Saturday, 18 August 2018

Wynonna Earp Jolene Review: "Taking Down Demons"

Last week ended on quite the bizarre note and this week we were treated to an episode that was quite harrowing to watch at times.

We might've already been able to guess that Jolene was a demon, but I don't think anyone would've guessed her to be a demon attached to Waverly since she was born, and those delicious baked goods her way of manipulating the gang into turning against Waverly so she could try and persuade her to commit suicide.

Having watched Zoie Palmer in a number of shows, I can say she is a tour de force and absolutely the right choice for playing Jolene. She nailed the humour, she nailed the manic and that last scene between Waverly and Jolene was gutting to watch.

Mama Earp explained in the beginning of the episode that the demon aka Jolene had been attached to Waverly ever since she was a child. The night of the barn fire, Mama Earp was trying to get rid of her but it went horribly wrong. Since then the demon has been bound to her, and taken great joy in telling Mama Earp of all the things she was going to do to Waverly as she killed her. When Waverly visited Mama Earp and touched her, she unintentionally undid the binding and as we saw at the end of last week Mama Earp was trying for a round 2 of demon exorcism which went wrong.

What I think I liked most about this week is that it would've been easy to have the baked goods act as a permanent casting spell & have the characters spend every second of the episode under Jolene's influence. It's honestly what I was expecting based off last week's ending and I was glad the show didn't go down that predictable route. It was interesting and refreshing to see the characters have moments where they questioned who on earth Jolene was, and shocked by the viral that came out their own mouths and it still kept the plot moving. Despite being a part of the gang in many ways now, Nicole is still left on the fringes in certain situations. Doc is dealing with the ramifications of going to hell and the pity he feels for himself and his situation. Keeping secrets from each other is an issue that occasionally pops up in Waverly & Wynonna's relationship, as is Waverly's feeling of being helpless. And of course Mama Earp is going to feel guilty for leaving her girls.

The only real thing I have to question in the plot is why exactly the Earps thought the security guard was the demon after Waverly, when they had previously met him and would therefore know it's not him but that can probably be put down to the influence of Jolene's cooking. She wanted everyone under her control at first but then slowly and surely decided that turning the gang against each other was her best way to get to Waverly. For the most part it did work and gave us a karaoke brawl and Nicole & Waverly having a major fight. But then with the temporary effects wearing off, slowly and surely all of the characters began to realize that something was amiss. Nicole noticed it when Jolene came onto her. It could've been considered a dangerous move, given the backlash to Waverly & Rosita making out last year, but they played their cards right and had Nicole not only reject Jolene but proclaim her love for Waverly. Sure that got her shoved into a closet, but it's better than the alternative. In the cold light of a hangover day in a police cell, Mama Earp couldn't shake the feeling something was still wrong and when a non influenced Nedley started asking questions about Jolene, they quickly realized she was the demon after Waverly.

The scene in the greenhouse between Waverly & Jolene was honestly heartbreaking. I already had my heart shattered into a billion pieces last night, and it seems as though Wynonna Earp thought it had the right to step on its remains. Jolene couldn't physically hurt Waverly herself due to them being connected, so she tried to persuade Waverly to do it herself. She was feeling down due to all the fallout's she'd had, and Jolene tried to convince her that killing herself would be able to make it all right. She'd be freeing her loved ones of a burden and also freeing herself from pain.

At times it looked like it would work, and that the others would be too late in arriving on the scene to help her, but Waverly Earp is a tough soul. Deep down in her heart of hearts she knew that whilst she may have temporarily fallen out with everyone, it was just that; temporary. There's nothing she could ever do to make Wynonna stop loving her. Likewise it'll take a lot more than a demon influenced fight to break the bond and love that Nicole and Waverly have for each other, and she knows Doc cares about her to. With Waverly feeling a bit more assured in herself, Jolene once again tried to break her spirit but it didn't work and Waverly was able to fight back against her before Wynonna and Mama Earp arrived.

The mystical tree is what in the end proved to be Jolene's undoing and we were treated to nice moments between all 3 Earp girls, and then of course Waverly and Nicole the next day being as cute as they always are.

Whilst the episode was mostly about the demon after Waverly, we also got a bit more information on her background. It seems like Julian is her father and he's an angel, which would make Waverly part angel. We also got a brief cameo from Bobo, who was as delightful as ever. The episode may have been a break from the main plot and treating us to a villain of the week instead but it was a break that worked. We got more information on Waverly's character which helped to fill in some of the blanks, lovely character moments amidst the sadness and that bar fight was quite impressive.

Next week's episode is of course the Christmas themed episode and you can watch it on Syfy at 9pm on Friday.