Sunday, January 22, 2023

REVIEW: 'Mayfair Witches' - A Celebration of Death Leads Rowan Closer to Lasher's Seductive Manipulation in 'Second Line'

AMC's Mayfair Witches - Episode 1.03 "Second Line"

Rowan seeks safety in a strange city. Lasher makes contact. Cip investigates Deirdre's murder.

"Second Line" was written by Sarah Cornwell and directed by Axelle Carolyn

Rowan has no reason to trust anyone in New Orleans. Everyone is scrambling to get to her quickly and control her. She has been lied to for her entire life. Elena made her believe she was crazy for thinking she was developing powers. The Mayfair family took a risk in sending her away. They knew the possibility existed that she could live a completely normal life. She wasn't destined to develop powers. Those special abilities are only gifted to a select few members of this family. Carlotta and Cortland don't have powers. And yet, they still have so much influence over this family and their community at large. They have accumulated that wealth and respect. Of course, their family has always been haunted by Lasher. They've all tried their best to keep that danger at bay. And yet, he has been unleashed onto the world once more. Rowan could live in bliss not knowing any of this. Her powers have revealed themselves though. In fact, she has more power than anyone has ever seen before. With her not knowing how to control it, that makes her very dangerous and vulnerable. It's yet another aspect others seek to control. It's not about empowering her so that she understands how to wield everything she is capable of doing. Instead, it's all a simple manipulation. Some answers are easy to find and understand. Other times the truth can seem just as fake as the lies being told. Cip saw Rowan's birth. He knows the heartbreak Deirdre felt in that moment. Her baby was taken from her. She spent the rest of her life in limbo. Her light was snuffed out prematurely despite the great potential she displayed. Rowan built a successful career for herself. She moves into action to help people in need. And yet, she's powerless to save everyone. She couldn't heal Deirdre after her throat was slit. Moreover, Cip can't even provide answers as to who committed that lethal act. It's easy to believe it was Lasher. He has haunted this family for a long time. He wants something from them. He teases Rowan with the idea of being connected to something greater. She could share a connection with the generations that have come before her. Lasher being armed with the truth makes him even more dangerous. He knows exactly what Rowan needs to hear in order to feel seen and wanted. That's enticing to a certain extent. However, Rowan is also perceptive enough to know that not everything is as it seems.

Of course, all of this relies on Rowan forming an immediate connection with Cip. She chooses to get into the car with him instead of seeking refuge with the various members of her family. When Carlotta learns who Rowan truly is, she immediately makes her presence known. Rowan is simply the latest person she believes must be protected no matter what. That showcases how the Mayfair family and the Talamasca aren't working cohesively. Cip's colleagues provide assistance as the situation intensifies. Rowan needs all of their skills in order to build a wall of protection from Lasher. Even then, he can still find a way in. It's futile to believe bonding his spirit to another person through the necklace would keep him at bay. Carlotta and Cortland feel his presence everywhere they go. Rowan does as well. She isn't special or unique in that way. Lasher simply directs all of his attention onto her. He needs her for some reason. Cortland provides a piece of the puzzle in revealing how many generations of Mayfair witches Lasher has experienced. That number is crucial for some reason. Cortland helped produce that as well. He wants this to reach its inevitable conclusion at some point. He sees it on the horizon. He manipulated events to make it happen no matter the destruction it would cause his family. That's how he and Carlotta differ. They have clashing ideas of what protection actually means. He wants Lasher out of their lives and believes one can be sacrificed to save many more. Carlotta believes every life is precious. Any potential sacrifice weighs heavily on her no matter what. Of course, all of this is in the name of family. Carlotta will make the brutal choices when it comes to punishing others who disrupt her agenda. As such, the brother and sister aren't too different after all. They feel the connection to family. Rowan has yearned for that too. She wants to believe in something greater. She finds something powerful in Cip. That comes across as a genuine connection because he's being upfront with her while respecting how crazy all of this seems. He understands those boundaries and is willing to help her navigate them. He wants to uplift her. Meanwhile, Lasher is trying to destroy her reality so that he can take what he wants. Rowan has no idea what he is capable of doing. Her mother endured this same torment. It's even more disorienting because Rowan has no understanding of family. This is a toxic environment. One that may only be healed through her knowing exactly who she is and the power that she carries. That's what she can potentially wield over people to bend them to her will. She may use it more wisely. But she has no experience or history to know the failings of the past. That may only set things on a course to repeat just as tragically as before. Those consequences have simply proven to be costly across the family line.