“Wynonna Earp” Episode 403 Recap: Fight or Flight

Previously on Wynonna Earp, Waverly almost succumbed to her duty as an angel guardian meant to keep the demon Eve in her supernatural prison but Wynonna showed up just in time to get her baby girl and her gunslinger out of the Garden and back to Purgatory but when they got back after Waverly and Nicole reunited on the stairs, they all realized they’d been gone much longer than they thought. 18 months, 3 weeks, and 4 days to be exact.

Though Wynonna and Doc don’t know that yet, they just know that things look drastically different in Purgatory than when they left, what with the hanging bodies and all. They decide to go to Shorty’s to regroup but when they walk in, it’s not the rowdy dive bar they remember. Instead it’s a chill juice bar with a hilarious menu. It has drinks like “I Walk the Lime” and “Go Ahead, Make My Smoothie” and ingredients like “unfrozen frozen yogurt” and I just highly recommend pausing to read through it. Amazing.

The new proprietor turns around and while Wynonna is thrilled to see a familiar face in Chrissy Nedley, Chrissy isn’t nearly as happy to see Wynonna.

She throws an eggplant at her and puts her under citizen’s arrest for the murder of her father, Randall Nedley.

wynonna looks crushed

My face whenever I remember we probably won’t have new Legends of Tomorrow episodes until Fall 2021.

They start to drag Wynonna out to the square to apparently hang her on the spot, talking about how Nedley disappeared a year and a half ago, the same time they did, and Wynonna is yelling and Chrissy is yelling and Doc has his guns out and at first it seems our heroes are outnumbered and SOL but then the new sheriff in town saunters in and says that Chrissy should know better and that they’ll give Wynonna a fair trial before punishing her. Wynonna is confused as to who this non-redheaded “sheriff” is and tells Doc to get Waverly and Nicole as she’s dragged away. Doc says he’ll get everyone and runs off.

Meanwhile at the Homestead, Waverly is dancing in the afterglow of her reunion with Nicole. She dances into the kitchen in her little pajama set and is surprised to find a teenager she doesn’t recognize in the kitchen.

waverly covers herself

“Have you been in the kitchen…THIS WHOLE TIME?!”

Rachel introduces herself and offers Waverly some homemade kombucha and Waverly is trying to wrap her head around who this person is when an alarm goes off outside and Valdez and Haught spring into action like they’ve done it hundreds of times. (Which they probably have.)

Waverly watches Nicole and Rachel grab weapons and run off so she grabs a giant spoon off the wall (despite there being a giant fork right there) and follows them.

Waverly grabs a spoon with a shrug

The spoon says, “Bless this hot mess” and I want one. Did Nicole buy this? To try to make the Homestead homier for when the Earp girls came back to her??

While they run, Nicole tries to explain that they have traps set up and have to check them every two hours because there are all kinds of monsters in the woods, and one big bad that wants in most of all.

But they didn’t catch a cryptid this time, just a gunslinger who is happy to see two of his favorite ladies. He instinctively calls Nicole “Sheriff” but she tells him that she’s just Nicole, or occasionally, “That crazy ginger bitch” as she carefully gets him out of their trap. He tells them that they have to go get Wynonna because she’s being framed for Nedley’s murder and frankly that’s a lot of information packed into one very stressful sentence.


How dare Waverly’s hair look this good after being in a hell dimension.

In town it seems the new Sheriff has repurposed the Widow Mercedes/Bobo Box and throws Wynonna into it with Casey, a man who seems very friendly until he learns she’s an Earp at which point he panics. Wynonna points out she doesn’t have her gun, though she wisely covers and pretends like she just doesn’t have it on her, so Casey starts filling her in on what’s been going on for the past year and a half she was missing. It seems demons started flocking to the woods near the stairs and Casey said that things started getting dodgy, even for him, and he’s half demon himself.

And to prove to us just how dodgy, we then cut to a delivery man getting absolutely obliterated by a monster in the woods.

Back at the Homestead, Waverly is trying to reckon with the fact that Randy Nedley is gone, and Nicole tries to tell her how different things have been. How everyone is kind of gone. She hasn’t seen Kate since the train, Jeremy hasn’t reached out in months, she just trails off when thinking about Robin, so whether he’s a walking murder tree or just MIA is anyone’s guess. Waverly starts to joke about not knowing how old she is but Nicole doesn’t laugh. There’s nothing funny about those 18 months, not to her.

nicole glares

Me when I see people posting their social gatherings on Instagram like we’re not still in a fucking pandemic.

Nicole solemnly gives Waverly her coffee and apologizes for there not being any almond milk and Waverly looks up at her girlfriend, concerned, and tells her to stop apologizing. Doc tries to reassure her too, saying she was heroic, surviving and protecting the homestead alone all this time, but the words don’t sink in. She brushes them off and says she had Rachel, at least. Doc asks after Mercedes and Nicole says the last place she was seen was a demon bar so Doc volunteers to go find her and see if she knows what happened to Nedley.

When Doc gets to the bar, he’s ready to fight, knocking out a bouncer and whipping out his guns, but he’s more fazed by the name of the bar being The Glory Hole than anyone is about him trying to start a ruckus. The owner of this fine establishment approaches, introducing himself as Amon, turns on the flirt and says that Doc is more than welcome in this demon bar.

Doc starts to demand to see Mercedes, assuming she’s being held hostage, when she very voluntarily takes the stage, clad in rubber, wearing a collar, wielding a whip, and calling herself Portia Control.

mercedes on stage

“There will always be women in rubber flirting with me!”

Meanwhile Waverly is in her room at the Homestead, ready to kick so much ass, especially and specifically whoever took her girlfriend’s job and arrested her sister.

giant moccasin

Shout out to what my friend Marcie thought was a giant moccasin hanging on Waverly’s closet door.

This makes Nicole smile a genuine smile that has been rare so far this episode.

Nicole smiles

Our girl’s still in there somewhere.

But Nicole’s smile fades as she tells Waverly about how carefully she protected and sorted her clothing, and gets distracted by the sound of her teenager yelling about skunks outside.

She says she has to go deal with that and kisses Waverly on the forehead and wishes her luck getting Wynonna back safely.

nicole distractedly kisses waverly's forehead

I know something’s wrong because there’s no way anyone should be able to focus on anything but Waverly Earp in that outfit when in a room with Waverly Earp in that outfit.

Wynonna is still getting to know her boxmate and asks Casey why he stays in town if it’s so dangerous here, and he realizes he forgot to mention that the Ghost River Triangle is in a bit of a quarantine and has government agents closely monitoring the border. Demons and criminals aren’t allowed in or out.

Wynonna is still reeling from the 7-layer dip of fuckery when the new sheriff stops by to tell her she has a visitor. Waverly has on her British Adult disguise glasses and speaks firmly to the new Sheriff, demanding that her “client” receive a fair trial.

waverly tries to adult

“I put my hands on my hips so you will take me seriously!”

The sheriff knows exactly who she is, even with the glasses on, and also they were already going to give her a trial, though Waverly also wants a body, because she knows the basic rules of television: No body, no death. #MayaLives

But before anyone can add anything else, in struts the Magistrate. She is hot and she knows it, she hates the Earps and she shows it.

Cleo the Magistrate

Is this the “girl in red” I keep hearing about?

She also tells Waverly she has a cute outfit in a way that implies she can tell it’s not Waverly’s go-to look. Wynonna suddenly seems even less certain of her fate.

Waverly tries to reassure Wynonna by telling her that Doc is on the case, but when we check in on Doc, he’s just watching Mercedes perform at the Glory Hole with his jaw on the ground. And when she licks her lips and her fangs, my jaw joins it there.

dani kind has fangs

Bite me!

After her dance, Doc sits down with Mercedes, who is grateful to see a friendly face. She tells them that this town is soo bass ackwards these days that she has to pretend to be a vampire and hide in plain sight at this demon bar for safety. He asks her what happened to Nedley and she says that he started oozing and took off into the woods, and since that’s where the monsters are, she assumes he got eaten.

mercedes looks serious

Mercedes being serious is unsettling. Shit got REAL in the Ghost River Triangle.

She tells Doc the general direction of the monster she thinks took Nedley, called the People Eater, but that’s all she can do. She sends him off with sad eyes and a warning that this isn’t the Ghost River Triangle he left behind.

Pages: 1 2See entire article on one page

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!

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 560 articles for us.


  1. Another awesome recap.
    I cannot wait to get series 3 and 4a here in the Netherlands…. until then your writing keeps me greatly entertained!
    Glad to read Jeremy has not been forgotten, curious to see how his new role fits in…

  2. Goodness, Katherine Barrell did SUCH an amazing job showing how broken Nicole is, and how she is barely holding it together, while still being functional, and yet letting some of our old Nicole still come through in moments. It was such an incredibly nuanced performance, and it really blew me away this episode. The only thing that is holding her together is love right now, for Waverly, for Wynonna, for Rachel, etc. But I don’t think it’s going to be enough much longer. And she portrayed all that in one episode. Dang.

    (also, can Melanie Scrofano direct or what?!)

  3. I can’t believe this is what I took away from the episode but how is there not room for them all at the Homestead? It’s a four bedroom house (Ward/Michelle, Willa, Wynonna, Waverly). Assuming Nicole/Waverly are in Ward/Michelle’s room, and Doc is in, let’s say, Willa’s room, and Wynonna is in her own room, that still leaves Waverly’s room! Maybe Jeremy was living there and Nicole isn’t ready to let go yet?

    • It isn’t that many rooms. We’ve only ever seen the downstairs bedroom and the one upstairs which was Willa’s in season 1 ep 7 and season 2 ep 1 and we see Waverly has decided to make it her own in s2 ep 2. Doc slept in the barn in season 1 and had a room upstairs at Shorty’s in season 2 and the start of 3, then he seems to be staying at the Gardner house after Kate changed him. I would think there was the downstairs bedroom for Ward & Michele and the upstairs for Willa and that if there’s another room upstairs Wynonna and Waverly shared. Theoretically there should be one more bedroom but we’ve never seen it. Maybe Waves and Wynonna slept on a hide a bed on the living room.

  4. 1) SMALLDEZ
    2) that tank top nicole was wearing that said ‘loyal?’ v on brand and VERY hot
    3) waverly’s running commentary about to skank shame or not to skank shame
    4) yay we remembered doc is bi!
    5) please give nicole therapy

  5. – Rachel in the kitchen sizing up her mom’s girlfriend.
    – Waverly Earp and Maura Isles. What is it with smol gays and seitan?
    – I’m so disappointed that it was Doc that saw Portia’s show instead of Wynonna.
    – Wait…so Wynonna, Waverly, and Doc went into the Garden in the middle of winter, and came out 18 months later…in the middle of winter?

  6. Katherine Barrell is killing it this season! I mean she was always killing it but since Nicole was often the steady grounding character amidst the madness, it’s great to see her portraying new situations and feelings.

  7. Really fun episode and a great recap as always Valerie!

    I love this show but one thing that drives me nuts about it is how they don’t pay any attention to the logistics of how cold it is! Wynonna is going to sleep in the barn? The barn with board wall full of gaps that let light and wind in??? Not without a remodel to insulate the walls and provide a heat source she’s not! *sigh*

    The whole homestead is a little weird if we’re being honest. The house’s dimensions inside don’t line up with the outside and speaking as someone in the trade, no one would build a house and put the only bathroom upstairs. LOL

    • My grandparents house was build in the very early 1900’s and its only bathroom was upstairs. My ex-girlfriend’s parents house had its only bath upstairs when they bought it. At some point with 7 kids they put a half bath in the basement. I’ve even read appraisals where the appraiser called it functional obsolescence when the bath was on the main level with one bedroom and other bedrooms were on the second level without a bath. Based on the age of the homes-what usually happened was the upstairs had been unfinished space turned into bedrooms and it was too costly to add plumbing.

      The Earp Homestead is supposed to be built by Wyatt so all the plumbing might have been added after that.

  8. All the comments about the layout of the homestead and the Property Brothers mentions on the episode make me hope we get a WE/Property Brothers crossover episode where they renovate the homestead.

    Also where is Calamity Jane?

    I want to see Jeremy get reunited with the crew and I hope they find Robin alive! I have hope since they found Nedley alive and Emily Andras prefers to keep the queers alive.

    As usual, great recap and I loved the captions!

  9. I’m terrified for Nicole – you can see she’s barely holding herself together. It’s like trying to piece together pieces of a broken vase with dollar store glue – one huff on it and everything will crumble. I really hope that when – not if – WHEN she breaks, her loved ones will be there to catch her.

Contribute to the conversation...

Yay! You've decided to leave a comment. That's fantastic. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated by the guidelines laid out in our comment policy. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation and thanks for stopping by!