Witches of East End: Art of Darkness

Witches of East End

It can’t be said enough: This season of Witches of East End is extremely dark. Witches is considered a fluff witch show compared to its “competition,” Salem and American Horror Story: Coven, and that first season was definitely more Charmed than The Craft. (I loved every second of it, but it’s important to note.) This season, however, has been full of rape and flat-out murder, with a whole lot of deception on top. It’s fascinatingly horrifying (or horrifyingly fascinating), and it really is making this season of Witches of East End must see television. I’m basically going to be saying this every week until a lot more people get on board, so you all should get used to it. I love this show, and I love you all enough that I just want you to experience the type of love that I feel for this show.

Now that the emotions are out of the way, let’s go to the Most Valuable Witch rankings for “Art of Darkness!”

Ingrid / Dash (Number one in my heart. And also always.)

So now Dash is killing anyone who gets close to his secret. Now we’re really in the blacker side of those moral shades of grey. While you could do well to argue that his first two murders — of Kyle the blackmailer and the criminal back in everyone’s favorite episode, “Boogie Knights” — weren’t completely with malice, this one is a little less easy to defend. Sure, Dash is trying to keep everything about Kyle secret, so killing his suspicious father makes a bit of crazy!Dash sense. But it’s the type of thing where he could have easily come up with a non-lethal device. He’s supposed to be the smart brother, so it’s not like he couldn’t have come up with a “DESTROY EVIDENCE” spell.

But even with all of this, Dash and Ingrid are the cutest doomed relationship on this show. Sorry Killian and Freya. Ingrid choosing Dash — even with Freya’s problems with it (more on that later) — speaks a lot to her attraction to darkness in general. The show has been hinting (and it’s been pretty subtle, actually) at Ingrid eventually getting in touch with her more powerful side; and by “more powerful,” I definitely mean “darker.” Last season’s past life!Ingrid chose an evil man over her family, and there’s every chance she could do it again, if she convinced herself it was for the right reasons. Dash, despite his deceptions and problematic nature this season, has been there for Ingrid this whole time, and here in “Art of Darkness,” he’s the only one who even talks to her about the whole Tentacle Joe debacle.

Yes, the Mandragora elephant in the room. As Dash continues to remind Ingrid that everything that happened with Tentacle Joe was not her fault, it continues to frustrate me that the show isn’t yet addressing (verbalizing) that Ingrid was raped, repeatedly. Based on this episode, three weeks have passed since the events of “When a Mandragora Loves a Woman.” That isn’t sufficient time for Ingrid to just “get over it.” So hopefully the show gets into it, even though it’s unpleasant. It needs to be talked about.

And that’s how I take the joy out of Ingrid and Dash finally getting together, even when Ingrid is in a gorgeous dress and Dash has an awkward bow tie. (Don’t let me bring everything down! All of their scenes are adorable! Go back and watch!)

Wendy / Wendy’s outfit

First of all, Wendy and Ronan (Eddie McClintock) may have a toxic relationship, but I can say this is the most I’ve even liked — or at least been interested in — a Wendy relationship. See, Wendy and Leo were perfect because of nerdy, silver fox Freddie Prinze Jr., but he’s apparently never coming back. Wendy and Tommy’s peak has only been the Worst Date Ever; and Tommy is still a grown man named Tommy. Wendy and Ronan — even if they never get back together, and at this point, they really shouldn’t — are such a fascinating pairing that I need to see more of them. They’ve apparently been married three times (having met after Joanna kicked Wendy out of the family), and just imagine all of the potential that can come from those flashbacks. Victor abandoned his entire family, and we were just supposed to accept him (and care about his death) when he was dragged back in. Obviously Victor was ultimately a better person, but Ronan’s more of a scoundrel (as far as we’ve seen) than, say, a villain like Frederick or Tarkoff (James Marsters!) or even Dash.

Second of all, WENDY’S OUTFIT.

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Frederick

So you know how Frederick apparently has a life offscreen, where he has “friends” that he hangs out with? Apparently that includes a girlfriend named Caroline, an environmental science professor at the local university. In fact, he’s been auditing some classes, and that was one of them. How does Freddie find the time between the secrets and lies? Oh yeah, people call him Freddie now. You know, because he goes by Freddie and he is a prince, I could totally start calling him Freddie Prinze. Anything I can do to remind you Freddie Prinze Jr. needs to come back to the show.

“Art of Darkness” makes it clear that even though Frederick is working in service of his grandfather, it’s not 100% his own choice, making him at least a little redeemable come redemption time. He is a series regular after all. See, the mark of the king isn’t just the mark of the king when it comes to Frederick — he’s keeping his grandfather’s soul inside of it. And he can only handle that for so long, thus the seizures. Tentacle Joe was looking for a proper host for the king, but clearly he kept failing … and then Frederick killed him. So now Frederick has to find a proper host, with the help of Tarkoff, a loyal servant of the king and an old friend of the Beauchamp parentals. But by “help,” I kind of mean, constant frustration and judgment. Tarkoff, despite his friendship with Frederick parents (he and Victor were even like “brothers”) has no problem, magically slapping Frederick around and betraying Joanna’s trust to weaker her. Tarkoff’s a lot of fun.

Joanna

Joanna’s role as the matriarch of the Beauchamp family really is a thankless role. Julia Ormond constantly puts in fantastic work, but she is all too often the least-served actor to the plot. She’s essentially the framework of the entire show, and yet, here she is, constantly being left in the dark about everything. No one tells Joanna anything, when just her knowledge alone would help them all immensely. Wendy (and everyone else) knew about Frederick’s girlfriend before Joanna. Frederick clearly doesn’t want to do his grandfather or Tarkoff’s bidding, but he refuses to just go to his mother for help. Dash is digging himself in deeper and deeper, and Killian is just a mess. Joanna is great and can help all of them — everyone needs to remember that. Which brings me to my next witch. Well, warlock.

Killian

Oh, Killian. Killian, Killian, Killian. I can’t even really hate him any more at this point, because he’s so dumb. He learns that he’s being controlled and mindraped (and physically raped — sorry to keep using the “r” word, but it needs to be said) by Eva (who apparently really looks super duper old, something real life witch Bianca Lawson herself will never look), and the first thing he does isn’t go to his warlock brother or any of the Beauchamp witches. He roots around his place for what his wife could possibly be using to control him, instead of getting out of their house. His first line of defense — if he loves Freya so much — should have been Freya. Or even Joanna. Just go to the Beauchamp house, and you’ll find a witch. It doesn’t even have to be a Beauchamp. There will just be a witch. And it won’t be your manipulative villain wife.

And because Phone!Killian brings it up, I have to ask the important question. Why? Why does Killian love Freya?

Other than the past lives, star-crossed lover backstory, what do either of these characters love about each other? The majority of the first season had Freya and Dash together, so even as their relationship was disintegrating because of the soulmates nonsense, it made sense why they were together and how in love they were with each other. But I still have no idea why Killian and Freya love each other, other than the fact that they’re supposed to love each other. I think I felt more motivation behind their love in the past life flashbacks in “Boogie Knights,” which featured a fraction of the screentime these characters have had in the present day. That’s a problem. In conclusion: Show, don’t tell.

Also: Get out of your house and get help next time you’re lucid, Killian!

Freya

The good: The Wendy and Freya scenes are great. Freya calling dibs as Wendy’s date and Freya being literally in the middle of Ronan and Wendy’s fight are both highlights of the episode.

The bad: Oh boy.

Freya, Freya, Freya. Before I get into this, I need to make it clear that my support of Ingrid and Dash isn’t making me have a negative reaction to Freya. It’s the fact that Freya is clearly jealous of the relationship, and that is clouding her judgment. Yes, she’s right that Dash did say some terrible things while infected with Mandragora venom. Things that were very close to confessing his sins. But again: He was infected with Mandragora vemon. He was having a psychotic break, and if there’s any time when a character can say “It wasn’t me!” on this show, it’s that time. If this were Smallville, and Dash were on red Kryptonite, then I would hold him accountable. But it’s not, so I don’t. And as I mentioned in last episode’s review, Dash was immediately remorseful as soon as he got the antidote in him. The first thing he even did when he came to his senses was ask Freya if she was okay. So it’s not like he’s this remorseless villain who is incapable of human emotions.

Also, Freya. Is. The. One. Who. Cheated. In my book, infidelity immediately removes any sort of dibs or sister code or whatever you want to call it when it comes to dating a loved one’s ex. If you cheated on your ex, you can be jealous all you want, but it’s not up to you to decide who that person can date. Freya saw in the last episode that there’s a connection between Dash and Ingrid. She knows that, at this point, they’re probably each other’s best friends — in a time when they both really need best friend. She know from the venom haze that Dash likes Ingrid because she’s “real;” if she’s going to take the bad from his haze, then she needs to take the good from it too. When it comes to her parts in the episode that aren’t Wendy-related, Freya is just absolutely selfish and not all that likable. I don’t like that version of Freya, unless we can blame it on the witch drugs. And we can’t.

It’s all worse because of the inevitable “Told you so” that Freya’s going to have once Dash’s actions come to light.

Images Courtesy of Lifetime

About LaToya

Much like every other person she meets in Los Angeles, LaToya Ferguson is a mature adult who fancies herself a writer. When she's not writing for The Televixen, she's usually writing about Smallville, MS Painting over Pretty Little Liars screencaps, or encouraging others to call her "Gossip Fergs." Again, she is a mature adult. She's also a Twitter fanatic, and you can follow her at @lafergs.