DISCLAIMER: This recap of the Mayfair Witches episode, “Curiouser and Curiouser,” contains spoilers. Proceed at your peril.
Welcome back, witches and shape-shifting entities! Mayfair Witches‘ fourth outing, directed by Axelle Carolyn and written by Lindsey Villarreal, plunges Rowan into the world of the Mayfairs. She formally meets Carlotta and Cortland, along with other members of her newfound family. Ciprien uncovers Deirdre’s murderer, and Rowan dons Deirdre’s necklace, causing Carlotta to take drastic measures. It’s an episode where everything and nothing happens.
The narrative plods along in “Curiouser and Curiouser,” and despite the fine performances and gorgeous visuals, this show hasn’t grabbed me yet. That said, the ending excitedly sets the stage for episode five.
Ready to delve into “Curiouser and Curiouser”? Let’s get to it.
RELATED: Catch up on the atmospheric magic with our Mayfair Witches recaps!
We open with a priest standing over Aoife’s body after the latter dies. Suzanne (Hannah Alline) lets out a gut-wrenching sob. However, one woman urges her to save her tears for the actual service. That night, she leads Suzanne to a clearing in the woods. We see a group of women dancing by the light of lit torches and candles. A young woman encourages Suzanne to cry. She weeps profusely in front of a beautiful flowery display erected in honor of Aoife.
Meanwhile, Rowan (Alexandra Daddario) is having sex with Ciprien (Tongayi Chirisa). He’s wearing Deirdre’s necklace. After changing positions, Rowan looks up and sees Lasher (Jack Huston) on top of her. Suddenly, Rowan wakes. Someone’s having hot and heavy dreams about Lasher disguised as Ciprien…
Next, Rowan finds Ciprien in the kitchen making breakfast. Ciprien admits he also had peculiar dreams. After their intense mind-sharing session the night before, it’s no wonder they’re on the same wavelength. We learn Deirdre’s funeral is that day, and Ciprien will attend it with Rowan. He’s a good dude. Then, Carlotta (Beth Grant) checks in with Delphine to see if Lasher is still trapped in her body. As expected, that lil b broke free.
RELATED: Catch up on the bloody, steamy goodness with our Interview with the Vampire recaps!
Later, Jojo Mayfair (Jen Richards) urges Cortland (Harry Hamlin) to prepare for Deirdre’s funeral. Of course, Cortland hopes to avoid Carlotta like the plague, but Jojo reminds him that his sister will undoubtedly sink her claws into Rowan. It’s imperative they tell her the truth. Meanwhile, one man runs through a parking garage clutching his head and screaming in pain. A few men attempt to subdue him.
Rowan dons a black dress that Odette kindly dropped off for her. She and Ciprien depart for the funeral. But first, Rowan attempts to purposely manipulate the mind of a gecko on the window. It’s essential to hone your skills, ya know? At the funeral, Ciprien points out the various Mayfair members in attendance. Rowan finds herself the unexpected center of attention when her newly discovered family members not-so-secretly gossip about her in plain sight. Cortland places a silk handkerchief in Deirdre’s coffin and pays his respects.
Then, the doors to the church burst open, as if by a gust of wind. A flurry of rose petals falls like rain on the funeralgoers. Carlotta panics, but Rowan appears to love it. I wonder if it’s a tribute from Lasher. Once they reach the Mayfair mausoleum, Ciprien excuses himself, revealing his bosses believe they caught Deirdre’s murderer. Rowan stays behind. She notices her name is listed as one of the Mayfair members eternally resting inside the mausoleum. Carlotta reveals that everyone thought Rowan was dead. Carlotta invites Rowan to a get-together at the Mayfair residence after the burial.
RELATED: Geek Girl Authority Crush of the Week: Claudia
Rowan takes Carlotta up on her offer. Carlotta catches Rowan as she absorbs her surroundings. This is her first time inside the Mayfair manor. Carlotta gives Rowan photos of Ellie, her mother, from when the latter was younger. Rowan learns Carlotta spread the lie of Rowan’s death to protect her. Awful things happen to the women in this family. Additionally, Carlotta made Ellie swear to keep Rowan’s abilities and familial heritage under wraps. Secrets don’t make friends, lady.
Then, Cortland, Jojo and some partiers arrive to spice up the festivities at the Mayfair residence, much to Carlotta’s dismay. Meanwhile, Ciprien interacts with the man who purportedly murdered Deirdre. He reaches out to touch the man to glimpse his memories. Ciprien informs his boss the man was a hired hand. Suddenly, the man’s neck snaps, and we see Lasher emerge from said man’s body. Lasher killed him for what he did to Deirdre.
Rowan meets more of the Mayfair clan. She chats with Tessa (Madison Wolfe) and Alicia Mayfair (Leslie Castay), as well as Dolly Jean Mayfair (Charlayne Woodard). She doesn’t appear to be having fun. Family gatherings seldom are — especially post-funeral gatherings. Jojo swoops in to save her by offering her a drink. She leads Rowan to the dining room, where we see portraits of the Mayfair women from the past 300 years. Jojo points out a few notable witches, a.k.a. the “designees.” The designees own the Mayfair house. Deirdre was a designee, meaning the house passes to Rowan. Suck it, Carlotta!
RELATED: Top 10 Vampires From Books, Film and TV
Next, we see Cortland searching for something. He whips out an intricate wooden pipe. Ciprien informs his boss about the hotel elevator being wiped of memories. However, instead of being asked to investigate it further, Ciprien is dismissed for now. Meanwhile, Rowan spots Cortland making his way to the porch. Cortland confirms what Jojo told Rowan, that the house belongs to her. He urges Rowan to stop by his home to work out the details. It’s time to kick Carlotta to the curb. Oh, and he’s pro-Lasher, while Carlotta is unsurprisingly anti-Lasher. Cortland encourages Rowan to take advantage of her connection with Lasher.
Carlotta crashes the party and gifts Rowan with Deirdre’s rosary. She starts bickering with Cortland, leaving Rowan to stand awkwardly in the middle as the third wheel. Carlotta emphatically reminds Cortland of how much she sacrificed to care for Deirdre. Fed up, Cortland orders his partygoers to disperse. Party’s over, folks.
Then, Ciprien returns to The Talamasca headquarters to fall down the Mayfair family research rabbit hole. It sounds like he hopes to break the inexplicable curse over the women, a.k.a. Lasher. Rowan stays for dinner courtesy of Carlotta. She snoops around a bit, weaving in and out of each room to learn more from where she originates. Rowan finds Deirdre’s necklace. She drops the rosary and puts in said necklace instantly. Rowan stares at her reflection in the mirror while stroking the key to unlock Lasher. Carlotta witnesses from afar, looking aghast.
RELATED: Top 12 Moments From House of the Dragon Season 1
Later, Rowan sits at the dining room table with Carlotta. She asks questions about Deirdre and her hobbies. Carlotta gives Rowan the silent treatment. Real mature, Carlotta. Ciprien receives a text from Rowan. It’s a photo of Deirdre’s necklace, with a caption explaining that it’s the same one she saw in her dream. Ciprien discovers Rowan’s location and leaves.
Meanwhile, Carlotta rants about how much of a pain Deirdre was and claims she’ll pray for Rowan’s late mother for the final time. Carlotta lights sage and prays aloud, rattling off names of deceased Mayfair women. Ciprien texts Rowan that he’s outside, but when she doesn’t respond, he takes matters into his own hands. He climbs over the gate and bursts through the front doors of the Mayfair house.
Carlotta lights a tapestry on fire with the sage. Then, she chucks a gas lamp at Rowan, which shatters and catches more furniture on fire. Rowan tries to leave the dining room; however, the double doors are locked. She screams. Carlotta brandishes a knife. Rowan wearing the necklace is a warning sign, so, by Carlotta’s logic, she must die. Thankfully, Ciprien bursts through the doors to save Rowan. Carlotta stabs him. As Rowan leads Ciprien out of the house, Lasher locks the doors. He tells Carlotta that Rowan’s in his thrall now. Uh-oh.
RELATED: Browse our Underrated Horror Movie of the Month archives!
Mayfair Witches is slowly, slowly improving, but it appears to struggle with juggling its multiple plotlines, including tying together Suzanne’s story with Rowan’s. I did appreciate the parallels between the two in “Curiouser and Curiouser,” though, with both women mourning those they’ve lost.
So far, this show is holding back, unable to reach its true potential, but I hope the ending will open the narrative floodgates for episode five and beyond. If the series maintains the momentum established in the final minutes of “Curiouser and Curiouser,” we’ll be in for a thrilling, captivating, magical treat.
On another note, Mayfair Witches appears to plant the seeds for a Rowan/Ciprien romance. Ciprien is a new character for the series and a combination of book characters Michael Curry, Rowan’s love interest, and Aaron Lightner, a psychic scholar and Talamasca member who studies the Mayfairs.
Mayfair Witches drops new episodes every Sunday at 9 pm on AMC, with simultaneous streaming on AMC+.
Book Review: HOW TO SUCCEED IN WITCHCRAFT
- Best Quotes From TED LASSO’s ‘(I Don’t Want to Go to) Chelsea’ - March 22, 2023
- TED LASSO Recap: (S03E02) (I Don’t Want to Go to) Chelsea - March 22, 2023
- Suzy Mazzarese-Allison on Designing Retro-Futuristic Hairstyles for HELLO TOMORROW! - March 21, 2023