Spoilers follow for Wynonna Earp Season 3, Episode 7, “I Fall to Pieces.”
Last week’s episode of Wynonna Earp had us all craving Christmas. This week continues the spirit of giving with a Wynhaught-heavy pairing fans eagerly asked Santa (AKA showrunner Emily Andras) for. Season three continues the tradition of featuring Wynonna and Haught spending time together during the seventh episode and honestly, what more could an Earper ask for? Season one had the duo drinking their sorrows away under Nicole’s desk while season two had the iconic sequence where the pair travelled to a strip club to confront (what they believed to be) Wynonna’s Revhead baby daddy.
“I Fall to Pieces” starts off with a bang – in the “coitus” sense of the word – as Wynonna and Charlie Fire Services heat up Purgatory’s fire hall. Can I just say, it’s incredibly rude that these two interrupted Wayhaught campaigning for Nicole’s takeover as sheriff? I love and understand Wynonna’s adult-womanly needs but Sheriff Haught takes precedence over everything on Earth. Nedley shows the duo a secret compartment in his office that he chose to bury any cases with supernatural elements in them, rather than create a sex cave we all knew he definitely had. They find various knick-knacks, doodads and, after violently breaking numerous artifacts, Wynonna chalks up this encounter as Nedley’s attempts to get the two comfortable with working together.
Haught goes up against someone genuinely named Bunny Loblaw. With a name like that, she really should’ve avoided any position involving work of any kind. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt whenever we initially meet them, but Bunny takes all that and throws it out along with Calamity Jane. As the scene went on, it clicked for me that the city councillor was portrayed by none other than Canadian music legend Jann friggin’ Arden, who in just about the briefest of moments manages to reach Joffrey Baratheon/Lannister-levels of manipulation wickedness. As Haught and Wynonna argue in the kitchen about who is more qualified to be sheriff (moot point, we all know Sheriff C. Jane would keep everyone safer than any human possibly could), Bun Bun faints at the sight of a heavily-bearded man wandering outside the house. Thankfully, they utilized the patented Lloyd Christmas/Harry Dunne method of assisting those in need, which involves shoving pills into the victim’s mouth.
We are then led on a delightful sequence of events following Wynhaught as they attempt to get the keys to Haught’s commandeered police vehicle. The “big city” cool frat cats who drunkenly invaded Purgatory managed to Grand Theft Auto their way into Haught’s stalled car, bringing it to a revenant biker gang bar (because that’s where everybody knows your name). It wouldn’t be a Wynonna Earp episode if Wynonna wasn’t drinking in some capacity, so she offers up a drinking contest against the bikers, as opposed to a nice game of Golden Girls trivia to set the Pie Gamma Whatevers free and drive Bunny to the hospital.
I have to say, as someone who doesn’t drink and never saw Coyote Ugly (sorry Nicole), the whole spitting-your-shots-back-into-your-beer strategy is genius. As they waddle away handcuffed (and absolutely smashed, in Haught’s case), I had a brief realization that Haught drank every single one of those shots and kept them all down, unlike the lightweight biker Revhead. That’s some scarily impressive liver capabilities. After being rescued by the previously-seen heavily-bearded wandering man, a problem arises that is pure Wynonna Earp (takes deep breath). As it turns out, the man is married to a lady lawn gnome, who was destroyed when Wynhaught was rooting around Nedley’s secret compartment. This, of course, led him on a violent quest to find a new wife in either Nicole or Wynonna. However Waverly’s puzzle skills allowed her to piece back together his deceased wife, leading her to be revived and back in the arms of her beloved bearded beau. This is why I watch this show.
We weren’t given much in terms of Vamp Doc coming to terms with any newfound abilities he may have attained as a novice vampire in this episode, save for his hand burning itself whenever any ugly jewelry is placed upon it. The unlikely pairing of Doc/Mama spend the day together as Mama visits Ward’s grave and reveals Bobo told her Ward pushed Julian out of the Ghost River Triangle, where he has been missing ever since. Doc is rightfully taken aback when Mama reveals she has set him free, believing he could assist the Earps in the fight against Bulshar. Despite Doc’s objections, Mama ultimately decides to take a page out of her playbook and abandon her daughters in search of Julian, who she believes to be out there beyond the GRT. Surely, this decision will not come back to bite him in the moustache.
Wynonna adorably threatens Bunny Loblaw with the prospect of demons hanging out on her front porch if she doesn’t back Haught for sheriff. That is true love right there. The final few moments of the episode made me curl into an uncontrollable bawling mess. We first gain some insight into Wynonna’s initial hesitancy to accept Nicole for fear that she’d break Waverly’s heart, and then we learn about Nicole’s jealously of Wynonna. As if their bonding wasn’t touching enough, it’s revealed that the person who saved a tiny Haught after the Bulshar massacre was a young Nedley?! As I mentioned in a previous recap, this season has had Nicole Haught backstory insights sprinkled throughout, and I adore all of them. Rather than giving us an exposition-heavy moment in just one episode, we can witness the development of this character as her journey progresses, which ultimately makes it all the more satisfying.
The episode ends with something I never like to see – Waverly in a state of unhappiness. Mama left behind a letter for each Earp sister and Wynonna’s letter basically lets the bat out of the bag. Wynonna learns Doc is a vampire and that Kate turned him. The two engage in a devastating back-and-forth argument that ultimately ends with a method I learned is stupidly serious in the vampire world thanks to my True Blood dedication years ago – Wynonna does not welcome John Henry Holliday into her home. In an episode filled with quips, gags and hilarity, the concluding moments grab onto your heart and refuse to let go even after the credits roll. Yet… another… day in Purgatory? Excuse me while I cry into my Timbits.
There are many remarkable characters in Wynonna Earp viewers would like to see go on adventures with each other, and Wynhaught is at the very top of that list. From Haught claiming Wynonna is not qualified enough to run a Chipotle (“Guac-A-Cuse me?”) to Wynonna interpreting Haught’s tactical hand signals as dick motions, Melanie Scrofano and Kat Barrell work brilliantly off one another. Besides the obvious hilarity these two bring together (Nicole: “The bullet could ricochet and hit Bunny.” Wynonna: “I’ll take that risk.” Nicole: “Or us…” Wynonna: “…okay.”), Bunny Loblaw also had some hysterical moments I did not see coming. I had to pause and rewind multiple times her screaming at the top of her lungs – “YOU ARE SOME KIND OF MORON, HAUGHT!”
My 3 Favourite W’s of the Episode
I would now like to turn your attention to my 3 Favourite W’s for this episode of Wynonna Earp. These consist of favourite Wynonna Insult, Wayhaught Moment and Waverly Expression – the three pillars of any Wynonna Earp episode.
Wynonna Insult: “You want a wife but you need a mint.”
Wayhaught Moment: Wayhaught was every viewer watching when Wynonna claimed her and Doc were “never a thing.”
What did you think of “I Fall to Pieces”? Let us know in the comments below.
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There Are No Fakes is a shocking journey into the world of art fraud
Some of the best documentaries of the past two decades involve hard left turns – films that begin in one direction but end in another due to events that unfolded during production. There Are No Fakes, directed by Jamie Kastner, joins that select company of documentary as its comedic opening slowly morphs into something much darker.
There Are No Fakes centers on the work of Norval Morrisseau, the Indigenous Canadian artist of the Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek First Nation, sometimes referred to as the “Picasso of the North”. Morrisseau, who died in 2007, sought to remove forgeries of his art from the marketplace, establishing the Norval Morrisseau Heritage Society in 2005.
After Kevin Hearn (of Barenaked Ladies fame) buys one of Morrisseau’s paintings, he starts to doubt its authenticity and discovers a bizarre feud consolidated around Morrisseau. It’s this conflict, and the dark secrets hidden beneath it, that form the backdrop of There Are No Fakes.
Kastner (The Secret Disco Revolution, Free Trade Is Killing My Mother), who was friends with Hearn in high school, learned through conversation about Hearn’s ongoing lawsuit surrounding the Morrisseau paintings. It became clear to Kastner that such a story would be perfect for his next project.
“It was almost unbelievable. There was so much crazy stuff in this story, I couldn’t quite believe it,” Kastner said. “I told him if I was going to proceed with it, though we were friends he would have no editorial control. As a journalist, I would be talking to both sides, and he agreed.
“I went off on my own doing my own kind of digging and research. Lo and behold, everything he told me and then some turned out to be the case.”
As the story unfolded and as Kastner continued to meet a succession of larger-than-life characters, he found himself shocked at what he uncovered. Bringing footage back to his editor provoked a similar reaction.
“He’d say, ‘Holy f***!’ Then I’d do another one, and he’s quite an even-keeled guy, and he’d say ‘holy f***,’” Kastner said. “So it was a series of ‘holy f***’ moments. I tried to recreate that experience for the audience.”
Documentaries can often unfold much as expected, with a known story dictating the outcome of the production. But given the fluid situation surrounding the events of There Are No Fakes, Kastner followed the story as it led him, knowing he had been handed an incredible gift.
“It’s definitely a privilege and a responsibility (to tell this story). You’re dealing with the legacy of one of our most important artists,” he said. “You wind up dealing with very serious issues of abuse of different kinds, so I felt a real responsibility.
“You have to handle it very carefully as a documentary filmmaker. It really is so unique and unusual and special and horrific and inspiring and a whole range of things that you don’t usually get in one film.”
There Are No Fakes made its world premiere at Hot Docs 2019, receiving highly positive reviews. Kastner said the film provided fascinating insight into the legacy of Morrisseau, touching on multiple problems still at play in Canada.
“It’s a very dramatic story. People can’t believe that they’re real people. They seem like characters out of some HBO series or something,” Kastner said. “I think it’s a very entertaining, edge of your seat, jaw-dropping type of story that happens to be a documentary.”
There Are No Fakes will screen at multiple locations throughout Canada in July 2019. For more information, click here.
Next to read on The Mutt: Tantoo Cardinal propels Falls Around Her in first leading role
Isabelle brings psychological terror to an idyllic neighbourhood
In a quaint New England neighbourhood, a charming young couple (Adam Brody and Amanda Crew) find the perfect home to move into. But what they find in that home complicates their dream to start a family, as darkness and paranoia emerges in director Rob Heydon’s Isabelle.
Following in the footsteps of other psychological horrors such as Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist, Isabelle comes from a screenplay written by Donald Martin (Milton’s Secret). Having grown up watching genre films like The Omen and The Shining, Heydon approached the project looking to put his own stamp on psychological terror.
“Reading the script, I just got into it cold. Then once I got into it, I couldn’t put it down,” Heydon said. “I thought a lot about what other references it could be like and how I could help bring something to the story and the storytelling.”
Much like other films in the genre, Heydon’s intention for Isabelle was to emphasize the psychology of the terror as a priority. That meant slowly building up the characters and introducing new elements throughout the runtime of the film.
“In a sense, it’s trying to tell a story in three arcs and build the audience’s expectations up to the third act,” Heydon said. “We used the combination of cinematography and editing and music to bring the audience into the mind of the main character and have the audience experience what our main characters are going through.”
The strength of the cast – which includes Brody, Crew and Zoë Belkin as Isabelle – was essential given the nature of the material. Brody was the first to sign on, but other cast members took longer to materialize.
“Amanda Crew wasn’t available at the same time. So it took almost two years to put together the cast,” Heydon said. “But when their calendars lined up, we also got some amazing talent to surround them. Belkin, Sheila McCarthy, who played Isabelle’s mom… we were really lucky.”
Isabelle shot in Hamilton, Ont., with old Victorian homes posing as New England. Beyond the locale, Heydon said the cost savings attained shooting in Hamilton were significant.
“In Toronto, to rent a house for a day might be 10 or 15 thousand per day. In Hamilton, we were lucky to get three houses right next to each other for 20 days for $20,000,” he said. “You just can’t find that anywhere in Toronto.”
Having initially premiered in South Korea as part of the Busan Film Festival (along with fellow Canadian horror Lifechanger), Isabelle will now open to a larger release in Canada. Heydon said genre aficionados should find much to enjoy in Isabelle.
“I’d say read what the film’s about and check out the trailer – I think the trailer says it all. And if you’re interested, come check it out,” he said.
Isabelle begins its theatrical run in Toronto June 28 at the Carlton Cinema. For more information, click here.
Next up on The Mutt: Horror materializes in unconventional ways in Things Fall Apart
Horror materializes in unconventional ways in Things Fall Apart
Those familiar with Hussein Juma, director and writer of Things Fall Apart, know that it’s somewhat fruitless to attempt to fully summarize his work. That’s largely by design – Juma himself says he enjoys injecting ambiguity into his projects.
But more than that, what’s exciting about Juma as a director is his ability to create a sense of atmospheric dread based heavily on context and character and not cliché. So horror fans on the hunt for films that are likely to surprise should take note of what Juma says about his first feature, Things Fall Apart.
“If you like arthouse cinema, things that are going to challenge you and even scare you a little too, I think this film would be for you,” Juma says. “If you’re interested in new ways to tell stories, in indie cinema and the way it can reframe things and put them in different contexts, I think there’s a lot to think about with this film.”
That unique approach to story was evident throughout Juma’s 12-episode web series Horse Mask, a surreal horror that centres around a missing daughter, a forest and many mysterious masks. Though Things Fall Apart is Juma’s first feature, he says working on Horse Mask helped prepare him, given the fact that the runtime of that web series evens out to be around the length of a feature.
Set during a dinner party, Things Fall Apart lets audiences act as a sort of fly on the wall as tensions and emotions emerge.
“Things progressively get more tense between the characters. I think there’s a good balance — there are those moments where you’re going to feel uncomfortable, there are moments where you’re going to be scared, there are moments where you’re going to feel like, ‘What the hell is going on right now?’” Juma says.
Furthering his desire to tell a story in a fresh way, Juma says he employed improvised dialogue throughout Things Fall Apart, making up 80 per cent of the dialogue. Though actors were provided with full scripts, dialogue was written in beats that guided where conversations would go.
“When we finally selected our actors, we extensively rehearsed it multiple times. That was a really cool process,” Juma says. “I had a bare-bones, skeleton idea of where I wanted each conversation to go, but these actors got so into it and took it to interesting places. (Many times) I was like, ‘Oh yeah, that’s great. We have to keep that.’”
The cast, which includes Chengis Javeri (one of the leads in Horse Mask), Bobbi Goddard, Gina Lorene and more, was already familiar to Juma, giving him confidence that they would be able to pull off the improvised dialogue. Juma says surrounding himself with smart, funny people led to a number of happy accidents that made their way into the finished product.
Other times, Juma says he would play off what he knew about the actors themselves.
“If I could see even a sliver of tension between them in the real world or a sliver of something in a look that I see, I can kind of harness that in the film,” he says. “I think that worked really well in terms of when I wanted to play someone against another person. Because I worked with them before, I knew things I could whisper in their ear before a take to throw them off.”
Ultimately, Juma says he wanted to make a film that he would want to see himself. Based on his track record, it’s likely that horror fans looking for a surprising, experimental feature with strong character work will find it in Things Fall Apart.
Things Fall Apart plays June 2 at 2 p.m. at the Globe Cinema in Calgary. For more information, click here.
Next up on The Mutt: The story behind Uwe Boll, the so-called “worst filmmaker” ever