Friday, August 10, 2018

REVIEW: 'Wynonna Earp' - Waverly Visits Her Mother While Jeremy Goes Into the Woods in 'No Cure for Crazy'

Syfy's Wynonna Earp - Episode 3.04 "No Cure for Crazy"

The forest reveals its secrets - and a clue to Nicole's past. Wynonna pays an unexpected visit to her mother.

There is a lot going on in "No Cure for Crazy." As such, it feels like it is mostly juggling a lot of plot that will eventually be very important to the overall story of the season. There is the reveal that Mama Earp tried to kill Waverly and that's why she is in the psychiatric facility. Meanwhile, trees are moving around in the woods. Nicole is still searching for answers about her past. Doc has a meeting with Bulshar that may infer that he too has a connection to the mysterious demon. A new love interest for Jeremy is introduced. Wynonna gets to kick some ass even though it also leads to her mother's escape from the facility. And finally, a new demonic threat presents itself which is bound to cover most of the plot in next week's episode. All of these are important details that are still fun and amusing to watch. It also feels overstuffed and not able to give some of the more meaningful developments the weight that they deserve. It should be a big deal that Mama Earp is seemingly trying to kill Waverly. The audience could be led to believe that it has something to do with Waverly's true lineage and how destructive it may be to the rest of the family. It should also be meaningful that Sheriff Nedley is growing resigned to constantly fighting the forces of evil and keeping the peace through so many cover-ups in town. Those are some big developments. They also happen very quickly because the hour has a lot of plot that it needs to get through. They are still significant and are foreshadowing major things to come. It just doesn't have the focus right now to ensure that everything lands with the gravitas that they deserve. It's fascinating to think about while still keeping the plot moving at the appropriate pace to ensure that the season can cover everything that it aspires to do.

And so, Waverly makes her way to the psychiatric facility to see her mother for the first time since she left. She doesn't know what to expect from this visit. She doesn't even believe she is ready to get these answers and be confronted with the truth. She is forced into going because Mama Earp has another violent outburst. The warden is ready to move her to a more secure facility. That transfer was never going to go through though. And yet, it's interesting to see how the show keeps Mama Earp an ongoing player in this story. She immediately presents conflicting feelings about Waverly. In a flashback to seven years ago, she forces Wynonna to promise that Waverly will never know where she is and that she will protect her sister no matter what. Now, Wynonna didn't really uphold that promise until recently. She and Waverly are so strong as sisters. Waverly appreciates how open everyone is being with their secrets as of late. She sees that as the first step to keeping the team running smoothly after Dolls' death and the uncertainty of their financing. But Wynonna isn't able to keep Waverly from seeing their mother for very long. Of course, Wynonna doesn't know that Waverly goes to the facility. Waverly just happens to get a call saying a signature is required to make this transfer happen. It's only when she is there that Mama Earp seems to make that pivot into wanting to kill Waverly. In fact, it's so terrifying to Waverly. She didn't know where her mother was for so long. And now, she finally sees her again only to be traumatized by her mother wanting to kill her. That sends her completely spinning.

Sheriff Nedley is able to provide more of the answers that the Earp family seeks. He is able to tell Waverly and Nicole that Mama Earp did more than just burn the barn down. There had to be more to the story to ensure that she was serving a 20 year sentence. In fact, Waverly was in the barn when her mother set the fire. That is such a horrifying reveal because it's clear Mama Earp has been trying to harm her youngest daughter for her entire life basically. At first, she seems demented and delusional. She is clearing talking to and hearing voices that aren't there. It's easy to understand why she is in this psychiatric facility. She could easily get the diagnosis of being schizophrenic. But there's bound to be more to it than that given the later reveal that Doc can also hear a third voice on the taped sessions with Mama Earp that no one else can hear. There's no explanation for why he hears that voice. It's just clear that he recognizes it as Bulshar because of the meeting they have in the woods. But all of this is also building to the reveal that Mama Earp isn't trying to kill Waverly. She is trying to save her from a demon who has apparently been haunting her for a long time. Mama Earp is able to escape the facility thanks to Wynonna. She has the courage and strength to do that now. When Waverly discovers her mother in the barn once more, she is greeted by the terrifying sight of the demon who is also present. Again, the show isn't quick to provide any answers in this regard. In fact, the demon immediately changes faces and takes on the persona of Jolene in the closing scene of the hour which presents her as just another member of the team who enjoys baking sweets for everyone else. That's a chilling visual that should terrifying the audience for the next adventure that the team will face.

This meant that it was just Waverly, Mama Earp and the demon in the barn. Wynonna was too busy getting thrown into the facility for aiding her mother's escape. Of course, that only reveals that the facility is basically run by villainous individuals. The guard also happens to be a revenant. He's a revenant who has cared for Mama Earp for many years. And yet, he also takes pleasure in being able to kill the heir because she no longer has peacemaker. Mama Earp's escape is surprising because it continues the trend of Wynonna not always being able to succeed solely because of peacemaker. In fact, this hour proves that it still takes bullets for her to activate the powers of the gun. Apparently, Dolls was the one responsible for keeping a stash around for her to use. And now, she has conveniently run out. That just further proves that the team is struggling to keep things running as an operation without Dolls. He did so much in order to ensure that no one from the government or the community came asking about what they were truly doing here. Sure, plenty have to suspect that supernatural dealings are going on in the Ghost River Triangle. But they still want to maintain the facade of normalcy as well - which also explains the cover-up of the vicious trauma Nicole experienced in her youth by the Cult of Bulshar. However, Wynonna is still capable of kicking a fair amount of ass. She doesn't need peacemaker or complete mobility in order to take down the guard. She is able to cut his head clear off. And yet, that should also make the audience ponder if beheading is also a way to kill revenants or if this one also happens to still be alive as a talking head in that trash can?

And finally, it's so significant and moving that Jeremy is given an actual love interest with Robin. For so long, he has simply been pining after Doc. Yes, that has been amusing from time to time. But it's also important for him to grow as a character alongside the rest of the ensemble. The show has already proven to be very empowering for the LGBTQ community thanks to the relationship between Waverly and Nicole. And yet, it's also fascinating how the show is dealing with the reality that Purgatory isn't completely diverse in that regard. There is simply no one else in the area who is gay. And so, Jeremy has had to focus on his work. He also doesn't want to feel pressured to start dating the only other gay guy in town just because he happens to show up now. Robin has returned to Purgatory to care for his ailing father. He went to high school with Waverly. As such, she is able to make the introduction with confidence that he isn't a revenant. They do inherently make a cute and charming couple. Their interactions bring a fair amount of levity to the proceedings as well. Of course, there is still an obvious mystery to Robin too. He is introduced being more than comfortable licking the blood that he happens to discover on a tree in the woods. That's how he is able to figure out that it's blood and that he needs to inform the local police. Meanwhile, that's bound to explain whatever he is seen coughing up later on in the episode. Again, this proves that gay characters will still have life-or-death things happening to them even though it's just as important to see them engaging in meet cutes and going out on dates. That's not even the most ominous thing that occurs to Robin. He is taken by the woods at the end of the hour as well. And so, he may not be able to go out on that bowling date with Jeremy any time soon. But fighting this battle against evil could also bring them closer together too.

Some more thoughts:
  • "No Cure for Crazy" was written by Brendon Yorke and directed by Ron Murphy.
  • Jeremy and Robin discover a set of ancient-looking stairs in the woods. They clearly don't belong there at all. Something mystifying is going on with them because they don't show up in any of the pictures that Jeremy takes. They are always covered with the fog that has also mysteriously rolled in. Jeremy understands that the two of them shouldn't climb and investigate further. But the stairs are bound to be important in some way to Bulshar's plan.
  • Bulshar appears in front of Doc with an apparent offer. He is willing to give Doc the morality and the freedom he has been longing for since his trip to Hell. Doc has been so plagued by that experience and the inevitability of being sent back there. And now, Bulshar is toying with his mind by giving him the possibility that this may not be a foregone conclusion after all. That's an intriguing tease.
  • Twenty years ago Nedley was just a local officer in Purgatory who reported to Ward. The Earp heir was also the sheriff of the town and responsible for crafting the narrative of anything that would happen. As such, Nedley just went along with the story given to the public about Mama Earp. And yet, he knew that it was also vital to hide some of the details of the report while now being forthcoming with Waverly when she needs those answers.
  • Not a whole lot of progress is actually made in regards to Nicole learning more about her past. It's a secret that is completely out in the open now. Nicole and Waverly even go out to the woods where the incident occurred. But that's mostly to get them to run into Robin. Nicole also notes that it's odd that there are so many tall trees in the area where a fire apparently occurred not too long ago. But she doesn't really have time to follow up on that.
  • Wynonna should be completely skeptical of Jolene's presence at the homestead and the radical changes to the team's personalities. And yet, she is barely given any time to react before a brownie is shoved down her throat. She is also given the clarity that she should stop worrying because Mama Earp is already tied up in the barn. She didn't need to be the savior. And yet, that's not a good thing because this demon is still loose and making her presence known.