And they were amazeballs. It doesn't really matter that they practically came out of nowhere — all the crazy reveals in this episode were just what the early episodes of this show were missing. That gif is us, trapped in the warm, magically animated, coat arms of this show.
Spoilers ahead. . .
Witches are actually inhabitants of Asgard banished to Earth. This is a real thing that really exists in this show's universe. I was kind of joking when I said I wanted them to be aliens, but this is not a show for that kind of joke. This is a show where witches are actually from Asgard. They weren't coy about it at all. No sly reveals, just Wendy being all "I miss home. Remember home? It's Asgard. We're from Asgard. Asgard." THIS IS COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS AND I'M IN LOVE WITH IT.
Joanna says that she and Wendy were banished when their father came to power. Does this mean their father is Odin? Or even better, if their father seized the throne, can he be Loki? PLEASE LET THEIR FATHER BE LOKI. Witches of East End/Marvel movies crossover. Fanfic authors, get on that for me.
This was the biggest plot bomb of last night, but it wasn't the only one. It starts with Joanna showing Wendy the snake key Virginia Madsen wanted last week. Wendy's pissed, since she was told it was destroyed and, you know, she was killed for it. She demands that Joanna actually get rid of it. Joanna's reluctant, since it's pretty much the only possible way to get home.
That's when the snake key starts to whisper Wendy's name. This was so campy and hilarious, I started to clap. The key attacks Wendy, pumping her full of venom and a desire to go open the portal to Asgard. I fully support the plan of the snake key.
Wendy screams for Joanna, who says, "What the hell happened? Did you look in its eyes? You know you are not supposed to look in its eyes!" Just throw your hands up now, this is a show where a snake key whispers your name and has dangerous eyes.
Joanna also tries a very simple spell to get the key off. This leads to another instance of inappropriately timed humor, which is quickly becoming this show's signature:
Wendy: The snake is powerful vessel of pure evil. I think we need something a little stronger than off the cuff Latin commands!
Joanna: Let's try sarcasm. That should help.
The key gets to Wendy at this point, making her determined to get to the portal, so Joanna uses magic to seal them in the house until she can get the key off. The venom also gives Wendy a wicked case of the expositions, because she starts just rattling off a whole bunch of plot bombs. The first is that when Joanna left Asgard, she also left behind her son. His name is Frederick, and he refused to go with her because he was "turned against her." The second is that Joanna's husband, and Ingrid and Freya's father, is somewhere nearby. He knows where they are and chooses to stay away. Third: The key gave Wendy the information needed to kill immortal Joanna.
The two of them have a knock-down, drag out, magical fight in the house. It's really intense, and the two women are torn up and bleeding at the end of it. They leap on to each other, fly through windows, magically fling scissors at each other. Also, this happens:
Sadly, that gif does not include the moment right before, where Wendy's using that trunk as a magical battering ram to try to break down the front door. Joanna pins Wendy's hand to the trunk with a barbecue fork and cuts off the snake key, destroying it. There was a moment where it really felt like she'd just cut Wendy's hand off, Vader-style. They're witches, it'd grow back, right? Plus, then the key'd still be intact. But no, it's destroyed.
Meanwhile, Freya's boring love triangle is actually doing something plot-related. Remember last week, when Virginia Madsen says she needed more power? Well, she decides to get it by drugging Freya and stealing her magic. This works because Freya's an idiot. However, it does bring Freya and Dash back together, in the form of him coming home and saving her life.
Above: What this episode felt like.
Ingrid's the luckiest girl in this episode, since she spends it all with Enver Gjokaj/Victor from Dollhouse. He's in her library researching the occult and East End in particular. They get to be all adorable, right up until her tells her that he thinks witches are real and he's looking for them.
His father was an archaeologist who spent his whole life trying to prove Asgard was real. Since this is fiction, he's totally right. He died, and now Victor's picked up his quest.
As an aside, are all fictional archaeologists the kind who go around searching for proof of outlandish theories? There's nobody who just goes on regular digs?
Above: Enver Gjokaj playing a fantasy author. This is just fanservice of the highest order.
There's another inappropriately timed humor moment. Right after Joanna and Wendy have an intense emotional moment about losing the key and Joanna never seeing her son again, Ingrid bursts into the scene to have this exchange:
Joanna: How was your day?
Ingrid: Strange. Is there a place called Asgard?
Joanna: I'm going to throw up.
Don't throw up, Joanna! Asgard is the best thing to happen to this show!
To sum up, here's what this episode just revealed: 1) Witches are from Asgard. 2) Joanna and Wendy were banished because of their father's rise to power. 3) When they were banished, Joanna left her son, Frederick behind. 4) Joanna's husband and father of Ingrid and Freya is somewhere close by. 5) There's a portal to Asgard in East End, probably in Fair Haven.
Plus, Ingrid's told to avoid Victor, since Asgard hunters are always bad news, and Freya's now powerless.
This episode definitely ate its Wheaties for breakfast. It remembered that Ingrid had a dissertation in the occult, which was a great way to link her to Victor's library hunt for information. Freya's still stupidly thinking that Dash is the right one for her, but that makes her an easy mark for Virginia Madsen's power suck. So at least her stupidity's finally moving the plot forward.
But the real star was the Wendy and Joanna plot. Beyond the sheer joy of the bonkers revelations, the two of them locked in the house while Wendy was possessed by evil had a nice horror atmosphere to it. And the show went for it in the magical battle scenes. They also really conveyed that these two sisters had a long history and knew each other's weak spots. It just worked all around. Plus, now that Virginia Madsen's all powered up, I want a similarly awesome confrontation between her, Wendy, and Joanna. Come on, show, we know you have it in you.