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Analysis

Wynonna Earp: The Most Glorious Gunslinger in the West

The Glorious Dumbass is defined by a few key traits. Their inherent proclivity for chaos. An utter refusal to let other’s standards define them. Trouble is magnetically drawn to them. And above all else, the Glorious Dumbass knows that they’re, well, glorious. Few embody these traits better than the biggest walking disaster in the Wild West, Wynonna Earp.

The descendant and heir of the famed gunslinger Wyatt Earp, Wynonna’s family name comes not only with a long legacy, but a curse baked right in too. Thanks to the curse, every person Wyatt killed with his gun, Peacemaker, revived as a revenant and continue to revive when an heir dies. The only thing that can stop a revenant is a bullet from Peacemaker when wielded by the Earp Heir. The Earp line has spent generations beseiged by Wyatt’s enemies, damning both sides to a never-ending cycle. It’s said the curse would end if all the revenants are killed by one heir

Wynonna became the next in line the night seven revenants attacked their family home, seemingly killing her older sister and dragging her father from the house. Wynonna, only ten at the time, drew Peacemaker but the bullet hit her father, not one of his kidnappers. For obvious reasons, Wynonna holds a greater animosity towards the curse than the average Earp after this.

Wynonna’s attitude towards her family’s curse is a very ‘flips double birds in its direction’ kind of one. She wasn’t meant to be the heir, her sister Willa was. Yet in one fell swoop, the curse took Willa and her father from her (her father dying in the cruellest way for Wynonna). With her mother already out of the picture, because of a whole other demon related debacle, Wynonna was left with just her little sister Waverly.

At first, Wynonna tries to run from the curse. Pretend it doesn’t exist, forbidding Waverly from talking about it. She leaves Purgatory, leaving behind Waverly. She may have kept running if not drawn back by her uncle’s funeral, which makes her a two for one special, being a Disaster Chosen One as well as Glorious Dumbass. From the first moment we meet Wynonna, she’s already ready to be done with the curse. She wants no part of it. She may not have suck around at all, if not for Waverly. While she may be a disaster in many ways, Wynonna will always put her loved ones first and Waverly is at the top of that list.

A Dumbass of Heart and Mind

Wynonna is slow to trust and even slower to love, but when she does it’s with unbound depths. It’s no exaggeration to say she’ll go through heaven or hell for someone she loves because she has done exactly that. Okay, it was actually the garden of Eden but still a close enough comparison. It wasn’t a threat against herself that first called Wynonna to action, it was when Waverly was threatened.

She was ready to leave again until she learned the revenants kidnapped Waverly. She marches in with half a plan and her magic gun. The half a plan she does have involves blowing up her own motorbike and shooting at Waverly to cut her down from a noose. The craziest thing is it works, although she does get an assist from then-unknown Doc Holiday. But that becomes Wynonna’s signature; a crazy, half-cocked idea that puts everything on the line. And every plan needs a plan b and Wynonna’s plan b is her team.

A big part of the reason she’s still alive is that she has people in her corner. Waverly and later on Jeremy are the real brains behind the operation. Doc Holiday is the steadfast ally ready to follow her into any war. Dolls was the trained and experienced solider to balance Wynonna’s shoot from the hip style. He also played something of a mentor, a role shared by Nedley, former sheriff and eternal dad of their team.

Then there’s Nicole Haught. Nicole entered the scene as Waverly’s love interest, but she’s always been an indispensable part of the team. For Wynonna, she’s become an ally and friend, second only Waverly. There’s only one small issue. Wynonna and Nicole couldn’t be more different. Where Wynonna is fly by the seat of your pants chaos, Nicole is order and structure. The Dutiful Princess to Wynonna’s Glorious Dumbass if you will. Their clashing personalities get them into trouble a lot before getting them out of it. Like the time they ended up handcuffed together, drunk and fighting demons in the snow, all so the mayor Bunny Loblaw will support Nicole’s bid for sheriff over Wynonna.

When Bunny first suggests it, Wynonna laughs at the idea of her being sheriff. Wynonna knows she’d be an awful sheriff. Nicole knows it. Everyone except Bunny knows it. Yet when Nicole is the one to say it, Wynonna can’t help but dig her feet in and refuse to concede. The only person who tells Wynonna what she can’t do is Wynonna. Her stubbornness gets Bunny kidnapped, and she and Nicole handcuffed together and into a drinking competition with revenants. Wynonna wins by cheating, which naturally leads to them fighting revenants while handcuffed. Not to mention the gnome that wants to make one of them his wife because they broke his actual wife (just your average day in Purgatory).

Wynonna and Nicole handcuffed together in the woods.
Pictured: A Glorious Dumbass and A Dutiful Princess with their natural reactions to chaos.

But at the end of the day, Wynonna is the one to put the fear of demons into Bunny, getting her to appoint Nicole as sheriff. She knew Nicole was the best choice but she wasn’t going to admit that to her face. Wynonna and Nicole’s relationship is the perfect example of love and hate not being opposites. Its the kind of relationship that flourishes around the Glorious Dumbass, especially with a Dutiful Princess personality. Yes, they drive each other insane. Their personalities are as different as can be. And yes, they’re ready to back each other up in any fight, no questions asked.

Ain’t No Legacy Holding Her Back

The paradox of Wynonna is that her cavalier attitude towards the Earp curse was the very thing that drove her to break it. She didn’t want this curse and she certainly didn’t want to spend the rest of her life chained down by it. When her daughter comes along, it only redoubles her efforts to end the curse for the sake of her family.

But she realizes the revenants are cursed, same as the Earps, caught up in a cycle of vengeance. For some of them, they were innocent men and women who were just collateral. Ending the Earp curse would also mean damning them all to hell. Or it would if Wynonna didn’t play by her own rules. She took the fight to Bulsha,r the demon who cursed her family in the first place, and did what no other Earp Heir could do. She broke the curse. She maybe didn’t have to drug her team for the sake of keeping them safe but see my previous point of her walking in with half a plan. They forgive her. Eventually. With time and one well deserved right hook.

Wynonna, using a pad to stop her bloody after a well deserved punch from Nicole.
Yes, she’s using a pad to treat her bloody nose.

As for those revenants undeservingly damned by Wyatt, if Wynonna left them in a magical convent to keep each other company for eternity, well, all the power to them. That’s one of the best qualities of the Glorious Dumbass, their ability to leave the past in the past. For Wynonna, literally cursed by past action not her own, moving forward for herself is perhaps her biggest defiance of her family’s legacy.

Wynonna’s best and sometimes her worse feature is her ability to bulldoze through her problems no matter what anyone else says or thinks. The pain of her past buried under layers of wit and innuendo she’s out done every Earp Heir before her. And she did it for herself, not for any ancestor gone. The self-proclaimed ‘crazy chick with a gun’ might just be crazy enough to get everything she wants.

Images Courtesy of SyFy

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Author

  • Proud Trinidadian. Writer, poet and game writer when she isn't busy dissecting fictional worlds or galavanting through the latest video game.

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