Mayfair Witches (Season 1), Episode 1: It had to be witchcraft that could come up with the fiery rollercoaster that is AMC’s brand new supernatural thriller’s pilot. Or we could calm down with the witch metaphors (can’t make a promise this early) and hand it over to Michael Uppendahl for keeping the chaotic maneuvering of this amusingly deranged back and forth in check. Sure, the day is young, and I shouldn’t get myself this worked up already, but you can hardly blame me after I just witnessed Mayfair Witches’ sorcery in finding a way to conjure up something shockingly new when we thought that witches are at stake (yup, I did it again).

The second show finding its seed in Anne Rice’s Immortal Universe, works its way around an impeccable amalgamation of the modern and the gothic. With the promise of a lot more of that down the line and an exquisite cast guarding the fence, Mayfair Witches counts its blessings and raves up an unmissable experience.

Mayfair Witches (Season 1), Episode 1 Recap:

The Witching Hour

A wildly blue-eyed woman stews in the ghostly silence of her poetically oldened house and waits for the new replacement of her doctor to come. The family doesn’t like it when her Thorazine injections are not administered in time, as the new doctor is reminded by the draconian nurse. He gives her file a read just to be certain. And while he is looking over the mention of a suicide attempt, his wandering eyes catch a glance of a man hovering over her patient and swiftly disappearing as he prances out to check.

Cut to another ocean-eyed liveaboard, Dr. Rowan Fielding. Rowan specializes in pediatric neurology and often gets in a passive-aggressive row with the hospital’s chief of surgery. That is until Rowan’s adoptive mother Elena’s cancer relapses, and Rowan is forced to ask Dr. Keck for his help with getting her mother into the stem cell research trial at Revenia. Bombarded with insensitive remarks from the arrogant doctor who also happens to teach her a lesson about her own barely-veiled arrogance, furious Rowan somehow manages to manifest an actual brain aneurism, and the man falls dead.

Cut to the stormy life of the beautiful and rebellious Deirdre. Church-bound Deirdre can hardly keep her “sins” in check even when she is confessing to the family padre. She apparently gets a visit from a man who has kept her company since her mother’s death and holds enough threats up his sleeves to frighten her family. One look at this enigmatic Lasher, and we know that he isn’t–quite–human.

Under the nun-like dominance of her aunts, Deirdre’s suffocation overcomes her. Driven to her uncle Cortland’s mystical party with a slight nudge from Lasher, Deirdre finds the glamour and the liberation she has never seen before. She has also never seen the beautiful man her uncle has hired to lure her to dance and subsequently to bed, only to be killed and carried away the following day as Deirdre watches from the window.

Back to Rowan’s absolute panic about killing her boss–which, as it turns out, isn’t the first time the good doctor has ended life with her mind. Elena hard-handedly shuts down Rowan’s anxiety about possibly wielding a killer brain. Rowan has been unable to get in touch with her biological parents due to her adoption being a closed one. But Elena is certainly aware of more than she is letting on. When Rowan leaves for a romantic rendezvous riddled with commitment issues and a bare-hearted confession about seeing her own shadow as a man who bears a sense of familiarity, Elena gives a call to a certain New Orleans office to check if something has changed.

Mayfair Witches Season 1 Episode 1 Recap Ending (1)

Entering the Revenia facility with bright hope only pays off with another intensely pretentious and conceited doctor’s emergence in Rowan’s life. She does get the job. But only after the obnoxious man goes to the bathroom in front of her and wants her to cross out an existing patient’s name from the list to get her mother into the stem cell research program. What follows is another of Rowan’s well-justified fit of rage and the satisfying death of yet another infuriating doctor.

Mayfair Witches (Season 1) Episode 1 Ending, Explained:

What do we learn about Rowan’s origin?

Rowan is understandably on the edge of an absolute breakdown after causing the deaths of two men in a very short span of time. Going to her mother once again only causes Rowan to be more miserable, as all Elena does is gaslight her daughter and make her feel bad for burdening her with her delusion on her last days. Granted, there is a pervasive sense of protectiveness in Elena’s choice to continue to be silent. There are also infinitely better ways of handling the situation than making the daughter, whom she loves so much, feel like she is losing her mind. While her imminent death undoubtedly isn’t easy on Elena, it most certainly isn’t easy on Rowan, who will end up even more alone in a world where she already feels like an outcast.

Ciprien Grieve, the man in charge of Rowan’s file in New Orleans, turns out to be a warlock of sorts. In front of the mystical house we saw in the opening sequence, he envisions a woman hanging from a tree with Lasher standing underneath. He gives Elena a call back to tell her that “the man” is close, but there isn’t anything to worry about as of now. With her death closing in, Elena is losing her mind in worries of what will become of her daughter once she isn’t there to protect her from “the man.” Ciprien Grieve comforts the dying woman with the reassurance that he will keep Rowan from falling into the manipulation of Lasher.

Switching back to a time long gone, we find a frantic Deirdre, pregnant overnight after spending time with a man who is now dead. All her aunts can do at this point is to call for the reverent. Praying isn’t what Deirdre finds solace in. She craves to be free from the dreadful house and her aunt, who she is convinced killed the man that impregnated her. She seeks the comforting presence of Lasher, and that is what she gets. To Lasher, she can find the unrestrained safety to openly talk about her suspicion of her mother’s death being a murder staged as a suicide. When in the frenzy of her fear, Deirdra plunges to her own death the same way; her life is saved by Lasher himself. Taking control over Deirdre’s vulnerability, Lasher urges her to accept him with the promise of belonging to her forever. But not before showing her his real face, which is a horrifying coalescence of many. She wears back the necklace that wards off Lasher, and in an instant, her water breaks.

A montage lets us in on the secret. Rowan is Deirdre’s daughter. When Deirdre gave birth, her aunts took her child away and gave her up to Elena. Elena had to change her Mayfair family name and raise Rowan as far from her truth as possible. Deirdre Mayfair was told that her daughter didn’t make it, and she has been silenced with drugs ever since. The woman we see right when the episode starts off is Deirdre Mayfair, now 47 years old. However, the doctor not giving her the Thorazine injection to find out what she has to say does hint that we will hear from Deirdre soon.

What can we predict about Lasher?

While the pilot doesn’t delve into the dark depths of Lasher’s identity, his movements did suggest that, unlike humans, he can vanish into thin air. We also don’t see him getting into the church ground and can assume that he is an unholy being. He presented himself to Deirdre as a seducer and persuader. It was he who not only encouraged Deirdre to go to Cortland’s party but also directed her to the very dress she was supposed to wear. From what we have seen of Lasher so far, it would be reasonable to conclude that he is the Devil or some form of the fallen angel. The long line of Mayfair witches has been using authoritarian rules to keep young witches from falling into Lasher’s seduction. Cortland, on the other hand, seems to have his own sinister plan. Now that the doctor has removed the sacred necklace, Lasher can be expected to take back the witch that he had marked.

Read More: Interview with the Vampire (Season 1), Episode 2: Recap & Ending Explained

Mayfair Witches (Season 1), Episode 1 Show Links – IMDb, Wikipedia
Mayfair Witches (Season 1), Episode 1 Show Cast – Alexandra Daddario, Jack Huston, Tongayi Chirisa, Beth Grant
Where to watch Mayfair Witches

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