This Wynonna Earp review contains spoilers.
Wynonna Earp Season 3, Episode 7
In many ways, it is a more helpful metric to judge a TV show not by its most important episodes, but, rather, by its filler episodes. “I Fall to Pieces” is essentially a filler episode. It is an excuse to get some oddball character pairings together while we wait for the truthbomb that is Doc’s vampirism to hit.
For its first two acts, this episode is a fun, silly action adventure. We get Nicole and Wynonna working together to keep local councilwoman Bunny Loblaw from death. OK, it was just a “fancy faint,” as Bunny describes it, but when Revenants and college bros are involved, you can never be too careful.
Ultimately, Nicole and Wynonna endure Revenant drinking contests, handcuffs, and marriage-obsessed gnomes to save Bunny from an irreversible fate. The progress made in their relationship over the course of their handcuffed adventure lies not in any real dynamic growth, but rather in Nicole hearing what Wynonna really thinks of her: that she’s great.
In small towns like Purgatory, the “outsider” status can be a death knell, especially if you’re at all involved in city politics. It says a lot that Nicole has managed to overcome her outsider status when it comes to both the city and the Earp family. Somewhere along the way, she became one of Purgatory’s chief defenders and one of Wynonna’s most trusted allies. That’s not nothing, and it says a lot about Nicole’s integrity, sense of duty, and most of all love.
Nicole loves Waverly, of course, but she loves Wynonna, too. She loves Nedley, who was a savior to her when she needed it most and a parent to her in the way she has always deserved but never truly gotten. She belongs to Purgatory as much as any of the original families because she calls this place home and these people family.
While Nicole’s insider status is being solidified, Doc’s role as family is being challenged. Ostensibly, this entire episode was a delightful exercise in treading water while we waiting for Wynonna to find out about Doc, and find out about Doc she eventually did. It was Wynonna’s mother who tipped her off. Before leaving her daughters without a proper goodbye, Michelle did manage to give Wynonna the gift of truth in the form of a letter: Doc Holiday cannot be trusted. He is not who he says he is. (One of those things is true.)
Of course, this would be nothing if Wynonna didn’t already have her doubts or if Doc were capable of lying to Wynonna about anything real. But neither of those truths hold. Wynonna knows something is up, can sense it about the man that she loves, and Doc can only be honest with the woman he loves in return. He shows Wynonna his true face and, in that moment, he wants to be rejected, because he thinks it’s what he deserves, but he wants to be accepted, too. He wants to prove Kate wrong, wants to believed that Wynonna will see the ugliest parts of him and still find a way to love him.
But what Doc doesn’t understand, what he can’t see in this one moment, is that Wynonna is not rejecting this new version of Doc, not necessarily, but rather the selfishness that led them both to this. Wynonna’s own selfishness in choosing to protect herself and reject Doc in favor of the hot, uncomplicated firefighter and Doc’s selfishness in choosing the sure path of immortality over the harder, free path of painful mortality. Doc has traded one pain for another and, in this moment, Wynonna hates him for it—for herself and for Doc. Because she knows this way lies even greater hardship for Doc. And because she loves him still.
It’s a scene like this one, acted by two actors like Melanie Scrofano and Tim Rozon, that elevates a filler episode of Wynonna Earp from silly fun to heartbreaking angst. If this is Wynonna Earp when it is treading water, then I can’t wait to see what the show feels like when all of these storylines come to wonderful, climactic fruition in the season finale.
If you needed any further proof this TV show is secretly set in Canada, then the Tessa/Scott Canadian figure skating reference might have been it. Also, Jeremy casually quotes Alanis Morissette. I’m on to you, Wynonna Earp.
Great Coyote Ugly reference. That is, objectively, a wonderful movie.
As if this episode didn’t already have enough heartfelt scene-age, we learn that Nedley was the cop who helped save Nicole from the Cult of Bulshar massacre. This was a little too “everything is connected” for my taste, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t tear up when Nedley called Nicole a daughter in the ep’s third act.
The Michelle/Doc team-up was ingenious. I’d love to see more of these two together. It makes perfect sense that Michelle would be weary of someone who loves her children, but can’t help but hurt them because of their own, personal demons—that’s who Michelle is, too.
Whoa. Michelle visiting Willa’s grave. This is the kind of shit that separates a mediocre show from a great one.
The more I learn about Kate, the less I like her. Still, I’d like to see her character explored in more nuanced, complex, and empathetic ways. Are we going to get some flashbacks? Because I would be into that.
Ugh. Bunny is just the worst in the most mundane, realistic ways—homophobic, xenophobic. She probably hates Coyote Ugly!
I want to un-vampire Doc.
How will Waverly feel about Wynonna banning Doc from the Earp homestead? There is so much more fallout I need to see and understand when it comes to Doc’s vampirism.
Um, there was a gnome in this episode?
When Waverly cries, the whole world cries. This is on you, Michelle Gibson.
Wynonna and Nicole were both sporting track suit-style pants in this episode, which is not only on trend, but also made them feel like even more of a team. Aww. Extra points to Wynonna for the Han Solo vibes.