Previously on Wynonna Earp, Nicole made a deal with the Clantons that made her start puking up frogs and trying to kill her friends, Rachel’s crush Billy got turned into a reaper, Wynonna and Doc found Rosita on a rock, and Nicole cuffed her girlfriend to a bed so she could go get some exorcise.
This episode begins just a little while before the last episode ended, giving us a sneak peek into what Nicole, Jeremy, and Nedley were up to before Waverly walked in. They set everything up and work out a plan; Nicole is just going to die a little, and her consciousness is going to hang out in a frog for a bit until the curse registers her as dead, then they’ll warm her up and all will be well. Nicole even very specifically asks Jeremy to hold her down if she tries to come up.
Nicole is trying to make frog jokes with Jeremy but her real feelings slip through when she is giving herself a pep talk about why she’s doing this. She wasn’t willing to risk this extreme measure when it was just her throwing up frogs. But now that she knows she was attacking people? Setting houses on fire? She’ll do anything to protect the people she loves. Anything.
And so she goes under, the heart monitor speeding up a little right before she takes the plunge, and Jeremy does have to hold her down when her survival instincts kick in. The monitor flatlines and Nicole goes still and of course that’s right when Waverly busts in, part of the bed frame hanging from the handcuffs on her wrist, demanding to know what the hell is going on.
Jeremy does his best to explain the situation but frankly “your girlfriend is currently inhabiting a frog” isn’t the most comforting thing a girl can hear.
At Magpie Ranch, Mam Clanton sees that her trusty Curse Frog isn’t looking so hot and knows Nicole is trying to mess with their deal, so she uses her blood and an old newspaper clipping of Waverly winning Nicest Person in Purgatory to send Billy the Reaper after our sweet angel.
And Rachel sees the whole thing.
Meanwhile, Wynonna and Doc are out at Steve Gulch reckoning with the fact that the scorned woman they were sent to fetch is Rosita. Rosita assumes that Wynonna being there means Wynonna killed all the other revenants and she’s there to kill her last, just like she said. But as gung-ho as Wynonna is to kill the woman who tried to steal her baby practically from her vagina, that’s not why they’re here; plus, they need her alive. They ask how she even got to this rock, and she tells them that she slept with Creepy Phil’s wife and he sent a mob after her so she ran to the gulch because she heard Revenants didn’t like standing on it, but she has a high tolerance for pain. But then there was an earthquake and all the Revenants started to poof away, except her and Phil on the rock, which didn’t hurt them anymore. One day Creepy Phil got… well, creepy, and Rosita shoved him off the rock, and he got disappeared, too. So as much as she’d love to, she can’t leave the rock.
Back at Shorty’s it’s finally time to put Nicole’s consciousness back in her body and wake her up/bring her to life when suddenly the door swings open and a familiar-looking demon rock appears in Waverly’s hand. Billy the Reaper comes in.
Waverly screams and starts running around but Jeremy and Nedley can’t see the reaper, so it takes a minute for them to understand what’s happening, and in the hubbub, all of the frog containers spilled and everything is a hoppin’ mess. Nicole uses her little frog legs to hop toward Waverly and when she realizes her girlfriend is in real danger, she disobeys Jeremy’s very strict instructions to stay in the frog at all costs and wooshes out to knock the reaper down the stairs. She’s no longer a frog, she’s a glitter ghost.
Out at the gulch, Wynonna realizes that the rock has ammolite, and figures since the curse ended, its effect on revenants flip flopped. They find some stones to make a path for Rosita to hop all the way back to the sanctuary but before she goes too far, Rosita wants them to pink swear that if she goes with them, they won’t hurt her.
Once she’s convinced she’s safe in their hands, she hops off the rock and is delighted to find she doesn’t cease to exist. The Celtic knot symbol appears as a shortcut that they probably wish they knew about eight ammolite stepping stones ago but Wynonna and Rosita go through, leaving Doc behind.
At Shorty’s, Waverly is channeling her inner Disney Princess and kissing frogs to see if true love can break a curse.
But Nicole is still a Glitter Ghost and doesn’t know the rules (or why she’s wearing formalwear) so she can’t get her girlfriend to stop kissing amphibians.
When Wynonna and Rosita get to the nunnery, Rosita is pissed to learn Wynonna plans to trade her in for Peacemaker. What are they going to do with her? Wynonna didn’t ask and doesn’t care, and she’s handing her over to a bunch of nuns so how bad could it be?
Mother Superior starts to revel in their banter and at first I thought she yelled KISS KISS KISS but then I realized that was me and actually she said FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT. Wynonna tells her that they have their beef but she’s not going to kill her, but then Rosita attacks. They wrassle a bit, the nuns egging them on, and Rosita says she can’t not fight for her life. She’s pretty great at not dying, and she’ll do what it takes to survive. Wynonna gives in and figures this will at least be cathartic and stops holding back.
Meanwhile, Waverly is still kissing frogs and Nicole is starting to worry that she saved her from the Garden just for her to die from salmonella, so she shoves her ghost arm into the light switch and starts flashing the lights in Morse code.
Luckily because they’re adorable nerds, Jeremy and Waverly both know Morse code, so they figure out that Nicole is no longer in a frog and also wants them to follow her down to the basement. Nicole possesses Billy the Reaper and tries to use his voice to get him to tell Waverly what happened and how to fix it. Waverly and her Harley Quinn baseball bat are also getting fighty, saying he better give her answers because she’s starting to get angry, and she doesn’t know what will happen if she gets angry.
Between Nicole and Billy, they learn that Nicole made a deal with Margo because she was desperate to get Waverly back. She didn’t know they were Clantons at the time, she only knew of Margo as the Swamp Witch. Also, the only way to break the covenant is when both parties are dead. Waverly figures now with Nicole’s body being dead there’s only one thing left to do and she storms off, ignoring Billy’s threat that “we are many.” Glittery Ghost Nicole hangs back and asks how many, but he just snarls at her.
And then Waverly takes charge in a way we haven’t really see her do very often. She is sure and determined, focused and FUMING. She goes to the tub and takes Nicole’s cold, cold hand, kisses it gently.
Waverly’s voice gets dark and husky and she says, “You saved my life. Now it’s my turn.” She tells the boys to stay and watch Nicole, grabs a shotgun and storms out the door. No more miss nice(st) Waverly.
As she leaves, Glittery Ghost Nicole shivers. She’s running out of time.
The nuns and their spears are still cheering on Wynonna and Rosita, and the head nun is so horny for all this fighting that her eyes go black and she reveals herself as a demon. The gals realize they’re better off on the same side of this and shout two different distractions (one for people into men, one for people into women) to cover their bases and scurry into the armory.
They call a truce and Wynonna says that the curse is over and she has Clantons to deal with so she’s perfectly happy not killing Rosita anymore. Besides, the most “evil” thing Rosita ever did was under duress so the likelihood of Rosita being a threat to her anymore is very low. Wynonna asks Rosita to help her find Peacemaker and they get ready to face some real angry nuns.
Sneaky Squirrel Rachel Valdez got busted snooping around the Magpie Ranch so Holt drags her downtown for Uncle Doc to pick her up.
The Sheriff asks to talk to Doc “man to man” and proposes they end the generational fighting. But the thing is? This isn’t their decision to make. Maybe Holt is next in line to be the heir, maybe Doc is affected by his and Wyatt’s past mistakes, but right now? Margo and Wynonna are the heirs of these curses. The ones who have had to put in the work, suffer the losses, carry the burden. And as I think they eventually learn, just because you think you’re right and have the moral high ground on something doesn’t mean a) you are or you do b) you can convince someone else you are or you do.
While Rosita and Wynonna are looking for Peacemaker, the nuns start chanting a Requiem and Wynonna admits she’s glad Rosita isn’t dead and hopes they can keep it that way.
The nuns are getting closer and closer to breaking down the door so Wynonna starts giving Peacemaker a speech. She says their enemies won’t stop coming just because they’re tired. They have to keep going, keep fighting. She says she’s had to make hard choices before, had to take lives she wish she didn’t have to, but Peacemaker doesn’t get to judge her on those choices. The nuns bust in and Peacemaker finally gives in and starts to glow. Wynonna holds out her hand like a goddammned goddess of thunder and Peacemaker the Sword comes right to her. It starts to glow blue, then orange, then turns back into Wynonna’s trusty buntline special.
Together at last.
Wynonna tells the demon nun to make her peace and shoots her dead, just like old times. The other nuns quickly surround Wynonna but not to attack her, to thank her. They are finally free.
Outside the Sheriff station, Rachel tells Doc that she doesn’t trust this supposed Clanton truce proposal, because she overheard Margo cursing Waverly and talking to who she realizes is probably Dead Billy. Doc realizes things are about to get complicated.
Wynonna tells the nuns they’re free now, but they can’t leave the grounds. They’re Revenants too, you see. Collateral damage of Wyatt Earp’s, just like Rosita. Wynonna tells them she can help them, but Rosita tells her that not everyone’s version of happiness looks the same. They can be perfectly free right here on these grounds. Besides, being a bisexual babe in a coven of newly liberated nuns? Rosita is going to be juuuuust fine.
Before Wynonna leaves, Rosita tells her that she wasn’t just going to steal her baby as a bargaining chip; she was stealing it because someone offered to buy it from her. Margo Clanton wanted to buy Alice Michelle.
Wynonna’s face steels up and she turns and walks through the Celtic knot portal, finding herself back at Shorty’s, much to Jeremy’s surprise. He fills her in on what’s been happening on this particular plane of existence, and Wynonna knows her baby girl needs her, so she heads off to the ranch.
Waverly is already there, and finds herself face to face with Mam Clanton. She threatens Margo with her shotgun, ordering her to fix Nicole, to end the covenant.
Margo says she can’t do that; she already held up her end of the deal, she guided Doc to the right door to get them out of the Garden. So now Nicole has to turn Doc over to the Clantons. Margo has a deep hatred for the gunslinger dating all the way back to well before her time, back to the OK Corral. Waverly thinks that’s ancient history and as someone who also hates generational feuds, I agree.
But Margo doesn’t much care about Waverly’s opinions on the matter, and they start to fight. Margo starts to yell at her, saying she has powers Waverly can’t comprehend. And then in one of my favorite Waverly moments of all time, she shouts, “Same same, bitch!” Because it’s true. Her whole life, she’s been underestimated. By Ward, by Willa, by Champ, by Jolene, sometimes by Wynonna, and maybe especially she’s underestimated herself. But over these past few years as she’s learned more about who she is and what she truly cares about, she’s also coming into her own power. There was a time in the not so distant past that Waverly wouldn’t have come here on her own. She would have waited for her sister, she would have asked Wynonna to help her. Waited for Wynonna to take care of it. After all, she’s the heir. But through Nicole’s eyes, and through surviving Jolene, and her ordeal in the Garden, she’s starting to learn how to stand up on her own. She has her own place in this fight. And even if it doesn’t look the same as Wynonna’s, she has her own kind of strength. Her own kind of power.
Oh also literally she has powers. She grabs Mam by the face and brain-fries her the way she killed Bobo when he killed her dad, the way she slowed down Doc in the Garden. When her moment of blackout rage is over, she looks at Mam on the ground, bleeding from all of the places one could bleed and then some, she is immediately like, “What did I do?”
Not unlike Waverly, I am a pretty friendly person. I’ve never gotten a sash but I was the first runner up for “Nicest” in my class for our senior superlatives. But it’s not that I don’t have the capacity to be mean or cruel or unfriendly, it’s that my default is to choose not to be. I choose to let out my frustrations about situations or people in a private way, and not start shit that doesn’t need to be started. But if you cross me? Or worse, you cross my friend? I can and will eviscerate you.
Anyway Waverly melting Mam’s eyeballs was worth it, because back at Shorty’s, Nicole comes to. Nicole tries to apologize, but Jeremy won’t let her; he says that’s what happens when they’re not all together, which felt a little like an apology of his own for not being there. They hug and their outsider friendship is restored and I feel warm and fuzzy even though Nicole still looks very, very cold..
Waverly is stumbling away from her crime scene when she sees Holt is back. Wynonna pulls up and she’s so relieved and starts to tell Wynonna what she did but Wynonna reassures her that whatever it was worked. Waverly is so happy Nicole is okay, and delighted to see Wynonna reunited with Peacemaker, and they’ve both had quite a day apart and are glad to be together again.
Holt storms out, furious, wanting to know why his mother is dead, but Waverly doesn’t really have an answer for him. She mutters out an apology but he’s seeing red and ends up in a gun-to-gun standoff with Wynonna.
Doc shows up and shoots at the sky and tries to talk them down. He tells Holt they can work this out together “like we agreed” and Wynonna and Waverly have similar “doesn’t feel like your decision, bubs” reactions as I did.
Doc starts to walk him back inside, and a shot rings out. Holt drops to the ground. Wynonna shot him in the back. She coldly thanks Doc for distracting him and Doc looks like he’s the one who just got shot.
And y’all when I say my jaw hit the ground. I love being utterly gobsmacked by a TV show and I sure as hell didn’t see that coming. Though as much as I loved the surprise of it, I can’t help but wonder if Peacemaker glowed before Wynonna shot. Did it glow blue with regret? Orange with hatred? Did it not glow at all? All I know is that Peacemaker doesn’t shoot if she doesn’t want to, or maybe if she senses hesitation in Wynonna, but the girl and her gun were on the same page for this one.
Back at the Homestead, Doc and Wynonna have one of their classic heart-destroying porch chats. Doc expresses his disappointment, accusing her of not having honor, which is really rich coming from the guy who disrespected the Iron Witch’s last wishes that could have protected Waverly, turned into a vampire because he was afraid of getting old, and a whole lot of other things that would take too long to list. Also, not for nothing, but that story he told last week? About the man who was going to shoot Wyatt in the back? So Doc shot him instead? Was that not shooting a man in the back himself? And wasn’t that man a Clanton? So like I get that Doc regrets his life choices and doesn’t want Wynonna to follow in his footsteps and feel his same regrets but also those in glass houses etc etc.
Wynonna says some things to hurt him because she knows exactly how, and it’s clear they’re in very different places right now. They always are. Close enough to be unable to escape each other’s orbit, too far to connect.
And anyway, Wynonna knows she can win this argument, and she does with a simple fact: It was the Clantons who wanted Alice.
Waverly comes out then and invites them inside, pleads with Doc to join them even though he really doesn’t want to.
And inside the mood is celebratory. Waverly asks about the tears welling in Wynonna’s eyes but she gives her sister a wink and says she’s fine. Jeremy teases Waverly and Nicole about not being married yet and the couple looks at each other because actually they were both planning to propose to each other on this very night. And ditto proposals are queer culture so it really does feel right.
Nicole starts to propose, but Waverly stops her. She wants a redo of her pre-Bulshar almost-proposal, she wants Nicole to know she meant every word then and means it now, in chaos and in peace. She gets down on one knee and Doc takes off his hat. Waverly glances at Wynonna, and Wynonna musters every last drop of energy she has left to smile at her little sister.
Waverly asks Nicole if she’ll marry her, and Nicole says yes.
Everyone cheers, everyone but Wynonna and Doc. Wynonna is watching her sister’s dreams come true while her own heart breaks. She sees this normal, loving moment and knows her and Doc will never have that kind of normalcy. Here are Waverly and Nicole, so much on the same page they both planned to propose, while Wynonna and Doc aren’t even in the same library. So while Wynonna is happy for Waverly, she’s also devastated. And Melanie Scrofano’s face shows every beat of it.
But Waverly and Nicole are too lost in their own world to notice. They kiss and smile into each other’s eyes. The song sings about being all in, the fire flickers, the light is soft and warm.
Amidst the cheers, everyone distracted, Doc slips out the door and Wynonna takes advantage of people being likely to mistake her tears for happy tears and lets them stream down her face.
Waverly and Nicole exchange “I love yous” — like actually literally say “I love you” and “I love you, too” right in a row, something that is extremely rare on television in general, let alone for a queer couple.
And then they kiss. And that’s where the midseason finale ends.
The whole entire episode ended on a WayHaught post-proposal kiss! No one immediately got shot or hit by a car or yeeted out of an airplane. There was no other shoe to drop. Granted, I’m sure things won’t be smooth sailing for the rest of time, but to be able to live in a moment of pure joy? A moment just for us? A moment Waverly and Nicole have earned and fought and sacrificed for? Gosh it was a beautiful thing.
Obviously everything wasn’t all glitter and rainbows at the end there with Wynonna, and there are still plenty of loose ends flying around out there, ready to strangle us at any moment (For example, Cleo and the Reapers are still an issue, Casey mentioned that there are more demons on the loose, and where the hell is Eve?) but if we have to have another hiatus, it sure feels good to know our gays are all safe and accounted for. And together.
It was so nice to finally, finally have this show back, even if it was only for a few weeks, and I can’t wait to see what the back half of the season holds. Thank you all for reading and chatting with me about the show every week. I look forward to doing it again with you in a few months!