Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Witches of East End, Season 1, Episode 4: A Few Good Talismen

Flashback time – 1693 this time – running through the woods, Joanna finds Ingrid and Freya – burned at the stake. A man holds her and tells her it was the only way, they were too reckless and risking their secret. Joanna doesn’t take much comfort in that and she grabs his own knife and gets to the stabbing – he begs her to spare him and she says “as you wish”- and the knife comes down.

To the present and modern Freya and Ingrid are listening to this story and very impressed at their mother slicing off someone’s ear (the missing ear and description and the person we saw last week suggests this man is the shapeshifter attacking them). Joanna tries to bring out the moral of the story – that even with that provocation she still refrained from killing the man. Wendy arrives to hear the tail end of the “do not kill” speech and tells Freya and Ingrid that Joanna is just being responsible – however, Wendy is the fun one and totally doesn’t have to worry about that. Joanna says only use their magic for an emergency – Wendy says use it for fun and magically fills the kitchen with snow.

Poor Joanna, I think I’d be in her shoes. She goes with her lawyer/fellow immortal Harrison and her friend Richard to the courthouse as part of her ongoing battle against being framed for murder.

Freya spends the morning with Dash, covering his ex-fiancee, the fact his mother hates Freya (“oh she doesn’t” sorry Dash, she really really does. On the plus side, that woman is damn good at the razor sharp comments) and how they must never ever ever keep secrets from each other ever again (GUILT! ANGST!)

Freya goes to see Dash’s mother (Penelope), she throws in her own barbs about secrets and adds some little digs. But there’s a motive beyond spite this time – Penelope wants her sons, Dash and Killian, to make up; she wants Freya to get them both to come to dinner.

Ingrid goes to work and her friend and co-worker Barbie has brought in her sonogram for her miraculous magical pregnancy. Barbie praises Ingrid’s magic though she denies it and puts it down to positive thinking; she still wants Ingrid to be the baby’s godmother.

The family goes to dinner with Harrison but Maura comes to their table accusing Joanna of killing her husband. As she rants on Wendy tells her to shut up – and Maura begins coughing up blood to Freya and Ingrid’s shock (fun auntie is a lot less fun when you see her cause internal bleeding).

Harrison and Joanna go to the site of Bill’s murder to feel the energy; with that energy she casts a spell to try and discern the shifter’s next actions – and sees images of Richard, her character witness being stabbed by her doppleganger. She knows where and when this will happen – and plans to be there, using Richard as bait, to catch the shifter.

Meanwhile Freya and Ingrid are still dealing with Wendy’s little curse at the bar when Adam arrives and talks to Ingrid about their date – awkward babbling follows until he kisses her. Freya is giddy and pokes Ingrid about how joyful her aura is – it’s all light until Freya tells Ingrid she’s in love and Ingrid turns serious – she can’t be in love, they’ve only just started dating. Freya does her duty and asks Killian to go to dinner at his mother’s to get along with Dash – but Killian says he has a date.

In the hospital. Dash treats Maura for the whole coughing up blood thing – and removes a tentacle, spiky thing from her mouth. He hides it from her in a glass jar and claims he applied an anaesthetic when she feels better.

Wendy, the cause of said spiky tentacle thing, is at home researching butterflies and an entomologist, Leo – research she hides from Freya when she breezes in asking for advice on how to use magic to make Dash and Killian friends again. Wendy warns her it’s dangerous – if you change how someone feels about something you also risk changing how they feel about other things as well. She changes it to a beacon spell to bring them to dinner that night.

But before that, Wendy goes to see Leo the entomologist she was researching – pretending to be a new neighbour locked out of her flat, naked, and needing help (it’s a complicated scheme but effective). Inside his flat she gets to see his butterfly collection – including a very very rare butterfly rumoured to have magical properties. She uses magic to spill wine on his shirt and he leaves to change – and she plans to run with the stolen butterfly. Until he comes out shirtless and she becomes… very very distracted.

She wakes up later and takes the butterfly with her. She goes to the hospital and casts a spell on it that sends the butterfly into Maura’s ear (Joanna’s accuser).

Freya casts her spell to bring the warring Gardiner brothers together – and it seems to work. Briefly. She goes to the Gardiner house and finds Killian playing the piano – really well. She complements him on being professional standard and is sure she’s heard the music before, even though he’s written it. He goes to get the wine and Dash joins her so she can hug and kiss him while she and Killian make significant sad eyes at each other.

Killian tells Freya he can’t do it – he can’t watch Freya and Dash together and she begs him to stay. Penelope arrives and is really happy to see her sons together. Well, briefly – before Killian begs off for a date and Dash gets a text from the hospital needing him back. Leaving Freya to have dinner with Penelope.

It’s not as awkward as it could be since Penelope has put away her razor. She is upset about Killian, the potential he has and never used - how he’s always afraid of being happy.

Later Dash and Freya talk and Freya’s confident she’s bonded a little with Penelope.

Ingrid goes on her super thoughtful romantic date with Adam (even if it is in her work place and does involve sandwiches, it’s still romantic). And she again tries to split up with him because her complicated life is too much. Adam is confused why she’d break up with him so soon after they started dating and Ingrid runs from the room.

I call commitment issues and Freya saying she’s in love as the problem!

She walks home with Barbie who is just bemused at Ingrid running out on Adam after waiting for him for so long. Ingrid tries to explain and Barbie points out how little sense she is making. They head to get a drink – and Barbie collapses clutching her stomach.

Ingrid rushes her to the hospital and while she’s in hospital Hudson arrives to comfort her, but Ingrid is blaming herself (probably the resurrection spell). She goes outside into the rain, sobbing and calls Wendy’s voice mail to tell her what’s happening. Adam finds her out there, he came as soon as he heard about Barbie and he holds her while she cries. She apologises for earlier and freaking out and they kiss.

Ingrid then gets news that Barbie is ok, the baby is fine, everything is ok – and Adam collapses. She screams for help and people come running to try and rescuitate him.

Meanwhile, Joanna and Harrison invite themselves to Richard’s to be around when 8:30 arrives when he’s due to be murdered by the shifter. They make many excuses to hang around when he’s politely trying to get rid of them and Joanna tries to get rid of Harrison for his own safety (he’s immortal but not a witch) and Joanna confirms they’re in the fight place by the décor on the walls.

Harrison explores the house and finds the creepy shifter altar room – complete with pictures of Joanna and the poppet made from Joanna’s hair. Of course he is then knocked unconscious. I swear, if I ever come to a room full of creepy stuff I am not going to examine it – I’m turning my back on it all and looking at the door I just came through because someone WILL be sneaking up behind me.

Joanna gets suspicious as the time seems to have passed the 8:30 deadline and goes looking for Richard and Harrison. She finds Richard’s plastic wrapped body – and the shifter using Richard’s form waiting for her with the hair poppet. He uses it to drain her and drive her to the floor.

With her helpless he resumes his normal shape – Vidor, the man whose ear she cut off. He plans to slowly torture her because of that ear-cutting thing (you killed her daughters – I say you got off lightly). Harrison sneaks in behind Vidor while he’s burning her ear and steals his little hair puppet – and throws it in the fire.

A fully powered Joanna easily heals her ear and Vidor falls to his knees begging. She knocks him down and reaches for the poker – he desperately shifts to Richard’s form and she stabs him in the chest. Behold, her vision has now come true, albeit in an interestingly twisty way. Vidor tells her he wasn’t the one who framed her for murder – her real enemy is still out there (just in case you thought we’d ended the main storyline half way through the season). He doesn’t answer her questions about who the enemy is before he dies.

And the moral of this show kiddies? If you have your enemies helpless before you KILL THEM DEAD! No torture, no gloating, no mercy – make with the stabbing *stabbitystabbitystabbity*

I really want to focus more on Joanna’s storyline. It’s nice that there’s such a lot going on and everyone has a life, but Freya’s relationship drama takes up far too much space and we still don’t have an explanation for why she is so hooked on Killian. I think Ingrid’s Adam yes/no and Freya’s sorta-love triangle are getting in the way of compelling plots – like Ingrid and her friends or Joanna’s ongoing battle against the shifter.

I really am not loving how the minorities in this show are being treated. In the first episode it looked like we had a few but Barbie, Adam and Hudson never developed into a larger role. Barbie had her pregnancy which became a source of Ingrid angst which in turn lead to Adam also being a tool for that angst – and possibly even dying for it, while Hudson is a character-less, stereotyped, offensive GBF. They’re walk on tools with little depth or development – I had hopes for Adam, the most present of them 3 and maybe he will heal and become more, but I have my doubts.