‘Mayfair Witches’ 1×05 Review: “The Thrall”
Last week, Rowan attended the funeral and wake of Deirdre Mayfair. Carlotta was determined to save Rowan from Lasher but when she felt like she failed a planned dinner ended in fire and blood. This week, Rowan and Ciprien are caught in the fallout of a battle between Carlotta and Lasher. And, it finally came to an end.
Warning: It’s about to get spoiler-y!
At the beginning of the episode, Suzanne (Hannah Alline) faced new tribulations when a witchfinder came to the village. Suzanne already had trouble with one man claiming she performed witchcraft on his wife to give him a son with webbed hands and feet. Trouble was coming for the Mayfairs.
This part of Mayfair history became incredibly relevant to the present. With the Brotherhood in the wings, creating unrest and searching out witches, it may not be long before history is repeating itself.
Rowan (Alexandria Daddario) and Ciprien (Tongayi Chirisa) awake in bed together as if the fiery night in 1×04: “Curiouser and Curiouser” didn’t happen. Somehow Ciprien was magically all right and even made breakfast in bed for him and Rowan. Even weirder, one could almost swear that Carlotta didn’t stab him, but no. At a glimpse, the wound was there and it was infected. For some reason, the two were in a honeymoon-like haze, but when the scene repeated, it was obvious that magic was at play. Or rather, Lasher was.
Sure, the chemistry between these two was ridiculously lit, but this was moving too fast for even them. More so, Rowan wasn’t a breakfast-in-bed kind of woman either. She liked her men uncomplicated. Lasher (Jack Huston) was giving Rowan her secret desire for a proper romance but offhandedly wanted to get rid of Ciprien and take his place.
He very nearly succeeded. Fortunately for Ciprien, Lasher met his match with Rowan. Carlotta nailed it when she said Rowan was strong enough to resist him.
It’s a Trap
After learning that she and Ciprien were trapped inside the Mayfair house, Rowan was determined to find a way out. She wasn’t willing to let Ciprien die, not when she was possibly falling in love with him. Which is a little fast, but when you have a connection like these two, I’m willing to let it pass. The romantic in me loves them so much.
Lasher, acting like a jealous blocker, would only let Ciprien go on one condition. It’s a trope older than time and can be found in almost every supernatural show. The one loved trades their life for their lover’s, and Rowan did just that. She promised to play Lasher’s game if he let Ciprien go.
Ciprien’s life was hanging a deadly balance this week. He tried to work some magic to help both him and Rowan escape their imprisonment in the Mayfair house but instead discovered something haunting.
A ghost and former Talamascan, Stuart Townsend, showed up at the bottom of the stairs proving that Ciprien wasn’t the first Talamascan that Lasher’s disposed of. The man who’d once been in love with Antha (Deirdre’s mother) just as Cirprien was falling for Rowan warned him not to die in that house.
If you die in the Mayfair House, you stay in the Mayfair House. With the witchiness and spookiness of this family not to mention New Orleans itself, it makes sense that this would be a total House on Haunted Hill case. While Ciprien was intuitively invested in the Mayfair family, this was the way he wanted to join them and luckily, he didn’t have to, thanks to Rowan. After all of this is over he definitely owes her breakfast in bed.
After sailing through a wall, Ciprien was magicked home where his sister, Odette (Keyara Milliner) was at his safe house/apartment, probably relaxing after a long night of working. Forced to hide, she got the show of a lifetime. The Talamasca entered the scene immediately. I have to figure it’s because their protection spell alerted them since they weren’t called.
Odette getting to witness Ciprien being magically healed jumped her into the world of magic bluntly. There definitely could’ve been an easier way to do it rather than seeing a woman pull a huge knife from her side. Then again, it was easier for her than for Rowan who’d given her boss a mind-aneurysm.
You Could Be More
Rowan instantly forgot about Ciprien being on death’s door when Lasher swept her into a whimsical thrall that encouraged her greatest desires which included cake. Cake doesn’t really do it for me, but it’s the little things. I get it, Rowan. I’m a gelato gal.
The fantasy façade didn’t last. When Lasher revealed Carlotta (Beth Grant) floating in the parlor nearly fifteen feet off the ground and offered retribution, Rowan knew that this was what he wanted all along. The show wasn’t for Rowan. It was to butter her up to kill her own aunt for him.
The Ghost in the Bathtub
Rowan refused to kill Carlotta, even though she did deserve a decent headbanging in honor of the late Delphine. Instead, she tried to find a way to help her which led to my favorite reveal this week.
Carlotta’s sister, Millie (Geraldine Singer), has been dead for a long time. The way she flickered, barely able to stay corporeal shook me tender. After Townsend, I figured ghosts would be lingering around the Mayfair house, but Millie was unexpected.
Though she was distraught over Carlotta, she helped Rowan figure out how to put a stop to Lasher’s antics. Unfortunately, Millie wasn’t enough. Rowan was losing sight of the goal because of LAsher’s incessant whispers encouraging her to end Carlotta. Taking a step back, Lasher was acting like nothing more than a child stomping his foot after being told to pick up after himself. He didn’t like it but would do it. And, he did for Rowan.
Carlotta’s Dark Secret
Though her heart was in the right place, Rowan shouldn’t have freed Carlotta. The deadly devout woman deserved to rot in jail for all she’s done regardless that it was all to stop Lasher.
Unfortunately, nobody won. Carlotta didn’t go to jail and Rowan didn’t succeed in not hurting anyone.
The two went upstairs when Carlotta told Rowan she had a way to stop Lasher. For the sake that Rowan still believed Carlotta could be good, she didn’t think Carlotta would try to hurt her again. Lasher proved himself to be as dangerous as Carlotta had said. I, however, did not believe Carlotta. Nope.
She led Rowan to the very balcony that Deirdre tried to jump off and Antha did successfully jump off of which was drawing more suspicion. Rowan’s incredible deduction skills brought one of Carlotta’s dark secrets. Antha didn’t jump from the balcony like Deirdre had been told so long ago.
The Witch is Dead
As if she had a death wish, Carlotta told her just how much she wished she’d killed Rowan instead. The V. C. Andrews vibe rolling off of this Mayfair was potent. She makes it difficult to hate the actual demonic bad guy when she’s out here making people look bad. Maybe she got this way because she was never gifted any power. That, or Lasher turned her down when she was younger and went for Antha.
Rowan, hurting after learning so much and feeling betrayed, finally gave Carlotta the little aneurysm I’d been hoping for last week and gave her a little push over the balcony. Carlotta’s reign over the Mayfair house was over.
Lasher got exactly what he wanted. Carlotta was dead. Yet, I’m still going back to what Townsend said about dying at the Mayfair house. Will this really be the last we see of Carlotta?
This entire episode placed Rowan into such a grey area. This first impression of her lost family has been dark and twisted. With no guidance and so much distrust, how will she handle Cortland?
What did you think of the latest episode? Let’s chat in the comments below and don’t forget to follow us @capeandcastle on Twitter!