“Wynonna Earp” Episode 411 Recap: In the Arms of An Angel

Previously in Valerie Anne’s Wynonna Earp, Rachel told Wynonna she was her family and she looked up to her, Waverly stole her own book from the Garden but couldn’t read it, Black Badge went buckwild and started kidnapping demons, Mercedes got shot, Cleo became the Clanton heir, Jolene activated Dark Angel Waverly and told Wynonna that her journey was over.

We open on Mercedes, bleeding out from her gunshot wound and being dragged into the cell the BBD Agents called the “feed pen” and left to die. All the blood is making Doc vamp out, and Jeremy is doing his best from keeping the gunslinger from eating their friend. Jeremy cries out, wishing he had a little help from the Earp sister, but as we’re about to see, they’re a bit tied up at the moment.

Wynonna looks up at the creature that wears her sister’s face and calls her beautiful and terrible even though she’s definitely more of the first thing than the second.

Wynonna looks up with an expression of awe and fear.

“I really didn’t think it got hotter than Gooverly but I guess I was wrong.”

Wynonna asks about the fog but Dark Angel Waverly says it’s not necessary anymore now that she’s here. She barely remembers Jolene, calls her “the body’s other half,” and says she helped Waverly. And it is incredibly unsettling to hear her talk about Waverly in the third person.

Wynonna wants her sister back but Waverly says something not unlike what Charlie/Julian said once, that man is no longer her concern.

Dark Angel Waverly quirks an eyebrow at Wynonna.

I really wish that’s how I had come out to my parents. “Mom, Dad, I have something to tell you…The affairs of men are no longer my concern.

But Wynonna says, “I am no man.”

Wynonna won’t watch this being take over her baby girl’s body and so Dark Angel Waverly helps her along by taking away her sight altogether. “It’s her turn, Wynonna,” she says, ignoring Wynonna’s pleas to not leave her alone in the dark and leaving the Earp heir alone and sightless in the middle of Murdertree Forest.

Wynonna's eyes go white and red and she looks scared.

Me when I take out my contacts.

Back where Wynonna left them, Cleo is filing her nails and teasing Rachel, trying to sever the bonds Li’l Valdez has to Wynonna.

Cleo files her nails while smiling mischievously.

“We’re supposed to all be ladies, and be nurturing and care, is that really fair? Boys get to fight, we have to share. Here’s the way that that turns out: We always understand how to slap someone down with our underhand.”

Cleo says Wynonna lied to her about Billy being the Reaper they sent into the fog, and suggesting that just because Rachel considers Wynonna family doesn’t mean Wynonna feels the same.

Rachel looks worried.

I haven’t been a teenager in a long time but that fear that someone I think of as a best friend doesn’t feel the same about me persists.

Jolene’s hair catches fire and Cleo says that means she’s dead, and that the Reaper will go after its next target now, which I imagine is the real reason she wove Wynonna’s hair into the first spell. But now that Cleo has Rachel on her hook, she wants to use her to do something that would benefit them both: she wants to de-reap Billy.

Back at the BBD waystation, Mercedes is continuing to bleed a lot and of course is not conserving energy and is instead giving everyone the play by play about it, which isn’t helping the whole Doc hunger problem.

A bloody Mercedes writhes around on the ground.

In Doc’s defense, she DOES still look amazing even covered in blood.

Jeremy tells Mercedes to stop saying “the b word” and Freddy the Werewolf jumps in to try to help stop Doc from snacking on a Red Delicious.

In the woods, Rachel has apparently agreed to do whatever it takes to de-reap Billy and she’s bleeding on a Clanton rock. Cleo says something about this tying her and Billy together forever, which I’m sure is a totally chill and fine thing for these teenagers.

While Rachel is bleeding, Cleo is stalling, reaching for Rachel’s gun as the girl bleeds for the youngest Clanton.

Rachel bleeds on a rock while Cleo watches menacingly in the background.

I wanted to chastise Rachel for not asking more questions before bleeding on this rock but I’ve done the same thing in D&D so I’ll just zip it.

Wynonna stumbles through the Murdertrees, only able to make out shapes and shadows, when she hears the footsteps and chain rattling of a Reaper approaching. (I imagine she can also smell him.)

She tries snarking, she tries pleading, she even tries calling out to Waverly as the steps get ever closer.

Wynonna and her white and red eyes looks scared.

“Please be my strangely apathetic and newly wingèd sister and not a monster!”

But then she’s caught, not by a Reaper, but by Billy. He has been successfully de-reaped, and he hands Wynonna the gun she just can’t seem to hold onto these days.

Wynonna looks at Peacemaker in disbelief.

As someone who has formed emotional attachments to inanimate objects in quarantine, I have a new appreciation for the relationship between Wynonna and Peacemaker.

She can tell he’s not a Reaper anymore because he can hold the gun, even though I’m sure his diction helped, too. She tells him she can’t see so he offers her his hand, proving once and for all he’s back to being the good, sweet boy we once knew.

Things are looking bleak in the feed den, with Doc begging to eat the practically-dead-anyway Mercedes, but Jeremy holds him close and says he’s not doing this to torture him, in fact just the opposite. He knows this would kill Doc, to come to and find out he ate an innocent woman, a friend. So instead Jeremy offers himself. He’s lost Robin and his job already. And if Doc is going to succumb to the monster within, he’ll have lost Doc too. He calls him brother. But this works because who could hurt Best Boy Jeremy, and Doc hugs him instead of biting him.

Doc feels like he can hold onto his humanity now but the problem is, he’s still not sure how they can get out of the cell in time to save Mercedes; he can’t open the bars alone, and Freddy the Werewolf can’t help because iron, like silver, hurts werewolves.

Mercedes thinks of a way, though, to feed two birds with one scone. What if Doc turns her into a vampire, which would both save her life and make them strong enough combined to get out of the cell.

Mercedes makes a desperate, pleading face.

Get to survive AND get to be a vampire? Sounds like a win-win to me.

They ask again for explicit consent, which is very sweet especially considering it was her idea in the first place, and as soon as she takes her true final form, she helps Doc break through the bars.

Mercedes fangs up and pulls at the bars.

I didn’t see it coming until right before I watched this episode, but thinking about it now, Vampcedes feels like it’s always been an inevitability.

The new monster squad struts down the hallway like badasses, freeing all the other prisoners as they go.

Meanwhile, out in the forest, Nicole is making her way back to Wynonna when she picks up BBD activity on her walkie and overhears them saying that they’re going to wipe out all the remaining townspeople, and that’s something she just can’t stand for. So she trusts Wynonna to handle the Waverly situation (and in fact would trust no one else to) and runs off to save the city she has sworn to protect.

Apparently Dark Angel Waverly was just trying to make a dramatic point, because Wynonna’s blindness fades as they get to the part of the woods where she was expecting to find Rachel and Cleo, but instead just finds Rachel’s blood and Billy’s tooth.

Wynonna makes a 'what the hell man' face.

“Do you even go here?”

Billy tells Wynonna that Cleo is unhinged and that they have to find her and save Rachel. Billy thinks they’re probably at the Clanton ranch, but Wynonna a) knows that’s definitely a trap because this ain’t her first rodeo, b) isn’t exactly in a hurry to get back to the place that her and her sister committed a double homicide. Plus she has some other things to deal with right now, like a possessed sister and a missing baby daddy, to name a few. But Billy says Rachel is counting on her; even back before he got turned, he remembers Rachel telling him about how awesome Wynonna is. Billy says this is what Waverly would want Wynonna to choose, and Wynonna says that’s a low blow, because she knows it’s true.

Wynonna gives Billy a "low blow" look.

Gen Z really is going to save the world, aren’t they?

Billy can’t go with her because if he goes back to the ranch he’ll get re-reaped, but he can go try to fix his tooth problem while she gets Li’l Valdez back. After he’s gone, Wynonna has a little pep talk with Peacemaker, saying they’re going to do things a little differently this time.

Wynonna has a heart to heart with Peacemaker.

“No one can say what we get to be. So why don’t we rewrite the stars?”

She also says she hopes Waverly has mellowed out, and if she means got less Dark or Angely, the answer is no. But she’s about as mellow as a celestial being could be while watching the world burn during a CRISIS and wearing a thigh ribbon.

Dark Waverly in all her sexy sexy glory.

I think this episode is going to give me a wing fetish.

Inside, the Monster Squad almost reaches safety when a poisonous gas starts to fill the air. They find themselves nose to nose with Agent McJerkface, and think their number is up, until they realize that actually he’s being held at gunpoint by one Nicole Haught. He doesn’t understand why she’s doing this, calls them all monsters, but Nicole says they’re her friends. And the werewolf is also her florist, thank you very much.

Nicole looks badass as she takes charge.

“He is helping me create a bouquet of lilies and moonflowers for Waverly and you will put respect on his name!”

She tells McJerkface that while she’s in charge, Purgatory is going to be an inclusive place. All species welcome; the only rule is, no assholes. Which I think is a lovely rule to live by.

Everyone starts to fight their way out, and Jeremy uses a doohickey to see if there’s a path through the fog and is surprised to find the fog is gone. So he starts leading people away while Doc decides to go in and get any stragglers. Before he goes back in, he has a flash where he hears voices, and Mercedes accidentally calls him “sire” when asking if he’s okay but all he knows is he has to get ready. When he’s inside, he hears more voices, so he loads his gun to prepare for whatever is coming next.

Cleo, having a literal captive audience in Rachel, is rambling about her mommy issues, getting angry when Rachel says her own mom was a hero. She’s furious about being punished for the sins of her mother, about the things no one ever told her, about being left all alone. She wants it to be over. And thus is delighted when Wynonna shows up to save Rachel, as predicted.

Wynonna stands protectively in front of Rachel.

I mean Wynonna got off a bus to run into danger for a woman she didn’t even know in the pilot, we all knew she’d show up for Rachel.

She calls Rachel a master bait-er (which had big Buffy Dracula Episode vibes imho) when Holt the Reaper stumbles in. Because that’s what happens when a Clanton dies (unless they’re fed to other Reapers like Mam.) Cleo tells Wynonna now why she’s so desperate to get rid of the curse. Mam never warned her about the voices, and how the Reapers follow her, constantly crying out to be fed, demanding revenge, and never sleeping. Wynonna looks at her with more understanding than Cleo could ever know, because her dad also prepped a different sibling for the dangers to come, and never told any of them the full extent of it. But Cleo is determined to free herself of this curse; she’s found a way to pass the Clanton heir title to her greatest enemy instead.

Cleo wields a branding iron.

“I finally know why we have branding equipment on a farm with no cattle.”

She thinks this will give Wynonna yet another burden to bear. She thinks the Earps are her family’s greatest enemy, which makes sense from where Cleo is standing. Waverly Earp killed her mother, Wynonna killed her big brother. Rachel, an honorary Earp, is the reason her baby brother is dead. And so she’s excited to watch Wynonna kill everyone she loves the way she’s had to watch her own family die. Cleo’s lip quivers and you can tell that for her, this is a last resort.

Next page: Go ahead and get an extra box of tissues and some Advil for your sobbing hangover. 

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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 547 articles for us.


  1. I didn’t like this episode. I felt like it was too concerned with giving everyone a happy ending, to the point of jamming everything and the kitchen sink into it. Doc being made the Clanton heir is something that should have been an episode unto itself. Dark Angel Waverly should have been a half season’s main arc, and instead it’s relegated to the B (or even C) storyline. What did Waverly even really do? Wander around a little bit?

    Billy was killed by Jolene, but he was brought back to give Rachel a happy ending. I love Mercedes, but unless she does something important in the finale, she didn’t need to be here. Both of these plot lines could have been cut to give the others in this episode room to BREATHE. Instead it was straight from one thing to the other. Last episode was great in its slowly building tension as Jolene chips away at Waverly and Wynonna & Nicole go crazy trying to reach her. This episode’s pacing suffers horribly in comparison.

    On other notes:
    – Did Waverly absorb Jolene? I know she killed her body, but since Waverly didn’t die did she devour her essence? Dark Angel Waverly talks about Jolene being Waverly’s other half.
    – Nicole talking about the Ghost River Triangle being more inclusive would hit a lot harder if we hadn’t seen Wynonna spending the last few episodes just murdering a bunch of demons.

    • IMO you have neglected to consider that we all, including the show runner, producers, and writers, expected a fifth season as promised by SyFy. Since the proverbial run was yanked from beneath them they (again IMO) did what they needed to do to wrap things up as best they could. I would have liked the storyline to have been more involved, but…..here we are.

  2. This episode has actually been my least favourite this season. Everything felt rushed. Both Dark Waverly and Doc as Clanton heir should have been explored for much longer.

    Also, I thought Jolene wanted to bring dark Waverly out so she could destroy the world, but in reality DW was just walking around looking for a book to then return to the Garden and protect the GRT? It makes no sense to me.

  3. I loved that the Wynonna Writers tried to wrap up as many storylines as they could to give us Earpers a better “ending” … we were promised a fifth season along with the fourth… So naturally these episodes are a bit rushed … it’s hard to crunch 2 seasons into one! I hope that another season is already “waiting in the wings”, but I’m so thankful to Emily and her Cast & Crew for bringing #WynonnaEarp into this world … a little love and inclusiveness goes a long way in a world full of hatemongers and otherness pushers!!
    Ty, Ty, Ty!!

  4. If nothing else, I think we can all agree, for Dom’s sake, that it’s a good thing that they shot this season in the summer.

    Waist high black leather shorts in winter?

    “No thank you!”


    Dark Angel Waverly is a gift to cosplayers and fan artists.


    What do you think, Earpers – will Mama Earp and Aunt Gus show up for the wedding, with little Alice Michelle in tow?

  5. Emotional punches left and right in this episode. Loose ends being tied up was fine. I think, this way – if they happen to come back for another season – they can come up with something fresh.

    Dark Waverly becoming Angel Waverly again. And Nicole becoming Purgatory’s shield. Wynonna the champion… I’m glad that they’re now this holy trinity of bad ass women, trying to save each other, their loved ones and that silly town from the apocalypse.

    Ready, not ready, for that season / series finale.

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