Wynonna Earp boss Emily Andras talks 'bigger, badder, better' season 2
Wynonna Earp had quite a first season.
The titular hero of the Syfy series returned home to Purgatory for her uncle Curtis’ funeral and almost immediately (on her 27th birthday no less) took up the mantle of the Earp heir. Instead of any money or land, though, her inheritance includes her great-grandfather’s iconic gun (nicknamed “Peacemaker”) and a list of 77 revenants — Wyatt’s former kills who’ve risen from the dead to raise hell — she needs to slay with it.
On the way to avenging her father’s older sister’s deaths (they’d been killed by seven specific revenants), the smart-talking, hard-drinking gunslinger bonded with her young sister Waverly, formed a romantic connection with both Doc Holliday (who really is the resurrected best friend of her great-grandfather) and one Agent Xavier Dolls (a member of the mysterious Black Badge Division), before discovering that her older sister Willa was alive all along. And that she’d partnered up with the Earps’ archenemy Bobo Del Rey, who she was trying to set free. However, her plan failed when she tried to cross the town boundary by herself with Peacemaker and an ancient, tentacled monster emerged from the ground to capture her, forcing Wynonna to shoot her.
And now, with season 2 about to begin (the premiere airs Friday night), and Dolls now arrested by the Black Badge, and Waverly seemingly possessed by that ancient creature after touching some of its slime, Wynonna Earp has a lot of questions to answer. EW caught up with showrunner and executive producer Emily Andras to try to get some of them early.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Now that you have season 1 under your belt, and you saw how people reacted to that, how did you approach season 2?
EMILY ANDRAS: With hope and fear, in equal measure. It really is a curse and a blessing — but obviously 98 percent a blessing. I feel like it was such a delight to see the fan base fall in love with the show in the way we all love it. But I feel like there’s also certain pressures that come with, now people have expectation or hopes or desires for the show in season 2. So you have to take some of that into account, but also put some of that aside so you can tell a good story. But I feel confident in saying there’s lots of the stuff that made season 1 feel fresh and fun in season 2. Having the same tone and feeling was almost the most important thing to us.
Season 1 was about Wynonna very much getting used to the idea of being the Earp heir. What’s her journey this season?
Season 2 is accepting the fact that she’s good at her job, but the job may not be exactly what she thought it was. At the same time, Wynonna was very much a lone wolf who only blamed herself, and depended on herself in season 1, until the end. Now Wynonna takes some responsibility and has people in her life who support her, but she also feels responsible for, who she cares for. So it’s about her trying to keep this dysfunctional family together as they really work on becoming a team. And as always, one of the big themes of the show is ‘How Heroes Write History’ and how good and evil are subjective. So Wynonna and her team are really trying to wade those waters, and decide what’s good, what’s bad, what sacrifices are worth making. There are lots of tough choices but at the same time, there might be some cheerleading. So it’s going to be super fun.
What will she be dealing with on the supernatural front? Because all the revenants in that photo are gone now.
They’re all gone! Super easy! No trauma there at all! Well, as always, each year on the show you have to up the stakes. So one thing we really loved from the original comic book by Beau Smith is that Wynonna is really a paranormal warrior. So she’s not just dealing with revenants in the comic book; she’s also dealing with werewolves and zombies and Egyptian princesses and what not. Syfy was very encouraging about pushing us to expand the world in the second season. So Wynonna is taking on different types of paranormal creatures, different shades of the demonic, so to speak. At the same time, she’s got to put down every single revenant in the Earp curse. So it’s just bigger, badder, better.
Are we going to see the tentacled monster from the end of last season come back?
I don’t know! Maybe! Once you put a tentacle on screen, you’re like, “What is this attached to?” Obviously, Waverly, our precious Baby Girl, touched the tentacle goo at the end of last season, so I would say that thing isn’t exactly down and out, but we shall see. I love coming up with different villains and different shades of evil and different things for us to fight. There’s a whole cornucopia of evil to tackle this year, some of it demonic, some of it human. But there are some big surprises.
What is Waverly up to this season? Because we know she’s dealing with being possessed, but what will the rest of the characters see her deal with?
Waverly has such an incredible year this year. So much of Waverly’s journey, first season as well, was becoming who she wants to be versus who people have told her she’s going to be. I think this season continues that. But now I feel like Waverly’s shed her skin in so far that she does not have to be everything to everybody. She doesn’t have to be the good girl dating the high school boyfriend. So not only is she dealing with this kind of supernatural change, however, that manifests itself, but also remember Bobo Del Rey told her she’s not even an Earp! So her parentage and where she comes from and how she defines herself is once again tossed into turmoil. At the same time, she’s trying to pursue a relationship with someone she really, really cares about, and protect her sister. So Waverly just has a huge journey of self-discovery this year and it’s so delicious to watch. She’s such a star. It’s incredible.
Will we get more of Nicole this season? Is she officially a part of the team?
You definitely get her more than a bit. I think she’s in almost every single episode. Kat Barrell is incredible. She was such a breakout star for us and she does some really great stuff this year. She’s a very talented comedienne so she did some really funny stuff for us. So that’s pretty good. She’s definitely part of the team. She brings a really interesting dynamic. And as always, what was important to us was not only shading her in the context of being Waverly’s girlfriend, but she gets her own story lines, her own three-dimensional characterization, she makes her own mistakes and choices. So you will definitely have a lot more Nicole Haught on screen this year.
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What’s going on with Dolls? How is he faring with the Black Badge?
He’s not doing super duper. He basically got arrested for treason and thrown into the back of an army vehicle with the biggest, baddest revenant of them all, who he then watched dispatched. Wherever Dolls is going, the clock is ticking. Also, he doesn’t have whatever his medicine is. We’ve seen that he needs to take these drugs to maintain his human form. I very highly doubt that when you get arrested they bring you your delicious syringe of demon drugs. He is basically being carted off to a black ops prison, and I don’t know about you but I always find those things very hard to find! They’re not on very many maps. So our team is really under the gun. If they want to rescue Dolls they’ll have to do it very quickly.
And how about Doc? Last season was kind of him facing his demons. What’s up for him now?
Doc was so delicious last year. He was really driven by one thing, and one thing only: vengeance. He came out of that well determined to destroy the Stone Witch, who’d put him there in the first place. So Doc is really going to be looking for a reason to be sticking around the Ghost River triangle. His feelings for Wynonna and the Earp sisters and this makeshift family that he’s made will contribute to the reasons why he stays, but he’s going to have to find his own path and his own motivation and some new goals. We have a lot of fun seeing Doc kind of discover those things and decide who he wants to be in this modern world. At the same time, he’s still Doc Holiday! Not everything he does is selfless. Sometimes he’s a very selfish, narcissistic guy and makes choices based on his own needs and wants. A lot of things in the first couple of episodes in which his reasoning may be ambiguous or shaded. So it’s going to be fun just to figure out what he’s up to initially.
Are there any new characters that you’re going to be introducing this season?
Yes! We’ve already announced a new character that we have coming on board, called Rosita, who’s played by an actress named Tamara Duarte, who’s delightful. We have a character named Jeremy, who’s played by Varun Saranga, who came to Chicago Comic Con with us. And of course, we have some really fun and unexpected villains turning up. Maybe some of them are female, which is a bit of a twist this year. It’s a pretty rocketing ride, so hang on!
How do you approach crafting your villains for this show? Are you thinking about whether you need a more supernatural villain versus a human one? How are you judging that?
It depends. Sometimes thematically you just know you need a certain Creature of the Week to be a good case for our characters to be working on, side by side with what they’re dealing with personally or emotionally. It’s really important given that we had Bobo last year, who was a larger than life villain, that we knew would have to have formidable foes this year as far as the arcing and the mythology. And yet, I’m also interested in the banality of human villainry, just that our neighbors and our friends and family can maybe have dark cores that hide a lot of things that they don’t bring to the surface that kind of act against what we consider morally right and stuff like that. That’s really timely. So I like that combination. Just because you’re a supernatural creature doesn’t necessarily mean you’re evil. Just because you’re the mayor doesn’t ever mean that you’re good. So we like to mix it up and keep the audience guessing. And making sure that the villains we’re bringing on the screen are good antagonists for the characters, that they’re not foolish or easy to defeat, that they really challenge our gang, and I think they do this year.
Wynonna Earp season 2 premieres Friday at 10 p.m. ET on Syfy.