The good news is that episode two of Witches of East End is way better than the premiere. The bad news? There's still way too much going on. Stop adding plotlines, show!
It may be early and the show may need to set things up, but seriously, pick one or two plotlines per week. Here's a list of the plots we rocketed between this week:
- the results of Ingrid's resurrection spell
- Sun Burnt Will Forte's plan of vengeance
- Joanna's murder charge
- Freya's anger with her mother over telling her she was crazy
- Freya's love connection with Dash and Killian
- Dash and Killian's brotherly relationship
- The family's curses
The show picks up where it left off last week, after a full minute of "previously ons." There's been one episode, but it takes a minute of footage to catch a viewer up. So we start where we ended: Joanna carted off by the police, Freya trapped in the photo, Wendy stabbed, Ingrid knowing she's a witch and charged with saving Freya.
We spend about ninety seconds with Ingrid looking at the spellbook, to a few seconds of Freya trapped, to Joanna being interrogated about the murder the shapeshifter committed while wearing her face. The detective repeats what you already know, if you saw the first scene of the pilot, but is sure to emphasize that the shapeshifter was making this symbol:
Joanna says she's never seen it before, and I can't tell if that's a lie or not. She doesn't bring it up with Wendy or anyone, but then again there's a lot going on.
A few minutes later we cut back to Ingrid for a few seconds, who has decided to bring Wendy back with a resurrection spell. Her scenes are sort of wandering. And then right back to Joanna in the police station, who is pretty casual about the murder charge. And then to Freya in the photo, who is pretty much sobbing all the time, and then Burnt Will Forte delivers this speech, straight out of abusive boyfriend 101:
"I was in love with you. I didn't want to hit you, I just wanted to make you listen."
All of this is just to give you a taste of how often this show changes tone and plot, because we're still only five minutes in. But for the sake of moving quicker, let's just go plot-by-plot and tally what questions have been answered and what new questions have been added.
Ingrid's Resurrection Spell
This is a new plot, but one designed to give Ingrid some angst. Ingrid pretty much just ditches her "rational skeptic" characterization this week, and brings back Wendy with a resurrection spell. Wendy remains awesome, as the spell makes her vomit in the bathroom. She also explains that she didn't need a spell, she would have come back to life eventually. She sees Freya's spell and awesomely makes this face:
She tells Ingrid that magic has a price. (Yeah, if you watch this and Once Upon a Time, you're going to hear that a lot on Sundays.) For Ingrid, that means that someone else she loves has to die. Seriously, the spell didn't have a warning? Like, "Use this and someone else will die"? She doesn't know who or when it will happen, so she freaks out about that just hanging over her head. Add this to the pile of plot threads we'll be seeing.
Sun Burnt Will Forte's Plan for Revenge
This occupies the majority of the episode, except for the middle of the episode, where they sort of forget about him. In the photo of the 1920s, Sun Burnt Will Forte decides to kill Freya like a Bond villain. He ties her to a chair, makes a line of alcohol to her, and sets it on fire, where it very slowly makes its way to her. She manages to access her powers, knock out Sun Burnt Will Forte, and get out of the picture. She passes out, and decides that everything that happened was a dream. Yes, she's the believer and now Ingrid has to convince her that it was real. Also, after they leave the bar where the picture is, this happens:
Oh, show. You haven't earned that. That's just hilarious. So, while the family pretty much forgets about him, he gets out and tracks down Freya. In another bizarre tonal shift, Freya says everything feels different, even the painting on the wall. And Joanna jokes that that's just because "[Sun Burnt Will Forte] isn't in it anymore." Which is when they realize they never actually dealt with him.
He tries to drown Freya in the bathtub, but Joanna and Wendy work together to trap him in another painting. Which was amazing, because it gave us the image at the top of this article. I love that painting. He looks like he's not only doomed to be stuck in a painting, but that he's doomed to be a mime, too.
Joanna's Murder Charge
She's still charged, but she calls a lawyer named "Harrison," who doesn't have magical powers, but also doesn't age, who is apparently the preferred lawyer of supernatural forces? And has a history with Joanna, which may include him stealing from her? They blow past this pretty fast, but that's what I got.
He gets Joanna out on bail, and she tells him to tell Ingrid that the money she needs is with Aunt Marilyn. Who is dead. Joanna, apparently planning for every contingency, buried a giant amount of money in a graveyard with a fake headstone. Wendy is kind enough to hang a lampshade on this bit of ridiculousness:
You know, you gotta give it to your mom. She created a dead person so that she could bury her money in plain sight, bring you here as little girls so that you would remember if you ever needed it some day. That's fairly ingenious.
Except not, since Ingrid didn't get it without Wendy explaining it to her. So add "giant coffin full of money" and "whatever's going on with Harrison" to the Witches of East End Plot Tracker.
Freya's Anger with Joanna
Freya's not buying the "mom made me think I was crazy to protect me" line. Ingrid, all things considered, is taking the hit to her worldview pretty well. Freya's pissed. She went to therapy for believing something that turned out to be true. She's then told to lie to Dash about being a witch. She's pissed and storms off, right into the arms of the next plotline.
When she's unconscious after the near-burning, Freya dreams that she's kissing Killian, but it's really Dash. And then, after the whole confrontation with her mother, she goes to see Killian. Because Dash would make it better, which she doesn't want. So she just lies on the top of Killian's boat with him for a while. Even though they both acknowledge she shouldn't be there. Killian then states what'll likely be his plot for the rest of season:
Do you think we can really be friends? And ignore how we really feel about each other?
And after the family's finished burying Sun Burnt Will Forte's painting, Dash is there waiting for her. He says she can tell him anything, and while she doesn't tell him she's a witch, she does tell him that she's screwed up. Which he says he loves that about her and that you try to fix the problems of those you love.
Dash and Killian
A conversation between Dash and Killian at the bar revealed that Killian's angry at Dash for whatever reason, Dash thinks it's jealousy over Dash not being a screw-up. Killian's been gone for five years, and Dash thinks he's here for something that he'll "take without asking." Later, he offers Killian a check to leave. So we've still got to figure out how dream!Killian says he's been waiting for Freya for hundreds of years, and now we're adding the brothers' past to the mystery pile.
The Family Curse
Wendy tells Ingrid that every woman in their family is cursed. Ingrid asks why, and Wendy says she'll leave that up to Joanna to explain. And then this happens:
Wendy: There's probably another thing you should know. All the women in this family? We have really bad luck with men.
Ingrid: And that's part of the curse?
Wendy: No, we're just really stupid that way.
Hahaha. WELL. That's a thing now.
The episode ends with the Shapeshifter drawing the symbol from before on a tree outside the women's house and the tree blackening and dying.
This episode was much better than last week's, but there's still so much going on. We've got Freya's love triangle, her anger with her mother, the relationship between the brothers, Dash and Killian's mother (played by Virginia Madsen, so there's got to be more going on with her), Joanna's murder charge, whoever Harrison is, the shapeshifter and why it wants Joanna dead, Ingrid's resurrection spell fallout, her pregnant friend (unless that plot thread from last week just vanishes), Ingrid's fear of her power, and the curse the family's under. That's a lot. Either the show's going to keep up with these too-packed, tone-shift heavy episodes OR it's going to have to pick-and-choose every week, which'll leave some major plot hanging.
However, Wendy's still a delight. The best line of the night was her "There's a 50% chance I'll turn into a cat against my will." Give Wendy a spinoff right now, please.