Previously on Wynonna Earp: Dolls is still a missing lizard man, Mercedes moved home to buy real estate and rebuild her family’s fortunes but mostly she just found giant spiders, Nicole is worried about Waverly and she is probably very correct, and also there are ghosts.
Today at the homestead, Waverly Earp is in a cheerleading uniform doing a slow motion cheer for approximately five minutes while Nicole watches with her hands on her belt like “This is fine” and also a little like “Why is this happening?” Well I’ll tell you why this is happening, Nicole. It’s because of Homecoming, a thing that is only celebrated by adults on television shows when the past is about to come back to haunt somebody!
Calm down, baby, this really isn’t any weirder than my usual outfits.
Waverly was head cheerleader and Homecoming Queen and isn’t worried about it all, a fact she punctuates with a good, optimistic high kick just as Wynonna walks in and finds out the old-fashioned way that Waverly is not wearing underwear, which seems like an uncomfortable choice because cheerleading skirts look mad itchy in my opinion. But believe it or not, I have never been a cheerleader, so maybe I’m wrong. Either way, Nicole, the least embarrassed person in the room, makes her exit as she usually does when anybody other than Waverly enters a scene. Wynonna is polishing Peacemaker and saying “I’ve got a bad feeling about literally everything at all times, including but not limited to your pantyless roleplay and Stupid Earl’s ritual sacrifice”, but Waverly is mostly interested in how shiny the gun is.
Seriously, going commando even after all that spider goo last week?
Hey guess what. The past is coming back to haunt somebody! Specifically a grown man in a hockey sweater staring at the trophy case in the high school. The past, in this case, is some kind of monster whose face looks like a baseball glove that’s been out in the garage for a decade and when you pick it up one thousand bugs crawl out of every gap in the stitching. Great! The Baseball Glove makes the Hockey Boy pull out his own liver, then they cut to the credits and we all sing along to the theme song because it is catchy as all heck.
At the scene of the crime, Nicole is a little amped up at the prospect of having a legit homicide to work, but Nedley tells her to give it to Black Badge because they’re about to have their hands full with drunken Homecoming revelry and all of the trouble that inevitably follows white people getting real intense about sports. Wynonna is eating a donut and taking crime scene pictures without even looking at the body, and if this were a cartoon Officer Haught would have steam coming out of her ears right now.
I hate everyone.
At Shorty’s, Doc and Rosita are having a heated discussion about their science project. Doc looks really nice in that red shirt. Rosita looks really nice telling Doc to leave the science to her and to go fetch some more tequila for the bar. Wynonna shows up looking for Doc but gets dragged into some shots by Mercedes, who in the span of thirty seconds says “when was the last time you had you hands on some balls” and something about “sniffing jockstraps” and I am so impressed by how gross she is! I love Mercedes!
Oh Honey, did smashing all those spider eggs make you wet?
She calls over a dude named Perry who apparently played hockey with the dead guy but more importantly who she wants to set up with Wynonna. His flirts are so bad. He’s like “You killed your parents! Are you still awful?” But in a really congenial tone so I guess it doesn’t count. Wynonna begs off but Mercedes gives Perry her number anyway.
Over at Black Badge, Jeremy is doing research on last week’s ritual sacrifice. He’s cross-referencing something with something else and who knows, really. What he does know is that it appears to be completely unrelated to the Hockey Boy murder, and that the dead Hockey Boy sure is staring pretty unsettlingly at that trophy. Perry interrupts the shop talk by calling Wynonna to ask her out on a date, which she agrees to mostly on the grounds of he knew the dead guy so maybe she can expense it. He’s all smooth like “I’ll pick you up. Do you still live in a trash heap? I hope you aren’t as crazy as you used to be!” And then he bleeds a skinned rabbit into a cauldron.
Wynonna goes home to try to make herself presentable for her date as if she isn’t super hot at all times, and Waverly finds her trying out lipstick. Waverly is going on sexy patrol with Nicole, and is happy to see Wynonna maybe looking for a sexy patrol of her own. She says she wants Wynonna in fighting shape, “whiskey-soaked and reckless”, which are just really great words that I feel very deeply. After Wynonna leaves for her date, Waverly eats an entire lipstick, and somehow that grossed me out more than the spider from last week because it’s a textural sensation I can completely imagine.
She is chewing lipstick. CHEWING IT.
Wynonna and Perry’s date is the Homecoming Pep Rally, because this is one hundred percent what adults do on dates. And for some reason, the rally is being led by Mercedes, who is also an adult, and who is again just really great to watch. Wynonna pretends she doesn’t agree with me by rolling her eyes and making wanking hand motions, but this is high school and clearly she is just trying to act too cool. A weird thing about this scene is that Wynonna doesn’t seem to be standing anywhere near Perry and he just kind of leaves at some point, which, this is for sure what middle school dating was like but by high school most people actually at least talk to the people they’re dating? Wynonna follows him out into the hallway to tell him as much, but he wants to talk about “Man, how pathetic is it that this town is still so obsessed with a hockey game we won ten years ago?” And I am like “YOU CHOSE A HIGH SCHOOL PEP RALLY FOR A DATE, PERRY.” And Wynonna is like “I would like to discuss your dead hockey friend Bryce”. And then YET ANOTHER HOCKEY MAN shows up, and I guess his name is Skip, and he is like “B-Train is dead!” And Wynonna is like “Another dead guy?” but Skip says “B-Train is Bryce!” and just, I don’t know how I am supposed to keep track of all of these men (editor’s note: This is most of life). Thankfully, Perry makes a sketchy exit and drags Skip along with him.
Wynonna for some reason gives the boys a head start before going out to look for them instead of just, you know, following them, and runs into Waverly outside the school. She asks Waverly to tag along on her case-cracking adventures but Waverly turns her down in favor of Sexy Nicole Patrol and Wynonna is finally getting a little worried. Where is the Waverly who builds murder-boards for fun? Where is the Waverly who takes correspondence courses on dead demon languages? This Waverly basically tells Wynonna to mind her own business and find her own redhead to bang, and heads into the school to find Nicole.
She does find her, and boops her on the nose with cotton candy before getting all turned on by looking at the trophy and giving Nicole a private-times kiss in a public-times location. Nicole is concerned but she’s also working and she sees a nerd dude named Tucker filming upskirts of the actual teenage cheerleaders and goes over to stop him. Waverly tells her to let it go because this boy is a Gardner, which means nothing to Nicole. She’s overwhelmed. She arrests the nerd and yells at Waverly to just let her do her job already.
I want to murder him already.
Wynonna tracks down Skip to a house, which is maybe his or maybe Perry’s, and which has a rune that looks like a crow’s foot painted on it in blood. Skip has the same symbol painted on his forehead. Wynonna is like “Can somebody please just explain anything?” and then the baseball glove scarecrow monster shows up and says “I demand my pound of flesh!” and Wynonna is like “Do demons read Shakespeare?” but then Skip starts trying to pull his own guts out so Wynonna shoots the demon but it’s gone. And so is Skip, running down the street. And AGAIN, she makes no move to follow him, but this time it’s for good reason, which is so that she can say the line “I’m just glad B-Train isn’t alive to see this.” This is a good place to mention that Melanie Scrofano is on FIRE this episode. Her line readings are just so good. We are blessed.
Anyway. Back at the sheriff’s office, pervert Tucker is getting bailed out by his equally creepy sister. Nicole is not happy about it, and says his camera was “practically up their hoo-has” to which Nedley says “Language, Nicole! You are a SHERIFF’S DEPUTY!” and then also uses the word “gal pal” and even if it’s a little patriarchal and weird it’s also very cute? After Tucker and his sister are gone, Nedley gets sterner and tells Nicole to watch herself and keep her head in the game. The Gardners are powerful people. And this does not feel patriarchal or weird, it feels like sincere advice from a tired man who has been down this road before.
Wynonna is also at the sheriff’s office picking up books for Waverly and losing a fight with a coffee machine. Nicole intervenes to help her with it and asks Wynonna if she’s noticed anything different about Waverly lately. Maybe her phrasing isn’t great, but her tone is pretty obviously genuine. Nevertheless, Wynonna, who previously in this same episode was telling Waverly how she seems a little off, is like “How dare you suggest that Waverly is acting a little off!” and also interprets it somehow as an insult to her own self as well. What a fucking day Nicole is having, I’m saying.
How dare you wonder the same thing I previously also wondered?
Wynonna brings the books back to the homestead so Waverly can research the blood rune, but before Waverly can tell them that she found the answer on apparently the first page she looked at, Perry shows up at the door and promptly gets knocked out by Doc’s billy club. But the rune turns out to be a protection thing rather than a summoning thing, so Perry gets promptly un-knocked out by Doc’s smelling salts. He explains that, senior year of high school, the hockey coach gave him and his friends a spell, which they cast mostly as a joke when they were high. The baseball glove monster showed up and insinuated through mime or telepathy or whatever that they would all have ten really swell years, and they were just like “Rad!” But now those ten years are up and it is less rad these days, what with the everybody pulling their inside parts to the outside. Waverly quickly diagnoses this demon as being a “Marzaniok”, which does not seem to be a thing according to Google. It seems like basically some kind of genie as far as I can tell.
Wynonna, reasonably, wants to kill it. Doc, however, wants to capture it, which he explains is a thing that could help him help Dolls. Wynonna for some reason responds to this by saying “Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh shit,” which seems like a line somebody thought up and really liked and they just stuck it in here because they wanted to use it somewhere? Anyway after the commercial break Doc explains that he needs pure demon blood to brew up lizard juice for Dolls in his bar basement chemistry lab, which, I CALLED IT. Wynonna is as usual pretty baffled at all the things going on on this show that she doesn’t know about considering the show is named after her, but Doc tells her that he’s doing it alone so that he can take the fall if Lucado finds out, and that he is not just doing this for Dolls. And it’s a nice moment, because Wynonna has been throwing herself at Doc and being jealous for the past two episodes, and he’s been weathering it and being very calm, and here he tells her very clearly that he cares about her. Hopefully she’ll start to believe him soon.
Waverly is out looking for Skip, who nobody would have to look for at all if Wynonna could learn to do her one-liners while chasing people, and she finds out from his wife that he’s in the drunk tank. Before she can tell anybody, though, Pervert Tucker shows up looming over her directly in her path like “You are pretty when you smile. I reject the notion that a pretty girl like you could be dating another woman.” And Waverly is all of us as her eyes go black and she lifts him up by his neck and gives him the business like that time in high school a girl lifted me up by my shirt collar because I said “Billy Joel isn’t that good.” But before she can murder him she gets distracted by his shiny necklace, which she steals. Then she gets a call from Doc, tells him where Skip is, and bops on down the road happy as can be as if she didn’t just unleash the forces of hell on this totally deserving pervert nerd.
Baby, choking out nerd perverts, that’s EVERYBODY’s thing.
While this is happening, Wynonna is at the school trying to get the trophy to put the genie back in the bottle, but the high school hockey team also wants the trophy. A hockey boy calls her “lunch lady” and “mom” and pick a fight with her, and it is very unbelievable because if I had seen Wynonna Earp when I was in high school I would have just stared with my mouth open and given her whatever she wanted. So obviously Wynonna beats up an entire hockey team and struts out with the trophy, while Mercedes watches and says “What a crazy awesome bitch” and I am like right back atcha Mercedes.
Nicole is on drunk duty, nodding absently to Skip explain how drunk driving a stolen car into a tree is not actually his fault, when Skip starts digging around in his own abdomen and the monster shows up. Nicole is like “Do not fuck with me today, buddy!” but then she gets maybe a little less confident when she actually sees the monster, and a lot less confident when it effortlessly mage-hands her across the room a couple times. Wynonna and company, minus Waverly, show up in the nick of time to chase the thing away. The physicality in this scene is really funny, the way the monster clumsily barrel rolls over a desk and Wynonna shuffles around clutching a giant trophy. Perry gets to the monster first and shuts himself in a room with it to try to reverse the spell or whatever, but as Waverly said it was never a spell, it was a wish, and so it doesn’t work. But Wynonna busts in and points Peacemaker at the thing and it offers her a wish in exchange for its life. She wishes it back into the trophy so Doc can try to use it for his lizard juice. She gives Perry a kiss for his bravery, but sends him off to have a normal life because he actually has that option now.
Nicole is cleaning up office when Nedley comes in, and she’s ready to be on the defensive because that’s the way she’s had to be all damn day, but Nedley just hands her a cup of coffee and tells her that she is the much hotter, way less awful, way more useful, not at all a misogynist asshole, and did I mention hotter, Xander of this television show. Even with all the demon stuff going on, somebody still has to do the human stuff. And she became a cop for a reason, right? It was enough before, and it’s no less important now, at least in this fictional world where police are mostly pretty okay. And Nedley tells her he recruited her to take over for him when he retires, or, more likely on this show although I’m not sure he’s realized it yet, when he dies. And he hands her a file on Tucker Gardner and reminds her that they’ve still got some power even if it isn’t the magic kind. And he also gives her permission to not wear khakis anymore, which, God bless you you wonderful man.
You don’t understand, my name is literally “Hot” and even I can’t quite pull of khakis.
This is the first episode where I really started to feel Nicole as a complete character? Up until now she’s mostly been shown through Waverly’s gaze and Waverly’s story. But this week we finally got to see what she sees, and her frustration and jealousy actually start to make sense and I am really starting to care about her. Also she got a cute haircut.
At the Gardner household, Tucker is ranting about how the Nasty Women of this town are all out to get him and need to be punished, and his gross sister is like “aw baby of course they do”, but Mercedes, who is apparently their older sister which is a fact I somehow missed up until this point, tells them both to stop being creepy babies. She calls Wynonna her friend! This is a thing that I didn’t know I needed to hear but I needed to hear it so bad! And then she gets murdered by the ghosts from last week with the spangly gloves, murdered starting with her wonderful face. Why can we not keep our rude girls? First Tamsin and now Mercedes. You’re hurting me, show.
Aw, Mercedes. RIP your wonderful face.
Finally, back at Shorty’s, Wynonna and Waverly have a talk where Wynonna again is like “Remember to be you even when you are being somebody’s girlfriend, okay?” And Waverly is like “I remember nothing, actually, including eating my own lipstick earlier.” She makes serious eyes at the trophy again before Wynonna brings it down to Doc, and then she steals a cocktail shaker and disappears.
In the basement, Doc explains that Rosita is a very good bartender and a highly qualified biochemist, and that she is helping him reverse-engineer the lizard juice. He also says he “injected” Dolls with the last of the serum but that is a lie because we all saw Dolls pour it in his own eyeball. But he stresses that they have to finish this batch quick so they can get it to Dolls ASAP, and Wynonna is like “Why doesn’t he come to us?” Doc says Dolls would have to be an idiot to come back to Purgatory, so naturally the last cut of the episode is to Dolls, who has come back to Purgatory. To the Earp barn, to be precise. And there he finds Waverly, black eyed and giggling over her stash of stolen shiny things, because apparently she is actually just possessed by a raccoon.
This is not a warm welcome back, even for Purgatory.