Previously on Wynonna Earp, “Walking After Midnight”
Wynonna Earp S1E8 – Two-Faced Jack | Melanie Scrofano, Tim Rozon, Shamier Anderson, Dominique Provost-Chalkley, Michael Eklund, Katherine Barrell | Writer: James Hurst | Director: Ron Murphy
In the darkest episode of Wynonna Earp yet, viewers receive a pair of detestable killers, further explore Purgatory’s seedy underbelly and witness the violent discord between Agent Dolls and Doc Holliday. By the end, vendettas have been resolved and rivalries are born as the general mood of our heroes become exceedingly somber.
“There’s something very wrong deep inside of you…”
How about that Dr. Reggie Murder Ninja? What a card! In a world that’s crawling with demons, witches and a plethora of currently unseen supernatural creatures, it’s easy to forget in the world of Earp that humans can be equally terrifying. In spite of everything Wynonna has experienced in the last few months, her abduction in the hands of Reg – and her eventual encounter with the last of The Seven – left an unnerving impression on our eponymous heroine.
It’s quite apparent from the eerie stares and terrible bedside manner that Reginald wasn’t much of a doctor. Ryan Belleville provided ample amounts of gleeful sadism and blustery callowness. Wynonna caught wind of his sinister vibe quick but it was proved by Reggie himself, who was proud to espouse about his procedure to excise parts of the brain. Earp called his bluff at the worst possible time as a powerful paralytic was coursing through her body. Thankfully, it wasn’t enough to make Reg pitch a fit and use his bonesaw early. Having the upper hand over Wynonna gave the doctor the confidence to whistle his way back to the operating table.
There was a bit of good news: Wynonna learned that Bethany (Sasha Barry) was alive! Well… for about three more minutes. Out of fear and a severely misplaced case of devotion, Beth stays in bed and accept Reggie’s “care” rather than high tail it out of the poor excuse of a converted dungeon. What follows is one of the grisliest versions of Operation ever seen on television. If there was a list of the top five nightmare scenarios, being awake during your autopsy has to be number one. WHY DID YOU HAVE TO PUT THAT IN OUR HEADS, JAMES HURST? By the way, big ups to the makeup/visual fx/art departments for putting all that together. Yowza.
After a crafty turn of events, Earp quickly learns Reginald’s presumed revenant status is as phony as his medical license. The real brains of the outfit – the Jack of Knives, played by the excellent Greg Bryk – arrives and attempts to finish what his erratic assistant began. It’s all too clear this revenant is unlike his demonic brethren Earpers have seen so far. While Jack matches them in brutality, his deceptively cordial disposition and soft tone somehow makes his presence that much worse. Strapped down yet again, Wynonna is told by Jack how her father was a good friend of his (?!) and he struck an accord with Bobo himself (!!!).
*insert expressive wynonna face no. 216 here*
Ultimately, Wynonna is saved and dispatches Mr. Knives but not before he relays a portent of what’s to come. Earp may have returned all seven back to hell, yet according to Jack, Bobo is far more insidious than any of the fiends who celebrated her daddy’s death. It was absolutely riveting to watch Melanie Scrofano pull the best out of Wynonna whilst at her most physically and emotionally vulnerable. Though she was barely on her feet in this episode, Scrofano created a lasting performance that reaffirms the strength and resolve Earp has tapped into for most of her life. From Ward’s accidental death, the electroshock therapy and persistent social stigma, Wynonna has been tested over and again and is almost assured to always come out on top. Thanks to the curse, her greatest trial is just ahead of her, taking Earp to the absolute limit.
“You sir, are an asshole… but not a villain.”
There’s no mistaking the enmity Holliday and Dolls have for one another. The two couldn’t be any further apart in their methods and questionable associates… not to mention their winning personalities. The rancor between Doc and Xavier finally boiled over in “Jack” and neither one was right or wrong in their reasons for wanting to knock each other’s block off. While everyone has their lick of problems on Earp, the guys have the ignoble distinction of being the impetus that seals the fate of Purgatory. Things are bad now, but depending on what side of the bed Dolls or Holliday roll out, it could become a helluva lot worse.
Perhaps it was happenstance or merely good writing, but Doc and Xavier were forced to by Whisky Jim (Joris Jarsky), a revenant and ex-bootlegger that possibly knew the location of where Wynonna was held captive. He’d give the info… but only if the guys threw down inside Jimmy’s dingy, crusty, blood and sweat-soaked warehouse covered in ratty cardboard. Although beating the poop out of each other was an entertaining prospect for both men, their match quickly devolved from a friendly bout to a vicious slugfest. Thanks to a leak in the Black Badge, Dolls and Holliday are now playing a very real game of ‘who’s the biggest deceiver’ that’ll potentially end with a hail of bullets.
While Xavier and Doc are temporarily on the same page to save Wynonna from Jack, both aren’t exactly doing it solely out of love for our smart-alecky heroine. All season long Holliday has made everyone but the Earps aware of his devious schemes. Though his frustrations were eventually refocused on the Stone Witch, Doc remains a shady character because of his disreputable standing. When low-level revenants think you’re an unscrupulous, shifty cheat… it may be time to re-prioritize your life.
Surprisingly, Dolls’ trustworthiness in the last few episodes has become tenuous at best. It’s only due to Xavier’s secretive disposition that his questionable activities remain hidden from Wynonna and Waverly. Of course Doc and a few others can spot a bad penny when they see one, but the girls still retain a half glass full attitude despite their tumultuous upbringing. The question now isn’t how long Dolls can keep things from his deputies but when will it blow up in his face. The Black Badge clearly has a zero tolerance policy and Agent Lucado (Kate Drummond) is all too ready to push the big red button on Purgatory. Though Dolls scrapped his original plan – dump Holliday on the lap of the Badge’s scientists for indefinite poking and prodding – the shredded file Xavier had on Doc somehow found itself in the hands of Bobo Del Ray, who passed it down to Whiskey Jim.
Such a slight wasn’t going to be overlooked by Dolls, who now has the chance to do his Zero Dark Thirty thing on poor Jim. It was nice knowing you, pal. Let’s hope for his sake Xavier takes enough of his “medicine” before every interrogation.
Now with The Seven out of the way, Wynonna can focus on every revenant that plagues the Ghost Triangle. However she may have to pull Doc’s fat out of the fire in “Bury Me With My Guns On”, Friday at 10/9c on Syfy!
Wynonna Earp S1E8 = 9.7/10