Season 1, Episode 7: “Walk After Midnight”
Written by Emily Andras & Caitlin D. Fryers
Directed by Brett Sullivan
The short version of what happens in “Walk After Midnight” is that Wynonna sorta makes a friend and comes another step closer to identifying the last of the Seven, Waverly throws a party that the Stone Witch crashes (and still manages to improve the company the new Keeper of the Bones is keeping) while Doc tries really hard to get them all killed, and Dolls’ Terrible Bosses are Terrible To Dolls.
Spoilers. They follow.
Some of the notes I jotted down as I was watching:
Way to be a dick, Doc.
Welp, that’s it for the Blacksmith. Was nice to meet you, shame about the dying thing.
Constance be craaaazy.
Let that be a lesson to you Dolls… call for delivery next time.
Waverly’s “friends” are awful. Please tell me they die terribly.
I like Officer Haught. She seems like a genuinely nice person, and is probably doomed.
Oh, Hi Blacksmith. You have a little red on you. Wait. How did you beat Constance there?
Little morgue-guy is either new ally or serial killer. No middle ground.
Doc welches on his promise to the Blacksmith. This will end well.
The Dead Can’t Dance.
Seriously, how is what Wynonna & Co have been going through not good enough for Dolls’ bosses?
Yep, horrible friend dies horrible.
“What do you mean you killed a stripper?”
OK, Crissy isn’t completely horrible.
Waverly is braver than smart right now.
Ah, Constance’s boys were not human, and something evil is coming, and BOOM! Waverly for the win!
Waverly is the smartest person in the room, always. Still, she should have pointed out a little more clearly that DOC GOT HER FRIEND KILLED.
Aaaaaand Dolls just threw Doc under the bus.
Yes! The Wynonna Earp/Twin Peaks crossover we didn’t know we needed!
This is, even more so than when we got the Doc flashbacks, an episode where Wynonna takes a backseat into the B-storyline, and one of the rest of this great cast steps into the fore. Here it’s Dominique Provost-Chalkley’s Waverly, and good lord, no wonder Waverly is carrying around so much anger. Bad enough her sister Willa and father are dead, Wynonna’s life has been a litany of petty crimes and mental hospitals, and her ex-boyfriend is a vacuous twit, but she can’t even have really good friends who stand by her and support her. Admittedly I just want to see Provost-Chalkley play evil – her smile is so bright, her Waverly so good a person, I half want her to reveal that she’s the great evil behind it all, just to watch her run with it and play – but wow. That she has carried so much of the family’s legacy herself for so long, putting up with all these… idiots around her, who completely miss the strength and character of the woman in front of them, is kinda amazing.
Provost-Chalkley pulls it off though, giving us a woman who is not bitter and broken by a life of tragedy, but smart and strong, brave and kind. The hurt in her eyes when only two of her so-called friends come over with their casually cruel comments and exclusion of her from thier lives, is palpable not just because of how it wounds her, but because she wouldn’t return that cruelty under any circumstances. Sure, she lashes out at Steph (Siobhan Williams), but Steph is both being far more cruel and endangering them all in her panic and fear. The real anger she reserves for Doc (Tim Rozon) at the end of the episode, but even then she doesn’t call him out completely for his actions of the night, and the direct cause and effect that let to both Waverly killing a man and Steph being killed. I don’t think Waverly will have the ability to brush that off completely, and some of that comes through in her confronting Doc about his lies.
And of course, she tries to save the others by confronting the Stone Witch herself. Waverly is the Keeper of the Bones, and by God, she’ll not let Constance have them, now will she? How effective smashing the skull will be is yet to be seen – Bobo is already reconstructing skeletons, so it’s not like he isn’t practiced in putting bones back together – but she’s surely made an enemy in Constance, one whose rage will be a very personal one. We finally get to see the Stone Witch (Rayisa Kondracki) with the gloves off here, and based on what she does to the Blacksmith (Rachael Ancheril) to get an address, I think Constance will have something particularly nasty in mind for Waverly when they cross paths again.
By then though, perhaps she’ll have Officer Haught (Katherine Barrell) by her side, assuming she has survived whatever happened to her and Wynonna in the final moments of the episode. One would think that Emily Andres & Co wouldn’t introduce a lesbian character and begin developing what looks like a sweet and quite naturally unfolding relationship only to kill Haught off – this is, after all not the heavy hand-of-the-writer we’ve gotten of late on The Walking Dead and The 100, where certain unpleasant tropes have made unwelcome appearances – but there is a certain terrible economy of characters in film and television, and supporting cast often take a hit in stories where death plays a prominent role. Hopefully not in this case, as Andres and the rest of the writers have crafted some really solid and interesting characters here, and at least for me, not giving Haught and Waverly a chance to see what’s there would be a terrible shame.
Haught also gets to have some bonding time with Wynonna (Melanie Scrofano), although there is something messed up about getting drunk and looking at murder files, no matter the sense that it makes when one considers the personalities of the two. There’s the seemingly obliviousness of Wynonna to the yearning in the way Haught talks about Waverly that amuses briefly, before things take a darker turn, and whatever effect that the last of The Seven has on Wynonna rears its ugly head. Apparently abandoned by Dolls, Wynonna discovers that there is a connection between the Revenant she’s seeking and the murders of three young women who look disturbingly like her, and that she may be the prey, not the hunter here. The ease in which the Revenant toys with her in the morgue doesn’t bode well, especially in light of the empty car at end. Still, the softening of Wynonna towards Haught and the promise of #HaughtWave gives one hope.
Not to mention her name’s what’s on the tin.
I suspect that there’s more to Ryan Belleville’s coroner than it appears, considering that he a) arrives alongside the last of The Seven and three murdered women, and b) seems awfully pleasant and reasonable. Either he’s the final member of the crew that killed Willa or he’s connected to the murders somehow, but his affability and eagerness to be helpful is suspicious.
Dolls (Shamier Anderson), on the other hand, is in a curious situation that honestly doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. First we have nothing at all about the reveal last week that Dolls is self-medicating… something… and nothing at all from his superior about that whatever-it-is, which is odd, considering that the agency denied him access to the drug he needs. Surely Agent Lucado (Kate Drummond) should be expecting him to suffering from withdrawal symptoms, right? And what is this deal about not getting enough proof? They know about Revenants, they know about the Curse, they know about the Peacemaker and all of this, so what the hell are they wanting from Dolls that they haven’t gotten from him? A “live” Revenant? Sure, OK, but if they want one that bad, where’s the support team to help him? Why is he out on his own? It’s like they’re actively setting him up to fail, which is completely a possible thing, considering the whole no-drugs-that-keep-whatever-it-is-in-check-for-you thing. And promising them Doc is not going to end well, for anyone.
And then, of course, there is John Henry Holliday. From pushing Wynonna away, stumbling artlessly into something resembling an apology to Waverly, and then damn-near getting them all killed by letting his need for vengeance override anything resembling sense, Doc, again, does a pretty good job of showing that while he may have been a great gunslinger, he’s crap at anything resembling strategy. He really is the reason Steph – horrible though she was – is dead. His revenge could have gotten Waverly killed too, and despite his obviously false protests, he clearly does care about Wynonna, and by extension at least, Waverly. I say care, because I’m not sure Doc can really love anyone right now, so consumed by revenge as he is. One wonders how much he heard of Constance’s claim that what she did to him was revenge on Wyatt for killing her boys; a revenge that was a punishment for Wyatt loving his friend. Still, the situation has shifted, with Doc having a means – thanks to the Blacksmith – for weakening Constance, as well as the dagger that she seemingly uses as a focusing device in his possession. That it seems that anything he does to harm her harms him as well is a… interesting problem.
Finally, we’re left with the aftermath. Crissy traumatized but closer to Waverly, Wynonna patching things up with Haught, and then that great Lynch-ian moment, of a car rolling gently down the road, doors open, revealing blood inside as music softly plays. I swear to God that if the song had been by Julie Cruise, I’d have been ecstatic.
I don’t know if that’s what Andras and Sullivan were going for there, but now I want an episode where Kyle McLachlan and Melanie Scrofano drink coffee and talk demons so very, very, very much.