“Wynonna Earp” Episode 404 Recap: The Grudge

Previously on Wynonna Earp, Wynonna, Doc and Waverly returned from The Garden to find a whole new Purgatory complete with a new Sheriff and Magistrate, Jeremy is Black Badge now, and Nicole is happy to have her girlfriend back but definitely distracted and traumatized because it turns out they’d been gone for 18 months, 3 weeks and 4 days.

At the end of the last episode, Wynonna got nabbed from the Earp barn, pjs and all, and we pick up this week right where we left off, Wynonna being dragged through a compound until she’s in an interrogation room of sorts with a school marm of a woman called Naomi. Wynonna realizes she’s in a definitely-active Black Badge facility and as she helps the woman remove her own handcuffs, she realizes she’s not exactly being held hostage, despite how she was brought in. Still… she’s displeased.

wynonna is aghast

“If this isn’t initiation into Delta Chi Sigma, I want out!”

This woman clearly doesn’t actually know who she is, and pronounces her name like strangers at the airport trying to read my t-shirts when I’m on the way to cons. Just then, Jeremy walks in and Wynonna is so happy to see him that she leaps up and hugs him. Jeremy brushes her off and pretends like they were just old colleagues, also mispronounces “Earp” and plays down her demon-slaying skills. Wynonna plays along and reluctantly smiles at a very nervous Naomi, claiming she’s never killed a demon, nope, not even one.

Meanwhile, setting the tone for what will be an increasingly creepy episode, someone bleeds upon what looks like an old, candid picture of Wynonna and an eerie pile of rocks elsewhere in Purgatory. The sound of chains and screams follow, a demonic creature pulling on its shackles until finally… it’s free.

Back at the Homestead, unaware of the dangers that lurk, Waverly has set up the kitchen for their first Team Earp planning session in a while, complete with new notebooks and a powerpoint; she can’t wait.

Waverly and Nicole share smiles

Okay but I want to see the powerpoint?

No one is here yet, but Nicole is here early and jazzed for the presentation… or at least, pretending to be. They still have a lot of things they don’t know: About Cleo and Holt, about the BBD border, about the influx of demons, about where Peacemaker is… all they know for sure is that they’re having tacos for dinner, and tacos are tasty.

waverly and nicole go in for a kiss

“Come on, leave me breathless.”

Rachel walks in on them making out, and I have some stupid commentary to make about the beat that follows. (But that’s what you’re here for, right? My randomness?) When they get interrupted, Rachel is a little like “these two again” but Waverly and Nicole just smile at her. They don’t pull away from each other, they just turn toward Rachel, Nicole draping her arm around her smol girlfriend’s shoulder. They weren’t “caught,” they were just interrupted. (Something they’re very used to by now.) It was such a small seemingly insignificant moment, and I shouldn’t have been surprised by it on this of all shows, but it stuck out to me so I felt I had to mention it. It was pure and sweet and GAY and I love it.

Nicole and Waverly notice Rachel is wearing Wynonna’s jacket, which Rachel says looks better on her, horrifying the duo with a lack of the healthy fear of Wynonna they have both developed.

Nicole instinctively starts to fill Rachel in on the plans for the day, including plotting how to find Peacemaker, and Waverly looks at her, shocked.

waverly looks surprised at nicole

“What’s next, are you going to tell her Kara Danvers is Supergi—dammit!”

Waverly spent her whole life being taught that the Earp curse and the supernatural were taboo topics. It wasn’t until Wynonna’s 27th birthday she was able to speak it aloud. And now Nicole is just blurting it to this teenager Waverly just met? Because it’s still taking Waverly a little bit of time to adjust to what it all means. To really wrap her head around the fact that Nicole lived a year and a half without her. Because she only lived 18 hours without Nicole. But Nicole has been telling demons to get off her lawn with Rachel all this time. And hell, she MET Rachel in a zombie factory. So of course she didn’t think twice before looping Valdez in.

But Waverly sees that Nicole trusts Rachel, so she quickly adjusts. When Nicole offers her a notebook, Waverly corrects her and says Rachel’s is the blue one, and Nicole doesn’t flinch or tell Waverly that the notebooks are all empty so it’s a little silly to care who gets which; they’re still in sync in the ways that matter.

It doesn’t matter though because Rachel has important teen things to do somewhere that is not here. When their only potential meeting member is gone, Nicole apologizes that no one but her showed up. But Waverly isn’t really all that upset about her girlfriend being the only one around.

wayhaught smiles at each other

Am I getting gayer or are they getting cuter?

In fact, she doesn’t mind at all.

bisexual angel kisses her lesbian girlfiriend

“‘Cause I’m gonna love you like I’m gonna lose you. And I’m gonna hold you like we’re saying goodbye.”

Wynonna is still getting the lowdown at BBD, and Noami is telling Wynonna that the Ghost River Triangle is now a sort of demon/human fishbowl experiment. Their mandate is to observe, not interfere. The Juan Carlo Treatment, if you will. Naomi wasn’t really trained for this life—she used to be in the fishery department—but BBD was desperate when they were trying to phoenix out of their own wreckage. She’s a little shaken by the 12 deaths she’s seen since working here, and Wynonna has sympathy; she’s dealt with more than her fair share of death, and all of them much closer than just coworkers.

Naomi takes one more stab at recruiting Wynonna, pitching Fleabag-esque jumpsuits, but it seems Wynonna hasn’t been inducted to the church of Phoebe Waller-Bridge yet.

wynonna is nonplussed

:I look pointedly to camera:

Before Wynonna can tell this nervous nelly to get stuffed like a sardine can, Jeremy asks to give Wynonna a tour of the facility, and Naomi reluctantly agrees. Wynonna finds a rock in her pocket and assumes it’s a weird tracking device and shoves it in a security guard’s hand.

Across the border, Doc goes to The Glory Hole to do some business with Amon. Amon calls over the hot bartender and the three hot people flirt hotly and if Doc is joining a monster sex cult I am here! for! it! Amon mentions Wynonna and Doc gets defensive about Wynonna being her own woman, but Amon stays cool, simply wondering why Doc isn’t using his vampire skills to their fullest potential. Amon has the bartender give Doc a shot of blood and says there can be more where that came from if Doc can get more booze for the bar. Amon flirt-threatens Doc all while saying he’s welcome here, where he can be himself.

Meanwhile outside BBD, things take a turn for the deadly when the security guard tosses down the rock Wynonna gave him and immediately gets his head lopped off. I’m sure that’s fine.

You know what teens do for fun in the post-apocalyptic Ghost River Triangle these days? They forage for junk to trade. Rachel is meeting her buddy Billy, who has a Bunny Loblaw for PTA mug, which I obviously want immediately. Billy gives her a vest, and goes in for a kiss, and she awkwardly deflects with a hubcap. If I had a nickel.

rachel sighs

This week I learned that I have the same level of flirting ability as a post-apocalyptic teenager.

Back at the BBD facility, Jeremy “Still Gay” Chetri is giving Wynonna the tour when he pulls her into a blind spot he’s found. He says this new hodgepodge version of Black Badge is in over their heads, they really need someone with a demon-killing gun. She starts to tell him about Peacemaker’s absence but Naomi interrupts them.

Rachel and Billy are walking down a majestic Canadian road, and Rachel tries to invite herself over for chipmunk dinner since they eat vegan for most meals at the Homestead. Which makes me wonder… was Nicole still having them eat vegan a lot while Waverly was gone? Was she still stocking mostly vegan food, in case she was hungry when she finally got back?

Anyway, Rachel likes to act tough, but she loves having a full house of Earps, because she spent a long time alone. She tries again to invite herself over to Billy’s, but Billy says his mom is a hoarder and that maybe someday he can have her over but he looks squirrely. No rodent puns intended.

Also there’s a strange pile of rocks that we’ve never seen before that is probably just for funsies and not at all ominous.

Back at the Homestead, Waverly and Nicole have moved from the table to the floor.

waverly and nicole laugh wrapped in a tablecloth

Never underestimate the power of queer joy.

Notebooks below, tablecloths above, they’re tangled in household objects and smiles. Waverly is ready to talk business/finding Peacemaker, and Nicole makes an off-hand comment about this being another thing she failed at finding for 18 months. Waverly is fully prepared to make her girlfriend a Haught Topics powerpoint about all the awesome things about her.

waverly smiles down at nicole

Okay but I want to see THIS powerpoint, too!

But Nicole just looks blankly at her, not understanding why she would need that. Which… makes me nervous? Because this means either Nicole’s trauma is so deep that she barely even hears herself making these comments about her self-described failures… or there’s something supernatural going on here, which doesn’t usually lead to hugs and puppies.

While on the subject of why she loves Nicole Rayleigh Haught, Waverly tries to also bring up the proposal. Because sure the looming apocalypse may have inspired her timing, but Waverly meant every word of what she said. But in lieu of an answer, Nicole hastily kisses her, a real change in tune from what she told Waverly 18 months ago, though clearly her feelings haven’t changed.

nicole gets ready for round 2

Nicole honey I know you’re looking at her like she’s a snack you’re about to devour but y’all are going to run out of non-bed surfaces eventually so you might as well talk now!

Rachel comes in and honestly at this point is almost annoyed that she keeps having to cover her eyes before entering ANY space in the house. She tells them she has an idea of where they call look for their missing magic GunSword and that they have to go to the junkyard… preferably, clothed. Waverly and Nicole laugh, embarrassed but happy.

At BBD, Wynonna once again dodges having to tell Jeremy about Peacemaker being currently unavailable because Jeremy wants to show off a new weapon he helped invent called Antoni, a Queer Eye reference that sailed right over my head, and it accessorizes perfectly with Wynonna’s new jumpsuit.

wynonna with a ghostbuster gun

Who ya gonna call?

Wynonna is ready for her first mission, and if it’s saving Robin, she’s ALL in. Jeremy says that her first task is much simpler than that…it’s accompanying a supply run to Purgatory. They keep getting hijacked and they need to keep the people fed or they keep having these awful events FOR FREEDOM that make the townspeople run amuk.

Wynonna is FURIOUS. She equates this to casting Cate Blanchette as a background character instead of CAROL. She’s Carol!! But Jeremy says that BBD is wary of all things supernatural, and they both qualify, so they have to keep their heads down for now.

Not getting the ‘keep your heads down’ memo, Rachel, Nicole, and Waverly pile into the Jeep and head to the junkyard, Magpie Ranch.

wayhaught and rachel in the jeep

Oh what I wouldn’t give to be dangerously perched in the back of this Jeep with these three!

This reminded me of the time I thought that Mictian was a magpie demon because he was having Gooverly steal shiny things. I spent a whole paragraph in a recap about it. This is why theorizing about Wynonna Earp is pointless; they ALWAYS zig when you think they’re going to zag. And just when you think you’ve outsmarted them by preparing for a zag when you think they’re going to zig… they zoink instead.

Anyway, Waverly thinks this is a good place to look if Nicole hadn’t already, and Nicole nervously says she mostly just stuck to the forest. Waverly thinks that’s smart, and Nicole looks over at her girlfriend with a surprised smile. Not once since Waverly came back has she judged a single decision Nicole has made in the past 18 months. She’s always supportive and forgiving of the things Nicole has been kicking herself for.

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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 564 articles for us.


  1. – Rachel collects mugs, so by the end of the season I need her to give Nicole a “#1 Mom” mug.
    – We all saw the deer when Rachel and Billy were walking, right?
    – We need a gay icon shoutout listing. This episode: Fleabag, She-ra, Queer Eye, and Carol.
    – Billy’s tooth wasn’t too long. It simply had the root attached to it.
    – I wonder on how Rachel feels about Waverly. She’s had 18 months to form a mother/daughter relationship with Nicole by themselves, and now there’s this new person inserting herself into their dynamic. Sure, Nicole loves her, but to Rachel she’s a stranger that is having hot sexy times with her mom.

  2. I was wondering when all the foreshadowing would become actual shadows (ha!) Not sure what to think of the new (or rather old) Big Bad in town. Certainly not a family to mess with. But I guess, Nicole didn’t get the memo / was too desperate to get her Earps and Doc back– I hope, she’s not zombified during the remaining episodes…

    I hope that Special Agent Wynonna Aarp gets her groove back in the mean time, she was really scared. I guess, not having Peacemaker around took some toll on her after all.

    Missed the deer! Sad.

  3. Waverly in Sara Lance Cosplay, Nicole in She-Ra cosplay. Andras is just giving away the fan art prompts now. But, inquiring minds want to know – which version of Sara Lance? OG Black Canary? White Canary season 1 (my favorite) or season 2? Or casual Captain Lance in her jeans and tank top? Also, proper Couples’ Cosplay rules means that Waverly should go as Catra.

    “Haught Topics” would make a good name for a lesbian couture clothing store.

    As far as this episode goes … we’re starting to set the table, and we can see where the season is probably going to go. But that just gives Andras a chance to sneak up on us so she can hit us from behind with the feels stick.

    Bring it on.

  4. Did…did the show name drop Carol? CAROL? *THE* CAROL?!?

    Also, Ms. Valerie Anne, did you use a lyric from The Corrs’ Breathless for the screen grab of Waverly and Nicole kissing? If you did you deserve a damn big kiss.

  5. In response to your caption “Am I getting gayer or are they getting cuter?” For me, it’s always yes to both.

  6. “This week I learned that I have the same level of flirting ability as a post-apocalyptic teenager.”


  7. I thought Rachel was the one who said she just stayed to the forest when checking Magpie out?

    I just want to give Nicole a big hug at this point. I can’t stand her not being confident in her decisions. But damn Kat Barrell is really showing her acting ability.

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