This Wynonna Earp review contains spoilers.
Wynonna Earp Season 3, Episode 8
One of the weakest aspects of a very strong season of Wynonna Earp has been the shoddy integration of Kate’s character. The Contessa is an intriguing character—she’s smart, sassy, strong, and has impeccable fashion sense—however, the show has prioritized the mystery of her character over the exploration of it. It took a similar tactic last season with Rosita, who served a similar, narrow function in the show that never fully paid off: a character of color who is romantically involved with Doc, is somehow tied to Purgatory’s past, and who has the begrudging respect of Wynonna, yet is still very much treated as an outsider.
In “Waiting Forever For You,” we get some long overdue backstory for Kate’s character and while it goes some of the way towards giving this character more nuanced context, it is not only long overdue, but didn’t offer up much actual texture when it comes to her character. Kate’s backstory is not so much about learning about her character as it is an excuse to give us more information about Bulshar. In many ways, this is his backstory, and that kind of sucks. (No vampire pun intended.)
What do we learn? Kate is originally eastern Europe nobility who fell in love with Doc when she came to America. The two crossed paths when Kate, who apparently was a fortune teller even then, refused to read Sheriff Clootie’s tarot cards. Doc draws his gun on an angry Clootie, Kate right next to him with her own firearm in hand. The two fall in love, but, in an effort to make Doc chase her for once, as Kate puts it, Kate leaves.
As far as backstories go, it’s a fine one. We already gleaned a lot of the information we get here from conversations between Doc and Kate in the present-day. It would have been nice to see Kate interact with someone other than Doc, Clootie, or Constance in the flashbacks. In both the present-day and the flashbacks, she seems to have no life outside of the central figures in the Earp curse, which makes her character feel less real, less lived-in. Kate’s character is so defined by her relationship to Doc and, for a 150-year-old vampire, that’s kind of a bummer. Like, doesn’t this badass woman have some other stuff going on? You know she does. She comes from a family of vampires. Give me some New Moon angst.
Kate gets much more emotionally-grounded work to do in the present-day storyline, which sees her interacting with a Wynonna who is still very confused about Doc’s decision to turn vampire. We don’t need the flashback of Kate and Doc waking up together, him refusing to share his worries with her, to understand or feel Kate’s pain. When she tells Wynonna that he became a vampire not for Kate, but for Wynonna, Chantel Riley nails Kate’s complex reaction: She loves that Doc is a vampire, but hates that he did it for Wynonna and not her. She doesn’t blame Wynonna for Doc not loving her in the way she loves him; she blames herself for ever leaving. (Which is not fair. Doc was an emotionally-unavailable dude who I’m still not convinced wasn’t in love with Wyatt. Kate choosing to leave was probably the emotionally-healthy decision. Don’t dwell, Kate. Start your own vampire empire. #vempire)
Kate and Wynonna’s heart-to-heart is interrupted by a common enemy: Constance Clootie, who has been revived from the dead, kind of, by Bulshar. She has been sent in search of the tarot cards Kate almost read for Sheriff Clootie all of those years ago. Since that day, Doc has kept them in his possession, implying a certain strategy to Doc’s initial meeting of Kate in that saloon. Constance manages to get the cards and deliver them to Bulshar.
One of my favorite moments of the episode comes when Kate and Wynonna arrive too late to keep the information from Bulshar, but not too late to put Constance out of her misery. In that moment, these three women are on opposite sides of a supernatural war, sure, but Kate and Wynonna have empathy for this woman who has been used for more than a century in some horrendous ways by her husband. Constance (mostly) made her own choices, her villainy was her choice, but that doesn’t mean Kate and Wynonna don’t understand Constance in this moment in some way. After all, they are in their own emotionally-unhealthy relationships. They’re all tied to this centuries-long curse and the dumb men who started it.
Speaking of the dumb men who had a part in starting it, Doc is in full-on thirsty vampire mode in this episode, biting Jeremy’s new beau Robin. Luckily Robin, who has already been corrupted by Bulshar, doesn’t make a very good vampire snack, so Doc delivers him to Jeremy, who finally puts the pieces together: Doc isn’t a vandalizer; he’s a vampire! I would have liked the see a bit more of the emotional fallout from Jeremy and the others discovering Doc’s secret, but, presumably, that will occur in subsequent episodes. For now, Doc’s bloody appetites have been quenched by a blood bag provided by Charlie, Wynonna’s firefighting booty call. I don’t totally trust Charlie, but I have to admit he’s coming in handy.
While Wynonna, Kate, Doc, and Charlie are engaged in a love square, Waverly and Nicole are hosting Jeremy and Robin for dinner, and Jeremy is adorably nervous in a completely relatable, realistic way. Really, he has nothing to worry about—not only is Robin totally into him, but he is also very distracted by the trees whispering about Bulshar’s plans. When Waverly, Nicole, and Jeremy find Robin half-dressed with a potato in the barn, it becomes very apparent that Robin is changed by his time with Bulshar. He, along with Kate’s tarot cards, are the key to better understanding Bulshar’s plan: Bulshar is looking for the garden of Eden, and, with his tarot cards, he has found it.
This is a game-changing reveal for Wynonna Earp. We’ve always known that the Ghost River Triangle is important, but have never fully understood why. According to the fam’s theory: The Ghost River Triangle protects the original Garden of Eden. Who knows what Bulshar will do now that he found it, but you better believe this is all related to Waverly’s angel father. Also, Bulshar’s ring has attached itself to Waverly’s finger, giving her some kind of super strength (or, as Jeremy delightfully calls it, “a finishing move”). This show is playing it pretty cool when it comes to Waverly and her biblical heritage, but it feels like the key to this entire season-long mystery.
The potato-licking! The potato-licking! It was Robin in the Earp kitchen with the potato.
Jeremy and Wynonna hanging together is my favorite. More, please.
Doc roaming through the woods, teeth bared, looking for a snack was pretty hilarious. This must have been so much fun to film.
OK, Charlie’s garlic bread bouquet was pretty freaking sweet.
Doc really should have thought of the blood bag solution sooner—it’s like no one on this show watches Vampire Diaries. (Except you know Nedley does. If you watch Pretty Little Liars, you probably watch Vampire Diaries.)
I feel like Waverly and Nicole are The Lovers referenced in the tarot cards. Unless The Lovers are Doc and Wynonna, which would make Alice even more important, perhaps? Or maybe The Lovers are Julian and Michelle, making Waverly important to the prophecy? There are so many lovers in this show to choose from!
Um, Nicole and Waverly are basically engaged now, right?