Wynonna Earp just completed its first season and already I want Wynonna, Waverly, Dolls, Doc, and Nicole back in my life! (There’s a rewatch coming soon!)
Instead of worrying and wallowing about what will happen to the IDW Comic based group of dysfunctional heroes, let’s look back at the finale and what the showrunner and cast had to say about it. Wynonna and Willa did irreparable damage to themselves and their bond, the Peacemaker finally chose it’s side, and Waverly was outed as being in love with Nicole in a terrifying series of events.
Despite her partnership with Bobo, Willa’s betrayal doesn’t come from a place of hate. There was anger brewing in her for ages because of her kidnapping. And there was a disconnect with her siblings that time made grow. But her actions against her family stemmed from her believing she was a martyr.
According to Natalie Krill, who played Willa, “She thinks, you know, like nothing else matters because she’s going to save everyone, this — and this is what she has to do (break the barrier around Purgatory and set the revenants free.) You know, it doesn’t matter about her relationships and this and that, it’s just that she has to do this.”
Wynonna is also a martyr. The difference is that releasing death and evil into this world is not an option for her. It doesn’t matter that her and Willa used to be best friends or that she idolized her growing up. Melanie Scrofano, who plays Wynonna, noted that, “there’s that block that happens when you love somebody and you don’t want to see them honestly. Wynonna pushed through that and saw that her sister couldn’t be saved.
The scope of Wynonna’s ability to forgive became glaringly obvious in the last tense moments between her and her sister in the cemetery. Melanie delved into Wynonna’s head for that scene and tried to find a way back from the hurt they’d caused each other.
“I remember just shooting it and — just shooting that moment and being like what else can I do to make you come back to me, and there’s nothing.”
Wynonna wanted Willa to be the person she was before. She wanted her older sister to prove it to her by stepping back within the town limits. But WIlla wasn’t going to give up. This was her cause, what she believed in, and she wouldn’t be giving it up for a past love. Because that’s what Wynonna was, her past. Leaving Purgatory was her future.
Willa had to be put down.
Since Willa’s return the Earp gun, Peacemaker, had been having a hard time deciding who was the heir. It’s almost sentient in the way that it acknowledged the good that Wynonna was doing by working in her hands, but also working in Willa’s when she returned. By the season finale Peacemaker could see that, “Willa didn’t have good intentions at her heart.”
The gun no longer cared about it going to an heir. It would go to the one willing to do what they had to, to protect Purgatory and it’s citizens. It chose the rightful heir. It chose Wynonna Earp.
Peacemaker glowing blue right before Wynonna kills Willa further proves that the gun is more sentient than previously thought. It has a connection that Emily Andras, the showrunner, says will be explored in the next season. “I think it raises more interest in question about how does Peacemaker decide what color to glow. Why does it have these different settings? How aware is it of the intent of the wielder? Does it know what’s in Wynonna’s heart and what does that mean? Particularly going forward, what does that mean for Wynonna’s relationship with the gun, with her job as the heir?”
Emily continues by saying, “I love the effects on the gun when Wynonna gets to shoot Willa. I think it’s absolutely beautiful. As we’ve seen in the past, when Wynonna goes to take down a revenant or a demon, it glows orange and we have these satanic runes on the barrel. When Wynonna goes to shoot Willa, it grew — it glows a beautiful frosty blue and kind of this gorgeous filigree that travels up the barrel. The gun even makes a different sound. I think this is a mystery we want to explore with Peacemaker going into the next season but I think it has everything to do with the fact that Wynonna is willingly putting down a human and it’s kind of mercy killing.”
Wynonna is doing something good, hard, and different by killing her sister Willa, and the gun recognized it.
Besides the heart wrenching scene at the end of the season finale, the stand off at the station was my favorite scene. From the moment that Willa points that gun on Nicole, I was on the edge of my seat. After all that’s happened this year with gay and lesbian characters being killed off, I was sure that Nicole would be next.
Fortunately she was wearing a vest.
Emily is aware of the trope that’s befallen LGBT characters on TV. “I’m incredibly aware of the Bury Your Gays trope and was quite astonished at what happened in 2016 where we were basically losing lesbians left, right, and center. Like, to be completely honest, it was pretty crazy. I’m hoping it was just a terrible, terrible coincidence and if nothing else, I think that there’s one good thing that came out of the destruction so to speak is that the Bury Your Gays trope really became front and center in the media.”
It’s important to note that Nicole being shot was written months ago.
The Wynonna Earp showrunner previously worked on the show Lost Girl, which had a female bisexual lead ultimately ending up with her female love interest. Emily knows how important it is to represent the LGBT community and its relationships in a way that gives complex and satisfying stories that don’t end in destruction because of who they are or who they love.
“We were well-versed in representation of the LGBT community on screen and also how passionate and dedicated and lovely that community is as fan base and how, dare I say, desperate to see themselves represented on screen in a way that feels fully fleshed out. They want to see themselves as three dimensional characters. They want to see them as different characters. Not every lesbian is the same.”
As a show, Wynonna Earp’s strengths lay in how they represent women. They know how to write three dimensional women who hurt, drink, love, hate, and fight. Some are villains, sisters, mothers, friends, and even cops who just so happen to be lesbians. There is no one standard that represents women as a whole on Wynonna Earp or in life.
Their honesty, and lack of fear at exploring the many sides of women, is the reason that this show deserves a second season.
If they can explore the depths of a wisecracking women who just wants to find her place in this world, a sister who falls in love with a women for the first time and no one seems bothered by it, and a cop who just happens to like women, then imagine what they can do with more time. Imagine the tales they could weave.
Imagine the life they could breath into storytelling that would widen female representation for all.
Wynonna Earp will be appearing at SDCC 2016.