This article contains Wynonna Earp season three spoilers.
It's been a long two years, but finally, Wynonna Earp is back.
The demon hunter and her various supernatural pals return to Syfy this Sunday, July 26, and there's a whole lot to discuss before they do. Season three ended in September 2018 with some major bombshells: the Earp curse, which forces the heirs of Wyatt Earp to fight his demon enemies all over again, is now broken, leaving Wynonna's (Melanie Scrofano) purpose in life unknown. Her demon-killing gun Peacemaker is gone, her half-sister Waverly (Dominique Provost-Chalkley) found out that her real father was an angel and then got sucked into the Garden of Eden along with vampire Doc (Tim Rozon). Meanwhile, everyone else Wynonna knows has completely disappeared, leaving pretty much everything a question mark.
Then, as season four was supposed to be preparing for production, reported financial issues with the production company IDW meant the show was suddenly in danger of cancellation. Fans rallied together to launch a campaign to save the show, which even included buying billboards in Times Square, and finally a deal was reached a few months later, allowing production to resume.
Six episodes of season four were filmed before COVID-19 hit, and everybody had to go home, unsure if they'd get to finish out the season.
Now, finally, production has resumed (with many adjustments) and the long-awaited season four is about to premiere! E! News chatted with Scrofano to get her take on all of the changes in the season ahead, and what it's like to film a TV show during a pandemic.
E! News: What have these two years been like for you?
Scrofano: So weird that you say two years, and it's true. You know, a serious roller coaster for sure. It's just been a really great learning experience to watch the Earpers fight for the show, and see people fight for something that they believe in, but to do it so gracefully and graciously and respectfully and lovingly. It's really taught me a lot about what wonderful humans there are in the world.
E!: Fans went hard. They were obviously not about to let the show go. What were those few months specifically like for you, as you were watching that response while also dealing with so much uncertainty?
MS: Honestly, at the beginning, I was pretty delusional. Like I was always sort of like, "nah, I don't think this is the end." There were moments where I was kind of like, "I can't believe people have to fight for the show." Like I just couldn't sort of believe it, but I did have a relentless kind of optimism about it. But in the darker moments, just knowing that they fought for that long too...it's not like they were just like, a couple days and then they were moving on. They fought for a long time until it happened, and you can't help but feel hopeful when that many people are rallying for you.
E!: Walk me through the experience of getting six episodes in and then having to stop due to the pandemic.
MS: Yeah, well, I was the only one out of everyone who [knew what was happening]—because I didn't have my phone. We were actually meant to go on hiatus, and I had forgotten my phone at home, so on the Friday before hiatus, everyone was on their phones, and I was like, guys, get off your phone, we're at work. And Tim was like, "Mel, what if we don't come back in a week?" And I'm like, "we're coming back, like what are you talking about?" And then I go home, and literally that Monday was lock down, and I was like, "oh my God, I don't think we're going back in a week."
Then a week turned into a month turned into four months, and listen, that was actually scarier than the fight for Wynonna. I was like, oh, I don't know that we're finishing this show, and then I panicked.
E!: Since you were already going on a hiatus, did you get to end in a place that would have been satisfying for people?
MS: Yes, but thank god we come back, because it wouldn't be satisfying if we weren't able to come back.
E!: Not only was there all this uncertainty between seasons, but the show also changed completely at the end of season three. What does the show even look like going forward without the curse? The premise is different!
MS: I know. First of all, can we just talk about how fearless that is that the writers did that? "Let's just get rid of the whole thing this show is based on, and like, keep going!" But they're so fearless, and that's what makes the show so exciting, to see like, when they do something you don't expect, like write in a pregnancy, and then they just take it to the next level.
But I think not only for Wynonna but for me playing Wynonna it's sort of like, well, what is my role now? It's pretty meta. Like what is my role, what is my purpose in the show, or for Wynonna in this world. And do I even have one? Do I matter without the thing that was my identity, that gave me purpose? So yeah, it's pretty dark, really.
E!: How did you react to that? Did you have a million questions or had it been more of an ongoing conversation you had already been having about the future of the show?
MS: No! I didn't know anything! I don't even know what happens this episode and I'm shooting it right now. I think [showrunner Emily Andras] is really open. It's one of the things that makes her a great writer is that she doesn't lock herself into any ideas. Sometimes she'll have an idea but thens she's like, oh, well they're playing it this way, and it inspires her to go a different way. So I don't even ask anymore, because I'm just like whatever you do is great.
E!: You weren't even like, who am I now?
MS: Yeah, but I think that's what the show is about. The show has never really been about the demons, because, um, if it was, we would have had a bigger demon budget. The show was always about the characters, and I think part of this is Wynonna's journey. At first it was to take her place as the heir and accept that, because she didn't want that, and now it's her journey to find out who she is without it, and accept that. But no matter what, the show is really about its people, and its heart, and the relationships, so that doesn't change.
E!: The end of last season saw everybody Wynonna knows and loves scattered around who knows where. What can you say about what is going through Wynonna's head as the new season picks up?
MS: Well, Wynonna has nothing left. She doesn't have family, she doesn't have a gun, she doesn't have a curse. So the beginning of this new season is just, get my people back. Because while Peacemaker is what gives her an identity, her people are what give her her strength, so that's her priority.
E!: How does the lack of Peacemaker change things for her?
MS: Well yeah, she doesn't have magic powers. Like she herself is just a person. So to take away Peacemaker...and you know, Doc has immortality. Waverly is an angel. Wynonna's just some chick whose birth control doesn't work, so she really is vulnerable without Peacemaker and I think it'll be interesting to see her get ingenious, and figure out ways to do her job. Because there are still demons to fight, but how she does that without it will be a challenge.
E!: Speaking of Doc, how would you describe the relationship between Wynonna and Doc this season?
MS: Well, he did go to save her sister, so major bonus points. But the beauty of those two is that...nothing's easy between them, and that's what's so fun to play is that they just keep coming so close, and then just, aaghh! And I see no reason for that not to continue. But you know, I don't know what happens, because I haven't asked. But I do think they're perfect for each other, because they understand each other, and love each other beyond what they can even express.
E!: What does it mean for Wynonna and Waverly's sisterly bond now that Waverly's been revealed as part angel?
I think that Waverly's maybe role will change, and I think Wynonna will still want to protect her baby sister and want to have their sister relationship, and I think that probably will be tested by Waverly's new role.
E!: You said you're shooting right now, right?
We're on day three!
E!: What is it like to film a TV show in the time of coronavirus?
Um, it's a f--king mess, but we're doing an amazing job. But listen, it's such a learning curve for everyone. Half the time we're like, oh my god, the rules! And nobody's doing it on purpose, but we're just so not used to like, we have to wash our hands every four seconds. Every time we get to a new space we have to sanitize. We wear our masks. Even actors wear masks, all the time, except obviously when we're rolling.
And you know, it's hot out, and these crew are wearing a mask all the time, so for people who can't wear it 20 minutes, I say try shooting in 40 degrees Celsius [104 degrees Fahrenheit] weather with a mask. They don't complain. Are you kidding me? They are actual heroes.
Just knowing how close you guys have to get to each other...
I will say, speaking to that point, personally I feel like I need to check in with people the way you would before an intimacy scene. I now just check in before any scene, and I'm like, "what are you comfortable with? Can I touch you? How close can I get?" Because everybody's comfort level around the virus is so different. And some people are more scared and more cautious so you just have to be respectful of that, almost like it were like a makeout scene.
Did you form a bubble, like the NBA or The Bachelorette?
I think I've been tested three times so far, within two weeks. They trust us, luckily, because none of us are party animals. We're not going to raves or like sex clubs—not that sex clubs would be open right now—but you know, we can hang out together. So we have our bubble, and even on set, we have bubbles. So we have a zone A, and then we have other crews in zone B, and we're not allowed to cross over.
How different does this season feel to you, not just in terms of corona, but with the new stories you're telling, too?
I think in certain ways—especially now we're shooting in the middle of summer, so you will definitely see some things we've never seen, like grass—but it still feels like Wynonna Earp, probably more than ever, because now we're more connected than ever, and we've had to fight for the show, and now we're fighting within the show, and it is probably more Wynonna-y than ever.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Wynonna Earp returns this Sunday, July 26 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Syfy.
E! and Syfy are both part of the NBCUniversal family.