Welcome back to Wynonna Wednesday, Earpers! This week, I want to delve into episode 10 of Wynonna Earp‘s fourth season, “Life Turned Her That Way.” The Dark Waverly episode! Our posse of dipsh*ts dealt with the return of a formidable foe, the death of a friend and a new BBD a**hole to contend with. Noelle Carbone, thank you for promptly ripping my heart out and stomping all over it in the best way possible. So, hold on to your butts. Grab some whiskey and doughnuts. Let’s get to Earping.
I’d be remiss if I omitted Dominique Provost-Chalkley, Zoie Palmer and Melanie Scrofano from this section. This performing trifecta upped the ante by turning in some incredibly nuanced work in “Life Turned Her That Way.” Notably, Wynonna and Waverly’s spat at the beginning of the episode. Scrofano knows how to elicit all the feels out of us with just one pained look. She can communicate so much without uttering a word. To me, that’s the truest testament of an exceptional actor. She lives and breathes Wynonna.
Not to mention, all of Provost-Chalkley and Palmer’s scenes in Jolene’s cabin. These two were a powerhouse duo in season three’s “Jolene.” However, the development/evolvement of their characters is more evident in “Life Turned Her That Way.” Well, in Jolene’s case, devolvement. Her psychosis surges through in those moments of intense rage. The dynamics and intricate details that Palmer brings to the table are nothing short of brilliant.
Provost-Chalkley really shows us Waverly’s growth. Amid her last encounter with Jolene, Waverly was so scared to even fight back. At least at the start. Now, Waverly knows damn well who she’s dealing with. She won’t succumb to Jolene’s manipulative mind games. Just electrifying performances all around.
Now, the episode opens with a montage of Wynonna (Scrofano) drunkenly battling baddies day in and day out. It’s like she’s enmeshed in a perpetual demon-slaying time loop. One day, she wakes to find her trusty Peacemaker is MIA. That’s when Waverly (Provost-Chalkley) and Nicole (Kat Barrell) stage an intervention on the spiraling Wynonna. As it turns out, Waverly has Peacemaker in her possession. Wynonna brusquely ignores their desire to help her. Prior to leaving, Wynonna has an argument with Waves and calls her a “sanctimonious a**hole.” We don’t like Earp sister fights.
Next, Waverly meets with Doc (Tim Rozon) at the stairs. He has her book that was stolen from the Garden. Unfortunately, the book is still bereft of text. Waverly hasn’t the slightest idea regarding how to control her powers. A handy dandy guidebook would help. Dallas and Remy appear. Apparently, the Glory Hole was ransacked earlier that day by BBD. Additionally, the supernatural agency rounded up demons and culled the ones for which they had no use. Thus, they don’t have food. They’re malnourished, and Waverly looks tasty!
Then, Waves flees the scene. She runs into a patch of memory-wiping fog. According to Dallas, the fog has spread from the town border to, well, everywhere. Suddenly, a slew of BBD agents knocks the trio unconscious with some darts. They leave one of them behind but take the other two in as prisoners. Waverly’s able to withstand the pervasive fog by running into a cabin situated in the middle of it all. That’s where she finds her nemesis, Jolene (Palmer).
So, how did she survive? When Bulshar perished, his vines released her. However, the fog that emitted from the Garden kept her trapped in that cabin. Entrapped, all alone and losing her mind. She knocks Waverly out and binds her to a pole. When our Waves awakens, Jolene reveals that she wants to let bygones be bygones. Time to mend fences. In fact, she wants to help Waverly embrace her true self. Demons are just fallen angels, after all. That makes them kin.
Meanwhile, Rachel (Martina Ortiz-Luis) finds Wynonna in punching-bag mode. She desperately wants Obi-Wan Wynonni to train her. Teach her how to fight (not Dougie). Later, we see Wynonna and Rachel in the woods partaking in a stakeout of sorts. That’s when they find an injured Remy. He reveals what happened to Doc, Waverly and Dallas.
Speaking of, Dallas is burned to death by BBD in front of Doc. Our favorite cowboy meets Graham (Stafford Perry), who’s part of BBD’s upper management. He’s implementing “The Ark,” a protocol involving the procurement of demons that BBD will keep at their disposal prior to Purgatory’s decimation. Doc made the cut! Oh, and he reunites with Jeremy (Varun Saranga). BBD jailed him for pushing back against said new protocol.
Then, Wynonna, Nicole and Rachel spring into action. They bring Casey (Andrew Phung) into the fold. He knows the fog like the back of his hand. He’s sporting a harness and a mask. There’s only room for one person to join him on this rescue mission. Wynonna and Nicole bicker over who will snag that coveted spot. Nicole wins out, citing that it’s her turn to save her future wife.
Meanwhile, Jolene continues to manipulate and taunt our Waves. She accuses Waverly of refusing the hero mantle and not deigning to lift a finger to help her sister. Instead, she “giggles in Nicole’s arms” while Wynonna “drinks herself to sleep every night.” Oh, and the hash marks on Jolene’s wall? Those represent all of the lives Wynonna has snuffed out to save Waverly. Talk about a gut punch.
Now, Nicole is ejected from the fog after finding Waverly in the cabin. Unfortunately, Casey died while fighting off Jolene. Rachel and Wynonna drag his body out of the fog. Rachel is heartbroken, as am I. Wynonna is worried sick about Nicole, but thankfully she’s alive. Just wandering around a bit.
Then, Wynonna heads to BBD headquarters to get some assistance. She meets Graham and demands to speak with Jeremy. He’s been working on a solution to the fog predicament. Wynonna finds the incarcerated Doc and Jeremy. However, instead of asking one of them to help her, she seeks out Cleo (Savannah Basley) for aid. Much to everyone’s surprise.
Later, Waverly breaks free of her restraints and shoves Jolene onto a coat hook. Jolene, in retaliation, procures a blade and stabs Waverly in the back. She extracts a black feather from the wound. Something dark and terrible is about to transpire. Back in the outside world, Cleo utilizes a clump of Jolene’s hair that Casey pulled out to cast a spell. Wynonna will enter the fog with a Reaper in tow. Said Reaper is Billy (Billy Bryk). Wynonna can now see him because Cleo forged a link between the two. Wynonna hands Rachel her gun and orders the latter to shoot Cleo if she tries any funny business.
Next, Wynonna tracks down Waverly. Jolene squares off against Billy and succeeds. Suddenly, Wynonna is pushed out of the cabin and into the fog, courtesy of Jolene. That moment is enough to catalyze Waverly’s transformation into Dark Waverly. She rises up and nonchalantly kills Jolene.
Meanwhile, Mercedes (Dani Kind) arrives at BBD to save our boys. However, before they can break free, Graham catches them. He promptly shoots Mercedes. Dark Waverly spots Wynonna entrenched in the fog. She clears it. We see Dark Waverly looming over Wynonna as she tells the latter that her time is done.
The supporting acts!
Zoie Palmer never fails to bring the goods. She’s only been featured in two episodes of Wynonna Earp, yet she’s left an indelible mark on the series and on the Earper fandom as a whole. Talk about memorable! In addition, Jolene’s presence plays a vital role in Waverly’s character development. Palmer is a terrifying force of nature who makes the most out of every emotional beat and scene. She elevates the work.
Andrew Phung will be sorely missed as Casey! He really, really grew on me over such a short period of time. I was hoping he’d be a permanent fixture in our sh*tshow. However, I’m just glad we had him when we did. He injected such delightful, vibrant energy into Casey. He was the laidback, happy-go-lucky stoner I aspire to be. I’ll be not watching Cats while high in Casey’s honor.
Savannah Basley imbues Cleo with a multifaceted persona. We want to hate her — she’s the archenemy of our Earp family. But you simply can’t. Unless she commits irreparable damage in the next two episodes, I can’t find it in me to loathe her. That’s the mark of a good performer. Someone who makes “baddies” fall into that morally gray zone. Cleo is just as much a victim of her family’s legacy as Wynonna is. “Legacy’s a b*tch,” after all.
- “You covered Kraft dinner with kimchi and weed.” That’s a reference to Andrew Phung’s Kim’s Convenience character, Kimchee Han. Worlds collide!
- If you look closely, you can see blood blossoming from a wound in Waverly’s back when she shoves Jolene onto the coat hook. It’s a stark reminder that these two are linked. Later, another wound takes form on her back after Jolene extracts the black feather, signifying the two wings Dark Waverly eventually sprouts.
- Nicole going into the fog to save Waverly mirrors the scene from earlier in the season wherein Wynonna forges ahead into the Garden to track down Waves.
- Graham reminds Jeremy about what happened to Maldito and Monument after they were overrun with demons. Monument is where Wynonna and Nicole found Rachel. Additionally, it houses the second entrance to the Garden.
- The fog ejected Nicole and Dark Waverly essentially saved Wynonna from the fog. Is it possible that Waverly’s controlling it albeit inadvertently? Perhaps somewhere in her consciousness, she was trying to save the two most important people in her life.
- “Sure, Obi-Wan Wynonni at your service.” –Wynonna
- “It’s my f*cking turn, Wynonna. You went into the Garden to save her and I went home alone. For 18 months, I did it alone. I’m not gonna do that again. I am doing this.” –Nicole
- “Yeah, and now she drinks herself to sleep every single night while you giggle in Nicole’s arms.” –Jolene
- “I can be a hero and a wife.” –Waverly
- “Those hash marks? Those are all the lives Wynonna has had to snuff out to save yours.” –Jolene
- “Your journey is over, Wynonna Earp, and mine has just begun.” –Dark Waverly
- “It means we have a mind-meld thing happening ever since we cooked chili together.” –Wynonna
What was your favorite part of “Life Turned Her That Way”? Sound off in the comments below! I’ll be back for more Wynonna Earp shenanigans next week when we dive into “Better Dig Two.” Until then — tacos are tasty.
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