WYNONNA EARP – Season 1 Episode 1 – SPOILERS
There are four really memorable scenes in the first episode of WYNONNA EARP. The opening shot of a bus speeding through the landscape in bright moonlight is one of them. Then there’s Waverly’s first appearance (more on that later), the flashback to the death of Ward Earp, and the scene where Dolls (Shamier Anderson) offhandedly validates Wynonna’s worldview.
DOLLS: “We know who took your sister. Officially, coyotes. Unofficially, demons.”
WYNONNA: “You said it. You actually said…”
WYNONNA: “They had me committed. They had me sent away. — We can find them, Dolls.”
DOLLS: “How? They can blend in. They look just like us.”
The moon is full when Wynonna (Melanie Scrofano) gets off the bus to Purgatory to try to save fellow passenger Kiersten (Sarah Troyer). The bus has a flat tire caused by a railway spike, which may be the first Buffy reference in the series. (Buffy’s Spike got his nickname because of his preferred method of torturing people with just such spikes.) She fails to save Kiersten, and in the course of being tossed around by demons, Wynonna hits her head and is stunned. At exactly midnight, Waverly sends her a happy birthday text. Wynonna wakes up, realizes that she has her powers, and fights off the demons easily.
After Wynonna walks the seven miles into town, we get a little foreshadowing of her powers at Shorty’s Bar when she casually banks some pool shots while questioning a local named Carl (Michael Rolfe). The questioning quickly moves upstairs (he lives above the bar) but is interrupted by Waverly’s spectacular arrival. (Turns out Carl and little sis were dating.) Cut-off jeans, the side-braid, the shotgun, a snow-like rain of pillow feathers, and Dominique Provost-Chalkley‘s instant shift from anger to delight when she realizes her sister is there, combine to make Waverly’s entrance the best part of the entire episode.
Wyatt’s Buntline Special was hidden at the bottom of a dry well, and when her sister is kidnapped Wynonna retrieves the gun. Doc Holliday (Tim Rozon) climbs out of that well after Wynonna leaves. (Well, we see a ring on the hand of someone climbing out of the well, and Holliday is wearing that same ring later while talking to Wynonna at Shorty’s Bar.) He does not tell Wynonna who he is. Either he was somehow bound to the gun and when it was retrieved by the heir to the Earp curse he was freed, or, he went looking for the gun himself and discovered someone else had retrieved it. (In either case, it’s a good thing Wynonna left he rope behind.) Holliday is still a mystery.
Wynonna returned to Purgatory because her Uncle Curtis sent her an email saying “It caught up with me.” And soon after, he was found decapitated. Why do demons behead their victims? Who put the curse on Wyatt? While talking to a demon at the campground where he was staying, Doc Holliday referred to himself as probably the last of his kind. The last of what kind?
During her rescue of Waverly, we get a glimpse of how Wynonna’s powers work. She seems to go into a trance of sorts and her mode of perception changes. She sees what the gun sees, looking through the barrel at the target. The rifling of the Buntline Special contains runes to guide the bullet on the path intended by the shooter. Despite the prowess Wynonna displayed at the pool table earlier in the episode, a magical assist would be needed to make the trick shot that severed the rope, saved her sister, and, after ricocheting off a windmill, knocked the gun from the hand of the demon.
When Wynonna was 10, her 12 year old sister Willa (Anna Quick) was “taken into the hills and slaughtered” by demons. Wynonna shot and killed her father (with Wyatt’s gun) to prevent his suffering a similar fate. Waverly, three years younger than Wynonna, saw her father die. From what fate exactly was her father being protected? Decapitation is fairly quick and painless. Was he in danger of being turned into a demon somehow, and might that have happened to Willa?
From Waverly’s scrapbooking habit, we learn that their dad was Ward Earp, born 17 November 1966, died 7 September 2000. Her mother was Wendy Rossier (last letter inferred) born 17 November (year unknown). Edwin Earp (1940-1968) was her grandfather. One tiny little quibble: According to the credits, Christina Merlo plays the 10 year old Wynonna. If she was ten on 7 September 2000, and she is twenty-seven in 2016, then her birthday must be after 7 September. That would mean we are watching events that won’t happen for another five months at least, and the weather would make her birthday likely to be 16 September (full moon in 2016). More likely, the show’s credits are incorrect and Wynonna was eleven when she shot her father. Then her birthday could be 23 March.
Melanie Scrofano (Wynonna) will be Emma (aka death) in the fantasy romance A SUNDAY KIND OF LOVE, about a struggling writer who has a love affair with death. The film, which opens in Toronto theatres on 15 April, also stars Megan Heffern (Tabitha in LOST GIRL 3.4 “Fae-de to Black”).
Sarah Troyer (Kiersten) will be Cindy Wierman in the horror/comedy anthology HERSCHELL GORDON LEWIS’ BLOODMANIA, Troyer will appear in the first of the film’s four segments. Though no release date for the film has been set, a limited edition of 500 autographed posters are being offered at $99 each.
The theme song “Tell That Devil” by Jill Andrews is available as a download from iTunes and Amazon. Other songs in the episode are “Something’s Happening to Me” from the EP Warranted Queen by Arum Rae, and “Drinking Double” which is cut number four on the album In Preparation for Saturn’s Return by Ali Holder.