As a regular installment, Wynonna Earp Season 4 Episode 6 checked off all the boxes.
There were equal parts drama and comedy, plenty of twists and turns, and moving dialogue.
What else could you want? Well, for a midseason finale, a sense of what comes next would be great.
As The Powers That Be proved on Wynonna Earp Season 4, the series struggles when it doesn't have a clear storyline mapped out from beginning to end.
The beginning is intriguing, and the ending is compelling, but the middle is just a complete mess.
Jeremy: I am so glad you didn’t croak.
Nicole: Yeah, but I frogged up, bad.
Jeremy: Hey, it’s just what happens when we’re not all together.
This first half of the season fell victim to that disharmony during Wynonna Earp Season 4 Episode 3 and Wynonna Earp Season 4 Episode 4, and I'm worried that the middle episodes for the back half of the season will follow suit.
Some plot threads suggest where the characters may be headed, but there are few clues about what the gang will face next in terms of the supernatural.
It could be Eve coming to wreak havoc, or Cleo raging war as the new Clanton heir, or even Black Badge declaring war on Purgatory. There's just no way to know, and that's worrisome.
If the writers have the remainder of the season planned out, then our fears may be for naught, but it's still somewhat hard to rely solely on blind faith.
It's also worth noting that this episode was never intended to be a midseason finale.
The novel coronavirus pandemic shut down production, as it did for most shows, and the cast and crew had just finished filming the sixth episode.
So while the last episode filmed before production halted did work as a midseason finale, the writers never penned it to be such.
It was just how things worked out, so my apprehension may be a tad premature.
Diatribe aside, this was a spectacular episode that gave most of the characters room to shine, and the writers expertly managed to balance the fraught tension with hilarious frog-related antics.
There were also some tear-jerking moments and a very long-awaited engagement, which had everyone whooping.
Rosita: If the Earp curse is done Wynonna, why do you still need Peacemaker?
Wynonna: Because my work isn’t done.
Wynonna [to Peacemaker]: And neither is yours, with your holier than thou attitude, deciding who gets to wield your rusty ass. You think I’m not worthy. Judgy tool. You’re the one hiding like a little bitch.
Rosita: Wynonna, they’re coming.
Wynonna [to Peacemaker]: The curse may be over, but you know what, our enemies won’t stop coming just because we want them to. And I know you want what I want: to keep kicking evil ass. Enough bullshit. I do what needs to be done ‘cause I’m a hero, and you know what, sometimes, that makes me a killer.
Demon Nun: If you won’t fight, you’re both going to die.
Wynonna: Holy fuck. Come to mama. Hey, sexy. I missed you, too.
So though the path forward is unclear, it's safe to say nothing will ever be the same.
First off, Waverly and Nicole are engaged. It's been a long road, but our favorite couple finally made it.
No one deserves this moment of happiness more than they do, and it couldn't have come at a better time: still high off their victory over the Clantons, surrounded by their friends and family.
It was a moment of pure bliss, but we have to wonder how long will it last.
Though no one chided Nicole for the deal she made with Ma'am, she still made a deal to trade Waverly for Doc.
Even if everyone brushed it aside, for the time being, Nicole might still face some backlash for her decision.
She was desperate and at her wit's end, but she still sold out one of her own to get Waverly back.
And even if no one faults her, Nicole might still find herself struggling with that guilt, now that she remembers the full extent of her deal.
Also, Waverly will have her own demons to contend with, as this episode found her taking a human life for the first time.
Ma'am was all sorts of evil and deserved to die a horrible and painful death, but that will be of little comfort to Waverly.
Nicole: Waverly Earp.
Waverly: Please, let me. Nicole Haught, will you marry me?
Nicole: Yes. Yes. Yes, I will marry you.
Sure, Waverly's seen Wynonna kill plenty of revenants, but it's different when she's the one responsible, not her sister.
Someone as pure and good as Waverly can't walk away from that unscathed.
Killing Ma'am will continue to eat away at her, and it's unclear how she'll be able to move on from that.
And while Waverly may lose sleep over killing Ma'am, Wynonna's most certainly not going to after offing Holt.
While it was disappointing, but not necessarily unexpected, that Holt died, it's more interesting to look at why he died, but baby-stealing Rosita found a sort of peace.
In a way, both Rosita and Holt were caught in the crossfire of something bigger than themselves.
Rosita's eternal damnation was the courtesy of bad timing and poor choice in men.
As a human, she didn't do anything particularly bad to warrant her afterlife fate, but because she had the unfortunate luck of being in the company of a guy on Wyatt Earp's "shit list," she became a revenant.
Like Rosita, Holt's fate was also out of his hands.
He had the misfortune to be born into a family with a century-old vendetta against the Earps.
Holt: I wanted to talk to you man to man. I’ve been thinking about what you said: ‘The blood we shed damns us all.’ I’m tired, Holliday. I’m tired of this fight. Having a beef with anyone’s people that I even barely know because my ancestors lost an unfair shootout.
Doc: No disrespect, but your ancestors were drunken assholes.
Holt: As were your friends and…
Doc: I was their asshole king. People can change.
Holt: I believe that. I got a job now where I can do some real good, and there’s a woman who works at the diner, and I would love nothing more than to be able to invite her out to dinner at Shorty’s and not having to worry about an Earp shooting me in the back.
Doc: So, we set enmity aside for the sake of those that bare our names, present and future?
Holt: Not the past.
Doc: I’m damn near 170 years old, Sheriff. The past is but a burden. What’s done is done.
This was never something he wanted, yet he still had to shoulder this burden.
All he wanted was a simple life, but his family and lineage made that impossible.
So why was Rosita pardoned for her sins while Holt had to die for his? It's a complicated issue.
If we look at just their transgressions throughout the series, Rosita seems to be the guiltier party.
She tried to steal and sell Wynonna and Doc's baby for safe passage out of Purgatory, something which is unforgivable.
In contrast, Holt's worst crime was beating out Nicole for sheriff and locking Wynonna up for murder.
So at a surface glance, Wynonna's actions make little sense.
It's only when we dig a little deeper, we find the answers.
Before Rosita was the enemy, she was a friend, or at the very least, friend-adjacent.
She helped reverse engineer Dolls' drugs and was pretty accepting of her boyfriend having a baby with someone else. Heck, she even helped throw Wynonna a baby shower.
Wynonna: Why are you playing the old hag’s game?
Rosita: I am a survivor.
Wynonna: Last words that will look super ironic on your tombstone.
Rosita: The more you choke, the harder I get.
Wynonna: OK, boner.
However, all of that went out the window when Wynonna discovered Rosita was a revenant.
Suddenly, all Rosita had done for Wynonna, and her friends became irrelevant, and she was now just another demon to be sent back to hell.
But to prove she hadn't forgotten everything Rosita did, Wynonna promised to kill her last. How nice.
So while it's inexcusable what Rosita did next, it's somewhat understandable.
Rosita was desperate after everyone turned on her and thought this was the only way out.
Fear is a powerful motivator, and it makes us do crazy things, say like selling a baby on the black market to escape going back to hell.
Until this episode, Wynonna never thought about things from Rosita's point of view.
Rosita was always the villain in the story, but after spending some time together, Wynonna realized the role she played in Rosita's shift in allegiance.
That's not to say that Wynonna will ever forgive Rosita for what she tried to do, but the pair was able to come to a detente of sorts.
Holt: We had one chance to end this, Earp. One goddamn chance, and now there is nothing you can do to right the wrongs of the OK Corral.
Wynonna: Oh my god, get over it. Your sicko witch mom had it coming.
Holt: You make your peace, Earp.
Doc: Lower your weapons. Stand down.
Wynonna: Go ahead and off the son of a bitch, Doc.
Holt: It’s too late, Holliday. It’s too late.
Doc: It is never too late to bury a grudge.
Part of that was Wynonna accepting responsibility for how she treated Rosita.
The other -- and much bigger -- part was that Wynonna now has someone else to blame for Alice's attempted kidnapping and sale: Ma'am Clanton.
That discovery changes everything.
For while Holt has never done anything that egregious to the Earps, it's just one more sadistic thing that his family has done.
It wasn't good that Cleo tried to feed Wynonna to troll Nedley after sending the reaper after her.
Ma'am's manipulation and hexing of Nicole were worse.
But trying to buy Alice, well, that's indefensible.
It's also the straw that broke the camel's back.
All of the Clantons' sins then became conflated and were unfairly placed on Holt.
And since Wynonna couldn't take out her wrath on Ma'am, she took it out on Holt, doing what Doc believed to be untenable: shooting a man in the back.
Nedley: So you’re going to chat with Nicole through a creeper.
Waverly: Reaper. Someone in this room made it their bitch and then tossed it down the stairs, and I think that someone was a ginger goddess. Besides, anyone got a better idea?
Wynonna could try to justify her actions by saying that the Clantons would never stop coming, which, in part, is probably true.
However, we all know the real reason she fired Peacemaker, and it has nothing to do with protecting her family.
It was revenge, pure and simple. But her decision to kill him was also kind of confusing because if Wynonna truly believed the Clantons would never stop coming, why did she just kill Holt?
With Holt dead, Cleo presumably becomes the new Clanton heir, so shouldn't Wynonna have just finished the entire family rather than leave its craziest member alive.
Cleo doesn't share her late brother's view on brokering peace, so it was just beyond stupid that Wynonna just let her live. Cleo may not be the smartest Clanton, but that doesn't mean she won't be a thorn in the Earps' side in the future.
With Ma'am and Holt no longer there to reign in her crazy and her bloodthirst for the Earps reaching an all-time high, Cleo could be a problem in the final six episodes. Wynonna really should have killed Cleo when she had the chance.
It doesn't really matter, I guess, because, with that act of killing Holt, Wynonna may have just lost her person. For while Wynonna is willing to accept that she sometimes has to be a killer, Doc doesn't see things that way anymore.
Hearing Wyatt recount their adventures together on Wynonna Earp Season 4 Episode 5 shook Doc.
After 170 years of life, he's taking a good, hard look at himself in the mirror and doesn't see what he likes.
He has age and perspective that Wynonna, who's in her late 20s or early 30s, hasn't experienced yet.
To Doc, everything Wynonna had to do until she broke the curse was because of Wyatt.
She was paying the price of Wyatt's sins, but now that the curse is broken, she can rise above it and make her own decisions.
Wynonna: My whole life demons, townspeople, enemies have tormented me and my family. OK, I have had to kill again and again just to live another day. Doc, do you think I give a shit about honor?
Doc: You have had to do those things because of Wyatt Earp.
Wynonna: Yeah, you were his best friend.
Doc: I was.
Wynonna: I think you’re just pissed because he told the truth about you in that video.
Doc: You think that was the truth about me? Maybe.
Wynonna: Do you want me just to say it, Henry? I like you because you’re not perfect. You’re all busted up inside like me.
Doc: I do not want to be anymore.
Wynonna: Must be nice to have a choice.
Doc: You have a choice, Wynonna. Did you ever wonder why the Clantons never turned revenant? Because, yes, I had to clean up Wyatt Earp’s mess when he shot and he ran. At the OK Corral, I killed them.
Wynonna: Doc, I never run and I never will.
Doc: I guess you and that gun deserve each other.
For Wynonna, though, she's OK that sometimes she'll need to be the bad guy with the decisions that match, as long as her loved ones are safe.
This difference in beliefs has caused a schism in their undefined relationship, and it's going to be hard for them to rectify that.
The new dichotomy, though, goes farther than simply a difference of opinions; it challenges who they are at their very core.
Doc no longer wants to be a killer, whereas Wynonna is alright with being one, provided it's to protect her friends and family.
He also no longer wants to be a broken, shell of an immortal anymore and wants to find a way out of his metaphorical well, but he can't do it if he's by Wynonna's side.
Wynonna is uncompromising in her beliefs, and Doc loves her enough to do whatever she asks, even if it goes against his wishes.
However, he's beginning to realize to be the
person vampire he wants to be may mean taking a step back from the woman he loves.
Wynonna: You know these wenches?
Rosita: Yeah, some of them from a long time ago. Victims of Wyatt Earp.
Wynonna: America’s most beloved executioner. He was such a dick. How did he…
Rosita: Collateral damage. Wrong place, wrong time. Cursed once but protected here it seems.
It's a sad realization for Doc, but one he's going to try to keep.
When the show returns for the final six episodes of Wynonna Earp Season 4, we may find a very different Doc and a very different Wynonna because of Doc's absence.
The pair has reached an impasse, and with both of them being as stubborn as they are, it's unclear how they'll resolve their issues.
That's not to say they won't put their differences aside and be there for the other should a life-or-death situation emerge -- it's Purgatory, so you know it will -- but their day-to-day interactions will be drastically different.
No more double entendres and sexy banter.
No more titillating foreplay.
No more WyDoc as we've come to know and love them.
Some stray thoughts:
Kat Barrell did a phenomenal job these past six episodes. She played like four different characters (Nicole, Eve, Eve pretending to be Nicole, and ghost Nicole) and had some very challenging scenes, from being drowned in saltwater to dry heaving frogs.
Does anyone else want a spinoff featuring Rosita? Just me?
Wynonna's plea about why she still needed Peacemaker was very poignant. It hit home about who she is at her core and what's most important to her.
So what did you think Earpers?
How did the midseason finale stack up?
Did Holt deserve to die?
Can Wynonna and Doc come back from this?
Hit the comments below to let me know your thoughts. If you happened to miss the midseason finale, remember you can watch Wynonna Earp online at TV Fanatic.
Jessica Lerner is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.