Spoilers follow for Wynonna Earp Season 3 Episode 10, “The Other Woman.”
Bulshar found what he needed to destroy humanity at the end of last week. This week’s episode, titled “The Other Woman,” showcases the crew’s desperate attempts to not allow it to happen.
We open the penultimate episode of Wynonna Earp’s third season (before next week’s two-part finale) with a flashback to Purgatory’s days of yore. The days when candles assisted with one’s sight while they wrote on flammable pages and when mustache upkeep was non-existent. Here’s where we see a pre-Bobo Robert Svane and Padre Juan Carlo anticipating the hand-off of a 1880s-era Peacemaker in the form of a wicked big tiny sword (as Wynonna affectionately calls them). When we flash forward to the present, Wynonna downs a coffee that should effectively give her coffee cancer, but since her body has survived worse, a quintuple-shot latte is a walk in the park.
Waverly and Jeremy brainstorm any possible way to defeat Bulshar (who holds the key to opening up the actual Garden Of Eden by the way – no biggie) as Bobo works his best America’s Next Top Model pose in the background. He grows agitated at JerWave’s various modern-day analogies for the demonic spirit and reveals that “he took her book.” The “her” in this situation lead Haught and Doc on a mission to retrieve a journal once held by a woman named Maeve who was burnt at the stake, because people are the worst. When the duo encounters her spirit, she does what any of us would probably do in that situation – try everything in our power to get close to Officer Nicole Haught. Where you and I might buy her a fruit basket, Maeve instead possesses her and Haught experiences life as a teenage girl AGAIN – for some, myself included, this is a fate worse than death. Doc is tasked with killing either Haught or another human vessel in order to allow Maeve to move right into their fresh body in exchange for the journal needed to defeat Bulshar. Ah, remember the joyous times when Doc’s biggest worry was what name he was going to call his usurped pink hot rod?
In the meantime, Wynonna and Charlie Fire Services share a heart-to-heart after she finds him rooting around the Earp barn in order to make repairs to an object she didn’t realized she owned. While I tend to constantly poke fun at the handsomely dull firefighter, I have enjoyed the relationship between him and Wynonna this season. The WynDoc dynamic has been quite strained recently, so it’s been nice seeing how Wynonna adjusts to a semi-normal-yet-not-at-all-serious/somewhat-serious dating life. Surely their argument towards the beginning of this episode will not have any major lasting repercussions as the episode goes on…
As the growing fight against Bulshar’s erroneous fashion crimes continues, a new member of the team rises up in the form of Kevin. TV fans, particularly my fellow Canadians, will squeal with delight when they see former Lost Girl star Anna Silk take up the mantle as the woman with the trusty hazmat suit. Wynonna Earp showrunner Emily Andras worked on the sci-fi/fantasy series for the duration of its run and it is no surprise when familiar faces pop up here and there on her own series. I think the world would’ve briefly stopped spinning on its axis if there was a sequence between Kevin and Jolene (portrayed by fellow Lost Girl alum Zoie Palmer) this episode. We can all dream.
Kevin’s official title is “representative of a long line of ambassadors tasked with looking after the balance in the world.” She seemingly manages to do the impossible in this universe (where the impossible occurs quite frequently) and out-quips the Quip Master herself, Wynonna Earp. She solidified her position in my list of all-time favourite Wynonna Earp characters when she asks my beloved Waverly if her bangs are the reason why she doesn’t have a boyfriend. That’s just silly – we all know every human being on Earth would give their right arm for Waverly’s love, regardless what style of hair she had on her head. Kevin also eats pickles straight from the jar. Now THAT is what I call charm.
She tasks the Earp sisters with retrieving Bulshar’s severed arm from a “totally unstable” and collapsible uranium mine in order to synthesize a weapon against him. Waverly and Wynonna are obviously both completely in. They encounter a previously one-armed (now two-armed) radioactive demon Wyatt Earp once trapped in said mine. His reattached arm happens to be the Bulshar arm they’re looking for. When Wynonna becomes disarmed (I’ll be here all week, folks) after touching his neck, Waverly takes the figurative and literal gloves off. They lure him into the Gardner house, where they all spend a few minutes congratulating Mercedes on her beautiful face. Waverly learns Bulshar’s ring controls his severed arm, so she gets Clint to force choke himself. I have to say, I’m a little disappointed a Darth Vader reference wasn’t made.
Back with DocHaught, Jeremy joins in the fun as we learn Maeve’s spirit can hop from body to body, molesting those she comes in contact with. I’d like to take this moment to say that Kat Barrell shines as the possessed spirit. We’ve all seen how Barrell handles the hysterics involved with being drunk Haught (“you’re going too fast and I’m too drunk!”) – but possessed Haught? She embodies teenaged ghost witch. When Doc ultimately finds the journal they’re looking for, the hot-tempered spirit of Maeve sets the house ablaze. This means the only firefighter we’ve seen all season will probably show up – and would you look at that! Charlie Fire Services arrives to save the day, and in this instance, that means being bit to death by Vamp Doc and having a distraught Haught threaten to shoot him with wooden bullets.
As the episode concludes, we learn that not only is Waverly the champion of all our hearts, but she is the key to defeating Bulshar. She must sacrifice her own life by sealing the gate to the Garden and, ultimately, turning into stone in order to save the rest of humanity. Wynonna breaks down at the prospect of losing her sister and, honestly, I feel you, girl. Now I realize the well-being of the many may possibly outweigh the lives of a few… however, in the words of Skeeter Davis: don’t they know it’s the end of the world? It ends when Waverly Earp ceases to exist!
As the clock winds down on season three of Wynonna Earp, I have to give the most major of props to showrunner Andras and the writing crew for their treatment of these characters. Throughout my recaps, I’ve consistently praised the direction this season has taken in terms of how we see the development of each respective character from the first season to now. Wayhaught have grown immensely both as a couple and as individuals, while Doc Holliday is a freaking vampire. We’ve seen Wynonna make impressive personal strides, whether it be seeing how Dolls’ death ultimately affected her or opening up to Haught, yet one factor has remained consistent throughout her character – Waverly Earp is the most important person in her entire life. Though she would give up her life in a heartbeat to save others, she refuses for her sister to have the same fate.
I have no idea how next week’s two-part finale will pan out, however Andras tweeted “don’t breathe” when describing it, so… it should be completely fine.
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: “And I’m fairly certain that if you weren’t such a douchebag, we could hang.”
Wayhaught Moment: There was an unfortunate lack of Wayhaught being in the same room this episode. To be fair, Waverly had to track down a severed demonic arm while Haught was busy being possessed so we’ll just forgive this one.
What did you think of “The Other Woman”? 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