Wynonna Earp: Two-Faced Jack – Friends in High Places (Review)


 Wynonna Earp - Season 1

There are many things that make ‘Wynonna Earp’ fun to watch. Among these are a few well placed pop culture references, but not too many, excellent dialogue and in Two-Faced Jack a historical reference to a Victorian serial killer (“Just call me Jack.”). Bobo may have friends in high places but it has to be the combination of faux history and excellent lines that makes this show so good.

Take Wynonna’s lesson to the uber creepy pseudo surgeon, Reggie, aka Reggimite:   She gets  a personal best (line-wise)  in the episode:

“Know how to make someone show you where something precious is hidden? Set fire to their house.”

(On a sidenote: Wynonna is top notch when it comes to the stinging repost or putdown. Giving the psychopath Reggie a nickname that sounds so much like the Australian vegetable extract – a down-under version of Marmite –  is massively insulting. Indicating that Reg is not even smart enough to be  vegetable…Think about it.)

The plot continues this week from last week’s episode ‘Walking After Midnight‘ where Officer Haught and Wynonna went missing. Haught is found, more dead than alive and Earp wakes paralyzed from the waist down next to Bethany (Doc’s “bit of stuff” who disappeared into a van earlier.).   Reggie turns up.

As Dolls and Holliday work to find Wynonna and help her get free, she must outwit Reggie. Initially Earp believes Reggimite to be a revenant but realizes when she cuts him that he is not. The last of the seven who attacked her childhood home is non other than Jack the Ripper although  in Purgatory he goes by “Jack of Knives.”

(Another sidenote: Anyone who has read about the real “Jack” knows that one popular theory about the man who sliced and diced seven prostitutes in London was that he escaped to America. The authorities never caught the madman who terrorized the populace in Victorian London.)

The Revenant reveals that Wynonna’s father Ward was in league with Bobo del Rey.  This leaves Earp upset and angry.

Dolls and Holliday reluctantly work together and Reggie arrives to  collect Bethany (Sasha Barry). Barry does a brilliant job at conveying that doped up euphoric feeling one gets from being on heavy painkillers. This soon changes when she is cut open by Reggie. Bethany dies screaming.

Wynonna, in a huge nod and wink to “The Bride” in ‘Kill Bill’ concentrates on her toes and gets them to wiggle. Once this happens, she rolls out of the hospital bed and falls face first on the floor.  She crawls over the the surgical tool tray and retrieves a scalpel.

Officer Haught gives the team some clues.

Putting it all together the two men converge on Whiskey Jim’s fight club. Doc and Dolls have to fight to find out where Wynonna may be held. Dolls references “Fight Club:”

Dolls: “First rule of fight club, never talk about fight club, right?”

Doc: “Nobody talks about it, how’re fellas gonna know where it is? No, the first rule is, You never, ever bring the law.”

Wynonna Earp - Season 1

Doc learns of Dolls’ intent to turn him into a specimen for his boss and reacts appropriately.  The gunman is flung about like a Raggedy Doc doll but ultimately works up enough rage to win. (Brilliant scene between the two men. The look of shock on Dolls’ face as he flies slow motion through the air is great.) Dolls, it seems, is dead. Doc gets the location of the tunnel and the keys to the Marshal’s car.

Dolls is not dead, he comes up to the vehicle startling Doc.

Jack kills Reggie and reveals much to Wynonna as he gets ready to kill her.  Doc shoots the demon in the nick of time. Jack then goes after Holliday while Dolls releases Wynonna. She sends him to get Peacemaker and stabs the revenant with the Stone Witch’s knife.

Earp goes to kill the revenant while Doc and Dolls come to an agreement.  Before the demon is sent back to hell, he reveals that Wynonna has vanquished Jack the Ripper. She is not impressed.

Dolls decides not to turn Holliday over to his boss and instead shows her the revenant Whiskey Jim. He will perform tests officially and unofficially question the demon about the mole in his organization, the one who tipped Doc off.  Wynonna readies herself for the next step.

There were some very clever bits in this episode. The mangled whistling of  the English nursery rhyme “Oranges and Lemons” (say the bells of St Clements.) which tied in beautifully to the “Jack the Ripper” theme.  Although when “Jack” and Reggie were whistling the tune, they stopped a note short each time.

Music was used to great effect in the death of Bethany. As the camera pans over her prone body on the gurney, “Take Some Love” by the late Johnny Lidell plays. A brilliant blackly comic touch that makes the scene perfect.

Kudos to Berry as Bethany and Greg Bryk as Jack.  Shamier Anderson as Dolls is becoming more interesting in every episode he is in.  Anderson plays his role straighter-than-straight and as he relaxes becomes more interesting for it.  We still have no idea what he is, with those weird eyes, but he is becoming more likable.  (How can you hate a fan of “Fight Club?”)

Wynonna Earp - Season 1

Melanie Scrofano as Wynonna is excellent as the biker chick version of Buffy Sommers. This is no fashion conscious wannabe cheerleader. Earp is hard, likes it rough and would have worn  motorcycle leathers to her prom.  Wynonna Earp is Buffy with a lot of schmutz on her and that  bit more grown up. 

‘Wynonna Earp’ airs Fridays on SyFy. Tune in and tackle this Western mix-Earp.

 

Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, http://MikesFilmTalk.com Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

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