Wynonna Earp 3x02 "When You Call My Name" Review
Hello, a crestfallen Earper here *waves sadly*. Not really sure how to start — I’ve rewritten this review three times — so here goes my Wynonna Earp episode 3x02 “When You Call My Name” review, accompanied by the five stages of grief.
“Geez, We’re having a day” - Wynonna Earp
We pick up right where we left off at the end of the Season 3 premiere last week, with Wynonna and Waverly in a bad car accident that was apparently a hunting tactic of a gnarly people eating, voice stealing demon that lives in a cabin in the woods (cliche much, demon?). Wynonna awakes literally halfway down the side of a cliff...how she got there still puzzles me, but that is the least concern I had watching this episode.
She is still in her fancy “frock” (thanks for the colorful word, Mama Earp) from her run in with the vampires last episode. She is banged up and literally freezing, realizing her body is going into shock only after she recognizes she’s having a full on conversation with her mom on the side of a cliff, when she knows her mom is actually a patient in a nearby mental institution.
It was actually such a great way to get to know “Mama” Earp, through Wynonna’s mind's eye, making quite the juxtaposition from the slightly raving Mama we met in the season premiere.
Illusion!Mama Earp gives Wynonna a pep talk to climb to safety, but in doing so she has to leave Peacemaker down on the side of the cliff...which poses problems later. And after she's back on solid ground she grabs her coat and a swig of whiskey from the crashed truck and is off to save her sister, demons be danged!
“Secrets suck, I hate them!” - Jeremy Chetri
Over at Black Badge, the day just keeps getting worse. Nicole, of course, wasn’t convinced by the demon impersonating a chill Waverly. Jeremy confirms what killed all the people at the bar from the previous episode — it was a demon that can apparently apparate from one victim to another so quickly it made the mass murder seem like it happened at once. And they think he’s been doing it as a blood sacrifice to Bulshar for years and years, how reassuring! *insert nervous laughter*
The team knows they need to stop this demon fast, but first they gotta get the team together. Jeremy and Dolls obviously have a few secrets going on between them but Dolls keeps giving Jeremy the “don’t you dare” look. Upon my rewatch of this episode, I realized I should’ve felt more primed for the inevitable setup of what happens to Dolls in the last five minutes, I was but a sweet summer child when I was watching live and did not look for the blatant clues laid out before me.
“Craft night is Thursdays.” - Doc Holliday
Dolls goes to collect Doc so the team can assemble. Doc is downright FROSTY to Dolls and is missing that trademark sarcasm and humor that makes him so delightful. He is sad about Baby Alice, but more so his problem is that he died back in that alternate timeline in Season 2 when Dolls shot him. And he went to hell.
For a man that’s lived 150 years, most of those with his “curse” of immortality, that’s gotta be a very new and scary feeling, knowing you can die and that you went to hell. He seems to think he can’t be redeemed from that fate, and I hope he realizes that’s not true. “You and I are destined for the dark,” he tells Dolls, anger and anguish flashing in his wild eyes.
Dolls does not accept this gloomy fate, stating, “We’re not the same, I don’t need a threat of damnation to fight for the right side.” Ouch, what a burn. I hope Doc remembers Dolls’ words for the rest of his life. Doc has a chance to really step up his role in the team after this episode, I hope he rises out of his depression spiral and to the occasion of being a better team player.
Doc catches Jeremy looking for something in the basement of the bar and Jeremy alludes to Doc that there is definitely a problem with Dolls’ drugs...But before Doc can get too heated Nicole texts hims stating she’s found the Earp truck, prompting Doc to tell Jeremy, “Get Dolls, we’re gonna need him. Don’t tell him I said that.”
I am SOOO sad that we won’t have the mutual grumpy bro frenemies relationship of Doc and Dolls after this episode. It adds so much life and one liners to this wild show.
“I swear on my favorite boy band” - Wynonna Earp
Poor Waverly is still strung up like a slain rabbit in the demons cabin, with no voice to cry for help, silently hoping Wynonna and the team come for her. The demon booby trapped his cabin, as a poor lost hunter finds out the hard way; the demon lures the hunter to his death by doorway garrote, crying for help with Waverly's stolen voice. As only Wynonna could state, “This is some kinda crazy Little Mermaid sh*t” when she arrives at the cabin to save her kid sis. Of course, being sisters makes the whole talking without talking thing pretty easy and Wynonna and Waverly even have a heart to heart about Mama without Waverly using words.
I’d also like to point out the cabin demon saying “The trees are changing, I’m getting lost in my own woods, the animals are leaving,” given that the animals didn’t leave with his demonic presence but are now that Bulshar’s presence is there….CONCERNS me. I have a feeling this seemingly random line is gonna come back to haunt the team and the town pretty soon as was proof of the rock n roll tour bus vampires last episode, Purgatory is about to get a whole lot weirder.
Of course Wynonna is wily and cunning, and bests the demon at his own game by running away and using a tape recorder to make him think she fell in his pit trap, only to kick him in herself (but when she left him he was “mostly” dead since she didn’t use peacemaker to dispatch him, I hope she went back and finished the job) . She is caught in one of his tree snares and strung up to be cut down by a still grumpy Doc and the ever reliable officer Haught.
Wynonna still checking out Doc’s butt while hanging upside down is just another iconic Wynonna moment from this episode. If only they all went back to Black Badge and had drinks with Dolls and Jeremy and it was the end of another crazy demons in town episode….but alas, this is where the episode takes a sudden “wtf” turn and I — and most of us live watchers — were left reeling for hours afterwards.
As Doc and Nicole help Wynonna down we cut to someone watching in the woods. It’s the dreaded demon Bulshar himself and his “bodyguard” demon, looking on as the team runs to free Waverly. Insert Han Solo saying, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”
“Wynonna is gonna need you more than ever” - Deputy Marshall Xavier Dolls
So here we are, friends, the reason I have dragged my feet on this review the last few days. The one thing about these last few scenes is we get to see the beautiful snowy Alberta terrain in all its natural rugged beauty.
Wynonna needs to retrieve Peacemaker, so they are back at the cliff, and Nicole is rapelling down via rope to get grab the weapon (her being the only skilled rope climber out of the current group). Of course Dolls shows up to assist and assess; Nicole is literally tethered to the rope at the mercy of Wynonna and Doc, while Dolls helps Waverly to his car when lo and behold the “apparating” demon appears!
It’s Bulshar’s bodyguard demon from earlier! And he is Nightcrawler-from-X-Men fast. He severs Nicole’s rope; Wynonna saves her by grabbing the rope and holding on for dear life; Doc goes into gunslinger mode; but the demon is too fast for him and he renders Doc unconscious in less than 20 seconds. Dolls sees the mayhem, shoves Waverly in the truck, drinks his “dragon drugs” and goes up against the demon.
As the demon is trying to take out Wynonna he gleefully states “You cannot kill me with mortal weapons” as Dolls shoots at him. Waverly answers Jeremy’s emergency comcall informing her that the drugs he’s been making for Dolls have made him “unstable.” Meanwhile, Nicole begs Wynonna to let go and save herself but she refuses, and Waverly adds just enough strength to pull Nicole to safety.
The demon tells them, “Someone must die here today, the earth lusts for blood.” (YIKE!) Doc comes to and is up on his feet they all have that look like “there’s a good chance we’re all gonna die” but Dolls grabs onto the bodyguard demon and doesn’t let go, his eyes turning yellow and his strength increasing. All of a sudden, flames are shooting out of his mouth, engulfing himself and the demon. The demon is incinerated by Dolls’ dragon flame, and Dolls is left lifeless on the ground.
“No more pain. No more drugs. No more demons.” - Wynonna Earp
Wynonna and the team rush to Dolls’ side, checking his pulse, his breath, for any sign that he’s alive. Even Doc is shaken to his very core when Dolls doesn’t “wake up.” Wynonna and Waverly begin to cry and Wynonna, like many of us, is in disbelief.
“He saved us. He saved me. How is this okay? How is he lying here?” Wynonna, bb, I was asking my TV the same questions. She keeps saying, “Open your eyes,” it’s heart wrenching and honestly confusing because it doesn’t feel like a final death in the moment? I was thinking it was gonna be like Supernatural or The Vampire Diaries where it’s a temporary death that they have to “fix.”
It wasn’t until afterwards when I got online and saw the article from Emily Andras (the showrunner) and once I learned Shamier Anderson was moving onto Hollywood projects that I realized it was final. I was left feeling kinda numb. Like, that’s all we get?
Yes, he did go out a hero saving his friends; yes, he did kill the demon, but in the grand scheme of “leading man exiting series” it didn’t feel grand enough? It was too short. What about tying up loose ends? How did he become a hybrid lizard man? What about his and Wynonna’s will they won’t they relationship? How did he join Black Badge?
I have so many unanswered questions about his character! It just doesn’t feel complete.
I love this show a lot. It’s fun! Daring! It thinks outside the box! BUT I have noticed sometimes plot threads are dropped or aren’t coherent. (Like the Season 2 finale scene between Nicole and Dolls, what even was that for? Will we ever know?!?!) And I for one HATE plot holes or misdirection in TV shows, I feel like they do it for shock or to keep you guessing…but if there isn’t any payoff or it’s done haphazardly it’s not worth my time.
The more I cover TV shows for critical analysis or review platforms like Truth Bee Told, the more annoyed I get with the way some things are written/executed. This wasn’t a terrible job by far. But why couldn’t the whole episode be dedicated to Dolls' story? Having a good moment with each character, a little backstory fleshing out etc. Instead, they give him the last five minutes of the episode to go out in a “blaze of glory” and leave Wynonna wailing in the snow.
I will hold out judging more until I see next week’s episode! Maybe they do some post mortem work on Dolls story that will satisfy me...but I’m actually kinda afraid that’s not going to happen. But until next week I will stop my rambling about it.
Besides the ending we got some fabulous witty one liners, great physical acting (Melanie gave that charades scene her all and it was amazing!)
I loved learning more about Mama Earp (her name is Michelle, by the way).
We have some things that will probably come back up, like the forest literally changing.
Bulshar is shaping up to be the worst villain Wynonna has had, but he needs to talk soon, I grow tired of these “looks on menacingly” once an episode scenes. I need him to be fleshed out like Bobo (who is still by far my fave baddie to date).
I give this episode 3 ½ out of 5 bees because I’m feeling a little petty but also because I feel this episode wasted too much time setting up what should’ve been the focal point of the episode the sacrifice and death of Dolls. Until next time, Earpers!
Wynonna Earp airs Fridays at 9/8c on Syfy.