This Wynonna Earp review contains spoilers.
Wynonna Earp Season 2, Episode 3
If Buffy the Vampire Slayer had a kid, it would be this show — or at least this episode, which takes Wynonna back to high school when a former star hockey player is killed during homecoming. The supernatural mystery-of-the-week is a bit more complicated than that — the 2007 hockey team made a deal with a Marzanoik demon who is back to collect his debt — but it is really all about nostalgia. The ways it tells us the truth and the ways it lies to us.
In many ways, Wynonna’s nostalgia (or, really, anti-nostalgia) about high school doesn’t help her. She initially thinks that Perry, a former jock from the ’07 team, is a total dolt. Everyone she went to high school with is a total dolt, right? Wrong. Perry isn’t sacrificing his friends to a demon, as Team BBD initially suspected, but rather trying to protect him using magic that we can only assume he learned on the internet, Julia from The Magicians-style.
But Wynonna’s memories of high school and the torment she got there aren’t wrong, and that clear-headed commitment to the truth and resistance to romanticizing the town or its past has always been one of Wynonna’s strengths as a demon hunter. She gets the job done, and doesn’t let what’s “supposed to happen” get in the way. Sure, maybe you’re not “supposed to” beat up a bunch of teen boys for a trophy that is really a demon vessel, but Wynonna doesn’t care about what other people think about her or how the story is “supposed to” go. She never has.
Waverly, on the other hand, is currently struggling with the knowledge that the story she once had of her own life and identity isn’t the way it was “supposed to” be. She’s not an Earp. Well, not in the genetic sense of the word. As someone who has seemingly always been an active participant in telling the stories of this town as it hopes to be (sometimes literally, as a cheerleader), this is a bitter pill for her to swallow. She’s the woman who tells Nicole to leave Tucker alone because she knows the stories of this town and her role in it. (Though, notably, she also strangles Tucker later, so…)
The Gardners are a family that has a vested interest in the town’s self-narrative. Their parents were “good people” who left Purgatory lots of money and are, therefore, can do pretty much whatever they want. And, I have to say, Tucker’s sense of entitlement is one of the scariest forms of villainy this show has ever done. He believes that he should be able to take pictures up teenaged girls’ skirts and intimidate Waverly into getting Nicole to do what he wants.
When Tucker’s playground is threatened in any way, if he is ever told that he doesn’t get to live without any respect for the people around him, then he throws a tantrum. With Mercedes potentially murdered by the Figures in Black (though I truly hope she isn’t — she’s not only hilarious in her own right, but actually appreciate Wynonna), who will reign Tucker in? Could he become the Big Bad of this season?
Whoever rises up to threaten Purgatory and its citizens, they’ve got Nicole Haught to watch out for. She has always been a good cop, but Nedley’s speech about his future aspirations for Nicole and for the quiet importance of protecting the citizens of Purgatory, the young deputy sheriff seems to be all in. And he was right about her instincts. Nicole is the only one who seems to have noticed that something is off with a lipstick-eating, shiny thing-collecting Waverly.
When she brings it up to Wynonna, the latter brushes it off, instead getting angry that Nicole would ever call Waverly anything less than sweet. Wynonna might see clearly when it comes to the town, but she has her own stories she tells herself about Waverly and the Earp family that obscure her vision and instincts when it comes to her own family.
You know who else is onto Waverly? Dolls, who is currently locked in the Earp family barn. How long has he been there? Does he understand what’s going on with Waverly? How much longer can he last without another dose of his medicine? All questions that feel like they need to be answered imminently given the rising stakes of the Dolls/Waverly situations. Then again, Waverly is pretty good at fooling people — including herself. Will her sugar, spice, and everything nice-ness keep the posession secret a little bit longer. Um, it probably depends on how loud Dolls can yell and how far that barn is away from that house.