“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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
…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.
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.
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.
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.
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.