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 4×10: An Angel Episiotomy (Thanks, Noelle)
Waverly and Nicole attempt to stage an intervention for Wynonna, who is drinking and killing and pretty much nothing else. It doesn’t go well, because yeah, Waverly and Nicole care and are worried, but what choice does Wynonna have? Someone has to keep everyone safe and no one else is stepping up. And most people burdened with have to constantly kill to survive would want to numb that feeling too. Waverly doesn’t get it yet, the toll of being the “hero”, but someone is going to explain it to her soon.
After hearing about “upper management” a few times now, we finally get to meet them, in the form of General Graham, who claims to be “the upper-est”. Graham feels like the “real tragedy” of BBD’s failed missions in places like Maldito and Monument is that they left their greatest assets behind, demons. He has written The Ghost River Triangle off as a lost cause, but the demons and a few humans there may still be of use. His goal is to build an “army” and part of doing that seems to be initiating “The Noah Protocol”, gathering demons, and humans for them to feed on, on an “ark”. He invites Wynonna to join him, saying that he couldn’t ask for “a better soldier for my army”, but obviously there’s no way she abandons her shit-hole or her sister.
After a meeting with Doc at the stairs goes awry Waverly flees into the fog and is drawn into a cabin by a soft voice. And oh shit, she’s back. Jolene survived being shot in the stomach by Peacemaker and once Bulshar was killed she was released from his vines and trapped in this cabin by the fog. Last time Jolene tried to destroy Waverly by making her believe she wasn’t loved. This time Jolene’s goal is to bring out Waverly’s dark (and powerful) side and she does that by playing on Waverly’s guilt for what Wynonna has had to take on to keep everyone else safe, including taking around 375 lives. She points out that Waverly has power (“talent”), but she chooses not to use it to help Wynonna.
Jolene tortures Waverly by asserting that Wynonna is so broken because Waverly CHOSE not to share the burden: “Imagine the weight of all of that blood on her hands. Because you wouldn’t lift one single angelic finger just to help her.” After Waverly slams Jolene into a hook, causing a gash on both of their shoulders, Jolene stabs Waverly and pulls out a single feather from deep in her back. Now she’s mentally and physically trying to get Waverly to release her darkness. Wynonna arrives to rescue Waverly, but is easily dispatched by Jolene and not knowing the fate of her sister is the last straw. Waverly gives in and let’s the power and the darkness out. Jolene got what she wanted and bids Waverly “go destroy the whole world”, while that may be dark Waverly’s plan, Jolene will “not bear witness” and Waverly kills her without even touching her.
We end with the terrifyingly beautiful sight of Waverly spreading her dark wings while Wynonna looks on. Doc, Jeremy, and a shot Mercedes are still at the mercy of Gen Graham in the BBD building, and poor Haught is well…somewhere.
A Look Closer and a Look Back: Putting 4×10 into context using past episodes
I dig more into Wynonna’s decision making, her head space, and her relationship with Peacemaker in last week’s post, but during her argument with Waverly she puts into her own words the weight of her responsibility to protect everyone, “Here’s my problem, it’s a big one. If I stop killing demons, everyone I love, like you, gets eaten.” Like I’ve said repeatedly, regardless of how Wynonna feels about the killing, she’s going to do it because she’s not going to risk someone she loves paying the price for her having mercy.
Waverly argues that Wynonna likes it “a little too much”, and it’s harsh, but we can’t for sure say that she’s wrong. Think back to what Wynonna said to the Revenants in 2×12. “I fucking loved hunting and killing you all. From the moment I first fired Peacemaker and sent my first Revenant back to hell, I knew it was what I was meant to do.”
Waverly (and Jolene):
In 3×10 Kevin says that Waverly will turn to stone if she assumes her rightful place on Julian’s throne. In 4×02 when Waverly does sit on the throne she seems emotionless, and concerned with nothing other than her duty. In this episode she says, “The throne, it took all my cares away, for everyone and everything” and that that “was like heaven”. I wonder if the “turn to stone” was a metaphor? After all Julian was flesh, but after he remembered who he was, he was also fairly emotionless (in 3×11 he tells Waverly “There’s no time for petty humanity. Even less for the doings of beasts”).
Waverly and Jolene, the light and the dark… or maybe it’s more complicated. In 3×05 Jolene tells Waverly that she was born at the same moment as Waverly because “The universe craves balance.” So that while Waverly came out of the light, Jolene crawled out of the muck. Because of the way they came to be, they were linked, “you can’t kill me without killing yourself.”. They shouldn’t be able to hurt the other without hurting themselves, that’s why Jolene couldn’t just stab Waverly in 3×05 and why in 4×10 when Waverly shoves Jolene into a hook the resulting wound appears on both of them. After Waverly goes dark however, she is able to kill Jolene. Did something about Waverly’s transformation sever that link?
What is Waverly now? Jolene tells us in 4×10 that “Demons are just fallen angels.” is that what Waverly is? Waverly knows that there is something powerful and potentially scary in her, telling Jolene, “I won’t tap into a power I can’t control.” and telling Wynonna, “if it comes to it, stop me too”.
How long have they been dropping hints? In 1×05: Bobo tells Waverly, “Weak is something you’ve never been” and “You’ve got depths that neither of us know the bottom of yet”. In 2X04 : Mictien says about Waverly, ”She’s so strong” and in 2×05 Mictian/Goononna to Waverly, “I don’t want to ruin the surprise, but you’ve got dark corners that you haven’t explored yet.”
*Lots more on what we know about Waverly down further in her characterization.
We have seen mysterious scary fog (and sexy pink fog) many times throughout this show. In 3×11 it’s fog that forced Charlie and Waverly to seek refuge in the Gibson greenhouse, and what they say about it is interesting, “Where did all this fog come from?” – “I don’t know, rolled in out of nowhere” – ” Maybe the fog wanted us to come here”. Also in 3×11, Bulshar enters the BBD office surrounded by fog.
How is it linked to losing your mind? We know that exposure to the fog makes people forget everything and apparently go crazy (oh no, WHERE THE FUCK IS KATE?). But we’ve seen similar situations of forgetfulness. Waverly starts having trouble remember things when she is in the Garden. When Julian was outside of the GRT he had no idea who we was, his memories only returned when he put his ring back on. Looking way back, there’s also Bobo who had no idea who he was after he returned in season 2. I have no idea if or how any of this is connected.
Potentially Important Takeaways:
- Well, Waverly’s some kind of powerful dark angel/demon, so there’s that.
- We still don’t know where, when, or who Eve is.
The reading that Kate did using Nicole as something of Waverly’s in 4×01:
– Past : The Empress (Feminine power, strength from the mind)
– Present : Death (Transition, a doorway)
– Future : The fool (a journey, “not for you”)
*Dark Waverly says at the end of the episode that her journey is just began.
Gems You May Have Missed:
- Wynonna has to settle for everyone’s least favorite drink, Banana Liqueur, since Purgatory is no longer getting supplies, including whiskey.
- Further down I talk about Nephilim (the name given to offspring of angels and humans), but one really interesting thing I came across is that Nephilim have been blamed by some for the Great Flood. Some works have stated that “ridding the Earth of these Nephilim was one of God’s purposes for flooding the Earth in Noah’s time.” Which makes the fact that the protocol BBD initiated in the episode where Waverly sprouts wings is called The Noah Protocol very interesting.
- “You covered Kraft Dinner with kimchi and weed”, there are actually two fun things about this line. 1) Kraft Dinner is just what Canadians call Kraft Mac & Cheese. 2) It’s a nod to the actor who plays Casey, Andrew Phung, who plays a character named “Kimchee” on Kim’s Convenience.
Answers to questions you may have:
- Why is Waverly’s book blank? She potentially answers that herself at the end of the episode when she says that Wynonna’s journey is over, but that hers “has just begun”.
- Why does Peacemaker burn people/demons sometimes, but not others? It’s just a moody fucking gun. There is an argument to be made that Waverly is inching closer to her demonic side when it burns her in this episode, but we’ve seen it burn her before when that wasn’t the case (2×12).
Questions that I don’t know the answer to:
- Where did the damn book go now? Doc had it before he got taken by BBD, did they take it or is it just laying around by the stairs?
- How does Jolene know about the choices Waverly made? Lots of possibilities, my guess is that it’s the same way Jolene knows exactly what emotions of Waverly’s to play on, they are just linked.
- At the end when Wynonna is struggling to hold her breath in the fog, it appears that the fog recedes versus her getting out of it. Then it seems to pretty much disappear after Waverly unfurls her wings. Does that mean Waverly can control it?
- Oh, fuckity fuck.
- Yo, fiancee as cute as Beyonce!
- Obi Wan Wynonni at your service.
- You owe me and Waverly for getting us fog-fucked at Halloween.
- I knew you and I would get here eventually. (Wynhaught shippers are living).
- Well, if marrying my sister was legal, I’d have done it already.
- Stop, I’m putting my foot down. – Stop, I’m gonna put my foot up your ass!
- It’s my fucking turn, Wynonna!
Under-appreciated (according to me) Lines:
- zig-a-zig-ah! (love a Spice Girls reference)
- He plays bass in a Halsey tribute band.
- Strap in, strap on… (hey-o)
- Save your patronizing mouth-garbage. (I’m going to be using that a lot)
- As you almost live and sort of breathe!
- Have you ever seen a demon with a rack like this? – Kate.
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 and there are spatters of something (likely blood) on the walls.
- 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.
– 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 Peacemaker
- 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.”
- Kin: We’ve heard Bobo refer to Waverly as “kin” a couple of times and in 4×10 Jolene tells her “but we are kin”.
- The Light
References to “light” around Waverly have interested me for a long time.
- The name Lucifer (the devil) means “Light-Bearer” or “Light-Bringer” and he is referred to as the Morning Star.
- 3×10 Wynonna to Waverly- “You’re the light, Waverly” / 3×05 Jolene to Waverly-“you came and arrived out of the light” / 3×11 “Until a light shined in the darkness”
- Nephilim: The offspring of an angel and human. There is much lore surrounding Nephilim, so check out the link if you want to go down that rabbit hole.
Nicole Rayleigh Haught:
- Kicked a Chicken.
- 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.
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”.
- 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.
- Pronounces Djibouti wrong.
Black Badge Division:
- 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.”
- After hearing about “upper management” several times, we finally meet General Graham. (“If you think I’m afraid of demons, just wait until you meet upper management”. / “can Wynonna stop upper management?”)
- 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 [Bulshar] 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.
- It’s likely that the doors lead to different times.
*I highly suggest you go back and check out my 4×02 Post as a refresher on all the weird things we still don’t understand about The Garden.
- 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.”
- Has only been fired by someone other than Wynonna one time, but I still believe it was firing FOR Wynonna since it only worked when she told it to.
- Seems pretty random about when it burns people and when it doesn’t. It didn’t burn Vampire Kate, Doc has touched it without being burned, and with Waverly sometimes she can hold it and sometimes she can’t. If there is a pattern, I haven’t figured it out, but like I said, I think the gun just does what it wants.
- 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.
- It burns people with the same seemingly randomness inconsistency as Peacemaker (Doc, Nicole, Jolene), but Bulshar wore it for over 100 years.
- 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.
- (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”.
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.
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.
- Peacock. #IYKYK
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.
So Kat once again missed life-tweeting, but still provided some wonderful content.
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.