WYNONNA EARP’s Season Finale: Walking the LINE With The Devil You Know

It’s the darkest hour that Team Earp could imagine: Bobo is moments away from escaping the Triangle with the treacherous Willa by his side, and the entire town is literally trying to kill Wynonna. Things look grim indeed…

SPOILERS

First, my apologies for the lateness of this review. Our fine staff here at SciFi4Me and Horror4Me are volunteers – myself included – and that means that sometimes, sometimes, the life outside the genre world ends up taking a precedence that I can honestly say I wish it didn’t. Still, more time to ponder the season finale of Wynonna Earp is something I’m not going to regret having, nor am I going to say I didn’t enjoy watching it for a third time as I sat down to write this.

So what happened in “I Walk the Line”?

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At the worst party ever, Doc (Tim Rozon) and Dolls (Shamier Anderson) are running a rear-guard action that enables Wynonna (Melanie Scrofano) to escape the poisoned townspeople, who finally have a moderately legit reason to be actively murderous to Wynonna, as Bobo (Micheal Eklund) has promised them the antidote if they bring him her head, attached or not.

Bobo and Willa (Natalie Krill) – he of the demonic plan and she usurping the powers of the Heir – attempt to break out the Triangle, but find themselves thwarted by the suspicions of Waverly (Dominique Provost-Chalkley), who has swapped Peacemaker for an ordinary gun. This leads to Bobo getting a nice dose of the outside world, and the accompanying agony that goes with it. He sends Willa to track down the real gun, and she heads after Wynonna, failing to see that while Waverly may not be the physical threat that Wynonna is, she’s more than a match for her twisted sister when it comes to the smarts and cunning department.

Unfortunately, Waverly is knocked out and taken by someone as she makes her own escape from the party, and Wynonna finds an unwelcome guest at the homestead as she tries to change into something more comfortable. Dolls and Doc, meanwhile, have made their way back to the police station, and are stocking up on the armaments, and Doc finds Dolls’ medicine, prompting a bit more information about his condition than we’ve had before, if only just a bit. They set out to find the rest of the Revenants – who are curiously quiet under the circumstances – and Haught (Katherine Barrell) FINALLY gets an explanation for the bloody hell is going on in Purgatory, and inducted into the local chapter of the Black Badge Division.

(Seriously, Waverly? You still haven’t brought Haught up to speed? What the hell have you two been doing all this ti… ohhhh. Right. Carry on.)

Willa shows up to knock Pete out at the homestead and pretend to be on the side of the angels, while being awful in every way. Wynonna is too caught up in the crisis at hand – and too willing to give her sister the room she thinks she needs to become an actual human person again – to focus on Willa’s terribleness, and even less so when she gets a call from the sheriff’s daughter (there’s a bad joke in there somewhere), who has Waverly and will trade her for Wynonna and the promise of the antidote.

Bobo has a somewhat cryptic talk with our new Wise Stranger fellow, who confirms that he’s not, in fact, Jesus Christ in a baseball cap, and Bobo wins the creepy award by revealing that he is, in fact, in love with Willa. There’s a LOT of references to things that they both know that the audience doesn’t, but JC’s plea for Bobo to reconsider his plan falls on deaf ears, to no one’s surprise.

At the station, Crissy collapses as Waverly is freed and the tensions between her and Willa explode into the revelation of Willa’s true nature and intentions. Things escalate when Haught walks in on the Sisters and Willa uses the threat of killing her to demand Peacemaker. Wynonna briefly weighs Haught’s life against stopping Bobo and Willa, but Waverly’s confession that she loves Haught makes Wynonna choose to hand over the gun to save her. This doesn’t stop Willa from shooting Haught anyway, because Willa is, again, all the horrible. Luckily Haught is not only great for Waverly, but also a damn good cop, and the SOP of wearing a bullet-proof vest keeps her from being a most-unwelcome trope victim.

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Doc and Dolls go after the poison supply in the basement of Shorty’s in the hope of reverse-engineering an antidote, and discover that Bobo has betrayed the other Revenants by having them all stay inside the bar, and gunplay ensues. Heading to join them, Wynonna and Waverly run into the whole damn town, and things look bad until Neadley pushes past the pain and shows, again, that he’s far more than he first appeared, talking down the townspeople and putting his trust in Wynonna’s ability to save them all. At the bar, there are a lot of Revenants with new holes in them and one Dolls with one as well, prompting Doc to dose him with his medicine in the hopes of saving him. Dolls goes all monster-eyes and Hulks out, heading back into the bar to give the Revenants a stern talking-to.

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Wynonna joins them at the bar, surveying the carnage and the bonding moment between Doc and Dolls, and revealing that Willa is one of the Bad Guys. Dolls tells her that he called in his bosses to help save the town, and sends them away to stop Bobo as he waits behind to deal with his superiors and their nonsense. Waverly – apparently the fleetest of all Earp sisters – confronts Bobo at the Treehouse of Love and…

OK. Change of tone. I’ve been amusing myself, and hopefully you, Dear Reader, with my fairly lighthearted recap of the events, but here’s where everything kicks into overdrive for our characters, and the analysis portion of our program becomes critical. This scene has so much happening in it – so much of what makes this show really good – that it’s time to start delving deeper.

We’ve known for some time now that Bobo has been far more intertwined with the lives of the Earp Sisters than they could ever have realized, but here it becomes clear just how much Bobo has been a part of the story of Wyatt and his descendants from the beginning. That letter that Wyatt wrote about how to break the Curse? It was written to one Robert Svane, i.e. Robert Swan, or more accurately in the current context, one Robert “Bobo” Del Ray.

Bobo has always known how to break the Curse.

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Of course, knowing and doing are two different things, and it wouldn’t be until Ward Earp became the Heir that Bobo would find a way to make that a reality. What he couldn’t realize was how much he would end up being something resembling a friend to Ward – screwed up “friendship” though it was – or how much he would be actually jealous of the trick of fate that gave a man as weak and flawed as Ward the amazing daughters that he had. There was a reason that he saved Willa from the other Revenants, and given that there is no reason whatsoever to lie to Waverly about it at this point, it seems that it was as much because he cared about her as to use her to escape the Triangle.

This does not, of course, diminish the fact that he essentially brainwashed a 13-year-old girl into first believing he was her savior and then twisting that into her a kind of warped love for the demon, but to his own surprise, he fell in love with her himself. This would make him both vulnerable to Constance Clootie blackmailing him into finding the bones of her sons when she wiped Willa’s memory and hid her away at Lou’s, and create the leader of the Damned that we have seen him as since the first episode. Prior to that, it seems, Bobo was just one of the Revenants, but to get Willa back, he would rally the others into an army he could use to do that very thing. Because he loves her.

Of course, that doesn’t mean he isn’t using Willa for his own ends, it means he isn’t just using her for his own ends. He also considered “saving” Waverly from the abusive Ward, and when she points out that doing that wouldn’t have helped him since she wasn’t the Heir, he counters by telling her that she’s not actually an Earp.

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Dun dun dunnnnnnnnnn!

We don’t have an opportunity to explore that claim more (BRING ME MY SEASON TWO) because Willa arrives, and Bobo actually saves Waverly from her homicidal sister by having her hide as Willa reveals that she has Peacemaker and they can finally put their plan into motion. There is literally no reason whatsoever for him to do that, and we’ll revisit that in a bit, but can we take a moment here to praise both Dominique Provost-Chalkley and Micheal Eklund, for this scene and every other time either of them has been on camera this season? We can, and that, too, we’ll come back to.

At the station, Wynonna is feeling the weight of what she knows is coming, and if The Story of Plucky is unfortunately named, Doc’s meaning is clear: In the end, only Wynonna can stand against her sister. It is a terrible thing to contemplate, the killing of someone you love, but sometimes it is both a necessity and a kind of mercy. Doc offers the possibility of the two of them running away, but even as Wynonna rejects that idea and describes the obstacles they face – Willa wielding Peacemaker and Bobo’s magicks – she also makes it clear that she is going to do her damnedest to stop her sister, no matter the price.

As Doc puts it: “Careful, Earp. Doing what’s right even in the face of ridiculous odds? You are beginning to sound like a hero.”

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Because Wynonna has become a hero. Over the course of these brief 13 episodes, we’ve seen her grow from an angry, violent, cynical girl, into a, well… angry, violent, cynical, strong, loving, considerate, powerful, merciful friend, lover and all-around badass woman. All while staying true to herself and those she cares about, but growing and changing into her better self. This is the woman whose use of the words “Make Your Peace” grew from a taunt to an offer given to those who deserved it the least, who two broken yet noble men could grow to love  – I’m Team Doc AND Team Dolls, I don’t care how contradictory that is – and who would risk the fate of the world for the sake of the woman she just learned her sister loves.

She is, despite herself, a hero. Which is, by the way, what heroes are… those who rise to the occasion despite themselves.

Dolls, meanwhile, finally gets to have a harsh moment of truth with his Horrible Boss, as the Black Badge forces have arrived and the antidote to the poison is being synthesized. Dressed down by Agent Lucado (Kate Drummond) for reasons unfair and fair – frankly, his reports have apparently left a LOT out – he learns that the orders have come down for the Black Badge Division to pull back and observe if Bobo and Willa succeed, even at the cost of innocent lives. Considering that we still don’t know Bobo’s source at BBD – although as much of a bitch as Lucado is, her reasons for treating Dolls the way she does makes her a little too obvious a suspect – and the Powers-That-Be’s rather callous disregard for life, one has to wonder who the true monsters are here. Lucado has no uncertainty, though, and she makes it clear that her treatment of Dolls is personal, blaming him for whatever the terrible events of Afghanistan were, and his surviving them even as someone she cared about didn’t.

She also makes it clear that his orders are to stay put, and any attempt to go help Wynonna will be dealt with harshly. I suspect you could imagine how well that directive goes over.

In the end, of course, it comes down to Doc and Wynonna facing off against Bobo and Willa, and HOLY CRAP DID I JUST SEE CHARACTERS IN A TV SHOW GET BLOWN UP AND ACTUALLY GET HURT? I DID!!!

Seriously, that was awesome. So Bobo tells Willa to go on ahead as he holds off Wynonna and Doc, and after some telekinetic bullet-time stuff, Wynonna basically tricks him into yanking her gun away, and revealing that it’s rigged to explode. That nasty bomb attached to it goes off right after Bobo throws it away, and the blast actually causes real damage to the Revenant, and gives Doc at the least a concussion and some serious bruises. In a medium where explosions that should straight-up pulverize the hero over and over, that the writers actually give us something resembling reality in a show about Weird West Demons is both extremely cool and a bit unexpected.

Doc may be temporarily down and Bobo still alive but out of the game, but Willa is almost to the Line, and Wynonna gives chase. She is, however, too late, and Willa crosses the Line and outside the Triangle, darkness falls and something begins to move beneath the earth. Willa reveals that she is prepared to leave Bobo behind and watch Purgatory burn with everyone inside, cementing that she is a monster worse than the demon who loves her.

She also reveals that Something Else came to her in the Treehouse, something older and darker and worse than Bobo could ever be. Something that convinced her that death is better than a life of any kind, and ending the Curse is worth all the blood spilled.

Something Bobo calls “The Old One”.

Something that is rising out of the darkness behind Willa, Its coils propelling it closer as Wynonna pleads with her sister to stop this and is refused, as the sisters raise their guns towards each other, as Wynonna hesitates and Willa does not… and Peacemaker turns on Willa, refusing to fire at Wynonna, the true Heir.

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And while Wynonna still can’t bring herself to shoot her sister, Dolls can and does, even as he tells Doc “It wasn’t a clean shot”, because no matter who pulled the trigger, what just happened was a murder, however justified, and all he did was try and move the blood from Wynonna’s hands to his.

And then the Old One is upon Willa, and It is dragging her away, and Wynonna crosses the Line, reclaiming Peacemaker, and gives her sister – her monstrous, broken, lost sister – the only loving and merciful act she can… killing her before the Old One can take her to whatever Hell It had in store for her.

Of course, the Old One is not thrilled to have lost Its failed servant, and Wynonna is on the wrong side of the Line, so it becomes a race to the relative safety of the Triangle for our Hero as the giant tentacle-mouth-Thing bears down upon her, and she just barely makes it across and severs the Thing in time, in a slide that most Major Leaguers would envy.

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The day is saved. And yet… the cost is high.

Willa is dead, and both Dolls and Wynonna will carry their actions with them.

Bobo loved and loved truly, evil though he may be, and he lost both that love, and the idea that the love was truly returned in kind. His failure to escape the prison of the Triangle pales in comparison, and when Wynonna raises Peacemaker to his head, he tells her that he is already in Hell, and you believe him.

And when Wynonna asks if he loved Willa, he responds, “Did you?”

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Dolls is a prisoner of the BBD, because he did come to Wynonna’s aid, and his choice was one he knew would have a price. The smirk on Lucado’s face says it all, as does her seizing of Bobo, whom the BBD will take to a Black Site for study. She also makes it clear that as soon as she’s out of range, Purgatory and everyone in it should be turned into a smoking crater.

Wynonna is left sitting by the side of the road, alone. But not for long, as Juan Carlos stops by to tell her that the Triangle is not just a prison for the monsters inside, but a sanctuary protecting things from the outside world and its monsters, and implying very strongly that ending the Curse would be a very bad idea. Wynonna has her own priorities, however, so how much that registered one can only wonder, because a transport is coming down the road, carrying a Revenant and a disgraced BBD agent, and Wynonna Earp, the Heir, has a job to do.

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So as Bobo and Dolls ride in a vehicle that crosses the Line, and Bobo begins – again – to suffer the effects, a woman with a gun steps into the road. She aims and pulls the trigger, and gives the monster that loved her sister the only mercy and forgiveness she can, and he burns as she and Dolls share the look that may be their last together, as he’s driven away.

Of course, when you’re a Badass Hero with a Magic Gun, who has a temper and wants her friend/love/boss back, your work is not done. And since you have the Greatest Gunslinger walking beside you, backing you to Hell – literally – And Back, what happens next is clear: Wherever the BBD has Dolls, Wynonna and Doc are coming to bring him back.

That is, if they survive. Because Waverly touched something she shouldn’t have, and now there’s Something Inside Her, and that something has her raise a gun and… Cut to Black.

Oh my friends, so much here sets us up for an AMAZING Second Season. Waverly possessed? Dolls imprisoned? Airstrikes from the… wait, wait, wait.

You didn’t think we’d make it through without me having an issue of some kind, did you?

Right, so Lucado, Terrible Bitch Boss, tells her henchman/lackey/dupe that AS SOON AS SHE’S CLEAR Purgatory should be turned into a glass sheet, and yet we get this lovely hero moment between Wynonna and Doc, and Waverly is there with them, and Dolls and the burn mark that was Bobo are long gone, so where is the airstrike that Lucado ordered?

WHY AREN’T OUR HEROES DEAD?

For that matter, how is it that Waverly can make it to the Treehouse before anyone else? Can she fly? Because the ONLY way she made it there first is if she can fly. She beats Bobo and he left first. (Note to Emily Andras: MAKE IT SO WAVERLY CAN FLY. THAT WOULD BE AWESOME.)

But MOST IMPORTANTLY, when are the writers going to let Haught be a badass? She got a cool gun moment and then got shot, and what the hell, people? Everyone but Haught got an action hero moment, and she gets a bullet to the chest. Aside from Dolls, she’s arguably the best trained for this kind of situation, and she’s basically sidelined for most of the episode. GIVE ME A HAUGHT BADASS SCENE PEOPLE.

Anyway.

Seriously, Syfy. RENEW THIS SHOW ALREADY. You have a smart, funny, fan-friendly/fan-loving show here, where characters grow and change and fight the good fight while flawed and damaged. Yes, this is a show about a Kickass Action Chick With A Gun Fighting Demons, but if that’s all you’re seeing, you’re missing something critical here. This is a show about the family you have and the family you make. Wynonna & Co. are going after Dolls, whatever the challenges, because he’s family. Wynonna wants her Dolls back, and woe to anyone who might stand in her way, even if it’s Possessed Waverly.

I wrote back in my first review of Wynonna Earp that I wondered if I should be enjoying this show as much as I did, but here at the end of the season, I have no such doubts. Emily Andras and her writers have taken Beau Smith’s comic and given us a scripted show worth watching. Melanie and Tim and Shamier and Michael and Dominique and Katherine and Rayisa and all the others onscreen and behind the cameras have brought us a show every week that makes us care about the characters and where they are going, internally and externally. That matters. Everyone on this show has grown over the course of the season, and everyone on this show has revealed layers beyond the obvious again and again and again. Villains like Bobo and Constance are not just evil, but people with emotions and fears. That matters. Characters like Waverly and Haught are not just the plucky sister/sidekick and the Lesbian Girlfriend, but people with resentments and dreams, hopes and loves. Both of them are heroes in their own right, and that matters.

And this father to a gay daughter appreciates that.

So thank you, Emily. Thank you Melanie, Tim, Dominique, Shamier, Michael, Katherine, Rayisa and all the rest. It’s been a helluva season and a helluva show, and I look forward to seeing you back soon.

 

Wynonna Earp aired Friday nights at 10/9c on Syfy.

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Timothy Harvey

Timothy Harvey is a Kansas City based writer, director, actor and editor, with something of a passion for film noir movies. He was the art director for the horror films American Maniacs, Blood of Me, and the pilot for the science fiction series Paradox City. His own short films include the Noir Trilogy, 9 1/2 Years, The Statement of Randolph Carter - adapted for the screen by Jason Hunt - and the music video for IAMEVE’s Temptress. He’s a former President and board member for the Independent Filmmakers Coalition of Kansas City, and has served on the board of Film Society KC.

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