Wynonna Earp Postmortem: Emily Andras Talks “If We Make It Through December”

*** 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. ***

*** This article contains major spoilers for the Wynonna Earp Season 3 episode “If We Make It Through December” ***

Well it wasn’t totally the Merry Earpmas that Wynonna Earp fans were hoping for when they heard that the supernatural western would be tackling a holiday episode. While there was still plenty of holiday cheer, thanks in large part to a very determined Mama Earp (Megan Follows), things in Purgatory also got very scary as a child went missing. Bulshar’s (Jean Marchand) plan seems to be in full swing, as he keeps taking descendants of Purgatory’s first families, but luckily Robin (Justin Kelly) was able to escape in time for a holiday reunion with Jeremy (Varun Saranga).

But Bulshar isn’t the biggest worry that many Wynonna Earp fans left the episode with. In the closing moments, after being rejected by Wynonna (Melanie Scrofano), Doc (Tim Rozon) allowed himself to be turned into a vampire by his wife Kate (Chantel Riley). Elsewhere, all of the Purgatory madness got to finally be too much for Nedley (Greg Lawson) and he stepped down as Sheriff, making way for Nicole (Katherine Barrell) to fill his spot. Oh, and don’t forget that Mama went and let Bobo (Michael Eklund) out of the well in order to go find Waverly’s (Dominique Provost-Chalkley) father, Julian.

Needless to say there was a lot that we wanted to discuss in this week’s chat with showrunner Emily Andras. Andras co-wrote “If We Make It Through December” with Matt Doyle and it was directed by Paolo Barzman. She talks a little about what it was like to bring the holidays to Purgatory, why she wanted to do a holiday episode and previews what exactly was behind Doc’s decision to become immortal once again.

The TV Junkies: So it’s time for Christmas in August!

Emily Andras: Exactly! And it’s so fun!

TTVJ: Let’s all just drink with Mama Earp and carve some turkeys! I would be down for that.

EA: Oh my god it’s amazing! Don’t you just love it?

TTVJ: I loved her getting all up in that turkey and like shaking the guts at Waverly as she talked.

EA: Megan Follows actually did that by the way. We said ‘do you want to do this? We can build a fake turkey,’ and she was like ‘no, I’ll totally go for it.’ It smelled so bad on set!

TTVJ: It was a real turkey?

EA: Yes! It was humanely butchered. So it was a real turkey and she was really taking stuff out of it. Dom is a vegan and it smelled really terrible. End of interview. See you next week, Bridge.

TTVJ: When she was sitting there chopping the neck and really getting into it, I couldn’t help but be like ‘oh man, I love Mama Earp.’

EA: The thing about Mama though is that she’s been proven to not be crazy, but she’s still kind of crazy.

TTVJ: Well, Wynonna is kind of crazy.

EA: Exactly! I love that she took a rifle out and slaughtered a wild turkey. You see Waverly and Wynonna exchange a look like she should not even have a gun! What? No!

If you think I didn’t keep that Christmas sweater with the bottle opener on it…

TTVJ: That was my favorite thing!

EA: At the end of the year, Jennifer Haffenden, our head of wardrobe and an incredible woman, lets each member of the cast keep a signature piece. She’s so generous and she asked me if I wanted anything. She was thinking these amazing shoes that Dom had, or this amazing sequin blazer that Chantel Riley wore, and I said ‘I don’t want any of that. All I want is the Christmas sweater with the bottle opener.’ She’s like ‘it’s literally from Salvation Army.’ I said ‘I don’t care. It’s the greatest thing ever!’ So they had it dry-cleaned for me and it’s amazing. It’s all I want. I don’t want anything fancy.

TTVJ: When I saw that I loved it so much. I fully agree with your choice. It’s brilliant!

EA: It was so cute. They bought a million Christmas sweaters and everyone got to pick their favorite. Kat obviously looked amazing in the blue cat one and Mel got to pick out her onesie. Of course she got to keep it because it’s so Mel, as well as Wynonna. It was so fun and hilarious and the art department did such a good job decorating.

TTVJ: And then Doc was so happy he got that tree and was dragging it around everywhere, but no one wanted it.

EA: I know! Also, the person that deserves a huge shoutout is Josh from SYFY. I told him I wanted to do a Christmas episode, and the networks never let you do a seasonal episode, but Josh was like ‘I freaking love this idea so much’ and backed us completely. I just hope it’s an Earp tradition from now on.

TTVJ: What did prompt you wanting to do a Christmas episode?

EA: I feel like we earned it and because it’s always winter when we film we thought ‘what can we do that’s special?’ I thought ‘do these guys ever celebrate Christmas?’ It also felt like a natural, fun, family celebration. This is the post-Jolene episode, Mama is back in their life so what better event to showcase what the Earp family and Earp girls are going to feel like going forward, but Christmas? What is that going to look like now that Mama is back in their life? It just felt like a chance to have a happy time for our family as well, although of course a million other things happen in this episode that are slightly less happy. I don’t know if you noticed.

TTVJ: Yes, before we started on dead turkeys my first thought was actually John Henry Holliday what did you do?

EA: I know! What screams Christmas more than letting your vampiric ex turn you into a vampire? Isn’t that how Charlie Brown’s Christmas ends? I think it does. Did you even read A Christmas Carol, Bridget?

TTVJ: I was mad at him, but more just disappointed. I guess he thinks he’s doing whatever he has to in order to protect Wynonna and Alice.

EA: It’s OK if you’re mad at him. We just hope it’s consistent with his character.

TTVJ: For sure, because he’s been missing that immortality and in a way he almost thinks he needs that kind of superpower in order to fight Bulshar.

EA: I don’t want to give too much away, but it feels both selfless and selfish, right? On some levels if he’s immortal he’s going to be around to help Wynonna and Alice, but at the same time we know he went to Hell. He’s scared of his own mortality. So it’s kind of both. I also don’t think you can discount the fact that he put himself out there for Wynonna and she basically rejected him. He made overtures to her where he was like ‘maybe we can just be together’ and that’s a huge deal for Doc sociopath Holliday. She just couldn’t let herself get there, right? So he’s a bit heartbroken.

I also can’t begin to tell you what a joy and delight it is to be on the type of television show where you can take an already immortal world famous gunslinger and then make him a vampire. Hopefully the fans will be like ‘well that happened and also there’s a tampon angel!’ You don’t see a lot of that on other shows.

TTVJ: I agree. I also am eager to see what Tim Rozon does with this twist to Doc’s story.

EA: There you go. I can hear the disappoint in your voice, Bridget. I know that you’re trying to be good on the phone, but it’s going to be in the subtext of this entire interview. You’re not thrilled or happy about Doc.

TTVJ: Hey now, I loved Angel for a long time. I’ll be OK with still loving Doc as a vampire.

EA: Listen, vampires are sexy. They are very sexy. Finally you’ll find Doc Holliday sexy! Just maybe.

TTVJ: I won’t deny that he was pretty sexy in that end scene offering himself up for Kate.

EA: Exactly! You’re like ‘why do I feel both so angry and so in it?’ That’s how I want you to feel. I want you to feel many things at once. Confused, but delighted.

TTVJ: It was very hard though, like you said, to see Wynonna reject him. Are they going to still be at odds for the time being, especially since she seems to have this new guy Charlie? Doesn’t she know she should be wary of firefighters who just appear?

EA: She should be, but she’s also Wynonna Earp and she’s reckless and on some level doesn’t believe she should be happy, right? She also just had a baby. There’s a million reasons she shouldn’t be doing this. Nicole Haught should probably not have tossed the ring into the woods. Maybe Doc should not have become a vampire because he was sad. Lots of people make decisions that maybe aren’t the best. Mama Earp probably shouldn’t have let Bobo out of the well. I think that’s what keeps our characters so three-dimensional and why we love them. As long as you understand why they are doing it, then you hopefully feel that it’s earned and will stick with them to see the consequences of those actions.

Yes, she should be wary of strange anyone coming into Purgatory, but not everyone in Purgatory can be a supernatural creature. Besides, she did the old Peacemaker test.

TTVJ: I don’t know… He seems so unfazed by the whole supernatural thing and if she doesn’t have her eye on him then at least I do!  

EA: Good. Stay tuned! I’m glad you have your eyes on the other hot guy, Bridget. You’re like ‘I guess I’ll have to watch him.’ Fine. Thank you for your service. Thank you so much.

TTVJ: I did very much enjoy those two taking out Bulshar’s minions to the tune of “Jingle Bells.” That was a lot of fun.

EA: It was so fun, eh? It was so hard for Andrea Higgins [music supervisor] to find the perfect Christmas song because Christmas songs are very hard to license. I was like ‘this has to be perfect or it’s not going to work,’ but it was pretty hilarious to watch a montage of people shooting beekeepers in the face listening to “Jingle Bells.” Again, you don’t see that a lot on Downton Abbey.

TTVJ: I loved when he said ‘who are you talking to?’ And she just goes ‘I don’t know.’ [laughs]

EA: But that’s so Wynonna, right? It’s good to bring in people that don’t know her and remind everyone else that Wynonna is kind of nuts!

TTVJ: Someone who is definitely on the Naughty List is Bulshar. We got to see a little bit more into his operation, but I still have no clue what he’s doing with the descendants of the first families. I don’t think you’ll give us any hints as to what he’s up to, but how terrified should we be?

EA: How about that tampon angel, right?

I would say we are only getting inklings of what the hell Bulshar is up to, what he wants and what he’s doing in Purgatory. I think it’s interesting that he’s targeting the first families and is obviously kind of #bitter. I wouldn’t say he’s the least crazy villain we’ve had on the show, but why is he using them and for what end? I would say we’ve not even begun to see the extent of Bulshar’s power and his threat, to be completely honest. So fairly terrified.

TTVJ: Even his Santa outfit was terrifying!

EA: He had such a jaunty red cape! Is there anything Jean Marchand can’t wear? The answer is no! He has the best wardrobe on the show, except for the bottle opening Christmas sweater which you cannot have! You can’t have it!

TTVJ: OK, but the next ugly Christmas sweater party I have to go to I’m just buying a plain sweater and putting a bottle opener like that on it.

EA: That would be amazing! Now I want to give it to you!

TTVJ: No, no. You deserve it.

EA: Awww, OK. OK…

TTVJ: At least Robin was able to escape and be reunited with Jeremy. Those two seem to be in a great spot, so can we expect that happiness to continue moving forward?

EA: I would say they have some happiness. I mean I still think that Robin was hooked up to some crazy fertilizer machine, which was not super great and has been coughing up dirt, which is also not super great, but also he’s adorable and was so brave. He strove to protect that kid and both of them deserve a little bit of happiness. Seeing these characters be happy makes everyone feel a little bit of contentment and is a break from the constant demon-ness of the show. So maybe. I really loved their kiss and reunion. I really loved Doc talking to Jeremy about going for it and thought that was really sweet.

TTVJ: Jeremy was really great in this episode. I loved when he put his hand on Doc’s leg and then later when he was making the “Bulshar’s a huge dick” joke.

EA: I laughed so hard at Tim’s expression when Jeremy says “huge dick.” Doc just does this double take, and the editor had edited it in closeup, and I was like “this has to be in wide shot because you have to see the whole thing.” It’s so funny! I’m sorry I’m such a child, but I laughed so hard. I thought Tim and Varun were amazing in this episode.

TTVJ: Well I’m apparently right there with you and here for all the dick jokes this season. I didn’t know those were my thing, but here we are.

EA: Of course! They are everybody’s thing, Bridget! They are everybody’s thing.

TTVJ: The holidays also allowed Mama Earp to get closer to her girls and she gave Waverly some more details on Julian. Can we trust what Mama is telling them about Waverly’s father?

EA: I don’t know because memories are subjective, right? People always paint a picture, and because these are so tied to emotion, I think that really clouds how we feel about someone or a moment — both positively and negatively. We are certainly only getting the first piece of the puzzle here, but at least we are getting some pieces.

TTVJ: I feel like I should probably be more nervous about Mama letting Bobo out of the well, but I am also eager to find out more about this Julian. Plus, I find Bobo and his mayhem so entertaining.

EA: So you’re happy he’s on the loose. You can’t contain Michael Eklund, right? You’ve got to let him go Full Bobo!

TTVJ: Can you preview where those two may be headed together? You probably can’t say anything.

EA: Nope, I cannot. I think it’s probably not going to be the best when everybody finds out that Mama let Bobo out of the well. Where is Bobo going to go? Is he still involved with Bulshar? What’s his plan now? It’s probably not going to be as fun as Christmas but we’ll see!

TTVJ: Now to the thing that upset me most in the episode, I can’t believe Nedley stepped down as Sheriff.

EA: Even more than Doc becoming a vampire?

TTVJ: Yes!

EA: Well, poor Nedley was so shaken and he has PTSD.

TTVJ: Well maybe he just needed to watch something better than Pretty Little Liars.

EA: Whoa! Wow! Are you printing this? You’re going to get so many emails and I know which Earpers are going to be like ‘WHAT?’ First of all, #LeaveMeOutOfThat!

Second, I just think all the cops I talk to have that moment where they crack, especially homicide detectives. You never know which case is going to be the one that just breaks you. That’s something we strive to do on Wynonna Earp to still ground these characters in true emotion and true real life situations. I felt like I understood that Nedley just couldn’t take it anymore. There’s something about how he could see in his peripheral vision that he had an officer who could take over, that he didn’t have to carry it all himself, that he has Wynonna and Nicole and this whole team. It’s like when you allow yourself to relax and you get sick. I think it almost gave him permission to let go a tiny bit and then it was a flood of emotions.

But don’t count Nedley out yet, Bridget. He’s a survivor and we love Greg Lawson! We just got him on Twitter so relax!

TTVJ: No, I can definitely see that with it being a kid-related case because I don’t do well with kid things. I also love Nicole and want her to be sheriff. I just wasn’t ready to lose Nedley already.

EA: Well we haven’t lost him. I would say that Nedley has a very interesting season coming up. This is life and this is also what’s horrible about life. Sometimes you win some and sometimes you lose some. Sometimes you save people and sometimes you don’t. So buckle up! That’s all I’m going to say, but also Greg Lawson is such an incredible actor.

TTVJ: On a happier note, can you talk a little about the sweet WayHaught moment at the end of the episode?

EA: What I really loved about the cheerleader dance in Season 2 is that it was very sensual and sexual, and I found it very empowering because it was subverting the male gaze. With this scene, and what I loved about how Dominique and Kat chose to perform this scene, is that it’s incredibly vulnerable. I like that Dominique starts singing and then she starts laughing and is kind of embarrassed and Nicole is so supportive of Waverly. It just feels like a relationship that has evolved and that these two know each other and there’s a huge level of trust there. I find it super sexy and super romantic, but it also makes my heart sing because it really felt so real and natural and I love that.

TTVJ: In the last two seasons, the seventh episode has been pretty crazy. So can we expect that again this season with next week’s episode?

EA: Y-E-S! Yes, totally insane! 307 is totally nuts and so much fun. It’s so hilarious! It’s Noelle Carbone’s first script and if you like WynHaught you will like this episode. It’s a huge tonal shift, but so many laugh out loud moments, so much character growth and really interesting backstory reveals for some people. There’s also a lot of drinking. A lot of drinking! It’s tradition!

What did you think of this week’s episode? Add your thoughts below!

Wynonna Earp airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on SYFY and Space Channel.


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