The Blade: a weapon of choice for many heroes, but also for many villains, including Jack the Ripper and Sweeney Todd. George RR Martin points out that: “Fear cuts deeper than swords” (A Song of Ice and Fire). In this episode of Wynonna Earp, it’s guilt that “sharpens the blade”. It’s good to remember that Pat Benatar taught us: “The deepest cuts are healed by faith“. (Video), or in this case, prevented by forgiveness.
Last episode, the introduction of The Stone Witch indicated that there is more supernatural activity in Purgatory than just the 77 perpetually resurrected Revenants and a hereditary demon-killer. We’re only just beginning to find out about the things that are going on. It’s a relief to the dramatic tension that this show includes so many little humourous moments – like Dolls backing into a guy with a gun, while he’s trying to look cool and tough.
This episode Doc explains that his ‘eternal longevity’ is due to a bargain that he made. (Does that mean he’s been around all this time, not aging?) I wonder what he gave in exchange? Waverly’s “Yeah, I know” didn’t really explain what she knows about Doc. Surely the conversation in the bar was more informative than “He shot at my head [and missed]”. Perhaps, since Waverly and Wynonna haven’t really spent much time together in the last 15 years, Waverly thinks Wynonna will only understand the shooting part. It’s an indication that the sisterly bond isn’t as strong as one might otherwise expect.
The death of Megan by the barber’s blade coming through a mirror, and the message left behind, sent Wynonna and Dolls on their new search. Wynonna realises that the killer is one of the seven they’re looking for, when she recognises him in the mirror. Father Mallick had said that the ‘Barber Confessor’ was after Wynonna. How did he know? Perhaps he assumes that August is after everyone, particularly women. The link between his victims does seem to be Wynonna. Why start killing people now? Is he perhaps trying to get her attention?
When Wynonna meets Bobo, he talks as though they’ve met before. I wonder if that was when Wynonna was a little girl, or if they’ve met in other circumstances. His taunting her about her incarceration in a mental institution might just be cruelty, or is it a hint that they were both there at the same time? If it’s outside the Ghost River Triangle, that’s a ‘no’. But then: Bobo says that he had friends in Maldido (the town that was bombed). Obviously the Revenants use modern technology to stay in touch, but how did he make friends with people so far away to begin with? Had those people previously travelled through Purgatory? Bobo seems to have knowledge of a lot of things. Is he part of a demon/witch/supernatural support group with their own cosmic chatroom?
Bobo said “tick tock, tick tock” to Wynonna. August, The killer who came out of the mirror said that to Megan, and also to his other victims:
Tick tock, tick tock. Forgiven, or not?”
August doesn’t wait for a response, so presumably he already knows. It seems that he can look into people’s hearts. Pretty impressive for an undead guy projecting himself as a reflection from the bottom of a lake, where he’s been for about 130 years.
Wynonna’s one-liners continue to be priceless. With an hour or so to solve the problem before she dies, Wynonna asks Dolls:
Do you come with a translation app?”
and her excitement later:
I feel so smart right now!”
Doc explains that August is a Revenant because Wyatt indirectly caused his death. So: the total of 77 is from shootings, hangings of criminals, but also people who were innocent but died because of Wyatt. This explains why some Revenants are “worse” than others. Mind you, August has clearly caught up since his death, since he likes to feed on the guilt of his victims. Father Mallick said that Megan was “struck down by the blade of immortal reckoning”, and that her guilt “sharpened the knife”. (So poetic!) Samantha tells them that Megan had real “sins” to be forgiven, and it seems that Samantha not forgiving her, cost Megan her life. Wynonna not being able to forgive Susie fast enough did the same. Presumably the 2 hour time frame guarantees that August always gets his victim. August almost gave Wynonna a chance, by getting her to focus on the greatest, most hurtful unforgiveness. But real forgiveness of a deep hurt is not quickly and easily achieved.
Although she tried to deny it even mattered later, Waverly had good reason to resent Wynonna, really. As she said: Waverly has worked hard towards finding a way to end the curse. It also explains why she’s so keen to tag along with Dolls and Wynonna. Of course, Waverly would be the heir if Wynonna is killed, so maybe she should stop feeling hurt and be confident that she’s probably going to get her turn?
It seemed mean that Waverly made a joke, refusing to say that she loves Wynonna. Waverly knows that most people hate Wynona, and surely she would know how important it would be to Wynonna to hear that her sister loves her. Apparently, Waverly really hasn’t forgiven Wynonna!
Waverly doesn’t understand the torment that Wynonna has lived with since she accidentally shot her father, the Revenants took Willa, and Wynonna ended up with a mental health diagnosis, in juvenile detention and foster care. It seems to indicate a lack of empathy on Waverly’s part, hidden under her “little miss adorable” routine.
Doc is now ‘on the team’, but we’re seeing that he really is a “scoundrel”. He was working against Wyatt while Wyatt was alive! Wyatt got August to testify against a cattle rustler, and Doc killed August before he could do so. That’s a whole lot worse than hustling with some cards. Yet: Wynonna seems willing to forgive him. They certainly needed him for this encounter. It seems like a contradiction that just after Doc became part of the “Law Team”, he threw his old Marshall’s badge into the fire. Doc is clearly suffering under the burden of his own guilt, disgusted with himself.
Doc’s speech in the bar touches on this:
I’ve spent many a night wherein I’ve ruminated on the error I’ve made. But then it strikes me: It was the wrongs done to me that put me down the well of tribulation, so I set myself upon a mission of vengeance, and let me tell you…it shall be Biblical.”
Does this bring us back to The Stone Witch? With all the excitement of August and his Blade, Wynonna and Dolls didn’t mention her this episode.
I’m also wondering if that “well of tribulation” is literally the well that Doc climbed out of, or if he’s just being poetic. He is quite a poetic character, despite his moral failings.
Wynonna Earp: complexity, strength and frailty. The characters and the show.
Featured image from Syfy.
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