Saturday, April 3, 2021

REVIEW: 'Wynonna Earp' - Identities Change as Wynonna Tries to Save Her Loved Ones From Dire Fates in 'Better Dig Two'

Syfy's Wynonna Earp - Episode 4.11 "Better Dig Two"

Wynonna and Waverly take two very different and dangerous paths in an effort to save Purgatory.

In 2020, the television industry aired 493 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 next episode of Syfy's Wynonna Earp.

"Better Dig Two" was written by Emily Andras and directed by Paolo Barzman

A loss of one's identity can be absolutely crushing and debilitating. This season has been an exploration of that concept. Choices have been made that betrayed friendships and key identities. Meanwhile, evolutions have happened as a result of who these people are suppose to be in the Ghost River Triangle. They have all been reckoning with these ideas. A moral core may always reside within each of them. The temptation from various physical and supernatural forces though can be so destructive. As such, they must rely on what holds meaning to them as a family. They have fought and pushed each other away. They have been in service of this town and the supernatural beings who reside here. They have made sacrifices. They have ceded control. They have fought to protect each other and the happiness they all deserve. These conflicts still occur though. It highlights the many ways in which they can be tempted. They still lose control. Sometimes, that free will is removed from them all together. The Clanton family has essentially been cursed by the feud with the Earps. That's all that they have ever known. They have been waiting to seek out the proper vengeance for their ancestors. Cleo has only been the heir for a brief time. She sees just how horrifying it is. She wants to transfer that to someone else so that she can embrace her individuality once more. She is perfectly fine cursing someone with this burden so that she can have happiness for herself. Others aren't willing to make that sacrifice. In fact, Billy is willing to carry the responsibility of his family in order to save the people in this town. He cares about them. Sure, the mechanics of how he returns to being a human are clunky. The show doesn't really offer up a good explanation. Nor does it really say what he accomplishes by telling his ancestors to stand down. It simply offers up the idea that they too have long been cursed and simply want peace. That is more desirable than their ongoing fate as reapers. That has defined their lives for too long. It has been in service to a feud that has lost almost all meaning. No one cares about it anymore. And yet, the audience is surely tense watching as Wynonna and Doc duel. That's the latest example of Doc losing control of his own actions. He resists the urge to feast on Mercedes after she has been shot. Jeremy has to hold him back and even offer himself up as a sacrifice. That's how deep these bonds of friendship go. They instinctively understand what's important to one another. Of course, Mercedes also rationalizes that she is the only person in this town who would actually thrive as a vampire. That may be a fate she actually deserves. It's what Doc wanted at one time. It's no longer what he desires. He is saved in the end as well. An angel brings him back to life. It's the version that he deserves. He may no longer be immortal. However, Waverly is able to extend this kindness to her loved ones before intending on abandoning them for good. She too has long been perceived as the angel who must give up everything to be in service of a higher power. She exists beyond the concerns of man. She can't bother with those trivial dynamics. She has more important things to do. It's a clear split in her personality. Her love for Wynonna, Doc and Nicole still radiates outward though. That still means something. This episode is fundamentally about people making these massive sacrifices as a display of love. Wynonna has to risk everything to save Rachel. Jeremy is completely selfless in trying to help Doc. Wynonna stands by Doc's code even when he loses his way. Nicole bounds herself to the Ghost River Triangle just to secure her future with Waverly. It doesn't seem like all of these actions will keep the forces of evil at bay in this community. In fact, no one truly knows what happens regarding the angelic side of Waverly. However, peace and order is restored in this place. That means the finale can be a celebration of the love between Waverly and Nicole. That is a fitting conclusion for a show that has mined these complex and emotional depths to great success. It all benefits from the shared history amongst these characters and what they mean to each other. It's rewarding for the audience because of the journey. It may be coming to a close. However, it's just as moving and emotional as ever before. It teases death alongside constant battle and change. But these characters always stand firm in their identities and the friendships that strengthen them within Purgatory.