Wynonna Earp season 3, episode 5 recap: “Jolene”


On last week’s episode of Wynonna Earp we learned that Mama Earp feels very strongly that a demon is after Waverly and she needs to die because of it.

In fact, the fire that got Mama sent to prison happened because she tried to burn down the barn with Waverly inside it. Now, Mama has broken out of jail so she can go after Waverly again in Wynonna Earp.

It turns out, however, that Mama’s concerns aren’t altogether unfounded. When Waverly finds Mama waiting for her in the barn, a demon approaches her from behind.

Then, when Wynonna returns to the Homestead, she finds Waverly, Nicole, and Doc eating baked goods prepared by a woman named Jolene. After Wynonna eats a brownie, she acts like the others — happy, carefree, and like she’s known Jolene forever.

This week’s episode of Wynonna Earp, the aptly titled “Jolene.” begins with Waverly and Wynonna tying Mama up in the barn as Mama begs them to listen to her. Wynonna sends Waverly back to the house and agrees to listen to her mother for one minute.

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Mama claims that a demon has been stalking Waverly since she was a baby. By the time Waverly was 6 Mama knew the demon wanted to torture and kill her. Mama tried to perform an exorcism — that’s what she was doing when the barn caught fire. Instead, the demon became bound to her and has been torturing her ever since.

When Waverly came to visit her, she broke Mama’s bond with the demon and it escaped. So, she broke out of prison to come to save Waverly.

Doc arrives at the Homestead to find Wynonna stress-cleaning. The warden is coming to pick up Mama but Wynonna is worried about the demon she keeps ranting about.

Jolene points out that Mama has spent years in a mental institution. Wynonna is relieved by what she says, but Doc is confused by Jolene’s presence. Then, Jolene feeds him a snickerdoodle and he’s on board too.

Jolene insists on standing look-out for the demon just in case. She leaves and Doc and Wynonna discuss Mama’s situation further. Doc tells Wynonna that when he listened to the tapes of Mama’s therapy sessions, he heard three voices: Mama, the counselor, and what he believes is the demon, Only Mama could hear the demon.

Wynonna asks how Doc could hear it. Doc confesses that he went to hell when he (briefly) died (last season on Wynonna Earp). He believes Waverly is really in danger.

In the barn, Waverly discusses the demon with Mama. She dismisses Mama’s worries. Then Waverly has a memory from kindergarten. She saw something in the mirror with lots of teeth. Maybe Mama isn’t so crazy after all.

Outside, Jolene approaches the Warden in his car. It’s the revenant Wynonna supposedly killed last week by beheading him. I guess he wasn’t so dead after all as it seems he’s managed to regrow or re-attach his head.

Jolene offers him pie and tells him all about the indiscretions she witnessed from him when she was with Mama in the institution. Now that she’s finally with the Earps, though, she won’t let him ruin it. She throws the uneaten pie in the snow and cuts out his tongue.

In the barn, Wynonna, Waverly, and Doc prepare Mama to leave. Wynonna introduces Mama to Doc. Waverly tries to explain Wynonna and Doc’s relationship causing both of them to babble awkwardly. To cover, Wynonna mentions Waverly is dating a cop. Waverly explains her name is Nicole and Mama says she’d like to talk about her later if they live.

Jolene comes in. At first, Mama regards her suspiciously. But then she feeds Mama baked goods and Mama’s no longer suspicious. But Mama is still determined to get the demon. She wants to summon it at her family’s greenhouse and bind it to her again.

As Doc goes to his car so he can meet the team at the Gibson greenhouse, Jolene confronts him. She tells him he shouldn’t go — he’s bringing Wynonna down and isn’t really contributing much of anything. Doc accepts her assessment.

At the greenhouse, Waverly wants to talk to Mama about her real father. His name was Julian and he met Mama at the greenhouse whenever she escaped from the Earp Homestead.

On the road, Nicole pulls Jolene over. She doesn’t know her until Jolene gives her a lemon scone. Then Jolene tells her that she needs to get to the Earps at the greenhouse. When Nicole is surprised to hear what’s going on, Jolene questions why the Earps forgot to include her in their plans.

Jolene confides that she needs Waverly to finish things because she can’t do it herself. Turns out, she can’t physically harm Waverly. Nicole seems to barely register what Jolene is saying and sends her on her way.

At the greenhouse, the Warden stumbles in, but he can’t speak because of his lost tongue. Wynonna, Waverly, and Mama think he’s the demon. Wynonna quickly dispatches him with Peacemaker and they believe the ordeal is finally over.

As they celebrate, Waverly hears a voice calling her name. It’s Jolene. She’s waiting outside. Mama set a trap for her and she’s stuck. She pulls Waverly into the trap with her and Waverly finally sees Jolene for what she is.

Waverly screams and hits Jolene with the butt of her gun pushing her out of the trap. Jolene appears human again and calls for Wynonna and Mama. They’re shocked at what Waverly has done to Jolene.

Back at the Homestead, Mama and Wynonna’s celebration for vanquishing the demon continues as Jolene bakes them more treats. Waverly awkwardly comes in and apologizes profusely to Jolene.

They all go to Doc’s bar where, in a moment of clarity, Mama questions how a revenant could be in her head and physically in the prison at the same time. Jolene quickly offers her a treat but she refuses.

Wyonnna clarifies that some revenants have different powers, although the power Mama is talking about is a new one. Wynonna and Mama agree something about it doesn’t feel right.

Jolene distracts them by pointing out that Doc’s wife has set up shop in the bar. Wynonna is shocked. Doc revealed the woman was his wife to Waverly in episode 3 of Wynonna Earp, but no one else knew about it. Wynonna stalks off and Jolene follows.

Meanwhile, Doc has gone to see Bobo at the well where he left him to rot at the end of last season. Bobo, miraculously, is still coherent. Doc wants help coming up with an angle for dealing with Bulshar. In exchange, Bobo asks to see Waverly. Doc says he’ll see what he can do.

Bobo tells him that Bulshar is after a ring that was on his hand when it was cut off by one of his wives. He won’t explain what it does but Bobo reasons someone must have grabbed it after they killed the widows at the end of last season.

At the bar, Wynonna rants to Jolene about Doc’s wife. Jolene mentions that Waverly knew about Doc’s wife, whose real name is Kate. Wynonna can’t believe Waverly kept the news from her and Jolene passive aggressively questions Waverly’s loyalty to Wynonna.

This causes Wynonna to aggressively verbally attack Waverly. When Waverly leaves, Wynonna questions why she was so mean to her sister, but Jolene tells her she was justified.

Doc returns to the bar and finds Mama playing bartender. She’s angry about his secret wife. Then, when Doc refers to Jolene as the prettiest girl in Purgatory, she slaps him. Doc is confused — he didn’t even mean what he said.

Wynonna confronts Doc and they argue. Nicole, who recently arrived, is flirting with Jolene. When Waverly sees what’s going on she slaps Jolene. This starts a brawl that spreads throughout the bar. The Earps, Nicole, and Doc all get into it, alternating between defending and attacking each other.

Afterwards, Nicole puts Wynonna and Mama in a holding cell at the police station and refuses to give them the baked goods Jolene dropped off for them.

Waverly arrives to bail them out. Nicole tells her they have to stay until they’re both sober. Wynonna will be able to go then but they’ll have to turn Mama over to the Feds. Nicole can’t believe Waverly and Wynonna were harboring a fugitive and that Waverly didn’t discuss it with her first. Waverly apologizes but Nicole is furious.

At the bar, Kate talks to Jolene. Kate tells her she owes a debt of fealty to someone and that someone is coming to collect. Jolene doesn’t seem worried.

Doc finds Waverly crying in the waiting room of the police station. Doc tries to ask Waverly about Bulshar’s ring and she points him in the direction of Nicole.

Then, Doc caves and asks her why she’s crying. Waverly feels like everything that’s happened is her fault. She wonders if she’s the demon. As Doc starts eating a cookie, he concludes the theory makes sense.

Jolene finds Nicole and comes on to her, but Nicole rejects her. When Jolene gets angry she slams Nicole into a dresser where Nicole finds Bulshar’s ring. Jolene picks it up but it burns her. She’s shocked to learn Bulshar’s back. Then, Jolene (ironically) throws Nicole into a closet.

In the holding cell, Wynonna apologizes to Mama for not believing in her all these years. She confides she did something similarly difficult to save her daughter. Mama tells Wynonna it sounds like she did the right thing.

Mama gets a feeling that the demon’s still out there and Wynonna now believes her. Wynonna and Mama scream to be let out of the holding cell. Sheriff Nedley comes to see them.

Wynonna explains there’s a demon out there stalking Waverly and only Jolene is there to protect her. Nedley doesn’t know who Jolene is and as he tries to figure out how he would know her, Mama and Wynonna finally put two and two together.

Elsewhere, Waverly has gone to the greenhouse where Jolene finds her. Jolene tells her she’s evil and encourages her to kill herself.

Jolene tells her that she was born at the exact same time as Waverly. The universe craved balance. Since Waverly arrived out of the light, she crawled out of the dark. Jolene was shunned but now Waverly’s her equal because no one loves her either on Wynonna Earp.

But Waverly realizes that Wynonna loves her despite everything. And so does Nicole. So she won’t give up on them either.

Instead of killing herself, she fights Jolene. Jolene tells Waverly that she can’t kill her without killing herself. But Waverly counters that Wynonna can just as she comes bursting in with Peacemaker.

Wynonna shoots Jolene and she runs away. Outside, Mama confronts an injured Jolene as a tree starts wrapping its branches around her. Bulshar is taking her. Jolene whispers that Waverly was for him. But apparently, Bulshar doesn’t believe her because he encases her in the tree.

Back at the Homestead, Nicole and Waverly make up.

Meanwhile, Doc has found Bulshar’s ring and goes to the woods to taunt him with it. He tells Bulshar he won’t be helping him as requested in the previous episode.

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As this episode of Wynonna Earp ends, Wynonna goes to see Bobo in the well. Wynonna tells him Waverly isn’t coming. Bobo reveals that Waverly’s father was an angel — a literal sent-from-Heaven angel.

Hunh, well, that would explain why Waverly is the way she is. But how will the news impact her?

This was a bit of a one-off episode. We needed to deal with the demon haunting Waverly and holding Mama back, but it only forwarded the Bulshar plot a bit. On the other hand, it did re-establish a positive relationship between Mama and her daughters. Plus, Wynonna now knows about Doc’s wife and Doc has Bulshar’s ring so who knows what the ramifications of those developments could be moving forward. We’ll see when Wynonna Earp continues next Friday!

Til then Earpers! In the meantime, check out our recap of episode 4 and stream all of season 3 so far on Syfy.