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Wynonna Earp Recap: “House of Memories”


This penultimate episode of Wynonna Earp had more sweet, sweet action than BoBo’s on 25 cent Buffalo wing night. I mean it had love triangles, sweet lady kissing, knives, cocktail dresses, CHAMPAGNE, twisted sisters and so much more. After a thoroughly enjoyable first season (where’s the renewal, Syfy?), this episode really brought a sense of what this show has become and what it has the potential to be—which is freaking epic.

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Poor Whiskey Jim. Just a few weeks ago he was running his Revenant Fight Club, and wearing the finest wool vests Alberta has to offer. This week, he’s getting his face pummeled by the Earp heirs. Willa and Wynonna want answers and Jim is pretty damn surprised to know that Willa survived. He tells the sisters (after a little boot to the bits) that there’s was a surge a few years back that all the Revs in the Triangle felt. He gets a kick out of the fact that Willa and Wynonna seem to be vying for top Earp, and he’d love to get them into the ring. Well, the sisters don’t take too kindly to his suggestion. In fact, Willa loses her ever-loving shit and grabs Peacemaker from Wynonna’s holster and shoots him right between the eyes.

Well, so much for more valuable intel. Wynonna points out that Jim was kind of Dolls’ prisoner, and Willa doesn’t give a Canadian fig about Dolls or his dreamy eyes and bossy attitude. Wynonna brings up the fact that Willa let BoBo get away, but Willa thinks BoBo has answers to where she’s been all these years. Now what to do about this two heirs sitch?

Back at the station, Dolls uses hypnotism to help trigger Willa’s memory and she has flashes of swan origami and a shack of some sort. She’s also super grumpy when she comes out of it. Well, she’s always grumpy. They give it another shot and this time the memories come flooding back. She remembers being taken and watching Wynonna accidentally shoot their father. Well, that’s going to put a damper on things. In her flashbacks, one of the kidnapping Revs tells her not to scream or he’ll go back and kill her sisters too. Willa comes out of hypnosis in tears and runs out of the room.

At the homestead, Nicole is lovingly applying Neosporin to Waverly’s scar (which she no doubt finds hella sexy) when Willa bursts in like a tiny tornado of anger. She wants to put some homemade salve on her sister’s wound, not this proven to work anti-bacterial bullshit. She makes things super uncomfortable for Nicole, who takes a breather at Waverly’s sweet suggestion. Willa explains that she doesn’t mean to be rude, she’s just under a lot of stress, being a total mystery to herself and whatnot. Waverly is kind, and tells her sister that she’s there for her, atrocious social skills be damned. Willa is lucky that Waverly is such a maple-glazed Cinnamon Roll.

Instead of dealing with all this crazy Willa stuff, Wynonna wants to know who the hell tried to take out Dolls. Dolls explains that his list of enemies is mighty long and even consists of his boss, Lucado. He scoffs at Wynonna’s suggestion that the conveniently absent Doc Holliday might be on that list. Frankly, it wounds Dolls right in the bromance. Dolls has evidence that the men who tried to kill him were fellow Army Rangers turned mercenaries. When Dolls shows her a picture of one of the men’s tattoos, she recognizes it as a symbol of the Machetes gang. (She used to hang with them, apparently.) They have a hangout in town, so it’s worth checking out. Sheriff Nedley stops in to deliver a folder to Dolls, and they give each other the knowing eye. Well, Nedley doesn’t really know squat, but he’s working on it. There’s no time like the present, so Dolls and Wy head out to meet some Machetes.

At BoBo’s, Judge Cryderman and BoBo are getting a shave and a haircut. What’s the exchange rate on two bits? A looney? (Sorry, no more Canadian jokes.) Cryderman is a little jumpy with a razor so close to his neck, especially since he’s not exactly on BoBo’s good side. He tells BoBo the party is all planned with lots of champagne ready to go, but scoffs at BoBo’s choice of locale. BoBo doesn’t like that too much, because frankly, BoBo is a sensitive soul. And a psychopath. He makes Cryderman watch as a woman rips off her own face in front of him, under the effects of some sort of poison. The man responsible for the poison is Big Bubba, twin brother of the dearly departed Vinnie from a few episodes back.

Do you mind if I get a little gushy here? Because I need to get gushy. Waverly and Nicole, and I’m calling her Nicole from now on because I feel like she’s so much more than Haught, are sitting alone in Doc’s abandoned barn. Waverly, who has been holding things together for both her sisters, admits to her girlfriend that being the strong one can be so exhausting. Nicole gets it. Man does she get it. She crawls over to where Waverly is sitting on the bad, and gently kisses her neck. It’s not a move of seduction, although it is as hot as an Edison bulb. It’s so tender, and without expectation. She whispers, “I know, baby,” and those words carry so much weight it nearly takes my breath away. So many times, queer characters are given extremes. They are in love, or they aren’t. They suffer or they die. They are desexualized or over-sexualized. This moment feels as real as the first time I kissed another person I truly loved. Nicole and Waverly get to be just like any other couple that experience the nuances of love and desire, frustration and comfort. It’s beautiful, and I know it stole more than a few hearts.


Nicole gives Waverly the room to take from her what she needs, and what Waverly needs is Nicole. Waverly kisses Nicole and it quickly escalates into shirts being tossed off and love about to be made. EXCEPT THAT WILLA WALKS IN. Damnit, Willa. Willa is surprised to see her sister getting naked with another woman. She asks Waverly if Wynonna knows she’s “a gay” because Willa is my grandmother, apparently. Wy doesn’t know, and there’s a moment of slight amusement on Willa’s end. Nicole grabs her shirt and leaves (as all the queer ladies howl in pain!), and Waverly is left to deal with the situation. As it turns out, Willa was kind of a bully as a kid, and it’s all coming to the surface for Waverly. She recalls a time where Willa forced her to do a dangerous stunt in exchange for her silence. Willa doesn’t want to believe she was such a brute, but it’s etched pretty deeply in Waverly’s memory.

At the Machete club, Wynonna and Dolls are roughing some of the members up, who happen to be human and Revenant. When Wy pulls out Peacemaker and aims it at the Rev, it fizzles out and doesn’t fire. Oh crap. She just kicks his ass the old fashioned way. Dolls also manages to best his adversary, and gets him to confess it was Cryderman who hired them. When they are alone again, Wynonna attempts to tell Dolls about Peacemaker, but he’s too busy telling her how far she’s come and how proud he is of her. How can a girl confess now? Dolls decides to share something Wynonna. He drives her to where Doc’s car is a burnt out mess, but there’s no sign of a body. Dolls is confident that Doc made it out, but Wynonna isn’t so sure.

While standing in the homestead’s field, Willa is drawn to something on the fence. It’s a small, origami swan, and right there alongside it is BoBo. Willa knows there’s a connection between them, but for now, she wants BoBo to gogo away. Waverly shows up with her trusty rifle and shoots the swan right out of his hand. He takes off right quick, and the sisters apologize for hurting each other earlier. Willa hands her little sister the swan and something clicks for Waverly.

Big Bubba, who seems to like putting his lotion in baskets, has our dear Doc Holliday tied up in a basement. Doc, ever the charmer, manages to get Bubba to connect with him. Bubba offers info in exchange for lessons in knife throwing. This is probably going to hurt. In a surprise to no one, Bubba tells Doc that he’s been hired to do some chemical engineering for one Mr. BoBo Del Ray.

Thinking Doc may be hurt or even dead, Wynonna bursts in to BoBo’s with Dolls, and finds Cryderman about to hang himself. Wynonna stops him, not out of kindness so much as a need for information. Cryderman blames it all on BoBo. He spills about the party at the old mansion, and Dolls assumes that BoBo is looking for the lead somewhere inside. Looks like the whole damn town is invited so no need to crash. There is the little thing about formal wear though. Dolls offers to protect Cryderman, but Cryderman doesn’t want to fight anymore. As Dolls and Wynonna head out, he takes out a pistol and ends his own life.

Back in Bubba’s Chemical Weapons Factory and Fun Park, he’s tinkering with some vials and beakers. As he gets closer to Doc, Doc catches a whiff of peaches. Bubba, looking to impress Doc, shows him exactly what his little chemical mixture can do, and what’s going to happen at the party. Bubba brings out a man in a plexiglas box. He turns on the gas and poisons the man, who in turn, foams at the mouth and stabs himself repeatedly in the guts. Doc is horrified, but pretends to be impressed nonetheless.

Willa and Waverly head into the Swan Reservoir where they stumble upon an ominous treehouse. Inside, they find the place pretty run down, but full of origami swans. Willa flashes back, and who is there but none other that the Stone Witch herself. She puts a spell on Willa that gives her freedom but erases her memory at the same time. She then flashes back to being younger, and BoBo is ever present in her memories. Willa gets a strange look in her eye and tells Waverly there is “so much to do.” Before Waverly can look into this further, she gets a call from Dolls asking her for her dress size.

Speaking of dresses, Wynonna isn’t thrilled with the one Dolls has picked out and insists on wearing her own. I don’t blame her. No one looks good in peach. The other Earps arrive to fill Wy and Dolls in on Willa’s newfound memories. One involves their father making a deal with BoBo for the lead, while Willa hides under the floorboards. Still working under the assumption that BoBo is looking for the lead, Team Earp and Dolls swing into action. By action, I mean get gussied up.

Bubba’s knife throwing lessons continue as Doc butters him up. They are interrupted by one of BoBo’s men who has come to pick up little baggies of badness for the party. Doc uses this distraction to free himself, and once the other man leaves, Doc tosses a knife straight through Bubba’s head. He takes back his lucky hat and it’s party time.

It’s time for Wynonna to have some flashbacks of her own. She remembers being with Willa in the barn while Ward and BoBo met in secret, and hiding a very important letter. Present Wynonna moves some planks and uncovers it. As she reads it, she discovers a very big detail. It says exactly what the lead is.

At the party, Waverly descends the staircase, wearing a beautiful blue gown. Her face lights up when she spies Nicole, dazzling in lavender. They meet up and for a moment it’s like they are the only two people in the room. Nicole offers up her bracelet because apparently Dolls forgot about accessories. Waverly forgets that Nicole doesn’t know that their lives are a shit-storm of awful, and mentions if they make it out, they should totally get their formal gown on again together. When Nicole questions Waverly’s crypticness, Waverly warns her boo to stay by the exits. As Waverly heads off to meet with Willa, a very drunk Champ makes his way over to Nicole to spew his anger in her general direction. He calls Nicole and Waverly disgusting, and his words feel like a fist.

Waverly, being the logical mind that she is, is busy counting exits and air vents, but Willa dismisses her and hands her little sis a glass of champagne. Willa mentions her frustration at not having Peacemaker by her side, and seems a little too eager to relieve her sister of the heir’s duties. Speaking of, Wynonna climbs through a window to avoid the non-existent security. Well it’s good practice anyway. She hands Willa Peacemaker, but the look in Waverly’s eyes says she’s not too sure what Willa’s intentions really are. Wy shares the letter with her sisters, who are as equally surprised to find out what the lead is. Tell us!

Wynonna struts into the main room, a total vision in red, and even takes the usually collected Dolls’ breath away. She hands over the letter addresses to a man names Robert, which details how all of this Earp curse business even started. The lead is the Earp heir, who on the winter solstice, must go willingly with a Revenant across the Ghost River Triangle line. Anyway, Wynonna announces that all of this—BoBo kidnapping Willa—is because Willa is the true heir and BoBo wants her back. Wy wants to protect Willa, but the eldest Earp continues to be squirrely and refuses to leave. In fact, she encourages everyone to relax and drink up.

Also not leaving is Champ, who continues to follow Nicole around and harass her about Waverly. He causes a big scene, outing Waverly and Nicole’s relationship to everyone in earshot. Nicole gets frustrated, telling Champ that Waverly belongs to no one but herself, something that Champ dismisses as feminist nonsense. Sheriff Nedley tries to step in and tell Champ that Wayhaught is the internet’s business, not his. Something is most definitely not ok with Champ, though. He starts foaming at the mouth and attempts to attack Waverly, but is quickly clotheslined and taken down by Nicole.

When Dolls and Wynonna are alone again, she confesses that Peacemaker no longer works for her. She resisted this responsibility at first, but now that it might be over, she’s feeling lost. Dolls assures her that she’s still the tops, and finally says that he needs her, whether she’s the heir or not. After dancing around their attraction and connection for months, Wynonna finally closes the space between her and Dolls and kisses him. It’s a bit awkward when they pull away and find Doc standing there, though. (Doc-blocked?)

To his credit, Doc is a gentleman about it and reaches for a glass of champagne. As soon as he brings it to his lips, he smells the same peachy smell of Bubba’s poison and no we know why BoBo planned this party. Speaking of the devil, BoBo walks in to welcome the guests to his party and let them know they’ve all been poisoned like Champ. The only way he will give one of them the antidote is if they turn over Wynonna, dead or alive. Welp.

Doc and Dolls work together to try and get Wynonna out of there, while Waverly grabs Willa’s hand to get her to safety. She runs into Nicole, who has no intention of running away. Always a cop, Nicole has to stay and protect and serve, something Waverly finds super hot. Neither of them drank any champagne, so they are safe from BoBo’s poison at least. They kiss, and while they say goodbye, Willa conveniently slips away.

Out on the empty streets of Purgatory, BoBo and Willa meet up. BoBo calls her baby, and she calls him Robert. Whoa! They walk off hand in hand towards the edge of town to break the curse and set a whole lot of demons upon the world.

Dana Piccoli is a pop culture critic and entertainment writer who recently relocated from New York to Greenville, SC. She’s a current writer for AfterEllen and Alloy Entertainment. She’s also written for Curve Magazine, Go Magazine, and She’s currently writing a lesbian romance novel she’s hoping you will read one day soon. You can follow her on Twitter and Tumblr.

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