Catching Up With #WayHaught

Have you seen “Wynonna Earp” yet? Do it, do it, do it!  It should return in April, so you have just enough time to binge watch all thirteen episodes of season one and obsessively read through the massive amount of fandom material online before then. If you haven’t seen it, in brief the show is about the great-great-granddaughter of legendary deputy sheriff/gunslinger Wyatt Earp, who returns to her hometown of Purgatory and must kill “Revanants”–77 outlaws that Wyatt killed turned demons who rise from Hell to wreak havoc in Purgatory during the lifetimes of Wyatt’s heirs. Each episode features Wynonna confronting at least one Revanant, who can only be killed with Wyatt Earp’s gun, Peacemaker. Wynonna is helped by her younger sister, Waverly, Deputy US Marshal Agent Xavier Dolls (of the Black Badge Division, oooooh), and Doc Holliday, Wyatt’s immortal best friend. Wynonna, a modern anti-hero, comes with baggage: the town rebel with a penchant for sleeping with…um, well, most of the males in Purgatory, beset by lingering feelings of guilt and anger over her past. If you squint, the show looks a lot like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” with its witty dialogue, messianic feminist overtones (both Buffy and Wynonna are “chosen” by fate to wield their power), demon villains, and “Scooby gangs” (for example, Waverly shares a lot of Dawn’s enthusiasm and naivety, Dolls is like a Watcher, and Doc Holliday is broody like a vampire).

Since the last episode of “Wynonna Earp” aired in late June, the show has continued to win accolades, such as Best New Show for E!’s TV Scoop Awards and being listed among Variety‘s Best New Shows of 2016. One of the most praised aspects of the show has been “WayHaught,” the relationship between Waverly and Purgatory police officer Nicole Haught. WayHaught can best be described as two adorable kittens rolling around on a bed. Oh, and one kitten is wearing a tiny belly-baring shirt that says “Shorty’s” and the other is wearing a tiny cowboy hat. When they get tired of playing, they snuggle up and fall asleep and your heart grows three sizes and you give Whoville back all their presents. “Wynonna” stands on its own merits, including great acting by the entire cast and particularly Melanie Scrofano, who plays Wynonna, but certainly WayHaught has become a major component of the show that not only ties queer fans into the show but has also inspired the cast and crew of “Wynonna” to be very active in support of the LGBT community.

So what have the two halves of Wayhaught been up to in the off-season while they waited for the show to begin shooting again?

Katherine Barrell, who plays Officer Haught, pretty much talked to everyone about the “Bury Your Gays” Trope. She may not have known about the trope before she took the role, but at this point she could probably lead a graduate class on its psychological impact on LGBT viewers. In December, Kat co-starred in the Hallmark Channel’s TV movie “A Nutcracker Christmas.” The movie is about Lilly James, played by Amy Acker (Root from “Person of Interest”), a jaded ex-ballerina forced to come to terms with her past after her niece is cast in the Philadelphia Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker. Barrell played Beth, Lilly’s older sister. Amy and Kat are totally besties for life now, BTW, and are thinking of creating a joint project. I am 100% certain that the Internet can come up with some ideas, and I’m pretty sure all of them involve lesbians, guns and leather catsuits.

In an alternate reality, this is a lesbian couple and not sisters.

Also in December, Kat’s film “My Ex Ex” opened in (a mere) 10 U.S. cities. Per IMDB, the plot can be summarized as: “A recently-jilted woman has to decide whether to take back the man who dumped her or return to her college boyfriend.” The obvious answer is that she ends up with neither and instead embarks on a journey of self-discovery, cats, and lesbians, but whatever, I guess dudes are fine too. It should be on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon this spring. Starting this month, Kat is appearing on the new half-hour Canadian comedy “Workin’ Moms” as the character Alicia Rutherford, the organic, perfect mom.

Dominique Provost-Chalkley, who plays Waverly Earp, guest starred in the first two episodes of season ten of the Canadian period detective show “Murdoch Mysteries,” which aired in early October. She also finished filming the horror movie “Buckout Road,” in which she plays a lead role.

In between their extracurriculars, the ladies of WayHaught attended a lot of fan events. On July 22 and 23, the cast of “Wynonna Earp” represented at the San Diego Comic Con. You know you’ve made it when you get invited to SDCC, which is the largest convention of its kind in the world (you can read AfterEllen’s brief recap of the super gay friendly event here). Dom and Kat both talked about their commitment to WayHaught, while Kat said of being a gay icon: “I love it, I think it’s great, I hope I do it justice. It’s a huge responsibility and it’s an honor.” You can watch them talk about it here.  The full cast panel, including Melanie and the men of “Wynonna Earp” can be seen here:

Oh right, and this happened, too:

That’s Alycia Debnam-Carey, who played Lexa on “The 100,” talking to Dom. Clexa met WayHaught and both fandoms couldn’t even. In September, Dom, but not Kat, attended the Fan Expo 2016 in Toronto, which is Canada’s largest fan expo. You can read our article about it and the cast of “Carmilla,” also in attendance, here. Crossover, anyone?

For Spirit Day (20 October), a day in which participants worldwide wore purple to show their support against bullying and for LGBT youth, the cast of “Wynonna Earp” went purple and tweeted about it. Kat and Amy Acker even did a joint video clip about it.

Finally, as a heads up, in March, Dom, Kat, and show runner Emily Andras (who also was the show runner for “Lost Girl”) will be featured at Clexa Con, a convention for queer women in Las Vegas. They will be participating in a panel called “The WayHaught Women of ‘Wynonna Earp,’” which will focus on how the show and the WayHaught relationship came to pass.

Follow Kat on Twitter @KatBarrell and Dom @DominiqueP_C. Also worth following is the super gay-friendly @WynonnaEarp account, as well as Emily’s hilarious tweets @emtothea. #Eapers, assemble!