‘Wynonna Earp’ 2×01 Review: Steel Bars and Stone Walls

Welcome Earpers to another season of Syfy’s odd, funny, demon filled, western known as Wynonna Earp.

“Steel Bars and Stone Walls” saw the gang start off right where we left them, with the writers turning around their cliffhanger and introducing the start of weird and scary creatures on Wynonna Earp. It’s an exciting and fun start to a season that will be steeped in new mysteries, new enemies, and a whole lot of grief.

Wynonna has just lost a sister, a friend, and has no idea that her baby sister has been taken over by the mysterious goo of the Season 1 finale. Wayhaught will be put to the test because of the latter and because Nicole is stepping out (not on Waverly but on her own) and becoming a full fledged character with woes of her own.

And despite all the misery and drama coming their way, the show still retains the charm, wit, and hilarious one-liners that keep you coming back for more.

Let’s dive into “Steel Bars and Stone Walls”!

Holding It All In

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Our wise cracking, whisky drinking, Earp heir was hurting and hiding it like a champ in the premiere. She didn’t let the pain of what had happened with Willa stop her from saving her friend. Part of it stemmed from strength, cuz you better believe our Wynonna is tough as nails. And part of it came from a fear of losing another person she cares about.

The Earp curse is part of her family, her history, and you best believe that a huge part of Wynonna feels at fault for what happened to Dolls. Grief makes it so reason takes a hike every…single…time. So when she was sitting there, finally alone for the first time in the day, she grieved the loss of Willa and Dolls and let her shields drop.

And I know many would see that as a point of weakness, crying alone in a childhood room, instead of going out there and kicking ass or looking for the next Revenant. But I see it as a point of strength that only those who have heavy burdens on their shoulders experience and are able to carry on. This moment of vulnerability made her even more human.

Wynonna will struggle with her grief this season. She will falter, fumble, and make a lot of mistakes. But she will continue to push forward because that’s what women like her do. They fight the grief and pain because they know that there are things worth fighting for and a moment in the future where the pain is but a dull throb.

Fleshing Out Nicole Haught

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I will admit that the moment Nicole turned away from Waverly’s kiss, I was hurt. This couple has already gone through so much and I wasn’t ready for the angst. Then there’s the rational and non-shipper side of me, those aren’t mutually exclusive, that understands what this means.

Wynonna Earp is giving Nicole Haught the character development she deserves.

This is the start of a journey where she is not defined solely as Waverly’s girlfriend. It’s time for Nicole to explore her fears, desires, and the next step in her career. Waverly inadvertently took away an opportunity for her to join Black Badge. It’s going to take her a while to come to terms with that and decide what she wants to do next.

Nicole Haught has always been bigger than this small town and I’m excited to see how she blossoms in this new team dynamic where Dolls is no longer in charge, Wynonna is, and she’s in the know about the supernatural goings in Purgatory. She’s not going to back down. She’s going to keep pushing. And she will definitely figure out what’s going on with Waverly and help save her.

Is This The End of Dolls?

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The most shocking development of this episode was the departure of Dolls. He’s on the run and the first place the Black Badge will look is in Purgatory with his family. (Yes, I said family!) So what’s next?

With a show as crazy and unpredictable as Wynonna Earp he could be on the run for a while, on his own mission to clear his name and come back home. We could see flashes to what he’s doing and join him as he figures out what Black Badge did to him.

Or…he could be completely replaced. Which is devastating in itself because Shamier Anderson has one of the most heart stopping smiles ever! We can’t just have that small moment of Dolls smiling at Wynonna with a lone tear streaming down his cheek.

It’s unacceptable!

We need more Shamier and we need it now. No one will be able to replace Dolls grumpy face or rocking muscles. No one will be able to replace the sass he delivers with a face void of emotion. No one will be able to replace the place he has in Wynonna’s heart or that of fellow Earpers.

Here’s hoping that he returns to our screens in an epically dramatic scene full of one-liners, explosions, a pose straight out of a movie poster, and that heart stopping smile I was talking about. (I need a moment. I’m thinking of Shamier’s smile.)

 

Favorite Moment from Steel Bars and Stone Walls:

I thank the lord sometimes that I watch Wynonna Earp alone. Not for my sake but for the sake of others. Because when scenes like Wynonna’s hotel brawl pop up I’m prone to shaking, poking, and prodding people in excitement while shouting, “Did you see that?!”

This fight scene was a prolonged fangirl freakout. First you have Rachel Skarsten, from Emily Andras previous show Lost Girl and currently Reign. Miss her, love her, and hope she’s not dead. Then you have the fight scene. It was admittedly hot. (This is coming from a bisexual woman who digs powerful women.) But at no moment were these women sexualized or made into objects inherently for the male gaze.

These were two powerful women duking it out and one of them just happened to be in her underwear. I like this trend, approve of it wholeheartedly, and hope to see more ladies kicking ass in their undies.

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Check out this sneak peek of next week’s Wynonna Earp:

Wynonna Earp airs Fridays at 10/11c on Syfy.

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