[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers for the Season 4 finale of Wynonna Earp, “Old Souls.”]
Throughout its four seasons, Wynonna Earp was a show about many things – demons, curses, inheritance, legacy, but at its core it persistently goes back to its most important facet: the family. Regardless of what supernatural circumstances raised their terrible heads, the show’s loyal fan base (which went by the name of “Earpers”) could always count on Wynonna (Melanie Scrofano) would be supported not only by their proven weapon, Peacemaker, but also by the team that had come to be known as family and bonded in battle, if not necessarily in blood.
And yet last night’s season finale, “Old Souls”, was a reminder of how much this colorful group has changed – not only in their respective travels, but also in how they can lean on each other. As Team Earp the final preparations for the wedding between the newly hired Purgatory Sheriff Nicole Haught (Kat Barrell) and Waverly Earp (Dominique Provost-Chalkley), it wasn’t just the anticipation of a significant next step for two beloved characters that lit the screen at the first broken beer tap; It was at the core of a delicate, calmly beautiful finish that the show has worked towards throughout its run.
Each of these characters, however, have had their own evolutions, and nowhere is that reflected more clearly than in this episode, which felt like the perfect coda for the season. Even while the B-story of Waverly’s cursed wedding dress added a light element with low stakes (with a surprising cameo from Charlotte Sullivan(another gentle wink to earpers and fans of Canadian television). Most of the story was simply about everyone stepping back and taking a breath before making important decisions about their next life. Some like Tim RozonDoc Holliday) decided it was finally time to saddle up and drive beyond the city limits while others (Nicole and Waverly) vowed to keep the fires burning on the homestead, especially now that Sheriff Haught is literally the divinely appointed role of the angel’s shield. Jeremy (Varun Saranga) decided to postpone Black Badge Division responsibilities for another day in order to have a first date, and Nedley (Greg Lawson) was preparing for a relaxing fishing trip with Rachel (Martina Ortiz-Luis) and Billy (Billy Bryk) in tow. But where did that leave our heroine Wynonna?
Image via SYFY
It’s hard to believe there was a time when Wynonna Earp didn’t want to return to purgatory at all, and yet watching that finale is a vivid reminder of how far she has come. That’s not to say that she was without her struggles or her flaws – in fact, one of Wynonna Earp’s greatest strengths as a show is how she demonstrates that anyone can be a hero, no matter what mess they might start with.
And while Wynonna herself has occasionally taken drastic steps to protect not only the family she has within reach, but also her more distant legacy of a daughter who had to grow up without her, she has also weathered the consequences of those difficult ones Decisions resulted. Even when the demon Bulshar was defeated and the Earp curse officially broken, Wynonna insisted on her own personal demons and warped sense of justice, resorting to measures that often bring her into conflict with the people she loves most. She might have shed the heavy shackles of her family’s inheritance, but she couldn’t shake some of her worst tendencies and perhaps not realize the path she had taken until her family made the endeavor to call her on it.
It’s an arc that was shortened far too soon, especially when the final half of the season focused on major, potentially global threats, but it was also an indication of how different Wynonna has always been from the Buffys of the world – an unrepentant one complicated woman who adds a refreshing complexity to the definition of heroism.
Image via SYFY
“Old Souls”, however, is the moment when Wynonna begins to believe that she deserves a real chance at happiness – and not while she is already bending under the weight of expectation, or at least what she expects of her. When Waverly and Nicole get married, it’s not just about two of Wynonna’s loved ones committing to each other. It’s also the two who cement their promise to keep an eye on the Ghost River Triangle and lovingly give Wynonna permission to seize a future not defined by her past. The emotional climax of the episode, when Wynonna gets on her motorcycle and literally chases Doc to the purgatory town sign, is a moment of the circle for this couple who always stopped being shy about saying what they mean to each other. Finally brave enough to be honest and pour out her love for Doc, Wynonna doesn’t necessarily promise a happy life, but it’s a big step in itself, and at times that’s comforting enough that these characters are in a better place than when they started – especially when we find out they are going to their daughter Alice together.
Whether this will be the last episode of Wynonna Earp to ever air remains uncertain at the moment (reports have made it clear that this is just the end of the show on the SYFY network and the future of the series is currently pending). But if it turns out that it is the finish line, it was damn good news to send these characters on – not with a climatic apocalypse and global missions, but with an actual happy ending for everyone, including the heroine, who is allowed to do so for a while lay down their demon-killing weapon and head off into the sunset. What could be better than that?
Seasons 1 through 3 of Wynonna Earp is currently available to stream on Netflix.
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About the author
(58 articles published)
Carly Lane is an Atlanta-based writer who considers herself a lifelong Star Wars fan, newbie trekker, die-hard romance reader, aspiring horror lover, and Wynonna Earp tweeter. She is a former editor for SYFY FANGRRLS and has also written for Nerdist, Teen Vogue, Den of Geek, Motherboard, The Toast, and others on the internet.
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