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'Witches of East End' recap: Someone wicked through the portal comes

Season 2 | Episode 1 | “A Moveable Beast” | Aired July 6, 2014

Welcome to the Witches of East End recap! Why not get it out there right now: This is one of my favorite guilty pleasures, and season 1 was everything I hoped. It combines all of the aspects of some favorite witch entertainment, including Charmed and Practical Magic, with extra doses of soapy drama and gorgeous characters. The buildup to season 2 has set the bar fairly high, so let’s get started!

A shadowy figure is running through the woods, followed closely by a black cat. Aunt Wendy, is that you? There is no indication who the shadow figure might be, but we can guess it came through the portal from Asgard.

Freya is whipping up a spell in the kitchen, which she begins to cast as the camera shifts focus. Hello, Joanna, all naked and tied to the bed. What the hell? Straddling her, Victor (Joel Gretsch) looks to the tools beside the bed: a knife, a pair of scissors—all the makings of a rudimentary doctor set. “Do you trust me?” he asks. When Joanna nods, he removes his belt and binds the top of her arm. Victor takes the knife and slices into Joanna as she screams in pain.

Ingrid is walking through the house in her nightgown as if in a daze and walks straight out the front door. Back to the black cat in the woods, who transforms back into Wendy. How does she get back home without her clothes? Unless she’s morphed solely to let us know she is Wendy, it seems more logical to wait until she’s home in safe surroundings to reveal her nude form. Of course, she could be an exhibitionist.

Joanna boundBack on the bed, Victor is inserting leeches into Joanna’s freshly sliced skin. She’s been poisoned with organtium (must be an Asgard thing) and this treatment is the only reason she’s alive. Freya and Ingrid don’t like hearing her scream, but that’s the best indication Joanna is fighting to live. Ingrid remarks that sleepwalking must be her new thing, since she just woke up in the front yard. Freya still isn’t sleeping due to worry over Killian. Wendy pops in—she’s finally seen the “son of a bitch” in the woods. Although she can only see his aura as he moves through the woods as a kind of a blur, Wendy senses the intruder—most likely from Asgard—is “dark, evil, predatory, hungry” and messing with her like a cat before the kill. She would know. What she wants to know is who he is, and they have to figure it before they reseal the portal. I’m kind of surprised it’s still open and, more important, unguarded. Shouldn’t somebody be there in case someone else comes through? Maybe “open” is useless without Ingrid’s presence.

Dash is at home attempting to move objects by flinging his hands at them. Poor guy knows something is up, but is clearly unsure exactly what it is. Killian shows up; he’s not really there, but Dash’s conscience. When Dash screams at Killian, whom he thinks he has murdered, his magic is potent, starting a blazing fire where he had been struggling with matches moments before.

The Beauchamp women are drinking Freya’s potion, chatting about taking advice from Wendy (who once died in a trapeze accident) and Ingrid, whom they consider their anchor. Joanna, Wendy and Ingrid see something after the potion—a shadow came through the portal. Ingrid realizes with a start that Mike really was burnt to a crisp. Wendy scoffs that he was a little shit and deserved it. There’s no reason to beat around the bush with Wendy—she calls it like she sees it.

At the hospital, Dash is presented with an incoming patient blabbering about a shadow in the woods; on his bloody chest is the pattern of an symbol that Dash seems to recognize, judging by the look of surprise upon his face. It’s new to me.

At the house, Freya opens the music box Killian gave her; she hears him calling her name. Her eyes glaze over and she’s in the woods with him, reunited in a passionate kiss. Pulling her hand away from his neck, she notices it’s bloody. On the forest floor, Killian is in a bloody heap. It seems Dash is a distant memory of Freya’s affections, as her heart is consumed with thoughts of Killian.

At the library, Ingrid tells Hudson (Tom Lenk) that she lied to a professor to get him to interview her for a position she’s interested in. She said she’s a Ph.D. when she definitely is not. “Fortune favors the bold,” she pronounces, with little confidence. A shadowy figure growls while he peers upon Ingrid through the books.

Joanna is cracking. Victor assures her he is there for her for as long as she wants him. Given their past and centuries of separation, the statement carries weight.

woee_201_04232014_sb_0899Freya calls Wendy in a panic over her vision of Killian. Wendy is certain it’s a warning of what’s to come, not what has already happened. She’ll cast the cards when she returns. Wendy is seeking a recipe for a tea to help Joanna’s pain, but a stranger (Ignacio Serricchio, becoming the second guest star to have also guested on Bones) grasps the book at the same time she does. Wendy attempts to flirt her way into keeping the book, with little success. There are two copies, but he grabbed at hers because he wanted to win. Something tells me Wendy will be involved in an affair with this handsome stranger.

Dash is clearly not happy about seeing Killian in his mind and subjects himself to an MRI, before which Killian shows up to tell him he’s wasting his time: He should be trying to figure out what he’s going to tell authorities when they realize what he has done to his brother.

The Beauchamp family prepares to have dinner in their stunning garden. Freya is worrying about not reconnecting with her vision. Proving relaxation is the key to magic, Ingrid lights candles with a snap and Wendy blows a seeded dandelion to create tiny, sparkling, fluttering butterflies above the table. Joanna proposes a toast and promptly faints.

When Victor tells Ingrid and Freya it’s perfectly normal to have a seizure in Joanna’s condition, it’s difficult to imagine the family without him, but we know he’s only been a presence in their lives for a short time. We still don’t completely know the reasons he and Joanna have not been able to remain close, despite their obvious love for one another.

The organtium is multiplying in Joanna’s brain and affecting her mind. It’s like a fast-growing cancer, and if they don’t find a cure soon, Victor won’t be able to keep her alive much longer. He thinks the best option is a plant that grows in the Amazon, and sets off for a three-day trip to retrieve it. Wendy wonders if Joanna will survive until his return.

At the library, Ingrid arrives—late—for her meeting with the professor. She apologizes with news that her mother is quite ill, and he responds (after ticking off his doctoral qualifications) that he euthanized his dog today, but he still managed to make it on time. Ingrid is shocked, but they get started. When he learns her dissertation is not completed, he takes his leave. Quite rudely, I might add. The growling shadow is watching Ingrid from the shelves once more.

A handsome, shirtless man is casting spells in the woods. Yum! We know he’s Frederick Beauchamp (Christian Cooke) because we’ve been paying attention to previews, but it’s not yet announced. Did I mention YUM? Because, yeah, he’s definitely a Beauchamp in the looks department.

At the Bent Elbow, Ingrid is spilling her guts to the bartender, Freya. A week ago she got shot and learned she was the “key” and the only person on earth who could open the portal to Asgard. “I’m a badass witch! So why is everything still so hard?” Ingrid asks of no one in particular. Perching up on the stool beside her, Hudson announces she needs a spell to do the job. Ingrid reminds everyone there is no such thing as spells, but Freya agrees with Hudson. She’ll find a spell.

At the hospital, Dash’s patient rises up and says, “Many more will die before the right one will die. This is a warning to us all. YOU! You’re one of them! I know what you are!” he shouts at Dash before crashing not once, but twice. Others step in to work with the patient while Dash walks off, confused. It’s difficult to say what he’s feeling—whether he’s wracked with guilt over Killian or more clinically interested in the changes he recognizes overtaking him.

“And now we say the chant we got from Google and drink our drinks,” Freya smiles, pouring shots for herself, Ingrid and Hudson. Ingrid’s phone rings. Dr. Foster (Shaun Smyth) offers her the job and Hudson, deciding Ingrid really is a witch, starts to Google sex spells. Drunk, Ingrid dances merrily on a chair before toppling off.

Throwing cards for Freya, Wendy sees that Killian has been gravely wounded, his boat was destroyed by a storm, and he’s on land taking large amounts of money from people. He’s protected by a spirit animal, the owl, which may be either good or harmful. All information thereafter dries up.

woee_201_04292014_sb_0668Freya is called away to tend to Ingrid, who is being treated by a paramedic after her tumble. She’s fine; she just can’t move her shoulder. Wendy notices “Herb Boy” from the library with disgust and throws him out of the way before he can manipulate Ingrid’s shoulder. Wendy magically heals Ingrid, confusing Herb Boy. Wendy suggests Ingrid leave, but Ingrid is sick of being the anchor, preferring to enjoy her drunken state.

Dash walks in, and they all notice his dark, angry aura. If looks could kill (and who knows, maybe a warlock’s looks can kill), Freya would be dead. Dash’s phone rings. His MRI results are in, showing gross structural abnormalities. Cross-referencing the last 20 years, the lab tech finds a match—a girl came into the hospital in 1994 after falling off a jungle gym with the same abnormalities. His brain is exactly like … Ingrid’s.

woee_201_04232014_sb_0503Joanna has decided to put her affairs in order—she’s sharing with Wendy keepsakes for Freya, Ingrid and Wendy from her jewelry box. Joanna doesn’t want the treatments any longer. She’s done and ready to let go, having only held on because she thought that if she dies, the girls can never be reborn. But she realized something—all she ever wanted for them was to lead a normal life. Dying is normal, and maybe if she dies, the curse dies with her, allowing her daughters to grow old for once. “There is no way in hell I’m going to let you die,” Wendy cries. Joanna may be ready to go, but Wendy is not prepared to lose the most important person in her life. She does, however, hope to exchange the ring Joanna set aside for Ingrid with her keepsake cameo.

woee_201_04232014_sb_0671Their goofy sister moment is interrupted by a knock at the door. It’s Frederick. Joanna cannot believe her eyes. “Mama,” he confirms. Frederick is cold; he’s not used to that. He’s been wandering around without his memory, a consequence of coming through the portal. When he remembered who and where he was, he came home. Wendy doesn’t believe Frederick’s opinion that someone else may have come through the portal with him. Frederick once aligned himself with their father against them; Wendy doesn’t think they can trust him again. Frederick senses Joanna’s organtium poisoning, rubs his hands together and places them on her head, taking the organtium into himself. Grandfather tried to poison him more than once, forcing him to build up immunity against it. Things in Asgard have been as bad as they imagined.

Frederick listens to his mother and aunt discussing him, one certain his presence is joyful and the other skeptical. As he listens, concerned, a symbol similar to the one on the chest of Dash’s patient appears as a scar on Frederick’s chest.

Checking his email, Dash finds one message, containing a video of what he did to Killian on the boat with a note that the sender will be in touch. Freya is now aware of Dash’s powers since he flung a table across the room without touching it as he warned her to stay away from him. Wendy suggests they figure out how much he knows and go from there. Freya is afraid of Dash and worried about Killian. Killian, meanwhile, is on an island, playing with gambling chips. A woman named Eva (Bianca Lawson) knocks on the door, and he invites her in, excited at the prospect that he can read his opponents’ minds and see their cards, allowing him to make a killing. He feels like he’s stealing, but he’s also happy to be able to do it since Eva saved his life. They begin kissing. Has Killian really forgotten about Freya or is he just conveniently putting her out of his mind while he swindles people from their cash? He does have a wild streak befitting his behavior.

Ingrid is in the woods again, with a man who would be hot if he didn’t look somewhat like a snake, half covered in scales. Asking if he needs her to feed him, Ingrid arches toward the scaly man, into the snakes coming out of his back, which pour themselves into Ingrid with a sensual slither, and the two move into and out of a breathless kiss. Until Ingrid fully embraces her new, bolder side, it’s probably best that she doesn’t recall these forest visits with her mystical lover. Let’s keep him around for a while!

As the credits roll, we’ve found our missing portal entrant, and can guess why Ingrid has been sleepwalking. Perhaps Victor will know more of the visitor from Asgard when he returns from the Amazon to find that his son has healed Joanna. Even Freya and Ingrid have yet to meet Frederick. We need to know the significance of the symbol and whether it is associated with the scaly man who slithered through the portal, or if it’s something completely different.

Witches of East End, rated TV-14, airs Sundays at 9/8C on Lifetime.

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