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Feels like forever, when in reality it's only be a very long time. But we're back! If you recall, last we saw of our friends, Wynonna had vanquished Bulshar, Waverly had walked through the door at the top of the stairway to heaven, Doc followed in after her, Alice Michelle was entrusted to safer hands, and the only one left to help the gunless, former Earp heir was Sheriff Nedley. And we're off!
After arming themselves to the teeth, Wynonna and Nedley trudge through the snowy woods and, surprisingly, find the invisible staircase quite visible. But when Wynonna tries to pass through the other side of the non-invisible arch, she falls on her face, still very much in this realm. Upon returning to her feet, she and Nedley are beset by vicious supernatural crabs that seem to have emerged from the garden, one of which pincers Nedley in the gut.
Wynonna takes Nedley back to her place where he patches himself up, and on the staircase is carved out the name "Valdez," presumably by someone named Valdez. Well, that's what happens when you presume, because in reality that marking was left there by Jeremy who along with Robin and Nicole were holed up in Wynonna's house when she and company were at the garden. There, our stranded friends get a visit from a paramilitary force, who bursts in with a no-knock warrant. After they're apprehended, Nicole wakes up in a train car with none other than Kate, the Contessa.
Kate gives Nicole the lowdown. After the whole stairway incident, a private militia swooped into Purgatory, propped up a dummy government, and banished everyone from the town. Sounds like the Black Badge Division is engaging in a little regime change. Nicole wants to get in touch with Waverly, and Kate can use her powers to do that.
Speaking of coincidental connections, Wynonna gets a drop-in from an unexpected guest at her place, too: Mercedes. She left Kate to fend for herself when the militia moved in, and is now, happily, free of Clootie possession. Nedley reminds Wynonna that he still has all of Dolls' files at his office — maybe they could be of help. Uh, yeah. After rifling through the records, Wynonna finds the dossier of one Gloria Valdez. Nedley taps out, and Mercedes is tasked with supervising him as Wynonna goes in search for this Valdez character's last mission: a town called Monument.
After a fateful tarot reading, Kate and Nicole know what they must do. Kate holds open the electrified door for Nicole as Nicole does a tumble roll onto the snow. Kate's down, but not out, and summons her inner demon to bleed some guards bone dry.
Meanwhile, Doc has emerged from the door and in a tundra wasteland, where nothing grows out of the earth except these mysterious henge-like monoliths. It's there he finds Waverly chained up, the links growing ever more tight around her body. Doc manages to loosen the chains and save Waverly from certain death.
En route to Monument Wynonna gets a flat, but her luck turns around when Nicole manages to track her down. After helping her fix her flat, the two make off for Monument, and a second entrance to the garden.
Back in the garden, Waverly and Doc have stumbled upon an underground bunker presided over by a crazed, possibly Black Badge employee who's been waiting for the two of them to show up and perform some blood ritual, which they politely decline. Instead, when they ask him how to go home, he decapitates himself. Not much of a talker. When the place starts going haywire, Doc decides to open up a few of the corpse's veins to feed the bunker. But the smell of blood arouses Doc's appetite. The two reemerge with both their heads intact, only the insides are getting scrambled: they're going loosey-goosey in the membrane.
And in Monument, Nicole and Wynonna find their way inside a warehouse where they immediately start receiving fire. Wynonna informs Nicole that Peacemaker is no more, so they'll have to go about this the old-fashioned way. Wynonna acts as a decoy, and Nicole circumscribes the perimeter and takes out the sniper with a blow to their face. Who is they? It's Valdez in the flesh. And she's a teenager?
Yes, but she's also not Gloria Valdez, but Rachel, daughter of Gloria Valdez, who skipped out of Monument some time ago. Rachel's willing to help Nicole and Wynonna find the lab her mom worked in, and her interest is piqued when she finds out that they know Dolls.
The bunker is going haywire again, and Nicole ventures down there to feed it — this time with her own blood. It seems to do the trick, and in a nearby pool of water lotus flowers appear. The mood is set. But for what, exactly? Some kind of lectern on which rest placards with the names of Waverly and all her loved ones on it, and a sign admonishing her to "choose wisely."
Back in Monument, Rachel is giving Nicole and Waverly a tour of the digs, complete with commentary: before they Chernobyled the place, BBD was experimenting with a gas that didn't react according to their hypotheses. They find a locked room full of furloughed BBD employees, zombified by whatever that gas was. After Wynonna lights a stick of TNT, they wake up. Maybe to collect their last paychecks.
Anyway, Nicole opens fire with a shotgun while Wynonna goes about popping off explosives. But the zombies keep on a comin'. Wynonna and Nicole back themselves into a room, and the latter jumps down a seemingly endless grate that spits her out into… the garden. Naked.