[Warning: this contains major spoilers for Season 4 Episode 3 of Wynonna Earp, “Look At Them Beans”.]
Wynonna Earp, Doc Holiday, and Waverly Earp have returned from the garden…18 months later. This is not the Purgatory we’ve come to know, but everybody still hates Wynonna Earp so it looks like some things never change. Wynonna is immediately arrested (after nearly being hanged) for the murder of Randy Nedley. The gang work to prove that Wynonna didn’t murder their friend while Wynonna competes in the Randy Nedley Memorial Chili Cookoff For Freedom. There is a new power structure in Purgatory and the crazy magistrate is using her authority to get the prisoners to battle for their freedom.
Wynonna wins, until it becomes clear the magistrate has it out for her because she is Wynonna Earp and plans to feed her to one of the monsters terrorizing the town. But turns out the monster is none other than the beloved Randy Nedley over taken by a parasite. The crew manages to save him and it looks like they’ll have a moment of peace. But this is Wynonna Earp so when our heroine goes out to the barn she is immediately grabbed up by mysterious government types. Oh and Wynonna no longer has her demon killing gun which could be a bit of a problem.
We do get our first look at Jeremy who based on his jacket is working for Black Badge. Jeremy has some sort of authority at the border choosing who is allowed in and out. It isn’t much of a leap to assume he has something to do with Wynonna being grabbed at the end of the episode.
NEW CHARACTERS ON WYNONNA EARP
A number of new characters are introduced with Wynonna Earp’s cellmate Casey (Andrew Phung) a half demon who is initially terrified of Wynonna, given her status as famed demon hunter, but soon gives Wynonna a rundown of what she’s missed. After Purgatory was evacuated demons and monsters converged on the ghost river triangle. The citizens were allowed to return (although why any of them did or stuck around is mind boggling) and the town was taken over by Cleo (Savannah Basley), the self-proclaimed Magistrate, and Sheriff Clayborn (Ty Olsson). Purgatory now has a border enforced by what looks like Black Badge with only civilians allowed to leave.
Cleo seems like an annoying nut job, but considering she is likely the mysterious Big Bad that has been teased, who has a grudge against Earps, she doesn’t feel as menacing as you’d expect. We don’t know much about her, but her ability to keep Purgatory under her control may hint at a bigger plan.
The new Sheriff has a vaguely threatening feel, but he doesn’t come off as especially dangerous except when he refers to the hangings that took place in the center of town. He implies Rachel and the homestead are in danger, but the threat comes more from Nicole’s reaction than him. For now, it is unclear if they are human or demon, but given that Cleo’s big plan in the episode was to feed Wynonna to a monster I’m hoping for a bit more in the coming episodes.
Doc’s exploits at the demon bar (fantastically named Glory Hole) harkens back to his time as a notorious gunslinger full of swagger. His flirtations and mind games with the bar owner (Noam Jenkins) are especially fun to watch. Mercedes is working at the demon bar and pretending to be a demon which gives you an idea about the state of Purgatory. We get a glimpse at Doc’s skill in how to not only survive, but thrive in this precarious situation. Considering he manages to make deals to his own advantage with a demon he knows nothing about and come out on top. Is Doc really getting back into trouble with demons again? Will he ever learn?
Rachel Valdez (Martina Ortiz-Luis) is at the homestead with Nicole and it looks like she’ll be sticking around. Rachel is a fun addition to the found family, the orphan finding a home with Nicole at the homestead and bringing in some new energy (Kombucha for the win). The fact that Purgatory has gone to hell and Rachel is there means either she had nowhere else to go or Nicole was in rough shape. Given her exchange with Wynonna at the end of the episode, it seems like it’s the later.
Wynonna’s concern for Nicole is obvious. She immediately asks how Nicole is doing and recognized that while Nicole may think she’s the one taking care of Rachel, it’s the other way around. It’s unsurprising that Wynonna recognizes the after effects of trauma in Nicole given her own traumatic upbringing. Her concern further cements their friendship and it is most definitely warranted.
Kat Barrell was a standout performer last episode pulling double duty as Nicole and Eve, but this week she takes it to a new level. Nicole is clearly suffering from PTSD and feeling like she failed her family. Everyone Nicole loves was gone for a year and a half with no indication that they would ever return. Wynonna disappeared into the garden to retrieve Doc and Waverly, Nedley was assumed dead, and Jeremy is back working for Black Badge at the border surrounding Purgatory.
Nicole is pushing her people away even after they’ve returned and while it doesn’t seem malicious it is heartbreaking to watch. The time she spent alone has obviously left some scars and her inability to connect or be present in the moment is a clear sign of this. The scene with Doc pounding on the windows of the homestead is seen from from Nicole’s perspective as she freezes and it makes the changes to the former sheriff even more clear. This is not the Nicole we knew.
One of the best scenes of the episode was when Wynonna, hog tied, watched as Nicole, Doc, and Waverly worked to save Nedley using a super soaker filled with Kombucha, a lasso, and a t-shirt gun. As they struggle, in slow motion, to save the retired sheriff with an 80’s ballad playing. This scene is peak Wynonna Earp chaos.
This episode of Wynonna Earp was Melanie Scrofano’s directorial debut. Scrofano had directed scenes in season three, but this was the first time she directed a full episode. Scrofano did an excellent job considering she needed to introduce new characters, show the effects of the time jump and managed to include a number of memorable moments. Fans can get an inside look into Scrofano’s directorial debut with the Wynonna Earp BTS featurette and Making Your Peace 403.
The first two episodes of the season were some of the best of the series. “Look At Them Beans” had a hard act to follow and it didn’t quite stick the landing. While the episode has a lot of great moments and was definitely entertaining a lot of questions were left unanswered and the new characters felt like a bit of a step down from the Big Bads of the past at least when first introduced.
With villains like Bobo Del Rey, Bulshar, and the recently introduced Eve on the table Cleo and Claymore leave a lot to be desired, unless Cleo is actually Eve in disguise. And while Purgatory is in shambles with demons and monsters running amok that isn’t all together new. The anarchy that has overtaken seems sort of odd considering Purgatory citizens have lived with this craziness at least for the last few years and they could have left.
Hopefully next week we’ll learn more about the mysteries of the last 18 months, who these new characters are, and the new dynamic of the show. With the Earp curse gone the central conflict of the series has disappeared and it’s hard to tell if the new goal for Wynonna Earp and her posse is reclaiming the town from the demons and monsters or the new authority of Purgatory (or both).
New episodes of Wynonna Earp air on Sundays at 10/9 central on Syfy. What did you think of “Look At Them Beans” from Wynonna Earp? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or on our social media.