What the Earp?!: Fandom and the Season So Far from @kleffnotes

Admittedly I am probably not the person you would come to for a Wynonna Earp article. My Twitter is sort of a hodgepodge of non-fandom and fandom things, but you might not be able to figure out what fandoms I am a part of. This ties into my innate sort of fear of fandom, this has nothing to do with any particular fandom and I was, I think at least, a pretty big part of the Carmilla fandom for a period of time. When new content for that stopped coming out I sort of dropped out of the fandom realm.

I own a lot of Wynonna Earp merch and have back every campaign that has been promoted, but I don’t typically call myself an Earper. I know a lot of Earpers and they are lovely, but as I’ve gotten older I have just found myself feeling uncomfortable in fandom spaces. I never feel enough and I feel like I am often too critical of things I watch to fully fit in with those who have such a deep love of some things. Now I do think being critical has a part in fandom, but it also sometimes leads to difficult moments and often seems squashed. This is not in any particular fandom, just something I have always sort of felt about fandoms in general.

Now Earpers are a fandom that promote family and bonding over both their love of the show and their ability to be there for each other. It is a powerful unit and this group of people across the globe has done things for this show that I have never seen happen before. They have kept the show on the air and even with a roughly 2 year hiatus they still managed to convince the higher ups that more episodes should happen. This new season only has two episodes so far and I had hoped to share some Earpers, and those who might not consider themselves to be Earpers officially, opinions. The one problem is that while I tried to post something on Twitter, the only social media I actively use on a daily basis, I received only two responses back. One person I do know personally and my wife and I, not yet married at the time, did double date with her and her girlfriend, Abbie, while in Las Vegas one year. The other response was fun and very short and will be included at the end of this article. The fact that I am not a super visible part of the fandom I think is probably why responses were so limited, but sometimes we just have to roll with inconveniences to plans.

When Season Four was about to release I knew I would need to rewatch Season 3. Yes, you are probably shocked, but I had not had time to rewatch the previous season during the hiatus. My wife Krista and I binged it together and then have had to purchase each episode because we do not have any way to watch the show live. This means we can’t live tweet and that we watch together on the Monday after the episode originally airs. After episode one we were both admittedly a little confused. The Garden was not what we expected and we kept trying to puzzle out how long they would be there and how the heck Wynonna was going to get to Doc and Waverly. We also totally did not understand the weird building that was being fed blood. I think it might actually be inspired by something. The downside is while I felt like I should know what it was inspired by I couldn’t think of it. When Nicole appeared in her birthday suit in the first episode I immediately said that isn’t Nicole. The hair was a great way to indicate this was not the true Nicole. The second episode did what I hoped it would, which was get everyone back to Purgatory and establish the jump in the timeline of the show.

The major part of episode two that I think the entire planet might be talking about is the stairwell sex scene between Nicole and Waverly. I admittedly was shocked, like mouth completely open with just no words. This was genuinely the most explicit sex scene I had ever seen on any show. I don’t even think I had seen one that had the sort of full openness in presentation of queer female sex. I’ve watched Vida and both The L Word and Generation Q and somehow this scene still felt very different from anything they had ever presented. I think the major difference had to do with the visuals. We see both characters receiving in different ways and I don’t remember ever seeing this. It was a beautifully filmed scene, it reminded me of one of my favorite scenes from the Hannibal television series, which is high praise. I do applaud both actors for being open to doing this scene and I believe it was handled well within the show. I also trust that there was a lot of discussion about this scene prior to filming and that there was love and protection for the actors there.

I want to include here Hayley’s response to the Wayhaught scene, which is beautifully written and highlights the power of this scene:

“The Wayhaught scene we were given in the most recent episode of Wynonna Earp is something truly special. First and foremost, it’s a celebration of the passionate love and longing between Waverly and Nicole— two queer women who mean the world to one another. Nothing about their love scene is uncomfortably sexualized or shown through the male gaze; in fact, what’s depicted here is the exact opposite. Plus, the whole thing is beautifully shot! I also really appreciate the fact that instead of just cutting to the next scene, Wayhaught got to have a sweet moment with meaningful conversation afterwards. This scene has certainly raised the bar for me when it comes to queer representation, and I hope to see more scenes like it (especially between two women) in the future!”

You can find Hayley on Twitter, @hayleyr_p, and she also periodically writes for Lesbiapart Magazine and Flip Screen.

I appreciate the tweets I did see where Earpers said that both Kat Barrell and Dominique Provost-Chalkley should be treated with the utmost respect and no one should ask them any uncomfortable or intrusive questions about filming that scene. I understand that the scene was in some ways for the fans, though it did also make sense with the amount of time that had passed between the two characters and the joy and desire Nicole felt and wanted to share with Waverly. I admittedly, while the scene was beautifully filmed, was immediately very concerned for the actors after seeing it. Not because I had concerns about how the scene was done or handled on set, but because I have been to conventions where questions for actors in a variety of shows have touched on the inappropriate.  Kat and Dominique are both lovely people and are very open with fans, but I just became so concerned that this scene would open them up to uncomfortable gifs, prying questions about what it was like being in that scene with each other, and so much more. I hope that ultimately people do not take this scene and create issues for either of them, but that concern is still there, which in some ways makes that scene awkward for me to watch. I do trust Earpers will be classy and all of the Earpers I know would be very respectful toward the actors, but still the internet and sometimes fans do not behave the way you hope.

Now to include the very fun and brief response I received regarding the Wayhaught scene, below please find the screenshot of  Dani_Po (Apruebo) saying “The wayhaught scene broke my brain.”Screenshot_20200803-212245_2

Share your thoughts with us in the comments or on Twitter, @thenerdygirlexp. You can find me on Twitter, @kleffnotes, on my blog, kleffnotes.wordpress.com, and on my kleffnotes YouTube channel.

Image for article from E Online, credited to Arne Ratermanis

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