The Syfy series, Wynonna Earp is ending its first season this week, and many hope it continues on. The series, based off of an IDW comic of the same name, stars Melanie Scrofano as badass, demon-killing Wynonna Earp, who’s on a mission to send Revenants back to hell with her trusty gun, Peacemaker. The creator and showrunner, Emily Andras recently sat down with 4YE to talk about the season finale.
Wynonna Earp gained popularity quickly because of Andras’ quick-witted dialogue, excellent storyteling, and mythology building. The finale just aired on the East Coast and there will be spoilers, so if you have not watched and do not want to be spoiled, bookmark this to read later.
The finale was one of the best, if not the best, episodes of the season. Andras did an excellent job of wrapping up certain storylines and then creating all new mysteries for the potential season two. Andras talked to 4YE about a few of the major moments and hinted at what we can look forward to.
Spoiler Alert: do not read unless you have watched the finale.
Wynonna Earp received fast praise from many queer (being used as an umbrella term) fans when Officer Nicole Haught (Katherine Barrell) was introduced, mostly due to her being a three-dimensional character, who happened to be a lesbian. However, when Nicole swaggered into Shorty’s bar in episode two, some queer fans were immediately concerned for her safety, especially several episodes later when it became clear that Nicole and Waverly (Dominique Provost-Chalkley) were a canon relationship.
This fear is due to the fact that queer female characters are often victims of damaging tropes, like Bury Your Gays, which took 19 characters in the past six months. Earlier this month in an interview with AfterEllen, Andras made a point to reassure fans that Waverly and Nicole would still be alive by the end of this season. Andras took the time to discuss that decision and the trust that the fans put in her. “I think about what a career killer it would have been for me to be like, ‘I literally lied to people,’ going on the record and saying ‘These two characters actually live’ is not a great look on someone if I had lied. I’d never really done that before and as a writer, I really need to keep spoilers under wraps, I really need to entice people to watch the show. So this is kind of unprecedented for me where we went on the record, but we went on the record because of the year that the LGBT community has been having. We were just like ‘this is insane,’ so we had a big internal talk about it and decided that it was the right thing to do. When you’re asking a certain community to maybe commit to your show or at least check your show out, I feel like we needed to do some triage, so that’s what we did.”
Andras talked a little bit about fan reaction. “I know that it’s going to be the longest commercial break of all time because people are going to say some terrible things to me on social media. I am going to have to walk to the fridge and get a sandwich, because it’s going to be a lot of people yelling at me. Remember, we shot the entirety of the first season of Wynonna Earp before 2015 was over and then there was kind of this shit storm of lesbian characters dropping like flies in 2016 and as soon as Nicole showed up on screen, people were like ‘Oh my god, someone get that poor cop a bulletproof vest and in my heart I was just like, you guys just wait until the finale.”
Andras thoroughly plotted out the finale and its big moment. “That was planned months in advance, so it was so kind of funny, it was like the fandom was psychic, but I was also like, ‘Are people getting spoilers? How do they know this?’ We had that planned for ages, so I feel pretty gleeful and pretty excited. I hope people like it, I hope people appreciate it and think it’s fun. I mean, it’s terrible, but at least it’s a good way to create drama…I’m a little worried about it triggering some trauma for certain fans cause it’s true, she does get shot, she absolutely does get shot. She’s in a dangerous profession, she’s in a dangerous world, the stakes have to be high, but she does make it. So there you go, she’s fine, she’s alive, and she’s so brave! She sent her baby girl off to save the world while she just maybe deals with some bruised ribs. One more reason to love Nicole Haught…I feel like she’s a particular lesbian character you don’t see on TV that often, she’s positive and a good person and likes herself and is gentle, but is still confident in who she is. I feel like I have lesbian friends like that and I don’t know if they see themselves on TV very often. I’m really glad you like her and I’m really glad the fans have responded to that character, to the characterization of Haught.”
Andras discussed the possibility of the actors receiving backlash. “My thing is don’t go near the actors. Come at me 100% that’s fine, but please don’t attack the cast, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, my blanket statement is, ‘They are just beautiful people who say the beautiful lines, or the terrible lines, or what have you, but they are worth only of your praise and adoration.’ People might come at me, it’s still a complicated, controversial decision, but that is the nature of drama, things are going to happen to these characters, it is a very fraught world, the stakes have to be high. Maybe we just don’t need to kill all the gay people the second after they have found happiness. I’m nervous, but I’m very happy about the way their relationship has been portrayed this first season and the way it’s been embraced and just where we can go from here. I think it’s really interesting, particularly given what may or may not be happening to Waverly.”
At the end of the episode, Waverly put her hand in some goo on the ground, and it possessed her. We asked Andras what made her touch it. “Because I think it was calling to her. She had a fairly tough time, I think she was pretty angry, she was pretty emotionally traumatized, but I certainly got the impression that the goo wanted her to touch it. As tentacle goo sometimes does. The seduction of the tentacle goo.”
According to Bobo (Michael Eklund), Waverly is not an Earp and Andras spoke a bit about that, and gave us as much information as she could about that reveal. “Bobo said she’s not an Earp, but Bobo says a lot of crazy shit…Does it just mean that they share the same mom? Does it mean they’re not related at all? Does it mean that Waverly’s something else? These are all amazing questions I would love to explore for you and hopefully with have the chance to.”
Andras talked about if Waverly not being an Earp affected how Willa (Natalie Krill) treated her. “Obviously Willa and Bobo were very close, so Willa having information that Waverly is not an Earp seems likely, if that’s true. On the other hand, yes, she could have resented the fact that Waverly was not privy to dad’s attention and kind of left alone. Which is pretty ironic considering Waverly, it’s obviously a problem for her that she feels she was in fact neglected by her parents and not treated with the same amount of love as Willa and Wynonna. I think there was a third option, which is simply that Willa was forced from a young age to be trained as a killer and subject to a lot of terrible theories, thoughts, and ideologies from dad about the Earp curse that maybe warped her. I mean, maybe part of the reason that Willa was so terrible to Waverly was simply because she had dissociative disorder or she was just kind of a messed up kid who never got a normal childhood and was used to being bullied by dad, so in turn turned around and bullied the weakest member of the family. There’s definitely some really interesting psychology there. As much as we’ve seen Willa’s journey, she’s such a mystery and I think the relationship between the sisters and what their childhood was really like is just starting to come to light, even for Wynonna… Is it a personality disorder or was Willa just not a good person? Which is another horrible possibility, right? Maybe she’s just a monster, maybe she was always a monster. She certainly was put through a lot of trauma and trauma does things to people. I think these are all conversations I hope the fans continue to have and debate.”
Andras talked about Willa’s journey and her appearance in only a handful of episodes. “I think we always knew that was Willa’s journey, the show’s called Wynonna Earp, it’s not called The Two Earp Heirs. I think it was really important for the first season that Wynonna’s storyline be incredibly personal, so the fact that it was about someone you thought was missing or dead from your life, who you loved, coming back and maybe not being who you thought they were, I thought was really on point for a first season, to make it personal for Wynonna and understand why the terms of the curse were so important. Also, just going into future seasons, and hopefully we’re lucky enough to have another season, I think we needed Wynonna to make a dramatic, awful, decision in the finale to kind of reset her journey going forward. I think it’s so horrific and kind of interesting that Wynonna’s defining moment in her history was killing her own father and here she is again faced with destiny and forced to make a choice which involves basically mercy killing her own sister. I mean, that is one hell of a goddamn legacy, even for someone as interesting and complicated and strong as Wynonna. So, I just like the idea of free-will and choice and once we brought Willa on screen it felt like we needed to have Wynonna deal with her one way or another. That being said, is there a body? Did we see what happened afterwards? It certainly looked to me like Wynonna killed her, but this is a supernatural show and lots of crazy stuff can happen. So, season 8, I’m not promising something else won’t happen with Willa, so there you go.”
When Wynonna kills Willa, Peacemaker turns blue instead of its trademark orange and Andras gave us some insight about that. “Wasn’t that beautiful? I definitely think it has to do with the fact that Wynonna was making a slightly different choice. She wasn’t sending Revenants or demons back to hell, she was basically doing a mercy kill. Even in the past we’ve seen when the gun glows yellow or orange, it kind of has these satanic runes on it and this was more of a beautiful, kind of elegant filigree and the gun made a different sound. I think that’s a mystery worth unraveling going forward for Peacemaker, but what I can say, is it definitely has to do with Wynonna’s choice to kill a human. The gun didn’t glow like that when Wynonna killed her dad but Wynonna also wasn’t the heir, she wasn’t 27 yet, so the gun did nothing, it just killed her dad, but you know what? Knowing that her dad, that Ward Earp was kind of corrupted, the fact that Wynonna killed him with Peacemaker and Peacemaker let that happen, is also fairly interesting to me. I think Peacemaker has more intent and maybe more consciousness then we’ve talked about before, so stay tuned.”
Andras also shared if she was worried about people spoiling the finale before it airs. “I am always worried about spoilers, I really don’t like spoilers. The thing about spoilers, which just seems selfish, but I’m going to say it; I have a crew of like 200 people, a team of writers, a team of producers, and a network who worked their asses off for like 10 months to craft this story and I feel like it’s so unfair for someone who just gets a screener 20 minutes before the actual fandom to ruin it for everybody else. They haven’t contributed to making it, I feel like it actually harms the show, because I feel that no matter how well done the story is, if you know ahead of time something that’s going to happen, it’s automatically less satisfying. So even if you’re a fan of the show, you won’t have the same emotional response to the episode as if you went in dry. That has certainly been my own experience with shows when I have a spoiler.”
Be sure to check out the interviews with Melanie Scrofano, Dominique Provost-Chakley, and Katherine Barrell!
Wynonna Earp airs on SyFy on Friday nights.