They say good things come to those who wait.
Well, Earpers, I guess we must have been pretty good because Wynonna Earp finally returned after two years.
While we wish it hadn't taken that long, Wynonna Earp Season 4 Episode 1 went a long way toward making up to viewers during those torturous months when they were deprived of their favorite snarky, generally badass (former) heir and her demon-fighting friends.
Starting with Wynonna, on the surface, she seems like her same old self -- confident, brave, always quick with a joke, willing to do whatever it takes to save her friends and family.
And even though she's still very much Wynonna Earp, she's also struggling with who she is at her very core now that she's not the heir anymore.
Being the Earp heir has been her main identity throughout the entire series.
She may have loathed it at times, but it was still a huge part of her life.
Now, though, Bulshar is dead and the curse has been broken.
Her main purpose for existing, so to speak, is gone, and she finds herself floundering.
Merdeces: And then these manly black trucks surrounded my house and Kate, she was like, ‘No, you’re too beautiful die,’ [Hissing sound] and I was like, ‘No way. We are in this together.’
Wynonna: So you guys totally boinked?
Mercedes: Because I think she must have vampire mind-mushed me because the next thing I know, I’m running away from the house, totally against my will.
Wynonna: Are you sure your brain wasn’t pre-mushed?
Mercedes: So I decided to come here and wait for the friggin’ heir to show up.
Wynonna: Well, I’m the heir of anything any more, Mercedes. The curse is broken. I killed your demon hubby Bulshar.
Mercedes: That’s great. What did he leave me?
Wynonna: A disaster zone.
It goes beyond not simply having Peacemaker by her side, as that gun represented more than just her ability to kill revenants and send them back to hell.
Peacemaker was the item that enabled her to be in the heir, so without it, it's just another reminder of who she no longer is.
Stripped of all of that, she has to re-evaluate who she is and how she plays into this greater fight of good versus evil.
And while Wynonna has never liked to rely on others, now that she's not the heir, she's going to realize she needs her people now more than ever.
It'd be foolish to think that Wynonna would realize this instantaneously, but she's starting to see that it's not the worst thing in the world to have others help her.
Part of this is made more apparent because she is all alone for the first time since returning to Purgatory, save for Nedley, at the start of the episode.
Dolls is dead. Waverly and Doc are trapped in the Garden. Nicole and Jeremy have vanished.
Almost everyone she's come to rely on for strength and support is gone, leaving her to her own devices to figure things out, something she's not sure she can do.
It's easy to take for granted just how much the people around you have your back and are always there for you.
Wynonna: I’ll forget about this, and you can just forget about the time I slipped you some Sleeping Beauties.
Wynonna: Listen, it’s ancient history.
Nicole: It was yesterday.
Wynonna: Oh right.
Nicole: What if I could have helped? Well, we’ll never know because you left me passed out on the floor.
Wynonna: You couldn’t have done anything.
Nicole: I just jumped off a friggin’ train.
Wynonna: They only got in ‘cause they’re special, so unless you’re like a bisexual angel or an undead gunslinger…
Nicole: Oh no, you don’t get to be the judge of who matters and who doesn’t.
Wynonna: True. I’m just a girl standing in front of a cop asking her to forgive me for slipping her a tiny little bit of roof-beer.
But without them there, Wynonna is acutely aware of just how much comfort she took having that safety net around, even if she did decide to roofie them on occasion.
That experience, though brief, has hopefully made her re-evaluate some things, along with help Nedley and Nicole provided.
The former sheriff doesn't get enough credit, but he really is like a father to Wynonna.
It was Nedley who was by her side when she went to find the stairs, who reminded Wynonna she had what it took to continue on her mission to bring their family home, who was even willing to go with her even though he was injured.
In addition, it was Nedley who held onto Dolls' files, giving Wynonna a place to start looking for another entrance to the Garden.
It's safe to say that without Nedley, the entire mission would have been over before it began.
Like Nedley, Nicole doesn't get enough credit, at least not from Wynonna.
Nicole has continually proven that she's a valuable asset and can handle whatever supernatural shenanigans come their way.
Wynonna: We can use these beaver blasters.
Nedley: You know, now is not the time for marital aids.
Wynonna: It’s always time. These are for busting beaver dams or anything else that gets in our way.
Nedley: You got a sex toy that can find a mysterious place no one else can?
Wynonna: It’s called a G-spot, Nedley.
And again, without her, Wynonna's quest to find the entrance to the Garden could have had a very different outcome in more than one instance.
From going with Wynonna to Monument and saving her from gunfire to pushing her off the grate, Nicole has more than earned the title of MVP this episode.
It's all the more impressive that Nicole did those things after Wynonna drugged her and continued to lie to her.
For Nicole, it may have been worth it because she ended the episode in the Garden with Doc and Waverly.
But even though WayHaught will soon be reunited -- which is reason enough to celebrate -- the gang's still no closer with finding a way out, as access to the Garden seems to be a one-way trip.
Not that Wynonna will give up any time soon, but the gang could be separated for the foreseeable future.
What is clear, though, is that the Garden is anything but paradise.
As Doc said, the Garden doesn't exactly look like the paradise described in the Bible.
It's this cold and barren wasteland that is home to a very temperamental machine of sorts, which gets particularly "hangry" if it's not regularly fed.
Doc: You’re all right now.
Waverly: Doc, you came.
Doc: Of course.
Waverly: Thank you for sucking…
Doc: I do try, Waverly.
Waverly: Bulshar’s poison out of Wynonna’s throat.
That setup alone is apparently enough to drive someone to self-decapitation, and that's not even mentioning the effect being in the Garden has on one's memory.
I'd wonder if the gang had somehow ended up in hell had Bulshar not gone to such extremes to get back there.
Speaking of Bulshar, now that he's dead, does Waverly really need to stay behind when Wynonna inevitably finds a way to free her family.
Sure, Kevin said she had to assume Julian's throne to seal the Garden, but now that the snake who tempted Eve is dead, is there still the need to seal the Garden?
It's not exactly like it's easy to find an entrance to the Garden, and even if one can be found, only certain people may be able to enter it.
There's always the possibility that some other evil entity or demon could try to snake its way into the supposed paradise, but after seeing what the Garden actually looks like, they may not be very interested in an extended stay.
It's possible the reason the Garden is desolate is that there hasn't been an angel presiding over the supposed paradise for years.
Now, though, that Waverly, a half-angel, is there, the Garden could be restored to its former glory.
Waverly: Are you out of your mind?
Doc: What other options do we have? This gentleman just self-decapitated.
Waverly: I’m going to barf.
Doc: Not until we try. You used your angel gumption to revive Julian.
Waverly: Doc, he has no head.
Doc: Well, the head is right there.
This possibility is supported by the flowers and cherry blossom tree, along with calming music, that appeared when Waverly "fed" the machine her blood.
Maybe that alone will be enough.
However, it's also possible that Waverly's blood donation will only have a temporary effect on the Garden, meaning that if she leaves or doesn't feed the machine, paradise will go back to looking like a place in Siberia where prisoners of war are sent.
If this is the case, then one has to wonder how the Garden can be permanently restored from its Paradise Lost status if Waverly sits on her father's throne and becomes stone.
It stands to reason that stone statues can't make regular blood donations to appease the hangry machine, so that could be a problem in and of itself.
And while there's no way Waverly will actually become a stone statue -- at least for good -- maybe her presence is all that's required to rejuvenate the Garden from now on.
Of course, the younger Earp may not have that much of a choice when it comes to assuming her father's throne, as something primal seemed to be urging her to take her seat.
Whatever that force -- whether innate or not is -- it'll be a lot easier to fight with Doc and Nicole by her side.
Sheriff Haught, at least you are wearing a smile.Doc
Seeing her future fiancee should give Waverly more than enough willpower to resist the temptation of the throne.
After all, stone statues can't exactly marry humans.
Lastly, in a not so surprising "twist," it looks like the series is putting its own spin on the character of Valdez.
In the comics, Valdez is a BBD agent who is also a 1,000-year-old Mayan warrior princess.
In the series, well, Valdez, also a BBD agent, is as Mercedes puts it Val-dead.
Who isn't so dead is her daughter Rachel, who Wynonna and Nicole meet at the BBD facility in Monument.
And even though Wynonna and Nicole just met Rachel, it's unlikely they would just leave her there, especially since they know her mother is dead.
They may be relative strangers, but Wynonna knows what it's like to be abandoned by her parents and how hard it can be to be alone.
Wynonna: So, Miss ‘No More Secrets,’ what aren’t you telling me?
Nicole: Waverly proposed to me, and I believe the Romans call it ‘Wynonna interruptus.’
Wynonna: It’s more effective than the pill and a lot cheaper.
Nicole: That’s not how lesbianing works, Wynonna.
When this is all sorted out, it wouldn't be surprising if Rachel came back to Purgatory and stayed with the Earps on the Homestead.
group family isn't traditional in the least, and Rachel is sure to fit right in.
Some stray thoughts:
Now that Nicole is in the Garden, can she please accept Waverly's proposal? We all know that she's going to say 'yes,' but I need to see that WayHaught scene as soon as possible. Scratch that, I'd take any new WayHaught scene at this point. They are #RelationshipGoals.
Who are these mysterious government agents/black ops division that evacuated the rest of Purgatory? They must have some serious backing and first-class weaponry if they plan on blasting Purgatory off the map. When the gang gets back from the Garden, that's going to be a serious problem they'll need to address.
If Kate has seemingly moved on from Doc, does this mean Wynonna and Doc can have a chance at a real, semi-functional relationship this season?
I'd forgotten how epic Wynonna's one-liners are. She may not be the Earp heir anymore, but she sure as heck is still the heir of sass and snark.
Wynonna and Nicole are best friend official. I'm not crying; you're crying.
Apparently Mercedes is sticking around, and I'm totally on board for that. Next to Wynonna, she has some of the best lines.
Nedley's comment about feeling like he's been standing there for two years was perfect. Very meta.
So what did you think Earpers?
Who is Wynonna now that she's not the heir?
How will the gang get out of the Garden?
Does Waverly still need to stay?
Hit the comments below to let me know your thoughts. If you happened to miss the latest episode, remember you can watch Wynonna Earp online right here at TV Fanatics.
Jessica Lerner was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in October 2021.