*** 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. ***
We’re back! It’s been a long, long, LONG Wynonna Earp hiatus but the supernatural western has finally returned to us and we couldn’t be happier. The Season 3 premiere episode, “Blood Red and Going Down,” written by showrunner Emily Andras and directed by Paolo Barzman, was an action-packed, fun adventure that brought back all the whiskey-soaked and reckless fun of the show. Wynonna (Melanie Scrofano) and the gang wasted no time in showing us that Wynonna is back, and in top shelf form, ready to take on the new and super creepy villain, Bulshar.
Bulshar would have to wait though, as a bus filled with sexy vampires rolled into Purgatory, putting Waverly (Dominique Provost-Chalkley), Nicole (Katherine Barrell) and Jeremy (Varun Saranga) all under their spell. Coming along with them was the mysterious Kate (Chantel Riley), who seems to have a past with Doc (Tim Rozon). Unfortunately for him, that trouble just adds to the pain he’s dealing with over he and Wynonna having to give up their baby at the end of last season. Oh and last but not least, we finally got a glimpse of Mama Earp (Megan Follows) and why she’s been missing all these years.
In order to get a deeper look at everything that went down, as has been the way for every season of Wynonna Earp, we discussed the episode with showrunner Andras. These weekly post-episode breakdowns will be back once again in Season 3 after every Wynonna Earp episode. So get ready, hang on tight and tune in here at The TV Junkies as our interviews with Andras go live as soon as the show is done with its Friday airing on Syfy and Space Channel (around 10 p.m. ET). As always, we invite fans to join in on the discussion, and add their thoughts and predictions about the show in the comments below.
The TV Junkies: Welcome back! Was there really any other choice but to start off this season with a mechanical bull at Pussy Willows?
Emily Andras: Not really. It evolved over several iterations and Pussy Willows was the last piece of the pie. We knew we had to do it at a club, and then we were like ‘why aren’t we just going back to Pussy Willows?’ It’s hilarious and a fun little Easter egg for the fans.
It was really important to Melanie, and the rest of us, that Wynonna come back swinging. We see she’s back in fine form, back to whiskey-soaked and reckless, and back to hair porn, for me. It’s pretty fun and I don’t hate it, even though I’ve seen it 2,000 times.
TTVJ: And you have to do something with that sign if you still have it, right? Can’t let it go to waste.
EA: Of course not! I still have it if you want it, Bridget. It’s huge. They tried to give it to me, but what am I going to do? Hang it over my kid’s bed? It’s so big.
TTVJ: It was great to have you back, but how dare you right out of the gate leave us on that cliffhanger! Not only is it a cliffhanger, but bloody Waverly screaming for Wynonna. NOT COOL, Andras!
EA: Not good! It’s a pretty dire situation. We all had our fun with sexy European vampires but now the Earp sisters are in serious trouble. The next episode is a lot. A lot.
TTVJ: One thing I know some fans are going to be worried about is the state of Wynonna’s truck. It didn’t look very good. Can you give us any hope for the truck?
EA: If there’s a theme of this show it’s “never count a lady out, even when she’s down and out, when she’s flat on her back.” That truck has seen a lot, but we’ll see! There’s always a hope. Just because she ain’t pretty anymore doesn’t mean she doesn’t work. I would say I appreciate the worry about the truck, but low priority, guys!
TTVJ: Congratulations, Bulshar seems to already be quite the villain and super creepy. Any hints as to what he made that vampire eat and his next move?
EA: I think it was a really disgusting seed. I think if you listen closely it sounds like something really disgusting is growing in Otto. Good times.
TTVJ: Can you share a little about the actor playing Bulshar this season?EA: His name is Jean Marchand. He’s a very well-respected and beloved character actor from Quebec that we actually auditioned for a different role. One of our favorite directors, Paolo Barzman, was saying he’s one of the best actors in Canada, and talk about a face made for a horror western, right? Incredible. He’s quite surprising. He’s got a face that’s seen a lot and that western light loves it. It gives you shivers without saying a word. It feels just like contempt and power, which I love.
TTVJ: It looks like Nicole does have a past with the Cult of Bulshar, and now, we see her telling Dolls that she may be the only survivor. Can you give any hints as to how Nicole’s backstory is going be explored this year?
EA: I would say ‘no, I can’t.’ [laughs] The thing I like about that story is that it feels like Nicole is remembering this and putting the pieces together at the same time we all are. It’s not like she has some secret memory that she hasn’t told anyone, but instead all this action with Bulshar has triggered something in her, a repressed memory, that now she’s going to be trying to rebuild. Maybe with a plucky little cheerleader. If she can find one.
TTVJ: WayHaught did start this premiere in a really, really strong place. Will all this with Nicole’s past affect their relationship at all?
EA: They are in a good place and I think they are going to try really hard to not keep those secrets from one another. It’s more like in exploring that past together, what kind of stuff is going to come up? I think that works both ways.
TTVJ: I liked seeing Dolls and Nicole together again. We don’t get to see those two a lot so it was nice.
EA: I kind of like that they are the grown ups of the group, right? They are both law enforcement and understand protocol and what it takes to be an investigator and do the leg work. I just like that they respect one another and really missed it since the first season. They have a natural repertoire together that I really buy that he would trust her and vice versa.
TTVJ: You wasted no time in introducing us to Mama Earp, however it’s surprising because she’s not only in prison, but also a bit crazy. Was she always that way or is this a result because of something with her past with Bulshar? I know, you’ll tell me nothing.
EA: I will tell you nothing. That’s like saying ‘in the finale, does this happen?’ The truck shows up on crutches, it’s amazing, and there’s not a dry eye in the house. I don’t want to tell you.
I would say that it’s very interesting that Mama Earp seems to be suffering from some sort of mental illness because it speaks so deeply to one of Wynonna’s greatest fears. Going back to the very first season, Wynonna thinks she’s destined to be crazy, and for years she had seen demons and been told they were hallucinations and all in her mind. Maybe part of the reason why that resonated so much with Wynonna, and haunts her so much, is because she does have a parent that maybe is considered crazy. That’s all I’m going to say about that.
TTVJ: Can you answer though how if she was in prison this whole time, then how is it that she was just sitting on that cliff at the end of last year?
EA: Because guys, she’s at a psych facility, it’s not like a maximum security prison. She was on a walk. Haven’t you seen One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest? She was on a walk, had a blanket around her, and was having her outdoor time. She was in the yard and by the river. By the way, that facility actually is by the river, too.
TTVJ: We didn’t get a lot, but it already seems as though we’re going to get some powerhouse scenes between Megan Follows and Melanie Scrofano this year. That was very exciting.
EA: It’s just amazing. They are so good and really challenge each other so much because they have so much range and so many tools in their toolbox. They are phenomenal together. Mama Earp has a lot of really fun scenes with a lot of fun people in the cast.
TTVJ: Outside of Bulshar, we also got vampires in this premiere! How long have you wanted to find a way to incorporate vamps and how do you make sure you’re putting a Wynonna Earp spin on them?
EA: It’s funny, when I started out in genre, particularly on Lost Girl, vampires were kind of verboten because they were being tackled so successfully via a lot of other pop culture avenues. I feel like vampires have been done over and over and over again, so I almost was hesitant to tackle it because it felt cliche. But in the third season of Wynonna, I knew we could put our own spin on it, and that spin is that I love Eurotrash vampires with a stripper bus.
Here’s what I love about the vampires: they are super sexy and fun, but also they are the first demon or supernatural entity we’ve had in Purgatory that doesn’t bother to disguise itself. The revenants want to pass. They want to disguise themselves and hide their demoness. The vampires can glamour you to do whatever they want, so as if they are going to wear anything less than a full Rihanna outfit and gold fangs, hello! I just loved how brazen they were and it felt like we hadn’t really done that kind of villain before. Plus, vampires are just fun and there’s so much mythology with sex, death, the aristocracy and tradition.
What I like about vampires too is that everybody kind of knows about vampires. Everybody understands the lore and more or less understands the rules, like you have to stake them. So it’s a bit of a shortcut in the premiere and I thought it gave us an engine for the first episode, but also an energy where we didn’t have to waste time on lots of exposition. Plus, they are just fun!
TTVJ: They were! They also looked so fabulous. I want to give a shout out to the wardrobe department, but also the art department for that whole great pink vibe.
EA: They are both amazing this year and they are only just getting started. Wait until you see the evening gown they put the truck in. Episode 9, you’re gonna die!
TTVJ: Speaking of people looking super sexy and fabulous, Jeremy has a mustache this year! What is that all about and is it real?
EA: It is real and it is fabulous. What’s that about? I’d be more curious as to what the Earpers think it’s about.
TTVJ: Coming along with the vampires was this character named Kate, who also seems to have a past with Doc. What can you share with us about Kate and how she’s connected to Doc?
EA: I can share nothing other than what you’ve seen.
TTVJ: I’ve seen that she’s giving us fierce Janelle Monae vibes with that mask.
EA: We filmed that months ago, guys! Months ago! I have receipts! There’s certainly worse people to be compared to though than Janelle Monae.
You should feel like Kate is a total enigma right now. First of all, she’s a vampire and that’s not super duper. Second of all, she seems to know Doc. He kind of shot her, which isn’t very nice, but fairly sexy. I would say they maybe have a history, or Doc seems to think they do.
TTVJ: I really liked that we saw that Wynonna wasn’t the only one having a rough time giving up Alice, but that it’s really affecting Doc as well. It’s also nice to see her try to help him through this. What can you preview about where those two are headed this season?
EA: Well, what I liked about it is that the decision to give up baby Alice is obviously devastating, but the truth is also that Wynonna had time to live with that decision that maybe Doc didn’t. I feel like Wynonna would’ve known she was giving up the baby for months. It would’ve been devastating, but Doc didn’t dare to ask those questions and didn’t know for sure. So he had hours to wrap his mind around the fact that ‘oh my god we have to get her away. They are putting her on a helicopter and I’m going to meet her for one second.’ Also, sometimes the feelings and emotions and love of fathers is undertold and under served. It can be devastating to lose a child, especially if you’re someone like Doc Holliday who was stuck in a well for 100 years and never, ever thought he’d have a chance to be a parent.
The specter of their daughter is with them all year and it’s not completely smooth sailing for them. They did things all in the wrong order. They had a baby and don’t even know if they are in love or in a relationship. So they are going to have to figure that out in the most tense, fraught, supernatural environment ever. There’s a lot of surprises coming their way, but do I doubt their feelings for one another? Not really!
TTVJ: Also, we have eyeballs and saw that last scene! My god!
EA: I know! That was a hot kiss! It was like the first scene they filmed all season. They are so amazing together, those two. They are so good, too, in that you only have to do like two takes. It’s perfect. Good!
TTVJ: When he took his hat off and like was sliding across the bar, ‘oh god! Thanks Emily!’
EA: I know! You’re welcome. That was for you. I was like ‘how can we make Bridget happy?’ But confidence is hot and those two just have such amazing chemistry.
TTVJ: What can we expect to see in next week’s episode?
EA: Playtime is over. It is fraught. It is dire. It is in some ways the most dangerous episode we’ve ever done. It’s cold as hell and it has an ending that we need to talk about immediately.
What did you think of the Wynonna Earp Season 3 premiere? Sound off in the comments below!
Wynonna Earp airs Fridays at 9 p.m. on SYFY and Space Channel.