If you’ve never seen one of my deep dives before…well it’s a lot. 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.
Brief recap of 4×09: Fowl Play
Genies and cannibals and Chicken-Kickers, oh shit.
I usually use this space for a cheeky gist of the episode or at least a run down of the plot points, but sometimes I use it for an in-depth look at something specific. In this week’s case I want to delve into how and why Wynonna’s decision making has changed over the seasons and look closer at her relationship to Peacemaker.
“You gotta listen to the screams. You have to look the cost of this in eye and tell it to go fuck itself.”
This is the second time this season where we’ve seen Wynonna kill when she maybe didn’t “have” to. This is in stark contrast to decisions Wynonna might have made a couple of seasons ago. Think back to 2×06 when the sandman puts the town to sleep because the widows are blackmailing him. At the end he tells Wynonna that he’ll go back into hibernation, which makes him harmless and Wynonna seems content to let him, until Dolls shoots him. Wynonna is pissed, she didn’t think he deserved to die because he was being used. Dolls asserts that it doesn’t matter, that he’s a powerful demon and if he was used once, he can be used again. Dolls had likely learned the hard way that not making the hard choice can have deadly consequences, this is the same point we see Wynonna at this season even referring to Ginny as “too powerful a weapon”. Just like with Holt, Wynonna can’t risk that down the road something will happen to make her regret having mercy.
Those of you familiar with The 100 (sorry) might remember a line that was originally said by the President in S2 and later repeated by Clarke, both times when talking about making hard choices, “I bear it so they don’t have to”. It’s about deciding to do horrible things in the name of protecting your people. Someone is going to have to deal with guilt and hate that comes with “pulling the trigger” and Wynonna takes it on herself because she refuses to let anyone else to live with the regret and judgement.
A closer look the relationship between Wynonna and Peacemaker:
In the post where I was examining Wynonna’s choice to shoot Holt I called attention to the fact that Peacemaker only revealed itself to Wynonna in the nunnery when she said, “I do what needs to be done because I’m a hero! You know what, yeah, sometimes that makes me a killer.”. This goes to show that whatever misguided purpose Wynonna thinks she has, Peacemaker agrees, which is proved again by the fact that it even fires at Holt.
Several things from this episode allude that it might even be more than the established co-dependency, that maybe it’s more like Wynonna is doing Peacemaker’s bidding. Doc has a line, “The gun does tend to go to their head.” he’s replying to comment about law enforcement, but I think he’s speaking more specifically about Wyatt and Wynonna. I think Doc has caught on to the influence Peacemaker has on those who wield it. This also comes up at the end of 4×06 when he tells Wynonna that her and that gun deserve each other.
The real evidence that Peacemaker is the one using Wynonna and not vice versa comes through a couple of things Ginny says. When they are chatting Wynonna reminds her “I still have the gun that can kill you.” and Ginny responds, “Or does it have you, honey?”. Then right before Wynonna shoots her she implies that she understands Ginny because she’s “poison too”, Ginny adds, “With a psychotic gun for a master.”
Potentially Important Takeaways:
- “I can stop what’s coming.” Eve and other evils from The Garden? An army of Clanton reapers? A dark angel? A BBD siege? Hot dog stuffed crust pizza? Seriously though, we have three episodes to go and several huge looming threats…plus we STILL don’t know which book Waverly took.
*Portion removed. Check 4×02 if you’re curious.
Gems You May Have Missed:
- Thank-you, captions. For the second time in two episodes there was a fairly hidden “high”/”hi” joke. “Really trying for high noon, Haught?” – “Isn’t that what you say after a night of drinking? Hi, noon.”
- As Wynonna is walking into The Glory Hole to talk to Doc, she is checking out her reflection in her flask.
- The awesome shout-out the very popular podcast, My Favorite Murder (which is enjoyed by the Wynonna Writers), and its fans (Murderinos): “Okay, Murderinos, tell me about my least favorite murderer”.
- After Kuru throws brains and runs out into the back yard he’s no where to be seen. Wynonna notes that there’s “no way he jumped that fence”. Later we learn that he could walk through walls.
- Wynonna’s Wanted poster is still up in the cop shop (Picture below).
- There are apparently four known vampires in the area. Doc, Kate, and two I can’t quite make out. Does one say “Eklund”? (Picture below)
- There are cute little cartoons of Waverly, Jeremy, and Doc next to their names on the Trivia board complete with individual hair and mustache styles. (Picture below)
Answers to questions you may have:
- I don’t know if anyone really missed this or questioned it, but as you do your rewatches keep in mind that the trivia obsession wish is in effect from the very beginning of the episode, despite us not learning about it later. So from the beginning we see the characters who haven’t been eliminated yet obsessed with trivia above all else.
- What does “Sheriff emeritus” mean? Emeritus- a person retired from professional life but permitted to retain as an honorary title the rank of the last office held.
- What is an “UNSUB”? UNSUB stands for unknown subject.
- There are two jerseys featured in this episode, Nicole’s soccer jersey of the fictional Filewych Hornets and Bradley’s Blue Devils (Purgatory hockey team) jersey. Both are number 15. There’s a chance it a coincidence, but it doesn’t really feel like one. The only connection to the number 15 that comes to mind is that that’s year Emily wrote the pilot.
- How does Doc have so much pop culture knowledge? He answers that himself, he doesn’t sleep, plenty of time to study, and we already know he can use Wikipedia.
Questions that I don’t know the answer to:
- How does Wynonna know that Nicole once said the “everything good in my life…” line? Was she just standing outside eavesdropping?
- Why is everyone acting like 15 people in Shorty’s raising their glasses is a legally binding Sheriff election?
- Eighteen months to practice and all you got is older.
- Hey! Only I sweep her off her feel.
- Didn’t you once say, “Eat a dick” to a bunch of vampires?
- Well, isn’t that the point of a glory hole?
- Save it for trivia, downward don’t. – You save it for trivia, online degree. (the little shimmy though).
- I don’t even like shit.
- Open up it’s the… – Earp sisters!
- And his wishes are fucking nuts.
- I need to see if my tweet’s doing numbers.
- I got you back. That’s my happy.
- Fuck this chicken!
- Chicken-kicker is hot.
Under-appreciated (according to me) Lines:
- Et tu, Earps. (I’m a sucker for Latin)
- …as a smart also. (me trying to fit in to intellectual conversations)
- I wish for her to say bye-bye to her brain. – Bye-bye, brain.
- I’m sorry, I’m sure your brain tastes terrible.
A couple of things caught my eye in the “Previously On” shots from the Clanton house. A box on a shelf says Aladdin on it and there is a gas mask hanging off another shelf. It’s possible the Aladdin box was a nod to an upcoming episode featuring a genie. It’s also likely that Mam kept a gas mask on hand because of the amnesia causing fog around the GRT.
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)
- October 26th 1881: Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.
- Bulshar entombed: 1887
- 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?
It’s faint, but the man in the photo seems to have the Clanton brand on his forehead.
- 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.
Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (Real world):
- 30 second shootout between lawmen and a group of outlaws, the Cochise County Cowboys.
- Lawmen involved included Town Marshal Virgil Earp, Special Policemen Morgan and Wyatt Earp, and temporary policeman Doc Holliday.
- There’s no consensus on who shot first.
Cochise County Cowboys present at the O.K. Corral (Historical, not Wynonna Earp canon):
- Billy Claiborne : ran from the fight.
- Ike Clanton: ran from the fight
- Billy Clanton: killed in the shootout
- Tom and Frank McLaury: Killed in the shootout
The Clantons: “We thank our kin for this feast, and for the sin that roots us. The power of vengeance will damn our enemies. In the name of Clanton, we vow to never forsaken. Never forget. And never forgive”
I think it’s safe to assume they weren’t going around using the last name “Clanton” since no one knew they were in Purgatory.
- Poison. Cursed. Wynonna asks Amon what they are, “Demon? Revenant?”. Amon replies “A little less and a little more than all of that.”
- Live on Magpie Ranch. Magpies are notorious hoarders among other things.
Margo Jean “Mam”: Deceased
- The Swamp Witch
- Refers to a “charm”/”gift” she possess.
- Made a deal with Nicole to get Waverly and Doc home.
Sheriff Holt: Deceased
- His name-tag says Sheriff Holt, but Nicole, Cleo, and Doc referred to him as “Sheriff Clayborn (Claiborne)”.
- Clanton Heir
* Confirmed that Holt and Cleo had been going by the name “Clayborn” (alternate spelling of another family that was at the OK Corral shoot-out), probably to hide the fact that they are Clantons.
- Performed a ritual to save Rachel. “A soul for a soul. We are rooted together, enemies and kin. But I sever that root and I offer myself.”
*Reapers are Clanton ancestors, including “Uncle Ike” who is likely the same Ike who was present at the shootout. Billy says he has “the might of a thousand ancestors”. What we don’t know is if being a Reaper can be reversed.
- Fully grown half-angel and adult human lady.
- 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.”
- Is able to melt brains without Julian’s ring. (Look further down for more thoughts on rings with black stones.)
John Henry “Doc” Holliday:
- Participant of the famous Gunfight at the O.K. Corral
- 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”.
- Potentially having some sort of existential crisis over his violent history.
- 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.
- Pronounces Djibouti wrong.
Nicole Rayleigh Haught:
- An Earper, @LoveAndDonuts, pointed out on Twitter that a man named Samuel A. Haught owned a cattle ranch in Arizona where the “Cowboys” were known to do business. And here is a great thread by @PurgatoryArcheo that goes into some Haught family history. Coincedence, Easter Egg, or well thought out plot point? Time will tell.
- Is a Capricorn….This fucking show. They think of everything.
Black Badge Division (Guess who’s back):
- “No longer defunct”. They’re different and in way over their heads (I mean Naomi Hycha is no Agent Lucado).
- Who or what is “upper management”? “If you think I’m afraid of demons, just wait until you meet upper management”. / “can Wynonna stop upper management?”
- Supposedly a highly classified branch of the U.S. Marshalls, but as we according to Agent Moody BBD “isn’t a government agency, never was.”
- Early members include Robert Svane aka Bobo Del Rey.
- All the main characters except for Nicole have signed a contract in blood.
- (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.
- 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”. Maybe the Guardians were to keep Bulshar and apparently Eve IN their prison and 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’) humans 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”.
- Peacock. #IYKYK
Peacemaker: This section is a bit complicated after the developments of 3×12.
- Buntline Special that used to be a flaming sword that used to be a Buntline 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/gun 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. I’ve asserted and still believe the gun to be sentient.
- When Wynonna pointed the gun at Bulshar it glowed white, both IRL and in her hallucination.
- Ginny the Genie about Wynonna: “With a psychotic gun for a master.”
- Belonged to Waverly’s father, the angel 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.
- Last seen being abandoned in The Garden.
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.
It feels worth noting that since day one Waverly has worn a ring with a black stone it it. Just some food for thought.
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.
Yes there was some interesting bird imagery this ep. Yes, I am keeping track.
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.