Freya can’t sleep while staying the night at Dash’s and gets out of bed for a glass of water in the kitchen. However, she gets creeped out by the paintings on the walls and runs into Killian in the hallway. The two attempt to find the kitchen, Killian unable to help her after being away for so long, and wind up kissing in one of the hallways, just as Dash turns the corner and sees them. Freya runs after him in an attempt to explain, only to be unable to find him. Ingrid walks into the kitchen and finds Wendy on the table with her tarot cards; she claims that the cards are best suited for late night and confirms that she lied to her niece about it being impossible to know who will die as a result of the resurrection spell. She keeps getting the same reading – it’s Ingrid who has been doomed to die. Joanna wakes up and finds a symbol burned on her headboard. As her head is turned and her hand touches the symbol, trying to figure out what exactly it is and who could have done it, the shifter comes into the room and chokes her while wielding a doll made of sticks and human hair.
And then all three actually woke up, because what they were experiencing were dreams.
Wendy finds Ingrid at the kitchen table that morning, pouring over the spell book in hopes of finding something that could reverse the resurrection spell. However, Wendy reiterates that there’s no way for it to be reversed; she does give her niece the brighter side of her gifts by making the moon appear on the ceiling above them when she explains that magic can be what you make of it. While it can be dark and dangerous, it can also be a wonderful, life-affirming gift that betters every aspect of your existence. Freya comes down the stairs and complains about the continued sex dreams she’s been having about Killian despite not having any complaints about her relationship (or sex life) with Dash. Making matters worse is the fact that a witch controlling her own thoughts is way out of her range of skill, but Wendy offers to be the one to teach the girls how to hone and control their powers. That idea gets squashed almost immediately by Joanna, who deems the girls getting involved in magic to be too dangerous and burns the spell book to make sure they don’t get tempted. She does say that she put forth a banishing spell to fight back against the shifter, though.
Outside, Joanna sees the symbol the shifter painted on the tree – a Malus Amplio, which draws in dark energy and magnifies evil. Wendy comes down on her for not dealing with the threat that is facing the family and for lying to the girls about the banishing spell; Joanna claims that she lied in order to make sure the girls lived a normal life and continues her anti-magic stance, citing that all she wants to do right now is keep the girls alive for as long as possible. In her mind, she can’t do that if they get tangled up in magic. While Wendy does agree to cool it on the magic for a bit, she takes Ingrid and Freya to a nearby pond and fills them in on where their powers come from – Freya’s come from emotion, meaning that at her best, she’s able to read people’s desires and conjure up love potions; Ingrid’s come from intellect, with Wendy mentioning that she was a tremendously gifted spell writer in a former life. Wendy then tries to teach them how to skip a stone across the water by using only their mind. Freya only manages to sink it, but Ingrid gets a hint at the depths of her powers when instead of moving the rock out of the water, she sends a school of fish flying in the direction of herself, her sister, and her aunt.
Back at home, Joanna sweeps up the ash from the fire that destroyed the book and puts it in the trunk that Ingrid got from the breakfront. She does a spell and replicates the book exactly, all the while the shifter continues to add to the collection of items it had took from her – a hair brush, a broken window, candles. Ingrid goes to work and gets surprised by Adam as she’s busy reading about spells; since he’s off Joanna’s case, he asks her to dinner, promises that they can talk about magic, and reiterates to Ingrid that he likes her. She agrees and their first date is set. Meanwhile, Freya is overwhelmed at the bar during a particularly busy night, only to have Killian begin taking drink orders and using his bartending experience to help her out. Freya’s not a fan of the closeness or the aggression and she inadvertently destroys a shelf of glasses with her mind.
Joanna walks into her bedroom to find that the symbol from her dream (and the tree) is on her headboard. However, it turns out that it was Wendy’s doing, as she wanted to see if recreating the dream would be a source of inspiration. Wendy’s already put together a list of Joanna’s enemies and she needs help, considering that her sister is immortal and all, but the focus soon turns to the doll from the dream – an energy talisman, meant to sap Joanna of her powers. Joanna claims that she put a protection spell over the house, even though the shifter was able to break the one she put over the entire town, and comes down on Wendy for continuing to suggest that they go on the offensive rather than let the shifter continue to make advances against them. In her eyes, Wendy doesn’t understand the responsibility that she has to her children, a comment that causes her sister to flip the nearby laundry basket and leave.
Over at the Bent Elbow, Freya tries to move an empty beer bottle out of insecurity over how powerful Ingrid revealed herself to be. She gets interrupted by Killian and the two have a conversation about his wayward lifestyle and the estrangement from the rest of his family before talk turns to Freya’s dreams. She denies them, he doesn’t believe, and right as it seems the two are about to kiss, the same shelf gets knocked down again, only this time she leaves it for him to clean up since he was hired by the bar’s owner. Ingrid and Adam are having the aftermath of their first date at the bar and unfortunately, it’s not going so hot, not once the case gets brought up and he warns her that she needs to prepare herself for the worst case scenario. She gets emotional over the idea of her mother going to jail and quickly leaves the bar, just as the shifter has completed the talisman.
Joanna goes through the box she keeps souvenirs of past conflicts in order to complete the list of enemies and finds memories of a poisoning, a botched shooting, and burying a man alive rushing back to her. Meanwhile, Wendy makes it to the bar and laments her fight with her sister before again having to remind Ingrid that some spells can’t be rewritten and the Ingrid of 2013 isn’t the Ingrid of 100 years ago, in terms of witch ability. There’s no way that she could hope to reverse the resurrection spell after only knowing about her powers for a few days. Freya interrupts fooling around with Dash due to a sudden desire to go home and take care of the complications that have infiltrated her personal life. He’s as nice as can be about it and asks her about work as they get dressed; upon finding out Killian works for the bar now, he reveals that he was engaged to a woman named Elyse once and that Killian slept with her, which was the cause of the end of the relationship. As his brother is the black sheep of the family, he blames Dash for everything wrong with his life and attempts to sleep with his girlfriends as some sort of revenge. Shell-shocked, Freya says that she needs to be alone for the night and hurries out the door.
At the library, Ingrid has prepared a spell, drawing a pentagram on the floor and circled it with candles. She drinks something, does a chant, and finds that her arms painfully begin to turn white, causing her to scream and collapse. Wendy finds her there, having followed her due to knowing Ingrid wouldn’t heed her warnings, and does a spell to help restore her hands to normal. Meanwhile, Freya goes back to the bar and confronts Killian about sleeping with Dash’s fiancée and pretending to have feelings for her in order to screw over his brother. He won’t deny it, but he says that even if he did, Freya wouldn’t believe him. He tries to get her to admit that there’s a connection between them and she says the only thing between them is the bar and his brother.
Joanna begins cooking in the kitchen and gets confronted by the shifter, who she manages to send flying into a nearby wall. However, instead of using her powers to keep it pinned back, she asks who it was, allowing it the opportunity to free itself and send her flying back. Freya arrives and gets permission from Joanna, who was being choked by the shifter, to use her powers, which she does by sending a knife flying in the direction of the shifter. Unfortunately, it turns into dust and escapes up the chimney. Joanna and Freya make up and the former assures her daughter that she’s still the same girl she always was – only now, she’s got a special gift, which she’ll be allowed to practice now. While Dash confronts Killian outside the Bent Elbow, where the latter mentions that his brother hasn’t told the complete story about Elyse, Ingrid finally listens to Wendy, who informs her niece that the aftermath of the resurrection spell is already set into motion. There’s nothing she can do to alter the course of fate and the universe recalibrating itself, so she needs to live her life and not drive herself crazy. She doe just that by kissing Adam after he stops by the library to apologize for what he said at the bar.
Joanna also makes up with Wendy and the two compromise, the former agreeing to start asking people for help and the latter promising to grow up a little. The girls come into the bedroom and Joanna tells them that she and Wendy will be teaching them everything that they know in order to help beat back the threat against them. Ingrid doesn’t want to participate in the magic anymore, but she ends up joining the trio for a protection spell cast around each of them and the house. Just then, the trees and flowers that were killed by the shifter are brought back to life.
Additional thoughts and observations:
-So, we got to see the shifter, an older gentleman with…interesting fingernails. I kind of thought that he was the guy Joanna buried underneath the floor, hence the fingernails (and the reason that incident was shown), but do supernatural figures age in the Witches world?
-I’m not usually a fan of dream sequences starting an episode, but having it impact Freya, Ingrid, and Joanna was an interesting way to do it and have it still be both creative and useful as far as plot. Also, interesting that the promo for the episode focused so heavily on the Dash/Freya/Killian aspect of Freya’s dream when it was, y’know, a dream. But get those ratings, Lifetime.
-Speaking of, ratings were up last week from the numbers of the pilot. Hopefully this episode keeps the momentum going and we get a renewal within the next few weeks, something that was definitely not guaranteed before the seasons considering the shows that it has to compete against.
-As much as I like Julia Ormond as an actress, her American accent here is not good. It broke a lot last week and continued doing so here, seemingly in every scene and for long stretches. I’m always curious as to why something like this can’t be written into the script; if they think she’s perfect for the role (and I think she’s well-cast, accent aside), toss in a throwaway line that explains it or have a spell center on her speech. Even better, having it relate to something from her past and show us an extended flashback, because I kind of loved seeing Joanna throughout the years during this episode.
-I’m glad that we finally got everybody on the same page as far as using magic and protecting themselves from the threat. Things are bound to get more exciting from here on out and we might finally get to see the great Joanna Beauchamp, whose abilities and prowess have been talked up, in action and at full strength. I was ready to complain about the continued “showing, not telling” regarding Joanna, but the last few minutes made me feel more optimistic about next week and the series as a whole.
-The dynamic between Freya and Ingrid now that magic is introduced could grow to be one of the best parts of the series. This episode touched on that by indicating Freya’s insecure about not being able to do the things that her sister can inherently do, so hopefully that gets explored during the rest of the season.
-No Barbie, no Andrew-from-Buffy. Again. Obviously I don’t know contracts or what the storylines have in store, but it feels like the show doesn’t know what to do with either character and only introduced them to have the library not feel so empty. I would rather they have regular extras as her co-workers than trying to establish Ingrid’s friendships before not showing them again. Especially since they’re leaning on her romance with Adam, something that links her to her humanity and will cause her discomfort as to whether to be honest with him about her abilities.
-Next week on Witches of East End: Joanna prepares for her trial, while Penelope recruits Freya to bring Dash and Killian together and Wendy seduces an entomologist.