Witches of East End Pilot: Dreams and Curses

Witches of East End premiered last night, and it was good enough for me to want to tune in next Sunday!

The episode opened with a mystery: a woman is outlining a symbol into the sand when her neighbors walk up. Her eyes are glowing green (or yellow? The color on my tv is messed up), and she’s not too chatty, but of course the neighbors don’t really notice. She walks away, only to retrace her steps and kill them.

We then meet the Beauchamp sisters, Freya, who is freaking out in a pretty red dress about her engagement party (but not really the engagement part), and her big sister Ingrid, who is trying to calm her. Freya tells Ingrid about her dream, the one where she meets a hot guy who is definitely not her fiance, and they kiss, and….the world explodes. Freya thinks this means something, because her dreams are known to be meaningful, but Ingrid has an immediate rational explanation for every theory Freya has, including the one where Freya swears she can see auras.

This scene with the sisters told us bare bones information about them: Freya is the dreamer (ha!) who’s ready to believe in the supernatural, and Ingrid is the rationalist, probably the type who loves to say “All politicians are corrupt.” I wasn’t worried about Freya (until her later), but I worried they might do too much with Ingrid, make her skeptical to the point that she becomes annoying. That scene where she kept saying, “This emotion is due to Hollywood trying to sell tickets to Meg Ryan/Katherine Heigl movies” is what almost did it. Thankfully, the actress didn’t over do it, neither did the show, AND they provided a good explanation!

Moving on, the girls run into their mom at the front door, and it’s the green-eyed murderer! She was “waiting in the car.” Mmm-hmm. Considering they live together, she just went to sit in the car while Freya got ready? Freya changed her outfit 5 times, so she was waiting a while. They did it for the plot, I know, but I’m shaking my head just the same.

We get to the engagement party, and Freya’s fiance is very cute. He has nice cheekbones. His mom, on the other hand, is a rich jerk who insults Freya about her dress and her manners (and Freya’s manners aren’t even bad). Freya refuses to completely take her future mother-in-law’s crap, so when the woman turns her back to grab an hors-d’oeuvre, Freya expresses her not-so-fond hope that she chokes on it. And she does! And when Freya goes to tell Ingrid, she thinks her wish coming true is much more important than the fact that someone just choked. It was pretty funny.

While Freya’s talking to Ingrid, a mystery man walks into the engagement party. I’d call him cliche (I think he was wearing a leather jacket?) if he wasn’t so cute! Freya’s so into his looks (and not to mention freaking out because he’s the guy from her dream) that the white flower in her hair betrays her emotions and turns beet red.

We soon find out that Mystery Man is named Killian and is Freya’s fiance’s little brother (who’s named Dash, by the way!). He and Dash haven’t spoken in a long time, so Dash is very surprised to see him. Meanwhile, Ingrid’s encountering a man of her own. Adam is played by Jason George, who plays Dominic on Mistresses! Ingrid is obviously into him, and it turns out he’s into her too. He asked her out two years ago (I think), but she laughed in his face (because she thought he was joking). But he’s single now, so she’s about to get another shot!

Elsewhere, Freya follows her dream dude up the stairs and what follows is a pretty hot make-out, so hot that sparks fly. Like, literally. The roses in the room go up in flames. And then of course Freya comes to her senses and scurries. When she does, the flower petals in the hallway burst off the stems. I like this show’s effects :).

The next day, Freya’s feeling some guilt about her make-out sesh, so guilty she kind of brings it up when her mother and sister question the speed at which she’s about to marry Dash.

Also happening that day, a woman hits a cat with her car, but when the camera pans to the cat…..it’s a naked woman. I didn’t understand what was going on. I was even more confused when she came back to life and went to someone’s house. I didn’t recognizes Joanna with her hair pulled back, so I was like, “So these are two new characters.” But no, Cat Woman (Wendy) is Joanna’s sister and so is the girls’ aunt.

Wendy’s the carefree aunt (is there another kind of aunt in tv land?). She’s a flake and joke-y about once killing Ingrid, and she swears that Joanna having to watch her daughters die over and over and over again and giving birth over and over and over again isn’t as bad as whatever she’s got going on. Oh yeah! Joanna and her daughters, as well as Wendy, are immortal. Well, Wendy has nine lives. Or she did. She has no idea how many she has left. By the show’s count, she died three times now, but considering she can’t remember how many she has left, she’s probably died more than three times. Anyways,

Joanna is cursed for a reason we do not yet know. She’s never died, but every time: she tells her daughters about their powers while they’re young, they mature into them, and then they die because of them before they’re thirty. Then no sooner has Joanna buried the last daughter than she’s nine months pregnant with a reincarnated Ingrid! That’s crazy and one hell of a sucky curse! So Joanna decided to do things differently this time: she hasn’t told her daughters about their powers. She cast a spell on both of them to make sure they wouldn’t be wise about the supernatural, but it worked too well on Ingrid (which is why she’s so rationalistic! Nice dodge there, show. I like it), and it didn’t work all that well on Freya. In fact, it got so “bad” once that Joanna sent Freya to see a therapist! That’s pretty shitty of Joanna, tbh.

Anyways, Wendy’s here to tell Joanna that all of this secrecy is going to have to end, because something bad is coming, something that has the power to kill Joanna and her kids for good. When Joanna does a tarot card reading on herself, she sees that Wendy is correct.

So speaking of the person who’s trying to kill Joanna and her girls, the imposter breaks into House Beauchamp and frees a man who was trapped in a painting. She lures him to her cause with the promise of revenge.

We see a little bit of Ingrid’s life away from her family. She’s a librarian (of course), and she has a (Black) friend named Barbie who’s trying to get pregnant. The friend’s husband’s name is Bob, which I find unfortunate. Wendy’s crush stops by at one point to get her help regarding the symbol that was at the murder scene. Ingrid says it’s a mixture of symbols from different cultures. The cop invites her to tell him all about it over coffee. Smooth.

Later, Ingrid decides to do a spell for her friend. It’s a joke, meant to make Barbie feel better, but as soon as they give up and leave, the pentagram they drew starts to glow. The spell, of course, works and this freaks Ingrid out, especially since she’d met Wendy earlier in the day and she turns out to be the same woman from a picture Ingrid had seen at the engagement party, one featuring her and Wendy in the old old days when black and white pictures were the only option. Barbie’s pregnant, and Ingrid’s too freaked out to celebrate. The scene also features an unnecessary dialogue where Barbie goes meta and tells Ingrid that “this is the part of the movie where the girl realizes she had the power within her all along.” It was awkward.

On Freya’s end, Killian shows up at her job (she’s a bartender) for some flirting and a little bit of insult that ends in Freya throwing a drink at him. Later, Freya has a very hot dream featuring Killian. It’s not the one where the world explodes. Instead, dream!Freya, wearing all white, runs to Killian, kisses him, and he tells her that he’s been waiting for this for 400 years, but “too bad it’s not real.” Hmmmm. Killian did tell Freya that he’d dreamt about her, too, and he seems to be able to control what he does/says in the dreams? Maybe? Right now I’m wondering if Killian will lead Freya to her death. Not on purpose, but the show is selling them on passion so far, the “can’t stay away from you even though I have a fiance” kind, so I wonder if it’s going to turn even more destructive, not just to Freya’s relationship but eventually to her life.

I was almost not into the excuse for Freya’s cheating on her fiance being, “This one dream I had made me do it,” but the dream on the dock made Freya’s straying from her relationship more palatable to me. I’m looking forward to learning more about her and Killian, but I really hope Dash isn’t dragged along with it. I’m so not into the “I can’t make a decision!” triangles. If Freya’s going to keep kissing Killian, then she needs to go off with Killian and leave Dash be. But is Dash willing to leave Freya be? From the promo, it seems he’s ready to turn this into a battle of sorts with Killian. It sounds like he and Killian have been down this road before. Joanna determined that Dash is human, but if Killian is over 400 years old, shouldn’t his brother be, too?

So Freya and Killian are at the bar. They’ve decided to be friends, but it’s not really working. Freya heads to the bathroom to cool herself down, and that’s when the revenge-seeking man finds her. Turns out he had a thing for Freya, but she wasn’t into him. Him hitting her probably didn’t help. Freya wasn’t about that kind of treatment, so she locked his ass in a painting of a desert where he could remain parched for eternity. Good on you, Freya!!!

He promises to do worse to Freya this time around, however. Worse means killing her, but first he wants to trap her in a painting like she did to him. He forces her to do a spell and into the painting they go. When Killian comes looking for her later, he sees an empty bathroom and decides to leave. I thought he was going to see the painting and realize something was off.

I didn’t expect the episode to end the way it did. Basically, it ended with absolutely no resolution. After Ingrid runs from her job, she comes home to find her aunt with a knife sticking out of her gut. Wendy had a vision after drinking a stew that includes a small mouse as an ingredient (ew). She saw everything that happened to Freya and warns Joanna to go save her. Then she dies and turns back into a cat, freaking Ingrid out. Joanna finally tells Ingrid the truth about her life and promptly gets arrested when she tries to leave to go save her daughter. She’s arrested for the murder that the imposter committed, because one of the neighbors survived and positively ID’ed her. Thus, it’s up to Ingrid to save the day! Next week, that is.

I think the premier was pretty strong. The three main women have a great dynamic with each other; the acting was good, and Freya has chemistry with both Dash and Killian. Ingrid and Adam are okay. It’s not that they don’t have chemistry; they’re kind of just there. They don’t pop.

Quick Pro: I like that Wendy isn’t really conscious of time. She told Joanna that she hasn’t been returning her calls, but she’s talking about something that was the case in the 70s. It makes sense that as someone who’s lived more than one lifetime, she wouldn’t view time the way normal people do. I hope they keep that up.

Quick Con: Wendy said she owned a voodoo shop in New Orleans. I’m not interested in white people doing voodoo or owning voodoo shops as if these (often white) writers know anything about voodoo aside from what they heard on other tv shows. But the ladies’ last name is “Beauchamp,” so I wonder if they do have roots in Louisiana. We’ll see.

My favorite use of magic were: Wendy lighting up the fireplace, the petals flying off the stems, and the roses catching on fire.

I’m looking forward to next Sunday!

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4 thoughts on “Witches of East End Pilot: Dreams and Curses

  1. So far, Ingrid is the best character on this show in my opinion, with Wendy a very close second. I agree with you about the whole “I can’t decide!” love triangles. They get old really really fast. So, I hope Freya gets to do more than kiss Killian, feel guilty, and have sex with Dash.

    • Yeah, between Ingrid and Freya, I think Ingrid stands to get the better material because the writers aren’t burdened with making sure they do justice to a triangle. I mean look at how when it came to Ingrid, Wendy said she was the most powerful but when it came to Freya she just told her she was “always falling in love.”

      • That is a great point about how Wendy characterized the two sisters. I think, in general, love triangles really hamper characters, especially when they’re introduced so early as this one was. A lot of times it feels like the writers try to shoehorn some reference to the love triangle into every episode, which usually involves having the character interact with both love interests. Just takes up a lot of time that could be used for other things.

        • I think, in general, love triangles really hamper characters, especially when they’re introduced so early as this one was.

          Yep, I think the same thing. I think it’s a bad idea to introduce a triangle before you even establish who the characters are as individuals, especially the one who’s in the middle!

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