*** 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 Season 4 finale episode, “Old Souls” ***
While it’s been a whole week since the Wynonna Earp finale, “Old Souls”, aired, we’re betting that many Earpers are still crying over everything that went down. It came as a bit of a surprise to Wynonna fans everywhere when things with the Garden and Dark Waverly (Dominique Provost-Chalkley) were wrapped up in the penultimate episode, leaving nothing but WayHaught’s wedding to tackle in the season finale. As expected, the wedding didn’t go off without a hitch, but eventually Waverly and Nicole (Katherine Barrell) did become wife and wife after an absolutely gorgeous ceremony held on the Earp Homestead.
Elsewhere, Wynonna (Melanie Scrofano) finally realized that she could put down the weight of being the Earp heir and allow herself to have some happiness of her own. She took off on her motorcycle and was able to stop Doc (Tim Rozon) before he left town. They reconciled and then took off together to go visit their daughter, Alice. The happy endings continued all around as Jeremy (Varun Saranga) was named Deputy Chief of Black Badge, and Nedley (Greg Lawson) was headed off to a fishing trip with Rachel (Martina Ortiz Luis) and Billy (Billy Bryk).
Just as she has done since Season 1, showrunner Emily Andras joined The TV Junkies to discuss the finale episode. She discussed her approach for the finale and WayHaught’s wedding, as well as her own voice cameo in the episode. Andras also shared her thoughts on each character’s happy ending, as well as guest star Charlotte Sullivan, who played the Silk Witch. While it’s still unclear whether or not this was truly the last Earp episode, Andras did share her thoughts about what the future may hold and the messages she hopes fans took from this finale.
The TV Junkies: It’s been about a week since the finale aired. How are you feeling? Are you still crying? I’m still crying.
Emily Andras: Oh, I expect to get six months of crying out of this, or a year! I hope they play it at Earpapalooza and Earp Expo and we all just cry into our hurricanes.
TTVJ: We get to have the therapeutic cry together that COVID denied us.
EA: Yes, mass hysteria event. Pencil me in! That sounds incredible because I literally did watch it by myself on my couch just bawling my eyes out.
I think it’ll always make me cry. I feel bittersweet about it, but mostly so relieved and happy that Earpers seem to like it and find it satisfying. I always said, ‘I want you to find it satisfying.’
TTVJ: I know you’ve said that when you were writing this episode you still thought you had been renewed for Season 5, but it really felt as if this was a closing episode on the series. Why did you approach it that way and when you shot it did the cast and crew treat it that way as well?
EA: They read the same script that you all saw. So when they read it, Tim burned his cowboy hat and I had to say ‘not so fast!’ Just kidding! Look, we got renewed for Season 5 but that was a long time ago, especially in TV years. It took forever for us to get going on Season 4 and then COVID shut us down in the back half. So when SYFY picked up Season 4, after all the financial trouble, I made a promise to someone pretty high up at SYFY that I’d write to an ending, just in case. So I did that and I gave my word. When you are a showrunner, I have to put out the fire in front of me and can’t worry about the wildfire two towns over. You have to deal with the most pressing issue at hand, and at that moment, it was getting the network to agree to Season 4.
That being said, as I was writing Season 4, I was in constant contact with the network saying ‘OK, we’re getting close. If people know for sure already that Season 5 is a go, let me know.’ If anyone had said ‘you are 100 percent greenlit for another hundred episodes, then I would’ve written a different finale,’ but no one could do that in the current environment. I’m very glad that I wrote it the way I did. I hope I didn’t make it easy for anyone. I feel really conflicted and caught about it, to be completely honest. What was I supposed to do? As always, my number-one concern, despite everything, was the fans — the fans and our actual family that was making the show. Networks come and go. Executives come and go. Things change and who knows what’s going to happen, but we cannot do anything but reward the fans, just in case, when they already had to fight so hard for Season 4. That’s what was going through my head.
Look, there’s a million things I would’ve done differently in Season 4, had I known we had a Season 5. I would’ve paced things out differently, but you can’t think like that. Again, you can only deal with the issues at hand. We did, and ultimately, I’m very proud of it.
TTVJ: Some people think you have a weird premonition power because the finale aired 1,834 days after the series premiere on April 1, 2016. They were in the Garden for 18 months, 3 weeks and 4 days. Explain that voodoo!
EA: I don’t want to talk about it! I’m already such a weirdo! Let me just say that it never does anything good for me. I never pick lottery numbers or can tell you to look out for that bus, Carla! There’s been lots of weird coincidences in my life. I don’t think I have a gift, but I don’t want to talk about it. It did not surprise me at all. This whole show is like that.
TTVJ: It was insane!
EA: Again, Bridget, I’m already such an outlier in this business. I can’t speak to it. Needless to say, there’s been lots of weird things that have happened in my life and on this show. That’s all I’m going to say about that, but also, stay grounded, people. Stay grounded.
TTVJ: We are all so used to your finales answering a lot of questions, but then giving us 500 more cliffhangers as we move forward. I don’t think any of us expected the finale to be so joy-filled and to have so many of the bigger plot points wrapped. What was behind that approach and just allowing this episode to focus on the WayHaught wedding and everyone being together?
EA: It is the ultimate con when you’re known for pulling cliffhangers to pull no cliffhanger. That’s the shock! I just thought every character on the show deserved some semblance of happiness, some semblance of contentment, and some feeling of the world moving forward for them in a manner that was positive, and full of possibility, untethered from the curse, the hurt, and the destruction that had been such a partner in their lives for five years. That’s the thing about life — sometimes it’s really awful, but sometimes it has these moments of beauty and grace, and our characters don’t always get them. It just felt important to leave them there, in case we do have to leave them there.
TTVJ: WayHaught has always been the central couple of the show, and you’ve always treated them with such respect and love. That has never been more evident than in watching their wedding and how special it turned out. How did you approach the wedding?
EA: I feel like it has been cooking inside of us for a good four years. I had some very special help with the vows from Christin Hanley, our coordinator and associate producer. I was fairly confident what I wanted out of the vows so it felt fun to give it to her and say, ‘see what you can cook up!’ I knew what needed to be in there at the end of the day. She did a great job.
I approached it from the perspective of someone who adores this couple. It’s basically fan fiction, right? I say that proudly! It’s a real tightrope act because you want it to be unexpected and make people gasp and cry, but also feel extremely fitting and not out of character. So the idea of Waverly lovingly putting names on the chairs to represent everyone who had gotten she and the sheriff she loves to this moment, sometimes with a massive amount of sacrifice, felt like a Waverly thing to do. It didn’t feel tacked on. I can see the picture in my mind of her writing these names and hanging them on the chairs, even with an exploded cake near her.
I don’t want to be arrogant about it, and I had a lot of help with this episode from Christin and Matt Doyle. Noelle [Carbone] helped me with some of it. It wasn’t a hard one to write because I feel like I’ve been bursting and waiting to get these characters to this well-earned moment for four years. It was such a joyful episode to write and felt like such a repreve to give these people a moment in time that was perfect.
TTVJ: There were so many wonderful moments within the wedding from the vows, to Rachel singing, and Wynonna giving Waverly away. Do you have a favorite one in particular?
EA: I love them all. I like when Wynonna gives her speech to Nicole because when she says ‘you finally found someone worthy of you,’ she’s saying it to Waverly as well. It was supposed to reflect the moment in Season 1 when she says ‘you finally picked a smart one’ about Nicole. What a compliment to say to someone who is marrying your very favorite person in the world, ‘oh wow, you finally found a person worthy of you and it’s the best person I know.’ That’s one hell of a compliment. It’s no “top shelf ass” but it’s pretty up there.
There’s so many moments I love, though. I love when Jeremy catches the bouquet. I obviously cry every time Nicole asks Nedley to walk her down the aisle, and his shy pride about it is so perfect. I even like when Drunk Nedley agrees to take these two wayward teens fishing together. I just thought everybody got what they needed, even if they couldn’t voice exactly what they needed in the moment.
As always, so much of what made those moments work was the cast and the love of their characters. They recognized what it meant to the audience and wanted to give the audience the feeling of us all being at this glorious wedding together. I don’t always have to put it into words. I trust them all implicitly to find their own moments in it.
TTVJ: Before we leave the wedding, we have to mention how the Homestead has never looked more beautiful. Shout out to Trevor Smith, the production design, and art departments for sure on that one.
EA: I am terrified to say it, but on the day we were like ‘why don’t we just farm this out to Earpers to get married on the Homestead. We could fund 10 more seasons!’ It was so beautiful. I was like ‘I want to get married here again. Forget it, I’ll marry anyone. Paolo, do you want to get married? No? Let’s do it!’ It was perfect. It speaks to having such a strong team because I told them it had to look like the best country wedding you’ve ever seen on Pinterest, but it still had to have that dollop of Earp imperfection. It did and I just loved it! Even the arbor that Doc made them was still singed from where it caught fire, and that’s what makes life beautiful, too. It’s not perfect, but close enough.
I feel like Trevor did such an amazing job this year with his team. Ingrid Jurek was the production designer before him and we’ve been so lucky in the production design department. This was a particularly difficult season, starting in the Garden on that frozen lake, and ending on this beautiful summer day on the Homestead.
I like, too, that we reclaimed the Homestead. Mostly when we’re there terrible things are happening. Bulshar is trying to chop off your head with a bouquet of flowers and strippers are getting scissored, and not in a fun way. So the fact that it was such a beautiful, fun day, really solidified that despite everything, they had really fought to make this their home and it felt like that.
TTVJ: It was certainly understandable, after everything that happened the week before and the sacrifice that Nicole made to become the shield, that Waverly would wonder whether Nicole had any regrets. Why was it so important for Nicole to affirm to Waverly how happy she is at home in Purgatory?
EA: So that Waverly never had any doubts that Nicole never hesitated to choose her. It doesn’t seem out of character either. My backstory for Nicole has always been that she grew up in a bigger city, had a traumatic, but almost profound experience in the Ghost River Triangle when she was a kid, and then has been drawn back to it her entire life. I truly believe that all Nicole wants is a place to call her own, to make a difference, a white picket fence, and to live in happiness with someone she loves. I believe, with every fiber of my being, that that’s what Nicole wants more than anything else. Being able to give it back to Waverly is the ultimate wedding gift. It felt right.
TTVJ: Wynonna and Doc have been through so much together over the years. Even though I always hoped for it, there’s part of me that thought they’d never get a happy ending. Did you always know this is how things would end for them, or is it something that has evolved over the years?
EA: No, I definitely didn’t always know. I was convinced pretty early on that WayHaught was forever, but Doc and Wynonna have been really, really messy. When I started at the beginning of this journey Dolls (Shamier Anderson) was still in the mix, and I thought there were a lot of different ways this could go, quite frankly. I think it’s important to acknowledge, in a very grown-up way, that this relationship has not been perfect. It happened in all the wrong order and he’s her great great grandfather’s best friend. He’s a borderline sociopath, she’s basically an alcoholic, they got pregnant around the third time they did it, they’ve been awful to each other, made terrible selfish decisions, but again, I didn’t want to shy away from that mess. The fact that they still have all this chemistry and passion for one another, and see each other wholly with all their flaws, and nobody is going to share their history the way those two do still makes it worth just trying.
It’s worth trying to go out into the world and find their little girl, see the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame, and maybe see Dollywood. That makes me want to cry and is the message I want to give you. Just pursue it! Go after something that is going to make you happy. It’s never going to be perfect. You’re never going to be perfect. You still have to travel with yourself and everything that you are. Wynonna still has to carry all the things she’s done, and so does Doc, but maybe they can travel a little lighter because they are together.
I was happy that most people recognized that their relationship was a little dysfunctional, but at the end, people still had tears for them. They got that they still deserved to try with one another. That made me happy that people wanted it for them by the time that they met in front of her motorbike and he gladly got on the back. Their happy was going to look different than WayHaught, but it was no less valid for them.
TTVJ: I cheered when he got on the back of that bike. We need to discuss that. Perfect!
EA: I think that was a Brendon Yorke suggestion. I was a little stuck and he said ‘what about the motorbike? He can get on the bike!’
TTVJ: How can we find out what happened on Nedley’s fishing trip with Rachel and Billy?
EA: I will start a Patreon and write that story immediately if you want it. I have so many stories and would love to write some chapters about the fishing trip and what happens. Does Nedley meet a Lady in the Lake?
TTVJ: That would ruin the fact that I ship Nedley with Bunny (Jann Arden) now.
EA: It doesn’t ruin it. I just wrote you the best love triangle! Maybe Bunny rides to the rescue, I don’t know! Let’s see what happens.
I actually would love to find a way, without being selfish, to keep telling these stories. I think that would be amazing to have funny, short stories. Let’s wait and see where it all lands, but that fishing trip would be so fun. There’s so many paths like that and I hope it gives you joy. These characters felt so real to me that I like to think of them out there living their life and what it looks like. I find that I still think about them a lot. Basically, I’ll write it if you ask me.
TTVJ: I’d also like to discuss why “Toxic” is only Nedley’s fourth favorite Britney Spears song. What gives?
EA: That was the most controversial thing anyone said in the finale. How can it only be number four? What is even ahead of it? The fact that he spoke so confidently about it made me question whether I had missed a B-side. Number four!
TTVJ: It was brutal.
EA: But I loved it! Nedley with a dark side.
TTVJ: That’s my favorite Britney song so I was very taken aback.
EA: Of course it is, you’re not an animal! Number four, you’re off the podium. It’s going in the fishing trip story scenes. I promise, we’ll get to it.
TTVJ: We can’t forget to mention possibly the most important guest acting spot of the entire series, the woman who called Jeremy to tell him that he was going to be Deputy Director of Black Badge. Who was that lady on the phone? She had a pretty sexy voice.
EA: Oh, my god, first of all, can that woman learn to act? She definitely was at home during a pandemic, was asked to do this, agreed, panicked, had to do it over the phone, and then realized that she sounded like she was just reading it from the script, which she was. I don’t believe that woman is in charge of anything, nor should she be.
TTVJ: We loved it! No matter what you may say.
EA: I was flattered that a few people picked it up. That’s pretty funny that they were like ‘that’s our stupid showrunner saying words. She talks a lot on panels, gets nervous and blabbers on.’
TTVJ: I’m glad they made you do it. I thought it was so fun.
EA: All jokes aside, it felt like about the right level of cameo for me. I’m not very comfortable on camera, I think acting is really hard, and our cast is extremely good looking. I prefer to just voice act alongside them. Thanks for indulging me, everybody.
TTVJ: I guess we can talk about the other guest star.
EA: Oh, Jeremy’s new boyfriend? I know, he’s so cute! I think that’s it.
TTVJ: What was it like getting to have Charlotte Sullivan come on board as the Silk Witch for this finale?
EA: Listen, she has been the Golden Goose and so hard to find. I have been trying to get Charlotte Sullivan on this show for so long for a variety of roles. Yet, when I look at the roles we were not able to use her in, the casting turned out to be perfect. So you’re like ‘OK, once again the universe is correct and I’ll shut my mouth.’ Charlotte Sullivan was the perfect Silk Witch, Brigitte, for the finale and she had such a bananas character. That’s another character I wish I could see more of.
Listen, first of all, her face should be illegal. It’s so beautiful and basically carved out of marble. She’s such a good actress that she basically came up with that voice on her own, and also, that part where she sings? That wasn’t written as a song, she just sang it, and you can see Melanie Scrofano totally start to break because she’s having the best time. As expected, Charlotte just had that Earpy energy and she’s such a good person, too. It was so fun to have her on set that day. She and Mel are really good friends so she was a little gift to Mel at the end, I think.
TTVJ: I did notice that she’s not dead or hurt or anything so presumably just out there should there ever be more Earp one day.
EA: You should go see what else she’s been in and watch some of her other stuff. Give it a shot, Bridget. Just think about it.
TTVJ: The final shot of the mailbox with the message “Everyone welcome” really was so beautiful. It felt like everything the show has always stood for. Where did the idea for that come from?
EA: Awww, did you like it?
TTVJ: No, I hated it. I hated it because it made me cry so hard!
EA: Please send me your reaction videos of you watching that part. That’s been my favorite thing of watching people realize what’s happening.
I was pretty proud of that one. I was trying to think of things in Season 1 that were iconic imagery, and I really love that moment in Episode 102 where Doc replaces the mailbox and holds it up. You can see that he’s going to fall in love with these sisters, despite his best intentions, and it’s all in that moment. I really wanted to make sure we hit the idea of home and that they had transformed this place that had so much pain and sorrow into a true home. It was going to change because of Sheriff Nicole, Jeremy running BBD, Waverly being there to help, Freddy the Werewolf, and this group of people who refuse to give up on the place that they love. It was going to be different this time.
I can never talk about this without crying, but it was so important to thank the fandom for everything they had done and what they themselves have come to represent, separate from the show, which is this place of inclusivity, diversity, and love. In 2021 it felt like we really needed that the last five years, so “Everyone Welcome” felt very metaphorical. I’d argue it was breaking a bit of the fourth-wall, but I also believe that Waverly Earp would have put up that sign. That was reclaiming it and showing that you can fight hate with kindness, transform your life, and redefine a space. I was pretty proud of that one.
I like the idea that Doc made the mailbox, Wynonna carved the sign for Nicole, her best friend, Nicole would’ve made the Holliday sign as an apology to Doc for everything they’ve been through, and of course, Waverly made the sign at the end. I had the idea and was trying to explain it to our director Paolo, an absolute genius who also deserves so much credit for these last two episodes, and it was just really hard to get the positioning right on the mailbox.
It felt like the right messaging and that if this is the end, that’s what I want you to remember. I want you to remember that you were always welcome with us, we’re not going anywhere, the show can be a home, your friendships in the fandom can be a home, and you can conquer the world with kindness and by being open. In a way, that’s a rebellion unto itself. It felt right. I had a million other endings, but I pitched this to our beloved SYFY executive Josh Van Houdt, he’s a funny guy and pretty dry, but he was pretty moved by the mailboxes. He said that was the best ending and that we shouldn’t rob ourselves of that feeling. So that’s what we did and I’m so glad people liked it. I expect to get many “Everyone welcome” signs for the rest of my life.
TTVJ: Did you take that sign from set?
EA: It occurred to me that I don’t think I did. Tim has talked about this, but you’re superstitious about props because you don’t want to take stuff home because you hope you get to use it again. Maybe if this is the end, maybe I could get them to send it to me. If we launch a Season 5 or movie even 20 years from now then we can rebuild a new sign.
TTVJ: If there would be a Season 5, do you have plans or anything that you can share about what that would look like? Other than of course I cannot believe that Charlotte Sullivan is now the co-lead.
EA: Silk Witch spinoff! It’s practically funded and HBO Max is ready to go. No, I have not been shy about saying I have more Earp to tell. I definitely think there’s always another demon and lots of stuff we haven’t resolved like BBD, Eve, why the gun glows blue. There’s a million things we haven’t really figured out and my producers are still working on it. I do not think, one way or another, that this is the end of Earp. Beau Smith will keep doing comics and that’s its own world. I would love to keep writing stories and scenes and figure out a way to get them to the world. I have a great idea for a movie that I thought about a lot over Christmas. And look, maybe someday Alice Earp comes home and has to take up the mantle.
There’s a lot of story left to tell, but I definitely don’t think this is the end. If I can quote Kat Barrell, we aren’t going anywhere. We’re still going to be here and going to conventions. We will always be around. Never stop Earping!
TTVJ: Thank you so much for doing these chats over the years. They mean so much to me and to so many fans. We have so many people who say that their Saturday morning routine involves grabbing coffee and reading these chats. You could’ve stopped them at any point but you never did. It means a lot.
EA: Well, I really appreciate all the fans over the years hanging in with our shit show. You saw something special early on and it really means something. Thank you for taking a chance on it.