Wynonna Earp: Brendon Yorke talks “Gonna Getcha Good,” cheerleading and The Guardians of the Galaxy

Yes, writing for television is a team sport and Wynonna Earp is no different. Everyone contributes ideas, thoughts and story angles before one person goes off to write a script. So, yes, Friday’s new episode “Gonna Getcha Good,” was—as always—the result of teamwork but Brendon Yorke’s name is on it, meaning he’ll be recognized for what could very well be one of the most memorable scenes in Season 2: Waverly doing her cheerleading routine for Nicole.

That wasn’t the only notable moment from Friday’s new episode; we found out where Dolls has gone (held captive in a barn by Waverly, surrounded by shiny things), what Doc has been up to (he and Rosita are re-creating Dolls’ drug), Nedley’s future for Nicole (taking over as Sheriff) and the apparent end for Mercedes Gardiner. We spoke to Brendon Yorke about these landmark, memorable storylines.

Fans have been anticipating this episode since the Season 2 teaser trailer was released, to see Waverly perform her cheerleading routine.
Brendon Yorke: That’s all Dominique and the director and choreographers, right? [Laughs.] When you write it you’re like, ‘Waverly does an awesome cheerleading routine and Nicole stands there with her jaw agape.’ It’s one line of direction and this is what they come up with. Apparently, it was a gruelling day to do those routines. They’re long and a require a lot of effort.

It was a 40-second routine on-air.
Yeah, and the rough cut was four times longer.

I know it’s a team effort, but how does it feel to have your name on a script that fulfils every WayHaught fan’s dream?
When you first conceive of that as a teaser—we understand who a lot of our passionate fans are and that they and most fans would appreciate that sort of thing—you don’t want it to be exploitative. The balancing act that you have to do is that you understand she’s doing it for her girlfriend and not for voyeurs or anything like that. At the same time, there is more going on with Waverly than meets the eye. She’s not entirely herself. I’m sure some degree of her Id is coming out.

You bring up a good point. Rather than just being a titillating moment, it really is a comment on the character too and how it evolves through the episodes to the final moments with Dolls.
Totally. And it oscillates between what she can and can’t control.

I wondered whether she could control what was going on inside her and thought she could.
What I would suggest is that, if anyone can control it, it’s her.

This episode had a ‘monster of the week’ feel to it that I enjoyed.
In the beginning of the season you’re kind of re-setting the story and by the time you’re getting to Episode 3, you’re getting to ‘Who is she fighting?’ and a bit more of a monster of the week type thing that touches on the series arcs as well.

Fans don’t want to see dissension and arguments between the main characters and I’m part of that group too. But there is something cool about having Wynonna and Doc not see eye to eye at first and she questioning his loyalty to the team. It just makes things more interesting.
That goes back to Doc Holliday’s core and who he was back in the day. It worked really well in Season 1 when he was working both sides at the same time. He’s a poker player; you never totally know where he’s going. We often use The Guardians of the Galaxy model: there is nothing more satisfying than bringing the team together. They have to go through their own journeys and conflict to get there to make it satisfying. It’s the balancing act we do over the course of a season to have some push and pull but at the same time know that, hopefully, at the end of the day everyone has each other’s back.

One of the hallmarks of Wynonna Earp is the slow-motion scenes. How did you come to the realization that was a fun way of storytelling?
When you have somebody like Melanie Scrofano, there are so many wonderful things that you can do. Like every series, you figure out what works best. There was a scene in Season 1 where she’s coming in with coffee and doughnuts after a drunken binge and cruising through the hallways of the Sheriff’s office and she can do so much with her eyes. She’s such a physical actress, she can do things with her hair that’s just amazing. When we saw that we were like, ‘Yeah, this is good. We need more of this.’ It also allows you to have a cool song and show more than tell.

We got a peek into Wynonna’s high school life. That was a cool little tidbit in the story.
Most of us in the writer’s room are from a small town. Alex is from Edmonton, but still there’s that off-the-beaten track Canadian experience and you kind of get the idea that gossip travels fast and it can be hard to live some of these things down. We also liked the idea that she didn’t apologize then and doesn’t apologize now for who she is. That’s one of the differences between she and Waverly. It seems Waverly did at least try to fit in a little bit more when they were younger.

Another character who didn’t apologize for who she was is Mercedes Gardiner. You blew the Gardiner story open tonight. What can you say about this family?
They will definitely play an important role. We always like to flesh out the world so it’s not always just Wynonna against the supernatural or the team against the supernatural. This is set in the real world and we like it to feel grounded somehow. There are humans here who are also providing complications and humans in this world who will become victims to these terrible things that are heroes are fighting against. I feel like it’s important to show that there is a real town here and real people.

We got insight into what Rosita and Doc are doing: making the drug for Dolls.
That’s one of the things with Doc too. You suspect his motives are one thing and they turn out to be something else and that’s what makes him such a great character for. Someday you think he’s doing something good and it turns out he’s doing something terrible.

There was a very sweet moment between Nicole and Nedley where he told her about the long game and wanting her to take over as Sheriff one day. He feels very much like a father figure to her.
We want Nicole to be a good cop, not just someone who helps our team or who is a love interest for Waverly. We want her to be a principled, good cop who came to this place she thought needed help. Nedley also says that he recruited her; it’s important for us to establish that she’s really good at her police job and there is something necessary about having someone like that in the world because there are regular humans with regular problems. I think it also helps ground the series as well so it’s not all biblical demon hunting all the time. [Laughs.] It’s also good to show the dynamic between Nedley and Nicole and their friendship. We don’t know too much about her backstory but I’m sure a supportive father figure is something she’d be happy to have.

You left us, in the final scene, with Dolls and Waverly in the same barn, with silver surrounding them.
I’m sure we’ll learn more about this coming up. [Laughs.] Let’s just say neither one of them is in a good place at the end of the episode and we need to figure out a way to get them out of it.

Wynonna Earp airs Fridays at 10 p.m. ET on Space.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.