Friday, August 24, 2018

REVIEW: 'Wynonna Earp' - Wynonna and the Family Celebrate Christmas in 'If We Make It Through December'

Syfy's Wynonna Earp - Episode 3.06 "If We Make It Through December"

Eggnog for everyone! It's holiday season in Purgatory! Wynonna teams up with a new ally to search for a missing kid on Christmas Day. Waverly learns more about her father.

It's Christmastime on Wynonna Earp this week. It's always strange when shows produce holiday episodes even though they aren't airing during that specific time in the year. It can be a disorientating experience for those viewers watching living. It's probably not a big deal to those who are watching the episodes at their own pace as a binge later on. Plus, there has never been some grand understanding of just how much time has passed in the show's timeline. There is only ever one season in Purgatory: winter. There is snow all of the time because the show is shot up in Calgary. But the show has made that a distinct quality of its storytelling. Not only is it a demon fighting western, it's also set in a perpetually frozen world where Wynonna is fighting to break the curse of revenants coming back to life over and over again. It's all very important. Moreover, this holiday celebration just allows everyone to come together as the family they made together. Sure, Dolls has died and Doc quickly leaves in order to tend to Kate. But it's still a very rousing moment watching everyone sitting around the dinner table and celebrate everything that they have in their lives. Mama Earp just wants the holiday celebration she always wanted with her daughters. Wynonna and Waverly are more than understanding of what their mother wants because it has been too long since they've been together as a family. And yet, it's just as important to value the family that the sisters made as well. They were able to fight strong because of the friends they made along the way. Their bonds with Doc, Nicole and Jeremy are just as valuable as if they were family. As such, it's a time to celebrate when big and romantic things happen to each of them. And yes, there are a fair amount of romantic storylines playing out throughout "If We Make It Through December."

Now, it could seem rushed that the show is already presenting Wynonna with a new love interest in order to prop up a love triangle and complicate her dynamic with Doc once more. It happens so soon after Dolls' death too. That dynamic largely went away the moment that she became pregnant. That moment brought Wynonna and Doc closer together as a family. Their bond is so vital and important. And yet, Wynonna doesn't need Doc in order to protect her. In fact, he doesn't feel of service to the family anymore. He is mostly just a nuisance wherever he goes because no one wants to accept the tree that he has cut down. He is still more than capable of giving Jeremy a romantic pep talk and trying to get Wynonna to clarify her feelings while under the mistletoe together. It's abundantly clear that Wynonna loves Doc and that new guy Charlie is just serving as a distraction as she sorts out these feelings. She is encouraged to just say how she feels. And yet, she doesn't know how she feels especially with Kate now back in the picture. Doc and Kate are getting incredibly close once more as well. Theirs is also a relationship built upon secrets. She has always been a vampire and Doc never knew that until he recently reunited with her. But he's not turning away from her because of that revelation. Instead, he is putting even more value on their relationship because he feels compelled to protect her against the thugs still working for Bulshar. She found solace in the past by connecting with the vampire community. But now, she wants to be her own independent spirit who is pursuing a relationship with Doc once more. That just means he is likely turned into a vampire as well so that he can be an immortal creature again. That's a twist that is bound to be shocking to the rest of the family.

Despite the inevitability of Wynonna and Doc working things out as a couple, this is still a solid debut for Charlie. He is a sexy fireman who knows how to handle a hose and an ax. He is fully aware of what's going on in town and isn't afraid to prove that he isn't a demon. He stares down peacemaker in order to show his true colors to Wynonna. He is willing to do that. That proves that he is a genuine citizen of Purgatory who is trying to step up and be a member of this demon-fighting team. It's always compelling when the show expands its ensemble of characters to provide more opportunities for the main cast to interact with. Wynonna does have chemistry with Charlie. In fact, it's so invigorating to watch as they are the ones to storm the building where Bulshar has kidnapped the descendants of the first families of Purgatory. It's still not abundantly clear what his grand plan is for the town. He is seeking revenge against the families who betrayed him a hundred years ago. It's absolutely terrifying to watch as he connects these innocent people to a chair and fills them up with a mysterious green substance. There is no explanation for that. Robin sacrifices himself in order to protect the young boy, Tim, whose disappearance leads to this being the main mission for the week. He is in the chair when Wynonna and Charlie come into the building to kill the people holding these innocent citizens hostage. And yet, it's much more important for Jeremy and Robin to have their moment of intimacy together instead of explaining how this mystery is going to affect the people who were taken. Instead, it's just more of a victory because people were found still alive and not dead after being missing for awhile.

Of course, these disappearances still hit Nedley hard. It's clear from the moment this episode begins that Nedley is in a weird headspace. He has been for a lot of the season as well. He has been questioning just how effective he is as a sheriff. He serves in this position in a town where supernatural things happen every single week and he has to cover all of them up. He has to continue selling the narrative that Purgatory is simply quirky and there is nothing to fear about this place. That has worn him down over the years. It's gotten to the point where he has simply normalized too much of it. Vampires invaded and killed people at the start of the season. He was still more than comfortable going home and binging a season of Pretty Little Liars. Sure, that's a strange show for Nedley to be watching. But it also gets his point across. He no longer has the urgency to be the savior and protector of Purgatory. He is questioning the importance of keeping the lies and deceit going. So many in the town accept that supernatural things happen here. They aren't all completely blind. Enough of them are though where it still requires the secret to be kept. The truth needs to be hidden in order to protect the people from the world at large that would conduct even more experiments should they be exposed. That balance is crucial. But Nedley no longer feels comfortable being the man in charge keeping the peace in Purgatory. As such, he aims to retire and name Nicole as his successor. That's a very enticing plot development because it highlights that these stories do have an effect on the characters over time while also being able to lead them in new directions as well.

All of this is very exciting for Nicole. The celebration between her and Waverly is so absolutely adorable and cute too. It's a fun distraction from all that is going on in Waverly's life. Plus, it's something that Nicole deserves as well. She has always stepped up in a huge way for the team. And now, she has the promotion to prove it. That's very meaningful. Meanwhile, Waverly is determined to get answers about her father from Mama Earp especially after learning that he is an actual angel. Of course, Mama Earp isn't being very forthcoming with answers. She just wants to deflect entirely. She wants to change the subject because it was an affair that she loved so much. She doesn't regret any of it. And yet, Julian disappeared the day that she gave birth. As such, it was up to Bobo to get Ward to take his responsibilities as a father and husband seriously. Ward never loved Waverly but he did welcome her into his home. It was all because Bobo was looking after her the second that she was born. Sure, that's still pretty creepy. Moreover, Bobo is a free man once more. That always seemed inevitable. He wasn't going to spend the entire season down in that well. Mama Earp is the one who lets him out. They are the two with the strongest connections to Julian because they potentially know where he is. Mama Earp has to be choosing to keep this a secret for a reason. She is still keeping her daughter from the truth. Waverly doesn't feel like an angel. Her family has always known she was special. But now, they have confirmation that she is a different creature all together. That could be something meaningful that changes up the power she has in this world. But again, Mama Earp will have to be forthcoming with answers sooner rather than later because it will determine the life that Waverly will have. She deserves happiness. She doesn't deserve being lied to constantly by her own family.

Some more thoughts:
  • "If We Make It Through December" was written by Emily Andras & Matt Doyle and directed by Paolo Barzman.
  • Between the black substance Robin coughed up after his adventure in the woods and the new green substance injected into him here, is there potentially too many mysteries going on with him? That could be especially damaging if he is suppose to be seen as a genuine romance for Jeremy. Jeremy deserves that kind of love in his life. He is freaking out that he's been ghosted. And yet, he gets the confirmation that Robin reciprocates the love. But these mysteries will ensure their lives remain dramatic and uncertain.
  • Moreover, Jeremy shaves off the mustache this week. He explains that he did so because he believed that Robin didn't like it and that's why he disappeared. As such, he is willing to change so much to impress the people that he loves. He is so impulsive in that way. Of course, Wynonna loves being able to see his upper lip again. And yet, it is still a loss for a nice piece of facial hair.
  • Was Kate genuinely attacked by Bulshar's minions? Or was it simply a ruse in order to get Doc over there and turn him into a vampire as well? She too should be looked at with suspicion because she is clearly trying to create a divide between Doc and Waverly. The two women don't get along while Doc has so much love for both. But now, Doc is immortal once more which may alleviate his greatest fear in the world at the cost of his love for his makeshift family.
  • It's very likely that Nicole will excel as sheriff in Purgatory. She has already done a fair job in being able to control crowds as they freak out about the latest incident that has occurred in town. Of course, it's also understandable that she will be faced with some obstacles along the way as well. This promotion is going to come with its fair share of difficulties. How she manages those will really inform her character as well.
  • What are the odds that Julian is going to be revealed as a character the show has already introduced? There isn't a huge list of possibilities though. That should make the audience expect that he's a completely new character altogether who has just been lurking in Purgatory all of this time. However, there is also the potential that someone in town could be revealed as an angel - especially since Mama Earp has been contained to the homestead for most of her time as free woman.