DISCLAIMER: This recap of Mayfair Witches Season 1 Episode 6, “Transference,” contains spoilers. Proceed at your peril. 

Welcome back, witches and shape-shifting entities! Folks, things are heating up, and I’m not talking about Suzanne at that witch burning. Finally, after five slow-moving, meandering, dawdling episodes, Mayfair Witches picks up the pace. It’s not “full-steam ahead” or “breakneck pace,” but it begins connecting Rowan and Suzanne’s storylines. Dare I say I even loved how their scenes are edited together? We also learn the necklace’s origin and discover more about the other Mayfair witches and their abilities.

For once, it feels like Mayfair Witches is interested in its own narrative and this universe’s rich lore. “Transference” raises the stakes, and while it’s not a perfect outing, the writing is far more consistent here than it has been all season. Even the performances are stronger. Here’s hoping the show maintains this momentum for the final two episodes of the season. 

Ready to delve into “Transference”? Let’s get to it. 

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We open with Suzanne (Hannah Alline) and Florie (Emma Rose Smith) eating together when a few men burst into their home to drag Suzanne away. Her crime? They’re accusing her of witchcraft. Meanwhile, in the present day, Keith Murfis (Ian Hoch), the morgue worker who chatted with Ciprien, watches Arlo Whittle (Chris Coy) on his laptop. At the same time, the latter delivers an impassioned and bigoted speech about women being witches. Keith opens his minifridge and pulls out a jar containing a heart. He snaps a photo of it to share online. Just normal creepy white dude stuff. 

Suzanne is restrained by two men while she screams in Mayfair Witches Season 1 Episode 6, "Transference."

Hannah Alline as Suzanne – Mayfair Witches _ Season 1, Episode 6 “Transference” – Photo Credit: Alfonso Bresciani/AMC

Next, Rowan (Alexandra Daddario) sleeps next to Ciprien (Tongayi Chirisa) in Cip’s apartment. Lasher (Jack Huston) appears, much to Rowan’s dismay. She orders him to disappear. Then, she wanders into the kitchen for a slice of cake. Lasher reappears, urging her to tap into her abilities. A candle blazes before Rowan, and she scoops up some of that flame in the palm of her hand. It doesn’t burn her. She smiles broadly at the display. 

Ciprien asks Rowan why she’s awake. He senses Lasher’s presence in the apartment. Cip wonders if Rowan’s necklace acts as a conduit or beacon for the demon. He encourages Rowan to remove it. Perhaps he can study said necklace at The Talamasca headquarters. However, Rowan lashes out at Ciprien, demanding he stays away from her. It’s giving Gollum vibes. 

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Rowan breaks down and apologizes for snapping at Cip. She relents, allowing him to take the necklace. Lasher, who only she can see, vanishes once she removes his jeweled portal. Later, Tessa (Madison Wolfe) visits Rowan at Cip’s apartment. She shows Rowan the photo Keith shared online of that heart. As it turns out, it belonged to Deirdre Mayfair, Rowan’s mother. Tessa also informs her about the literal witch burnings transpiring across the city, spearheaded by Arlo Whittle. Tessa wants to go vigilante on this mess and enact justice. Whittle and his goons are targeting their family!

Rowan’s intent with sitting on the sidelines, though. She reveals her desire to rid herself of Lasher, even though Tessa insists that having him on her side is positive. Is it? Rowan catches Lasher reflecting at her in the window next to her. He mimics her movements. She sees him everywhere she goes. 

Then, Rowan stops by Cortland’s (Harry Hamlin) lavish home to ask for advice. He asks her why she’s not residing in the First Street house. Now that Carlotta’s out of the picture, it belongs to Rowan as the bona fide designee. However, she’d rather be free of all this Mayfair nonsense. Rowan notices something’s amiss with Cortland. She utilizes her unique ability to detect the ALS in his body. 

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Cortland confirms her detection and reveals he recently started treatment for the disease. He urges Rowan to withhold this information from his daughter Jojo. Speaking of Jojo, Cortland asks Rowan to tour the Mayfair wing of the hospital with her. In return, Cortland will assist Rowan in getting rid of Lasher. It’s possible but poses its own set of risks. 

Rowan Fielding and Cortland Mayfair sit next to each other on a couch while smiling in Mayfair Witches Season 1 Episode 6, "Transference."

Alexandra Daddario as Dr. Rowan Fielding and Harry Hamlin as Cortland Mayfair – Mayfair Witches _ Season 1, Episode 6 “Transference” – Photo Credit: Alfonso Bresciani/AMC

Meanwhile, Ciprien arrives at The Talamasca headquarters with Rowan’s necklace. The Healer (Suleka Mathew) reluctantly agrees to sit with Cip while he explores the memories concealed in said necklace. So, Cip dives in, arriving in 1600s Scotland amid Suzanne’s public witchcraft trial and inevitable execution. Matthew Hopkins (Joshua Mikel), the witchfinder, informs the audience of the accusations against Suzanne while she pleads with her fellow villagers to free her. She reminds them of all the good she’s done in their community. One villager chucks a rock at her head. Another believes she should be condemned to the river. Matthew locks Suzanne in a cage with the necklace. It originally belonged to him. 

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Later, Dolly Jean Mayfair (Charlayne Woodard) pays Cortland a visit. He tells Dolly Jean about Rowan’s unwillingness to cooperate with Lasher. He’d rather have a designee who wants to fight for the family in charge. Dolly Jean knows of a spell that’ll transfer Rowan’s innate designee status to another witch. Lasher will choose who fits that bill. Cortland gives Dolly Jean a lock of Deirdre’s hair for the ceremony. 

Next, Rowan tours the Mayfair hospital wing with Jojo (Jen Richards). Cortland and Jojo want Rowan to take up the chief surgeon mantle at the hospital. Of course, Rowan declines, citing that she has a job in San Francisco. Rowan keeps spotting Lasher behind her and discloses what she sees to Jojo. Like the other Mayfairs (except Carlotta), Jojo thinks of Lasher’s presence as a plus. Jojo has a vision — premonitions are her unique ability — and reveals Rowan must meet someone. As it turns out, it’s Dolly Jean. 

Rowan returns to the First Street home, albeit reluctantly. She lingers in the burnt dining room from when Carlotta tried to kill her. Dolly Jean divulges the spell they’re about to cast and what it entails. She warns Rowan that she’ll lose something significant by cutting ties with Lasher. Dolly Jean hints at Rowan’s medical know-how, alluding that her powers helped further her surgical career. Rowan denies this. That’s all her, not Lasher. 

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Then, Dolly Jean leads Rowan to a room that’s been locked for half a century. Rowan discovers a treasure trove of witchy oddities, including, ostensibly, a head in a jar. Dolly Jean asks her to pull out a small coffin and procure its contents. Rowan lifts a doll composed of mismatched bone fragments and hair. It’s skeletal remains from 11 designees predating Rowan and Deirdre. Dolly Jean hands Rowan the lock of Deirdre’s hair to intertwine with the hair on said doll’s head. 

Cortland Mayfair holds a drink while wearing a blue suit and standing next to light blue curtains in Mayfair Witches Season 1 Episode 6, "Transference."

Harry Hamlin as Cortland Mayfair – Mayfair Witches _ Season 1, Episode 6 “Transference” – Photo Credit: Alfonso Bresciani/AMC

Meanwhile, Keith attends Arlo Whittle’s rally with Deirdre’s heart in tow. Samir (Ravi Naidu) also observes while among the attendees. After the event, he tells Arlo he possesses the late Mayfair witch’s heart. Arlo announces Keith’s gift to the growing crowd, who lets out a raucous cheer. 

The rest of the Mayfair women arrive at the house to join Dolly Jean, Jojo and Rowan to cast the spell. They stand in a circle. Dolly Jean recites a passage before asking Rowan to bring out the doll. Rowan gives the doll to Jojo, who kisses it, while Dolly Jean repeats the spell. The ladies pass said doll down the line, each witch planting a kiss on its bony head. Rowan hesitantly follows suit. 

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Next, we see Suzanne in a cage bound for the river — a test that’ll determine if she’s truly a witch. Ciprien watches from afar. Florie tries to save her sister, urging her to say the “wicked words,” but the creepy village glovemaker leads her away. Suzanne starts uttering those wicked words, each phrase more fervent than the last and rising in pitch. At the same time, Rowan moves to the middle of the circle and recites the same “wicked words” as her caged ancestor in Scotland. The other witches place their hands on her and join her in the recitation. 

Suddenly, the lights flicker off, and Rowan falls to her knees, her eyes a milky white. Tears streak her cheeks as she vehemently recites the spell. Lasher appears before her. He understands she wants to be free of him and seemingly grants her her wish. After Lasher vanishes, Rowan coughs up the necklace. Dolly Jean takes the necklace and waves it in front of each witch. She’s feeling to see which witch Lasher wants to be the next designee.

Rowan Fielding stands in a house while wearing a black dress and smiling in Mayfair Witches Season 1 Episode 6, "Transference."

Alexandra Daddario as Dr. Rowan Fielding – Mayfair Witches _ Season 1, Episode 6 “Transference” – Photo Credit: Alfonso Bresciani/AMC

She stands before Tessa, where the signal is the loudest. Her mother, Alicia (Leslie Castay), looks thrilled. Dolly Jean puts the necklace around Tessa’s neck. She’s declared the designee of the Mayfair family. While the other witches celebrate Tessa’s victory, Dolly Jean checks in with Rowan. If wanting to part with Lasher was what she wanted, why does Rowan look so forlorn? Because Tessa has no clue what’s in store for her…

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Then, we return to 1600s Scotland. Suzanne’s spell is paying off — fires are starting around her, causing the villagers to flee, leaving only Matthew Hopkins. Lasher appears from the flames and moves toward Suzanne. Without raising a hand, he causes Matthew’s necklace to choke him. Next, Lasher gives Suzanne Matthew’s necklace. She utilizes it to unlock her cage. So, the Mayfair witches adopted this necklace since it was the very thing that tried to end them, that attempted to imprison them. Symbolism

Lasher urges Suzanne to join him. Earlier, Lasher knocked Ciprien unconscious. He’s still lying on the ground as the fire surrounds Lasher and Suzanne. In the present, the Healer tries to wake Ciprien when she notices he’s shaking and the whites of his eyes are visible. Then, she discovers he’s no longer holding the necklace. The Healer encourages Ciprien to move himself out of this memory. 

Next, Tessa explores Deirdre’s room. She clutches the necklace and calls out to Lasher. She sends a message to someone online regarding those “creeps” known as the Mayfair witches before departing to continue celebrating her new familial status. Meanwhile, in the past, Lasher reveals the Mayfairs are now under his watch. Thus begins the centuries-long marriage between a shape-shifting entity and a family of witches.  

Rowan Fielding sits on a couch next to Cortland Mayfair while the latter has his hand on her shoulder in Mayfair Witches Season 1 Episode 6, "Transference."

Alexandra Daddario as Dr. Rowan Fielding and Harry Hamlin as Cortland Mayfair – Mayfair Witches _ Season 1, Episode 6 “Transference” – Photo Credit: Alfonso Bresciani/AMC

Tessa meets with Keith in the middle of the night. She reveals she can lead Keith to the Mayfairs after asking where he got Deirdre’s heart. Arlo and his followers appear behind her. They know who she is. Tessa tries to glamour Keith into handing over Deirdre’s heart but to no avail. Arlo and the others close in on her while she recites the “wicked words” to usher forth Lasher. Lasher’s a no-show. Big surprise. 

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The twists aren’t revolutionary; admittedly, I saw that last one coming a mile away. There’s no way Lasher would let Rowan go quietly into the night without pushback. On a related note, I’m trying my damnedest to see Jack Huston as Lasher, but alas, I can’t get into him. He’s a talented actor; however, I don’t think he fits this particular role. If the writers and Huston can’t rely heavily on Lasher’s charm, they should lean in the other direction toward the menacing aspect of it all. 

I love how everything connects in “Transference” and the real-world stakes of having an actual mob track down the Mayfairs. We see more of Rowan’s duality and her internal struggle against the safety of what she knows and the darker side of her nature. 

Will Ciprien free himself from that memory? Will Tessa survive Arlo and Keith’s attack? Is Rowan really through with Lasher? Only time (and more episodes) will tell. 

Mayfair Witches drops new episodes every Sunday at 9 pm on AMC, with simultaneous streaming on AMC+


Melody McCune
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