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Witches of East End - Episode 1.08 - Snake Eyes - Review

This week on Witches of East End, Penelope continued to mess with Freya while Ingrid, Wendy, and Joanna were engulfed by an epic tide of expositional reveals!  Spoilers ahead...

While Freya remains convinced that Killian is the "trickster" and Dash the "hero" in the epic love triangle laid out in the cards of her destiny, I am still sure it's the reverse.  So it is probably not such a great turn of events that the Freya/Dash engagement is back on.  The idea of that wedding gives me bad vibes on a Revenge level.  If Dash is the trickster, is he in on his mother Penelope's plots against the Beauchamps?  It sure was convenient when he came home just in time to save Freya after Penelope's magic-sucking spell left his fiancee unconscious and ailing.  This allowed him to continue playing the role of the righteous, yet forgiving husband-to-be...but is it a role, or is he sincere?

Ingrid continued to get to know the handsome, charming, and suspiciously knowledgable Mike, everyone's favorite late-night library patron.  Mike revealed that a) he believes in witches, b) he thinks witches are originally from a little place called Asgard (maybe you've heard of it, Thor fans), and c) this knowledge was passed down to him by his father.  This obviously begs the questions of what Mike's true intentions are, good or ill, in East End, and who in the world(s) was his father?  Despite the fact that it's a bit oddly soon after poor Adam's demise, there is a cute little chemistry brewing between Mike and Ingrid.  So let's hope he's not her long lost brother or anything.

Wendy and Joanna got into a heap of trouble after Wendy accidentally donned the seductive and corrupting snake bracelet.  It was an ordeal for these two sisters, but very beneficial for the viewers, who learned a vast amount of information about the show's mythology, which does indeed confirm that the show is closely following the novel series by Melissa de la Cruz.  

In a head-spinning deluge of factoids, we learned of the Beauchamps' Asgardian origins, and of the son that Joanna was forced to leave behind in that other world - Frederick.  Seems Joanna had a husband too, who's apparently in the human world but holding himself aloof from his wife and daughters.  We know it cannot be long before these fellas show their faces on Witches of East End.  I can't wait to see who they are played by and how their storylines will play out!

Poor Joanna always kept the snake bracelet because it was the only connection she had left to Asgard, where Frederick is.  But to stop Wendy from spending her last life as a lunatic spouting extremely mean insults, Joanna is forced to destroy this precious and dangerous object.  Why were the sisters forced out of Asgard?  Will we ever see this mythical world?  And how will Freya and Ingrid feel when they learn that they aren't just witches...they also hail from a completely different world...one of fantastical legend?

Upping the ante: I'm highly impressed with how well the show is doing in its gutsy and fast-moving first season.  There really is something to be said for a shorter-run season and its ability to light a fire under the writers where events hurtle forward at a break-neck speed that is potently suspenseful and irresistibly intriguing.  The world-building has been given in short spurts up until this week, but now the Beauchamps' biggest origin-related secret has been revealed.  This makes Witches of East End more than a show just about witches...now it's about super-powered Asgardians who become witches in the human world.  That's just awesome any way you slice it.

While the love triangle that forms the basis of Freya's plotline began in a well-worn manner that seemed downright predictable, I have a feeling that - between the reveal of Penelope's identity and the card-reading info about the two brothers' natures - this will soon become a much more twisted rendition of a woman caught between two men.  While she often seems an easy pawn for Penelope (and possibly Dash, if he is the trickster), Freya has held her own as a likable character for whom we root, thanks to Jenna Dewan Tatum's winning portrayal.

Ingrid has had to carry quite a lot of heavy plot content, with a world of revolving characters so rich that she ought to be sinking under the weight.  Yet Rachel Boston has made the cutesy librarian so go-with-the-flow adventurous, yet believably shaken, that it seems natural for Ingrid to juggle so many problems and love interests.

Joanna and Wendy have a fascinating and fun-to-watch sisterly bond that fuels their interactions and makes their scenes together some of the most enjoyable of the show.  I actually wish that more time could be spent on the relationship between Freya and Ingrid; sometimes these two are together so fleetingly that they feel like passing acquaintances.  Despite their hundred-years estrangement, the issues between Joanna and Wendy are immediate and intense.  Madchen Amick continues to balance humor and seriousness perfectly, while Julia Ormond capably anchors the show with her maternal and wise, cautious and strong presence.  I've even grown fond of the weird accent that Joanna speaks in (clearly, it's an Asgardian accent).

With all of this positive momentum, it's no surprise that Lifetime has renewed Witches of East End for a second season!

How are you enjoying the season so far?  What do you think is going to happen now that Penelope has Freya's powers?  Share your comments below!

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