1693: Joanna is running through the woods and screaming for Ingrid and Freya. She finds them buried at the stake, the result of a double-cross from former ally Vidar. He tries to explain that he turned them in to keep their people safe and their secrets under wraps, but Joanna uses her powers to get the knife from his side and cut his ear off in revenge.
Present day: Joanna does her best to instill in the girls the idea that the Beauchamp family doesn’t kill and actually gets backed up by Wendy, though the “fun aunt” stresses that magic can used for stress relief sometimes. She then turns the sink on and sprays water that turns to snow that fills up the room, to Joanna’s annoyance and Ingrid and Freya’s delight. Joanna doesn’t have time to be dour, though, not when Principal Richard Redmond has agreed to be a character witness in her murder trial; that day, he’s scheduled to give his statement to the police and Joanna and Harrison arrive at his home to pick him up and take him to the station in a united front. Meanwhile, Freya popped over the Dash’s for a little morning delight and inquires about Elyse again, coming down on him for not telling her about the former fiancée earlier. He assures her that Elyse is in the past, that she’s his family now, and that his mother, who Freya thinks doesn’t like her, is merely overprotective due to having to raise two boys on her own. The two do promise to be more honest from now on, though.
While Barb is busy showing off her ultrasound at the library and asking Ingrid to be the godmother, which she agrees to, Freya meets with Dash’s mother Penelope in the Gardiner home. The woman was looking at a photo of Dash and Killian from when they were younger and fretting about how they don’t have any type of relationship anymore after what happened with Elyse. Penelope apologizes to Freya, citing that she tries to get Dash to be honest about it from the beginning, and says that she wants her family to be whole again and that Freya can help her. The task? Get Dash and Killian to show up for dinner that night, something that hasn’t happened in at least the past five years. Since Freya wants Penelope to like her, she reluctantly agrees, despite not knowing if either brother would show up. Over at the Bent Elbow, Joanna is having lunch with Harrison, Richard, and the girls, as they celebrate how well the principal did during his statement/questioning.
However, all is not joyful when Maura Thatcher confronts Joanna and loudly proclaims that she was the one who killed Bill. Wendy tells Maura to shut up and inadvertently uses a spell that chokes the woman as a result, also making blood pour out of her mouth. Having a loud, public altercation will not help Joanna’s cause, Harrison argues, but she gives Wendy a good talking to and seems to make her sister understand the error of her ways. The two head back to the scene of the crime so that Joanna can get a feel for the energy levels and use the information to help find the shifter. She gets a start, though, when she has a vision of the shifter killing Richard with a hot fireplace poker at 8:30 that evening. She decides to use Richard as bait to draw the shifter in that night so she can either kill it or at least find out who it is.
Freya and Ingrid get a visit at the Bent Elbow from Adam, who the latter has a date with that evening and who Freya notices has brightened up her sister’s aura. Though she claims it’s because of love, Ingrid is quick to deny her feelings, citing the brief amount of time they’ve been dating, and Freya gets dragged away when she notices Killian behind the bar. She asks him about dinner that evening and after questioning whether she’s asking for his mother because she thinks he’d do anything for her, he says that he has a date and won’t be able to attend. At the hospital, Maura reluctantly sees Dr. Dash Gardiner, apprehensive due to his relationship with the Beauchamp family, and he reaches into the back of her throat with a large pair of medical tweezers to retrieve the thing that’s causing her to cough – some type of bug. He doesn’t tell her what it was but prescribes a topical anesthetic.
Also dealing with bugs is Wendy, as she comes across the rare Himalayan Stamped Crown, an important ingredient in a spell she’s working on. The way she plans to retrieve it? Leo Wingate, attractive entomologist who made headlines for his retrieval of the butterfly. Freya interrupts her planning to ask about a possible spell to bring Dash and Killian to dinner and Wendy sets her up with a beacon spell, something guaranteed to work and easy enough for someone inexperienced like Freya to perform. After preparing her niece adequately, she finds Leo’s apartment building and turns into a cat when she gets on his floor; he’s led away by the seemingly stray animal and runs across Wendy right after she turned back into a human, only a plant covering her private parts. She does get invited in and as she puts on one of his shirts to cover up, explains that she moved in upstairs and was chasing after her cat before getting locked out.
Joanna and Harrison are at dinner with Richard and deliberately trying to extend their stay at the house until 8:30 so they can catch the shifter. She asks for a cup of tea, anything she can do to stall, and has her vision again when she walks over to the fireplace where the clock is sitting. Meanwhile, Ingrid is led into the library by Adam on their date, which turns out to be a candlelit dinner of sandwiches. However, she gets overwhelmed and breaks things off with him, saying that her life is too complicated right now for a relationship and that she doesn’t want to end up hurting him. As she leaves him alone in the library, running out the door in the process, Freya does the beacon spell using the photo that Penelope was holding earlier and a blank photo, which she places together in the middle of a circle of candles and does an incantation over. The blank photo turns into a photo of the two of them as adults being friendly, but it quickly fades.
Wendy and Leo look at his bug collection and come across the extremely rare Himalayan Stamped Crown, which he chased down in Nepal. He claims that people think it has enchanted properties before claiming that while he doesn’t believe that, he knows that the act of getting it in his possession was a spiritual experience nonetheless. Wendy uses her powers to make him spill his wine and attempt to leave with the butterfly; however, she’s drawn back to the apartment when he comes back out with his shirt off and proves himself to be a surprisingly good kisser. Elsewhere, Harrison is checking Richard’s house out and comes across a cracked door, leading to the lair of the shifter – the photos, the window, the talisman. Before he can find Joanna, though, he’s attacked from behind.
Over at the Gardiner home, Freya arrives for dinner to find Killian there and playing the piano, a talent she didn’t know he had. Better yet, it was a song he wrote by himself; he then informs her that he used to want to be a professional piano player before breaking his hand, altering the way he played forever. While he goes and gets wine, Freya tries playing herself and gets surprised by Dash, who expresses that he’s only here for her and Penelope as Killian stands outside in the hallway listening in. Meanwhile, Ingrid is walking with Barb and hearing about how her logic for breaking up with Adam (hurting herself to keep from being hurt) is, well, illogical. Just then, Barb doubles over in pain and gets rushed to the hospital. Hudson quickly follows behind and arrives when Barb is in surgery and the fate of the baby is up in the air. He assures Ingrid that she did absolutely nothing wrong and was probably the reason that Barb was still alive in the first place, as waiting any longer could have truly endangered her.
While Wendy sneaks away from Leo’s apartment after the two have sex on the couch, this time with the butterfly, Freya gets put in an awkward position when Killian heads out on his “date” and Dash gets called into the hospital after Barb’s accident. It’s now just her and Penelope, but the dinner itself doesn’t go too bad, as she’s not blamed for the night falling apart and Penelope lets her in on the fact that Killian not only doesn’t want to be happy, but was responsible for breaking his hand in a bar fight two weeks before a major piano audition. She concludes that he’s just afraid of being happy. Over at Richard’s, Joanna sees that the tea was left on the stove and begins looking through the house for either him or Harrison. She opens a closet door and finds Richard’s bloody body covered in plastic; as she comes down the stairs to find Harrison, she sees…Richard. Only it’s not Richard – it’s Vidar who shifted into Richard and has the talisman with him, promising her that this time, he came prepared.
Vidar brandishes the fireplace poker and uses it to burn Joanna on the side of the head, announcing that he’s looking to end the Beauchamp line once and for all. Unfortunately for him, he left the talisman unattended and Harrison throws it into the fire, giving Joanna back her powers and making Vidar much weaker by comparison. She heals up and learns that he’s not in fact the one who framed her for murder; he claims that more will be summoned and won’t provide any answers before dying at her hand after she stabs him with the fireplace poker, even with him turning into Richard as a way of protecting himself. The vision that she saw earlier? This was it. Freya gets interrupted while playing the piano by Dash, who thanks her for being so good with his mother and making what could have been an awful night into something good. Meanwhile, Wendy goes to the hospital and releases the butterfly in Maura Thatcher’s room, watching it burrow its way into her ear.
Outside the hospital, Ingrid calls Wendy, emotional about what’s happened to Barb and guilty that its all her fault. As the rain continues to come down, Adam comes running up and hugs her, since he just learned about Barb. She apologizes for being a jerk and says that she’s really screwed up before the two have a passionate kiss. Though she gets a call with the great news that Barb and the baby will be okay, Ingrid sees a little drop of blood come from Adam’s nose before he collapses before her. Two paramedics attempt to bring him back, only for there to be no vital signs.
Additional thoughts and observations:
-Well, that was a heck of an ending, huh? I was a little disappointed that I predicted the death from the resurrection spell would be Barb’s baby and that the show changed course, which would have been a major blow to my enthusiasm. Supernatural shows thrive on death and while it’s only four episodes in and we obviously didn’t know the fetus, its death would have weighed heavily on Ingrid and made her question whether or not she even wants to be a witch. However, they did about the best thing they could have (from a storytelling perspective) by killing Adam – his death has much more emotional impact on Ingrid, considering their history, and we see that the magic can change course/shape on a whim, sometimes to the girls’ disadvantage. Plus, it means that anybody can go and that kind of stakes heightening can only help the show become tenser, tighter, and more enthralling.
-I figured that Vidar wouldn’t end up being the shifter, but his appearance was worth it for the episode opening flashback and the fact that it means we’re closer to figuring out the mystery, anticlimactic fight scene be damned. It’s also curious that he mentioned that more were coming, so Joanna might have to deal with several other shifters before finding the one who framed her for murder.
-Virginia Madsen! Also, snow in the kitchen!
-Why do you think Wendy needed the butterfly for Maura?
-All I have to say about Freddie Prinze Jr.’s appearance is good for you, Sarah Michelle Gellar. Because hey now. I mean, it was nice to see a Wendy solo plot that focused on how she existed in the world without being tied to her family, but c’mon.
-A lot of almost boob this episode – Dash opening Freya’s shirt, Wendy being naked in the hallway. If you’re a boob fan and watch Lifetime (all 3 of you), Witches of East End has you covered.
-I’m still not that into the love triangle, only because Killian’s been written very stereotypically (a bad boy who pushes away happiness! and is a musician!) and they’ve yet to delve into who Dash really is behind the scrubs and perfect veneer. Maybe later in the season it could work; now, though, it feels perfunctory.
-I completely get why Ingrid reacted the way she did, but if a cute boy bought sandwiches and took me to a library for a candlelight dinner, I would have been a touch more appreciative.
-Next week on Witches of East End: Ingrid finds a unique way to mourn for Adam, while Dash’s ex-fiancée returns to town and Joanna takes her relationship with Harrison to the next level.