Wynonna Earp’s Season 3 Finale Solidifies It as One of Sci-Fi’s Best Accomplishments
This Friday, the Syfy hit series Wynonna Earp ended its third season, and it was truly, deeply, and perfectly epic. It beautifully raised new stakes, got rid of some old ones, and created a very interesting new place for the show to continue in its upcoming fourth season. Since this season is now done, let me talk about the things I loved, the things I wasn’t crazy about, and the wish list I have for the upcoming fourth season of this badass show.
For those who may want a recap of the finale, here’s what went down, although if you haven’t followed the series up to this point, this isn’t really going to clear up any confusion:
Wynonna and Bulshar have their final showdown, after she teamed up with the remaining Revenants to break the curse. Bulshar initially takes some of Wynonna’s blood, which ends the curse and, seemingly, sent all the Revenants to Hell. Waverly shows herself to have the power of resurrection and brings Charlie back to life after he was drained by Doc. Wynonna asks Charlie to watch Waverly. Doc ends up coming after them in a type of bloodlust. We find out that Charlie, the dude Wynonna has been boning on the side, is actually Julian—Waverly’s dad, which would be super awkward in any other show but this one, so … perspective.
Jeremy helps engineer a way to defeat Bulshar with science, and Wynonna drugs the team so that only she and Waverly can go forth and save the day. Waverly pulls the flaming sword from the stone of the gates to the Garden of Eden and gives it to Wynonna, calling her the champion again. Wynonna kills Bulshar, but Waverly is dragged into the gate by forces. Doc, in an act of redemption, goes in with her, leaving Wynonna alone. The sword turns back into Peacemaker and two other weapons, and she goes into town, seeing it empty except for Needly.
They are going to get Waverly and Doc back.
That’s a very basic breakdown, because you really should go watch the episode. It is truly epic. Between it and Killjoys, Syfy has been really killing its female-led action series.
So, here are my thoughts on the series overall:
Wynonna Continues to Be Perfect:
Since the beginning of the series, what I have loved most is that Wynonna Earp herself is played to perfection by Melanie Scrofano. This season, Wynonna had to deal with the grief of losing Dolls, still dealing with the aftermath of having to give up her newborn daughter, Alice, and a painful reconciliation with her mother. Wynonna has always been an emotionally complex anti-heroine. Especially during this finale, she reminded me so much of where we have come since anti-heroines like Xena arrived on the scene.
Wynonna is a hero and wants to do the heroic thing, but her heroism is shaped by violence and killing because that’s what she’s good at. She’s a specific kind of hero, and that can sometimes be more a burden than an actual asset. It’s been great to see her growing but also failing this season. She is an imperfect person who rises to the occasion—and also wears the best outfits.
Waverly Is a Bisexual Angel … Canonically:
Queer representation on Wynonna Earp has been one of its biggest assets as a series, and with Waverly Earp (Dominique Provost-Chalkley), we have gotten really awesome bisexual representation that isn’t all about being queer. This season, we got a conclusion to the “who is Waverly’s real daddy” storyline, with the reveal Waverly’s father was a real damn angel named Julian, meaning Waverly is half-angel, something I’m sure Nicole would have told you already.
More so than the Maury-style issue, it also leads Waverly on her own hero arc. In the first season, it was well established that, in many ways, Waverly is more “qualified” to be the chosen one than Wynonna, because of her knowledge, her goodness, and her dedication to the town, while Wynonna ran away.
Here, when Waverly is told that she must be trapped in the Garden of Eden in order to save the world, initially she falters, and then she steps up the task because she understands the sacrifice. Also, when it comes to naming a new champion, she names Wynonna, because she has seen her sister grow as a hero and knows she is the best person to protect the world.
It’s a great sisterly moment but also shows how Waverly has grown secure in her place in the world.
Also, canonically an angel and gay af.
All the Sister Feels and Girlfriend Feels:
All the love between Wynonna and Waverly was amazing this season, and the fact that Waverly proposed to Nicole was fantastic. I knew she’d be the one! Plus, they both got to explore friendships and dynamics outside of each other, which is refreshing to see on television.
Jeremy Got so Much More to Do:
I love Jeremy and he is, now, our sole man of color on the show, but thankfully, this season, we got to see him move on from his one-sided attraction to Doc, get a cute boyfriend in Robin, and also get to be one of the people who helps figure out how to save the world. Getting to see an Asian queer man onscreen, getting to be fun, smart, nerdy, and most of all, loved, has been awesome, and I’m hoping we’ll get more of him next season.
Kate Is Amazing:
Kate didn’t get to do much, and I’m sad about that, but her presence on the show was great because it was great to see a prominent woman of color back on the show again, not to mention she was serving looks. I’m hoping that the show will build on her friendship with Nichole because they were awesome together.
Anne of Green Gables Is a Thug:
When I heard Megan Follows was going to be on this show, I knew she was going to be amazing. Not only is she forever iconic because of Anne of Green Gables, but her most recent role of Catherine de’ Medici, on CW’s Reign, showed how perfect her comedic timing was. As Momma Earp/Michelle Gibson, you could see how much of her personality is embedded into Wynonna and how much was probably lost when she was put away.
The Loss of Dolls and Representation Overall:
I talked about the enormous loss it was for me when Dolls was killed off, and it has remained for me a mark against this season. As much as I love Kate, she also didn’t appear in many episodes and is framed as “in the way” and a corrupting force against “Doc,” since she turns him into a vampire. Wynonna is aggressive towards her from the very beginning, and Kate’s marriage to Doc is not given the same sort of value, or even close to, the value given to Wynonna/Doc.
In some ways, it makes sense. Kate is a new character, and the Doc/Wynonna thing has been there since the beginning. However, if we are going to introduce Kate and this marriage, why not show more of the love between them? This was the same problem with Rosita last season. While Jeremy has gotten more to do this season, he’s still underwritten compared to the other characters, and with the loss of Doc, the lack of non-white characters just got forced to the forefront of the show’s discourse.
I understand the fact that Shamier Anderson wanted to move away from television and into film, but it still doesn’t erase that Doc suddenly mattered more dead than Dolls did alive. Many black fans were already feeling like Dolls was being ignored in some larger storylines because of Doc/Wynonna, and then all of a sudden he dies in an episode where he doesn’t really get to do much. It hurts, not because we want there to be zero death, but because it felt like a continuation of a pattern. Plus, everything moved on so simply once he was gone.
I love this show, but this is something it could do better at, and thankfully, it has all the pieces in play to do better next season with Kate, Jeremy, Valdez, and possibly bringing back Rosita.
Let’s Talk About Doc Holliday and His Toxicity:
I’ve never loved Doc Holliday, even though the mustache totally works for me, but I recognized that he was a good character, and his toxic relationship with the Earps has always been interesting. However, I think this season, more than others, has shown what an abusive asshole he can be.
While he is called out for turning into a vampire and hurting people as a vampire, his abusive actions towards Kate really stood out for me. His man-handling of her, stringing her along when he knows he wants to be with Wynonna, and then shooting her in the finale was just all so gross, and it felt like no one was calling him out but Nicole.
He’s a jerk, and I hope the narrative doesn’t let him get away with it just because Wynonna has heart-shaped blinders on for him.
- More Michelle Gibson! She was awesome, and we need to see her reaction to Wynonna/Julian.
- Wynonna gets to wear some more period-piece garb and curls, because those curls were *chef’s kiss.*
- Waverly/Nicole proposal again and then the big wedding! 2019 is going to continue the 20gayteen vibes.
- Doc gets called out for being a dick.
- Kate/Jeremy/Rosita/Valdez all get good storylines and things to do.
- More small In Memory of Dolls moments.
Season four comes out in 2019! What were some of your favorite moments from season three, and what are you looking forward to next year, Earpers?
(image: Wynonna Earp Season 2, Inc./Seven Twe)
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