Purgatory sure ain’t what it used to be.
Once upon a time, Wynonna Earp had a reliable status quo. Wynonna (Melanie Scrofano) fought Revenants while they tried to figure some way out of the Ghost River Triangle. That simple idea was eventually tied to a more complicated mythology regarding a demon named Bulshar and the Garden of Eden. Meanwhile, back in Purgatory, Wynonna’s actions were always viewed by the townies as just part of her drunken exploits because — believe it or not — some people in town were not aware of the supernatural events in the area.
But now Bulshar has gone and this week’s episode gave us our first taste of the new status quo — absolutely wackiness.
Returning from the Garden, Wynonna is accused of killing Nedley (Greg Lawson). Turns out, he never resurfaced after he was left in the care of Mercedes (Dani Kind). The town now operates in a mixture of frontier justice and an echo of the old way, so the new Sheriff, Holt (Ty Olsson), manages to stop the mob’s attempt to hang Wynonna just long enough to arrest her for Nedley’s murder.
Though she is promised a trial, it comes in the form of a town magistrate, Cleo (Savannah Basley), who appears to be having a grand old time as the unquestioned leader of the town — which is itself an odd mixture of the old townsfolk who managed to come back after the evacuation and an assortment of human-passing monsters presumably attracted by the Garden gates. Consequently, no one seems to care too much that Cleo is bonkers and orders a Nedley Chili Cook-Off instead of a normal jury trial. The prize for the winner: a literal get out of jail free card.
The wackiness of this episode, directed by series star Melanie Scrofano, is quite fun with constant appearances by t-shirt guns, homemade kombucha, and Cleo’s short attention span, but it also illustrates some of the new realities in post-Bulshar Purgatory.
For one thing, Nicole (Katherine Barrell) clearly had it rough when she got back from Monument. She is no longer the sheriff. She’s motherly toward Rachel (Martina Ortiz-Luis) and she is on a hair trigger for loud noises. There are monsters in the woods, and though it seems the one who pestered her the most was ultimately a family friend, her state of cat-like readiness suggests something else invaded the property. See also: her stated belief during the cook-off that she let everyone down. There has to be more to that than Waverly (Dominique Provost-Chalkley) could possibly suspect. Hell, we’re not sure what that seeming doubt means either as she did everything she possibly could to help Wynonna get to the Garden and defend the Homestead.
And, to be honest, it breaks our hearts to see Nicole so shaken by everything. Though her love for Waverly still shines through, Nicole’s apparent sadness is something we’re bracing ourselves for in subsequent episodes. Barrell is doing great things with this version of Nicole, but it will nonetheless be tough to watch the character suffer.
But to get back to some wackiness, you have to love the monsters built their own little society and, somehow, Mercedes is better off with them than the humans in Purgatory. There’s never enough Mercedes, so we hope her gig at the Glory Hole continues to offer her screentime. With Shorty’s converted into a juice bar and the county dry, it’s clear Doc will be spending plenty of time at the Glory Hole as part of his new deal with Amon (Noam Jenkins), the monster bar’s demon proprietor.
Although, we have to wonder why Doc is choosing to make this alliance if he isn’t exactly undead anymore. At least, we think he’s not all that undead. Consider the way Waverly burned him in the Garden and his decision not to be paid by Amon in blood. Why continue to associate with demons, vampires, and other assorted unsavory types?
Oh, wait, we almost forgot this is Doc Holliday.
So while it feels like the show has a new status quo and many new characters, some things remain the same. And that’s good. We need Wynonna to quip — even if she now has a sparing partner in the form of Rachel — we need WayHaught’s love to be pure and magical, and we need Nedley to be awesome. If that means Doc never stops being a rogue, then so be it.
Also, if it means we can get more scenes like Wynonna reacting to her family saving Nedley with Rachel’s homemade kombucha, we’d like Scrofano to direct more episodes, too.
Wynonna Earp airs Sundays on Syfy.
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