Mayfair Witches remains a little plodding in its second episode, but the potential is there for it to pick up some steam as it goes along.
This recap of Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches Season 1 Episode 2, “The Dark Place”, contains spoilers.
After a relatively underwhelming premiere, Mayfair Witches returns in “The Dark Place” for… well, a relatively underwhelming second episode, if we’re being honest. The mixed bag of fantasy cliches with handsome production is, admittedly, spiced up a little this week with a good helping of weirdness and at least a couple of quite surprising turns, but I remain underwhelmed by AMC’s adaptation of Anne Rice’s famous and beloved trilogy.
Mayfair Witches Season 1 Episode 2 Recap
We do away with the dual-timeline gimmick here, more or less, and instead focus on the present day, where Rowan is digging deeper into her real heritage following the death of her adoptive mother, and Deidre is trying to escape from a drug-induced stupor to reunite with her at the behest of Lasher. We actually open with a flashback to 1681, with some weird goings-on in a Scottish forest, but I imagine the significance of this will become clearer as we go.
In the present day, Rowan is digging into the circumstances of her adoption and discovering that it was all a sham. The agency her mother claims to have used wasn’t even operating in 1991, she has had no concrete explanation for the mysterious hemorrhages she has been causing, and her visions of the man we know as Lasher are not only continuing but worsening. When Dr. Keck makes her see the hospital psychiatrist for an evaluation before she can return to work, she almost kills the poor lady, and then – it’s implied – her frayed emotions send a couple of birds tumbling to their deaths. Not only is Rowan struggling to figure out who she really is, but she’s also clearly struggling to keep everything together.
This is partly thanks to Lasher, who informs Deirdre in his efforts to revive her from her medically-induced, near-comatose state that he has been watching and presenting himself to her daughter. Rowan’s frailty is also what pushes Ciprien Grieve to approach her, against orders, fearing that she might harm herself or others if she isn’t told the truth about who she is. Grieve’s power seems to be a kind of psychometry that allows him to see the history of objects he touches. This allows him to deduce a lot of Rowan’s recent experiences by poking around her boat, and when he tries to meet with her, he grabs her wrist and experiences visions so powerful that they knock him unconscious.
This allows Rowan to steal his phone, unlock it with his Face ID, and find pictures of herself and a house she has been seeing in her visions. After learning this place is in New Orleans, she heads there and finds out from a local tour guide in the hotel that the place is the old Mayfair house, famed for its witches and secrecy.
Rowan’s connection to Lasher is strange, by the way, much more so than simply being able to see snippets of him in visions. When Lasher has what can only be described as telepathic sex with Deirdre, Rowan feels the physical sensation of it while on her flight to New Orleans, which is a note of weirdness it’s probably best not to think too much about at the moment. You’d think that the connection would be to Deirdre but I don’t think that’s the implication here. Lasher is connected to them both, but later, when Deirdre experiences another very strong physical sensation (more on this in the paragraph below), Rowan doesn’t feel it. It seems like Lasher is the common denominator here.
But anyway, about that sensation. After Deirdre escapes her aunt’s house with help of her doctor, she reunites with her creepy Uncle Cortland and prepares to track Rowan down. Rowan, too, arranges to meet with Grieve, but while she’s waiting for him, mother and daughter finally meet – the elevator doors open to reveal Deidre with her throat slashed, and she falls into Rowan’s arms, presumably dying right there. Is she dead? Probably. Who killed her? We don’t yet know. This seems a much more interesting note to end on than anything in the premiere, though, so hopefully, Mayfair Witches starts to pick up some steam as it goes along.
You can stream Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches Season 1 Episode 2, “The Dark Place” exclusively on AMC and AMC+.