‘Wynonna Earp’ Season 3: Katherine Barrell Interview on Nicole’s Relationships and WayHaught

Katherine Barrell once again joined her Wynonna Earp co-stars for a packed panel at the 2018 San Diego Comic Con. The series returned to Syfy’s primetime lineup for a third season on July 20, 2018, and at Comic Con the cast, series creator Emily Andras, and comic book creator Beau Smith did a fantastic job of teasing what’s in store without giving too much away.

Barrell and the Wynonna Earp gang also participated in roundtable interviews to discuss the show’s third season. During our interview, Barrell described the status of WayHaught, what’s up with Mama Earp, and how this season they’ll be going up against the biggest bad to date: Bulshar.

Katherine Barrell Wynonna Earp Interview:

We’d like the scoop on the remainder of the season. We want to know everything.

Katherine Barrell: “Okay, so in episode four… Well, what I can tell you about this season is I think we’re fighting our biggest bad of all the seasons. We’re fighting Bulshar who is the person who cursed the Earp family in the first place. So, the stakes are very high this season.

I think it’s also a season where we don’t have Black Badge. We have no sort of establishment; we have no one governing what we’re doing. We have no one to report to, so we’re really on our own. We also have no money and no funding, and no resources. It’s really just this team of people doing their best with an impossible situation. It’s a very exciting season.”

How do you think the group dynamics have changed this season?

Katherine Barrell: “I think the thing about this season is we don’t have any more structure. There is no more Black Badge and my department which is the Purgatory Sheriff’s Department that deals with normal everyday cases in Purgatory is now trying to fund the supernatural cases as well. So I think there’s no rules, there’s no structure. I think we’re really banding together as a family and friends this season because that’s kind of all we’ve got. It feels like a bit of us against the world. But, I think it brings the team closer together because of that.”

Which characters do you ship the most in the series? Which would you like to see get together?

Katherine Barrell: “Selfishly, I’d love to see WynHaught – Nicole and Wynonna together because I just think it’s such a fun (dynamic). They’re just such complete opposite people and it’s just fun to throw them together. But, I’d also like to see Doc and Jeremy together. That’s a really fun, beautiful dynamic. They’re so cute together. Jeremy’s like this forward-thinking science guy and Doc is stuck 100 years in the past. I just think it’s fun dynamic and I think Tim (Rozon) and Varun (Saranga), as actors, have such great chemistry together, love each, and are such good friends. They go for brunch on the weekends and are really good buddies. It’s just fun to see them working together.”

What will the dynamic be between Nicole and Mama Earp?

Katherine Barrell: “I think with Mama Earp it’s like, ‘Oh, great, another one.’ It’s like, ‘Oh, crap, another Earp I’m going to have to deal with and get through.’ But also, this sense of I’m so happy for Waverly because she’s been wanting her mother to be in her life for so long. So, Nicole’s like, ‘Oh, crap, I hope she likes me!’

Anything about meeting the parent of the person you’re with, the person you love, she wants to impress. But she knows she had a hard time with Wynonna and I think very quickly figures out and learns that Wynonna got a lot of her personality from Mama Earp. So, it’s fun to see Nicole struggle but I think she really rises to the challenge. I think she builds a nice bond with Mama Earp so it’s very special to see.”

Nicole has always been Waverly’s rock, but she’s gone through a lot. How will that change Nicole’s relationship with Waverly?

Katherine Barrell: “I think Nicole’s comfort zone is very much being the rock and she’s not as comfortable letting people help her. I think it’s a really lovely aspect of the season where we really see Waverly having to be the strong one and help Nicole who’s faltering and who’s really scared as she’s learning more and more about her own involvement with this Cult of Bulshar and what that may mean for her. I think we get to see her just really scared because it’s such a repressed memory. Like, she doesn’t know and can you imagine how scary it would be to have these horrible memories when it’s just coming in flashes for her? I think it’s really nice to see her have to let her guard down enough to let someone save her and help her. I really like that aspect of the story this year.”

How will WayHaught move forward? Will they be moving in together?

Katherine Barrell: “I can’t tell you that! But I do think we get to work together a lot more. I like to call season three ‘Domestic WayHaught.’ It’s just like a couple that is now in the next stage of their relationship. It’s not a new relationship anymore. We’ve gone through some stuff. We’ve gone through the revelations of Nicole was married and Waverly kissed another person. We’ve worked through that and now we’ve decided that everyone has a past. I honor your past decisions you’ve made and I forgive you for mistakes, and now we’re moving forward even stronger. It’s a level of comfort and familiarity, because the stakes are so high, we’re moving so quickly, and there’s not really time to sit around and chat. We don’t have that luxury. I think we see their bond is just so solidified and strong this year.”

Will we see more of Nicole’s ex-wife come into play this season?

Katherine Barrell: “I think we’ve really moved past that this season. I think we’re definitely in a place where it’s just like, ‘We’ve got to move. There’s no time.’ I think Shae when she came into town, she understood right away what was going on and I think she respected that Nicole had genuinely moved on. I think she’s a smart woman, she’s very mature and she knows that that phase of life is over between them.”

At this point is there anything that you’re learning about Nicole that surprises you?

Katherine Barrell: “Oh, I learn so much this season! I think in the end of episode three… As an actor you’re trying to always create your own backstory because you always want something to play with, even if the script’s not giving it. You need to kind of know where you’ve come from. I think for Nicole I had an idea of who I thought she was and I think it was like episode three I remember going back to my apartment in Calgary and just rewriting her whole backstory because so much of the information I was getting from the scripts was not what I thought and was not where I thought she came from.

I learned a lot about Nicole. I think Nicole has an amazing season. I’m so excited to see how it turns out and how it’s received. But, really, I think the writers were so generous with my character this season. I’m finally filling in all of those questions that we had been asking for seasons one and two.”