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Witches of East End - Episode 1.02 - Marilyn Fenwick, R.I.P. - Review

There were excitement and hijinks aplenty on Sunday night's second episode of Lifetime's new supernatural soap Witches of East End.  Let's dive right into the crazy:

Joanna: After her evil doppelganger The Shapeshifter went and killed an innocent citizen, Joanna caught the rap.  Luckily, she happens to know an immortal lawyer who is aware that she is a witch, and he seems to be an ally.  Harrison, what are you?  You aren't a witch, but you live forever...I wonder what other types of supernatural beings will be brought into the world of this show!

Nonchalantly casting spells to check in with the girls and sending coded messages about where they can get some cash for her bail, Joanna further proved that she's cool under pressure.  She seems less nonplussed about Freya and Ingrid's angst once they learn they are witches.  Perhaps a little explanation of why she had to lie to them (aside from "good reasons") and the more in-depth version of their origin story (Wendy, couldn't you just spill the goods in the car scene?) would help assuage their woe.

Freya had a ton going on this week (it seemed as if she got more focus than Ingrid, no?), from battling her ex inside the painting of a 1920's shindig, to calling Joanna out on the flaws in her mothering techniques, to continuing to vacillate between Dash and Killian.  I gained more respect for Freya after watching her escape from her enemy's flaming trap and pop back out into the ladies room just in time to launch into her previously interrupted drama.  She's good in a fight even when she doesn't know the full extent of her strength.

It's clear that being sent to therapy for believing something that's actually true would leave a major chip on most anyone's shoulders (I started picturing the creepy robot therapy from Return to Oz).  So we can get why Freya is so angry with Joanna.  However, Freya's own issues are to blame for her need to bond with Killian...is this another symptom of the Beauchamp women's historically bad choices about men...or is Freya's engagement to Dash the real mistake?  Not only is her chemistry better with Killian, but after the brothers got their own subplot this week, Dash is looking increasingly sketchy.

Dash and Killian resolved exactly zero issues after the former tried to pay his mysterious, boat-dwelling bro to leave town.  Dash started out with a cautiously near-polite approach which eventually devolved into outright hatefulness.  This changing attitude seemed quite manipulative, and the old troubles the guys kept referring back to make me suspect that they, too, are immortal and magic.  If so, has this love triangle with Freya played out in previous lifetimes?  

Additionally, isn't it odd that Dash seems only mildly concerned that Freya is bruised up at the end of the episode?  And only a little bit weirded out by Joanna's being a murder suspect?  Of course, Killian's got some explaining to do as well.  What are his real intentions in remaining in East End?  Does he plan to renege on his promise to be "just friends" with Freya?  Does he truly have feelings for Freya, or is he simply intent on hurting his brother?

Ingrid spent a whole lotta time wishing she could go back to just being a shy librarian instead of a BAMFY witch with a fascinating mystery to solve and exciting powers to explore.  This verged on the whiney, even though it's relatable enough from the perspective of someone who thrived on living a low-key and unchallenging life.  Now Ingrid will have to come to terms with the fabulously gifted witch within herself, which means she can't stay in her safe little shell.  

Of course, her biggest problem is the consequence of the spell she cast unnecessarily to resurrect the self-regenerating Wendy.  Now someone Ingrid loves will drop dead at any given moment to make the whole deal come out even.  Shouldn't Joanna have quickly warned her daughter that there are severe backlashes to certain spells?!  

 What's Ingrid going to do when another near and dear one dies?  This has the potential to develop into a self-sacrificing tale of redemption a la the Winchesters on Supernatural.

Wendy is, for me, the most interesting and likable character on the show so far.  Between the mind-blowing exposition she casually drops into every conversation, the shifting into a cat, and the snarky self-awareness which immediately elevates her to a higher level of intelligence than the others, Wendy obviously rules.  The way she just runs from scene to scene, going along with the wackiness that continually ensues in a seamlessly adaptive manner, sets up a great deal of potential for her character.

Looking forward: Now that Freya's safe (but still irked with Joanna and still romantically confused), Ingrid's growing more resigned (but waiting for a house to fall on someone she's fond of), and Joanna's out on bail (but still in a heap of legal trouble), the Beauchamps' biggest problem is the Shapeshifter.  The shady baddie has now placed an enchantment (using the previously-seen evil spell symbol) on the tree near the ladies' house, and the results look ominous.  What new peril will result from this incident?  Next Sunday's episode will tell!

This was a fun episode, but it wasn't as strong as the pilot.  Perhaps this is a common symptom of second-episode-itis, since the hour mainly comprises the falling action of the pilot's various cliffhangers.  Freya and Ingrid were both quite mopey, and I'm looking forward to seeing them take more ownership of their witchy awesomeness.  There was a lot of explaining the strings that are attached to various magical deeds, somewhat unrealistic rules (don't tell anyone you're a witch!), and the moral code of the witches, which while perhaps necessary, wasn't all that thrilling.  And there's basically no way that buried painting isn't going to come back to haunt the Beauchamps, right?

Witches of East End would do well to spend more time developing the endearing, fascinating, and powerful traits of Freya and Ingrid as they continue to come to terms with their legacy.  The bond between the sisters has been shown to some extent, but more of their relationship quirks would be terrific, too.  Once we have more to root for, we'll have a bigger stake in the criss-crossing plotlines that are building towards an intriguing mythology arc.

What did you think of Witches' second episode?  What would you like to see happen in future episodes?  Share your ideas in the comments!

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