TV Reviews

‘Wynonna Earp’ 1.01 Review: “Purgatory”

With Season 2 premiering next Friday, June 9, I decided to do a re-watch of Season 1 and review each episode as I go. If you have Netflix or anywhere else you can watch it, join me! I’ll be live tweeting on my Twitter as I watch then afterwards doing a full blog post on it after.

wynonna earp
Gif: agents-mulder-scully-touchstoned (tumblr)

Show: “Wynonna Earp”
Network: Syfy

Wynonna Earp follows Wyatt Earp’s great granddaughter as she battles demons and other creatures. With her unique abilities, and a posse of dysfunctional allies, she’s the only thing that can bring the paranormal to justice. (via Syfy)

IMDB |Netflix | AmazonPrime | iTunes

Season: 1
Episode 1: “Purgatory”
Original Airdate: April 1, 2016

On the night of her 27th birthday, Wynonna Earp – descendant of the great gunslinger Wyatt Earp – reluctantly returns to her hometown to take on her family’s legendary curse. (via IMDB)



I first started watching Wynonna Earp last year after attending WonderCon for the first time. I saw commercials about it and thought the plot was interesting: kick-ass heroine inherits a special gun that can kill demons. But I never really seriously planned to watch it. Then one afternoon as I was browsing my TV for something to watch, I saw that the first few episodes were available. I figured, “eh, okay. Why not? I’ll just watch for a few minutes and see how it is.” Little did I know that after just one episode I would be hooked on this show and officially an “Earper”.

Spoilers ahead, obviously.

First, let me just start off this review by saying that I forgot how much I like the opening theme song of this show. It’s “Tell That Devil” by Jill Andrews and I feel that it just fits the tone of the show so well. It has a country western vibe but also a – I’m not really sure what to call it – classic rock, maybe? Google categorizes it as “Folk” so I don’t know, but have a listen below! You can play it while you read on. Haha

The moment we’re introduced to Wynonna in the first few minutes of this episode, one thing was made clear: she’s a protector. Despite clearly dreading returning to her hometown, Purgatory, Wynonna knew she had to go back; she knew something was amiss and that she was needed. Even when Kiersten, a random young woman she met on the bus, disembarked the bus – even though Wynonna warned her not to – and was attacked, Wynonna was the first, and only one, to jump to action and ventured into the darkened woods to search for her. I’ve always had an affinity for reluctant heroes, but out of all of them I adore Wynonna the most. Not only is she brave and so bad-ass, she’s smart, cunning, resourceful, and has such hilarious quips and one-liners. She is nowhere near to being perfect or put-together despite being in her late 20’s, but I love that about her because it makes her so much more relatable and human.

Wynonna also has a strong sense of family, which is something I can really relate to. Her relationship with her younger sister Waverly is one of my favorites in the show; it’s imperfect, a little strained, but strong and runs deep no matter how far apart they were. Despite having only returned for one day, Waverly was quick to show how much she believes in her older sister. When the Revenants kidnapped Waverly at the climax of this episode, I loved how she instantly told them how much trouble they were in because Wynonna arrived to save her. She hadn’t even seen her sister in action before then, but she already believed in her. But Waverly isn’t just the damsel-in-distress or the younger sister who always gets in the way and needs saving. She’s a bad-ass in her own right, and her explosive intro scene in this episode is evident of that.

waverly shot gun
Gif: fyeahwynonnaearp (tumblr)

We are also introduced to the first male main character of the show in this episode, Deputy Marshal Dolls. He’s the only person who doesn’t live in Purgatory that believes Wynonna about the demons – or Revenants, as Wynonna calls them – who plague the small town. He’s very mysterious and vague when it comes to the Black Badge Division, a covert branch of the U.S. Marshals that investigate the “unexplainable”, and doesn’t reveal much about himself. I’ll admit, when I first watched this episode last year I really didn’t like him. He annoyed me and I didn’t like how the only thing he cared about was doing his job. The moment Wynonna came to him for help – after stalking her and pestering her and trying to use Waverly as a persuasion tactic to get her to join the Black Badge Division – he refused. He callously told Wynonna that Waverly was dead already and basically told her not to even try to save her. That just really rubbed me the wrong way, and then when he blackmailed her into joining the Black Badge Division at the end of the episode that didn’t help his case with me. It was obvious that the only thing he cared about was getting the job done and figuring out what was going on in Purgatory, nothing else. Now, however, I’m not as annoyed by Dolls because I understand where he’s coming from better, but he’s still not one of my favorites.

Doc Holliday is also another main male character in the show and, unlike Dolls, I absolutely adore him! We’re first introduced to him in a short quick scene that only shows his hands (a large ring on the left one) as he climbs out of an old dried up well (a bit creepy, but not The Ring level) that Wynonna had thrown Peacemaker into when she initially fled Purgatory. A few scenes later, Wynonna is in the bar and as the camera pans out to the left, the first thing we see are Doc’s hands again, but we’re supposed to recognize the large ring on his left hand. I thought that was really clever. He doesn’t introduce himself as Doc until later on, but he does show a strange interest in Peacemaker and Wyatt Earp. When I first saw this episode last year, I had initially believed him to be another enemy for Wynonna to worry about because he was clearly hiding something. Right from this first scene with Doc and Wynonna, I could see and feel the chemistry between them. I didn’t ship them, or anyone yet for that matter, in this first episode, but the chemistry was clearly there. Doc is such an interesting and hilarious character, too. He’s definitely a charmer, old-fashioned but understandably so, and has the wit to match Wynonna’s. Besides Waverly, I love the banter between Doc and Wynonna.

Gif: itberice (tumblr)

During Wynonna’s showdown with the group of Revenants who kidnapped Waverly, they revealed more of the plot and what the Revenants are exactly. They’re really creepy creatures because they blend in with the humans by looking and talking like them, but they’re actually demons who have been resurrected from Hell. Only the coveted Peacemaker, Wyatt Earp’s gun, can kill Revenants and send them back to Hell and only the Earp Heir can wield it. However, every time an Earp Heir is called upon on their 27th birthday, the Revenants who were killed by the previous Heir are resurrected and the cycle continues ever on. That’s why the Revenants are trying to figure out a way to break it and free themselves from Purgatory (suddenly, the name makes sense) so they can wreak havoc all around the world. There were also mentions of an Earp Curse, mostly by Waverly, but Wynonna refused to believe it. Somehow, the Revenants and the Earp Curse are linked but we don’t know exactly how yet.

This show manages to perfectly weave supernatural and sci-fi with horror and western, significantly different genres that I initially thought could never exist in one show together, and it does so seamlessly and cohesively without appearing outdated. It’s thrilling, clever, funny, captivating, action-packed, and perfect for fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (I’m pretty sure that’s why I love this show so much. The lines are almost as witty and funny as Buffy’s, a Chosen One is called upon to defeat evil creatures in a small town, and there is a prominent theme of feminism and kick-ass women. It’s wonderful.)

Have you seen the first episode of Wynonna Earp? What are your thoughts on it? Let me know in the comments below!

Season 2 of Wynonna Earp premieres on Friday, June 9, 2017 on Syfy at 7PM PT/10PM ET

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