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Wynonna Earp - S2E1 - Steel Bars and Stone Walls

Previously on Wynonna Earp, “I Walk the Line

Photos: Michelle Faye/Wynonna Earp Season 2, Inc./Syfy

Syfy’s biggest hit of summer 2016 - Wynonna Earp - began its second outing last Friday after great anticipation and without question it did not disappoint. After the first season cliffhanger, viewers automatically assumed the worst thanks to Waverly’s sudden turn to the dark side. Guess what? False alarm, kids! She was aiming at a soul-sucking demon, one of the many new fiends Wynonna and crew will face this season. Like the leather clad warrior she is, the Heir singlehandedly defeated the beast and hero posed the shit out of the scene. The only thing missing during the cold open was a massive explosion behind Wynonna, Waverly, and Doc as they coolly walked away. Welcome back to Purgatory, ladies and gents. Looks like it’s gonna be an even wilder ride!

Talking off immediately after Wynonna closed the portal to that Lovecraftian hellscape, “Stone Walls” had the gang chasing after the Black Badge Division before disgraced agent Xavier Dolls was transferred to Black Rock, an ultra top secret site that could likely give Azkaban a run for its money. Knowing time is not even close to being on their side, the gang hastily connected the dots to Doll’s routine in Purgatory, scraped together the only plan they could manage and left a decent trail of Black Badge agents behind them. All of this resulting in a situation none of them could have ever fathomed.

Although it’s been nearly a year since Earp last flipped her luxuriant hair across the small screen, it felt as no time had passed since the finale as showrunner Emily Andras gave viewers the winning balance of humor, action and uh, colorful dialogue that made Earp can’t miss programming. Coupled by Melanie Scrofano’s savviness in fashioning such a dynamic yet vulnerable heroine like Wynonna within a neo-Western supernatural grotesquerie and you have something that’s not seen anywhere else on television. The best part is the show is just getting warmed up.

“Desperate things make desperate decisions.”

It didn’t take long for Wynonna to track down where Xavier shacked up last… and get down and dirty with Doll’s fellow agent and “friend” Eliza (Rachel Skarsten). Not long after Earp and Eliza’s tussle did the pair, along with the rest of the group put their thinking caps together and formed a plan shakier than the casino - and entire plot - in Ocean’s Thirteen. In other words, it was gonna end up bad no matter what. When your great idea hinges around rotting vermit and covering yourself in its effluence, you probably won’t get too far inside a clandestine facility.

With the big guns temporarily out of commission, Wynonna called in ‘Plan B’ in the form of Waverly as Liz Wallace Windsor, liaison of Scotland Yard. While it probably was a nice respite for Dominique Provost-Chalkley to finally be rid of the American accent for a few scenes, there was an unexpected level of satisfaction in watching a British actress portray an American, creating a patchwork British persona, written by a Canadian. All that was missing during Waverly’s infiltration of BBD’s temporary headquarters was talk about Guinness and a reference to Marmite. I’m gutted, bruv.

No amount of failed seduction techniques and sticks of dynamite were going to turn things in Team Wynonna’s favor with Agent Lucado (Kate Drummond) in charge. We still may not know what Xavier is exactly, but viewers were finally given backstory that explains Lucado and Doll’s increasingly tempestuous exchanges. It turns out that Dolls had the unenviable decision to save either Eliza or Lucado’s husband during a failed mission in Kabul years ago. The latter decided he was a lost cause and unburdened Xavier from the choice, but that doesn’t mean Lucado wouldn’t hold him responsible for her love’s death.

Now it makes one wonder if the town-turned-crater that was referenced in “Constant Cravings” was so ordered to prevent a demonic outbreak… or fueled by Lucado’s revenge. It’s one thing to make Dolls’ life a living hell, but to authorize a nuclear strike on a small town because he developed an emotional bond with a pair of wily sisters? It’s not entirely improbable. Thankfully Lucado’s boss Moody (Orphan Black’s Kevin Hanchard) swooped in to not only call off the attack but recruit the Earps and Holliday for clean-up duty across the Ghost Triangle. As the old adage goes, “If you can’t beat ‘em, have them draw blood and leave their mark on an ancient parchment so they’re supernaturally obligated to your service!”

“How do you like my mustache now?”

As Xavier said during his rescue, what a difference a year makes. After a century and change of being trapped in a well, it’d be understandable if the culture shock alone would have been difficult for John Henry to overcome, but he’s taken everything the big bad world has thrown at him with panache and a wry smile. Perhaps Doc is the one person among this band of misfits that’s grown the most. From the moment he scaled to his freedom, John Henry had no reservations in playing both sides as long as he came out on top. Eventually the guilt from his betrayal to Wyatt became the catalyst for his redemption, yet another important variable to Doc’s turn was his burgeoning friendship with Xavier.

What began as a contemptuous partnership blossomed into an affiliation steeped in honor and respect. It is clear Scrofano is firmly in the driver’s seat but the affability and respective charisma of both Tim Rozon and Shamier Anderson give Earp depth that encompasses all manner of relationships, both romantic and platonic. Think about it… when’s the last time your best pal was willing to strut his way into a top secret base where you’re detained, and threatened to blow it all to hell with a coat full of old dynamite? That’s the kind of bromance all of us should strive for.

Of course, at the center of it all is the unshakable bond between Wynonna and Waverly. Since big sis returned to Purgatory, the pair have discovered they aren’t so different after all, especially in regards to keeping things buried.

Only a day had passed since Wynonna gave her sister Willa mercy in the form of a bullet. The pain and guilt of her actions was felt throughout “Stone Walls” and as soon as it rose to the surface, it was quickly pushed back down so she could focus on the task at hand. Once her friends were free and clear, Earp could finally have her quiet moment and grieve. Like Doc, Wynonna had made great strides last season and learned no snarky badass woman is an island. Yet there are some moments too raw for her to share with others, and frankly very few could relate.

On the other end, Wav’s possession (?) via blood of a demon snake beast will eventually come to light. Fortunately for all present, she appears to have control over actions for the moment. Seriously though, who squats over a puddle of viscous material that’s been on the ground longer than 3 seconds and thinks “I wonder what this tastes like?”?! Clearly, Waverly had watched too many episodes of Bizarre Foods or something… good grief!

In any case, things went from bad to worse to damn near Faustian when everyone save Nicole had to seal their allegiance to the BBD in blood. Now officially recognized as agents in the most secretive organization of the U.S. government, Team Wynonna is tasked to rid the Ghost River Triangle of its 62 revenants (which was going to happen eventually, because Earp curse) and whatever else managed to escape Hell during “I Walk the Line”. The worst is behind them for now but it’s apparent Wynonna and company traded one set of relatively manageable problems for a monster truck-load of hurt with their names plastered all over it.

Notes from the Ghost River Dispatch

  • “I’d settle for a smoothie and one sad stripper.” “Son of a charlie horse!” “You must be yanking my va-jane.” I mean, c’mon! Wynnie is certain to never run out of one-liners as long as Emily Andras is captain of this ship.
  • Speaking of ‘ships, it’s only the premiere and the S.S. Wayhaught is already hitting some choppy water. I believe the girls will eventually break through the oncoming storm but damn if Nicole doesn’t already feel left out. Also, what does Waverly taste like now? I bet it’s black licorice… the worst candy in all of existence.
  • Sheriff Nedley admitting he liked Batman and Robin… “When that franchise lost Uma Thurman, they lost Randy Nedley for good.” Insert Gavin meme here.
  • I’m certain half of us are now expecting an episode centered entirely on Holliday going hat shopping.
  • So who was behind that sinister bedazzled hand from Hell that used the dynamite Doc left behind to free itself? Not to mention the funky language that was on its crate…
  • What did Dolls whisper to John Henry?
  • Should Haught cut her hair? Like for keep the french braid, retweet for new hotness!
  • RIP Doc’s hat.

Wynonna Earp S2E1
  • 10/10
    Plot - 10/10
  • 10/10
    Dialogue - 10/10
  • 10/10
    Performances - 10/10

"Steel Bars and Stone Walls"

Wynonna Earp - S2E1 - Steel Bars and Stone Walls | Melanie Scrofano, Shamier Anderson, Tim Rozon, Dominique Provost-Chalkley, Katherine Barrell, Kate Drummond, Greg Lawson | Writer: Emily Andras | Director: Brett Sullivan

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About Rexlor Graymond (493 Articles)
Rex Graymond is 24.6kg tripolymer composite, 11.8kg beryllium-nickel-titanium alloy. Constructed in Northern California. Loves comics and films almost as much as pancakes. ALMOST.
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1 Comment on Wynonna Earp - S2E1 - Steel Bars and Stone Walls

  1. Oh shoot! Didn’t know this was back!

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