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Things You Forgot Happened In Wynonna Earp's Pilot Episode

When Wynonna Earp returns to complete its fourth season, it will be a bittersweet moment for the show's devoted fans. On the one hand, it will finally conclude a season that had to suspend filming in early 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, which meant that SYFY could only air six of season 4's nine episodes last summer. So when season 4 resumes on March 5, it will be the first new episodes in more than six months. On the other hand, SYFY has already confirmed that Wynonna Earp won't get a fifth season, so it's almost time to say goodbye.

A lot has happened on one of TV's most unique shows over those four seasons. Wynonna (Melanie Scrofano) has embraced her past as the heir of the Earp Curse and all its responsibilities –mainly, shooting revenants. She also found time to defeat an ancient evil that originated in the Garden of Eden, have a baby with an undead gunslinger, and reconnect with her half sister, Waverly (Dominique Provost-Chalkley).

So much has transpired since the show's first episode, "Purgatory," that you may need a quick refresher as you dive into the show's last act. The eventful pilot set up many of the long-running conflicts that have fueled the series, so now's a good time to revisit what went down.

It all happened on Wynonna's 27th birthday

The pilot begins with Wynonna on a bus riding home to Purgatory, where she is returning to attend her uncle Curtis' funeral. While on the bus, she also gets a text wishing her a happy birthday. Specifically, her 27th birthday, which for an Earp is hugely significant. Whenever the eldest Earp reaches their 27th birthday, it activates the Earp Curse.

As fans no doubt know, the Earp Curse originated when Wynonna's ancestor, the famed Wyatt Earp, killed the witch Constance Clootie and her two demon-sons in the 1880s. In retaliation, the demon put a curse on the family: Whenever the oldest living Earp descendant turns 27, all of the people Wyatt killed with his signature Peacemaker pistol come back to life as revenants and try to kill the inheritor. Wyatt gunned down 77 people with the Peacemaker, so that's a problem.

In addition to establishing the main character's age, Wynonna's birthday kicks off the curse that will torment Wynonna for the remainder of the series. The worst part is, she wasn't supposed to be the cursed one in the first place.

Wynonna was forced to confront her very tragic past

The Wynonna Earp pilot serves as a kind of origin story to introduce the main character, and returning to Purgatory stirs up some of her most traumatic memories. 

Wynonna's father Ward was the previous heir to the Earp Curse, but Wynonna wasn't supposed to inherit it herself. It should have gone to her older sister Willa. During the pilot, Wynonna has a flashback to a night during her childhood when a group of revenants attacked Wade, Willa, and Wynonna at the Earp Homestead. Willa was abducted during the attack and thought dead. On this show, as we've come to learn, "dead" doesn't always mean permanently dead, and sure enough Willa turned out to be alive. (Still doesn't explain why the revenants have been coming after Wynonna all this time, though.)

But another tragic event happened that night, and this one really did happen exactly the way Wynonna remembered it: She accidentally shot and killed Wade with Peacemaker. That would explain why she hasn't been to Purgatory all these years.

Doc Holliday climbed out of the well

One of the most memorable moments in the pilot is when Wynonna returns to the Earp Homestead and retrieves Peacemaker, which she had thrown down a well after accidentally killing Wade with it. But when Wynonna climbs down a rope to retrieve the gun, she also inadvertently leaves a means for Immortal Doc Holliday to return to the world.

Most are familiar with the story of the real Doc Holliday (Tim Rozon), but on the show he was Wyatt Earp's best friend who received a different curse from Constance: eternal life at the bottom of a well. In the first season, Doc starts out trying to help the revenants recover Peacemaker, before deciding to help Wyatt's descendants against the revenant threat. He goes on to become one of Wynonna and Waverly's strongest allies. He and Wynonna even have a thing together, which results in the birth of baby Alice at the end of season 2.

Doc's return also helps set up some of the rules for how the series will portray the various different kinds of undead. Although they're magical creatures, they still interact with the living world in normal ways like eating and drinking. Doc appears to have no problems adjusting to a modern world with cell phones and cars, even though he has been just stuck in a well 140 years.

So there you have it: a brief recap of the important events from the pilot. You are officially ready to go forth into that grand finale.