C is for Clanton.
If you found yourself wondering who exactly are the Clantons, you weren’t alone.
While Wynonna Earp Season 4 Episode 4 seemingly answered the question about this season’s Big Bads, it left out a good chunk of why the Clantons hate the Earps in the first place, meaning the setup of the new enemies for Wynonna and friends didn’t get off to a great start.
And even though a quick Google search and some time going down the rabbit hole on Wikipedia does provide an answer to these questions, along with more background information on Wyatt Earp and the Clanton’s backstory, it shouldn’t be up to us to do the heavy lifting.
Maybe more information about the Earp-Clanton rivalry is coming next episode, but for the time being, here are some of the highlights:
Tensions between the Earps and a group of ranchers and cowboys, led by the Clanton and McLaury families, came to a head in October 1881 during a gunfight at the O.K. Corral.
During the gunfight, three men were killed, including 19-year-old Billy Clanton.
Billy’s brother Ike Clanton filed murder charges against the Earps and Holliday, but a judge later ruled the lawmen had acted within their lawful duty.
Ike Clanton was later implicated in the attempted assassination of Virgil Earp, Wyatt Earp’s brother, on December 30, 1881.
Naomi: You can’t just barge in Arp.
Wynonna: Earp. Wynonna fucking Earp. I am the best damn demon hunter Black Badge ever saw. I’m Carol.
Jeremy: Look, Wynonna, you don’t get it.
Wynonna: No, you don’t get it. I’m done lying. I’m done hiding. I just got beat by something extremely balls deep scary.
Jeremy: You OK?
Wynonna: Jeremy, I don’t have Peacemaker.
Jeremy: Wy, that ain’t kosher.
Wynonna: All I have is my people. I need you back, Jeremy. You and Robin, if he’s here.
Jeremy: He’s safe. Just keep him out of this.
Wynonna: I need everybody. So here’s what happens next Blue Tang Jane.
Naomi: Is that a fish joke?
Wynonna: I leave here with Jeremy. Together we take back the Black Badge offices in Purgatory. We reinstate my posse of dipshits, and we hunt some goddamn demons.
Naomi: It’s just… it’s not that simple.
Wynonna: It can be. Think of me like a goldfish: dumb and determined.
Naomi: Agent Earp, our bosses expect results. If you think I’m afraid of demons, wait until you meet upper management. This is your call, Agent Chetri.
Jeremy: They can get it done, with my help.
Naomi: This team of yours must be pretty special.
Wynonna: The best.
Though Ike’s hat was found at the scene where the ambushers waited, a number of associates provided him with an alibi, and the case was dismissed for lack of evidence.
That, again, is a brief overview of the rivalry, courtesy of some internet sleuthing.
So while the Clantons certainly have reason to hate the Earps, most of us have very little idea of why.
Without this information, it just seems like a poorly executed plot twist, courtesy of the writers having no idea where Wynonna Earp Season 4 is headed.
With this quick history lesson, it becomes clearer that while the writers are still trying to find their footing, this twist is more thoughtful and deliberate than previously expected.
And while all of this makes sense on paper, the actual execution again leaves a lot to be desired.
Even armed with the knowledge of why the Clantons hate the Earps from a historical context, how do they connect to the larger supernatural world?
The Clantons are seemingly cursed, but there are no clues about how or why.
Margo: You bring what’s due?
Nicole: I’m bringing it back because I owe you nothing.
Margo: Is that how you figure it?
Nicole: Doc and Waverly got themselves out of the Garden, not you.
Margo: Come on. You may be dumbstruck for that Earp-tart, but you’re not an idiot.
Nicole: It’s over.
Margo: Oh honey. It’s just beginning.
Did they have their own problems with Bulshar, or did the Earps have a hand in their fate?
Also, what’s the deal with the reaper that the Clantons control.
Can they just send it after anyone, and if so, how is that a curse?
It seems like having control over a demon that looks a little like Voldemort would be a good thing.
There was some mention of the reaper being their uncle, so if that’s the case, how does that happen?
And if the reaper is their uncle, does that mean he ate Billy or is Billy now the reaper?
With so many questions swirling around, the lack of answers takes away from the plot as a whole.
Then there’s also the issue of the Clantons being magically introduced to the storyline out of nowhere.
Doc: You saw Jeremy, and you didn’t tell me.
Wynonna: Literally just happened. He’s fine.
Doc: He’s probably a hostage, for which you have just bought into Black Badge’s gaslighting. Rule No. 1, Wynonna: We do not work for the enemy.
Wynonna: We both know that Rule No. 1 is triple check the birth control.
Whereas the first three seasons were masterfully crafted and the storyline flowed seamlessly, the Clantons were just thrown into this season without any buildup.
To the best of my recollection, there’s never been any sort of mention of the Clantons, even in passing, before Wynonna Earp Season 4 Episode 3, therefore making the Clanton family’s sudden appearance feel like a cheap, theatrical thrill.
This show can do better.
My griping of the Clantons’ introduction aside, Margo — or Ma’am as her children refer to her — at least has the makings of a Big Bad, far more than Cleo ever did.
Cleo may claim to control Purgatory, but we all now know the truth, which is a giant relief.
She’s no more than a pawn doing her mother’s bidding.
It was rather satisfactory to watch Margo take Cleo down a peg, and for Margo to confirm what we all suspected: Cleo is just a distraction, someone designed to keep the masses occupied while the real adults enact their master plan.
And if Margo’s treatment of her children wasn’t enough to seal the deal as her being a formidable villain, then her interactions with Nicole are.
What exactly did Margo do to Nicole at the end of the episode?
Nicole: And we’re on the floor.
Waverly: Yeah, how did that happened?
Waverly: There’s a notebook stuck to my butt.
Nicole: Maybe don’t give that one out.
Was this the price for Margo getting Doc and Waverly out of the Garden?
Remember how the door to the Garden magically opened at the end of Wynonna Earp Season 4 Episode 2, thus allowing Wynonna, Waverly, and Doc to leave?
It seemed like our heroes were able to escape because they somehow stayed opened after Doc kicked Eve out of the Garden, but what exactly caused the portal to open in the first place?
Could it be that Margo had a hand in it?
Or was Nicole right, and Doc and Waverly got themselves out of the Garden?
It doesn’t really seem to matter to Margo, as she demanded payment either way.
The episode ended with Margo seemingly collecting that payment, in what appears to an infection or possession of sorts, courtesy of hundreds of insects.
Whatever it is, Nicole’s life is in danger.
Rachel: That’s a lot.
Nicole: Jeezus, Rachel. Respect the privacy of the…
Waverly: The kitchen.
Rachel: Whatever. Do you think a junkyard would be a good place to look for a magic sword-gun?
Waverly: One man’s trash is another Earp’s treasure.
Nicole: Yeah, where is this junkyard?
Rachel: Easier if I show you, but you’re gonna need pants.
She could have just hours to live, or Margo might be able to control her somehow.
The worst thing is, this is probably just Margo’s first step in destroying the Earps.
Offering Nicole help, only to inflict suffering later, is a great first move.
Margo probably didn’t even have to deceive Nicole at all in letting the former sheriff know there would be a price to pay for her help.
After 18 months, Nicole was desperate to get her loved ones back and would have been willing to do anything, even if it meant putting her life in jeopardy.
That hopelessness would have been all Margo needed to make any sort of deal with Nicole.
While it’s despicable to think about, it’s still a brilliant strategy, nonetheless.
Whatever happens will be yet another hurdle WayHaught will have to face, but again, at least it’s not unnecessary drama.
Margo: Do let me know if you’re looking for anything in particular?
Waverly: Any vintage silverware?
Margo: Cutlery? Knives?
Waverly: A little bigger. Say swords.
Margo: Planning to storm a castle? Got a princess to save?
Nicole: Halloween costume. I’m going as She-Ra.
Waverly: Oh my god, I would die.
We may not like that our favorite couple is being put through the wringer, but at least we can understand it, from a storytelling perspective.
And as long as we get a wedding by the end of the season, we can probably call it even with the writers.
Elsewhere, the “mystery” of who took Wynonna turned out not to be that much of a mystery.
In hindsight, it should have been obvious that Black Badge was behind everything.
What other shadowy government agency is there on this show besides BBD?
However, it’s not the same BBD we knew and
loved hated, as it turns out the new and “improved” BBD is run by a group of wholly unqualified special agents.
That is both a blessing and a curse.
It’s great that these guys don’t want to lock up Team Earp or force them back into service, but it’s also problematic with just how inexperienced they are.
Purgatory is facing a huge demon problem — the likes of which we’ve never seen — and the one government agency that could provide Team Earp with the tools and backup to fight this is an incompetent group of federal employees.
Wynonna: So what’s my first mish? Is this about finding and rescuing Robin, ‘cause I will, Jer.
Jeremy: It’s a problem we’re having with things. Robin are supply trucks. Our biggest challenge is getting provisions into Purgatory without it getting hijacked or worse.
Wynonna: All right, you need me to hunt down and kill whatever’s stealing freight and killing drivers. Got it.
Jeremy: I need you sitting in the truck.
Wynonna: Driving? You don’t ask Cate Blanchett to be a background extra. You make her Carol. Forget the cover, I’m a demon hunter, man. I am Carol.
Jeremy: And I’m a scientist with an empathetic crotch.
Jeremy: But BBD can’t find out who we really are right now. They don’t like supernatural things, Wynonna, like us. We need to get Purgatory food, medicine, booze.
Wynonna: Always lead with booze. You know yesterday the good citizens of my hometown tried to hang me for murder.
Jeremy: Yeah, they just need snacks, Wynonna. They’re kind of hangry.
Team Earp could not be in a worse situation to take on the Clantons, but at least they have Jeremy back.
Oh, how we’ve missed our favorite nerdy scientist.
Jeremy was in fine form this episode, and his efforts to protect his friends were admirable.
He was right in that the new BBD wouldn’t look kindly on his supernatural-adjacent friends, so downplaying their connection with Black Badge was the smart move.
It is an agency that doesn’t have the resources or skill to contain a demon problem, so it just locked everyone behind a border, not caring that there are innocent civilians trapped inside.
So who knows how BBD would react to learning some of its agents are supernaturally inclined?
Black Badge could be grateful for the help, or more likely, they would just kill them all, just to avoid anything slightly connected to the paranormal.
That also explains why Jeremy has been MIA.
He’s smart enough to have figured a way out of playing border police, but he wouldn’t let anything happen to his friends, so he shouldn’t have been surprised that Wynonna would do the same.
Doc: Do not commit such a childish act.
Wynonna: You want to see childish. How about this? Is childish… To prove a very adult point, a very grownup, sexy point.
Doc: Wynonna, give me the keys.
Wynonna: My wiener has them. They’re on the driver. Speaking of wieners, I bet those crates have condoms.
Doc: I got some tools in my car. It is up the road. I shall grab them, and I suppose I shall liberate you too.
Revealing herself to BBD was a risky move, but it’s the only one she has.
She and her friends are up against something they’ve never faced before, and the only way they can do it is if they’re all together.
No one’s saying it’ll be easy, but they have a much better chance now that the gang’s all reunited.
Some stray thoughts:
God, Wynonna and Doc have the strangest definition of foreplay. Watching them flirt in that supply truck was something else.
Romance aside, that interaction does have the potential to create an interesting dichotomy if they find themselves on opposite sides this season, what with Wynonna working with BBD and Doc partnering with the demons who run the Glory Hole.
They haven’t really found themselves at odds since Wynonna Earp Season 1, and even then, they will still on the same side of sorts. Obviously, this will never change how they feel about each other, but it could create some interesting conflict on how they fit into each other’s lives in this new world, which is squarely humans vs. demons.
I still love Rachel, but I’m not that invested in her love life. I get that her flirtationship with Billy was to introduce us to the Clantons, but it was still a little heavy on the feelings, as young love is. If Billy does make it out of this, then I’m sure they’ll have plenty to talk about.
I’m not against a date or a future relationship; I’d just prefer it not to take up as much screentime.
As epic as WayHaught is this season with their lovefest, they need to remember a teenager now lives at the Homestead, so they can’t keep having sex all over the house. While Rachel takes it in stride, a teenager shouldn’t have to see her gay aunts, as Nicole put it, getting all hot and heavy in every room.
So what did you think Earpers?
What are your thoughts on the introduction of the Clantons?
Are you intrigued by Margo and the Clantons as the Big Bads, or do you have too many unanswered questions at this point?
How glad are you that the team’s back together?
Hit the comments below to let me know what you think. If you happened to miss the latest episode, remember you can watch Wynonna Earp online at TV Fanatic.