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Sep 09 2014

Witches of East End – “Sex, Lies, and Birthday Cake” Retrospective. Shake Ups and Sexy Time.

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Did someone say hug? Happy Birthday Freya!

Did someone say hug? Happy Birthday, Freya!

Season 2, Episode 8

Airdate: Sunday, September 7, 2014, 9/8c on Lifetime

Rating:

[warning]SPOILER ALERTS[/warning]

 

Shocking revelations, angst-filled romance, and suspense surround East End in “Sex, Lies, and Birthday Cake” when Freya (Jenna Dewan Tatum) and Frederick’s (Christian Cooke) birthdays create all kinds of tension. For Freya, who turns 30, it marks the longest lifetime she’s lived thus far. As for Frederick, it just means he’s a little bit older—like 400+ years older. Meanwhile, Tarkoff (James Marsters) continues his mission alongside Frederick to find the perfect vessel for King Nikolaus (Steven Berkoff). Despite a brief hiatus, Witches of East End (WOEE) doesn’t miss a beat when following up on the aftermath of “Art of Darkness.”

Time After Time, Again

Time is not on your side when you’re a Beauchamp. Especially for Ingrid (Rachel Boston) and Freya (Jenna Dewan Tatum) whose curse of dying young only to be reincarnated provides a new meaning to the phrase, ‘Life is short.’ What’s great about using Freya and Frederick’s birthdays as the heart of the episode is the way it allows the other storylines to branch from it, as well as reminding viewers Ingrid and Freya are living on borrowed time.

See, Killian? It says it right here in your hand: You belong with Freya.

See, Killian? It says it right here in your hand–you belong with Freya.

Freya’s birthday also brings to the forefront her star-crossed love for Killian (Thomas Di Tomasso). I enjoy all the couples on the series, but there are times when the chemistry between some of them shines more brightly than the others. This definitely applies to Killian and Freya, whose attraction for one another hits an all-time high.W hen their theme song plays softly during their scenes, I couldn’t keep my eyes off them. When Freya reveals her feelings to Killian, and explains how their love is cursed, it becomes a great turning point for their characters.

Love Is In the Air?

I love the way Witches of East End shapes its core relationships without losing the continuity and quality of its characters. “Sex, Lies, and Birthday Cake” demonstrates it is possible to mix sexy story lines without skimping on the important plot points.

When viewers last saw Dash (Eric Winters) and Ingrid in “Art of Darkness,” they were caught in a lovers embrace, sharing a kiss. This is where it gets a little tricky. It’s not really clear how much time has passed between the art gallery opening and the present but it’s enough for Dash to pursue other women. When Ingrid finally musters the courage to see Dash after avoiding him since their kiss, most likely due to guilt—it can’t be easy dating your sister’s ex-fiancé—she learns he’s sleeping around. Sure, it’s painful to see Ingrid’s hurt expression but the situation addresses the state of their relationship. Dash realizes he cares enough about Ingrid to be exclusive, and Ingrid realizes there’s something irresistible about the Gardiner gene pool. But as with all things Witches of East End, love is never an easy path. When the truth behind Dash’s devious deeds surfaces, it changes their relationship. The only question is whether it will truly be the end or the beginning of their connection.

The Beauchamp women getting their drink on, meanwhile somewhere Freddie is working on his carving skills.

The Beauchamp women getting their drink on. Meanwhile, somewhere Freddie is working on his carving skills.

On the total opposite emotional spectrum is Wendy (Mädchen Amick) and Tommy (Ignacio Serricchio) whose relationship is forever changed when he witnesses her transformation from a cat to a human. This story line is one of my favorites; it adds a lot of much needed light-hearted moments. When Wendy explains she is a witch, Tommy’s response had me laughing: “Are you going to drop a house on me?” The onscreen dynamic between Amick and Serricchio is great, making their characters ones you want to root for. Wendy knows mortals can never learn about their world so she makes a difficult decision. Amick’s performance is spot on throughout.

O Father, Where Art Thou?

From the moment Frederick appears in East End, he has been nothing but an enigma of sorts, and a difficult character to figure out. Frederick’s actions lead to many deaths, but at the same time his reluctance to murder his family makes his true motives questionable. You can’t help but remain on edge and uncertain of what Frederick will do next because he’s a contradiction of sorts. This makes him a character viewers can easily love to hate. Now that Tarkoff is schooling him on how to draw the king’s symbol on his victims’ chests like an Etch-A-Sketch™, Frederick doesn’t have the luxury of failing to follow his grandfather’s orders. “Sex, Lies, and Birthday Cake” surprises me with its twists and turns. From Frederick’s failed attempt to take down Tarkoff to his homicidal intentions towards his girlfriend Caroline (Anna Van Hooft), anything can happen.

Memorable Moments

  • For Eva? – There is no mistaking immortality is what Eva (Bianca Lawson) craves, and the discovery of what awaits her future child is twisted. Let the countdown to ‘Free Killian’ begin because Eva is not a woman a man wants mama drama from.
  • Never Yours – As is the case with a lot of male villains throughout literary history, it’s always about unrequited love. In this instance, Tarkoff’s crush on Joanna runs far deeper than that. In fact, he calls it “first love.” Poor Joanna is being hit hard with all the ghosts from her past.
  • Will He or Won’t He? – By far the most suspenseful moment of the night is Frederick’s choice to either sacrifice the girlfriend who loves him or offer her up to dear old granddaddy Nikolaus. Unfortunately, the end results appear a little vague.
  • Ménage áQuoi? – After being subjected to a story line about a sexually charged tentacle monster, nothing should really surprise me. Queue the sex scene montage. It’s not so much the sex itself—although tastefully shot and catering to the style of the couple—it’s the amount of people having sex at the same time that makes me take pause. Poor Joanna is the odd one out, settling to hug it out with Tarkoff.

Bottom Line

“Sex, Lies and Birthday Cake” is another great episode with much more progress this time around. The motivations behind the villains like Tarkoff and Eva are transparent, and much needed at this point. A lot of the romantic sequences in “Sex, Lies, and Birthday Cake” are set up perfectly for each couple. Writers Maggie Friedman and Richard Hatem are behind the teleplay, while Sarah Tarkoff is the creator of the story, which explains a lot. It’s no easy task to balance a full cast of characters at once. It takes precision and vision. The team behind Witches of East End continues to prove they know their story, and don’t settle for trends. There’s a great balance with the tone and pacing of the episode. I don’t feel there is too little or too much screen time for all the characters. Overall, “Sex, Lies, and Birthday Cake” is a solid episode with an exciting cliffhanger. I can’t wait to see what happens next!

 

What did you think of “Sex, Lies, and Birthday Cake?” Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter @conallen.

Tune in to Witches of East End, Sundays at 9 pm ET/PT, only on Lifetime.

Follow the series on its official site: http://www.mylifetime.com/shows/witches-of-east-end/, where you can also watch full episodes.

Follow Witches of East End on Twitter @WitchesEastEnd and @lifetimetv, as well as the cast:

@danielditomasso@rachelboston@EricWinter1,@jennaldewan@alseptien@auntwendythecat,

@MelissadelaCruz@biancabot4@RichardHatem, and @MaggieFriedman.

Like Witches of East End on Facebook.

Photos: ©2014 Lifetime Network. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

© 2014, Connie Allen. All rights reserved.

Connie Allen

I'm a writer, cinephile, avid reader, and pop culture enthusiast. I love historical dramas, and fantasy/sci-fi series. Currently living in SoCal.
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About the author

Connie Allen

I'm a writer, cinephile, avid reader, and pop culture enthusiast. I love historical dramas, and fantasy/sci-fi series. Currently living in SoCal.

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