Wynonna Earp midseason finale recap: Wynonna must partner with an old enemy
Wynonna Earp has always played fast and loose with the rules, but she’s almost always been on the right side of things. Tonight’s midseason finale may have changed that, and her… and her relationship with Doc. It’s a messy situation, but that’s what this show navigates best. “Holy War: Part 2” was one big ball of messy, starting with Jeremy and Nedley killing Nicole. NBD.
The episode kicks off with an “earlier” scene, where we see Nicole was the one who came up with the “kill me in an ice bath” plan. The short version: Her consciousness will be transferred to a frog. Nedley will chant the whole time. Then when the hourglass is done counting down, they’ll bring her back to life. Simple enough!
Waverly nearly ruins it when she busts in full of rage at seeing her dead girlfriend (understandably), but Jeremy explains the plan. “You put my girlfriend into a frog?” Waverly exclaims. “And you’re welcome?” Jeremy says, being classic Jeremy. Luckily, when the frog chirps, all seems well.
Except it’s not. Mam Clanton sees her frog by proxy is dead. She retaliates by dripping blood onto Waverly’s photo (which marks her for the Reaper), and Rachel sees it. Before she can do anything about it, Sheriff Holt catches her and takes her into the station, where he calls Doc to come get her.
Doc has some free time to kill because he just got abandoned by Wynonna and Rosita at Steve Gulch. It turns out Rosita got stuck there when the Revenant curse was broken. Fellow Revenant Creepy Phil and his Revenant posse were after her because she slept with his wife. She had heard rumors about these rocks being dangerous for Revenants, so she thought they wouldn’t follow her there. But they did, and only she and Phil made it onto the rocks before the rest of the Revenants “poofed.” She and Creepy Phil stayed there for a while, but when he got handsy and she pushed him off, he poofed, too.
Wynonna realizes the place is surrounded by rainbow rocks; before they were dangerous to Revenants, but now they must protect them. She and Doc gather up enough rocks for Rosita to have a path out and that’s when she and Wynonna are able to step through the Celtic sisterhood symbol. (Doc decides to refrain from going to a place filled with scorned women. Smart move.)
Over at Shorty’s, things aren’t going as planned. Just as the hourglass runs out of sand, the doors blow open and the jar holding Frog Nicole tips over. Reaper Billy busts into the room — but only Waverly can see him — and he knocks over a bucket of other frogs. As Waverly fights off a Reaper, Nedley and Jeremy try to track down the real Frog Nicole. But they’re looking in the wrong place: Nicole has become an astral projection and she uses her ghost body to push the Reaper into the basement, where Waverly traps him.
Unaware that Nicole isn’t in a frog anymore, Waverly tries kissing them all one by one. Luckily, Nicole figures out the ghost thing very quickly and uses the light switch for Morse code. And even luckier, Waverly knows Morse code. (If I’ve learned anything from TV, it’s that I really should have learned Morse code by now.) Nicole sends them to the basement where she can inhabit Reaper Billy’s body. She explains that she made a deal with Mam Clanton, a.k.a. the Swamp Witch, that required a life for a life. The covenant only ends when both parties die. “You saved my life — now it’s my turn,” Waverly says as she takes off for the Magpie Ranch to deal with Mam Clanton.
Over at the Sanctuary of the Scorned Woman, Wynonna is displeased to find out she doesn’t just get Peacemaker back for bringing in Rosita. Instead, the head nun says they have to battle to the death. Wynonna is about to say they won’t do that when Rosita jumps on her back. She even takes out her hoops, so you know it’s about to get serious. They fight for a bit, but when they realize the head nun is a demon, Wynonna says the only way they get out of this is if they find Peacemaker. Wynonna shouts out that she sees a Hemsworth in biker shorts while Rosita exclaims, "A Xena reboot!” (good to cover all bases!), and they flee as all the nuns turn to look.
Meanwhile, Doc goes to pick up Rachel from the sheriff’s station. While he’s there, Holt wants to have a chat about putting aside their differences. He offers to talk with Margot Jean about ending the feud if Doc will do the same with the Earps. The men agree, and it genuinely seems like Holt wants out of this family curse. Once Doc leaves with Rachel, she tells him about seeing Mam spill blood onto Waverly’s photo and he takes off for the Clanton land himself.
In the weapons room, Wynonna and Rosita can’t find Peacemaker. The door is locked, but the nuns are set on breaking it down. And that’s when Wynonna gets angry: She starts shouting at Peacemaker, calling her a “little bitch” and saying they’re fight isn’t over. Just as the nuns break down the door, a sword starts glowing blue. Wynonna reaches for it, and once it hits her hand, it transforms back into the Peacemaker revolver we know. Head nun Madea, the granddaughter of Helios, says she can’t stop her, but it’s clear she’s never seen a weapon like this before. With one shot, she’s gone.
Rosita is worried as the other nuns head toward them, but they just want to show their allegiance. They bow to Wynonna and say she freed them. Wynonna offers to take them from this place, but they say they can’t leave it without feeling pain. And that’s when Rosita realizes these women are like her: victims of Wyatt Earp. She’s found her people and wants to stay with them. Before Wynonna leaves, Rosita tells her that Margot Jean Clanton was the person who wanted to buy Baby Alice. Uh-oh.
Wynonna leaves the sanctuary through the symbol portal and ends up in Shorty’s. Jeremy and Nedley explain that Waverly is on her way to Magpie Ranch to take care of Mam. And that’s exactly what she does: Waverly tells Mam to undo the curse, but Mam says that’s not how it works. She’s about to mark Nicole for the Reaper when Waverly decides to show her her own magic: She grabs her head and kills her. The minute she dies, Nicole wakes up in the tub.
As Waverly stumbles out of the barn, she finds Wynonna. Just as Wynonna says Jeremy called to say that Nicole is okay, Holt yells out that he knows what Waverly has done. “We had one chance to end this, and now there’s nothing you can do to right the wrongs of the O.K. Corral,” he says. Holt and Wynonna have their weapons drawn on one another when Doc comes up from behind and fires his weapon into the air. He’s there to make peace, but Holt says it’s too late. After Doc gets Wynonna to lower Peacemaker, he tells Holt it’s never too late to make peace. With tears in his eyes, Holt lowers his gun and turns to get a drink with Doc. And that’s when Wynonna shoots him in the back. “Thanks for distracting him,” she tells Doc in a moment that changes everything.
Back at the homestead, Wynonna tries to talk with Doc, but he says what she did was wrong. “There’s no lick of honor in shooting a man in the back,” he says — and I have to agree. In her mind, she’s been tormented by people (or demons) like this her whole life and it never would have stopped. Doc points out she’s only had to do these things because of Wyatt Earp, who he was always cleaning up after. Apparently, Doc was the one who shot the Clantons at the O.K. Corral after Wyatt shot and ran. Wynonna says she never runs and never will. “I guess you and that gun deserve each other,” he says, not budging an inch. She tells him it was the Clantons who wanted Alice, but we don’t get to see his reaction because Waverly calls them into the house.
Inside, they all toast to their “first and hopefully last exorcism.” Two shots in, Jeremy asks why Waverly and Nicole haven’t gotten married yet. They both look at each other and say they had planned something. Nicole starts to say, “Waverly Earp…”, but Wave says, “Please, let me.” She proposes, Nicole says yes, Wynonna quietly sobs, and Doc sneaks out. It’s an emotional moment, filled with hope and sadness all at once.
And the saddest part? We have to wait until 2021 for the back half of season 4. Until then, we’ll always have that stair scene.
Best Earp-ism of the episode:
“She is a frog, and dead, and also a Reaper. Stay with the plot, Nedley.” —Waverly