Who else is surprised that Witches of East End's somehow gotten unexpectedly good? Don't get me wrong, it's still picking up and dropping plots like an indecisive shopper buying groceries while hungry, but at least it's choosing the right ones to keep and drop. The right ones to keep? Enver Gjokaj and Freddie Prinze, Jr.
Spoilers below. . .
Last week, as weather trapped me in an airport in the Midwest, I realized that a three-hour delay would force me to miss Witches of East End. And that was really upsetting, because since I'd given up and accepted the show as my personal lord and savior, I was curious as to where it'd go. Whether it'd keep embracing the crazy. And the answer to that is:
Yes. Buckets of crazy yes.
Now, technically this plot went through the whole episode. But it's still the most boring love triangle ever, so let's dispose of it quickly. Freya's still dreaming of Killian, but she's set on Dash. So she makes herself a potion to stop the dreams. Although, Dash hears her talking about the kiss Killian and Freya had in the pilot, which has not been mentioned since then. Welcome back to the plot, make-outs that cause flowers to bloom! He decides to go off to London without Freya. Joanna uses tarot cards to tell Freya that she loves them both, and that one will save her and one will destroy her. She has to choose. Which, honestly, it looks like she has. She dreams about Killian again, who tells her she's got it all wrong, she's misinterpreting the dreams, but she doesn't care. It'll be the last one, the potion she made blocks them. We all know that Dash is the one that'll destroy her and Killian will save her, right?
Let's move on to the parts of this show that work a thousand times better. Virginia Madsen, who confirms she's Athena, raises the Ingrid that Wendy killed from the dead. Virginia Madsen tells Dead!Ingrid that if she can get a snake key that belonged to her father from Wendy, she'll get to kill her in revenge. Dead!Ingrid's one hundred percent on board with killing Wendy.
Wendy, meanwhile, has decided that she has to live her life to the fullest. Which, of course, involves finding Freddie Prinze, Jr. He's still the Geek King of the Lepidopterists, so she finds him hunting for butterflies in the field. She manages to get out of explaining that she stole a rare butterfly from him for a spell, and they make out. Dead!Ingrid sees them, but kindly waits for them to be done having sex before she abducts Wendy for some supernatural torture.
Freddie goes to drop off Wendy's purse, and alerts Joanna that something's wrong. She shows up just after Dead!Ingrid plunges her hand into Wendy's chest. She pretty casually drops Dead!Ingrid to the ground, and starts a spell. Right before that, Dead!Ingrid says, "You don't kill!" and Joanna responds, "You're already dead." And then, with a wave of her hand, turns her to ash. It's super badass. This is the Joanna we saw casually poison people in the flashbacks of a few episodes ago, and it is great.
Also awesome? The introduction of Enver Gjokaj, who we remember so fondly from Dollhouse. His name's Mike, but he'll always be Victor in our hearts. He and Ingrid banter cutely about how he's rude to librarians and how she loves to shush people. He intervenes when a creep corners Ingrid, and she goes to thank him. This could have done without the uncomfortable implication that he's all good with her now because he saved her. The show tries to fix it, but the line "Just as long as you know that I could have handled that myself" isn't actually enough. Whatever, they like each other, she's over the guy she loved who died to pay her magical debt, and he's got the blueprints to Fair Haven. So Victor's obviously got his own agenda. Plus, the dead guy and Ingrid plotline was stupid, so I'm perfectly happy to ignore it in favor of Victor.
The family all gets together, and once again the show is funny on purpose:
Freya: Why are we watching Aunt Wendy sleep?
Joanna: She's not asleep, she's dead.
Freya: Oh my god, again?
That's apparently her last death, which is terrifying: A) The gags surrounding her death are great. And B) if Wendy actually dies and leaves this show, that's the best character gone.
In other plot, Joanna digs up the snake key that Virginia Madsen sent Dead!Ingrid after. (Wendy straight up calls her "Dead!Ingrid," which is hilarious) Wendy confirms that Joanna destroyed it, which she clearly didn't. Finally, Virginia Madsen looks at a portrait of her father and says, "I need more power," followed by her saying, "Yes." Well, that can't be good for anyone.
I don't know how I feel about a show about a family of women needing men to be good. On the other hand, Dash and Killian have been around forever and are the most uninteresting thing in this entire show. So maybe Freddie and Victor just balance out their badness? Plus, wasn't Joanna getting it on with her lawyer? He said he loved her, what happened to him? Wow, the more you think about it, the more you realize that a lot from those first few episodes is just getting left in the dust of this crazy train.
Only two episodes left after tonight's. And, not gonna lie, that's making me a little sad.