Wynonna Earp Season 2, Episode 8, “No Future in the Past”
In which Wynonna Earp proves that time travel doesn’t have to be wibbly-wobbly or timey-wimey to be fascinating and heartbreaking all at once. I laughed, I cried, I almost threw up, you know just your usual week on one of the best shows on TV. Oh, and you’ll never guess who ends up having the most gut-wrenching, kidney-punching backstory of them all: Bobo Del Rey.
That’s right. I cried about Bobo.
We begin with a flashback to Waverly rescuing her bunny that Willa had thrown on the ice intentionally to let Waverly drown. In the present, Wynonna admits life was harder for Waverly than she remembers, but still believes her to be an Earp. Waverly’s convinced Willa hated her (and Ward ignored her) because she wasn’t Ward’s daughter. They head off to Wynonna’s gynecology appointment after Waverly says Wynonna saved her from the ice. Elsewhere, Juan Carlos runs into the Black Widows, who threaten him about the location of the third seal. At Shorty’s, Doc encourages Rosita to spend time with the Earps while he runs an errand to the salt flats. At the gynecologist’s, the sight of the baby on the ultrasound spooks Wynonna. Her gynecologist gives the report on the baby’s sex to Dolls just before he runs out of the clinic to find Wynonna has been kidnapped.
“I wash [vitamins] down every morning with a rum and a Coke…minus the rum…and the Coke.”—Wynonna
Dolls goes to Sheriff Nedley to find who owned the truck he saw, to discover it belonged to Juan Carlos. At Shorty’s, Waverly and Nicole ‘play’ pool. Waverly mentions she sent a DNA sample in to confirm whether she’s an Earp or not; Nicole acts a bit squirrely when she says she hasn’t seen it. Just as they’re about to snog, it’s Rosita’s turn to cockblock. She wants to throw Wynonna a baby shower. They all agree, but Waverly seems reluctant and suspicious. Dolls drags Ewan in to question him about Juan Carlos. A call from Wynonna interrupts the interrogation, and she gives Dolls a cryptic message that she hopes will help him find where Juan Carlos took her. Luckily, Dolls speaks Wynonna and figures out they’re at a church.
“That’s enough with the shouting, this ain’t no Ed Sheeran concert.”—Nedley
Ewan doesn’t want to get involved, but after a pretty heavy guilt trip from Dolls, he admits that there’s an abandoned chapel near Juan Carlos’s chop shop. At the chapel, Juan Carlos delivers Waverly’s invitation to the baby shower “nacho night”. He also tells Wynonna he can show her answers if she’s willing to perform a special ritual involving Wyatt’s badge, a spell, and the church. See, he can only witness events unfold, but cannot interfere because he is under the Prime Directive has been cursed. He promises her she’ll be back for nacho night. With that promise, and the promise of information, she performs the ritual and…seemingly nothing happens.
“Thanks for nothing J.C., not you *gestures at statue of Jesus* the other one.”—Wynonna
Wynonna leaves the church and enters Shorty’s. She tries to talk to Doc, but he can’t hear her. When she turns to follow as he walks away, the scene dissolves into the past. Cue vision quest! She tries not to freak out, only to run smack into Bobo Del Rey, or, as he’s known before he got all demonified, Robert Svane. He’s come from Wyatt (they were friends, what?!) with a message; trouble is, Doc was a pretty big jerk and takes a dislike to Robert because he’s nerdy. Eventually, Robert tells Doc that that the sheriff in Purgatory has been hurting the townsfolk and Wyatt wants Doc to ride with him against Sheriff Clootie (o.O). Doc refuses, but Robert runs off to assist in his stead.
“Not that I would expect a little mouse like you to know the butt end of a pistol from his own furry *ss.”—Doc
Wynonna warps to Purgatory, where she overhears people talking about Wyatt shooting Sheriff Clootie, a demon, who cursed Wyatt as he died, leaving the priest to deal with his three “devil women” wives. Wynonna follows a trail of blood back into the chapel, where she finds Robert dying from a gunshot wound to the chest and Constance Clootie binding/sealing up the Black Widows with the help of none other than Father Juan Carlos.
At present day Shorty’s, the gals prep for Wynonna’s baby shower. Rosita is being very friendly, and Nicole just thinks Rosita is trying to break in. The Earps are a tough party to crash, after all. At the present day chapel, Dolls finds Juan Carlos, who tells him not to wake Wynonna lest she die or go crazy.
“I’m the nicest person in Purgatory! There was a vote; I got a sash.”—Waverly
In the past, Wynonna learns that Constance has already begun her quest for revenge against Wyatt for the death of her sons, yet she buried her demon husband alive otherwise he’d kill her. She gives Juan Carlos and Robert the tools to create two of the seals to keep him buried and makes the third herself using her wedding ring. In the present, Juan Carlos explains to Dolls that he’s immortal, like Doc, and was tasked with not interfering. Only now he’s dying from gangrene and doesn’t give AF, so he’s doing what he can to help. Just then, the Widows show up and attack Dolls. In the past, Wynonna’s back in the chapel as Robert lays dying. Clootie tried to use him as a human shield, so Robert told Wyatt to take the shot any way in order to bring the demon down.
“I am made whole in the house of my enemies.”—Constance
Wyatt meanwhile, has gone off in search of a wayward Doc. Constance informs Robert that his sacrifice to help Wyatt defeat Clootie has doomed him to demonhood, as he was killed by Peacemaker. He begs for Constance’s aid, and she agrees if he brings her the bones of her sons. In the present, Dolls gets petrified by the Widows, and the girls play drinking games while waiting for Wynonna. Waverly finds her DNA results in Nicole’s purse and leaves when she realizes Nicole hid them from her. Constance takes Robert (and Wynonna) to the well where she threw Doc, explaining that the ring he wears (which is her seal) will also delay death. Robert throws down a spool of thread to get the ring from Doc. When Doc refuses, Robert leaves. Constance promises that she’ll find something Robert wants so that he’ll find the bones for her.
Robert: I am a good man!
Constance: Hell burns that right out of you.
Dolls wakes to find the Widows eating Juan Carlos’ guts, so he barricades himself and Wynonna in the chapel. The Widows light it on fire. In the past, Wynonna and Robert are once again in the chapel, but he can see her now. He thinks her a guardian angel sent to save his soul, and confesses he left Doc in the well out of jealousy. She urges him to remember his human life when he rises as a demon. She’s dying of smoke inhalation, and he pulls her into his arms, full of sorrow that she’s dying because of him. He promises never to hurt her no matter what form he takes and asks for her name. She tells him,
Robert rings the church bell that, in a timey-wimey way, summons the fire brigade. Wynonna wakes up to Dolls’s frantic pleas for her to live. Waverly reads her DNA report and remembers that Bobo rescued her from the lake all those years ago, not Wynonna. Wynonna wakes up to snuggles with Dolls and explains the whole deal with Doc’s ring and Sheriff Clootie. Dolls tells her that she died for several seconds, and she realizes what that meant just in time for a cutaway to none other than Bobo Del Rey rising from the dead.
Favorite One Liner: “Neutral men are the devil’s allies, and brother, the devil’s a comin’.”—Dolls
I Gotta Say…
Written by Andras herself, this episode is so jam packed, there’s no way I’m going to be able to cover it all. The camera work in the flashback sequences were especially atmospheric. They worked well to convey the dreamy and disorienting experience of it all. I especially loved the time freezing effect and the lack of/shifting camera focus.
And the foreshadowing, god the foreshadowing. Andras is a master of hiding plot points in seemingly innocuous lines of dialogue. Robert’s fervent avowal that he’d “ride to hell and back for [Wyatt] if need be”, only for him to literally go to hell for saving Wyatt is one of many. There’s the throwaway line from one of the Purgatory citizens that if Juan Carlos doesn’t drink himself to death, the Clootie wives will “probably eat him alive” (which they do). The best one is Wynonna’s question, “where does it end?” that leads her to Robert dying in the chapel. Not only does this foreshadow his death in the chapel at the end of the episode—whereupon he’s all set to rise as a demon—the episode’s final shot is Bobo rising from the ground as a demon. Andras literally told us how the episode ends less than halfway through.
I’m sure by the end of the season we’ll see even more. I wouldn’t be surprised if clues to how Sheriff Clootie ends up defeated are hidden away in dialogue or events in this episode. Perhaps Bobo will make another heroic sacrifice to save Wyatt’s heir from Clootie, or Doc will defy his past by going to help Earp defeat Clootie instead of run. The fact that Doc’s immortality is tied to the ring signifies another potentially important plot point moving forward that I’m sure won’t be dropped. Robert might drop his threads in to a black hole, but Andras sure doesn’t.
I also appreciate the fact that the show avoids jealousy or catty women despite having room for not just two separate love triangles, but potentially a love rhombus. The lack of pettiness is a breath of fresh air in a TV landscape where romantic competition seems to dominate.
I’m more torn about WayHaught. Given Nicole’s wholehearted support of Waverly finding answers earlier this season (she brought Waverly the paperwork for heaven’s sake), hiding the DNA test results seemed out of character. Even more so when you bring in how Waverly’s protectiveness bothered Nicole in the first two episodes this season. Nicole turning around and doing the same thing to Waverly doesn’t make much sense. I appreciate that it’s a reasonable disagreement to have with real consequences for their relationship and valid reasons for each person’s perspective. However, I wish it didn’t have to come at the expense of Nicole’s characterization, which, up to this point, has been quite consistent. She’ll suffer for her girlfriend, even kill for her, but never lie to her.
The big issue to discuss is obviously everything to do with Bobo and the Earp sisters, but before I get there, I want to acknowledge how well Melanie Scrofano did tonight. Apparently she was sick with a cold while filming this episode. While I could hear it in her voice, the rest of her work was excellent. Wynonna’s struggles with motherhood continue to be on point. She doesn’t want to see the baby on the monitor, but she’ll talk to it; it’s much easier for her to conceptualize the baby rather than to humanize it right now, and that’s understandable for where she is right now.
It’s actually an interesting parallel to Waverly’s situation as a child. It seemed easy enough for the Earps to want to give baby Waverly a name like “Welcome” to signify that she’s part of the family no matter what the circumstances. But to actually act on that, to humanize Waverly in the family, was too difficult for them in the end. It’s both heartbreaking and a dire warning that I think Wynonna is coming to realize by the end of the episode. Thinking you’re ready and okay with what’s happening is one thing, but choices have consequences. Waverly is a testament to growing up into a decent human being despite a awful family situation. At the same time, Wynonna’s love for her is what brought her through (at least in Waverly’s earlier memory), and that says a lot about what kind of mother Wynonna will be.
Speaking of Waverly, the implication at the end seems to be that Bobo is Waverly’s father. This both works well with the story this season, this episode in particular, and also makes me sad. I really want Waverly to be an Earp given how significant it is for her. The “Earpiest Earp” if you will.
But is it so straightforward? Wynonna only said she remembered the day Waverly came back from the hospital, not that she remembered their mother pregnant. It is still possible that Ward was the unfaithful one, which would explain Wendy leaving and Ward not wanting to look at Waverly equally well. Waverly could have been a reminder of his unfaithfulness, not his wife’s. Then there’s the whole adoption thing that Wynonna throws out as an explanation to the gynecologist for why she wants to know about genetic testing. Waverly could be unrelated to either Ward or Wendy!
Just remember Andras likes to hide truths in plain sight, so really, this episode hasn’t given us any answers about who Waverly’s parents are at all. Just more questions and a lot of heartache.
Like the significance of Waverly being called ‘angel’. Wynonna tells us this was Wendy Earp’s name for Waverly. It’s also what Bobo called Wynonna, and then what he called Waverly when he rescued her from the lake. Is this merely a pet name, or does it have some kind of significance for Waverly’s history or place in the story? Will she be the ‘angel’ to the Revenants ‘demon(s)’? For as much as this show is about Wynonna, so much of this season revolves around the mystery of who Waverly is. We have more information after this episode, but not any more answers.
But by far the winner of the night in the feels department is Robert Svane. Who would have though that Bobo Del Rey had such a gut-wrenching backstory? It breaks me. The irony of the one faithful friend (Robert) being turned into a demon, while the feckless one (Doc) was turned into the most loyal of friends to Wyatt’s offspring is deliciously tragic. Making Robert just as much a victim of the curse as the Earps was a truly masterful writing move. It’s an unexpected twist without being a retcon.
And then to see how being a victim of the curse has twisted him. He became a demon bent on revenge against his former best friend (and possibly romantic interest?). Yet, at the same time, we see that he did remember; he kept some of himself, warped thought it was. That he retains some of his good nature when Constance told him hell would burn it out also highlights just how good of people Fish and Levi were that going to hell didn’t turn them entirely evil.
My heart could hardly take that final scene with Robert and Wynonna. Everything about it tugged at every single string in my heart and played them until I thought I would burst. Robert cradling her, protecting her, saving her life by ringing that bell, promising he would never hurt her. Then Wynonna gives him Waverly’s name. Even with her dying breath, she protects her sister. Chances are it’s just that she’s calling out for Waverly because she’s dying. Still, I like the idea that she knows Waverly was an outcast from her family so she gives Waverly someone who will protect her as a child in a way Wynonna wasn’t able to. Unloved and unwelcome at home, Waverly at least had Bobo. (Though that last part is true whether Wynonna meant it this way or not due to the time paradox.)
One last thing about Bobo, the thing Constance found that Bobo wanted? Willa. We know that he wanted out of the Ghost River Triangle and release from his demon-ness, but there’s more to it now given what we’ve seen. Was it his own personal form of revenge on Wyatt for choosing the wrong man in the past? Some form of perverted wish fulfillment? A bit of both? I for one, veer toward both.
I see you, Andras
- Nicole looks like she’s auditioning for Grease. She’d make a great Rizzo
- So other than Wynonna calling him Bobo before he died, did Waverly give Bobo the name Bobo? My heart.
- Showing Doc’s ring in the ‘previously on’ then those little moments where Wynonna plays with her ring. Clever.
- Is it just me, or does Juan Carlos follow the Prime Directive about as well as Kirk? He interfered long before he took Wynonna on the quest by bringing Dolls back, and then everything in S1 as well. Naughty naughty! RIP, though.
- That little half smile Wynonna has when Dolls tells her to not do something stupid *heart eyes*
- Dolls being protective in a way that isn’t paternalistic or possessive gives me life. Let’s be honest, everything WynDolls gives me life. Heck, just Dolls gives me life.
See you next week for Earp sisters escrima practice, more Black Widows, and Wynonna threatening Doc with Peacemaker!