Welcome to this week’s installment of Geek Girl Authority Crush of the Week, wherein we shine a spotlight on strong women who inspire us. This not only includes fictional female characters in geeky media, but creators as well. These ladies are a prime example of female empowerment and how crucial it is for young girls to have said example to follow.
DISCLAIMER: The following contains spoilers galore for Wynonna Earp. Although, chances are you’re an Earper and you’ve already binged the series at least ten times consecutively. We Earpers are a steadfast bunch, intense practitioners of the “polite no chill” method.
Michelle “Mama Earp” Gibson
Michelle Gibson (portrayed by Megan Follows) is the widow of Ward Earp, the previous Earp heir. She’s the mother of Wynonna (Melanie Scrofano), Waverly (Dominique Provost-Chalkley) and Willa Earp. Michelle’s sister is also Wynonna’s aunt, Gus McCready. She disappeared for a time shortly after Ward’s death and Willa’s supposed murder by the hands of the revenants. Waverly was under the impression that Michelle merely “walked out” on her and Wynonna, but in fact Michelle was sequestered away in prison. Wynonna would pay her a visit from time to time, and Michelle would incessantly warn her of Bulshar’s inevitable rising. In Season 3, we learned courtesy of Nedley (Greg Lawson) that Michelle was imprisoned for setting the Earp barn aflame with Waverly inside.
However, in the Season 3 episode “Jolene,” it’s revealed that Michelle set fire to the barn as a means of vanquishing a demon hellbent on killing young Waverly. Michelle had spend years being tormented by the demon, fighting tooth and nail to protect Waverly at all costs. Michelle also had a brief tryst with the angel Julian (Sebastian Pigott), resulting in the conception of Waverly.
The Real Deal:
Now, Michelle gets a bad rap – at least from her daughters. They believe her to be distant, cold and unloving. Why would a mother abandon her children after the murder of their father? I believe Michelle is misunderstood. Sometimes the best thing one can do to protect their loved ones is to set them free. However, we learned that Michelle wasn’t actually crazy as all of Purgatory seemed to believe. She wasn’t determined to incinerate her daughter, but was practicing a spell gone wrong in the act of slaying a demon. Michelle spent twenty some years trying with all her might to protect Waverly from the demon. She even went so far as to convince Wynonna to keep the former’s presence a secret from Waverly. That’s true love – bending over backwards to save your child even at the expense of your own happiness.
Of course, one might argue that Michelle was too hard on Wynonna. However, I feel that she truly does love Wynonna. This is evident when she returns to Purgatory, and we see mother and daughters reunite for their first Christmas together. Michelle pushed Wynonna because she knew exactly what being the Earp heir entailed, having witnessed her deceased husband Ward bend under the pressure of the curse. Tough love, folks. It was all tough love. Michelle is tough as nails, sharp as a whip and boasts a heaping helping of street smarts to boot. Underneath her hardened exterior is a gooey center chock full of mushy love. She’s had it rough, but remained resilient through it all and came out on the other side.
Why She Matters:
Alright, why does she matter? Michelle is immensely flawed, and that’s not something you often see on TV. Someone so flawed that it’s difficult to look past their rough edges, to smooth them out until you can see them really shine. Michelle has made her fair share of mistakes, and she’s aware of that. It’s important for us to see someone with imperfections, because it’s incredibly true to life. We should see someone just like us in our media.
Now, Michelle attempts to make up for said mistakes when she escapes prison and reunites with her children. She strove to make amends, and I wholeheartedly believe that redemption should be attainable for those who seek it. Michelle is as tough and gritty as they come. She knows how to take care of herself, and that’s an important skill to have. We are born into this world alone and we die alone. In the end, we should all be able to fend for ourselves, as sad as that sounds.
Of course, Michelle can take a figurative gut punch, jumping back to her feet after having them kicked out from under her. Resilience is admirable, and one should never give up in times of strife. Michelle instilled this fighter mentality into her daughters – well, more like they were born with an inherent sense of that fighter mindset. Not to mention, Michelle is loyal to her own, despite what appeared to be to the contrary. I believe that she remained loyal to her daughters, especially since she worked so hard to protect Waverly from the demon. Michelle also possesses that trademark Earp dry sense of humor. When you’re in trouble, it’s always good to throw out a biting one-liner to alleviate tension.
So, be like Michelle. Fight back against your oppressors. Love so much it hurts. Be loyal to your loved ones. Protect them at all costs. Never back down, and never let your demons win. Never give up no matter what, for when you hit rock bottom the only way to go is up. Oh, and always be quick to spout a good witty one-liner. The bad guys really feed off that sh*t.
- Exploring the Legacy of JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS 20 Years Later - April 11, 2021
- WYNONNA EARP Season Finale Recap: (S04E12) Old Souls - April 9, 2021
- THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER Recap: (S01E04) The Whole World Is Watching - April 9, 2021