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Witches of East End - Episode 1.10 - Oh, What a World! - Review

Lifetime's Witches of East End ended its first season Sunday night with Freya's big wedding day - unsurprisingly, a social event more likely to be remembered for the shocking number of disasters and catastrophes that occurred than a happy confirmation of love.  Let's take a look at some of the major developments, each of which capped off a season-long plot line:

Penelope versus Joanna and Wendy: Virginia Madsen's deliciously catty villain has been one of the show's foremost enjoyments, and it was fabulous to finally see her facing off against her two long-time foes.  As Joanna, Julia Ormond has had to portray a vast spectrum of emotional ordeals this season, from rehashing the continual deaths and rebirths of her children, to facing romantic crises and unfurling some badass retaliations when the shapeshifter got too close for comfort.  Once again, Ormond rose to the occasion of showing Joanna's capacity for quick thinking as the good witch was tied to a table and deprived of her immortality so that Penelope could hang and kill her.  By getting Penelope to monologue (and let's face it, that's not hard), Joanna bought herself some time as Wendy came to her rescue.

Mädchen Amick has been utterly delightful as the sarcastic and witty Aunt Wendy, and she's possibly the show's most intriguing character.  I can't wait to see what other developments await, as she's the most unpredictable of the Beauchamp bunch.  Now she and Joanna are both whittled down from their normally unbreakable immortal statuses, just as the door to Asgard has been wrenched open, unleashing goodness knows what hellish visitations to Earth.  Eek!

The catfight showdown between Penelope, Joanna, and Wendy was nothing short of fantastic, especially in the moment when Joanna caught the blonde diva in her own noose and, with Wendy's help, sent her flying into a pit of fire.  The Beauchamp ladies' lack of hesitation in dispatching Penelope was awesome.  I do have to admit though...I'm sorry to see Penelope go.  Does anyone else think she'll be back at some point? 

Ingrid versus Mike: After a series of action-packed early episodes this season, Ingrid got a little sidelined in this less-than-thrilling tug-of-war with the insistent Mike, who figured out that she was the key to reopen Asgard (okay, that part was exciting.  The rest of the execution of this subplot, however, was a bit repetitive).  Rachel Boston has given Ingrid a relatable, cute and quirky personality while also making her completely believable as a powerful and formidable witch.  I'm sure that Season 2 will hold some huge changes for Ingrid as she rediscovers her Asgardian roots, and perhaps gets new plotlines more reminiscent of the suspense level of the Adam and Archibald episodes, respectively.

I was fooled by the charms of Enver Gjokaj into thinking that Mike might be a) not a one-dimensional character, and b) a character with the potential to become a long-running presence on the show.  Sadly, it seems that Mike was merely a misguided and unhinged explorer incapable of respecting limits or recognizing his own crazy.  Hence, he was quickly and unceremoniously eviscerated by the return of Asgard.

Freya versus her nutso love triangle: I really felt for Freya in this episode, even though I always thought it was short-sighted of her to jump to the simplistic conclusion of Dash being the emperor and Killian the trickster...really just based on which one of the men she wanted to believe she truly loved.  

So Victor, who so far has been quite helpful despite his MIA status over the decades, revealed to Freya that Killian was her soulmate in a previous lifetime.  We were treated to a beautiful and heartwarming flashback of the life Freya and Killian had together back when, and the song Killian played on the bar piano of those sienna-tinted days was the very same melody from the music box he'd given present day Freya as a wedding gift.  It was, as Joanna observed, a lovely song, and a touching way of connecting the dots of Freya's comprehension regarding Killian: who he truly is and how she really feels about him.

Clad in her stunning wedding dress, Freya broke things off with Dash, who was devastated and miserable.  I was surprised that he and Killian turned out to be utterly clueless as to their immortality and witchy legacy...they are actually like male counterparts to Ingrid and Freya in this way, which nicely offsets the way Penelope functions as a dark mirror of Joanna (emphasized by the shapeshifter aspect of the story as well).  This is actually sets events up in a more fascinating way, as the Gardiner brothers are forced to suddenly deal with their true natures at such a tumultuous moment in their lives.

Of course, as soon as Dash turned into Dark!Dash and started acting all sketchy and evil, I immediately found him much more attractive.  I'm terrible and completely predictable.  #sorrynotsorry.  The bad boys are awesome.  I could even see myself shipping Freya/Dash someday if he keeps up this mischief.  

Incidentally, we still don't have hard proof that Dash is the trickster, except that it seems likely based on his quick turn from good to reprehensible.  But he didn't become a smirking imp when he got his powers back; it was more of a nuanced and understandable sink into rage.  I like that the show has made this aspect of his development complex and mysterious.

Speaking of poor, hot, endangered Killian, however, I've heard quite a bit of chatter on the interwebs from those who believe he is dead.  That seems unlikely to me, since we have no real evidence of that and he's a major character.  I also think that would be too anti-climactic of a conclusion to the Dash/Killian rivalry, and quite an abrupt cut-off to the love triangle plotline overall.  

The open door: Yes, to quote an Evanescence album title, the door is indeed ajar to Asgard, unleashing a blinding light of power that walloped poor, dumb Mike in his tracks and left even Wendy and Joanna terrified as they clutched each other.  Joanna, meanwhile, has also been poisoned to the verge of death by Penelope, so they have to deal with that problem as well as the identity of whoever that figure is that emerged from the mists of Asgard.  

Are the Beauchamps going to go through to the other side?  I hope we get a good look at the mystical world that they left behind come Season 2, though it's possible that this will be delayed if the focus is more on Asgardians coming through to Earth and the consequences of that breach.

So of the deaths (and seeming-deaths) in the Season 1 finale, whose do you regret most (or least!), and who do you think might one day return?  Share your thoughts on this episode in the comments below!

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