DISCLAIMER: This recap of the Wednesday episode “Quid Pro Woe” contains spoilers. Proceed at your peril, normies.
Welcome back, normies and outcasts! Episode six ushers in fun, twisty revelations for our eponymous Goth girl and her friends. “Quid Pro Woe” is an in-depth examination of how Wednesday interacts with people and expresses love. Everyone gets frustrated with Wednesday’s actions, from the sheriff, the Nevermore principal and Marilyn to Enid, Tyler and Xavier. They all get stuck in our titular character’s orbit.
There are quite a few repetitive scenes in this series regarding Wednesday’s treatment of those around her. Someone, usually Tyler or Xavier (a.k.a. Wonder Bread #1 and Wonder Bread #2), grows irritated with Wednesday and demands to know what she wants. The thing is, she’s made her desires clear from the get-go — to solve these murders. It’s frustrating and growing stale, as is this tired trope of a love triangle with Wednesday, Xavier and Tyler.
The episode is still good, and the plot advancements are enough to keep me intrigued, but the angsty teen drama is a bit of a turn off.
Ready to delve into “Quid Pro Woe”? Let’s get to it.
We open with Wednesday (Jenna Ortega) performing a séance to contact her ancestor, Goody Addams. If you recall from the last episode, Morticia claimed only the dead could teach a psychic how to harness their abilities. Thus, our heroine seeks Goody to assist with just that. Enid (Emma Myers) waltzes into their room, breaking Wednesday’s concentration. While the two chat, a mysterious someone slips a notecard underneath their door. It says if our Goth girl wants answers, she must go to Joseph Crackstone’s crypt at midnight.
Next, our roomies arrive at said crypt to find Xavier (Percy Hynes White) and the others armed with a birthday cake. It’s a surprise birthday party for Wednesday! The shindig orchestrators sing to her and present her with a darkly delicious cake. Naturally, Wednesday’s not amused. Some Latin words on the wall of Crackstone’s crypt divert her attention. It says, “Fire will rain,” just as it did on the school lawn. There’s also an addendum: “I will rise.” Ominous.
Our protagonist receives another vision. She reunites with Goody, who refers to her as the “Raven.” Morticia is a “Dove” because her visions are usually positive, while her daughter is a Raven because her visions are dark and morbid. Goody cannot help her hone her psychic powers, but she can direct Wednesday toward her next step. She must explore the dilapidated mansion looming before them. It holds the answers she seeks.
The following day, Thing pulls out the birthday gift from Gomez and Morticia. It’s a taxidermy kit, squirrel carcasses included! Enid presents Wednesday with a black “snood,” a combination of a scarf and hood. She even made one for herself. How cute.
Meanwhile, Mayor Walker (Tommie Earl Jenkins) and Principal Larissa Weems (Gwendoline Christie) chat about updates on the Hyde monster murder case. Walker hopes to track down who hurt Eugene. He not-so-subtly points fingers at Nevermore, which infuriates Larissa. She reminds him that she can rescind her charity as quickly as she offers it.
Then, Xavier stands next to Wednesday while she examines the “Fire Will Rain” message on the school lawn. She reminds him they’re still not on speaking terms despite him attending her surprise birthday party. She still views him as a suspect in the ongoing investigation (I thought she ruled him out?).
Bianca (Joy Sunday) meets Lucas (Iman Marson), the mayor’s son doing his community service at Nevermore for his involvement in the Rave’N dance prank. Bianca notices the MorningSong bracelet on his wrist. He claims that a woman at the coffee shop (Gabrielle, Bianca’s mom) approached him about a self-help app. Bianca urges him to steer clear of MorningSong. He asks if she’d like to meet at the coffee shop to discuss self-improvement tips.
Later, Wednesday visits Eugene, who’s still in a coma. She regales him with a play-by-play of her past birthdays and how she enjoyed them. Dr. Valerie Kinbott (Riki Lindhome) enters the room with flowers. She informs Wednesday about her vow to Eugene’s moms to keep an eye on him. The therapist inquires about Goody, who our titular hero mentioned when talking to Eugene. Okay, firstly, this isn’t a session. Secondly, something’s amiss with this lady. She emits some peculiar vibes.
Meanwhile, Mayor Walker receives a file on Laurel Gates, Garett’s sister. Tyler (Hunter Doohan) chats with Wednesday. He wants to take her out to dinner for her birthday. As per usual, our Goth gal gives him the cold shoulder. He confronts her about it, asking if he overstepped his bounds. Hey, she might not state it outright, but I think she’s pretty clear boundary-wise, at least concerning her physicality. She’s focused on other things.
Sheriff Galpin (Jamie McShane) enters the shop. Wednesday informs him about what she found in Crackstone’s crypt. He essentially tells her to stop investigating the case. If he could bury the hatchet decades later with her father, why can’t she? Oh, right — Wednesday prefers to sharpen her hatchet. Wednesday and Thing visit Xavier in his art studio. She shows him a sketch she created of the creepy gated mansion from her vision.
Xavier whips out the drawing he made of the same area, revealing he started having those strange dreams again. The gated mansion used to belong to the Gates family. Thing unveils a sprawling painting Xavier created of Wednesday playing her cello. He confesses he utilized it as a means of forgetting about her. With a swift movement of his hand, the girl in the painting begins playing the cello. It’s beautiful. However, our heroine flees, presumably out of embarrassment.
Meanwhile, Bianca meets with Lucas at the coffee shop. They reveal how they feel like outcasts in their respective worlds. See, even a normie and outcast can find common ground. I love that we’re peeling back the layers of these characters regarding their vulnerabilities. They all feel “othered” in different ways.
Then, Wednesday and Thing spot the mayor outside the Gates mansion. While hiding, our girl overhears his voicemail for the sheriff. He has a lead and wants to discuss it over pie at the Weathervane. Wednesday hops in the back of Walker’s car and rides along to the coffee shop without him suspecting a thing (even with Thing in his vehicle). Next, when they arrive in town, a blue Cadillac strikes the mayor as he crosses the street to meet with Galpin.
The sheriff records a statement from Wednesday, who claims she crawled into the back of Walker’s car to learn more about what he had to say to Galpin. At Nevermore, Larissa puts the whole school on lockdown following Walker’s assault. She reprimands Wednesday by revoking her outside privileges. Another infraction will lead to expulsion.
Marilyn Thornhill (Christina Ricci) visits Wednesday with a copy of Frankenstein. Marilyn asks our intrepid writer whether she’s made progress on her novel. After Marilyn defends Larissa’s insistence on smothering Wednesday, the latter curtly informs her teacher she doesn’t need a mother figure or therapist. She has those already. Marilyn, hurt, storms out.
The following day, Wednesday calls Tyler and reveals she’ll take him up on the dinner offer despite Larissa’s warning. Then, she tells Enid she wishes to celebrate her birthday properly with her best friend. But, wait — they can’t leave! Enid concocts the idea of telling the adults she’s “wolfing out” so they’ll take her to the lupin cages. Tyler waits outside the school. He’s under the impression he and Wednesday are finally going on that date.
However, Wednesday and Enid get in the car. As it turns out, she lured them both here under pretenses. Meanwhile, Xavier knocks on Wednesday and Enid’s window, wherein he finds Thing pounding away on the typewriter. Our trio forges ahead into the Gates mansion while armed with flashlights. Wednesday uncovers the blue Cadillac that struck the mayor. Then, while inside, she finds a hidden altar for Joseph Crackstone, and the candles are still warm. Everyone splits up to search the ostensibly haunted mansion.
Next, Enid calls for Wednesday, and the pair investigate one bedroom that appears perfectly organized and tidy. The bed’s made, and there are fresh flowers. Wednesday finds a music box with the initials “LG” on it. Laurel Gates. That’s the name of the file Walker perused earlier. Suddenly, they hear the Hyde monster roaming about the mansion. Tyler yells. Wednesday and Enid seek sanctuary in a dumbwaiter. The creature claws at the door to said dumbwaiter. Unfortunately, as two humans are inside an elevator meant for food, the rope snaps, and our dynamic duo tumbles into the basement.
There, Wednesday finds cutting implements and jars full of body parts. We hear the beast lumbering down the stairs. Enid and Wednesday escape, but not before the latter realizes those body parts belong to the murderer’s victims. They find Tyler with long claw marks on his chest. Xavier arrives unexpectedly and offers a shirt to help stanch the bleeding. They take Tyler back to his house. The sheriff wanders in and orders the Nevermore kids to depart. Galpin demands Wednesday cease her investigation. She’s also forbidden from seeing his son again.
Later, Wednesday faces the music — Larissa. She’s fully expecting expulsion. However, she makes a case for why Larissa shouldn’t expel her. She shows the principal the drawing created by Rowan’s mom. Rowan tried to kill her twice because his seer mother believed she would destroy Nevermore. Our girl vows to save the school. Larissa begrudgingly lets her go, but with one caveat: never again. One more strike, and she’s out.
Next, Wednesday finds Enid packing her bag to stay with Yoko for a few days. She’s tired of incessantly putting forth effort regarding their friendship and putting herself in dangerous situations like the Gates mansion disaster. Enid storms out. After Enid leaves, Wednesday reflects on her actions. She usually enjoys isolation, but this time, she feels terrible. Could this be … character development?
She examines the music box from the mansion. Suddenly, a flurry of photos falls out from its bottom. They’re all of Wednesday and her loved ones. We see someone with a gloved hand unplug Walker’s ventilator while unconscious in the hospital. Presumably, this is the same person who tried to kill him. Wednesday vows to find the culprit behind all this.
“Quid Pro Woe” sets the stage for the final two episodes as we, hopefully, uncover a murderer and monster. Here’s a theory: I think the murderer is Valerie Kinbott. She’s always acting strangely outside of her office—case in point when she reunites with Wednesday in Eugene’s room. Valerie is hiding something. Plus, she has blonde hair like Laurel Gates. Something tells me she’s Garett’s long-lost sister and the murderer. We’ll find out soon enough.
Another gripe is the lack of time spent on the fascinating supernatural beings at Nevermore and establishing show lore. We never see the vampires in action or the werewolves transform. We glimpsed what gorgons and sirens could do, but that’s it. Plus, Xavier’s unique ability proves there are other students with rare powers on campus. We seldom see anyone in a classroom except Marilyn’s botany class. Wednesday has only scratched the surface. Let’s go deeper!
Do you think the therapist is Laurel Gates? What else are the residents of Jericho hiding? Let’s continue our binge-watch to find out (snap, snap).
Wednesday Season 1 is now streaming on Netflix.
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