Spoiler Warning: No, seriously. I'm not even going to make a joke about this. This episode was held back from most press because it's a huge game changer. If you don't want to be spoiled, go watch the episode first. For the rest of you ...
I've been looking forward to this episode for a while now. I had the immense pleasure of interviewing Dominique Provost-Chalkley back before the season started, and when I asked her what she was most looking forward to audiences seeing, she replied with "I can't tell you, but it's in Episode 5." We'll get to the fetal elephant in the room in a minute, but first, let's talk about the rest of the episode.
And there was certainly a lot going on in this week's episode, which marked a major pivot point for a lot of our favorite characters and pushed the plot in a bit of a new direction. There's a lot to unpack here, so why don't we start at the beginning?
When last we left the Earp sisters, the demon possessing Waverly had jumped from her to Wynonna, and it seems like it's having a much easier time controlling the older Earp. By the time the episode starts, it's already tied up Waverly and is in the process of making the world's most disgusting smoothie, complete with a squishy dead rat. I was gagging right along with Waverly.
There's an exchange here early on that feeds through the entire episode in really subtle ways. It's about strength and the ability of different people to resist temptation and possession. Waverly attempts to appeal to her sister, begging her to fight off the demon that possessed them both, but Wynonna is having a much harder time with it than Waverly did. The demon claims it's because Waverly is stronger, full of "too much goodness," and I think there's an interesting conversation to be had there.
We all know that Waverly is strong, probably the strongest of all the characters because of the way she chooses to fight and the eagerness she has to help others, but in this case, I think it's less about strength of character than strength of conviction. Waverly has always had a level of certainty and self-confidence that Wynonna doesn't. Even with her recent identity crisis, Waverly knows who she is, but Wynonna has always struggled with her own self-worth. You see it in this episode when Ewan refers to Willa as "the rightful heir." Wynonna has never been sure she's the right person for this job, has never really thought she's good enough, so when she's faced with a demon that takes control of her thoughts and actions, she doesn't really have anything concrete to hang on to. She does have her relationships, though, which is why intense moments with Waverly and Dolls are the only times she exhibits meaningful control.
But I digress.
I was worried we were gonna spend a lot of time with the demon managing to successfully fool everyone in Wynonna's life, but luckily Doc figures it out pretty quickly. Wynonna putting sugar in her coffee is one thing, but leaving the house without her gun is a dead giveaway. We do get a chance to meet some new players before he figures it out, though -- an order of some sort, who masquerade as the local firefighters. They're led by a guy named Ewan (Brendan Fehr with too much hair), and they wear plague masks to their rituals and generally don't seem like super flexible people.
They've got a symbol on the outside of their firehouse, which matches an etching hidden underneath the paint on the decorative plate Waverly nearly died rescuing last week. It's yet another indication that the mythology of Purgatory goes a lot deeper than just the Earp curse, and since it seems like they'll be sticking around, I'm excited to see how that mythology develops.
Back at the station, with Wynonna locked up and Lucado back in the mix, there are a lot of power dynamics in play. Lucato and Dolls actually manage to work together long enough to cut off Wynonna's finger and figure out how to dispossess her, but Lucado, who is probably at her lowest point in her entire life, fails to take her own advice and touches the goo, allowing herself to become possessed by the multiplying demon that's also got its hooks in Wynonna. It's another indication that it's not necessarily about being the strongest or most badass, but about being the most self-aware and self-confident. Lucado is the weakest among them. Her entire identity was Black Badge, and now that she's on the outs, she's desperate. The demon gives her an out, albeit a very, very messy one that she doesn't get to survive.
Waverly, meanwhile, as the strongest, makes the hardest choice of the entire episode. Knowing that she cannot wield Peacekeeper, she opts to force the demon back into herself to give them the best chance of defeating it. I have no doubt that Wynonna would make the same choice to save Waverly, but Waverly makes that choice to defeat the demon. If the cure doesn't work, Wynonna is the only one who can stop her from doing whatever it is she's gonna be forced to do.
First, what she's doing is heading back to the homestead, because there's a big-ass lightning rod built out of random shiny metal and a nosy Nicole (in a very cute new uniform, I might add) picking it apart and wondering why her girlfriend is acting so weird. This brings up another power dynamic that's been building a bit during this season: the one between Wynonna and Nicole. Both of them love Waverly and want to protect her (not that she really needs it), and both of them clash with the other over whether they're in any way good for Waverly. That all comes to a head when Waverly convinces Nicole that her sister is the one who is possessed and trying to kill her, which kicks Nicole into super-protective girlfriend mode. It's super hot, but also very worrisome, because Wynonna is just a person now and Nicole is a good shot.
There's also a nice little exchange where Wynonna admits that she doesn't really like Nicole but that she knows Nicole loves her sister and so does she, so they can work together to save her from the demon. And then Nicole hesitates to shoot Wynonna and gets knocked out by the demon. Another great exchange? Waverly managing to wrest control back just long enough to remind Wynonna about the time she forced her to drink grape soda until it came out of her nose, giving Wynonna exactly the tools she needs to save her sister and kill the demon once and for all.
Okay, so here's the big deal of this episode. The big spoiler. The game changer to end all game changers, or at the very least the thing that is going to change the trajectory of the show for the rest of the season and probably force us all to reconsider the weight of the Earp Curse: Wynonna is pregnant. I assume the baby is Doc's, right? Honestly, though, that's the least of it, because that baby, at least as far as we understand it, is the next heir. Assuming Wynonna brings the pregnancy to term, she's gonna have a whole new reason to break the curse.
This whole scene, from when Wynonna returns home to when the stick turns pink, is just such a great bit between her and Waverly. This whole episode has forced everyone, especially Wynonna, to struggle with their own self-images, and I doubt an unplanned pregnancy with a curse hanging over it is much help. Waverly sitting on the outside of the bathroom door being strong for her older sister, while Wynonna sits nervously on the other side facing a massive change in her life, one she is possibly less ready to face than even the curse itself, is a near perfect culmination of the entire story this week.
There was very little WayHaught in this episode, so here's an image of them kissing after Nicole tells Waverly she'd "shoot anyone" for her.