Previously on Wynonna Earp, “House of Memories”
Wynonna Earp – S1E13 – I Walk the Line | Melanie Scrofano, Tim Rozon, Dominique Provost-Chalkley, Shamier Anderson, Michael Eklund, Katherine Barrell, Natalie Krill, Greg Lawson, Shaun Johnson, Kate Drummond | Writer: Emily Andras | Director: Paolo Barzman
After twelve exciting weeks of double and triple crosses, journeys of self-discovery and family reunions gone wild, Wynonna Earp‘s inaugural run concludes in its signature rip-roaring fashion. It’s been painfully apparent since the premiere that nearly every God-fearing ‘resident’ of Purgatory had no love for IDW’s titular heroine, causing her considerable strife. Finale writer and Earp showrunner Emily Andras cranked the chaos to 11, capping the first season with a rousing finale that closes one door then blindsides its audience with a whole mess of new problems.
Could there have been a more splendid rendition of Wynonna Earp from anyone other than Melanie Scrofano? Methinks not! It’s a rare occurrence to find a talent that possesses a knack for profound dramatic scenes and exhibits impeccable comedic timing. In casting Scrofano, the Earp production hit the jackpot. Though it took a village to create Wynonna for television, the effort Scrofano put into molding personal touches to The Heir every week clearly became an act of love for the formidable smart ass she portrays. Initially a plucky outsider that was jagged around the edges, Wynonna never lost her bite but gained pride and purpose from a task she never wanted, along with unconditional support from those who were also discounted by the rank and file. What results is an indelible performance on the strength of character in the midst of unrelenting opposition.
“I Walk the Line” placed Wynonna in the cross-hairs of practically everyone within the Ghost River Triangle, chiefly her big sister Willa. Sibling rivalries are one thing, but their confrontation was a whole other beast. Willa was undeterred from her goal of leaving Purgatory with Bobo, willing take out her sisters (and a girlfriend). In spite of Willa’s detachment from her family, Wynonna remained steadfast in saving her wayward sister. Even if it meant breaking through the gates of hell, Wy would continue to fight for those she loves at the risk of her own life. It almost seems like an entirely different Wynonna from the first episodes, a woman who would usually skulk in a bar and wash her feelings away with few shots of whiskey. Now we’ve an heir, confident and tenacious, power sliding underneath a tentacled beast from holy heck like it ain’t no thing.
As the old adage goes, “It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.” Wynonna – and Waverly, Dolls and Doc in an equal degree – owe their growing pains to an individual who made bad look very, very good.
Most seasoned writers will tell you the more engaging stories, ones that push heroes to the pinnacle of their abilities, wouldn’t be effective without a dynamic and compelling villain. Throughout the season, Michael Eklund deftly crafted a winsome antagonist out of everyone’s favorite trailer trash demon mastermind. For all his quips, threats, and fur-lined stunting, Bobo Del Ray was an amazing foil to challenge Wynonna and Waverly in becoming the best they could be with their respective abilities. The Head Revenant in Charge could have easily been scripted as a rogue that existed solely to advance the story of our eponymous bad-ass but the amazing thing Andras and her writing staff accomplished was give every player a complexity that blurs the line between good and evil. No one in Earp is as they seem, nor are they incapable of growing above their character.
In a similar fashion, Natalie Krill in her all too brief stint as Willa Earp effectively became the dagger in the hearts of her younger sisters, seemingly entranced by her captor thanks to an intense years-long bout of Stockholm Syndrome. All the pieces finally gelled for Bobo’s grand scheme of escaping the Ghost River Triangle. Reunited with his captive/lover (yech!), Robert and Willa set off for the border while our intrepid heroes were trapped in a town full of poisoned nutballs. Their relationship was tumultuous and controversial, to put it kindly. Eklund had always infused copious amounts of frailty in the shrewd revenant; he was never going to win a plaque for World’s Best Boss yet Del Ray always had a vulnerability to his gruff personality. By the end of “Landslide” we finally had an inkling to who exactly was the piece that filled the void in Bobo’s cold heart.
It’s difficult to sympathize with a pair of baneful, disreputable cutthroats like Willa and Robert – especially after learning how the two fell in love with one another. By “Line”s end, the divide between Earp and Del Ray was apparent: Willa was no more loyal to her beau than she was to her sisters. Whereas Bobo truly and utterly fell for his former prey. Yes, she was barely a teen and also a means to an end so it’s difficult to justify his (supposedly) misplaced affections for Willa. Should Robert even be defended after engaging in such scandalous behavior? In any case, his presence will be missed; he was the linchpin that brought everyone together. Without Bobo, who’s to say if Purgatory can prosper without him or swiftly unravel at the seams.
Speaking of troublesome relationships, the alluded love triangle between Wynonna, Xavier, and Doc was nothing more than a flash in the pan. It was a bit late in the season to test the shipping potential of Dolls and Earp but boy, was that an intriguing development. Naturally, the gravity of the current situation – the apocalyptic ramifications of the destruction of the Ghost River Triangle – took absolute precedence. After the dust cleared, John Henry (Tim Rozon) and Xavier Dolls (Shamier Anderson), for all their bluster and bickering, conceded they are two sides of the same tarnished coin.
Again shaking up the status quo, Dolls and Holliday’s frequent squabbles were more akin to a sibling rivalry than quarrels between competing suitors. While the fellas were sterling examples of principled, socially enlightened males, they also had/have secrets so upsetting and assuredly ruinous to their burgeoning partnerships with the Earps. In spite of their reticent nature and opposing philosophies, both men have been the perfect compliment to Wynonna’s evolution from wayward soul to dauntless champion. As we all know, there were considerable bumps on the road between Earp and both guys. When Doc and Dolls first recognized Wynonna’s potential in the earliest episodes, it was satisfying to see the tables turned with Earp becoming the rock for her friends when burdened with the likes of the Stone Witch, Agent Lucado and a really bad case of drug withdrawals.
Come the final moments of “I Walk the Line”, the trio share a simpatico that’s gone beyond their individual motivations and agendas. In the short time they’ve become acquainted with one another, for better or stranger, they’ve become a family born from personal anguish and inner torment. As Dolls is detained by the Black Badge for an extra special form of “debriefing”, Holliday and Earp are already dead set on getting their friend back. Of course, there’s that little Waverly-sized snag in their plan that threw us all for a loop.
Alleged murderous intent aside, the brightest moment in Wynonna Earp’s inaugural run was its masterful writing of Waverly Earp’s sojourn into becoming her own woman. Talk about a total game-changer! Here was this slip of a thing, blasting holes in her boyfriend’s bedroom and far too eager to jump head first into danger. By season’s end Dominique Provost-Chalkley had shaped the youngest Earp into a fighter that’s distinctly self-assured, sharp in wit, focused at task and deeply in love. What hasn’t been written about Waverly and Nicole Haught (Katherine Barrell)? As a cis male, the pride and happiness in seeing two women simply being themselves (in the most stable relationship of the series) could never be fully appreciated as it is by LGBT fans of the show. Nevertheless, knowing that Wynonna Earp exists and promotes a diverse cast – with keenly authentic representation – is a welcoming feeling.
Besides, how could you not love WayHaught? It was mentioned in previous reviews of this series yet must be repeated again: one of the most refreshing qualities of Earp is its accurate and organic portrayal of relationships on the show. Nothing ever feels forced, no one is ever written into a corner. Predictability isn’t this show’s strong suit and that is a very good thing. As it applies to Waverly and Nicole, it’s a relief to watch their coupling unfold with a few bumps and bruises along the way. Real life as an inspiration for a fictional programme… who would have thunk it?!
Alas, our favorite amateur sleuth had to get too close to the hentai juice left behind in our reality and it instantly changed baby Earp into a gun-happy villain fueled by evil goop. What possessed her? Who did she shoot? Why must you do this to us, Emily Andras???
Without a doubt, Syfy has a winner on its hands. When Wynonna Earp eventually has its order approved for a second season, you can be damn certain its writing staff and cast will kick everything up another notch. Besides, with the cliffhanger Ms. Andras wrote, there will be riots in the streets across North America if it’s never sorted. RIOTS!
Wynonna Earp S1E13