Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Witches of East End, Season 1, Episode 9: A Parching Imbued

The 4 Beauchamp witches gather together in ritual to try to restore Freya’s lost powers. While it’s all shiny, it doesn’t work – they realise she’s not blocked, her powers have been taken. Naturally they think of the shifter as the culprit (rightly so) and realise that with Freya’s powers the Shifter will be much stronger and able to come at them directly. Dramatic thunder strikes, as Athena/Penelope/Shifter looks down on them in a pool of water.

Plan b is to test Freya’s blood to try and find the magical fingerprint of the person who cursed her. They know it’s not Dash since Joanna tested him (much to Freya’s shock) but they also rule out Penelope despite no test (presumably because, since Dash’s test confirms he is human they assume his mother is too). When Freya goes they address my concern and Wendy asks when Penelope was tested – she hasn’t been, that’s on the to do list for tonight’s rehearsal dinner for the wedding, along with all the other guests.

They cast the spell to check the magical fingerprint – assuming it’s worked – and Wendy suggests that Joanna contact someone called Victor, a doctor, to restore Freya’s powers. Joanna considers it, cryptically, to be too much of a risk.

At the Gardiner house, Penelope commiserates with Killian about not being invited to the wedding because of the whole kissing the bride thing – and Killian has decided that it’s time to move on.

And Ingrid arrives with Freya’s dress which she tries on since the wedding has been moved up to the next day (she’ll be shuffling down the aisle, looking at that dress). Ingrid tentatively puts forward the idea that at least without her powers, Freya can be honest with Dash, but Freya isn’t seeing the bright side. Killian arrives for some awkwardness

Where is Dash the day before his wedding? In the catacombs, surprised that the evil trees have disappeared (thanks to Joanna and Wendy) but now there’s a strange, silvery goop which he scoops up. From there he joins Freya at the scene of their wedding arch with all the preparation happening around them so they can basically reaffirm the loveydovey.

To Ingrid and Mike hasn’t picked up on her subtle clues and brings her more information about her father’s quest for Asgard – including his diaries. The last few pages of his last diary, as he began to lose his faculties, reads “A parching imbued” over and over again.  Y’know I totally do not understand why this man was ridiculed by the academic community! Of course his son should base his entire life on Steven King-esque ramblings! And he wants Ingrid’s help with that – because she’s a witch. Yes he does know because he saw her break a man’s hand with a few words in Latin. Naturally she denies everything and runs; he leaves as well, but not before we see the small axe in his case.

Wendy, ignoring Joanna as is her wont, tracks down this Victor who thinks the Beauchamps all hate him. Wendy asks him to do his thing, whatever that thing is and he says he no longer does said thing but Wendy needs said thing! Or Freya needs said thing! He must do his thing – and if he’ll hear her out he’ll totally agree to do his thing. I think this thing will happen and it will be a very very bad thing – which I wouldn’t mind so long as it became a less cryptic thing.

Brief interlude where Penelope caresses torture implements and nooses to remind us all that she’s the bad guy, in case you forgot. She goes to play with the silver goop on the portal that Dash found and runs into Amy who has also dropped in to investigate at Dash’s invitation (because this is totally how you spend the day before your wedding and not even slightly convoluted). Penelope tells Amy exactly what it is – other-worldly poison that’s lethal to mortals – and promptly injects Amy with it. When Dash comes down to the gooey wall, Amy is missing, her body stashed in Penelope’s secret evil room.

At the bar, Freya is attacked by the shifter disguised as her mother. Penelope!Joanna takes some of Freya’s hair and passes on a message: “Permortem argentium” (since it has the words “death” and “silver” in there I assume she means the silver goo) and leaves. Freya quickly calls the real Joanna who races over to follow Penelope!Joanna. She gives chase but loses her when they both pause to be dramatic.

At the Beauchamp house, Victor says he can do his thing but he needs Joanna. Not Wendy. Victor tries to leave when it’s clear Joanna doesn’t approve of his thing, but Wendy insists and sends him to her room to wait.

To the library – oh thank you, for a second there I thought one of these storylines might actually be going somewhere! Thank you for saving me at the last minute from actually having to care! Mike returns to Ingrid to point out that “parching imbued” is an anagram of Ingrid Beauchamp – his dad had her name (kinda sorta) and he needs her help. Ingrid continues to insists she’s not a witch (he goes with “if you just admit it we can move on” – move on down the path you want; why do you think she wants to move on that path?). He draws his axe and hacks himself in the leg to prove it.

Pfft, he wants to cuts off his own limbs I’d cast a little spell to ensure the copious wash of blood doesn’t stain any of the books and watch the bully bleed out. Oh, alright, I’d call an ambulance “this fool just tried to hack off his own leg in my library! Yes I will be charging him for vandalism!”)

This is actually his plan. Seriously, to mutilate himself before a near stranger and hope she breaks the code of her people and puts herself at risk to heal his foolish arse. He begs her to heal him and, unlike me, she’s fool enough to do it. She heals his leg then slaps his face and storms off.

Moving on again – something was happening, we can’t have that – Joanna comforts Freya about being attacked and Freya passes on the warning. Joanna doesn’t explain (because CRYPTIC!!!!) but does say Freya needs her power back and seems to be reconsidering Victor’s thing. They go home and Joanna tells the warning to Wendy so she can be cryptic about it as well. She also agrees to call Victor – which Wendy does by shouting (Wendy is the most awesome character on this show bar none): much to Joanna’s shock since it doesn’t give her chance for Joanna to prepare Freya for meeting… HER FATHER! Yeah there’s so much cryptic going on I don’t even care any more. Sorry Freya, you’re not allowed to get emotionally involved – between Athena and Mike this show is WAY over quota on its daddy issues.

No such look, Victor and Freya have a moment before going on to Victor’s thing (a spell), which is apparently unpleasant and painful as both her parents give their blood to her with lots of dangerous ominous warnings. They clasp cut hands and begin the spell, but it hurts Freya so much that Joanna stops it – pushing Victor away.

Wait, you’re telling me Victor insisting he’s not a doctor any more, Joanna saying he’s not a doctor any more and general insistence on medical knowledge and the spell comes down to a group hug? Do you need a PHD to cut your hands and stand in a circle now?

An annoyed Freya leaves, angry that Joanna cut it short and heads to the bar to drink (this bar better be close because all the cast feels happy with running back and forth there several times a day). Ingrid joins her and they both recap to each other because this episode is not nearly slow enough. We get Ingrid to express her daddy issues now (she doesn’t want to know the dad who left them).

Finally we get to the rehearsal dinner they’ve been threatening all episode (which, alas, I also don’t care about and have never understood anyway. Why do weddings need rehearsal dinners? Does the act of getting married make you forget how to eat?) Anyway, Penelope proposes a toast – long winded and faintly double entendre ominous and Wendy rushes in to collect all the glasses afterwards

The spell on the saliva to detect non-humans doesn’t seem to be working (and dinner is nearly ruined by the oven being off before Joanna is reminded she’s a witch – rehearsal dinner appears to be quiche) and no-one has the chance to check to finger-print-blood-magic painting which is now forming a nice picture of Penelope.

More distraction! Daddy issues come home to roost because Freya has invited Victor to the rehearsal dinner. Victor GO AWAY, your little magic trick didn’t work and now you’re cluttering up and already cluttered episode. Of course while everyone is involved in the damn daddy issues, Penelope is happily in the back room doctoring the identifying painting. Also of note: daddy issues have also taken precedence over the man who tried to chop his own leg off.

Dinner is apparently eaten (and was well rehearsed – there will be no brides failing to eat at this wedding), Freya and Dash head off to discuss Freya’s daddy issues over her parents’ relationship failing. Ingrid tells everyone about Mike – hah, no. That would actually be relevant (also, no-one has checked the painting STILL, which would also be relevant) it’s time for more daddy issues!

And promising that these issues will continue – Joanna and Victim talk about how he still loves her and they kiss. WILL SOMEONE PLEASE CHECK THE PAINTING AND THE MAN WITH HIS LEG CHOPPED OFF! Does anyone in this house have priorities?

Ingrid is moping in the garden when Mike arrives – yes he’s stalking her and tracked her down. Ingrid, he knows you’re a witch, curse him already. Apparently there’s another key through to Asgard – Ingrid herself. What Mike can’t even confirm witches exist but he knows where the portal is, the existence of the snaky key and that Ingrid is a key? I call shenanigans. He wants her to open the door – yeaaaaah, no.

Joanna and Wendy finally check the painting and Penelope has changed it to a picture of the catacombs under Fairhaven. Penelope, meanwhile, reminds us that she’s evil (in case you forgot. Again) and plays with evil burning silver poison and threatens Victor (aha, the reason he has been clumsily dropped into this episode).

And Killian arrives at the house to see Freya, profess his love and ask her to run away with him. Didn’t this episode have enough pointless distractions without Killian angsting his way back in?

This episode was soooo sloooow. It had lots of scenes that just didn’t go anywhere or establish anything – it’s really drawn out. How can you have episodes like the first one where I could barely catch my breath and then this one that could scarcely be more heavily padded. And it’s confused – we kept running over different storylines, not spending more than a couple of minutes on each one and everything is sprinkled with lots of cryptic nonsense to drag it out even further. It was slow, it was clunky, it was confused and it rapidly depleted by supplies of actually giving a damn about anything.

Enough with the daddy issues please! All we need now is Dash and Killian to start lamenting their dear absent father and we’ve got a complete set. EVERYONE else has daddy angst.

Amy is dead. That makes 2 out of three POC magically murdered and the third one pretty much invisible.