We’re back and I’m so damn happy. If you’ve never seen one of my deep dives before…well it’s a lot. I watch the episode several time to try to make sure I get as much out of it as possible. This post is split up into several sections, some highlighting the episode itself and some keeping track of the bigger picture. I hope you gain something from it.
Disclaimer: Nothing included in this post should be taken as absolute fact. Even information that I took directly from the show is stated as I see it and is in no way endorsed by anyone officially linked to the show.
Brief recap of 4×02: Stairway to heaven.
Am I going to start this by talking about a sex scene? Yes, yes I am because this isn’t a scene I’ve been waiting ONLY two years for, this is a scene I’ve been waiting like 20 years for. Friends, I could talk about that scene forever, there’s just so much to say about how beautiful, how heartfelt, how damn hot it was. After a lifetime of seeing hetero couples given the R-rated, passionate, honest looking sex scenes while wlw “sex” scenes have been mostly cringe-worthy, overly modest, unrealistic or just plane exploitative this felt groundbreaking because it was none of those things. This scene was huge because for once we were told that we don’t have to settle for less than. Queer sex has always been regarded as inherently more vulgar (for lack of a better word) by networks refusing to show it in the same way they do straight sex, Wynonna Earp refused to let that be the case. And it was the perfect scene to make that statement, the care that everyone put into making this scene is obvious in every beat. The emotion on the faces of the actors is as much a part of what’s happening as the positions their bodies are in. It looks and feels like sex between two people who are madly in love reuniting. I can’t credit Dom and Kat enough for care they put into making the scene realistic, I can’t imagine how hard it is to be that exposed. They easily could have done less, shown less, taken shortcuts and no one would fault them, but they played this scene with the care and sincerity they have always brought to Wayhaught. This scene has cemented its place on a short list of things I am most grateful for in my 30+ years of looking for representation. Grateful not just to the actors, but to Emily for writing it and for creating a show that can have that scene, and to everyone else behind the scenes.
Okay, where were we?
Nicole has fallen through a grate and Wynonna is determined to get to her before she becomes “bread for the Walking Dead”, but it’s going to take some teamwork for her and Rachel to get through all the mutant scientists to the Gate Room where they hope to find Nicole.
At first we’re led to believe that Nicole fell right through to The Garden where Doc finds her “definitely a little naked” (okay, a lot naked, like all the way naked). As an audience we aren’t left to wonder for long if this is our Nicole, if the subtle hints Kat gives in her performance aren’t enough we actually see the real Nicole struggling to move after the fall and hoping Wynonna makes it to her before the zombie crawling across the floor does.
Doc tells Waverly that Nicole is somehow there and she rushes to see her girl. Doc leaves them to go feed the blood machine, but gets distracted on his mission and wanders into a room where three stone (what are we calling those?) pillar things depict the image of Nicole on one side, but the other depicts something else, “an impostor” that Doc realizes he has left alone with Waverly.
About the time Doc is rushing to warn Waverly, she figures out on her own and Naught-Haught reveals herself to be friggin Eve!
Doc and shape-shifting Eve go at it Demon-on-Demon while the call of the angel throne starts to overwhelm Waverly. Waverly is determined that she cannot, will not, let Eve escape and brain melts Doc (you’ll bounce back) to make sure he doesn’t stand in her way.
Back in Monument, Wynonna and Rachel make it to the gate room to Nicole, who is too injured to cross into a different realm with Wynonna. Once again our chosen one has to go it alone while hoping that our new feisty teen can keep Nicole safe.
Wynonna makes it to The Garden where she has to invoke their safe-word to convince Doc that she’s the real she. Once that’s straightened out she immediately rushes to save Waver… j/k they make-out for bit…but once THAT is out of the way, she rushes to Waverly.
Wynonna big-sisters Waverly into realizing that her place is not on a stone throne under a cherry blossom, but back in Purgatory with her family. Waves agrees to go back, but is worried about how they will keep Eve imprisoned. No need to worry, Doc solved(?) that problem by kicking JeremEve through one of the portals to who knows where/when, but that’s a problem for the rest of the season.
Doc, Waverly, and Wynonna find the door (well, it shows itself) that takes them “home”. Wynonna wakes up at the stairs (not those, the OTHER stairs), Doc at his well, and Waverly…well she’s within running distance to the Homestead.
Waverly makes it back to the Homestead which from the glimpses we get seems to have been turned into base of operations. There are shipping crates outside, metal grates or wood on the windows, and there are many gear boxes inside (you may have missed that for some reason).
Wynonna and Doc meet up in town and only have a few moments to enjoy being reunited before they notice that something is very wrong. There are bodies hanging in the middle of town. The Purgatory they left is not the one they have returned to. But how could so much have changed…unless… 18 months, three weeks, four days. That’s how long they were gone, that’s how long Nicole was left to wonder if she would ever see them again, that’s how long things have been going to absolute shit.
Potentially Important Takeaways:
- When Waverly brings up Doc becoming a vampire, Haught-Eve shares her fairly cynical thoughts on his reasoning (thoughts I don’t disagree with). “Is that why he did it, I thought he was just scared to grow old and … die”. I’m not sure if there is something deeper there or not, but it seems similar to her response to the BBD dude who self-decapitated, “men, so dramatic right?” and a later line about Doc failing, “big surprise”.
- “God hasn’t been her for a long, long time.” Bulshar said something similar in 3×12.
- Haught-Eve tells Waverly that Julian died before he could teach Waverly how to save the world from Eve. So, it’s safe to say she is BAD news.
- Haught-Eve states that Waverly “succeeded where the snake failed”, implying that part of Bulshar’s goal was to free Eve. Read my characterization of Eve further down to see why this is even more interesting than it seems.
- “I’ve always been here. I will always be here. Time is a flat circle”. I’m sure that’s important, I’m just not sure exactly how yet. Although it’s likely that that line has something to do with the fact that time moves differently there.
- Eve calls her shape-shifting a “very special skill” and it’s worth noting that she doesn’t just take on the appearance of who she impersonates, she knows things about them.
- Eve wants to escape to get what she is “owed in the Ghost River Triangle”.
- After Doc kicks Eve through a portal to who knows where and as the gang is looking to escape themselves we cut away to see the Blood machine thingy in the weird control room going nuts. We already know that the thing is mad it didn’t get fed so it feels like they must be cutting back to the room for a reason. I’ll be keeping that in mind.
- Home. Listen, I may just be a little too obsessed with finding hidden meaning, so it’s okay if you consider this one a bit of a reach. I just feel like the word “home” is said a little too many times and almost forced in this episode to not have some meaning beyond the obvious. Doc says it after looking at the book and before taking off running from the well, it’s the first word out of Waverly’s mouth when she opens her eyes and after reuniting with Nicole she says “I’m home”.
- One more thing…look at this screen grab of Eve’s demon face, then go look at my screen grabs from the credits, then have a think.
This is a carry over from last season, but since we got another reading from Kate right off the bat, I’m going to keep it around. First I want to point out that the cards for Bulshar and Wynonna weren’t identical, the last two were switched. Considering Bulshar’s reading was done over 100 years ago, it makes sense that his “future” was Wynonna present.
– Past : devil
– Present : lovers
– Future : Tower (Darkness and Destruction)
– Past : devil
– Present : Tower (Darkness and Destruction)
– Future : Lovers (*They talk about this card representing the “first lovers”, commonly known as Adam and Eve.)
Nicole’s or Waverly’s Cards:
– Past : The Empress (Feminine power, strength from the mind)
– Present : Death (Transition, a doorway)
– Future : The fool (a journey, “not for you”)
Gems You May Have Missed:
- After Waverly mentions her father’s throne, Haught-Eve says “Julian” in a way that makes it clear she was not a fan.
- “your cherubic little daddy…” this line is cool because Julian was literally a cherub. According to the Bible the specific class of angel tasked with protecting The Garden were “cherubim”.
- Wynonna refers to Eve-nonna as “Wy-Clone-A” then calls her “Orphan Whack”. I love jokes with layers.
- There are kids playing hockey right in front of where at least four people are hanged (hung?), so like this has been going on long enough for them to be a bit too used to it.
Answers to questions you may have:
- In much religious lore demons smell like Sulfur.
- The book Doc pulls out of the bag doesn’t have any writing on it. I don’t know if in canon the writing disappeared for one reason or another, or if they just used a different book knowing that Earpers would pull out some FBI tech to see what the book said if they could.
Questions that I don’t know the answer to:
- Where was Eve before she appeared in the force-field silo?
- Why can Eve-nonna/JeremEve suddenly move free while Waverly is still on the throne? They make it obvious that something changes, I’m just not sure what it is.
- Did Waverly need Julian’s ring to have the power to get off the throne? Before Wynonna slipped the ring on Waverly’s finger (kind of a weird vibe) Waverly wanted to stand up but seemed almost stuck and said “help”. Then after she has the ring on is able to stand.
- Speaking of the ring, WHY WHY do the characters once again just throw it away? Especially now that we know it belonged to Waverly’s Cherubic daddy. I just feel like they should keep it around.
- When Wynonna arrives back at the stairs she looks around for Peacemaker, then says that it’s “gone forever”. Does she mean the GUN or Peacemaker in any form? And why does she accept this so easily? Why does she immediately assume it’s gone forever instead of looking for it? Guys, I need some Peacemaker answers.
- When Doc and Waverly escape The Garden they are back in the clothes they were wearing when they went in. So…why were they in different clothes IN The Garden? Should we place significance on the outfits?
- What does Doc have against the satchel?
It was so hard to not just type out 90% of the dialogue this episode.
- I am not a damn duck
- I am a fully grown half-angel…and an adult human lady.
- Bonus, they’re both super fucking weird.
- When I dreamt about dying, it involved me in Waverly’s arms, and Waverly in Sara Lance cosplay.
- Nice one, little baby condom.
- Who’s a girl gotta screw around here to get a gun? – – Hiya, red.
- I don’t ever half-ass it, I ass and a half it.
- Whatever you are, you’re my ass. – – That sounds kinda lesbian.
- If this is a proposal, I gotta say… it’s missing some baby carrots.
- It means I’m already spoken for.
- You’re…you’re polygamists?
- Just say you’re old, you pretentious bitch.
- I am a gunslinger, you amateur.
- Titanic taught a whole generation of chicks they can just throw away jewelry like, “heeey!”
- I’m gonna catch a cold.
- I can’t believe I’m going to go out blasting beavers. – – Yeah, stick with me, kid. I’ll show you how it’s done.
- It is not useless! It shows he has passion! (I love the hug for all us nerds)
- I’m done submitting to shit. (timely and important, thank you, Andras)
- Eat shit, shit-eater.
- Are you real? * I cry *
Under-appreciated (according to me) Lines:
- All those words make me ITCHY (Mel’s delivery was perfect)
- Everything’s gone to shit, must be Tuesday. (This is probably a nod to an iconic BtVS line “Dawn’s in trouble, must be Tuesday”. Buffy aired on Tuesday for most of its run)
- Nice to meet you, mute-aunt, but where’s my mute-uncle?
- Fuck you. * I still get giddy every time I hear it *
- YOU’VE BEEN LISTENING?!?!
- She will baby girl. (in the feels)
- In your face, you stupid hole.
The Big Picture
My attempt at the timeline:
- Genesis 3 – A deceptive serpent in the Garden of Eden leads to The Fall of Man and two angels are placed at the entrance with a flaming sword to guard the Garden. (Biblical canon, not Wynonna Earp canon)
- Bulshar entombed: 1887
- Willa Born: 1987
- Wynonna Born: 1988*
- Waverly Born / Julian is “pushed outside of the GRT: Sept 8 1994*
- Mama left: 1999**
- Attack on the homestead: May 2000
- Wynonna comes of age: 2015*
*What we know for sure is that the attack was in 2000 and that Wynonna was 12 and Waverly was 6 when it happened. Keep in mind when doing the math, that Emily wrote the pilot in 2015. It all falls apart if you try to use the air date for the math. Also, because the month someone is born can mess up the math, this is all kind of give or take a year.
**The original line was that Waverly was 4 when Mama Earp left, making me think it was two-ish years before the attack, but in 3×01 Wynonna says that Mama had only been gone six months when the Homestead was attacked.
Season Four Credits Breakdown:
- The first of the new images is an old photo of two figures standing near a couple of trees. What appears to be a man in a hat and a smaller, likely female figure. As lightning flashes we see them in more, terrifying detail. Their eyes glow and they have marks on their faces. Scars? Lighting?
- The next image is of a female angel walking toward a threshold of light. Again, there is a flash and the image changes. The angel is gone.
- The next change is a little harder to catch. The card for Dom/Waverly has changed. Now on top of a map of the Ghost River Triangle, is an image of the “garden”/ icy Stonehenge.
- The last and most subtle addition is on Kat/Nicole’s card. On the right there is a tree that wasn’t there last season. And you may not have noticed (other than the obvious murder trees), but there is A LOT of tree imaginary throughout this show since the start.
- The most important image of the credits isn’t new, it’s been there since day one, it’s what this show is really all about, the damn birds.
Main players: What we know about what we don’t know
Most of this will be things that were shown or stated in the show, however I am including theories that I feel strongly about, those theories with be in italics. Anything that was added since the last post will be in bold.
- (Bible) Home to two very important trees, The Tree of Life and The Tree of Knowledge [of Good and Evil].*
- There is some sort of living machine that requires blood.
- from Eve, “what kind of batshit playground experiment for creation was this?”
- Has been used as a prison for Eve. It seems that as long as there was a Guardian on the throne or the machine was being fed, Eve was kept from escaping.
- From Juan Carlo’s journal “We guarded the entrance to keep him in, to keep everything in, but we failed, Julian and I”. Which begs the question, were the angels supposed to keep the serpent IN the garden or OUT of it? J.C. talks about keeping “him” in, but the whole season is about keeping him out, including Julian saying that Bulshar can’t be allowed to enter. In the bible their job is to keep everyone out of the Garden of Eden and away from the Tree of Life after Adam and Eve are kicked out for eating from The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil lest they end up with knowledge and immortality. Maybe both things are correct and the Guardians were to keep Bulshar and apparently Eve IN their prison to keep them away from the Tree of Life.
- Waverly’s angel blood caused flowers and trees to pop up.
- (Biblical) One of the first of two (or three depending where you stand on ‘Lilith’) created. Lived in relative paradise until she was tempted by The Serpent (our Bulshar) to eat the forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
- There has been mention in certain versions of her story that well…”the motif of Eve copulating with the primeval serpent takes priority over her other sexual transgressions.”
- From 3×10: Wynonna – “Don’t forget Eve.” Kevin – “Oh, I wish I could. Don’t even get me started on that girl”.
- Has been imprisoned in “The Garden”, potentially, but not surely since her creation.
- Has a long list of things she is “pissed about”, a list which she hopes to address once she is free.
- Her plan, or part of it includes getting to the Ghost River Triangle to get what she is “owed”
- Self-described “nightmare unto the world”.
- At this point I assume she’s some sort of demon (she refers to Doc as “one of us”)
- Seems to be a feminist… so at least there’s that.
– Most of the mystery surrounding Wynonna has to do with the years she was away from Purgatory and doesn’t seem like it’s going to have much of an implication on the show (I’ve heard it’s explored more in the comics).
- Heir of a broken curse.
- Great hair. Yes, End-of-the-World Great.
- Refers to herself as “Dubs”.
- Chosen by the Angel Waverly to wield the flaming sword.
- Fully grown half-angel and adult human lady.
- The Arabic words that translate to “Garden of Paradise” appeared on the ring after she put it on.
- Happily taken Virgo with hair for days.
- “Destined” to take her place on Julian’s throne as “The Guardian”. “I am trying to protect this place, just like my father did.”
- Has some angel powers, but the extent is not known. I’ll be interested to see what she can do outside of The Garden and without the ring (assuming it stays gone).
John Henry “Doc” Holliday:
There are plenty of questions, but I’m not going to dig TOO deep unless I think it’s going to have an impact on the show in the near (this season) future.
- Has a wife named Kate dating back to his pre-well days. Regardless he still talks about Wyatt as if they were soulmates
- Totes doesn’t deny being Wyatt’s boyfriend.
- Went to hell when he died in the AU. Is super emo about it.
- Is a vampire.
- Was able to climb the stairs to “The Garden”.
- Emotionally constipated.
- Has a sort of empathetic connection to people (“now I can sense when my friends are super scared”) every since he was in a car crash with his mother and stuck with her body for three days. My poor child.
- Black Badge “did stuff” to him as well.
- Not “purely human”. I don’t really take this to mean anything more than what we already know as stated in the bullets above, but who knows, maybe he’s the werewolf.
Nicole Rayleigh Haught:
- Only survivor of an attack linked to the Cult of Bulshar. After getting herself down to the river and in a canoe to get away from the massacre, she was found by Nedley! He “kept an eye” on her after that and offered her the job after finding out she was in the academy.
- Is a Capricorn….This fucking show. They think of everything.
Peacemaker: This section is a bit complicated after the developments of 3×12.
- Is missing.
- Is a flaming sword that used to be a Bluntline Special that used to be a flaming sword
- Was originally The Flaming Sword meant to protect The Garden. Referred to as “the garden’s security system” by Julian.
- the sword can only be wielded by a Champion chosen by an Angel. As of now that is Wynonna who was chosen by Waverly.
- Disconcertingly referred to by Bulshar as “my sword?”, but that’s one of those things that makes me question if anyone or anything on this show is what we’ve been led to believe they are so I’m not going to think about it.
- As a gun glowed orange when aimed at a demon.
- As a gun glowed blue for the first time when Wynonna used it to kill Willa.
- Glowed blue for the second time when Waverly pointed it at Rosita and Wynonna ordered it to fire, grazing Rosita. As Wynonna prepared to shoot the Stone Witch, which was presented more as putting her out of her misery, the barrel started to glow orange, but quickly switched to blue.
- When Wynonna pointed the gun at Bulshar it glowed white, both IRL and in her hallucination.
- Belonged to Waverly’s father, Julian. Bulshar stole it.
- Kate tells Waverly not to “underestimate the power of this relic. It’s older than most things on earth.”
- When Waverly finally puts it on, not only can she not take it off, Arabic writing appears on the ring. The writing translates to Garden of Paradise.
- So far we’ve seen the ring: give Widow Mercedes a serious Glow-Up and enable Waverly to punch a zombie witch across the barn, melt a demon’s face, control Bulshar’s former arm (connected to a radioactive revenant), heal her friend’s face, raise Julian, it’s rightful owner, from the dead, and put an end to Bobo.
- Waverly is now able to remove it, which she does and she places it on Nicole’s finger.*
- Can’t say if this is on purpose or not, but Waverly yelling at the ring to get it to suddenly be useful is too similar to Wynonna yelling at Peacemaker in 2×12.
My original theory was that the flaming sword, the gun, the ring, and the plate from S2 were all made by the same source of metal. Now we know that the gun was the flaming sword, but I still think there is a connection. I also came across some stuff about a very old black stone that is related to biblical story of the Garden of Eden.
Mel and Kat Tweets of the Week:
I feel like Mel and Kat are pretty consistently hilarious when it comes to live-tweeting, so let’s recap some of the best of the best.
Thanks so much for reading. Feel free to leave theories and feedback in the comments or hit me up on twitter. If you really liked it feel free to head over to my Ko-Fi page and contribute to my Chipotle fund https://ko-fi.com/earpermarine.