DISCLAIMER: This recap of Mayfair Witches Season 1 Episode 7, “Tessa,” contains spoilers. Proceed at your peril. 

Welcome back, witches and shape-shifting entities! The penultimate episode of Mayfair Witches is the strongest outing thus far, which isn’t saying much when there’s only the season finale. This show’s most damning problem is its abysmal pacing. Even when a lot’s happening, the narrative crawls and doesn’t sync up with the action. It’s strange. However, last week and this week are improvements on that front, albeit slight improvements. We’re taking baby steps here, folks. 

“Tessa” ups the ante, giving the series a more specific focus to aim for. The stakes are higher than ever. Lasher sets his sights on taking Ciprien out of the equation. Cip learns some shady stuff involving The Talamasca. Rowan clashes with most of her family and attempts to rescue Tessa with fatal results. Methinks Alicia will find a new reason to hate Rowan after this episode. 

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

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We open with Ciprien (Tongayi Chirisa) wandering through Donnelaith, Scotland after Suzanne and Lasher wreaked havoc on the villagers. Ciprien entered this memory via the Mayfair necklace, which is now in Tessa’s hands. He calls out for help, but nobody answers. Meanwhile, Rowan (Alexandra Daddario) feels a pain in her stomach while walking after dark. She sits on a bench to gather herself. Thanks to her unique supernatural ability associated with human biology, she discovers she’s pregnant. Rowan calls Cip; however, she gets his voicemail. She addresses Lasher with no response. 

Ciprien Grieve wears a tan button-down shirt while standing outside in the dark. He lifts his head and screams at the sky in Mayfair Witches Season 1 Episode 7, "Tessa."

Tongayi Chirisa as Ciprien Grieve – Mayfair Witches _ Season 1, Episode 7 “Tessa” – Photo Credit: Alfonso Bresciani/AMC

Keith (Ian Hoch), Arlo (Chris Coy) and a few of Arlo’s ardent followers keep Tessa (Madison Wolfe) imprisoned in an abandoned warehouse. They plan to make a fiery example out of her after coercing her to admit she’s a witch. Keith sits next to the cage holding Tessa, who’s blindfolded and gagged within said cage. He removes her gag. She attempts to utilize her glamour powers on him but to no avail. Ostensibly, Tessa must make eye contact for her ability to take effect. 

Next, Rowan knocks on the door of the First Street house. Alicia (Leslie Castay) answers and wonders why Rowan isn’t on a plane bound for San Francisco. Rowan claims she needs to speak with Tessa. Alicia heads upstairs to search for her daughter while Rowan tries to suppress the urge to eat a piece of chocolate cake. Lasher did give her cake in that very room. Alicia returns to reveal Tessa isn’t in her room. She’s not worried, though. Chances are she spent the night with a friend. Rowan feels pregnancy nausea kick in, so she asks to use the facilities. 

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Later, Tessa and Keith talk about dating and going to the movies. Keith declares no self-respecting person would “swipe right” on his face. Readers, this line made my eyes roll into the back of my head because of how earnest it sounds. Perhaps that’s the only way to deliver such a line. It’s a tad on the corny side. Tessa asks to see his face, and Keith removes her blindfold. Now she can glamour him properly. Unfortunately, one of Arlo’s followers interrupts Tessa’s glamour to order Keith to join them for a meeting. 

Then, Arlo informs the group regarding their next move. While the objective is to get Tessa’s confession, the result will be the same no matter what — burn her alive. They must make a statement. At the Mayfair residence, Rowan finishes vomiting and ventures downstairs to find her family gathered in the living room. Jojo had a premonition about Tessa. According to her, the new designee’s in peril.

We see Alicia sobbing on the couch while the family surrounds her. Rowan offers her services, but Alicia accuses Rowan of getting Tessa into this mess in the first place. This wouldn’t be an issue if she’d only helped Tessa when the latter asked for it. Alicia claims Rowan should’ve rescued Deirdre’s heart herself. Tessa lies in her cage, clutching the necklace, and cries out for Lasher. Of course, he won’t show up. He’s a one-woman kinda man. 

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Meanwhile, Ciprien sits in the necklace’s memory, wondering how he will escape. Arjuna (Suleka Mathew), the healer, calls out to Ciprien inside The Talamasca headquarters. Cip’s currently hooked up to an EKG to monitor his vitals. Alicia and the others order Rowan to contact Lasher herself since he’s not assisting Tessa. Rowan asserts she might divert him from Tessa. Cortland (Harry Hamlin) arrives with Alonso (Eduardo Losan), a witch who can search for Tessa using blood magic. 

Cortland Mayfair and Dolly Jean Mayfair clink glasses together while standing in a living room in Mayfair Witches Season 1 Episode 7, "Tessa."

Harry Hamlin as Cortland Mayfair and Charlayne Woodard as Dolly Jean Mayfair – Mayfair Witches _ Season 1, Episode 7 “Tessa” – Photo Credit: Alfonso Bresciani/AMC

Next, Florie (Emma Rose Smith) approaches Ciprien and reveals her sister wants to meet him. She leads Cip to her family cottage. Jojo (Jen Richards) explains to Rowan what Alonso’s doing. Alonso extracted blood from Alicia’s hand, poured it into a container of water that sits atop a map and placed his hands inside. The blood will direct itself to Tessa’s location on said map. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work. 

Cortland asks Rowan if she can reach Lasher. Again, she claims she’s tried to contact him but was unsuccessful. I’m unsure how many times Rowan must state she can’t call out to Lasher anymore. Rowan offers her blood to Alonso for Take Two in executing the spell. Even though she’s not Tessa’s mother or sister, she’s still family. After giving her blood, Dolly Jean (Charlayne Woodard) wraps Rowan’s hand. Dolly Jean senses Rowan’s pregnancy and surreptitiously mouths it to Cortland. 

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Later, Keith, Arlo and the others create a pyre for the witch burning. They hoist Tessa above it while she shrieks in protest and incessantly, emphatically states she’s not a witch. Rowan’s blood contribution to Alonso’s spell yields dividends. It works. They discover Tessa’s location. The family prepares to leave as a group to save her. Ciprien wanders into Florie’s and Suzanne’s (Hannah Alline) home to find Lasher (Jack Huston) waiting for him. Cortland pulls Rowan aside before she departs and asks her to try contacting Lasher again. Think of the baby, Rowan (she said sarcastically)! Tired of everyone’s sh*t, Rowan orders Cortland to take his hands off her. She utilizes her abilities without killing him. 

Rowan Fielding sits on a couch while wearing a black dress with flowers and looking attentive in Mayfair Witches Season 1 Episode 7, "Tessa."

Alexandra Daddario as Dr. Rowan Fielding – Mayfair Witches _ Season 1, Episode 7 “Tessa” – Photo Credit: Alfonso Bresciani/AMC

Ciprien learns he’s trapped in Lasher’s memory. Lasher lured Cip there to entrap him and keep him away from Rowan. Lasher reveals Rowan’s pregnant, and Cip asks to return to her so he can support her. Lasher essentially flaunts his invisible manhood by claiming Rowan will always call out to him in her time of need. According to ole Lashy, Rowan has no use for Cip. After Lasher departs, the woods of Scotland vanishes, leaving behind a terrifying blackness surrounding the cottage. Suzanne also disappears. Ciprien tries to get up, but a shooting pain in his head takes hold. 

Meanwhile, Tessa tries to appeal to the one woman in Arlo’s fan group while the latter adds more flammable materials to the pyre. However, homegirl’s not having it. She tells Tessa about her family and how the Mayfairs took everything from them. Tessa might not have ruined this woman’s life, but she benefits from it. Ciprien finds herbs in Suzanne’s home and creates a potent mixture that’ll kill him in the memory. Thankfully, he wakes in the real world with Arjuna next to him. Arjuna urges Ciprien to take it easy; however, Cip only has Rowan on the brain. She’s in grave danger. 

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Then, Cortland calls Albrecht (Dennis Boutsikaris) and urges him to find Tessa. He claims he tried to get Rowan to call out for Lasher, but he feels the situation should be in The Talamasca’s hands now. Albrecht promises to take care of it. Albrecht sees Ciprien stumble toward him. Cip states they must save Rowan from whatever danger Lasher put her in. Albrecht agrees to accompany him. 

Ciprien Grieve and Albrecht walk through The Talamasca headquarters while talking and looking serious in Mayfair Witches Season 1 Episode 7, "Tessa."

Tongayi Chirisa as Ciprien Grieve and Dennis Boutsikaris as Albrecht – Mayfair Witches _ Season 1, Episode 7 “Tessa” – Photo Credit: Alfonso Bresciani/AMC

While Albrecht drives them to Tessa’s location, he talks to Ciprien about past Talamasca members who were punished for straying off course. Their job is merely to observe, not to interfere. Albrecht stops the car on a bridge and gets out, claiming they’re close to Tessa now. However, they’re not going to save her. They’re also not going to protect Rowan. Ciprien protests, knowing full well Rowan will resort to Lasher. He reaches for Albrecht’s car keys, but the latter tosses them into the river below. 

Albrecht reveals Rowan has a bigger purpose in the grand scheme of things — a prophecy to fulfill. Ciprien realizes his boss is in cahoots with Lasher. Albrecht urges Cip to let everything play out as it should. 

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Arlo stands before Tessa while the others record her. He demands she admits she’s a witch. Of course, Tessa refuses to give up her family, so she stalwartly stands by her answer: she’s no such thing. They light the pyre. Suddenly, Rowan barges inside, having found the location and texted the rest of the Mayfairs, and kills each perpetrator present, including Arlo. Unfortunately, the woman shoots Rowan in the shoulder just as she kills the latter. Rowan, stunned, lies on the ground for a few moments. Tessa shrieks, revealing she can’t breathe. 

Rowan clambers to her feet and loosens Tessa’s restraints. She aids Tessa in walking as the fire rages behind them. Keith shoots Tessa in the neck and flees. While Tessa bleeds out on the floor, Rowan frantically tries to stanch the blood flow. Tessa hands the necklace back to Rowan, claiming she doesn’t want to be the designee anymore. Then, she dies. Rowan clutches the necklace and calls out to Lasher in a fit of unrelenting, overwhelming grief. 

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Tongayi Chirisa is a treasure. He’s been consistently stellar this season. “Tessa” allows him to flex his acting muscles and showcase his versatility as a performer. Ciprien is also one of the only likable characters on the show, and he’s a fabrication. Good ole Cip doesn’t exist in the books. Alexandra Daddario works well with what she’s got on the script front. She’s a solid performer. Nobody displays intense grief and vulnerability like her. I still can’t get on board with Jack Huston as Lasher, but “Tessa” at least lets him be wicked, which works better than piling on the charm. 

Do you think Rowan will ask Lasher to save Tessa? Will Keith reveal what he witnessed to the world? Will Ciprien listen to his boss and stay out of Rowan’s way? Only time (and one more episode) 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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