The Heir, The Witch & The Gunslinger: WYNONNA EARP’s “Bury Me With My Guns On”

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Season 1, Episode 9: “Bury Me With My Guns On”

Written by Alexandra Zarowny
Directed by Ron Murphy

OK, different format than usual, more than anything because of the fairly large number of notes I took, and it’s a LONG one, because we have a lot to unpack here. A lot a lot.

SPOILERS. They follow.

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Wynonna is dancing/struggling, and Doc is traumatizing strangers.
So Wynonna has her vengeance, and it hasn’t changed anything. This doesn’t surprise me, as revenge is often an emotionally unsatisfying thing in the real world, and Wynonna is – whether she would admit it or not – actually committed to the larger cause of saving the world from Bobo and the Revenants. She is, despite her best efforts, a Hero, after all.

Stone Witch has been watching 80’s action pictures, clearly.
Well, the machine gun isn’t going to kill-kill the Revenants, but it is going to slow them down, yeah.

Put your eyes back in, Dolls. And your tongue.
So Wynonna is going to make the best of it, as she should, but pretty sure it’s not going to be quite that easy, is it? She’s been through a lot, and the writers and Melanie Scrofano have done a really good job of showing that all of this is having an emotional impact on Wynonna.
Still, wowza. Ahem. Dolls, seriously. Ask her out, before Doc wins her completely.

Home office shrink? Oh goodie, this will go well.
Yep, going VERY well.
What the hell is the Black Badge agenda, anyway? They are actively making all of this harder than it needs to be.
All of a piece, because what the hell? OK, we know that the Black Badge is corrupt, and Bobo has an inside source/ally. We know that someone(s) up the food chain is actively trying to screw Dolls over with the chemical concoction that keeps the whatever at bay. We know that the whole way the Revenant/Triangle thing is being overseen is seriously screwed up… and now this. And these questions? Off book, indeed.

Dammit, Dolls.
Look, we know Dolls is essentially a good man… wait. We’ve seen evidence that Dolls is a good man. We think Dolls is a good man, and that’s the way he’s played by Shamier Anderson, but! He’s also letting his bosses screw him over, put all of the civilians in Purgatory in mortal danger, and now he’s letting them screw over Wynonna, and that’s both awful and pointless. Everyone does realize that Wynonna CAN and WILL go after the Revenants without the Black Badge Division, right?

Someone wants to buy the bar? That’s… suspicious.
Timing-wise, this is very suspicious.

Dude, beat it already.
Seriously, buddy. If she kicked Pretty Boy to the curb, what chance do you think you have, and why are you antagonizing Wynonna? Do we have a death wish?

Just because he’s human doesn’t mean he’s not a bad guy, Wynonna.
So Wynonna is damaged, and that’s good. She should be. She’s had so much thrown at her for so long – so much death and trauma and pain – that she can’t not have basically PTSD or something close to it. Considering that the Revenants look like regular people until they don’t, this is actually a somewhat logical assumption for her to make, and also a recipe for a potentially deadly mistake that is probably going to happen eventually.

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Pretty sure housekeeping is gonna be piiiisssssssed.
Urm…. OK. Well, that would be the Face Only A Mother Could Love, I guess.
OK, so she sacrifices the more incomplete of her Boys to “complete” the other, and… um, we get a facially deformed man-child thing. I’m kinda underwhelmed here, but OK, sure. Just because I was expecting something more… impressive… is more on me and my expectations than on much we’ve seen or heard about Constance’s Boys. They are her children, after all. She seems to love them, at least in her own way, so…
 
Wait. What about the skull pieces?
Right, so here is my issue with this bit, and some of what is to follow. In “Walking After Midnight” we see the other skull shattered, right? WHAT HAPPENED TO THE PIECES? Waverly is the Keeper of the Bones, but we hear… nothing about what happened to them. Constance is driven away from the farm, but we see she has her own human agents there too, and so she what? Just abandons the remains of the skull, and doesn’t try to retrieve them to maybe put them back together? Bobo doesn’t send someone after them? Waverly and Wynonna leave the farm alone all the time, so whatawhat? Sure, they disposed of them in some way, I’m sure, but these bones are a BIG DEAL, right? They’ve been featured prominently throughout the series, so this lack of anything about the skull pieces – especially since skulls really don’t shatter like that – is odd, at best.

Doc is dressing in modern clothes… it looks weird.
Just no shave and haircut, OK? OK.

So which IS better for Wynonna? Doc or Dolls?
You know, there is the Moonlighting Effect a lot of shows have stumbled over – the danger of two characters with obvious sexual tension giving into it kills the series – that we don’t have to worry about here, and that’s another thing that the writers and this great cast have given us that we should be thankful for, as viewers. The chemistry between Scrofano and Tim Rozon, and between Scrofano and Anderson, plays well as tension kept and tension released, because we have a love-ish triangle to play with, and we have characters who don’t need any of the other characters to complete them. Wynonna doesn’t need Doc or Dolls to be whole, and as damaged as she is, she’ll find that through herself, her love for her sister, and the help of her friends, Doc and Dolls. She’s not some damsel in distress who needs a man to save her or their love to redeem her. She just wants to f@#$ them.

Haught is asking the right questions, and the Sheriff is… what? He knows more than he’s saying, right? Right?
So Haught’s report is an actual recounting of things she wasn’t a witness for, and shouldn’t know anything about, is it? The only way she could have the info about Jack is of she was if Wynonna, Doc or Dolls were to tell her and why the hell would they do that? That makes… no sense whatsoever. At all. And why would she have received that info even if they did tell her those things? Wasn’t she just in the hospital?
And yes. Greg Lawson’s Sheriff knows more than he’s admitting, and he’s what? Trying to protect Haught? Not going to work, I’m afraid.

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Really? REALLY? We’re going to do the stupid misunderstanding thing with Waverly and Haught? REALLY?
Sigh. Why did we have to go to dumb places here? WHY?
Look. This… thing, this dumb thing where two otherwise smart people have a conversation that NO ONE ACTUALLY HAS EVER so they can push them apart so they can come together later is terrible. It’s sloppy writing, it’s insulting to both characters, and it’s contrived as all hell. It’s dumb in the romantic comedies it comes out of, and it’s terrible here, because this show has shown both Waverly and Haught to be smarter than this. Yes, there’s the blossoming and uncertainty of the attraction between them, and that’s sweet and cute, but if we’re going with Haught seeing that the weirdness in Purgatory is not a natural thing, then the only reason she and Waverly do this dumb dance is because the Hand of the Writer made them, and this show, these writers, and these actors have been, are, and should be better than this. Dammit.

Flamethrower. Impractical, but cool.
How did they know which way she was going? In fact, why did she, so close to getting what she wants (more or less) pick the WORST way out of the Triangle?
Bobo uses magic, and the Witch… doesn’t?
Hey, where’s the machine gun?
Oops. Well, at least housekeeping didn’t have to clean it up.
That’s dramatic, but… that’s not how fire and bones work.
I… don’t even know with this scene. I’m probably still pissed about the Hand of the Writer with #HaughtWave, but so much of this scene just doesn’t make sense to me. It’s dramatic, sure, but:
Why did Constance pick this way out? How did Bobo know she was going this way? There isn’t a wall around Purgatory, right? She could have driven out several different ways based on the map of The Triangle, if not off-road, so how the bloody hell did Bobo find and block the way? We know she is a powerful Witch, and yet she doesn’t use magic to fight Bobo? WHY NOT? And hell, we just saw her with a machine gun, so where is it? Suddenly she forgets all the ways she can – at the least – put up a real fight here? WHY?

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THERE IS MORE THAN ONE WAY OUT. ALSO, “THE BIG CITY”. Heh.

And Bobo’s guy found the other son’s bones, but why did she leave them behind? Seriously, why would anyone do that? As obsessed with the bones of her Boys as she has been, she left them in the hotel room? Are we sure? Gahh!

And if Bobo’s guy went to the hotel room and collected the bones, then that means Constance and her Boy had already left, right? HOW DID HE BEAT HER TO THE BRIDGE?
And yes, flamethrowers are very hot. About 1000 degrees. Which is not enough to burn bone to ash. That takes at least 1500 degrees or more, and several hours of that sustained heat. Yes, yes, I know it’s a TV show, but it’s one more damn thing that this scene does that doesn’t make a lick of sense.

It is a simple plan, Doc, but it’s not a GOOD plan.
Once again, we see that Doc’s tactical planning skills suck. They’re understandable, but that doesn’t make them any less terrible.

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Neadley! You’re actually funny! And smarter than you’ve let on.
Good. You’re a lot more interesting now.

Thank God. Someone other than Wynonna and Bobo actually acting like a sensible person here. And welcome to the team, Sheriff. Yeah, yeah, Dolls is being Dolls, but it’s good to  see the promise of your character come to fruition, AND reveal yourself as more than the stereotypical bumbling copper. THIS scene feels like it was written by the writers of Wynonna Earp, as opposed to some other scenes I can – and have – mentioned.

Dammit, Waverly. Dammit, Haught. STOP TALKING PAST EACH OTHER.

This is terrible folks. Just terrible. Dominique Provost-Chalkley and Katherine Barrell are good here, as they are always good, but the whole contrived bit is just terrible. The writer, Alexandra Zarowny, wrote the cannibal episode so we know she’s actually a very good writer, so I don’t know what the hell is going on here.

Wait, why do you need Doc’s, or anyone else’s help to… ohhhh.

We’re in daylight all of a sudden, implying that a significant amount of time has passed, which given the bone-ash shot is… still wrong. Anyway, Constance needs Doc’s help to get out of the Triangle because Bobo & Co. are lying in wait, for reasons – while referenced – don’t actually track if looked at too directly. What if Doc and Wynonna got caught up in the sexy love-time and he let it go? Yes, I know that’s unlikely, but WHY IS BOBO SURE ABOUT IT?
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Um, Doc? Whatcha doin?

So this is interesting. Doc, quite sensibly, points out that he and Bobo had a deal, and one that Bobo is currently breaking. Bobo just finished pointing out to Constance that she was breaking a deal with him, and that was massively uncool. The other Revenants are indeed paying attention. And Tim Rozon here… look, I like Doc when he’s funny and charming, and his chemistry with Scrofano’s Wynonna is sexy as all hell, but Doc angry is awesome. And while his tactical planning is crap, his situational awareness isn’t: He knows that the only way out of this is to keep Wynonna in check.

Bobo… always a gentleman.

Ah, Michael Eklund, how you have grown on me as the Big Bad. Charming in a just awful way, Bobo is one of my favorite villains these days.
Deals about these parts are… complicated.

Everyone seems to be in the deal-making business, and everyone is trying to screw the other party over as much as possible, and everyone is calling everyone out on it. Bobo’s deal with Doc, Constance’s deal with Bobo, and now the deal-ish thing with Wynonna and the Witch.

Bobo… yeah. He’s behind the bar thing, isn’t he?
Chekhov’s Gun, anyone? Gonna go with that for this phone call and the “business” Bobo has to attend to, because c’mon. C’mon.

Dynamics are shifting here, pretty seismically.
Wynonna getting her revenge on the Seven, Constance getting and losing her Boys, Doc getting his revenge on Constance, Waverly and Haught moving together, and now the bar getting sold, freeing Waverly to have the life she wants? Pretty much everything that we’ve had as the architecture of this show since the first episode – aside from the core Bobo/Revenant/Stop The Demons thing – has either been brought to a conclusion or shifted so much as to be a 180 from its original status. This is pretty bold for a show that hasn’t even finished its first season, in fact, half of what we see here would be season finale cliffhanger stuff on a lot of other shows. I may have some issues with the details, but damn if the big notes here aren’t gutsy storytelling.

And yes, I left out Dolls taking Wynonna’s badge. You know that isn’t going to last.

Stab and twist, stab and twist.
Um, that wouldn’t be the actual thing you just said you’d tell her. That would be the reason Doc is the way he is,and why you did it to him, but that’s NOT about the details of the Curse.
Salt Flats. Nice. Mean, too. But… she IS a resource.
I like it. Doc’s quasi-immortal state was a way to hurt Wyatt for killing Constance’s Boys, by twisting Doc into something Wyatt would reject, and breaking their friendship. The “sidekick” thing was especially cruel, as was the jab about Wynonna choosing the “lawman”. Prisoner she may be, but here Constance is back in character, as opposed to whatever was happening earlier this episode. It wasn’t personal… Doc was collateral damage in the hate-fueled attack on Wyatt. Of course, Constance doesn’t actually explain the Earp Curse, and saying it was something her demon husband did is sort of not at all…

OK. Let’s break this down.
Wyatt, in the course of his being a lawman, kills the Boys. Constance, in retaliation, makes Doc semi-immortal, and with Wyatt’s new knowledge of the reality of demons, breaks up the friendship. She then imprisons Doc in the well, in case Wyatt ever changes his mind.

Demon Hubby, meanwhile, curses Wyatt so that everyone that Wyatt is responsible for killing comes back as a demon, and that his descendants will face a resurgence of the Revenants every 27 years, with each Heir having the potential to break the cycle, or more likely die trying. Right? But Wyatt dies of old age, and – as far as we know – stays dead, and so has essentially escaped punishment by Demon Hubby. Kinda Biblical as curses go, but also kinda toothless when it comes to punishing Wyatt, personally.

Still, pretty elegant the solution here, trapping Constance in the Salt Flats and both keeping Doc alive and taking her off the playing board. Hopefully it’s not the last we see of Rayisa Kondracki.

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#HaughtWave! Finally! Did we have to have the dumb stuff though? And Haught has real questions that are about the dangers you all are in…
About time. Look, I’ve liked the slow build to Waverly and Haught coming together, and the actually sweet and romantic development of this relationship – I was in college in the late 80’s/early 90’s, when my gay friends coming out was a scary thing, and my daughter is gay, so I’m all for healthy LBGQT relationships in media – so this scene is really good and between the writing and the performances of Provost-Chalkley and Barrell, I think it’s what we’ve all wanted from this moment since it became apparent that #HaughtWave could be a thing. I just wish we didn’t have the dumb contrived misunderstanding things before it.

And still… Haught’s real concerns and real questions are left unaddressed. This is… dangerous, for her life, and the relationship. Hopefully this gets dealt with soon, ’cause I’m pretty sure that the whole “by the way, demons are real and me and my sister are kind of trying to save the world” should probably be a conversation you don’t want to wait too long on.

Yeah… “Forever” is a sure thing. Uh huh.
Yeaaahhh. Not buying it. Constance isn’t dead, so…

Dolls… did what, here? How does that work? What happened to the lady?

Hooray! Dolls steps up for Wynonna, except… how, exactly? What happened to the woman from the home office? Did she sign off on this? How? Why? Clearly she had an agenda – either her own or more likely the corrupt Black Badgers – so how did Dolls make this happen? Simplest explanation is that he’s lying to Wynonna, and it’s going to come crashing down on him along with the rest of the coming conflict with his bosses. Because there is a big blowout there coming, right? With all that is happening there, we are going to get the Black Badge/Team Earp throwdown, right? Give me this.

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Bobo bought Shorty’s. Whoops.
Good thing Waverly got that check, huh? Well, assuming it clears… although, Bobo does eventually keep his deals, so it probably will. But again, seismic shift. Sure, the Earp Sisters have the farm, but Shorty’s was also home, and a lifetime of memories are there for both of them. It’s a cruel act on Bobo’s part, and he has to know that Wynonna isn’t going to let it slip by without making him pay. My money is on her burning it to the ground to keep him from sullying her memories even more than he already is. Of course, I’m an independent filmmaker and writer, so we’re not talking money of any particular quantity here, but still.

It’s that double-edged sword: Wynonna Earp has built a fast reputation of being fun and creepy and smart and sweet and sexy and tragic, and I may have bitched about a lot here, but there’s a LOT that happened this episode, and most of it – questions and gripes aside – was always entertaining. And, honestly, I like this show enough – this cast and crew enough, and the way it has consistently grown the characters and the storylines of everyone so well and in interesting ways – that the off moments stand out more than they would on a lot of shows that haven’t established such a high bar for itself. My complaints aside, that high bar – these actors and their characters, these writers and storytellers – is why I look forward to this show every week.

Wynonna Earp airs Friday nights at 10/9c on Syfy.

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