I’m man enough to admit my shortcomings, and one of those is apparently I suck at recapping plot points. It bores me, like sports bore me (I’m sorry Diva! I’m sure hockey is probably different!). I get that plot is important–it’s like, the story and shit–but the entire reason I’m TV people rather than movie people is because I’m more interested in the world and the characters than in the minutia.
So I’ve fallen behind in my recaps, with some reasonable excuses, invisible illness/disability crap, but mostly because I had hardcore writer’s block. I’ve taken to humming that “How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?” song from Sound of Music as I go about my business, but mentally replacing Maria with Wynonna.
How do I solve the problem of capturing the magic of this show in a 1000 word plot recap? The answer is apparently I can’t. I think I might be more of a poet than a journalist, or a singer on the page. Whatever.
Wynonna Earp is everything I said in my review of the pilot and more.
There’s stuff where now that we’re seven episodes in I feel downright naive for assuming. That good and bad were clear, that Dolls was completely good and clean, that Doc was fully selfish and self-serving, that all revenants are acting out of some ingrained sense of evil and badness.
Wynonna Earp isn’t that simple of a show, the camp on the surface is there, that zippy Andras dialogue too, but this show is about more than the badass girl with a gun fighting the bad guys and sending them back to hell while tossing out funny one liners.
Like our queen of punning Buffy Summers and her eponymous series, there’s a thick layer of moral ambiguity to this series, but not in a way that’s cynical, you still root for the “good guys” to win, but you have to ask yourself at the same time, ok, but at what cost. And the good guys have flaws, and failings, because they’re human.
Which is essentially the point, they are human, and so too were the revenants once upon a time. And so they killed, to protect lovers, to protect family, to protect themselves. And they’re not just big burly biker guys like we saw at the start, they’re a gay couple from a world where being gay was so much less safe, they’re a pretty young girl trying to stop a cycle of violence, because they were people, because people are complex.
Waverly has a heart of gold but it sometimes in nearly smothered in her insecurities and desire to be liked. Wynonna has a gaping pit where her self worth should be that she fills up with whiskey and sex and a Gilmore’s share of unhealthy foods, but she loves purely and fiercely when it comes to those she considers family. Dolls is gruff and dedicated to doing the right thing and the fight against evil, but he’s not above selfishness to save his own hide. And though, as Waverly put it, Doc’s tell is that he lies constantly, and his selfishness has more than once put the Earp sisters in danger, Doc genuinely wants them to succeed too, and he cares about how they feel. And sexy officer Haught is far more than a well filled out pair of jeans with a top shelf ass, she’s also apparently the only Purgatory native smart enough to figure out at least an inkling of just what’s going on.
We’ve had some great monsters of the week, we have witches who drive pink Cadillacs, and mirror monsters, and zombies, and demons, and big black shadow Skeletor looking dudes. We’ve got hot ladies on loud motorcycles, and Waverley’s daisy dukes.
We’ve got some big time mysteries too, just what is Dolls, and what is it he’s taking to control himself? What Big Bad is out there that has the Stone Witch so scared, and what the hell were her children if now human? And most pressing at the moment, where the hell are Wynonna and Haught?!
But above all we have heart. Heart in the show itself, that allows the characters to be flawed and real, that lets Purgatory be a real small town, where everyone knows you and maybe most of them hate you, and your reputation precedes you every time you leave your house, but you have family there too.
But also, we have heart in this cast, crew, writers, and show runner Andras too. They join the fans not just weekly for live tweeting, but daily for talking and sharing and understanding that the fans of this show need the magic they provide us, that TV frequently sucks for women and for LGBTQIA+ peeps and that they help soothe that, and don’t take their responsibilities lightly,
And the fandom shares that heart, growing weekly, and sharing and bonding and creating art and songs and podcasts and writing in honor of this world that we have all fallen so deeply in love with.
So, and this is news to my editors, I likely won’t be doing weekly recaps, because I can’t possibly transfer to the page all the passion and love I see on my TV, at least not in a dry outline of character A did blank to character B in location C. Instead let this be my Wynonna Earp placeholder until I do a wrap post at the end of the season, a season that I hope will be the first of many.
Let this placeholder serve mostly as an impassioned plea, please, if you haven’t given Wynonna Earp a shot, I beg of you to check it out, and to Syfy, I’m holding my breath for a season 2, and I don’t take well to disappointment.
You can watch a teaser for this week’s episode here.
About the Author: Jay Jaqobis is sometimes Jessi Bow Spence and frequently just Jessi but also sometimes Jay and will respond to any of the above, and also “Hey, you with the face.” Ze lives in the midwest with a cis dude spouse and the world’s greatest dog and does a mean impression of a housewife while battling agoraphobia and general bouts of ennui. Ze cofounded GenreTVForAll and wrote a chapter on Teenage Girls with Superpowers for the Geekiary’s e-book. Ze likes vegan food, pictures of shih tzus, and long naps. You can find zir on twitter and instagram @jessilikewhoa
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