Previously on Wynonna Earp, after a weird hazing ritual that involved kidnapping and guard duty, Wynonna and Jeremy got permission to re-open the Purgatory BBD office; Wynonna got hunted by a reaper that we learned were part of the Clanton family aka historic enemies of the Earps; Rachel’s sweet boy crush was turned into a reaper; and Nicole tried to go back on a deal she made with the matriarch of the Clantons but Mam told her it was time to pay up.
We open in a sweet dream or a beautiful nightmare. Nicole is in a black wedding dress and Wynonna walks her down the aisle; she’s ready to join Waverly.
But something is weird… I mean, besides the fact that it’s an outdoor wedding in the Calgary winter and everyone is dressed like they’re going to a really elegant funeral. Wynonna is being sassy in a more biting way than usual, and Waverly is nowhere in sight. Wynonna turns to Nicole and says that Waverly isn’t coming, not after what Nicole did. Nicole doesn’t remember though, and when Wynonna asks her to say it, Nicole realizes she can’t. She looks over at Doc and his eyes are weeping blood and… I think this is a clue. But we’ll get back to that. Nicole realizes she has a lighter in her hand and she laughs, not of her own volition; she’s still scared and confused. She lights Wynonna’s cigar and suddenly everyone is coughing. And like I know this was filmed before the pandemic but that was stressful to watch.
And then Nicole wakes up, but she’s still coughing.
She realizes there’s a fire and goes into emergency response mode. She tries to wake up Waverly but she can’t, so she wets a cloth to put over her mouth, slings Waverly over her shoulder, and heads outside.
Out in the barn, Wynonna wakes up to see Doc watching over her, realizing that he doesn’t really have to sleep now that he’s a vampire.
It’s something they don’t really talk much about, but then again there’s plenty they don’t talk about. Wynonna says talking is overrated and she gets out from her makeshift bed to reveal she is severely underdressed for sleeping in a barn but no one here’s complaining. She gets real close to Doc when she smells the smoke from the Homestead, hilariously thinking Doc ate another fireman before realizing what was going on.
When they go outside and see the flames, they run toward the house yelling the names of those left inside. Rachel emerges first, assuring them she got the fire out, but when Nicole appears with Waverly, Waverly isn’t breathing. After Wynonna yells helpful things like, “Breathe, asshole!” Waverly does wake up, and when Nicole tells her to never do that again, she says she doesn’t know what she did. And so my question is…i s she just a really heavy sleeper, or did she go into some kind of Angel Survival Trance and just not need to breathe for a while? I suppose it’s possible she just passed out from the smoke before Nicole woke up but I don’t know, she’s half-angel and has spent some time in the Garden often associated with the afterlife, it just felt worth mentioning.
The fam huddles together on the porch as the sun rises, recovering from the unexpectedly eventful evening. Waverly wonders if Rachel got distracted cooking, but the fire started in the living room. Wynonna wonders if it was from scissoring friction but there’s a whole whack of reasons why that wasn’t it, either.
So the most logical conclusion they can come to is that it was the Clantons, but Doc was keeping watch and he recognizes all the footprints, so whoever (or whatever) started the fire didn’t walk into the Homestead to do it.
Wynonna and Doc decide to go see Amon at the Glory Hole to see if he knows anything but he doesn’t even like the Clantons, let alone associate with them. He does, however, want to help the infamous Wynonna Earp get rid of them. You see, he knows where Peacemaker is, and he’s going to help her find it. He tells her that demons get chatty, which is how he knows where she can find her beloved SwordGun, though the people who have her will want something in return.
(Side note: if I’m not mistaken, I think this is the first episode Wynonna ever used gendered pronouns for Peacemaker? I could be wrong but I think she’s ever only called the gun just that or talked directly to it before? I thought that was interesting.)
Meanwhile, at the Purgatory Precinct, Jeremy is setting up the BBD office and doing his best Agent Dolls impression while robbing Cleo of some of her Magistrative space, much to her chagrin.
She’s getting more and more furious but Jeremy does his best to stand his ground, knowing he has the upper hand here. Holt comes in and tells her to stand down too, and she’s sick of being told what to do. By Jeremy, by Holt, by Mam, by the curse. She wants to make her own fate.
After she storms off, Waverly and Nicole show up with an office-warming gift for Jeremy. Well, Waverly does, and Nicole is with her.
Nicole is a little salty about being abandoned, but Waverly does her best to diffuse the situation. They get to work setting up the office, and Nicole installs a lock to keep the Clantons out, but it’s not Wynonna-proof so she barges right through it with Doc in tow. While Wynonna updates everyone about the lead they got on finding Peacemaker, Nicole finds herself compelled to take her drill and point it up, the ginger soft butch we know lost behind cold, empty eyes.
And at first it seems like Nicole is pointing her drill at Wynonna, but know who is sitting between her and Wynonna? One Doc Holliday…
Wynonna snaps her out of it (with a hilarious quip about Extreme Makeover: Homo Edition) and Nicole says she searched the whole Ghost River Triangle for Peacemaker, so Amon’s story that someone has it checks out. They know they can’t entirely trust a demon they just met, but they also know they don’t have another option at the moment. So they decide as a team to trust him just enough to get Peacemaker back.
And speaking of teams… where the heck is Rachel? Rachel is going full Season One Waverly with binoculars (and I assume snacks) lurking on the Clanton ranch, looking for Billy. Wandering into barns and calling his phone to try to find him.
Back at BB2: Electric Boogaloo, Jeremy walks in on Nicole and Waverly breaking in the couch they saved from the renovation.
They claim it’s just a place where they can hang out, and Jeremy teases them, asking if that’s what the queer lady kids are calling it these days. And it struck me in that moment that we don’t hear queer characters use the word queer on TV very much. But it’s exactly what Jeremy, a gay man, would say to tease his two friends, a bisexual and a lesbian, in a short quippy way. It’s exactly how we talk to and about each other, and it’s once again refreshing to hear. (And is absolutely a direct result of having queer people in the writers’ room and on set.)
Jeremy tells them that Wynonna and Doc are off to find Peacemaker, and Nicole once again kicks herself for not being able to find it in the 18 months everyone was gone. Jeremy says the Earp Heir might have better luck, and Nicole takes an opening to sass him about ghosting her. Waverly tries to change the subject and ask about Robin, and Jeremy assures them that he’s safe but won’t go into more detail. Nicole accuses him of being cagey, but Jeremy blames BBD. He looks at her, desperate for her understanding; they just did what they had to do to survive. They all did.
And this fighting is so genuine but it hurts my heart because I can’t help but think of the bond these two shared. That season two finale where they bonded over being the two newer additions to this Earp clan, the outsiders who were welcomed in and made their own space in the family, found their own roles. But when there was no one left but each other, they split apart and they’re both hurting because of it. Nicole starts to wince in pain and Jeremy feels bad, thinking their fighting is giving her tummy rumblings, but the truth is Nicole is having a violent memory that is causing her to vomit.
In the memory, Nicole goes to Mam, desperate after a year and a half to get Waverly back, willing to do just about anything. Mam whispers her price into Nicole’s ear, it clearly being too terrible to say out loud, and Nicole’s face falls slightly but she’s resolute. It’s a price she’s willing to pay to get Waverly back.
Which is another point in the “Doc is the target” column. I could see sacrificing Doc as being something Nicole wouldn’t feel great about doing but could rationalize Waverly eventually forgiving her for; unlike if her target was actually Wynonna. She knows that sisterly bond is the only thing that matters to Waverly more than Nicole herself. It wouldn’t have been worth it. But Doc? Who is a vampire now? Who she watched kill Charlie before she knew he’d come back from the dead? I could see her talking herself into that. So maybe THAT’S why she instinctively resisted Doc’s comforting touches in the earlier episodes, maybe THAT’S why she froze when Doc was in danger. Even though it wasn’t activated yet, something in her knew she had betrayed him. Something deep inside was telling her that saving him wasn’t her main directive.
Anyway, whatever it is, present-day Nicole doesn’t want this to be true, says she couldn’t have promised that. When Waverly comes into to check on her, Nicole tries to tell her what she remembered, but when she opens her mouth, instead of a story, frogs come out. Which is poetic in a way I can appreciate.
At the museum, Wynonna finds Doc watching an old video interview with Wyatt Earp himself. At first he’s talking about a time Doc saved Wyatt’s life, and it’s all well and good. Then Wynonna sees a picture of Rosita on the wall and gets huffy about it. Wyatt’s interview turns to the O.K. Corral and the Clantons, but he starts talking about it in a way that Doc doesn’t remember. Then starts talking about Doc like he was a sex robot killing machine, and Doc realizes that all the love and respect that he held tight to for Wyatt in those decades in the well wasn’t quite returned. Wynonna asks if Doc thinks Wyatt would be proud of her, but now he’s wondering if Wyatt himself is worth being proud of.
Over at Magpie Ranch, Cleo is cutting onions which is funny only to me who called her layered like an onion in my recap last week when Mam comes into tell her children she’s found a way to end the curse so she doesn’t have to pass on her legacy to her children she hates oh so much. She has set into motion the end of the Earps, and the beauty of it is, they’ll be destroyed by one another.
Back in Purgatory proper, Nicole runs into Shorty’s, Waverly and Jeremy hot on her heels, and asks Nedley for booze to help wash the tastes of frogs out of her mouth. He quickly realizes that this isn’t something that can be solved with “chicken soup and a One Day at a Time marathon” — a shoutout I very much appreciated, especially since ODAAT shouted out Wynonna before, too. I love when shows I love also love each other.
Between the time we left them at the office and now, Waverly and Jeremy have deduced that Nicole did something but every time she tries to tell them about it… frogs happen.
In fact, even if they try to guess what it is, it’s Frog City, USA. It’s toad-ally gross. She even tries to write something down but ends up just drawing tadpoles, much to her frustration (and my delight.)
Instead of trying to figure out what caused it, since that’s going to wind up with them having to open an aquarium, they decide to focus on a cure instead.