And while searching through a forest for clues to her cultic upbringing, Nicole and Waverly run into Robin, an old friend, who needs the help of Sheriff Nedley. He doesn't tell them, but he's just found a tree dripping blood — sign of a vampire. And Nicole doesn't tell either of them that, after they leave, she chucks some mysterious ring deep into the forest. Could it have something to do with the Cult of Bulshar? Oh, you bet.
It's been a hot minute since we've seen Waverly and Wynonna's mom. She's been investing her time in personal enhancement, painting, torture, that kind of stuff. She's even got an assistant: one of the psych wardens.
Flashback to before Wynonna first left Purgatory, she's saying goodbye to momma Michelle. Before she does, Michelle makes Wynonna promise never to let Waverly know she's in there. Why? We'll find out. But the important thing is is that Wynonna has decided to disregard her mother's demand, and introduce Waverly to her. Family reunions are ALWAYS a good idea.
And sometimes they happen sooner than expected. Waverly is bringing Wynonna's phone to her when she gets a call on it. It's the Purgatory Penitentiary, and they need Michelle's emergency contact to come down there to authorize the transfer of the berzerk inmate. This is Waverly's chance to finally meet her mum!
Jeremy and Robin team up to investigate the bleeding tree incident, and though they don't find said tree, they do run into a pair of stairs in the woods leading to who-knows-where. Jeremy's intuition tells him not to climb them — and his tired legs tell him the same.
When Wynonna returns to the penitentiary, Michelle swipes Peacemaker off her and uses it to knock out the warden and acquire another piece. Thus Michelle makes her escape, en route to kill Waverly. Wynonna is detained by the prison until the authorities arrive, which is super bad timing.
Wynonna's been thrown into her mother's cell, shackled, while the warden awaits further instructions, or Michelle is apprehended. Meanwhile, this guard, who's actually a Revenant (good for him for finding employment after damnation) is getting ready to kill Wynonna once and for all.
Sheriff Nedley goes into more detail about the night he found Waverly in the barn burning. Michelle was parked in a car outside, and there was all this occult symbolism drawn on the inside walls of the barn. Michelle would later admit that she was trying to vanquish a demon — inside Waverly. Nedley swears that Michelle must have been possessed, because the woman he knew wouldn't so much as set fire to a fly in a birdhouse.
While scrolling through the photos Jeremy took from the forest, he and Robyn can't find the staircase at all — it's as if it was never there to begin with. Jeremy hypothesizes that both of them experienced a shared delusion, whereas Robin has a much more cynical explanation: it's like someone made a deal with the devil. After he says that cryptic offhand remark, he starts coughing his lungs up. Coincidence? Probably not.
Somehow Michelle slips into the barn and gets a pentagram circle going. Waverly hears her and comes in to talk. Waverly asks her mom if the demon is inside her. Michelle says, "No. But she came for you." What does she mean?
And when Robin returns home, he starts taking pictures of these plants that spontaneously grew up in front of his dad's house. Then he gets whisked away by an unseen force. Green thumb, but pretty dumb.
And that demon? Well, it turned out to be a pretty damn good baker: Jolene! She's put something in those cupcakes and sweets that make everyone amiable and jolly. Even Wynonna, it would seem! That must be some powerful MSG!