Wynonna Earp Postmortem: Emily Andras Talks “I Hope You Dance”

*** Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on The TV Junkies and has been republished here with the consent of its author and Emily Andras. ***

That was one mother of a Wynonna Earp episode this week! The Season 2 finale of the Canadian supernatural drama concluded as Wynonna (Melanie Scrofano) gave birth to her and Doc’s (Tim Rozon) daughter, before tearfully giving her up for the baby’s own good. Led by a powerful performance from Scrofano, Wynonna also defeated the Widows (Dani Kind and Meghan Heffern), while Doc finally got some revenge on Bobo (Michael Eklund) by trapping him down the well this time around. Fearful that all revenants and demons would be after the new Earp heir, Wynonna decided that it’d be best for her baby to send her off as far away from her as she could get. It was heartbreaking, but something that will give Wynonna renewed purpose to break the curse come Season 3 next year.

Meanwhile, the other Earp sister, Waverly (Dominique Provost-Chalkley), finally got some answers about her identity. She may not be an Earp, but it turned out she wasn’t a revenant either, meaning Bobo couldn’t be her father. She and girlfriend Nicole (Katherine Barrell) are on good terms as Haught proceeds with her divorce, and Agent Dolls (Shamier Anderson) took care of the mysterious Order who was also after Wynonna’s baby. The last major shock came at the end of the episode when Wynonna met up with the mysterious, and previously missing, Mama Earp. Looks like Season 3 will bring even more answers for Waverly as it seems that we’ll be meeting Mama Earp.

It was an episode that provided a lot of answers to questions viewers have long been wondering, as well as posed some new questions. There were shocking moments, like Rosita (Tamara Duarte) turning against the Earps, and heartbreaking ones courtesy of Scrofano’s performance. To break everything down in the finale episode, “I Hope You Dance” written by showrunner Emily Andras and directed by Paolo Barzman, The TV Junkies discussed it all in our final postmortem chat of the season with Andras.

The TV Junkies: It’s really hard to know where to begin with this finale because there was just so much. While we still have a good number of questions, you did give some answers and tied up some of the stories. What was your approach heading into this finale and what did you want it to accomplish?

Emily Andras: I really wanted to make sure we tied it up in a neat bow, wherever we could. I was really proud of this season as a whole, in so far as we set up a lot of stuff in the beginning that we did pay off in the end. We brought a lot of McGuffins on screen, like the ring and the plate, and they all ended up having a purpose. I knew that the baby had to come out, one way or another, that was pretty massive.

I knew essentially that we had to figure out a way to get the baby to safety. We were not going to be a show that had a baby on screen. It just was not feasible with what Wynonna is doing. She can’t have little Alice Michelle in the baby bjorn as she’s shooting horrible, goo-covered revenants. It seemed consistent with Wynonna’s character that she’d be the type of woman who accidentally got pregnant, didn’t have a lot of choice about what to do, and then made the best choice, which was knowing the baby would have a better chance at a better life away from her. It was an excruciating choice, but I think a choice a ton of women have to make in this day and age and still is not discussed. It’s the ultimate selfless choice, if you truly think you cannot raise a baby on your own in a healthy environment, to give it to someone who can. It’s the ultimate gift, really, and I get choked up just thinking about it.

I thought it was really Wynonna as a character, and then I knew Melanie was just going to bring it. There was something that was so surreal about the fact that Mel was nine months pregnant, had these scenes with the baby, and was giving away this baby. She’s an exceptional actress, but I think those feelings were quite easy for her to tap into because it was all so real and so raw. There’s so many amazing performances in the finale.

I knew that there were some things I wanted to set up for, fingers crossed, Season 3 at the time. I didn’t want to completely put a bow on Waverly’s parentage because I still think we have a big story to tell about that, and I knew we wanted to introduce Mama Earp. Everything else was kind of up for grabs. The only other thing I always try to do with my finales is that I want every one of my heroes to get their own hero moment. I want everyone to have a moment to shine, and I hope they did.

TTVJ: While last week everyone was missing Wynonna, and Melanie Scrofano barely appeared in the episode, this week was the exact opposite. She’s such a powerhouse and it feels like you guys just unleashed the full Scrofano on us. She absolutely delivered in spades.

EA: Exceptional. It was so good. The show is called Wynonna Earp, and Melanie Scrofano is Wynonna Earp. You just see the power of her, of the powerful sun by which all other characters rotate around. She was so incredible in the finale that she makes everyone else lift up their game. Tim is incredible in the finale as well, but I think he would generously say it’s because he’s next to Mel. What she is putting out is so real, and so authentic, that it’s hard to not up your acting game.

I joked about this online, but I don’t actually cry a ton when I watch the episodes. I’ve lived with the episodes a long time by the time I see the final cut, right? I’ve seen multiple written drafts, multiple edits and gone frame by frame, but I know I’m going to be a mess when I watch it live. The performances were just special.

The scene at the end of the episode where Doc finally finds Wynonna, and what you realize is they’ve not had a moment at all to talk about it, and she tells him the baby’s name, after both their mothers. I was on set that day and tons of people on crew were in tears because it was such a moving, incredible scene. That’s still really rare in television to have those moments that feel next level. I hope people are paying attention to how great these actors are. I am. You might be.

TTVJ: I think the sequence that really sums up the whole show for me was when Wynonna is willing Peacemaker to shoot, Waverly is there for her during the birth, and then Wynonna is giving up the baby. That’s the show summed up perfectly.

EA: That’s the other one I cry at! I cry at the end with Wynonna and Doc, and then I cry when Wynonna is yelling at Waverly that she is her sister and willing Peacemaker to fire. That scene encapsulates everything about the Earp sisters that I love. I cry every time I watch it. It’s so good.

That was the last scene Mel filmed too, and to be quite honest I think she was quite uncomfortable at that point. She’s lying on a pool table at nine months pregnant, but she just got it done! God, she’s good.

TTVJ: That was the moment where I thought ‘How the hell is she, who is about to do this for real in a week or so, doing all this? She’s about to have a baby and is having to act about giving up a baby.’ It’s unreal.

EA: Getting punched. Grabbing Rosita. I know. That episode was directed by Paolo Barzman, one of our favorites, and he and Mel are super connected. Everyone was careful because Mel really wasn’t feeling well at that point, but first of all that baby was so cute. As soon as we saw its hair we were like ‘oh my god this is Doc Holliday’s baby. That’s the baby we need to use.’ We did that scene where she gives up the baby in one take because it was so perfect.

We put the baby in Melanie’s arms, Paolo whispered ‘go,’ the baby — who is the Robert DeNiro of babies — basically cried in between all of Melanie’s lines, Dominique is so blown away that her performance is one of shock and awe, and even when Waverly takes the baby out of the room, the baby lets out one more cry, and then Mel/Wynonna breaks down. We didn’t even do another take it was so perfect. Sure enough when we got to editing it was all there.

The thing about Season 2 is that I feel like so many things came together when so many things could’ve gone wrong. That’s what I cry about. Allison Baker, from IDW, does these amazing behind the scenes videos for those who buy the show on iTunes, and the one for this week is basically all of us crying about Mel. When you realize what we did, and how so many awful things could have happened, that it felt like for once, even though this thing happened that threw us off balance and we lost six weeks of writing, it was amazing that ultimately it was serendipitous and a bit of a gift. It forced us to elevate this season, but also we were just so lucky at how many things went right and worked. That’s why it feels like such a triumph to me. All the credit in the world though needs to go to Melanie Scrofano. She truly is a superhero.

TTVJ: I know this wasn’t the original plan for the season, but having watched it now play out, it truly feels like it was meant to be for the show and for Wynonna. It really feels like it was the right thing for the show.

EA: It kind of forced our hand and forced us to do something that you’d maybe hold off until Season 6 to do, but do it in Season 2. The other thing was seeing the audience go along with us. For the most part people trusted us, and were like ‘I’m not sure how this is going to work.’ That feels like we all bonded over it in a weird way. Not to make it cheesy, but both cast, crew, and all of us it felt like ‘wow! We really pulled it off.’ For me personally, it was one of the most grueling seasons of TV I’ve ever done, but also the most satisfying.

TTVJ: We found out that the baby was Doc’s, so how will having this child affect him? What does it mean for Doc and Wynonna’s relationship?

EA: It’s a really great question. Doc didn’t have as long to live with the decision as Wynonna, right? She’s been thinking of this for maybe months, and I will be really interested to see how people think Doc reacted at the end. What feelings do you think he was left with when we pull away from him at the end of the finale?

In typical Wynonna fashion, everything seems to be mixed up in the order you’re traditionally supposed to do something. It’s weird to have a baby with someone, who you really care about and could be your soulmate, but now you’ve had a baby so are you just going to go back to dating and flirting? Meanwhile, there’s this other guy on the sideline, maybe a sexy lizard/dragon, we’ve all been there. I don’t know. I don’t know if they are going to have the same reaction to having given the baby up.

I do want to clarify that the baby is gone. I think that baby has to be elsewhere. It’s a more clear motivation to break the curse and the stakes are higher than ever. If Wynonna doesn’t kill all the revenants and break the curse, then her beautiful daughter — who is an Earp and a Holliday — is going to have to take on that mantle. There’s just no way that Wynonna Earp is going to let that happen. She’s going to go down swinging.

TTVJ: Not only that, Doc also knows now that he went to Hell when he died.

EA: Yeah, so he’s kind of a mess. We haven’t even dealt with the fact that his girlfriend betrayed his baby mamma.

TTVJ: Oh, we’re getting to her later! I have thoughts.

EA: Oh, OK! Doc has a lot next year, I imagine. You know, for whatever writer is going to write that.

TTVJ: In the show, the baby’s name, Alice Michelle, was explained as being after both Wynonna and Doc’s mothers, but where did the name come from for you?

EA: Doc Holliday’s mother really was Alice Jane McKey and I have personally never known an Alice who was anything but extraordinary. And Michelle? Well first of all, Mama Earp would’ve married into the Earps (Ward), so it would have been weird if she also had a ‘W’ name. Secondly, both of my best friends in the world (one of whom is a showrunner extraordinaire who taught me everything about fighting for your female characters) are named Michelle, so when I was trying to settle on a good moniker for the ‘Mother of Badasses’ it seemed the perfect fit. Incidentally, you should all be following Michelle Lovretta’s twitter and watching Killjoys because that woman is my oxygen.

TTVJ: After all of this, we see that Wynonna seems to have known all this time, not only how to get in contact with her mother, but that she always warned Wynonna about Bulshar. Why has she kept that a secret and does this mean we get Mama Earp in Season 3?

EA: ‘Wait for it,’ is the answer to number one. Number two is yes, I think we will get to meet Mama Earp. I’m really looking forward to casting that character. I think it should be Lucy Lawless. Xena should just be Wynonna’s mom. I basically think I have a 2 per cent chance of making that happen, but I want to put it out to the universe while I’m asking for things.

There’s no doubt that Wynonna Earp has secrets, right? One of my favorite foreshadowing moments this year was in Episode 205, right before Waverly says ‘the tentacle told me things,’ and Wynonna says ‘now you know all my secrets.’ She has this gulp, and I wonder if Wynonna thought Waverly was going to confront her about the Mama thing. Where is Mama? Why did Mama leave? What part did Wynonna have in either making her leave or knowing where she is? Why doesn’t Waverly know? These are all huge, delicious things we can sink our teeth into in Season 3.

TTVJ: It felt like a very nice bookend on the season where Wynonna becomes a mother, for us to then meet her mother.

EA: Well yeah, and she’s a mother who has also given up her child. There’s always been this narrative on Wynonna Earp that Mama Earp left these three little girls with a father who is kind of an alcoholic, and not necessarily the best parent. How could that happen? How could you forgive someone who left three little girls with their father? There’s a lot of parallels there that are really interesting. I wonder if Wynonna will have a different take on her mom now that she’s had to make such a difficult choice?

TTVJ: I wonder…

EA: I wonder. Lucy Lawless, let me know! I’m open to notes.

TTVJ: Speaking of Mama Earp and some of her past deeds, it seems that while Waverly may not be an Earp, she’s not a revenant either, meaning Bobo isn’t her father. However, Bobo did mention that Waverly was still “kin”. I don’t think you’ll give me anything, but any hints as to what he meant?

EA: I will give you a big hug at Dragon Con and a firm handshake. I think it’s very interesting that Bobo said that. “Kin” is a very old-fashioned word that can mean a lot of things, right? It can mean family, it can mean “of a kind,” or it could be Bobo once again screwing with everybody. But luckily, he’s in a well and nobody gets out of a well. Just kidding! But you know he’s still around and still may have answers, even though he’s gone even more cuckoo-bananas than normal.

Again, I think Waverly figuring out what the heck will be a big part of Season 3. I really love that moment that both she and the baby manage to cross the line. Now does it mean that Waverly has more choices? Can she leave the Ghost River Triangle? Can she go and see the ocean with Nicole? It’s going to be interesting to see how that spurs Waverly on next year.

TTVJ: So what I heard is “WayHaught beach vacation in Season 3.”

EA: Oh my god, sign me up! Hawaii? Oh my god, a very special episode in Tahiti. Guys, let’s crowdfund this. I’m serious. The bikinis don’t even have to be that big, if you don’t mind.

TTVJ: I mean the snow in Calgary is beautiful, but it’d be nice to see everyone on the beach.

EA: Yeah, we’ll just go to Tahiti or Hawaii, exactly. I’m up for it! Fine, Bridget if you insist! God! I can’t wait to tell Dom and Kat. They’ll probably hate it, but whatever.

TTVJ: I’ll take all the blame. It’s OK.

EA: You can come. You can come and hold all the purses. And the Mai Tais.

TTVJ: I was going to say at least one thing I don’t have to worry about is WayHaught. They are on good terms, and Nicole seems to be proceeding with her divorce from Shay, but then you have Nicole with that folder on Bulshar at the end, giving Dolls some kind of look.

EA: And she picked up Bulshar’s ring that fell off Mercedes. What the heck is that about, Bridget?

TTVJ: What is that about?

EA: Hold my penguins, that’s all I have to say about that. Hold my penguins. What is going on?

TTVJ: Don’t think I didn’t notice the voiceover saying “there are demons, sweet as clover honey,” and then the camera goes right on Dolls.

EA: I would never expect you to miss anything, Bridget. You have the eye of the tiger. It is well known. Yeah, that seems to be a lot. I guess that Wynonna Earp is not the only one with secrets. Nicole Haught, what are you doing?

TTVJ: Xavier Dolls, what are you doing?

EA: Agent Dolls, what are you doing? This dragon is being a little bit naughty. Maybe. We don’t know. I mean, I know, but you have to wait. Don’t worry guys, it’s only like a year. You’ll have a whole year to speculate.

TTVJ: While I worry about what Dolls may be up to, I really enjoyed when he had that Game of Thrones dragon moment on the Order. Is that the last we are going to see of Ewan and the gang?

EA: I don’t know. He certainly did a lot of damage. It’s very hard to survive a fireball in the middle of the highway — or so I’ve been told. I really love Brendan Fehr who plays Ewan, and so did everyone on the cast. He was such a delicious addition and has such a wicked energy. I feel like we maybe didn’t see enough of him, so I’m not sure. If there’s a way to bring him back I would love to, but also, maybe he’s dead.

TTVJ: Speaking of bringing people back who are maybe dead, the Widows are both dead, but is there any way we can get Mercedes and Dani Kind back to pal around with Wynonna?

EA: You know me, I always have room for more gingers. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

TTVJ: I do have one bone to pick with you on this finale. You made us completely fall in love with Rosita, and then she up and betrays us here! What the hell, Andras?

EA: Just tell me if you were surprised.

TTVJ: I was surprised, but I was more hurt. I was surprised how hurt I was.

EA: So it’s ‘Emily, I’m not mad. I’m just disappointed.’ OK fine, mom. I get it.

That moment is pretty spectacular in the finale from my perspective, not for the audience. I feel like it’s such a shock. That’s one thing I love about the finale, is that so much is happening that you’re not paying attention to that potential betrayal until it happens.

Look, I think Rosita is still a revenant, and I also think if you go back and watch Season 2 again — which of course you will. Multiple times while encouraging friends and family to watch it because you’re going to recruit people on the hiatus, everybody — you will see that Rosita was really stuck. She wasn’t really part of the gang. Her relationship with Doc was incredibly complicated because he was maybe having a baby with Wynonna. Then, I really think the turn happened, and it’s one of the biggest mistakes Wynonna makes this season, in trying to protect Nicole Haught she says to Rosita ‘I promise when this is over I’ll shoot you last.’ She doesn’t say ‘I’m not going to shoot you.’ She doesn’t say ‘I’ll protect you.’ She still says ‘I’m going to come for you.’

I don’t blame Wynonna for making that decision, but I think Rosita is more Wynonna than we think. She is a survivor. She needs to keep going. She has tried to better herself and keep going. She was made a revenant through tragic circumstances and caught in the crossfire, or so she says. Now she’s on the run, and I believe Wynonna when she says ‘you better get a good sports bra because I’m coming for you.’ That’s a massive betrayal, not only of Wynonna, but also for Doc and Waverly. There’s going to be consequences.

That being said, I love Tamara Duarte and think that character is so complicated. I want to see her next year. It’s just a matter of who gets to her first, me or Wynonna.

TTVJ: We saw Peacemaker glow blue when Waverly shot at Rosita, something we saw previously when Wynonna shot Willa. What is that about? Did she just want to warn her?

EA: I think it’s intriguing.

TTVJ: I knew I’d get nothing! If she did want to warn her, is it because Rosita shouldn’t have been a revenant and just got pulled in because of circumstances, sort of like Willa?

EA: But Wynonna definitely didn’t want to just warn Willa in Season 1, right? Yep. I look forward to the theories! Six seasons and a movie, guys. Sorry! I can’t answer all the questions because then you’ll be bored.

TTVJ: Another new team member that shone once again was Jeremy (Varun Sarnaga). It was nice to get a few new bits about his backstory, and I’m really looking forward to learning more about him in Season 3.

EA: Varun is amazing and a classic example of someone we brought onto set, and because we all fell in love with him and his work ethic, enthusiasm, and zest for life and the part, we just kept writing more and more for that character. We really love him and he had a great dynamic with everybody. There seemed to be some interesting hints about his backstory. There seemed to be some implication, and I think you’ll notice when you rewatch Season 2, that Jeremy seemed to know things he had no right to know. There’s certainly the implication from him that Black Badge recruited him, not for his intellect, but for something else. We’ll have to see what gets cookin’ there.

TTVJ: It was a big finale, but is there anything I missed you wanted to touch on?

EA: I just wanted to say that it’s been such a joy to live tweet, watch the episode and watch everyone’s response to Season 2. Thanks again to everybody for rallying with Syfy and Space to get us Season 3. It absolutely is what got us there. All the social media noise, all the fan passion and respect is really what makes a difference on this little underdog of a show. I cannot wait to do it all again with you in Season 3. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart.

What did you think of that Season 2 finale? Are you feeling satisfied? What are your predictions for Season 3? Add them below!

Wynonna Earp Season 3 will premiere in 2018 on Syfy and Space.


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