Queer TV

Wynonna Earp Recap 2.09 Bartender’s Choice

Previously on Wynonna Earp:┬áDoc offered Rosita protection in exchange for science, Constance Clootie offered Doc immortality in exchange for being stuck in a well forever, Officer Haught shot Tucker Gardner in the chest and stabbed Waverly Earp in the heart (the second one only metaphorically), Doc’s ring is the third seal, and Wynonna is still very pregnant.

Is there any better way to start off an episode than with a sparring session? If so, it hasn’t been invented yet. Waverly is showing off some impressive moves with a pair of whackin’ sticks (batons? Who knows.) Wynonna is showing off some even more impressive moves doing backflips with that belly. The dialogue in this scene is snappy and perfect and Melanie Scrofano’s physical acting is goddamn hilarious. This is the show, right here. I am so happy to be back from the Plot-Town of last week to the comfortable land of Characters Just Being Folks. In fact, this episode barely even bothers with an overarching plot at all and just spends its time rearranging the chessboard for the back quarter of the season. And it does it beautifully.

These loveable dorks!

Anyway. This scene establishes a few things besides how great this show is. Namely, that Waverly and Nicole are still on the outs, that Wynonna died just a little bit, and that she needs the night off and the house to herself tonight for reasons we don’t know about yet. Also, Waverly complains about Wynonna’s “nesting” which is really funny because Waverly is the ultimate nester let’s be real.

Doc Holliday seems to have survived his mission to the salt flats with nothing but a tiny scratch on his cheek. He celebrates this development by going to a Whiskey and Obviously Evil Doll Shoppe straight out of Pretty Little Liars. The shopkeeper (who reminds me of Joel Grey’s demon from Buffy season 5, also named Doc, but maybe that’s just a coincidence?) sees Doc’s ring and says “Sakes alive, that ring is a rarity!”. Doc obviously is not looking to sell, but the shopkeeper is like “Well, while you’re here, cowboy, how about buying this bad painting?” The painting looks an awful lot like the Earp homestead, but with a scary doll in it. Doc buys it. In his defense, back in his day the dolls we think are terrifying were probably like top of the line toys? But it’s still not a good painting.

In Shorty’s basement, Dolls (the man, not the thing I was just talking about) is getting a check-up with Rosita. Seems she’s perfected his Lizard-B-Gone serum way past what Black Badge had ever done. Dolls wants a stockpile of the juice, but Rosita says it goes bad after eight days. He then awkwardly gives her a gift card to a spa as thank you for being an absolute genius, and it’s a sweet moment that will seem bittersweet at best later in the episode.

It’s no “pinata shaped like a baby,” but, friendly gesture accepted.

They are really making up for lost time with Rosita, and I am here for it. Now she’s tending bar at Shorty’s proper, talking birth plans with Wynonna in yet another perfectly written and perfectly acted scene. This episode just feels so good! It also feels a little tense, when Doc comes down the stairs and tells Rosita he’s going to dinner at Wynonna’s house tonight and leaves Rosita by her lonesome. She’s sad about it, so I am sad about it too.

There’s a scene here where Jeremy and Waverly are watching women’s cricket with Dolls because apparently he loves it. It’s very cute. But mostly the point of it is for Nicole to tell us that there’s a dead body that needs investigating, and for Waverly to tell us that she is still very angry at Nicole.

Ah yes. Cricket. The sweet science. The good walk, ruined. The, uh, Game of Thrones?

The body is burnt to hell and is wearing a medical bracelet that says it is Tucker Gardner, but I think we all know that’s too good to be true. The team brings in Beth Gardner to I.D. the body even though obviously it doesn’t look any more like Tucker than it does like a spit roast, but she’s happy enough imagining that he’s dead. She says he’s always been a bit of a firebug. She also says he burned up their cat when he was younger, which I think must be made up since she’s not actually Beth? But it’s easy to believe, and even if it’s not real it makes me hate Tucker even more than I already did. It’s a miracle! Anyway Beth asks after his personal effects, but when they tell her they’re being held as evidence she pretends to faint so she can steal back the ring they gave him a couple episodes ago. When she “wakes up,” Waverly comforts her. Beth gets a little flirty in an evil way just as Nicole comes in to be angry about it, and then is like “Officer Haught, you and Tucker both have deviant attractions to Waverly. You are basically the same!” Nicole is like “Wow that is super fucked up and gross,” but Waverly is mad enough at her that she defends Beth Gardner of all people. They’re in that place right now where they are only speaking in offense and defense and nothing can get better unless they remember they are on the same team. It’s very tough to watch.

Just sayin’ “what’s up” to my cup.

Back at the homestead, Doc gives Wynonna the evil painting. It looks completely different from how it did in the shop, but Wynonna loves it. It is obviously very haunted because nobody could ever love this fucking thing without some kind of demonic interference. But then they forget about the painting because it is dinner and exposition time. This is another great scene! The common denominator here is of course Melanie Scrofano, who is wearing a beautifully ridiculous apron and force-feeding Doc beefaroni. He wants to talk about the baby, she wants to talk about his magic ring. Neither of them want to eat Wynonna’s cooking. Or the Twizzlers she serves for dessert. Wynonna also serves up her plan, which is to break the third seal themselves so they can take out Demon Clootie once and for all and end the Earp Curse. Doc is not real pumped about this idea, to put it mildly.

“Here comes the airplane!”

Waverly and Rosita are drowning their relationship sorrows at Shorty’s and cementing themselves as yet another duo on this show that I love to see interact with each other. Rosita, encouraged by my enthusiasm for their friendship, has the brilliant idea to bring Waverly to the spa to get some use out of that gift card Dolls gave her. I knew she was a genius. They drink champagne in a hot tub and Waverly keeps trying to leave. She’s giving excuses like “Maybe there are demons” and “Those towels over there look so comfy” but the real reason is obviously “I haven’t been in a hot tub with a hot girl since I realized girls are hot, and you are a very very hot girl indeed.”

“You know what you need, Waverly? You need to Treat. Yo. Self.”

Things are also getting heated at the Homestead. Wynonna keeps asking for the ring. Doc doesn’t want to give up his immortality. He also doesn’t want Wynonna fighting the biggest baddest demon in Purgatory. He’s made it his mission to protect her and that kind of goes out the window if either of them wind up dead. This argument spans most of the episode. I think maybe we need to get Waverly and Nicole stuck in a room with that painting, because this argument isn’t so much fighting as it is two people saying the exact things they want and need and are afraid of. Yeah, they’re mad as heck, but everything both Wynonna and Doc are saying is the raw truth. It’s very well written. It doesn’t fall into that TV trope of people misunderstanding each other and not saying what they mean, it’s just an honest fight where the things the two of them want can’t be easily reconciled.

Beth Gardner is at home doing that wedding ring dice-roll magic again, looking for a “traitor,” and she seems to find what she’s looking for. More importantly though, it looks like she’s broken off from Mercedes, who has so far been missing in action this episode. You know how I feel about Mercedes, Beth. You are on thin ice.

Down in Shorty’s basement, Dolls has brought Jeremy to the lab, ostensibly to give the broken second seal another look now that they know more about it. His real intention, though, is to talk Jeremy into copying Rosita’s notes so they won’t need her to keep producing the lizard juice. Dolls, you betrayer! You gave her a gift card of friendship! I’m so disappointed in him. Jeremy agrees with me, and he stands up to Dolls in a deceptively firm way. He defends Rosita as a scientist and as a member of the team, even when Dolls suggests that she’s not entirely on the up and up. Jeremy doesn’t budge. He does get a splinter when he’s trying to nobly walk away, though, and that splinter turns out to be a fingernail. Which is absolutely revolting. And also rings a bell for Jeremy, who remembers that Beth had a bandage on her finger. Widow Number One has been unmasked.

And ten points to Jeremy, because it takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but a great deal more to stand up to your friends.

Back in the hot tub, Waverly is fangirling over Rosita’s two or three PhDs and casually calling her a supermodel. She’s also ignoring Nicole’s many many text messages. Rosita encourages her to answer already, and to show a little backbone, but that all goes a little bit awry when Waverly sends Nicole a text that basically reads like a break-up. She immediately regrets it, obviously. But that sends Rosita into an absolutely dreamy science-y speech about champagne bubbles, and Waverly can’t stop herself from leaning in for a kiss. And you know what? I totally get it. I one hundred percent fell in love with Rosita (and with Tamara Duarte) during that speech and I hadn’t even had any champagne. The kiss was mutual, but it only lasted a second, and both Waverly and Rosita come out of it like they got a little static shock and both realize how much they honestly would rather be kissing their respective love interests. For Waverly, it was definitely a little bit about how pretty and wonderful Rosita is and how a hot tub and a champagne buzz can make you feel a certain kind of way. But I think it was mostly about feeling untethered from everything after getting that DNA test back, and feeling simultaneously betrayed by Nicole but also lost without the person she’d normally turn to for comfort, and finally about feeling seen and unjudged by Rosita. And Rosita is in a very similar place. It’s a dumb sad human mistake.

A very pretty very dumb sad human mistake.

Anyway. Nobody’s mad at anybody, but Rosita heads to the locker room to give them both some space to process that dumb sad human mistake. And that’s where Waverly finds her, dead, on the floor, with Tucker Gardner’s hand around her throat. This fucking guy.

I thought Tucker was wearing nail polish for some reason but it turns out actually his fingertips and nose are just black with frostbite. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer dude. He explains to Waverly that they are equals and everybody else is against them, in that specific condescendingly threatening way that makes it pretty clear he has no idea what “equals” means. Just his entire Benevolent Rapist routine, reduced down to its most concentrated state, like liquid Reddit. He does let slip (in the service of explaining how unappreciated he is, of course) that his sisters have had their faces stolen by demons, and that one of them is still alive.

If asked, Dolls could corroborate that story. He is following the Nicole Haught method of law enforcement, which states that you don’t need a warrant when Gardners are involved. He’s real mad. Jeremy is trying to talk him down over comms while Dolls is trying to break into the Gardner house via the bulkhead out back, but Dolls is in no mood to be soothed.He tosses his ear-piece and goes in solo, and finds Faceless Mercedes crawling along the Gardners’ basement floor looking, well, faceless. He promises to get her out of there but first goes night vision creeping around the house. It’s a smart move, because Widow Mercedes is still hanging around. She’s not looking great. I mean, she always looks great because I love her face, but it seems like maybe she’s got problems now that not even a great face can solve. She tries to venom-breath Dolls, but Jeremy jumps in out of nowhere to block it because he thinks he’s engineered a venom blocker. He is almost correct, but not quite. In the confusion of his botched heroics, Mercedes disappears. I’m not sure if they actually remember to rescue Faceless Mercedes, but I surely hope they did.

So Tucker wants to take Waverly on a road trip because all they need is each other or whatever. Waverly keeps her cool so hard and plays along so well. She convinces him to let her call Wynonna to give her a heads up that she’ll be out of town. Then she tries to get him to let her go to her truck to get some spare clothes, all gently enough that Tucker never doubts she’s the Submissive Dream Virgin he’s decided she is. But it’s not Wynonna to the rescue this time, it is Rosita! Smashing Tucker with a wine bottle and rejecting the patriarchal notion that women’s fashion decisions need male approval. Oh, and also outing herself as a revenant. Which, if you will recall, I TOTALLY FUCKING CALLED IT.

One hundred percent would still smooch in a hot tub.

Wynonna and Doc are still fighting. He tells her a very sad story about hiding under the house when his mother was dying of Tuberculosis, listening to every horrible part of it. Constance knew about that claustrophobic PTSD when she threw him down the well. It’s kind of a weird time to tell that story, but they seem to be on some kind of truth serum right now so maybe he just couldn’t hold that memory in anymore, I don’t know. But they hear a noise upstairs and finally realize something is wrong.

The entire time they’ve been arguing, there have been creepy Doll-From-The-Painting related things happening all around them, noticed only by the people watching the show and yelling “Not cool! Not cool!” They don’t find anything, except their own possessions in places they shouldn’t be, which causes them to get even more upset. I guess the Evil Doll is sort of a gentle prankster? The Doll, now life-sized because why not, does try to bring them Wynonna’s phone when Waverly calls, but they ignore it in favor of working out their angst. Wynonna pulls Peacemaker on Doc, and this has got to be the Doll’s influence right? There’s not really any explanation of what this Doll is all about so I can only guess that it is a general Mischief Maker? Doc finally has enough of Wynonna begging for the ring and he throws it across the room in a tantrum about how much he loves her, and the Doll catches it, like “Sakes alive, this ring is a rarity!” At this point they finally notice this human sized doll six feet away from them holding a ringing telephone, and Doc shoots it a whole mess of times before Wynonna cleanly dispatches it with one bullet from Peacemaker.

With the spell finally broken, if there was ever really any spell at all, Doc relents. He acknowledges that Wynonna is the heir, and that it’s up to her what they do about the seal and about how to keep her and her baby safe. And she acknowledges, if not in so many words, that this is about her baby after all; she needs to break this curse so that this baby won’t ever have to be The Heir.

“Wynonna Earp, would you do me the honor of being The Boss of Me?”

Tucker woke up alone at the spa, I guess, and is back to wandering the wilderness yelling out Waverly’s name. Instead of Waverly, though, he finds Beth. And even though I am mad at Beth for abandoning Mercedes, I am willing to forgive her now, because she venom-breaths Tucker and eats him alive and saves me from ever having to write about him again, hopefully.

Widow Mercedes, her great face kind of coming apart at the literal seams at this point, is trying some last chance magic. She throws the rings and asks after the third seal one more time, and this time it looks like it’s worked. She reads the signs and says “It is the law.”

Rosita and Waverly have made it safely back to Shorty’s. They’re drinking again. The first time it was a Sad Drink, the second time it was a Trying To Be Happy Drink, but this third time is I think a Friendship Accepted Drink. Rosita asks for a head start before Waverly tells Wynonna about the whole revenant thing. Waverly tells her not to worry about it, and also, by the way, that she herself is maybe half revenant so who is she to judge? Waverly might still be drinking, but she seems to sober up suddenly when she remembers the text she sent to Nicole. She doesn’t want to be mad anymore, but she doesn’t know what to do. Rosita is like “You dummy, go get your girl.”

And so we find the girl herself, Officer Haught, opening her front door expecting make-up kisses, only to be greeted not by Waverly, but by Widow Mercedes, who has completely misinterpreted her Magic Yahtzee score yet again. That’s the bad news. The good news is: next week, we get to meet Nicole’s cat!

For once I am not happy to see Mercedes.

One Comment

  1. Thank you for not including any pictures of that creepy doll! Yeesh! I decided I’m fine with the Waverly/Rosita kiss as long as it doesn’t turn into A Big Thing when Waverly and Nicole reconcile. They had a lot of drama this season and I’m ready for the final dramas to be demon related rather than relationship related.

    My favorite part of the episode, though, was Wynonna high-fiving her belly. That was by far the cutest thing I have ever seen.

    I’m beyond excited to meet Calamity Jane next week!

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