Wynonna Earp Postmortem: Emily Andras Talks “Hell Raisin’ Good Time”

*** 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. ***

*** Warning: This article contains spoilers for the Wynonna Earp episode “Hell Raisin’ Good Time” ***

It was Trick or Treat time in Purgatory this week as Wynonna Earp celebrated Halloween. In typical Earp fashion, there were plenty of tricks to be found as Rotten Jack terrorized the city, but fans of the Earp sisters were treated with plenty of special moments. Wynonna (Melanie Scrofano) and Waverly (Dominique Provost-Chalkley) fell victim to the mind-altering fog that seems to have been surrounding the Ghost River Triangle as of late. Thanks to their time spent in the fog, the Earp sisters briefly lost their memory and any idea of who they were. Thankfully, by episode’s end they had their wits about them once again and had a much needed heart-to-heart discussion about where things stand between them since WayHaught’s engagement.

Elsewhere, “Hell Raisin’ Good Time,” written by Caitlin D. Fryers and directed by Paolo Barzman, provided fans with some answers about where Robin has been. As it turns out, the fog also got to him, but to a much bigger degree, and Jeremy (Varun Saranga) has had to accept that he may never be the person he once knew. Showrunner Emily Andras once again joined The TV Junkies to discuss Robin’s new face, all that Earp sister bonding time, and provide insight into Doc (Tim Rozon) and Wynonna’s continued tension. 

The TV Junkies: This was another really fun episode! Why did you guys want to do a Halloween episode?

Emily Andras: Because Halloween is the greatest holiday of all time! All other holidays are inferior to the Devil’s night, especially you, Easter and Arbor Day. I’m side-eyeing you. We sort of tested the waters with a Christmas episode, and everyone seemed to enjoy it, so Halloween just felt like a hilarious and well-matched event to pair with a demon-hunting cowgirl show. 

TTVJ: It is sad that due to the pandemic there won’t be a ton of Earper Halloween parties the way there was for the Christmas episode.

EA: I know, but I hope everyone dressed up anyway for the live tweet. By the time you read this, either we will have all dressed up for Halloween, or I will have been by myself online in full clown makeup.

TTVJ: I appreciate the fact that there were no clowns, but what were the discussions around the costumes like? We’re all super grateful for Melanie Scrofano as Britney Spears. How did you decide what everyone would be?

EA: I care about you so I didn’t think we could deliver frogs and clowns in the same season and keep you still watching the show. I have mastered the art of how far to push the trolling. It was really fun to talk about the costumes. There’s so many and it seemed very natural that Waverly would become the angel. We needed that story point, and then, Wynonna as a superhero seems quite winky and noddy. Britney Spears just sounded fun, and like something Waverly would make Wynonna dress up as, which was really good. Waverly being a super cute ladybug felt very on brand. I don’t think she would pick the sexiest costume, and she never had the opportunity to have a childhood Halloween, so her pick had to be child-like. 

Doc/Tim was fairly limited due to the facial hair. We thought, ‘What characters have this mustache?’ It came down to like Hopper from Stranger Things and Magnum, P.I., but then once we pitched Freddie Mercury, Tim said it had to be that. It really made me laugh to think that Doc Holliday is now a Queen fan. 

TTVJ: They were all just amazing! Wardrobe really did a wonderful job this episode.

EA: I have to give a shout-out to Jenn Haffenden, our costume designer, because this one was so grueling on her. It was written before the pandemic, so the plan was to have the Glory Hole stuffed…oops! A stuffed Glory Hole, hey yo! So it would’ve been full of demons in Halloween costumes, which made it a really grueling and involved episode for costumes. You still see it now in the Zoom calls, and she came up with some very weird, spooky, creepy costumes for the demons versus the humans. It was just an incredible amount of work done by Jenn. 

TTVJ: While on the subject of wardrobe, so many fans are going to be thrilled to see Haught’s Stetson make a reappearance. Why did you guys want to give back with that particular boop?

EA: It seemed like a fun nod, too. Since Waverly and Nicole are in such a good place, it was really fun for me to think about and remember how Nicole looked when Waverly first met her, and how that is a part of Waverly’s fantasy a bit. It just felt very natural and earned, and because it was Halloween, it felt good-spirited without being too exploitative of Kat or Nicole. Hopefully someone will notice!

TTVJ: This episode also really delivered on some quality Earp sisters time that we haven’t had in awhile. Why was now the right time to address some of the unspoken tension that’s been between them since WayHaught got engaged?

EA: It’s the perfect time. It feels like it’s looming, right? We’ve had the engagement party, no more delaying, and hopefully we’re planning a wedding soon. Surely nothing will interrupt that. The reality of it is that they need to figure out their situation. Is Nicole moving in with them? Is Waverly moving in with Nicole? There’s no doubt that Wynonna will have to deal with seeing less of Waverly as she marries the woman she loves. 

Also, the subtext for the entire back half of Season 4 is that Wynonna is not in a great place. She slept with Amon last episode and is not doing great. Waverly knows her so well that she would sense that maybe Wynonna is drinking and shooting away her feelings about Waverly “leaving”. 

TTVJ: It made my heart so happy to see the Earp sisters together again in front of the fire.

EA: That was the first scene we shot when we came back from hiatus. It was so weird to have a fire in the summer on the grass. Everyone felt it was so weird to be outside but not covered in blankets. Everyone was wearing masks behind the scenes, and it was very much our first day, but of course, everyone nailed it. It was a very emotional, interesting scene to come back on in this new reality of how we were going to make the rest of the show.

TTVJ: Conversely, we had some really comedic scenes between Mel and Dom where each of their characters have lost their memory of who they are. What were those like to film?

EA: I was there for some of it, but those two just never have more fun than when they are filming together. They bring out the goofy, sisterness in each other. They are constantly making each other break, and then they laugh so hard that they can’t get back to the scene. You see them feeding off each other, right? There’s so much physical comedy coming from Mel and Dom that is just so good. Any chance you have, once you’ve been on a show for a while, to play a slightly different character is welcomed by actors to keep it fresh. The fact that they were almost playing versions of one another just goes to show how well they’ve picked up on each other’s quirks and nuances — both as characters and actors. 

TTVJ: A lot of fans have always wanted a body swap episode, and this was quite an interesting way to sort of deliver on that premise.

EA: Well, thank you! I would also like a body swap with Melanie Scrofano’s body if we can make that happen. 

TTVJ: Unfortunately, while Wynonna worked out some issues with Waverly, she still has several with Doc. The angst train between those two is really picking up steam. Why are we not getting just an easy reconciliation between those two, and when might they finally address the elephant that’s always in the room with them?

EA: I don’t think this is an easy fix for Wynonna. She can’t flirt or kiss her way out of this. Her choice was really dark and complicated, and it scared Doc. It’s really counterintuitive to the way Doc is trying to restart his life. It feels very real and adult. You can care about people in your life and still take issue with their decisions, political beliefs, or religious beliefs. Unfortunately, that’s a truth for a lot of families, right? You can love people but you don’t always have to like them. I think that’s where Wynonna and Doc are at right now. 

The best fights in television are the ones where both people are right. I think they continue to both be right. Wynonna still has to fight and make decisions. Everyone else can sleep well at night because she’s the one that has had to do terrible things. She has to live with herself and those decisions. Doc still thinks that she had a different choice this time if she’d just been a little bit braver and a little less driven by anger. So my answer is… 2025. 

TTVJ: Many fans have been wondering about Robin, and like with the body swap, you found a way to give answers, but in a way we weren’t expecting. I assume Justin Kelly’s commitment as a series regular on Hudson & Rex factored into that decision, but can you talk a little about having Jim Watson now play Robin?

EA: That’s absolutely what happened, and to be clear, we absolutely love Justin. He’s such a decent dude and gets along well with Varun, but Hudson & Rex films in Newfoundland. That is literally way across the huge country of Canada. They were doing their own quarantine protocols, which you had to, and we were filming right when everyone was coming back. It was a really scary time. It soon became obvious we weren’t going to get Justin. 

I remember my producer Brian Dennis, who is always such a problem solver, said, ‘I don’t know what to do. We can’t get him. What do we do?’ I was like, ‘looks like somebody’s getting a new face!’ That’s the beauty of genre, especially when you don’t have a choice. We had known Jim Watson, he had auditioned originally for Robin, is well-liked in the Canadian theater community, and ironically, is pretty good friends with Justin. We talked with our amazing casting director Lisa Parasyn, and she gave us a list of actors that she thought could emulate Justin’s performance of Robin. We also have a “no jerks” policy so we told her to send us someone good who was also willing to come during the pandemic. 

Jim was just so gracious and lovely. That’s always such a hard position to be in and role to replace when you’re trying to imitate someone else’s choices and performance. It did help that Robin had lost his memory so he didn’t have to be exactly the same. We were really pleased with it, and I don’t think it took away from the pathos and the emotional stake of what Jeremy had lost. That was the most important thing to preserve in the story. Everyone was running around being selfish about their own arguments and hurt feelings, but Jeremy, on some level, has lost more than anyone, and still continues to fight and serve this team. I really love that story and thought Varun’s performance was incredible. 

TTVJ: So we have this fog that’s surrounding the Ghost River Triangle and growing all the time. I’m sure it’s not going to come into play or anything later, right?

EA: Of course not! It’ll be fine. Get some Beyoncé fans in there and blow it back out by the nearby town. You’re going to be golden.

TTVJ: How serious of a situation is this?

EA: You should worry about everything. If you look at Jeremy and Wynonna’s face when they realize there’s a mind-melting fog that makes you rip your own face off, then I think that’s Top 5 things I should worry about. Hopefully, we find a way to deal with it that doesn’t come and bite us in the ass right at the very worst moment when we really need the fog to not show up. Thanks a lot, fog! 

TTVJ: Is there anything else we should be sure to mention about this episode?

EA: This was definitely the episode I found most challenging to work around, insofar as it was the one that had to be changed the most due to the pandemic. As I said, we anticipated a huge group of people in the Glory Hole and we weren’t legally allowed to do that. I want to shout out the writer, Caitlin D. Fryers, who has written some amazing Earp episodes in the past, has gone on to other things, and did this script as a favor for us. I hope that she likes how it got changed, despite circumstances, and so many of her amazing lines are still in there. 

We also should once again thank Trevor Smith, our production designer, for all the amazing Halloween decorations. Trying to get pumpkins for a pumpkin field in the middle of August is actually really hard. Rotten Jack is also played by a woman, Kelsey Andries, who is one of our stunt performers. I thought she was so delightful and gave us such a wicked, mischievous, psychotic energy that I really enjoyed.

TTVJ: What can you preview about next week’s episode?

EA: Next week is another funny one and a really good case of the week. We’re starting to see what’s happening with Wynonna. Let’s also just say that it’s Trivia Night in Purgatory and everyone is OBSESSED. There’s a battle between the big brains and less big brains on our team and things get messy. You’re going to wish it never ends.

Wynonna Earp airs Fridays at 10 p.m. on SYFY and CTV Sci-Fi.


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