet, smarter. “It’s Ben Franklin with the key and the kite, you see it, right?”

      I hope that makes sense. I didn’t mean for it to sound like a dig on Nicole.

      • that totally makes sense, and thanks for taking the time to respond!

        i totally get what you’re saying and it makes total sense in terms of waverly’s character & storyline when you put it this way

        i hope waves and rosita get to foster a nice, strong friendship after this – i’m sure it’s going to be hard for nicole to look at rosita and not see “the girl that waverly kissed” (and, when the secret gets out, it’ll be “the /revenant/ that waverly kissed”) but i have full faith that she’ll get over it and maybe we’ll get to see some rosita/nicole bonding

        that is, honestly, some WayHaught angst i could totally be on board with in the future. how does The Nicest Person in Purgatory handle dating the Sheriff of Purgatory (and vice versa)? i foresee a lot of friction in the way they both approach suspected revenants/supernatural beings & im kinda jazzed about it

        also thank you for the hamilton reference, i’d appreciate it if everyone in my life would please begin only using musical theater references to explain things to me from this moment forward tyvm

    • I think Waverly and Rosita are both book-smart. Nicole is mature and people-smart, street-smart. I’ve got a PhD and until I left academia I didn’t realise how much and how easily I connected with book-smart people and how different it was to not have that to connect with.

      I’m not trying to say Nicole is not brilliant and insightful. And I really think she understands a lot about human nature that Waverly really doesn’t and possibly won’t ever. But chatting casually about translating Sumerian texts or drawing diagrams of the placenta and the uterus while drunk is on a different axis to Nicole’s sort of smarts.

      When things are right in the WayHaught universe, and they work together and bring their strengths to bear on a problem, they’re pretty much unstoppable. Add Wynonna to point in the right direction with a demon-slaying gun and some slick moves and they really are. But I can understand Waverly bonding with Rosita over the academic stuff, even if I wouldn’t describe it the quite the way Valerie Anne did. That’s not to be down on Valerie Anne’s review – we normally describe the academically inclined as smart but people who are great at other things, not so much, even if it actually involves a lot of thought and brain power.

      • thanks for laying this out! yeah, i get the distinction – there are totally different kinds of “smarts” that diff folks have, and nobody is going to have the “full package” if you will

        i get that, too, as a person in academia who can spend hours digging into the minute details of my specialty & yeah, it’s totally something special when you find someone who is just as much of a nerd about something as you are

        i think it was mostly a semantic grievance on my part, as you mentioned – admittedly i’ve felt a bit “nicole haught protection squad” since the last ep and, like i said, having seen multiple recaps & social media posts talking about how great it was for waverly to finally have someone who’s “as smart as” her was rubbing me in all the wrongs ways & places. everyone is super smart in their own way on this show – it’s one of the things i love most about it

        • I can certainly agree they’re all super-smart in their own way and it’s part of what keeps me watching.

          The problem is, in general, we don’t use language very well to discuss non-academic forms of intelligence. I benefit from the respect for “being smart” (although “being beautiful” would arguably have done more good in my youth but I’m happier being smart tbh) but how do you describe someone with Nicole’s sorts of mental skills? How about a great musician? Or a great sportsperson? Although it’s met a lot of criticism Gardner proposed a model of multiple intelligences (the IQ testing industry hates it, but ignores a lot of the criticism aimed at it from other sources) that suggests we should recognise all of those and more as different modes of how our our brain works and, ultimately, that’s what intelligence is about. Although he doesn’t go that far, we should probably have different words to reflect our ability in the different fields so we can sensibly talk about Nicole being great at interpersonal intelligence, Waverly and Rosita being great at academic intelligence (although Rosita’s certainly got some good interpersonal skills too, but being 180 or so might give her an edge there) and although we’ve not seen it quite so much this season, in s1 Wynonna’s got superhuman agility and the “sporting acuity” to go with that, and well as that wicked sense of humour.

    • So, because Nicole is only a cop she is not at Waverly’s level? or if Rosita has 3 Phds , what the hell is she doing with someone like Doc whose only talent is being good at shooting and being an inmortal? Didn’t she notice that she is only a sex relief for him?

      You know what I think about the kissing scene? it was just a cheap trick to create controversy, Emily said ” it was the moment, the hot tub, Rosita being attractive” sorry but all of it is BS.

      Waverly told Nicole to not treat her like a child, and she acted the all episode exactly like one cruel and bully child. Yeah Nicole is the puching ball for everybody, she is the lonely lesbian with no friends who live with her cat and have to take all the shit and say nothing back. Thanks Emily for such a nice representation.

  5. I had a thunk. I HAD A THUNK!

    What if Bobo’s seal only USED to be that piece of iron? What if he changed it into a human ala Dawn Summers? Then he gave it over to Ward Earp to guard. That’s why all of the bad stuff is drawn to her, just the way they are drawn to the other seals.

    • OMG. I think you’re onto something. Didn’t the widows say something earlier on about being angry at Bobo for moving the third seal? Goodness me this is quite the theory you’ve thunk

    • That would be cool. I guess. I dunno. I love all the Buffy influence, but this is straight up stealing.

  6. holy jeezums batman i had so many feelings this episode that i had to periodically stop and scream into a pillow. sometimes it was happy “waverly in a bikini holy hell i’m queer” screams. sometimes it was “chuckie is back” screams. there’s a spectrum

  7. unexpectedly delightful moment, when wynonna swung her foot out and shouted, bomshakalaka!

    • If I didn’t know Mel was pregnant in real life, I would have been like “gf kicks her leg way too high way too often to be pregnant.” Amazing!

  8. I agree with Jay in that I was also thrown off by the observation of Rosita being the first person Waverly met at the same intellectual and emotional level. If we look back at season 1, I think its always been clear that Nicole was emotionally mature and level headed. She also many times appeared to be one of the smartest people in the room but often times kept at arms length.

    I saw Waverly connecting with Rosita more with regard to seeking out attachment. Throughout the episode and in the past, I’ve seen a pattern of her gravitating toward others when she is given validation attaching, if you will, to people that show her any form of love. I think her kissing Rosita was her desire to seek security and acceptance. It makes a lot of sense as she has spent her entire life having to question whether the adults around her loved or cared for her.

    But I also don’t want to say I think Waverly just attaches to anyone. Her foundation (identity) has been shattered and she certainly needed to lean on someone nurturing in that moment. Nonetheless, whether the kiss meant nothing to her and Rosita, I think the mere action has consequences that go beyond one conversation with Nicole. I don’t fully know how to feel about it but, I’m invested in seeing this through!

    • I answered this on Jay’s post but I just want to reiterate here in case you didn’t see it – I think Nicole met Waverly on an emotional level for sure, and I do think she’s smart, but when I said “intellectual” I meant more-degrees-than-is-strictly-necessary smart. Where Nicole is clever, Rosita is brainy. And there’s something special about meeting a fellow knowledge-lover, especially when you grew up in a town like Purgatory, where science lovers and bookworms are probably few and far between.

      I truly didn’t mean any of it as an insult to Nicole; I honestly think Waverly needed the emotional maturity in her life more, which is why she was so drawn to Nicole. I just think the newness of the oh-shit-this-girl-might-be-smarter-than-me is what overwhelmed her into thinking she wanted to kiss Rosita, until she realized she didn’t.

      • Awh thank you Valerie for taking the time to clarify. Your recaps are wonderful and I enjoy having a place to process! I definitely understand a little more now where you are coming from. I just wish Waverly did not need to plant her lips on another human (that is not her gf) to process her issues. But alas, nothing in life is or should be predictable. This episode has my emotions moving in a rollercoaster but I love the fact that great art can create even greater discourse!

  9. The kiss was cheap and lazy and I expected better from this show. Overall this episode was pretty poorly paced and felt a bit disconnected from what’s come before. If I shipped Wyndolls I’d be really annoyed by how the end of the last episode basically didn’t mean anything. My best friend who does ship them was very upset. I definitely think this is the weakest episode this season but up until it there’s just been one awesome ep after another so hopefully things get better next time. I wonder if the problems stem from how SyFy renewed them for 10 episodes originally but then bumped them to 12 later, and they had to rewrite and restructure things with less time than they’d have liked?

    • yeah as a hardcore WynDolls shipper i was pretty bummed :/ especially since it feels a bit like Doc is being given the “guy with a tragic past gets a free pass to treat people like shit” treatment – i mean, Rosita truly feels like she is dating Doc, but does Doc feel that way? has he made any attempt to make that clear to her? and has he made any attempt to not just flippantly blow her off when he doesn’t have any use for her? and we’ve sort of seen him do this to Wynonna, too, so… homeboy needs to do some soul searching before he goes gettin down on one knee for anyone imho

  10. “Hopefully all of the salt Waverly threw at her all episode will protect her from this witch.”


  11. “And I think this scene is important, because it shows that the moment Waverly and Rosita had in the hot tub was exactly that: a moment. They’re both past it, it was nothing but a momentary lapse in judgement. Waverly felt more understood than she ever had and misinterpreted her feelings as lust until she didn’t. You might think it seems a little un-Waverly, but Waverly doesn’t even know who Waverly is right now. She’s trying to figure it out, and that’s going to be messy sometimes, but it’s so fully human. Even if she isn’t.”

    A little louder for the people in the back. Look I get that people have their feelings on things but before you go all Wynonna on the situation, just pause for a minute and look at the big picture a Valerie so eloquently stated. If you keep focusing on the smudge in the corner you miss out on something beautiful.

    Aside from that Rosita being a Revenent (aka Revsita) was a total shock to me and made me yell out loud for the 2nd time within the span of 5 minutes during this episode. I never picked up on it but I did have my suspicions about Rosita. I always thought about how her and Doc knew each other when he only recently got out of the well and was on a mission to find/kill the stone witch all last season.

    I find this innocent bystander Revenent theory so interesting, are they documented Revenents too or only the outlaws that Wyatt killed? hmm?

    My favorite part of this episode was all the times Wynonna/Mel used the baby bump as a prop. it was the best.

    • The girl from last season whose mother was a cannibal was killed accidentally in a crossfire during a shootout.

      • My understanding of the history is a little shaky, but like Rosita said the guy she was with was on his shit list. She probably meant that figuratively but I’m sure Wyatt had a literal list of the outlaws he was looking to kill which consisted of the 77 Revenents, so all the other people like Rosita, Bobo, Cannibal girl don’t count on the list. Then again come to think of it the curse isn’t about that list but whoever was shot by Peacemaker. The curse is on the gun not on the people.

  12. That whole scene in the hot tub I was basically like, “Why does this feel like…not-friendly? Surely my subtext-adled brain is imagining th-Oh they’re kissing…!!!” I’m not gonna lie, it was pretty…ahem. My mind kept jumping from “BUT NICOLE!” to “so this is kinda hot?” I was very confused, so thank you for clearing that up Valerie!

  13. The freakiest part of this episode for me was when Doc and Wynonna are having dinner and the cabinet door behind Wynonna swings open and neither of them acknowledge it. It’s before the doll makes its debut, so the cabinet randomly squeaking open really weirded me out and got my brain wondering what the hell did it.

    I’m still not positive it was the doll and it was definitely intentional since there was noise accompanying it. Has other things happened like this in the background on the homestead?

    And after The Bold Type this week, I was twice as unimpressed and frustrated by the Rosita and Waverly kiss. I guess after Maggie on Supergirl too I’m just tired of cheating, even ‘just kissing’, being used for drama.

    I trust Andras still and know/hope Nicole is okay and Wayhaught bounces back, but this episode was frustrating to me to watch.

    • I noticed the cabinet door and it was right when Wynonna mentioned the ring for the 1st time, it was like it’s ears perked up when the ring was mentioned. The whole time they were in the house with the painting/doll they were oblivious to the surroundings (which I think was the point) since they didn’t hear the phone when Waverly called or noticed the life size doll standing behind them with the ringing phone.

    • I noticed the cabinet door and screamed “Get Out”. I think the painting may have been contributing to their arguing and why they didn’t notice that creepy ass doll lurking. I am confused about one thing, I thought demons could not come onto the homestead? Or is this a vampire thing where it doesn’t count if invited.

      • I think it’s only Revenants that can’t come to the homestead. OR maybe there was a loophole because technically it was just a painting when it was brought in haha sleeper demon

        • right but once it became demon form it would have gone flying off the homestead like Levi did after Waverly found and threw the amulet last season. But I think you are right the amathyte or whatever crystal they said protects the homestead only keeps Revenents away.

          • The stripper Constance controlled when trying to get her son’s skull back at the homestead was also able to cross the boundary and the marshall’s deputy as well when he marked Doc

  14. This is my least favorite ep of the season so far, but hey! They can’t all be 100. I feel like last episode and this episode definitely felt like a lull in some of the threads of this season. I didn’t realize the season was originally supposed to be 10 before it got bumped to 12. Might explain the surfeit of backstory we’ve had lately. Also, the first seven episodes were just SO EFFIN GOOD, it’s hard to match that pace at all.

    The WayHaught feels. The hot tub kiss was a low blow. The entire scene could have been played exactly the same, but without the kiss. A bunch of biphobia-flags went off for me on that one (promiscuity, cheating, blah).
    And the last shot of the episode! Oh Nicole. We’re all here for you, no matter what Emily puts you through.

    On the plus side: Rosita got to be a sexy nerd, AND reveal that she’s a Rev, which I love. I enjoyed the moments in Season 1 where Wynonna got shook up about the fact that her new life is a killing life, even if it is resureccted demons. Maybe we’ll see some interactions Waverly and Bobo, ROsita, and Wynonna as a reckoning on what it means to kill all Revenants, or just the bad Revenants.

    Or, maybe killing Revenants will be a moot point, as Wynonna gears up for the new “resurrect and eliminate Demon Clootie” plan. I think that is a GREAT (/terrible) idea and I’m excited for it. But, I really need Wynonna to hurry up and figure out that she can’t do this alone. She’s got the fastest gunslinger in the West, a special-ops dragon soldier, a shotgun-toting little sister, the county’s best cop, two scientists, and maybe a Revenant or two in her squad, and she’s STILL out here like “I’m the only one who can do this.” Yeah she’s the Heir, but she has a better team than any heir has ever had. Use em, girl.

    I’m coming back next week for Nicole. And then, I can’t wait for the last two episodes. Let’s get this going.

  15. I was quite happy with how this episode turned out and can’t wait to see how Andras and Co. will tie up the loose ends in the coming episodes.

    I am not as scandalized by Waverly’s mistake as I might otherwise have been. I see it as shedding light on the richness and depth of the character – an expression of wabi-sabi, if you will. If we began the series believing that the principal flawed characters were pretty much just Wynonna and Doc, we learn enough every few episodes to see that it’s complicated for everybody in Purgatory, and I really like that.

    I am also keen on remembering that in the hands of practically any other network TV showrunner, Waverly’s cheating would have comprised her getting drunk and running off to sleep with Champ. That truly would have been every negative bi trope made incarnate. I feel that Andras is walking a tightrope with great skill and compassion here. I actually appreciate the fact that Waverly slipped up right as Rosita was really geeking out on her (just look at the desire that enters Waverly’s expression when Rosita is talking science!). It’s a relief to know that our sunny, sash-sporting cinnamon roll can screw up in a moment of vulnerability, bounce back, and want to make it right again. Perfect angels do not make for the most exciting storylines, and in this story, Waverly has been allowed to mess up in a way that doesn’t fundamentally shatter our trust in who she is as a person – I hope. Nobody can point to specifics, of course, but I get the impression that the Twitter/tumblr crowd going into apoplexy over Waverly’s and Nicole’s transgressions skew to the younger side of the demographic and may include people who have had few, if any, adult relationships, including all the grey areas and nuance that they entail. Being a steadfast purist who cannot learn to forgive is a great way to find yourself alone by age 30 and wondering why so many good things never worked out. (I speak from previous experience.)

    Speaking of angels, it’ll be interesting to learn more about the metaphysics of the Purgatory universe once we learn what Waverly actually is. She seems to be pretty well convinced that she’s half revenant, as many of us have come to think. How does that play out with her being able to live within the protected grounds of the homestead? She has been able to touch Peacemaker without coming to harm, right? Is her revenantness somehow not marked enough to complicate her moving through these spaces with the privileges of a full human, then? Or is she indeed some other kind of being for which we don’t yet have a name?

    Thank goodness we get a season 3!

  16. – The Hamilton reference!
    – Rosita in that spaghetti strap top (is that what you call it? Because it’s what we call it here where I’m from LOL) my goodness Rositaaa *fans self*
    – When Rosita lay dead on the floor I was like NO SHE DESERVES BETTER especially after all that build up in the character, and they delivered, she sure is something else haha
    – Smiley resting face – I wish I had this but instead I have a legit RBF
    – I gotta admit I was hoping Waves would drop a subtle hint on her VM to Wynonna like “hey while i’m away have some tacos because they are tasty”
    – I noticed the cabinet opening too!

  17. I actually really loved the kiss, because it shows how confused Waverly is when people pay her attention and care about her… something I have a lot of experience with, as someone who is also the youngest of three and was abused as a child. My whole identity, and I’m seeing now that a lot of Waverly’s identity, has been built around being liked and being good. Some of that might be part of who she is naturally, and some of it is for me as well, but a lot of it may be performative.

    I didn’t realize until this episode and until reading your recaps, Valerie, how much I identify with Waverly and how rough she had it. As someone who was abused and manipulated starting at a young age, it really warps your sense of self and also the way you process others’ behavior. Dating someone like Champ, who is boring but sweet, or kissing Rosita after a wonderful speech like that and because she’s being so kind… it’s natural to feel romantic things when someone genuinely cares about you and makes you feel special. I was in a relationship in college with someone I didn’t really like, because they liked me and no one had ever done that before. Add to that what you were saying about Rosita and Waverly sharing common interests (academia) and sort of speaking a language that she doesn’t get to use often, and I can totally see why she would have a moment of hurt at being betrayed again (a huge trigger for many survivors of abuse as children) and confusion about her feelings for Rosita, which up til that point had been totally platonic, and choose to act on it. Rosita is the one person who hasn’t lied to Waverly at this moment, the one person who she knows is not manipulating her. But then she comes back to reality, and it was just a moment.

    Also! That fighting style is called Kali, it’s a Filipino martial art that I briefly studied in high school because I am a Waverly-style nerd. (I also minored in classics in college and learned both Ancient Greek and Latin when only one was required. The similarities are starting to alarm me.) It’s a super fascinating fighting style and I freaked out when I saw her doing moves I recognized! I also said “I’m so gay” out loud as soon as she came on screen in that crossfit top with those arms. Literally the very beginning of the episode and it’s already affirming my gayness. Bless.

    Lastly, can we just talk for a second about “oh my god it’s going to have hands”? Because that was my favorite line of the episode. Watching Wynonna come to grips with this little by little in weird ways is so realistic and so so good. Like, she was just barely pregnant, and now she’s suddenly hella pregnant, and it’s all happening at once so she didn’t even stop to think about what happens after the pregnancy. The writing and the acting are just so damn good. UGH I LOVE THIS SHOW

  18. I came here to recap hard and cackle at the captions and I feel 100% satisfied (I lost it at the RENT caption tbh).
    I just need to know Nicole is going to be safe ? I have a queer-lady-violence hangover from Game of Thrones.

  19. I’m slowly losing trust in Andras. If she kills Nicole and “brings her back to life” so dark Waverly will rise, I’m gonna be pissed. We still haven’t seen Nicoles back story and thus-far she’s just been a plot device. She’s not even listed as a main in the opening credits. All I want for my bday is NOT ANOTHER DEAD LESBIAN. Not even for a fucking hour.

    • My guess is that they’ll save Nicole and Nedley will die.

      While I don’t want a dead lesbian, if she’s critically injured and her heart stops and they resuscitate her on the table during the episode, particular if she’s saved by Waverly fighting off Widow!Mercedes I’ll be inclined to give it a pass if we don’t have a “dark Waverly rises” story. You might not, everyone’s choices and limits are different.

      But in the clips and pictures we’ve seen (I think it was in the sizzle reel from this year’s ComicCon), there’s a picture of Waverly wearing what she was wearing at the end of last week’s episode, hugging Nicole in a hospital gown and Nicole is standing on her feet. I might be reading FAR too much into it, but that seems like Nicole gets hurt, but not too badly (she’s on her feet after all, which she probably wouldn’t be if she’d been dead on the operating table). That leaves Widow!Beth sacrificing Nedley as “one of the team is in critical danger” and although he’s not a core part of the team, it’s hard to deny he is part of the team – they do law enforcement work, out of the police station, after all.

  20. Okay a) I did not consider the fact that someone might steal Nicole’s face, and now I am legit terrified for next episode, THANKS A LOT.

    B) The painting was really weird. Like, my pepere had a painting that was him, looking at a farm house, with a windmill in the background EXACTLY like that one.

    I googled to see if this was a thing? Like, maybe artists went farm to farm and said “Hey I’ll paint you a keepsake” and then did the exact same composition, but I couldn’t find anything.

    So… That’s creepy. I don’t know where that painting ended up. *Is now terrified of a doll coming to life somewhere in my parents garage* THANKS A LOT.

    I am happy that both Nicole and Waverly are messing up. As much as I loved patient! and wise!Nicole from s1, it felt like… Like she wasn’t being allowed to have feelings? Barring her frustration at Waverly’s “We’re just friends, okay!” conversation in the squad car, she was always just… Ready.

    And it’s making me sad that she and Waverly are having this fight, but also it’s kind of nice for them to have problems that feel pretty believable. It’s also nice for Nicole to have made a bad decision, because it felt like she had the answer to everything.

    (I’m also hoping that Katherine Barrell is upgraded to full cast member for season 3. <3)

  21. So because Nicole is a cop its not at Waverly’s level? and if Rosita has 3 phd what the hell is she doing with Doc whose only talent is being good at shooting? Didn’t she notice that she is only a sex relief for him?

    Valerie, I think you are giving Andras too much credit with the kissing scene, she herself said “it was the moment, the hot tube , Rosita being Attractive” , please don’t try to justify something that was clearly just a cheap trick to create the controversy she wanted.

    I think Nicole has really been treated like shit the whole season, the lonely lesbian that is the puching ball for the others frustrations. Thanks Andras for such a nice representation. I am done.

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