Wynonna Earp Season 2 Episode 1 Review: Steel Bars and Stone Walls

The Wynonna Earp season 2 premiere is exactly what we hoped for.

This Wynonna Earp review contains spoilers.

Wynonna Earp Season 2 Episode 1

Wynonna Goddamn Earp is back with a million quips a minute in a season premier that sets up a season 2 with and expanded mythology, a larger roster of characters, and an updated premise. We meet three new characters (one of whom is sadly not long for this world), Wynonna and friends rescue Dolls, and Waverly hides a little bit of everything from everyone.

Waverly keeps her secret and feels the darkness

Outwardly, Waverly is still her delightful, brilliant self. But true to the season 1 finale and the trailer, we see moments where darkness eclipses her eyes, and seems to eclipse her soul, like when she stands over Officer/Agent Haught with an axe. It all ends well, but it’s enough to let us know this trouble will be sticking around for a while. Speaking of Nicole Haught, there’s some tension between her and Waverly.

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All episode, the usual touches of family and sisterhood that make Wynonna Earp feel so familiar and lived in now feel barbed and heavy with the weight of Waverly’s secret. At the end, when Wynonna reminds her sister that she’s focusing on protecting her and calls Waverly “Earp” it should be gruff and sweet, like Wynonna. Remember how much it meant to Waverly for Dolls to call her “Earp” at the end of last season? She lit up and he playfully told her not to let it get to her head. Now, after the revelation from Bobo that Waverly may not be an Earp, and Waverly’s decision to take this on herself, it feels like a blow, and a reminder of the secret between them.

Doc plays the hero and the comic relief

Doc has had a soft spot for Waverly Earp from the very start when he cased her apartment. It makes sense that he’s the one to notice her deflecting attention and making Willa’s death about Wynonna instead of herself. I wouldn’t be surprised if Doc picks up on Waverly’s secret and her darkness before anyone else except Haught, who has already noticed that Waverly “tastes different.” It’s also adorable to watch him be the deferential and mildly awkward (much) older brother figure

This episode did a great job showcasing how far Dolls and Doc have come in their relationship, from Dolls calling out to both Wynonna and Doc when he sees them on the security feed to Doc nominating himself to rescue (or…take care of…) Dolls. I was so excited for Doc that he finally had the perfect reason to carry dynamite.

(Interview w/Wynonna Earp‘s Melanie Scrofano & Tim Rozon at 49:56)

The gang makes a deal with the devil

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Early on, Wynonna meets Eliza, Dolls’ (secret) friend who is apparently cut from the exact same ass-kicking, ball-busting cloth. I was disappointed that we lost her so soon, but (who you may recognize as Art from Orphan Black) makes a strong point: “I can’t kill the heir, but the rest of you are expendable.”

I’m glad we’re keeping Jeremy, the nerdy lab tech Waverly befriends while using her newly acquired inner darkness to tame a soul-eating demon. I’m a little nervous about how big this team is getting, but I’m hoping that with less of a burden to explain the world they can spend more time on the characters themselves.

Dolls managed to call off the season finale air strike cliffhanger a bit too quickly for my taste, considering it was the big threat hanging over his and Wynonna’s heads throughout all of season 1. I didn’t realize people headed to lack sites get cell phones. Wynonna now knows about the injections, so that sets up the whole team working to investigate that while they work for Black Badge under blood oath. Finally, I think we saw more emotional range from Dolls in the last five minutes of this episode than all of season 1. I love his character, but more of this, please.

Also under blood oath? A claim that no one else knows about the supernatural goings on, such as Sheriff Nedley who made up a Buffy-style excuse about the events of the season finale, and Nicole Haught, who was actually deputized by Dolls in the season finale. Let’s see how long this secret lasts, and how long before Jeremy being in on this blood oath with Waverly and Nicole being out of it becomes combustible.

How long until Black Badge finds out about Sheriff Nedley and Officer Haught? What did Dolls say to Doc? What is the significance of Wynonna’s keys? Who or what is wearing that fantastic (and presumably deadly) jewelry that just exploded its way out of a crate in Black Badge? For the love of all that is good in this world, will someone please get Doc back his hat?

I’m excited to watch this team all work more or less on the same side as they try to take down a range of demons, fight their new masters, and try to understand one another, while drinking, shooting, and snarking to beat the band.

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4 out of 5