Thanks to production schedules and obscure network needs, it’s been nearly a year since Wynonna Earp graced our screens. That passage of time is acknowledged in Season 3’s first episode — previewed last night on Syfy with its official debut this Friday — in which we learn four months have passed since the demon Bulshar awoke from his slumber and Wynonna (Melanie Scrofano) was forced to send her daughter into hiding. And nothing makes the absence of the series starker than its opening moments, in which a drunken Wynonna antagonizes a bunch of Revanants by riding a mechanical bull. The sequence is funny, but also deliberate as it reveals the simmering tensions between the title character and Doc Holiday (Tom Rozon).
In the month’s since their daughter went into hiding, the pair have been unable to do anything but train or hunt the Revs. As Wynonna put it, all she can do is keep him “training and angry.” Meanwhile, Nicole (Katherine Barrell) seems to be suffering from some sort of PTSD, which only becomes more acute when she discovers a massacre at the Pussywillow. All signs point to a group known as the Cult of Bulshar; which Nicole claims she learned about from the Black Badge files, but may have a more personal connection to. Not that any of this is a surprise to Sheriff Nedley (Greg Lawson), who was glamored by the Cult earlier in the morning.
Oh, did we mention the Cult is composed of a bunch of vampires?
Since the beginning of the show, Wynonna Earp has been more focused on Revanants and demons, but it really was only a matter of time before other monsters of horror made their way to the Ghost River Triangle. And the show’s take on vampires is particularly inspired: they’re the Eurotrash stereotype amped up to eleven. They ride around in a stripper bus and use a “sexy fog” to control the humans around them. It instantly makes Nicole and Waverly (Dominique Provost-Chalkley) happy to see one of the cult members and eager to do her bidding. Same goes for Jeremy (Varun Saranga), though the Doctstashe he grew during the hiatus suggests he has other fascinations.
But for reasons not explicitly spelled out, the vampires’ glamor fails to work on Wynonna, Doc or Dolls (Shamier Anderson). It is presumed Dolls is immune because he is part dragon. Kate (Chantal Riley), the vampire charged with capturing Doc may never have used her glamor on him as they have some sort of a past together, but Wynonna’s immunity suggests a new layer to the Earp Heir.
Luckily, the new season will speak more to that as Wynonna ties to glean more information from her mother Michelle (Megan Follows). As it turns out, Wynonna always knew her mother was in prison, but her father instructed her not to tell Waverly. Also, it is unclear if Wynonna knew why. When Dolls uses his authority to get hold of her records, much of it is redacted — including the reason for her incarceration. For Michelle’s part, she’s acting rather crazy, but it seems she’s either trying to protect her daughter or knows more about the Cult of Bulshar than she’s letting on.
And for all the fun in the season premiere — including Wynonna’s revenge when the vampires put her in a very gothy dress — it sets up a lot of questions for the season ahead and reminds me of one first season question the show never resolved: why did Peacemaker glow blue when Wynonna shot Willa? And while we’re asking questions, where is Bobo (Michael Eklund)? The questions, of course, are just part of being a fan. It’s good to have the show back.
Wynonna Earp airs Fridays on Syfy.