‘Wynonna Earp’ Finale: Creator Emily Andras On Unexplored Season 5 Stories, How Syfy Series Made Her “Braver In Every Way”

Wynonna Earp
Syfy

SPOILER ALERT: This post includes details about the series finale of SYFY’s Wynonna Earp.

It all came full circle for the Earp sisters in the series finale of Syfy’s Wynonna Earp. The supernatural series from creator, executive producer and writer Emily Andras, went out with a bang as Wynonna Earp (Melanie Scrofano), Waverly Earp (Dominique Provost-Chalkley) and the rest of the gang gathered for one last family gathering at the homestead.

The final episode “Old Souls,” written by Andras, finally brought Waverly and Nicole Haught’s (Katherine Barrell) long-awaited wedding to center stage. As the soon-to-be newlyweds (a.k.a. WayHaught) prepared the Earp homestead for an intimate ceremony, Wynonna tries on her sister’s wedding dress for cheap thrills. The fun comes to an end when she realizes the wedding gown is impossible to remove, even when a non-Vampire Doc Holliday (Tim Rozon) attempts to cut it off her body.

Naturally (or supernaturally), the wedding dress lives with a hex from a Lizzie Borden-type bride that curses every wedding in the Ghost River Triangle to end in a bloody massacre. Doc and Wynonna attempt to fool the killer bride-turned-bridal shop owner into lifting the curse, but to no avail. Before the demon unleashes her wrath, Waverly interrupts to effortlessly trap and appease the villain herself.

Later, in the small ceremony officiated by Jeremy (Varun Saranga), Nicole and Waverly exchange their vows and say their “I do’s.” Though the finale may not feature a heartbroken cupid infecting characters with love sparkles, romance was in the air for the small group of friends. Beyond the newlyweds, Jeremy sets a date with a handsome caterer, Rachel (Martina Ortiz-Luis) gets another chance with a non-Reaper Billy Clanton (Billy Bryk) and Wynonna recognizes her true feelings for Doc, who plans to leave Purgatory behind to live his mortal life to the fullest.

Wynonna Earp
Katherine Barrell and Varun Saranga in the Wynonna Earp series finale, “Old Souls.” SYFY/ Michelle Faye

Wynonna, after receiving pressure from her found family, slaps on her signature leather pants and fringe jacket to chase down Doc on the outskirts of the Ghost River Triangle.

“I love you Doc. I love you in that bottom-of-the-deep-dark-well way. I love your face and your butt and your drawl and your heart,” she tells her long-time demon-slaying partner. “And I love the way you love my sister and I love the way you love me.”

After Doc reciprocates his feelings for Wynonna, the two leave behind almost everything, save for each other and Peacemaker. They drive down the open highway on Wynonna’s hog for their next adventure, which may even include a stop in Montana to visit their daughter Alice Michelle.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve traveled light,” Earp says.

Andras spoke to Deadline ahead of the series finale to break down WayHaught’s big day, the future Purgatory’s Scooby gang and more. Read the full interview, which has been edited for length and clarity, below.

DEADLINE: How did the finale match up with what you had originally planned from the very beginning of the series? 

EMILY ANDRAS: What was important to me on Wynonna Earp with the finale is to give everybody some version of happiness. It didn’t have to be perfect because Wynonna Earp, both the show and the heroine, have never been perfect. They’re messy. They make mistakes. They’re sly, but I really think the message I wanted to convey was if you can find any semblance of joy and happiness and contentment in your life, that’s good. That’s rare, and you know, sometimes you shouldn’t look a gift in the eye. That’s enough. That can be enough if you let it be enough.

DEADLINE: Was the WayHaught wedding always slated to be in the finale? What about Doc and Wynonna setting out for a new chapter?

ANDRAS: I mean, “always” is a tough word, right? You always start with the best intentions, and I think you have to have a plan, certainly, when you’re starting out a series, but things evolve. If I had known I had eight seasons, I probably would’ve pushed the wedding a little later, probably would’ve found another reason to keep Wynonna and Doc around, but the wedding really felt like a gift to the fans who have supported us – including members of the LGBTQ community. It’s very rare for two gay characters, particularly women, to have a happy ending on TV. That was not something I was going to compromise on. I was determined to give WayHaught, Waverly and Nicole, a happy ending. And I think they are happy, which is good.

Wynonna Earp
SYFY/ Michelle Faye

With Doc and Wynonna, it just felt like the right move for them to leave. The pilot episode starts with Wynonna very reluctantly coming back to this town that hates her, and just looking for the first excuse to get the hell out of there, but she kind of is trapped and blackmailed to stay, and she does stay ultimately for her sister. For her sister to give her permission and say things are different, this is your home now, you will always be welcome here, and I know you’ll always return to me, but go and have adventures, go with the man you love and go see what happens – it felt like a nice bookend to where we started. I was pretty pleased with that.

DEADLINE: In February, during the mid-season break, Syfy announced that the series would end with season four. What kind of work did you need to do to accommodate an unexpected series finale?

ANDRAS: We always had the specter of season five hanging over our head, and we were very hopeful. We only found out the show would not be returning on Syfy in January or February, and we had finished shooting in about August.

What we were really dealing with mid-season was the pandemic like everyone else. We went back in July after shutting down in March. I think that because the show has been through the ringer behind the scenes, as far as finances and studios and different networks, I felt that I couldn’t risk having a typical Wynonna Earp finale with a million different cliffhangers. I did think it was worth it for the audience who have been so loyal to at least give them this ending.

There are some storylines that we just haven’t resolved. We have sort of this character who shows up in the first two episodes of season four named Eve, who’s a shapeshifter who seems to be on the loose. We just don’t know where she is right now.

As far as shifting, not that much work had to be done. I just couldn’t risk it. I knew at the beginning of season four that I needed to make sure I hit the wedding and some sort of happy ending for Doc, Wynonna. It was bittersweet, but now that the writing is on the wall, I’m very happy we planned it out that way.

DEADLINE: In addition to Eve, there seem to be other loose threads at the end of season four, like Kate’s whereabouts. What were the other storylines that you were hoping to explore if you were given a season five?

ANDRAS: I mean, I got to keep some of my cards close to my chest. I have a million ideas. I think the return of some villains who maybe we haven’t quite dispatched with, even when it looks like we have. Certainly the Eve storyline. I think we only dove into the tip of the dark angel Waverly storyline. Has Wynonna completely resolved her relationship with being a demon hunter and the gun? Of course, now Nicole Haught as well – she’s this thing called the Angel’s Shield and she’s not permitted to leave the Ghost River Triangle. What does that look like? Are there supernatural abilities affiliated with that, or is she just a mortal who literally can’t leave this prison? And now, of course Doc Holliday is not a vampire, but I’m not sure if he did that on the up and up. Vampires are  a very famously vengeful bunch. I’m not sure they’re going to love the way he went about this.

There’s always more story, especially in a show like Wynonna Earp. There’s always another demon hiding under the bed, and I’m confident there’s a million different ways to continue telling those stories. If we do a movie 5 or 10 years from now, see where people are at, I would love to do something like that. There’s a million different ways for this to live. But it’s funny, it’s like giving birth. Sometimes right after it’s over, you’re like “never again.” “That was so hard,” and then you start to look at your beautiful baby, and they grow up, and you get some distance from the pain, and you’re like “well, actually…”  Now that it’s been a while, I really do think there’s stuff I can tell, but whatever happens I’m genuinely so grateful to have had this experience.

DEADLINE: We see everybody gather back on the Earp homestead, where it all started, for yet another family event. How did you come to the decision to bring everything full circle location-wise? 

Wynonna Earp

ANDRAS: I think both the town and the homestead in particular was a very dark, haunted place for the Earp family. Obviously, there had been a lot of death and destruction. Wynonna has literally shot her own father when she was 12 years old there. Lots of people have died on the homestead. Anytime we seem to be there, there seems to be kind of an awful terrorism event, for lack of a better term. It felt like a way to reclaim that space.

Because of the pandemic, this was the first season that we’ve ever shot in the summer. So, as far as the wedding was concerned, we had such a gorgeous day and we could be outside. Our art department kind of made it look like the greatest Pinterest board of all time. I felt like that was a real gift. It just had a different feeling, and I feel like, it made me quite wistful. Even just having the core characters at the wedding instead of a big crowd, I feel like this was the found family that has fought so hard to redefine their legacy, redefine who they were to one another. But to redefine also this place, like literally to make it a home, but with all the positive connotations that come with that word.

We’ve come so far from the pilot where Wynonna goes back to this kind of abandoned homestead and it’s just such a source of shame. That’s a good metaphor for who the characters were and a lot of the themes we were trying to explore on the show.

DEADLINE: The wedding features empty chairs that represent people who were lost in the series one way or another – Michelle, Julian, Dolls and even Mercedes. How did you arrive at that sequence?

ANDRAS: We knew that we were going to limit the number of people on the homestead, and that was indeed because of the pandemic, but also it did feel right. Like, who are you inviting? Are you inviting Mercedes? Well, then are you inviting Kate? Are you inviting Bunny Loblaw? Then we’re flying people in. I think they would’ve kept it to their core group.

Honestly the art department had set it so beautifully, and then they had set out chairs just so we had the sense of an aisle. My director, Paolo Barzman, and my art director, Trevor Smith said everything looks perfect, but were a bit concerned that these chairs look weird. They came up with this idea where we write the names of the fallen or the missing or the loved ones who couldn’t be here on nametags. I had talked way earlier when we were in prep on the episode about how I wish we could have the ghosts, some type of a ghost of people who had gotten us here, who had kind of ushered WayHaught to this moment of joy and unity.

We had like 20 PAs on set just grabbing markers and writing out nametags, and then it was a real team effort, which is very much Wynonna Earp – very collaborative, good ideas can come from anywhere. It’s one of my favorite parts in the wedding.

Every time I see Dolls’s empty chair right up front, I just think nobody would be here without him and his sacrifice, and there’s something so joyful about them honoring him, again, not with shame, but like with love and recognizing his sacrifice and that he made them all who they are.

DEADLINE: What were some of the other Easter eggs or callbacks in the series finale?

ANDRAS: This happens a lot when you have really lovely fans – the fans have been asking me to do a cameo forever, but I am not an actress at all. I don’t have any interest in being an actor, but I did cave and do the smallest cameo. I am the voice on the phone, the BBD voice who phones Jeremy to tell him that he has a new job as Deputy Director. So, that was my big Meryl Streep moment. It’s terrible, but I feel like that’s my acting debut and that’s the end of it.

DEADLINE: What does the finale mean for Black Badge Division after their secret operation to rid Purgatory of the demons? Is BBD totally in the clear?

ANDRAS: Oh, God, no. I feel like the BBD is like the Force in Star Wars or like HYDRA in Marvel, like you cut off one head and another head grows. I think they’re always in the shadow, waiting. I think they’re more powerful than you think. I think they’re strategic and always bide their time. I think it’s good that they were bested in season four. I think Jeremy will be one of the best bosses they’ve ever had for the Purgatory branch, for the Ghost River Triangle. Never count out a nefarious government organization. Someone needlepoint that – I think that’s a good takeaway.

DEADLINE: If you could expand this universe, for movie or a spinoff, what other threads would you like explore?

ANDRAS: I could write 10 seasons of Mercedes the vampire taking New Orleans by storm. Are you kidding me? Like, there’s so many comedy ideas, or I’d love to do a WayHaught spinoff and bring in more people. I think Rachel growing into her own, or what about Rachel and Alice 20 years from now kind of working together to police the Ghost River Triangle? I’d do Doc and Wynonna going to through state, dealing with supernatural stuff. I think it’s such a rich world and the tone is so fun that there’s lots of potential for reboots or spinoffs or just a continuation of these beloved characters’ stories.

DEADLINE: What did the final days of shooting and celebrating the series’ end look like, given Covid-19 precautions and safety measures?

ANDRAS: There’s two days in particular that really strike me. Obviously, one was the wedding. I mean, it was just so loaded. There was a lot of pressure for it to be very emotional and very beautiful, and I feel like everybody was actually quite serious. They felt that energy, that this was a moment that we had been waiting to deliver and that the fans will have been waiting for, but again, it was just like the universe was smiling on us. It was a beautiful summer day, late August in Calgary, Alberta. We were on the homestead. It couldn’t have been more beautiful. Everybody was very playful, having so much fun together. I just walked around that set, walked around the homestead, really trying to take it in just in case it was the last time, and just thinking about what a miracle it is that we built this. We built this both figuratively and literally. We all took some rocks from the homestead, just sort of for memories.

The the actual last day of shooting was Doc and Wynonna, Melanie and Tim, on the motorbike. It seemed right to put those two together on the last day. They’re very good friends, and it was about them. Again we were kind of in the mountains of Alberta, beautiful day, watching them on the motorbike. I love the image of like Wynonna’s still driving and Doc is secure enough to be on the back. I felt like that was a very iconic, very Earp-y moment where she’s still kind of in charge, but it was very tearful. There were a lot of tears, a lot of hugs, a lot of goodbyes, but a lot of joy. I don’t think anyone wanted to leave that feeling, and of course at the end of the day you’re always hoping that you’ll cross paths again. It was absolutely perfect.

Probably quite a few tears from me on the camera truck as I was looking at the motorbike.

Wynonna Earp
SYFY/ Michelle Faye

DEADLINE: What did it mean to you to bring unapologetic feminist and LGBTQ stories to TV?

ANDRAS: I really wanted everybody to have nuance. I really feel like I have been privileged enough to figure out that that’s my brand. I’m really interested in taking traditional male spaces in a genre and just taking all the people who would normally be on the margins of the story and making them the heroes. I really love the idea of taking a Western with Wynonna Earp and making the women the gunslingers and the queer characters the heroes. They’re even the angels.

Wynonna Earp
SYFY/ Michelle Faye

Another thing that was really great always for me about Wynonna Earp was because we had so many incredible queer and female characters, I never felt like any one of them had to represent the community as a whole. Like, I feel like Waverly and Nicole and Jeremy and Robin, they were all very different people, and Wynonna and Waverly and Nicole and Mercedes and Kate, they were all very different women. Then you see these male characters who really admire the female heroes in their life and weren’t necessarily threatened by that. It felt like a very nice opportunity to turn those traditions and tropes on their heads. I feel that’s just what I want to do going forward with my storytelling. I just don’t want to ever go back. I think that’s what brings me joy, and I think the passion of the audience shows that there’s just a huge, huge fanbase out there for familiar worlds and familiar genre told through a completely unique and different set of eyes.

DEADLINE: As the creator, executive producer and writer of Wynonna Earp, what is your biggest takeaway from helming the series?

ANDRAS: I think that you really need to know what your lines in the sand are. Showrunning and creating and writing in television, it’s collaborative and it’s compromise all the time, and you can’t be a bully and you can’t be a monster about it. If you want to make great TV, you hire the best people you can. You need to let them do their jobs alongside you, and they will lift you up too.

There’s enough glory and triumphs and victories for everyone, but at the same time, it has really taught me personally what I’m willing to compromise on, I’m just not willing to compromise anymore on the characters that aren’t fully fleshed out or diversity, or gender representation. I feel kind of buoyed by the sense that like if you make something unique, there is an audience for it. It doesn’t have to be for everyone, but it really has to be authentic, and that’s what Wynonna Earp has taught me, that people understood the stories we were trying to tell ferociously. It has made me braver. It has made me braver in every way I think, but also grateful.

DEADLINE: What’s next for you?

ANDRAS: My brain is going a mile a minute. I mean, I definitely am very interested in staying in genre. I have some things I can’t quite announce yet, but I’m very excited about. I would like to be even more ambitious with my insane feminist agenda with storytelling. I really want to go for the brass ring. I want to do a big feminist, queer space opera. I want to tackle the fantasy realm. I want to visit ageism and fat culture. Again, spotlight people who maybe don’t get to see themselves on TV. I just want to keep showing new heroes in a way that is both unexpected and feels like it always should’ve been there.

This article was printed from https://deadline.com/2021/04/wynonna-earp-finale-recap-creator-emily-andras-season-5-syfy-series-made-her-braver-in-every-way-1234730309/