Witches of East End Recap: Episode 1.4, “A Few Good Talisman”

As a soap fan, I’m used the slow burn with plotlines. But oh, did Witches of East End go there this week! There was drama, more drama and shirtless Freddie Prinze, Junior …

It’s 1693. A pilgrim Johanna’s running through the woods, screaming for her girls. Alas, she’s too late, she comes upon two burned bodies, tied to stakes. Ick. (This will not be the only time we are squicked out this episode.)

Bald guy — whom we now know is Johanna 2.0 from last week’s reveal — comforts Johanna, saying he’s sorry, but the girls were reckless with their gifts. Johanna, horrified, realizes what he’s saying: he turned them in. Johanna snags his knife and jumps him, magic style. He pleads for mercy. She says, “As you wish.”

Cut to present day: Ingrid and Freya are marveling over their mother’s bad-assery. “You actually cut off his ear?!” (Because I care, I rewound to last week’s big reveal, and, yup, Bald Guy 2.0 has a deformed ear.)

Creepy fingernails? Check. Icky hair doll? Check. Deformed ear? Yup, this guy’s a villain.

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The point of Johanna’s story (in addition to providing handy backstory on 2.0) was to illustrate how the Beauchamps don’t kill. Gauntlet: thrown.

At the library, Ingrid’s knocked up coworker, Barb, is cooing over her sonogram. Barb believes Ingrid’s spell did the trick, baby-making wise, so she and her husband want Ingrid to be the baby’s godmother. Ingrid is adorably excited.

Oh, Ingrid, honey.

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Dash and Killian’s mom, Penelope, aka Virginia Madsen, whom we haven’t seen since the pilot, is mooning over a picture of her sons. Freya and Penelope talk about the boys and how they used to be close. Penelope wants them all to be a family again, but Dash isn’t into it — and mama wants Freya to change his mind. Freya demurs, and Penelope hilariously mother-in-laws: “I know my son, better than you could ever know him.” Freya agrees to help.

Meanwhile, Harrison the lawyer and Johanna have been at the courthouse, getting Johanna’s principal to testify as a character witness. Now at lunch, the Beauchamp ladies debrief over how well it went. Except the murdered man’s wife, Mrs. Murder Victim, is also there, and she is not pleased to see Johanna hanging with her family, all NBD, murder charge! Wendy breaths a spell the accusatory woman’s way, and she begins to choke on blood. Double squick.

Harrison and Johanna head to the murder scene. Johanna casts a spell to try and unearth the shifter’s next move. Her eyes go milky white. She has a vision of herself stabbing her principal with a fire poker at 8:30 that night (she saw a clock in her trance — handy!). Johanna comes to and tells Harrison they’ll use the principal as bait.

Johanna’s feeling the vibes. Watch out, bad guys!

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Freya and Ingrid are confabbing at the bar when Adam stops by. He and Ingrid adorably discuss their next date. Freya’s excited her sister’s in love: Ingrid wigs and says she can’t be in love. She just caaaaan’t be! (Because she’s worried about the repercussions of the resurrection spell, remember? Okay good.)

Freya invites Killian to dinner, “Because it will make your mother happy.” Killian smolders and says he can’t — he has a date. 

Mrs. Murder Victim is at the hospital with Dr. Dash (Aside: I thought Dash was a Doctor’s Without Borders kinda doctor? Now he’s a local doc? Makes sense, keeps him on the canvas. But in the pilot they discussed all his travel, which was true of the book as well. Regardless, we approve: Never leave us, Dash!). Dash removes a giant ugly bug from her mouth, but doesn’t say anything to his patient. Also: TRIPLE SQUICK. AHH.

Cut to Wendy looking up bugs online. She surfs over to Freddie’s Prinze, Junior’s, web page! Hi Freddie! But Freya arrives, looking for help with the feuding brothers. Wendy warns against changing the brother’s feelings for each other, it could have a butterfly effect. (Ba dum dum) But she can get them to dinner with magic, no problemo.


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Johanna and Harrison invite themselves to dinner at the principal’s house, and stall, waiting to confront the shifter. Harrison wanders off and, hey!, he finds 2.0’s creepy lair. Someone sneaks up and konks him on the head.  

And here’s Freddie in the flesh! He’s letting himself into his apartment when a cat runs by. He gives chase, and comes upon a naked Wendy. Wendy lies that she’s his new neighbor, she got locked out chasing after her cat. He loans her a shirt and shows her his butterfly collection — including a super special one that’s supposed to have magical powers. He spills his wine (thanks to Wendy) and heads out of the room to take off his shirt (as one does). Wendy’s about to make a break for it with the butterfly when she gets an eyeful o’ Freddie. She decides to take a short delay for sexytimes. THEN she sneaks out with the butterfly.

We’d change our mind, too, Wendy! 

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Adam and Ingrid are on their adorable date, except Ingrid wigs, super worried that Adam’s going to bite it because of the spell blowback. She runs off.

Barb’s confused by Ingrid’s flip-flopping, but she offers to take her buddy to the bar for a drink anyway. Only, oh no! As they’re walking, Barb collapses, clutching her stomach.

Freya casts her beacon spell to get the boys to dinner. It works only for a moment. She heads to dinner, and Killian’s there. They gaze at each other, per usual. Dash arrives, and Killian bolts after seeing them embrace. Dash runs out too, he has an emergency at the hospital. This leaves Freya and Penelope to dine alone. They talk about the boys, and Penelope glares at Freya, seeming to sense that she has feelings for both brothers. Ruh roh.

Like, how everyone doesn’t know Freya and Killian are into each other, we will never know.

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It’s 8.30: aka, stabbing time! Johanna hunts for Harrison and the principal. She opens a door, and, crikey: a dead body lands on her! Seems the principal was already dead. But wait, there’s principal 2.0 stoking the fire. Johanna lunges but he bests her with his yucky hair doll, revealing himself as one-eared 2.0, whom Johanna recognizes as Vito.

Vito brandishes the fire poker, and goes all ear-for-an-ear on Johanna, who can’t move thanks to the hair doll spell. He’s also too intent on fulfilling his evil villain obligations by telling Johanna his plans to notice Harrison behind him. Harrison snags the hair doll and hurls it into the fire.

Johanna’s better! She stands, healing her ear, and takes the poker. This time she doesn’t practice mercy. Vito switches to the principal’s visage, begging, but Johanna still stabs him, making her earlier vision come to fruition. A dying Vito helpfully exposits that it is not he who framed her for murder. “Your real enemy is out there.”

Wendy’s in the hospital room of Mrs. Murder Victim. She resurrects the butterfly, and sends it into the sleeping woman’s ear. We … can’t even deal with that. The stuff of nightmares!

Ingrid’s outside the hospital, weeping on the phone to Wendy about Barb and the baby, how worried she is and how she blames herself. Adam rushes up to comfort her. They kiss. Ingrid’s phone rings. Barb and the baby are going to be okay! Ingrid’s so relieved, except she seems to now realize that Adam’s in danger again. Right on cue: Adam’s nose begins to bleed, and he collapses. Paramedics rush up to save him as Ingrid weeps in the rain.

Whew! What an episode! Did you watch? What did you think? We were personally traumatized by the bug ingestion as well as the apparent death of our buddy Adam! We’ll see you next week!