Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Witches of East End, Season 1, Episode 6: Potentia Noctis

Freya, Killian, a swimming pool, flirting vs no no I love your brother. Witches of East End Killian’s value as eye candy is being rapidly diminished by his annoyance as a character. Dash arrives and it seems he and Killian are trying not to hate each other but Killian still has sad puppy dog eyes when Freya and Dash are together.

Killian does go to Dash’s hospital for a check up after being electrocuted and meets Amy, a doctor there who is definitely interested in Killian. Because she has eyes.

On to the next sister – Ingrid – at work in the library/bookshop/big place of lotsa books and she gets a visit from Penelope (Dash’s mother). The renovations of their house continue with all kinds of junk buried in the walls – including a photograph of someone who looks exactly like Ingrid (probably a past incarnation). And part Ingrid looks troubled (ominous music). I’m not sure why this is ominous or why the troubles of someone dead for a few decades is so troubling – but the scary music says so.

Freya practices her magic with Wendy being all positive and sure she’s powerful and awesome while inside Ingrid is freaking out about the photo – because people may see it and decide “ZOMG IMMORTAL REBORN WITCH!” Joanna is, thankfully, more sensible than that. Ingrid has another thought though – he’s lived all these past lives and knows nothing about them, she’s curious. Joanna and Wendy become suspiciously evasive.

Face with this, Ingrid goes into full research mode. She finds out that the girl in the picture with her is Athena, the daughter of Archibald (it’s been mentioned in passing but Archibald is the evil Satanist guy who first built the house Penelope, Killian and Dash live in, it was mentioned in the HUGE pilot o’doom). She made magic brownies to help her remember her past life – it doesn’t seem to have worked by Freya points out it has made her frighteningly manic. Freya leaves – and Ingrid has an image of a strange man that leaves her writhing on her bed remembering an orgy and the man on a throne. He calls her the most beautiful creature he has ever seen. He anoints her chest with a symbol – an eye and cross – in what looks like blood before painting the blood on her lips before they kiss passionately.

The flashbacks continue with Joanna, Wendy and Ingrid running an apothecary and using magic to help heal their patrons. Archibald arrives and the atmosphere becomes distinctly chilly and he asks for a herb that the refuse to sell him – it’s poisonous and dangerous in the wrong hands. They also refuse the invite to his new house – Fairhaven (where Penelope, Dash and Killian now live).

Later flashback shows Ingrid continuing the affair with Archibald and stealing the herb he wanted – and showing that Archibald views normal humans as lesser species. The use the herb and a ritual to make an old woman young again – though they charge her a lot of money for it. Archibald wants to marry Ingrid but her family won’t understand and will think he bespelled her, which he thinks is ridiculous since she’s stronger than him. They also have an ominous plan to gather lots of followers and “take back what is rightfully ours.” That’s never a good sign. They musing is interrupted by someone bringing Elizabeth – the old woman they made young – to them. She has died; Archibald is scornful of her as weak, but Ingrid worries about them being blamed and they hide the body. Since people will be after them, Archibald urges Ingrid to marry him that night

Romantic planning is shelved by an angry older man looking for his sister, Elizabeth. Archibald goes all honey badger on the man – he doesn’t care he’s going to happily tell anyone he done killed the woman. But he’s not going to kill the old man – his fiancée will do it! Y’know some people go for a ring, Archibald goes for pensioner killing and they say romance is dead. Inrgid discovers her conscience so Archibald kills the old man instead – you mean the man who called humans lesser creatures constantly turns out to be evil, Ingrid?! HOW COULD YOU HAVE POSSIBLY GUESSED!?

Alas, she hasn’t smelled reality yet and she runs home to pack some things for their evil wedding – and is caught by Wendy. Ingrid’s excuses are pathetic, but since she’s wearing a wedding dress the only good lie I can think of is a fancy dress party. Wendy points out Archibald is evil and using her, Ingrid, of course, does not believe it. The murders haven’t convinced her… Apparently Archibald wants to protect “their kind” so they don’t have to hide by “returning to where they came from” because he’s “found a way through”. Ooooh all kinds of cryptic world building clues.

Back to the present and at the hospital, Amy has the test results on the weird thing Dash pulled out of Maura’s throat – and the results are impossible. They’ve only seem something like it in another hospital when the victim claimed to have been cursed – and then the doctor and everyone involved mysteriously died soon afterwards. And the hospital was knocked down for another reason which also lost the sample. My but that’s a thorough cover-up. They both joke about it when Freya comes in and she slightly freaks out and she steals the sample.

She takes it home and shows Wendy who throws it in the fire gasping that it’s the branch of death – you touch it you die and they frenziedly wash Freya’s hands. They have a few weeks before it kicks in and the gunk on the branches fill her lungs (Freya asks what happens, Wendy tells her then she complains about being told. Wendy has no time for panicking in a crisis). Freya blames Wendy for her silencing spell but Wendy says no – that’s not from her spell, it’s probably from the Shifter when it attacked her. Wendy lays down the line, yes it’s deadly, yes Freya has died from it before, now they have a cure so suck it up put on your big girl’s trousers and deal – and she has to make the potion, since Freya’s gifts are in potion making. Freya also realises that Dash and Amy were probably exposed (I’m not so sure – I imagine doctors are less likely to touch weird growths found in people’s throats without actual tools. NB: if any of you are doctors who wish to say otherwise please don’t. I am cherishing my sweet sweet delusion here and want to be able to stand near my doctor without yelling “don’t touch me!?” in the future). The cure is working when your ears start ringing.

She decides to brew the potion at the bar, while it’s open and full and, presumably, while she’s working. This sounds bizarre but the motive behind it is that she has invited Dash, Amy and Killian to the bar for many rounds of drinks – and ask about Dash’s work to see if anyone else touched the nasty death thing. Dash is surprised that Freya cares about his work and she takes massive offense to the idea that she doesn’t care about his work. Amy rushes in to praise Freya’s drink to cover the colossal awkwardness. Dash does it one better – and asks Freya to marry him, hat weekend, no big ceremony or family, just those 2 at the courthouse with Amy and Killian as witnesses. Killian looks like someone just murdered his cat.

Time to continue the party back at the pool! Because there’s nothing better to do when drunk than swim, am I right? Everyone’s ears are ringing as well (which should be a sign not to go swimming) which means no-one’s going to die from the horrible branchy thing. After the men strip to their underwear and get wet (fanservice? I don’t know what you mean! Hah, it’s not like they’re hired for their compelling acting skills) they decide to get out and go explore some newly discovered creepy catacombs. You think people this rich would be able to afford a hobby. These catacombs were also where Archibald stashed his bodies (a really bad hiding place, to be honest. I mean, if a house has catacombs that’s the first place you look for a body – it is kind of the whole point of having catacombs. In fact, didn’t someone look at the plans and question the need for some catacombs? It’s got to be sign of ill intent – it should be against building regs no lairs, torture chambers, catacombs or woodchip: it’s a sure sign of evil).

While exploring the dank, dark caverns, Freya and Killian decide to talk about their mutual sex dreams before they ever met (something Freya has never brought up with any knowing witch for some bizarre reason) – and if this is your topic of conversation a few hours after you planned your wedding then something’s up with that. Rather less scary than the conversation, Freya finds a whole wall of the evil death plant. Oh dear.

They cap off their night with Dash telling Freya he wanted to marry her the first time he met her. See, with decision making like that it’s no surprise his first fiancée didn’t hang around.

Flashback again to Ingrid’s ongoing dream: Archibald arrives with his daughter Athena to collect Ingrid and Wendy says she’d rather die than follow him – so Archibald pins her to the wall with magic and invites Ingrid to kill her. Uh-huh, Ingrid what does this man actually have to do before you smell the evil? He gives her a choice – kill Wendy or he will – but while they argue Wendy isn’t one to stand there and wait for death – she prepares her own spell and throws it. Ingrid, afraid it will hit Athena, jumps in the way, is knocked over the balcony and dies.

Modern Ingrid wakes up screaming. Yeah, to be fair Ingrid, you kinda sorta deserved it back then. Joanna hurries to comfort her. Joanna explains the rest of the story – she had a vision of Ingrid’s death and ran to the shop. Archibald blamed Wendy and tried to strangle her – Joanna called a knife to her hand; Athena tried to stop her but Joanna cut her moving her out of the way before stabbing Archibald in the back and killing him. Joanna holds Athena while she cries and heals the cut on her back. Joanna told Wendy that Freya would be dead by morning – because they always die on the same day. Joanna blamed Wendy – not for killing Ingrid, that was self-defence – but for knowing Ingrid was in love with evil Archibald and not telling her so they could have saved her. She kicked Wendy out never to see her again (the estrangement that began the series).

Back to present and Joanna finishes off with how she watched Athena until she died in the 1960s (Ingrid loved the girl). She remembers everything, loving Archibald but is still several kinds of shocked that she could go so far. I know and she thought she was the smart one.

And Freya rushes in to tell them about the wall of evil death plants in the catacombs. You could make a hedge, that’ll keep the kids off your lawn!

Even more unfortunately, Dash goes exploring on his own and finds the same wall – is this the end of bland but pretty Dash? No because Freya’s potion made him immune (or should have) but he does take a sample. The next day he and Freya change their mind about the whole drunken elopement thing. This pleases Penelope who was very worried about the elopement since she has such big plans for Freya and her family… and the camera focuses on a scar on Penelope’s back – just like the cut Athena had.

And the next day Ingrid is definitely avoiding Wendy, guess it takes a while to get over being killed by someone

Y’know, I was all prepared to say that I bet Athena is the shifter and hiding among them – and then they had to get all obvious about it with the scar thing.

I thought I wouldn’t be happy with the long flashback but I think it really worked and did a lot to really reinforce the idea of how old these people are and how many lives the two daughters have lived. It made me enjoy an episode I thought I was going to find slow.

I’m still very much on a holding pattern with Witches of East End, there’s a lot of things I’m tempted to comment on but, it still being relatively early in the season, I’m holding back on – I’m enjoying it but saddened by early indications of inclusion rapidly reversing.