Sunday, July 26, 2020

REVIEW: 'Wynonna Earp' - Wynonna Fights New Creatures to Make Her Way into the Garden in 'On the Road Again'

Syfy's Wynonna Earp - Episode 4.01 "On the Road Again"

Wynonna Earp races to find a way into the Garden before her sister is trapped forever.

In 2019, the television industry aired 532 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the season premiere of Syfy's Wynonna Earp.

"On the Road Again" was written by Brendon Yorke and directed by Paolo Barzman

The Earp curse has been broken. Wynonna and her family are still in danger though. Bulshar is dead. However, Waverly and Doc are trapped in the Garden. When Wynonna returns to the homestead, Nedley is the only ally still there. Nicole, Jeremy and Robin have been taken by Black Badge. The secret government agency is now running its own operation in Purgatory to keep a lid on the rising supernatural threat. They aren't abundantly helpful. In fact, they just abduct the people with the abilities to make a difference. Wynonna's family is defenseless because she was trying to protect them. She didn't want them to die because they felt the need to follow her into battle. And yet, she has to rely on them because the world no longer thrusts a sense of importance onto her. She is no longer the Earp heir. Now, Waverly is the one with a special designation. She is a half angel who is tasked with ruling over the Garden. That is a dangerous responsibility that could befall her. The Garden isn't a perfect paradise either. It's not what everyone would expect it to be. It's actually a cold and desolate place. It's an agonizing environment where the people don't know how much time has passed. Their lives are completely changed. Doc saves Waverly. They meet another Black Badge agent who has tried his best to keep some order in this place. Only Waverly's blood can potentially change anything. When she makes that offering, the Garden starts to grow once more. She is gifted the opportunity to remember the details of her past. Nicole actually appears in the Garden at the end of it all too. The narrative establishes how that could possibly be true. Nicole sacrifices herself when Wynonna is under attack from a hoard of zombies in a secret government facility. She falls through the floor so that Wynonna can forge ahead to find another way into the Garden. That hole could have actually led Nicole to this place. Or it could be an illusion that makes all of this actually seem like the perfect paradise for Waverly. If she gets to shape this world because of her identity as the rightful heir, then it could take on the perception of what life used to be for her. She may not have chosen Nicole's book when the option was presented to her. However, the sight of her possible fiancée would be incredibly invigorating for her. She holds firmly onto that image. She could have created it in this new reality. This world presents her with more opportunities. It's scary at the moment because so much of it is unknown. The agency in the narrative comes from needing to rescue her. She may not be fully in control of herself either. Her mind is being warped so that she accepts this responsibility. Doc does his best to be her personal weapon. He saves her whenever she needs it. He has his own shortcomings. Waverly forgives him because this family hurts each other but still fundamentally understands one another. They belong together. That shines brighter than anything else in the world. Nicole may be upset with Wynonna for drugging her. She sees the priority of saving Waverly. That sends the pair to this facility where they meet Rachel, the teenage daughter of the scientist who may have found a way into the Garden. That character introduction feels a little tangential. It's mostly an excuse to present a new supernatural threat in zombies that creates a compelling action sequence. It works as that. Wynonna still isn't in the Garden though. She may never make it in. She was prevented from doing so in the previous finale. She falls off the steps after stepping through the door here. And Nicole's image is the one in the Garden after falling through the grates. This world is still mysterious. Not everything lines up to keep this family together. Nedley could be dying. Kate, Jeremy and Robin may be experimented on. Waverly could ascend to the throne. A lot of balls are up in the air at the moment. And yet, it's so great to have this show back when things seemed uncertain for awhile there. These characters remain just as infectious and a joy to watch as they have ever been. The sense of humor and personality of the storytelling continues to be a winning formula. Sure, it's convenient that Jeremy knew about Valdez and her research into the Garden. He had to believe Wynonna would get the message eventually despite his absence. That reveal makes it almost certain that the family will be reunited at some point. Some uncertainty is still good though. It makes for a compelling drama where major things still happen to these characters and the audience should be concerned about how it will impact them moving forward.