By Dalene Rovenstine
July 26, 2020 at 11:00 PM EDT
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There were times it seemed this day might never happen, but we’re finally here: the Wynonna Earp season 4 premiere. And much of that is due to the passion and persistence of this small but mighty fandom. Earpers, thank you for fighting!

That said, September 2018 was a long time ago, and you’re forgiven if you’ve forgotten where we left the Purgatory posse. Here’s a recap: Waverly is half angel and has gone through the Garden of Eden as a sacrifice for her father saving Nicole’s life. Doc has also gone through to help save her. Wynonna lost Peacemaker, defeated Bulshar, and found everyone in Purgatory has gone missing with only the words “Valdez” scratched into the homestead wall. Sheriff Nedley came out of retirement to help her get everything back to normal.

And they waste no time in season 4… Without her trusty sidearm, Wynonna is arming herself with weapons — and whiskey, naturally.

“Are you almost done? I feel like I’ve been standing here for two years,” Sheriff Nedley tells her as we all scream “AMEN” in agreement.

The two of them take off to the woods to find the magical staircase. They find it quickly, but the problem is it leads to nowhere. Wynonna takes the steps and falls into the snow below. There’s still something weird going on there, though, because crabs come up out of the snow and bite Nedley.

They head to the homestead to get first aid supplies (supermax pads will have to do). There they find Waverley’s ring has been left behind — as has Mercedes, who has somewhat of an explanation for what happened to everyone in town: The government, or a government-like group, rounded everyone up.

And that’s when we flashback to Jeremy, Robin, and Nicole being knocked unconscious by Wynonna so she could go to the garden with Waverly alone. Jeremy wakes up and tries to leave a message. But this being the Earp house, there isn't a pen and paper, so he has to do it super serial killer-y and cut “Valdez” into the wall with a knife. Then an army invades the house and carries them all away.

Nicole wakes up in the back of a train car, and Vampire Kate is there, too. Good thing she’s a tarot card reader because Nicole needs to know what to do next. Her cards reveal that two strong women will go to death’s doors on a journey. That’s enough for Kate to realize she needs to help Nicole get out of the train, which has an electrified door. She holds it open while getting shocked repeatedly so Haught can make a break for it.

At the homestead, Wynonna is trying to figure out what Valdez could mean when Nedley reveals he kept all of Dolls’ Black Badge Division documents at the police station. Once there, they see that Dolls kept files on his fallen colleagues, and one was named Dr. Gloria Valdez. She worked at a BBD site in Monument, a town a few hours away, and her files say “garden?” in handwritten notes. Ding ding ding!

With Nedley injured and Mercedes being Mercedes, Wynonna has to go alone. But as luck would have it, Wynonna gets a flat tire right where Nicole spills out of the train. Looks like we have our two powerful women for a journey! However, Nicole isn’t pleased with the Earp Heir. She’s pissed about being knocked out and generally tired of all of Wynonna’s lies. She makes Wynonna promise no more pranks, going rogue, or lying.

When they get to the BBD site, Nicole realizes Wynonna is still lying: She doesn’t have peacemaker anymore, which they need because someone immediately starts firing on them. But even without the gun, they’re able to get the drop on a shooter in the building. It’s a young girl named Rachel who not only knows Dolls, but also says her mother is Dr. Valdez.

Rachel has been living in this facility ever since a government organization evacuated the town. Sounds familiar. Luckily, she knows how to get them to the lab where her mom did her work, but she says they have to be quiet and not to step on the grates, which for some reason doesn’t elicit any questions.

When they get to the lab, they see it’s locked up and full of dead bodies. Before Nicole has time to note that these bodies look odd, Wynonna tosses a small explosive and awakens the “bodies.” See, this facility is full of zombies. Rachel didn’t tell them the full truth about what’s going on here because she worried they’d flee and she wants help finding her mom, who she doesn’t think is actually dead. The three of them have to fight their way out of the living dead. Haught is shooting, Wynonna is tossing explosives left and right, and Rachel is swinging her baseball bat. It’s a regular Walking Dead fight montage — set to techno music.

The problem is in all the fighting, Wynonna wasn’t paying attention to her footing and stepped on a grate. Without much thought, Nicole tells Wynonna to save Waverly, pushes her off the grate, and falls through into a black hole.

Meanwhile, in the “Garden of Eden,” Doc and Waverly are trying to figure out what the heaven/hell is going on around this place. It’s a frozen tundra with random doors and monoliths —not exactly what either of them was expecting to see in the “Garden of Eden,” especially not Wave, who finds herself chained up to one of the stones. Doc comes through the door and finds her just in time. Her chains are tied to something that has been tossed down a well and they’re getting tighter. Doc pulls the chains up from the well — it’s attached to a blob of flesh and blood. It’s disgusting, but at least Waverly is safe now.

They find the door back to Purgatory, but it won’t open, so they start exploring. They find an underground bunker where there’s a BBD agent covered in cuts and scars and speaking nonsense. He points them to an urn, says the blood has to be fresh, and hands them a knife. Waverly asks him how they can leave, and he just laughs. “There’s only one way out of this prison,” he says and then chops off his own head. So, I guess we can go ahead and say this isn’t heaven?

Doc wants Waves to try and revive him but grabbing the man’s severed head and saying, “Live!” doesn’t work. Lights flash and sounds boom through the underground chamber as Waverly and Doc realize the urn probably doesn’t want half angel or vampire blood. So, they turn the poor BBD agent’s headless body upside down over the urn to fill it with all he has left. Then they go above ground and sit by a fire that they may or may not have started. Time is weird in this place and their memories are failing them.

Doc falls asleep on the snowy ground while Waverly tries to repeat details about Haught over and over. But then she hears voices calling to her from the underground bunker. She heads back down there, and the lights and noises are going at full speed. She cuts her hand and puts her half-angel blood into the urn. It gets quiet and flowers bloom in the water feature nearby. She hears someone whisper, “Waverly.”

More time passes — who knows how long — and she sees a bag on the ground and picks it up. There’s now a stand there holding four books, each labeled with a name: Waverly, Nicole, Doc, and Wynonna. The instructions on the stand say, “Choose one, Choose wisely.” Waverly grabs one, we don’t see which, and puts it in her bag.

Above ground, Doc wakes up alone and sees a magnolia tree in full bloom. (It could be a cherry blossom tree. I am not a botanist.) Before he finishes cursing Waverly for doing something (because of course, she did something, she’s an Earp!), he stumbles upon a naked Nicole Haught.

Looks like Wynonna did find a door to the Garden of Eden at the BBD site, she just doesn’t realize it yet. And if she does discover it, how will any of them be able to get out of this alternate world? I hope someone figures out something soon. As glad as I am to have this crew back on my TV in any form, I would prefer it if they’re all together. Fingers crossed.

Best Earp-ism of the episode:

“Sometimes life is a real backpack of balls.” —Rachel, the newest Earper.

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Wynonna Earp

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