*** 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 “Better Dig Two” ***
Earpers, are you still breathing? For the second week in a row, Wynonna Earp took viewers through the full gamut of emotions as the show wrapped up some long-standing story arcs in the penultimate episode of Season 4. In “Better Dig Two,” written by showrunner Emily Andras and directed by Paolo Barzman, Wynonna’s (Melanie Scrofano) feud with the Clantons came to a head as Cleo (Savannah Basley) worked her magic to literally pit Wynonna and Doc (Tim Rozon) in a duel against each other. Thankfully, Doc’s subconscious helped them find a way out and the two seem finally ready to take a meaningful step in their relationship, especially now that Dark Angel Waverly (Dominique Provost-Chalkley) de-vamped Doc and made him human once more.
Speaking of Waverly, thankfully her descent into complete darkness was halted by Nicole’s (Katherine Barrell) sacrifice. Nicole voluntarily became the Angel Shield, forever confined to the Ghost River Triangle, in order to keep Waverly from entering the Garden. Closer than ever before, WayHaught now seems more ready than ever before to hurry up and get their wedding underway. Might it be ahead in next week’s Season 4 finale? Andras once again spoke to The TV Junkies about that, Doc and Wynonna’s face-off, and how becoming the Shield may have been Nicole’s destiny all along.
The TV Junkies: I know that we’re still in a pandemic so this isn’t possible, but all I wanted to do after that episode is hug everyone.
Emily Andras: I know! It was so stressful and fraught!
TTVJ: And this wasn’t even the finale!
EA: Nope, we’ve got one more. What could possibly happen?
TTVJ: Given that, and everything that went down the week before, how did you approach this penultimate episode?
EA: We knew we had to finish a lot of the long-standing arcs of the season. We obviously have a very important event, hopefully, to get to in the next episode. So I knew I had to resolve things like BBD and the Clantons this episode to clear some runway for the emotional stuff that’s to come. Basically, what I’m saying is that if you think you’re devastated now, just wait! It felt like a natural culmination of all the pipe we’ve been laying for so many years about the Garden and Waverly having this dark part of herself. I’m sure we’ll talk about Nicole, but she finally became part of something mystical and part of the plan that she’s always been drawn to.
TTVJ: We saw the true power of Dark Angel Waverly in this episode. What were your discussions with Dom like about this turn that Waverly was going to take?
EA: We had tons of discussions, but a lot of them were around what she was specifically going to look like. It’s one of those things where we’re usually careful, but we actually got to the floor and were like, ‘wait, what are we doing with the angel?’ We were pretty determined to have a costume change and we really loved the idea of draining the color of her skin. We wanted to make it look grey to fulfill the promise that Kevin (Anna Silk) said about if she sat on the throne she would turn to stone. She did, right? Her skin was porcelain, but her heart became hard. She became numb to the ways of man and humanity. There was a real threat that she would never come back.
TTVJ: WayHaught’s love has always been pretty clear and the power of it has always been shown throughout the series, but Nicole willingly stepping up to become the Angel Shield seemed to prove that to another level. It didn’t even seem like a very hard decision for her to make. Why was that?
EA: Destiny plays such a huge role on Wynonna Earp all of the time, for all the characters. Doc was destined to come back and fulfill his promise to save the Earps. Wynonna was destined to be the Earp Heir. Waverly was destined to go dark and wrestle with this other part of herself. The hints about Nicole have been there as well. She was part of the Cult of Bulshar, and she was drawn to come back to the Ghost River Triangle. I think that it also has been her destiny that she was always going to become a steward of this magical realm.
It felt natural and I really was so proud of the idea of these two queer women becoming the champion and guardians of this sacred place. It upends a lot of negative traditional text and things we’ve been told our whole lives. I love that they are the goodness worthy of protecting such a magical place.
TTVJ: After being in lockdown over the past year, a permanent staycation does seem a little daunting. I think we can all appreciate how epic the sacrifice Nicole made truly is.
EA: No kidding! I hope she keeps an office at BBD just so she can go and sleep on that couch.
TTVJ: I’m really hoping for her sake that there’s some beaches in the Ghost River Triangle that we don’t know about.
EA: You know what? Probably! It’s very beautiful. I feel like a lot of Earpers, if they knew their lockdown would involve staring at Waverly’s face for forever, would sign up in a heartbeat without a second thought.
TTVJ: That’s completely fair. However, it’s a little sad to think that Nicole’s fiancée has never been outside the Ghost River Triangle and now she can’t even take her anywhere.
EA: There’s sacrifice everywhere. I think it’s good messaging that your life doesn’t have to be perfect to be full of joy and happiness. If you find any joy and happiness that’s enough on some level and it’s good. Season 5, don’t worry! They’ll build a hot air balloon.
TTVJ: I have always been a little fuzzy on the boundaries of the Ghost River Triangle anyways.
EA: Exactly! Maybe it goes all the way to Vegas. We don’t know!
TTVJ: This was a pretty major Doc episode and Dark Angel Waverly made him human again, only because she said it’s what he wanted. What’s that mean to Doc?
EA: It’s such an amazing culmination of his journey this year. He wanted to finally atone for the many terrible things he has done. He’s done so many selfish things for hundreds of years, and on some level, trading his mortality to become a vampire was the most selfish. So in his quest to give up the past and truly become a better man, maybe a man worthy of someone else that he loves, that was the final piece of the puzzle. Being that he was just a man, and had to accept life and all its limitations, I think on some level Doc’s deepest desire was to find a way to de-vamp himself. I guess when good ol’ Dark Angel Waverly put her sexy metal cuff hands on him she could sense that.
TTVJ: All season long we’ve been waiting for things between Doc and Wynonna to come to a head. They literally did in this episode as you pitted them in a duel against each other.
EA: Sure did! The good news about the duel is that it practices social distancing and you’re six feet apart. I’m assuming all the invisible reapers were masked. For so many years we have had the spectre of Wyatt Earp over our shoulder and the thing that defined him was his legacy at the OK Corral. To be able to mirror that, in a warped grotesque version, between an Earp and a Holliday was really cool. A lot of the signs were there when you look at Episodes 405 and 406 and the discussions there. I like the twist that we assume Wynonna would become the Clanton Heir, but their darkest enemy is really Doc. He was the one who cleaned up Wyatt’s mess.
I think it was a particularly poignant type of torment for Doc and Wynonna. Wynonna was seeing this man who she loves, and has worked so hard to become better, be forced into the most nefarious version of himself. Doc was behind those eyes and unable to stop himself from almost killing the woman he loves the most in the entire world, and her friends and family. It seemed like a very personal form of anguish and that felt right in that moment. But being around Wynonna has taught Doc a lot, and he figured out early that he better make some contingency plans, and he loaded that gun with the wrong kind of bullets just in case. He subconsciously knew. Clever to the end, that Doc Holliday.
TTVJ: One other moment involving Doc that I really loved was with Jeremy when they were trapped in the BBD cell. Jeremy says he knows that Doc is a changed man. What did Jeremy saying that mean to Doc, and why was Jeremy the character to be there to stop him from eating Mercedes?
EA: Jeremy has always put Doc on a pedestal and that’s a dangerous place to be, but he was asking Doc to be as human as possible. Their friendship is so rich, and to be honest, there’s been many times where Doc has saved Jeremy, so it felt like it was time for the tables to be turned. As we ramp up to the end of the season, any chance we have to honor a relationship that maybe hasn’t been on screen that much this year, like the friendship between Doc and Jeremy, is really welcome. I don’t know how much work they really have done together and those guys love each other in real life, too.
It’s so gratifying to be able to put two characters together in a scene when you know they have their own histories, their own language, and their own quirks. You’re going to get something really valid and genuine. I felt like Jeremy was the perfect person to do that because he’s such a good guy and truly believes Doc is good. I would also not want to eat someone in front of Jeremy. I would feel terrible. Even someone that looks as good as Dani Fucking Kind. That’s how powerful Varun is.
TTVJ: Speaking of Mercedes, she’s now a vampire? Like most things in her life, she seems to be rolling with the punches and taking this change like a champ.
EA: It’s a role she was born to play, baby! Have you ever met a character more destined to be the sexiest, most boss bitch vampire in your entire life than Mercedes Gardner? No! Plus, Mercedes has only played one role this year. I don’t want Dani Kind to get bored and leave me so I had to come up with something else for her to play.
TTVJ: When I spoke to her earlier, she mentioned you had checked in with her prior to the episode about this change for her character.
EA: Now she knows how I work, right? The first time she was like, ‘Excuse me, I was cast as a realtor. Why am I in this bustle with skin falling off my face?’ She is up for anything now and is just incredible. She’s an incredible performer.
TTVJ: Do you also think that Mercedes is happy that she can now run off and be vampire wives with Kate (Chantel Riley)?
EA: I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibilities. I would definitely watch a webisode about what happened when those two were trapped together in the Gardner household. Do I think it was 10 p.m. cable? No, I think it was 1 a.m. Skinamax, for sure. The apocalypse is coming so get it while you can. I don’t think Kate will hate it.
TTVJ: Speaking of crazy bitches, I know Cleo took off and left Purgatory, but I’m going to really miss her.
EA: She’s such a great survivor, right? In the spirit of Wynonna Earp, until your head blows up, you’re not a goner, and even then, who knows? We love Savannah and she brought such an incredible energy. She really is a natural talent and has that Scrofano thing where you can just watch her face all day. She’s an interesting character and one I feel a bit conflicted about. She’s not just stone-cold evil, and I love those shades of grey. However, I still wouldn’t want to cross her in a dark alley, wherever she is.
TTVJ: Cleo had a lot of interesting things to say to Wynonna about being tied to a legacy, tied to being the heir, and tied to killing. How did that affect Wynonna and her thoughts about being the Earp heir?
EA: The new Wynonna who has matured, believe it or not, even with all the abuse and trouble that she’s been through, realizes that on some level it could be worse. What did Wynonna have that Cleo didn’t? She had Waverly. She had a sister who loved her, never gave up on her, and who’d always stick by her and believe her. Cleo also grew up in an abusive household where she was supposed to answer for these crimes of her ancestors, even though it had nothing to do with what she did with her life, what she wanted, or her time on Earth. Love saved Wynonna, in a very weird, warped way, and Wynonna may feel like she got off easier than Cleo. She found a better way out, on her own terms, and still has her family by her side.
TTVJ: Before we leave Cleo, what is your job that you get paid to write lines like ‘you’re a master baiter’?
EA: I was a summer camp counselor and heard a kid say that once. I stored it deep in my brain for a later day and moved long division out of the way. It’s crazy that they pay me money to say stuff like that. Please don’t put that on my epitaph. Or do, whatever! When I die and they put my picture on screen maybe they’ll put that line. Talk about a legacy, right? The cast just chews it up again and Savannah really went for it.
TTVJ: As we head towards the end of the season, I was hoping we could talk a little about what a great addition Rachel, and Martina Ortiz Luis, have been to the found family of this show. She was the missing piece we didn’t know what was missing.
EA: Martina is an exceptional performer, and I say this with all the love in my heart, but she hadn’t done a ton of acting before this. You throw her in with the heavyweights of Dom, Tim, Mel, and Kat and wonder how it’s going to go. It went beautifully and I love the energy she gave Rachel Valdez. It’s such an honest portrayal of a teenager. She’s not too sexy, not too whiny, not too mean, and still very clever. It felt like her entire energy was something we didn’t have from the other characters, particularly the women, and I cannot wait for what happens next with Rachel Valdez.
She just feels like a kid her age would feel. She’s not the worst version of that age. Often I feel like teenagers are too well-read, too well-spoken, or they’re just nightmares because they’re struggling with communication and full of hormones. Martina just didn’t try to be anything but what came natural to her and deserves kudos for her comic timing and vulnerability. There was a feeling when she came on set where everyone else was determined to make sure her experience was supported, safe, and genuine. They wanted to make sure she had a chance to try things in a space that was safe and protected. It was really gratifying watching the rest of the cast rally around her and let her know that she wasn’t going to fall on our watch. She thrived!
TTVJ: It sounds like we’re going to maybe have a wedding next week? Should we dust off our formal wear and get ready?
EA: I always think you should have your formal wear ready to go just in case. You should probably be wearing tearaway pants. That’s the intention, but it’s Purgatory so God knows what can happen. If I’m planning a wedding in Purgatory I would have to be ready for anything. Waverly is a planner, so maybe she will be.
TTVJ: It’d be really cute if all the Earpers wore formal wear for the live tweet.
EA: Do it! Do it! I’m in! Our Easter bonnet? Sunday best? Just wear your prom dress, Bridge!
TTVJ: What can we expect in the finale, especially given we seem to have wrapped up a lot of the bigger plot points of the season such as the Garden and the Clantons?
EA: Well, I definitely can talk about it without crying and that’s the most important thing. There are beginnings and endings. Hellos and goodbyes. You can expect love, family, home, and a big kiss on the cheek from me to all the Earpers. Oh, and complete mayhem! Get some Kleenex. Buy more than you think you’ll probably need.
Wynonna Earp airs Fridays at 10 p.m. on SYFY and CTV Sci-Fi.