Wynonna Earp Season 4 Episode 4 Review: Afraid

Wynonna introduces an Earp family enemy in one of the series' scariest episodes ever.

Wynonna Earp Season 4 Episode 4
Photo: Syfy

This Wynonna Earp review contains spoilers.

Wynonna Earp Season 4, Episode 4

With all of the genres Wynonna Earp regularly dives into, it can easy to forget that this show has some straight-up horror tendencies. Every once in a while, it will drop an episode that is terrifying and remind us all that, while this may be a queer found family drama that believes in the power of love above all else, it can also scare the shit out of us. “Afraid” was one such episode.

Last season, the trees ate people. This season, the rocks are coming for the Earps. Well, more accurately, the rocks are homing beacons for a “balls-deep scary” demon known as a Reaper that is coming for the Earps. The Reapers were once members of the Clanton family, the Earp family’s oldest enemies (like, in real life too). Just like the Earp family has an heir, so too does the Clanton family. Her name is Margot, known as “Ma’am” to the rest of her family, and she is not fucking around. When she finds out that her son, Billy, has used his power to protect Rachel, who he totally thinks doesn’t suck, she leaves him to the mercy of a Reaper. Wynonna always used her power as an heir to protect her family. Margot does no such thing. She wants to protect the “old ways” above all else, and the old ways are driven by hate not love—hate of the Earp family.

Margot wants to protect her power too, and that means maintaining a strict hierarchy within her family. Margot and Billy aren’t the only Clantons in town. We met two last week: Sheriff Holt and Mayor Cleo. From the get-go, it was clear that they weren’t the people who truly held power in this new town order. Now, we know who does: Ma’am. When she finds out that Cleo used the power of her Clanton blood to sic the Reaper on Wynonna (presumably as revenge), she reminds Cleo that who is in charge, through the language of pain. With Eve still out there and BBD’s “upper management” always looming, there are plenty of contenders for Season 4 Big Bad, but Margot may just be the scariest Season 4 villain yet.

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The Earps may have a new nemesis, but the team is also back together again. While Wynonna may initially follow Jeremy’s lead in downplaying her supernatural status in front of the Ghost River Black Badge crew, she can only stay quiet for so long. After looking into the face of a Reaper, Wynonna doesn’t have any time for games. She needs her nerd back, and she goes to get him. One of the narrative elements that sets this show apart from a lot of the lackluster fare out there is it doesn’t just invest time and development into the straight-forward relationships, the ones that fit into easy boxes, like “love story” or “biological family.” It also cares about a relationship like Wynonna and Jeremey’s. These two love one another and they express that love. There isn’t an easy label to be affixed to their relationship, but there doesn’t has to be. They’re family, and that word means the same thing to both of them.

More than last week’s episode, “Afraid” did a good job of setting a sense of stakes for Purgatory moving forward, giving us some important answers while dangling some very concerning mysteries in front of us at the same time. The episode ends with Nicole going to visit Margot, after having previously kept from Waverly that she knew the woman. From their only semi-illuminating conversation, it seems that a desperate Nicole had asked Margot for help in getting Waverly, Doc, and Wynonna back from The Garden.

Nicole tries to bring back what Margot gave her (a jar in which appears to be Nicole’s hair, along with some other things). But apparently, there is a no return policy. Margot opens the jar and a swarm of locusts comes out. Margot blows them in Nicole’s direction and they swarm into her open mouth. Yeah, what of it? Wynonna Earp nails straight-up horror.

Additional thoughts.

In other news, Doc is officially working for the Glory Hole in exchange for blood, I guess? He got distracted from robbing BBD’s shipment of booze, etc. by Wynonna’s peril. Will his failure to deliver get him into trouble?

I would like access to Waverly’s PowerPoint presentation, please.

Wynonna hasn’t watched Fleabag??? I hope she does.

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“Wynonna is no one’s but her own.” Note that Doc doesn’t so much as bristle when referred to as “Wynonna Earp’s man.”

“You’re safe here, Doc… to be who you are.”

Gotta love the deer cameo in this episode. I grew up in northern New Hampshire and this show’s landscape reminds me of home.

“Do I need to make a PowerPoint presentation about how amazing Nicole Haught is?” Honestly, it might not hurt.

Jeremy named a gun after Queer Eye’s Antony. <3 Also, he’s really got a “Q” vibe in this episode.

Where’s Robin???

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“Classic teen. She doesn’t want to be seen at the junkyard with her sexy, gay aunts.”

“Halloween costume. I’m going as She-Ra.” “OMG, I would die.”

“I ain’t dying for this dirt town and its dirt people.” Not so coded classism. This show doesn’t really dive into class, which is a missed opportunity more than an issue, but I am always intrigued when it brushes up against the theme and wonder what it could do with it.

Who funds BBD? This seems like an important question.

“You saw Jeremy and you didn’t tell me?” Doc loves Jeremy so much.

“You brought claws to a guac fight.”

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Bless Dominique Provost-Chalkley for killing her cozy-yet-urgent research scene in which her acting partner is a bunch of books and she must deliver some exposition aloud.

“I am here, my love. I’ve got you.” Brb, I’ll just be sobbing over here.

Um, crazy theory or whatever, but… could Nicole be a Clanton?


4 out of 5