Season 2, Episode 10
Airdate: Sunday, September 21, 2014, 9/8c on Lifetime
[warning] MAJOR SPOILERS[/warning]
There’s never a dull moment in East End as “The Fall of the House of Beauchamp” picks right up from the heartbreaking ending of “Smells Like King Spirit,” showing the impact of Frederick’s (Christian Cooke) actions. But it’s not just sorrow saturating the first half of the episode. Resurrection, Santería, and a royal arrival are merely some of the big events following the aftermath of Freya (Jenna Dewan Tatum) and Ingrid’s (Rachel Boston) untimely departure. As Joanna (Julia Ormond) and Wendy (Mädchen Amick) cope with the tragedy, the Beauchamps are not the only ones to dominate the show. The Gardiner men, Killian (Daniel Di Tomasso) and Dash (Eric Winter), are also on their own journey of discovery. What makes “The Fall of the House of Beauchamp” interesting is how one decision creates a ripple effect and the past doesn’t stay buried forever.
Can’t Keep a Good Witch Down
One of the things I really appreciate about Witches of East End is the way it manages to engage viewers with strong continuity in its story lines. Rather than gloss over Freya and Ingrid’s passing, episodic writers Darin Goldberg and Shelley Meals tie up loose ends, and demonstrate how grief takes a tremendous toll on all the core characters.
At the same time, amid all the sadness, there is plenty of action too. In a desperate attempt to bring Ingrid and Freya back to life, Wendy takes matters into her own hands. After all the painstaking efforts by the Beauchamp women to prevent the mad king Nikolaus (Steven Berkoff), their father, from coming to the human realm, he becomes their last resort.
I have minor issues with this turn in the story. I thought the writers would use Nikolaus’ arrival as a season finale cliffhanger, but clearly that’s not the case. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but with so much death and destruction, there are few people left unscathed by Nikolaus’ schemes in East End.
When Nikolaus uses his powers to revive Ingrid and Freya, I wasn’t sure what to expect since I didn’t think Nikolaus would be back so soon. Still, I love how Ingrid and Freya’s reactions differ. There’s a moment after Ingrid awakens when she stares at Freya in a peculiar way. Acclaimed director Mick Garris, who is known for his work on many of Stephen King’s TV adaptations, lends his talents to “The Fall of the House of Beauchamp.” Garris’ previous style and work suggests Ingrid’s reaction serves a purpose when she explains she never crossed over but lingered in the house as a ghost. No one comments on this revelation but it’s enough to make me take pause. What does that mean? I thought humans are the only entities able to haunt the human realm, but Asgard witches? There isn’t much discussion about the mythology of the “underworld” as it relates to Witches of East End but it’s good to see the boundaries are left open to various interpretations.
Sins of the Past
When the episode isn’t tearing your heart out, it’s following up on Dash’s dark dealings, and Killian’s cryptic past life. In another surprise, after Frederick drinks himself into a stupor, he picks a fight with Killian, who is unaware of Freya’s death. It’s in this critical moment that Frederick reveals Killian is the cause for all the tragedy and has a connection to Asgard. Frederick also makes a point of telling Killian he is the one who “led” him down the dark path. With the revelation, Killian may have as devious a past life as Ingrid; it adds depth to his character. Let’s be honest, for the majority of the season, Killian hasn’t really grown despite his story line with Eva (Bianca Lawson)—a baby, crazed witch who pretty much kept him straddled in bed. Killian’s past is a good avenue to explore, and there’s always something appealing about watching good characters discover their wicked side. Besides, considering all the heartbreak of losing Eva and Freya in the same week, Killian needs some time to focus his attention in a different direction.
Dash, on the other hand, has a great dynamic transformation as the rising big baddie. Who would have thought the good doctor would be so drunk with power? It’s easily one of the season’s more refreshing shake-ups. Now that Ingrid’s spell is broken, it will be interesting to watch Dash devise a way to escape severe consequences.
All the Small Things
The way East Enders deal with their problems has damaging repercussions. So, it amazes me when Dash decides to have a fling with a very assertive stranger, Raven Moreau (Sarah Lancaster). After Killian’s ordeal with Eva (who symbolizes the owl), Dash best be looking over his shoulder with this woman named Raven.
Although the structure of the story lines is solid, some of the characters’ behaviors, like Ingrid and Dash, surprise me. Ingrid’s curiosity about her grandfather feels completely off. She does realize he is the reason Hudson (Tom Lenk) died, right? Ingrid is much more perceptive and intelligent—she is the “key,” after all—so maybe something mysterious happened when she was in the spirit realm as a ghost.
What’s Behind Door Number Two?
In spite of Nikolaus’ news that he wants a nice family reunion, it’s clear to Joanna there’s more to her father’s proposition. This is where “The Fall of the House of Beauchamp” splinters apart in tone, and changes from gloom to wonderment. Joanna finally shows her daughters just what’s kept secret in the closet, and the reveal is reminiscent of something you’d see in Harry Potter novels.
The past plays such a big part in the Beauchamps’ lives; it’s going to be a slippery slope if they plan to fix their mistakes. The last half of the episode is a transitional point bringing back some familiar faces, and proving that as long as you’re not human, the dead don’t stay quite dead. In another twist, viewers finally get an answer to season one’s important question: Who is the Trickster?
I’m a little torn with this episode. I really enjoyed the first half, seeing the many ways the core characters come to together and fall apart. What I don’t like so much are some of the characterizations. I have the feeling there are valid reasons for many of the characters’ actions, but with someone like Ingrid, siding with her grandfather doesn’t quite fit. Then there’s Dash who—while I understand him keeping his distance because of his argument with Ingrid—doesn’t pursue the matter further despite his problems. But even those hiccups don’t take away from the general intensity in “The Fall of the House of Beauchamp.” Highlight performances from Ormond and Amick continue to serve as a reminder of how strong the female leads are in the show. My favorite part in every episode always boils down to the theme of family, and the connection the Beauchamps have with one another. Overall, plenty of memorable moments to outshine some idiosyncrasies, but definitely enough room to make the follow-up episode, “Poe Way Out,” as riveting.
What did you think of “The Fall of the House of Beauchamp?” 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.
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Photos: ©2014 Lifetime Network. All Rights Reserved.
© 2014, Connie Allen. All rights reserved.
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