Everything You Need to Know About Wynonna Earp
On June 9, shortly after most of the comic book TV shows on the air have aired their finale [...]
On June 9, shortly after most of the comic book TV shows on the air have aired their finale episodes, Wynonna Earp will return to Syfy for a second, 12-episode season.
The acclaimed first season may have slipped under the radar for a lot of our readers, but it has a passionate fan following who are excited to have it back, and this season we're going to make sure the show gets a bit more coverage 'round these parts.
The series recently made its way to Netflix, increasing the odds that you and other potential new fans can binge through 13 episodes in the three or so weeks before the series hits he airwaves.
And, as a primer -- or for those on the fence about making that marathon happen -- we've put together a short list of everything you need to know to get on board with Wynonna Earp, widely regarded as one of the best new series of 2016.
Melanie Scrofano plays Wynonna Earp, the great-great granddaughter of Wyatt Earp and oldest surviving heir to the Earp name.
As a child, she watched her older sister dragged away and slaughtered, and accidentally murdered her own father while trying to save him from being carried away by the same demons that took her sister.
She grew up into the black sheep of Purgatory, a "bad seed" with a drinking problem and a criminal record, globe-trotting in the hopes of staying as far away from her family legacy as she can.
She's also the only one who knew where Wyatt Earp's gun -- the one he used at the OK Corral and for the rest of his career as a gunslinger -- went after that night, so the series starts with her being lured back to the town of Purgatory on her 27th birthday, where she reconnects with old friends, family, and the community that shunned her.
She's recruited fairly quickly into the Black Badge Division, a specialized unit of the U.S. Marshals that specializes in the "unexplainable," and uses Wyatt's gun -- the only thing that can do the job ahead of her -- to help bring peace back to Purgatory.
At her side? Well, it's an eccentric group....prevnext
THE SUPPORTING CAST
Wynonna is the unambiguous center of the story but there's plenty of awesome stuff to go around in this cast.
There are basically only four "key" players, including Wynonna, who appear week in and week out. That's Wynonna's little sister; Doc Holliday (yeah, that one); and another Black Badge agent, Xavier Dolls.
Waverly Earp - One of the things added to the TV series and not present in Smith's comic books was the character of Waverly Earp, Wynonna's younger sister.
And she's amazing.
Part of it is that Dominique Provost-Chalkley challenges actors like Rahul Kohli and Carlos Valdes in the realm of playing the enthusiastic sidekick-slash-zen master with such aplomb that you can't help but fall a little in love with both the character and the actor behind it.
Part of it is, that characterization is so sterling that it might not be as great in the hands of another actor, but it would still likely be pretty great.
As the season progressed, Waverly's character changed and deepened as much as Wynonna's -- probably more -- and entered into an unexpected romance that turned the shipper community around this show into a phenomenon all its own.
Doc Holliday - In a show that leans heavily on the Old West mythology of Wyatt Earp, his best-known friend and deputy Doc Holliday shows up to make himself a part of the action.
And, no, not a descendent of Doc Holliday's, a la Wynonna and Waverly Earp. Doc Holliday -- the one and only -- had been trapped down a well for a century when he showed up to offer his services to the Earp family once again.
It's just one small part of a sprawling mythology that center on a "curse" on the Earp family and ties to the supernatural nature of Wyatt Earp's famed Peacemaker pistol. It's that mythology which drives much of the story, and the ways that it tweaks aspects of the comic book story, aspects of real history, and wholly original material makes it a fun, cool, and immersive backstory for the characters.
Xavier Dolls - The first person to really see Wynonna's potential, Dolls works for the Black Badge Division and shows up in Purgatory to investigate a death for which Wynonna turns out to have been a witness.
Black Badge, though, knows the story of the Earp curse and everything that goes with it, so this isn't the typical case where Wynonna has to dance around the story or lie to her partner to make things happen. He knows exactly why she's so important and what she's capable of.prevnext
THE BAD GUYS
A big part of that mythology centers on the series' villains, called the Revenants.
Revenants -- there are over 70 of them at the start -- are the spirits of those killed with during Wyatt's gunfighting days, and now that their ghosts walk the Earth, the only way they can be sent to Hell is after a second meeting with the Peacemaker.
They're pretty awful, and often pretty grotesque, people -- including Bobo Del Rey, who was the big bad in the first Wynonna Earp comics 20 years ago.
They're clever and dangerous, and as with many great horror villains, there's only one very specific way they can be killed -- so Wynonna is the center of their universe because if they can steal or destroy the Peacemaker, they are pretty much invincible.prevnext
In the comics, the first time audiences met Wynonna Earp she was mowing down a room of ghouls, and readers were left to wonder just who the hell she was and how she got so badass.
During that time, there were several short-run series from a number of publishers; it never totally found a consistent home in spite of a passionate fan base and solid reviews.
It was twenty years -- until last year's Wynonna Earp from IDW, which mirrored a lot of elements of the TV show -- before we got a sense for the tragedy that shaped her and her imperfect early days with the Black Badge Division.
And while Wynonna Earp as a series of miniseries has always been really enjoyable, it's arguable that the 2016 series is Beau Smith's best writing yet on the character.
"It ended up being a collaboration that we did not plan, but it just naturally happened," Smith told Comicbook.com. "I had always written Wynonna at the peak of her career -- she was 35 to 40 years old -- and there's not a lot of female characters who are written in that age group [in comics]....But the series itself, of course I want anybody who's never seen read the comics themselves and has only seen the television show to pick it up and feel at home. At the same time, I want respect for all the readers who have read Wynonna Earp since 1996 to also feel like it's still their character....I want to do Wynonna Earp at the age of 27 instead of 35 or 40, and this is before she became the composed character that she has been in the series before. This is when she was reckless, this is when she first became a part of the Black Badge Division and how this all came about. And by the stars being aligned, that's what [showrunner Emily Andras] had planned for the wider audience of the TV series."
Now, he's following that up with a tie-in miniseries exploring important members of the Earp universe, with each story co-written by one of the actors from the show.prevnext
MORE WYNONNA EARP
"This year, we really get to see the team fighting together and working together," Andras recently told Variety. "There are weird pair-ups, which I'm really excited about. I'm really interested when it's almost like a weird workplace drama — but the workplace involves fighting demons."
"The stakes are higher than ever," Andras added. "Because we really examine the nature of family. Can you ever be a good person if you're someone who is forced to make life-and-death decisions? At the same time, there is a lot of fun. These people really like each other. They make time for that."
The show stars Melanie Scrofano, Tim Rozon, Shamier Anderson, and Dominique Provost-Chalkley.
Wynonna Earp airs Friday at 10p EST on Syfy, with the 12-episode second season beginning June 9.
More Wynonna Earp:
- Wynonna Earp Season 2 Trailer, Premiere Date Revealed
- 5 Reasons You Should Be Watching Wynonna Earp
- Beau Smith On The Importance of Getting Readers Emotionally Invested
- Beau Smith Teases His Next Wynonna Earp Miniseries