Warning: this contains major spoilers for Season 4 Episode 1 of Wynonna Earp, “On The Road Again” 

The moment that Earpers have been fighting for is finally here! After nearly two years, Wynonna Earp is back for the highly anticipated fourth season… And it was well worth the wait.  The third season ended with Waverly and Doc in the garden of Eden, the Earp curse broken (and Peacemaker no longer the demon killing gun we all know and love), and everyone in Purgatory (including Nicole and Jeremy) missing with the only clue being the name “Valdez” carved into the wall at the Earp homestead. 

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Wynonna is all alone with only retired Sheriff Nedley as back-up to try and save everyone she cares about and beat whatever bad guys come along without her magic gun.,

WYNONNA EARP IS FINALLY BACK

The Wynonna Earp season four premiere, “On The Road Again”, begins with Wynonna acting as confident, hard-drinking, and quick-witted as ever. But her moments of doubt begin to slip in early. She and Nedley are gearing up to save their missing family, with Wynonna choosing from a vast array of weapons and Nedley delivering a great line: “You almost done? I feel like I’ve been standing here for two years.” It’s a quick wink to the fans about the hiatus Wynonna Earp was forced to take.

Wynonna may seem like her old self, but there has been an indelible change to who she is now. Ever since Wynonna returned to Purgatory, she has become the Earp heir. No matter how much she detested it or fought against it this was a huge part of her identity and the power that came with it, the purpose is now gone. Wynonna didn’t just lose Peacemaker, she lost a part of herself. She is left asking herself who is Wynonna Earp, if not the Earp heir?

This doubt creeps in when she is still unable to enter the garden, despite her (hilarious) efforts – and while she is locked out, it doesn’t seem like everything else is still locked in. I’m sure these won’t be the only thing to escape the garden now that it has been opened. Nedley and Wynonna return to the homestead after one of those things takes a bit out of him. While at the homestead they have a poignant conversation about Wynonna’s choice to leave behind part of her team by drugging them. 

Obviously this didn’t do much to protect them, given that Nicole and Jeremy are now missing. Nedley may sympathize with Wynonna, but he doesn’t let her off the hook for a clearly bad call. This is important to note given that usually the hero is forgiven for poor decision like this simply because they wanted to keep their loved ones safe. Wynonna Earp subverts this expectation with the hero continuously having to deal with the consequences of her actions.

One of the coolest transition shots of the episode reveals Jeremy left the “Valdez” clue for Wynonna. He as usual somehow knows more than he should and is able to try and help before being grabbed by military types in all black. This is the last we see of him so hopefully he’s alright. Mercedes also has a few appearances in the episode to inject a bit of snarky humor and help figure out some information.

Two other characters that make short, but notable appearance are Mercedes and Kate. Mercedes manages to add another layer of comedy to the tense situation of Wynonna blindly trying to find her people while also figuring out a vital clue to possibly finding Valdez and the garden.

Kate helps Nicole when the red head wakes up furious on a train after being drugged by Wynonna and kidnapped by military types. The line about the captors being government or paramilitary posing as government hits a little closer to home than was likely intended given what’s going on in places like Portland today. Kate also gives Nicole a reading to help find out where Waverly is. While the episode lacks any WayHaught interactions, the reading does lead to a great moment where Kate needs something of Waverly’s to read the cards and Nicole offers up herself.

Nedley continues to show his value as not only a paternal figure for Wynonna, but an invaluable source of information about the craziness that is Purgatory. Nedley managed to hide Dolls’ files after his death and Wynonna finally gets a clue as to what Valdez means and possibly the garden. Of course, there is a catch and Gloria Valdez, a black badge scientist is supposedly dead. It was nice to have some references to Dolls throughout the episode as he continues to leave an indelible mark on those he knew and helped. Not only in life, but now also after his death. His box of files will likely come into play again given how extensive it seemed to be. 

Waverly and Doc are stuck in the garden and as Doc says when he steps in “If this is Eden it ain’t the way they wrote it up.” The two continuously run into danger, first with Doc saving Waverly from being strangled by chains locking her to a boulder, then meeting a former black badge scientist that has been stuck in the garden for who knows how long. Apparently this place demands blood lest something else horrible happens. Before the stranger can give anymore answers to the pair he unceremoniously self-decapitates with an enormous pair of shears. 

Clearly Doc and Waverly need to find a way out quick because the headless guy seemed relieved that they were there and he could cut off his own head which is not a good sign. After the pair drains the body of blood they are talking in the desolate snow covered garden and seem to begin to be losing their memories. They can’t remember how long they’ve been in the garden and the speed at which the memories of their loved ones begin to slip away gives a terrifying sense of urgency to their need to escape. 

Because she is Wynonna Earp she manages to get a flat tire while on her way to Monument where she desperately hopes to find a way to get to Waverly. With Wynonna on her own we get a real moment of vulnerability as she begins questioning who she is now without peacemaker or her team or her status as the heir.  Wynonna attempts to find hope in thinking of what Doc and Waverly would say to her. This moment of vulnerability really hits home how much Wynonna has changed from the loner who tried not to have any connections to someone who has built a family that she not only loves, but has come to rely on.

Nicole and Wynonna have always had an interesting push and pull relationship with Wynonna being overly protective of Waverly and untrusting of cops. The two are very different people, with Nicole being a by the book cop who likes to go into a situation with a plan and Wynonna tends to wing it, flying by the seat of her pants.

Their back and forth in this episode really shines through with moments of tense arguments and sweet revelations (Wynonna is Nicole’s best friend!) that punctuate that while they don’t see eye to eye at the end of the day that doesn’t really matter. Both love Waverly and considering they are more than likely going to become family at some point they also strive to take care of each other as much as find a way into the garden. 

Waverly wakes up in the garden with Doc still asleep and has to use her blood to satiate whatever power requires the sacrifice.  Given how much blood they drained out of the crazy decapitation guy it is definitely worrying that more was already required. Either the garden requires blood more often than was assumed or time moves differently in the garden and they’ve been there longer than they may think.

The garden seems happy that Waverly has offered not human, but half angel blood and calls to her leading to books with the names of Wynonna Earp, Doc Holliday, Waverly Gibson, and Nicole Haught. Waverly can choose only one which she does before leaving. 

Nicole and Wynonna continue to search for another way into the Garden in the black badge warehouse that Gloria Valdez reportedly died in. While Wynonna prods at Nicole to try and find out whether or not she and Waverly are engaged, a sniper starts shooting at them. Thus it is revealed that Wynonna does not in fact have peacemaker like Nicole assumer. They manage to subdue the sniper and discover that she is the daughter of Gloria Valdez, Rachel. 

Rachel agrees to help them, but there are two rules as they travel deeper into the warehouse be quiet and avoid the grates. Wynonna sneaks away ignoring rule number one and goes rogue. If you were wondering what Wynonna Earp is without peacemaker? Answer, very liberal with pipe bombs. 

The explosion causes something to go horribly wrong. This time that something is zombies. Turns out Black Badge is not so great at the whole gassing the building thing and instead of killing everyone they managed to turn them into zombies. Well done bureaucratic incompetence. What follows is a fight sequence with Rachel whacking zombies with a bat, Nicole using her shotgun, and Wynonna continuing to toss out pipe bombs and elbows to the face. 

Wynonna of course forgets rule number two and ends up on a grate, but Nicole saves her by sacrificing herself and falling into the grate down a dark endless pit. Wynonna is beyond devastated by this. With Doc and Waverly gone, Jeremy MIA, and now Nicole having vanished she is once again completely alone just like she started, but without even Nedley. 

When Doc wakes up he’s alone, but the once empty garden now has a new tree that he rightfully assumes Waverly caused. He runs towards a voice calling for help and finds not Waverly, but a naked Nicole Haught. Although this definitely leads to more questions for next week at least we will finally get a WayHaught reunion – just maybe not the one we’re expecting.

This premiere came with high expectations that it needed to live up to. Fans fought like hell to save this show and the crew behind Wynonna Earp definitely delivered with more badassery, amazing one liners, and a fantastic set up for the rest of the season. This is the show that Earpers love and cherish and a definite bright spot in a year that has been severely lacking moments of joy. It looks like we’re in for a hell of a ride, and I for one cannot wait. Earpers can get an inside look into the making of the Wynonna Earp premiere with Making Your Peace 401.

New episodes of Wynonna Earp air on Sunday at 10 pm EST on Syfy. What did you think of the season four premiere of Wynonna Earp? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or on our social media.