Are we sure that wasn’t the series finale?
Wynonna Earp Season 4 Episode 11 had all the hallmarks of a fantastic, if somewhat overstuffed, season finale — action, suspense, romance, and most importantly, resolution.
The writers wrapped almost everything up in a neat little bow, with the only dangling plot point being WayHaught’s upcoming wedding, which will be the actual series finale for the show.
“Better Dig Two” was an impressive feat of storytelling, with the only downfall being there was too much plot squeezed into a mere 42 minutes.
The action never stopped, which isn’t a bad thing, especially after the slow start to the second half of Wynonna Earp Season 4, but the quick pace of storytelling was almost unfollowable.
And even the best of us probably suffered metaphorical whiplash trying to keep everything straight, as the show jumped from one plot point to the next at warp speed.
There was just so much information thrown at us at once that I can’t help but wonder if this decision was driven by cancelation — or rather un-renewal — fears.
In a way, it reminded me of the jam-packed Shadowhunters 2-hour-plus series finale that was hastily thrown together after the news that the show wasn’t renewed for a fourth season.
That series finale tried to cram an entire season’s worth of plot into a small amount of time, and while Wynonna Earp‘s penultimate episode wasn’t as overcrowded, there were some similarities.
Wynonna: How do we end them?
Doc: They have stopped but not for long. You finish what I started.
Wynonna: I’m not doing this.
Doc: I am the last of the OK Corral.
Wynonna: You were a bunch of drunk cowboys. This is not worth dying over.
Doc: But everything else I did is. All of those years a selfish wretch, becoming a vampire for just a little more life.
Wynonna: I want you in this life.
Doc: I do not want this anymore. All I ever really wanted was… you kill them. The reapers stopped, my pain should stop.
Wynonna: Mine never ends.
Doc: Wynonna Earp, this is the last thing I will ever ask of you.
Wynonna: We both know this is wrong.
Doc: Thank you.
Wynonna: There’s always another way.
A better execution would have been a complete revamp of the back half of the season’s filler episodes — Wynonna Earp Season 4 Episode 7 and Wynonna Earp Season 4 Episode 9 — and instead spread out some of this installment’s twists.
Like Billy being resurrected, Doc becoming the new Clanton heir, Dark Angel Waverly saving a dying vampire Doc and restoring his humanity, Nicole becoming the angel’s shield, and Dark Angel Waverly being de-angelized all need to happen in the same episode?
Wouldn’t it have made for better storytelling if these plot elements were instead sprinkled throughout the final six episodes, which still would have left more than enough time for an epic WayHaught wedding?
However, moving on from the final season’s pacing, this installment had the type of action we’ve been waiting for most the season.
There was hardly a dull moment, and with a surprise around every turn, the penultimate episode was one of the best of the season.
Wynonna was forced to make several tough decisions, and without the guarantee of a happily ever after, it shows just how much she has changed since shooting Holt in the back.
What Wynonna is may be necessary, but she’s come to learn that sometimes the hardest thing to do is yield.
All Wynonna has ever wanted was to find a way to save the people she loves and protect them, but that’s not always necessary.
The Earp heir had to let go of her desire to save Waverly to rescue Rachel and accept that Doc may die and there was nothing she could do to fix it.
And as Wynonna wrestled with these tough decisions, she was forced to accept that no matter how desperately she wanted there to be another way, sometimes there isn’t.
Wynonna: You could save him.
Dark Angel Waverly: He does have regret in his heart for his many, many sins, but he defied the lifetime he was given many, many times.
Wynonna: Yeah big whoop. You left the Garden. You got off the throne.
Dark Angel Waverly: You convinced her… me to do so.
Wynonna: I’m saying we all make mistakes. I’m the Earp heir, remember?
Dark Angel Waverly: The champion.
Wynonna: I gave so much. I lost everything. If you’re taking her away from me too, at least let my sister save the man we both love. Please, before you go away forever.
Sometimes, things are out of your control, and you have to do the best you can.
So Wynonna had to accept that she can’t always be the hero, and in doing so, maybe learned to rely on her chosen family more.
Dark Angel Waverly saved Doc and made him human again, and Nicole got through to Waverly, becoming the angel’s shield.
Wynonna no longer has to carry the burden of being the Earp heir alone because when she falls short, her friends and family will be there to catch her.
And maybe with this in mind, Wynonna will realize that she doesn’t have to push those closest to her away to protect them because they’re more than capable of defending themselves.
This, hopefully, will be the push Wynonna needs to stop shutting her family out and start letting them in in a new way.
It may be too much to hope for Wynonna and Doc to settle down and live a happy domestic life with their daughter, but hey, a girl can dream.
At the very least, WyDoc is back together for the foreseeable future, and after nearly losing the love of her life, Wynonna isn’t going to let Doc go again without a fight.
Elsewhere, Dark Angel Waverly and Clanton Heir Doc, the evil alter egos of their characters, proved just how powerful love could be.
Both characters were given a destiny to fulfill — Dark Angel Waverly to sit on the throne in the Garden and Clanton Heir Doc to destroy the Earps — but it was love, pure, unadulterated love, that made all the difference in the end.
Dark Angel Waverly: I am the guardian. I am the failsafe. I must protect the Ghost River Triangle.
Nicole: What about Wynonna?
Dark Angel Waverly: Champion, the only one who can wield the sword, but she has served enough.
Nicole: OK, let’s figure it out. I am the sheriff of Purgatory. Let me extend my watch over all of the Ghost River Triangle in every realm. Let me be the guardian for all of us, supernatural and human.
Dark Angel Waverly: You’d sacrifice your life to become the shield?
Nicole: Everyday of eternity if it meant keeping you safe.
Dark Angel Waverly: Well, I have already broken the rules once for John Henry Holliday.
Nicole: See, it feels kind of good then, right? So what’s one more? Look in the book. Your story is my story.
Dark Angel Waverly: The book was ill begotten. It belongs to the Garden as do I.
Nicole: Please just look. Am I in there? Are we?
Dark Angel Waverly: It’ll be a steep price to pay. You would be bound to the Ghost River Triangle. You could never leave.
Nicole: Everything I love is already here.
Nicole’s selfless action to become the angel’s shield and watch over all of Purgatory, both supernatural and human, were what convinced Dark Angel Waverly to abandon her duty to the Garden, knowing that she could still fulfill her destiny, albeit in a different way.
Dark Angel Waverly would have never agreed had a tiny piece of her still loved Nicole, even if angels are supposed to be able to love.
Additionally, it was Doc’s love for Wynonna that made him load his gun with the wrong bullets, even as he knew what was coming, refusing to let the eventual darkness force him to kill the love of his life.
And it was Wynonna’s love for Doc that refused to let her give up on him, even after he’d been cursed, because she knew that deep down, somewhere, he was still the John Henry Holliday.
It was a subtle and elegant way for the series to hone in on something every great poet and speaker has been reiterating for decades: Love conquers all.
Lastly, while the series has been building to Dark Angel Waverly for quite some time, Doc’s time as the Clanton heir felt random and baffling.
The show has been trying to shove the Clantons down our throats since the beginning of the season, so maybe the writers felt like making Doc the new Clanton heir would somehow bring this story arc full circle.
However, it just came off as confusing and thrown together at the last minute, especially since he was only the Clanton heir for a few minutes.
Maybe things would have been different if Doc was forced to fight against the curse for a prolonged period, or his desire to kill Wynonna and all her friends didn’t come on so quickly, but it just ended up feeling rather pointless.
Graham: Listen to me, you can’t let them out. They’re monsters. This one’s a goddamn werewolf.
Nicole: He’s also my florist, and his name’s Freddie … You see here general, our town here, it’s pretty inclusive.
Nicole: Or at least from now on it’s going to be but not for your kind.
Graham: What is that, the military?
Nicole: Utter dick wads. Move it and lose it.
Graham: Just who the hell do you think you are?
Nicole: I’m the goddamn sheriff of Purgatory. You messed with the wrong damn town.
With everything else going on in the episode, it was just weird, but I guess maybe Doc had to go through it to become human again, though Dark Angel Waverly could have saved plain old vampire Doc as he was about to die.
However, if this means the end of this silly storyline once and for all, then who am I to argue with the writers?
Some stray thoughts:
Nedley’s the best. Of course, he just so happens to still have the spellbook and animal headdress on hand, right behind the bar at Shorty’s. Nedley is the gift we don’t deserve.
FreddieFred kill Graham was confusing. I get that Jeremy wanted Black Badge out of Purgatory, and if Graham had been left alive, he never would have stopped coming after them, but it felt out of character for sweet and nerdy Jeremy. I guess we all have a darker side when push comes to shove.
Vampire Mercedes is even better than regular Mercedes. I wish we’d gotten more of her this season, as every word out of her mouth is hilarious.
Black Badge is finally done with Purgatory. It’ll never be a “normal” town, but it’ll at least be a safer place where demons and humans aren’t rounded up for no reason. It’s the sort of place you’d never want to call home, but if you do, at least the government is no longer trying to kill you.
So what did you think, Earpers?
Was this episode overstuffed?
Are part of the series finale are you most excited for?
What was the most unnecessary plot twist?
Hit the comments below to let me know your thoughts. If you missed the penultimate episode, remember you can watch Wynonna Earp online at TV Fanatic.
Jessica Lerner is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.