Sunday, February 12, 2023

REVIEW: 'Mayfair Witches' - Rowan Hopes to Escape Her Family by Passing Lasher Onto Another Witch in 'Transference'

AMC's Mayfair Witches - Episode 1.06 "Transference"

Rowan participates in a Mayfair ritual to relinquish Lasher. Sip seeks answers at the Talamasca.

"Transference" was written by Mary Angélica Molina and directed by Haifaa Al-Mansour

Tessa doesn't have the power to convince her family to care about Deirdre's stolen heart. This family revers the designees. They've collected parts from all of them to create a doll embedded with their power. They each kiss it as they perform a ceremony to transfer Lasher to someone else. That's what Rowan wants. She has to surrender herself to the process. She can't let her rational mind get in the way. She needs to focus on herself. Tessa is the beneficiary of this sacrifice. That was inevitable given how few members of the family Rowan actually interacts with. Moreover, so much importance is placed on family lineage and being able to pass along these abilities to the next generation. Tessa is young and naive enough to be seduced by Lasher's powers. She views them as a gift. Rowan knows better. She sees the curse plague her. Sip's apartment is no longer safe. The key necklace amplifies Lasher's signal. Even when Sip takes it away, it still has the ability to appear when it's needed for the ceremony. Rowan can't escape this fate. She knows precisely why Lasher chose Tessa. She understands the trauma she is about to endure. And yet, Lasher is mysteriously absent. Tessa believes she is now powerful enough that she doesn't need her family to confront the threat. She already has the power to entrance men for a few moments. They fall under her spell. She can get whatever she wants from them. It's still twisted to watch her come under attack. She's essentially defenseless. That further showcases how no one in the Mayfair family has any choice in the matter. People continually tell Rowan that she was born with this connection. She can never escape it. It has always been written into her destiny. That was true from the day Suzanne spoke the wicked words and embraced Lasher's help. Sip needed to investigate how all of this started. He receives that clarity only to end up trapped in the memory. He's confined yet again because of the Mayfair family. He only recently escaped. And now, he's entirely on his own. That may ultimately provide a crucial perspective to those sequences in 17th century Scotland. The big reveal about Suzanne and Lasher doesn't entirely justify the amount of time spent there. Not every episode needed to open with these characters. Suzanne was trained as a midwife thanks to the earthly teachings and wisdom of those who came before her. She wasn't a witch. She was still accused. To save her life, she called out to Lasher who empowered her. That's how this family line became witches. As such, people are right to fear the supernatural. The panic is ultimately justified. That extends to the present day where angry men still want to blame women for their lack of continued importance in society. It's despicable. They just so happen to be right when it comes to the existence of witches.

Rowan doesn't particularly care about any of this. She still views San Francisco as her home. She is ready to leave New Orleans and return to her job. She doesn't want to plant roots in this new city. Cortland and Jojo are welcoming to her. They offer a place to belong and thrive. She is given reasons to care about her family. She could be fully integrated into their lives. She can oversee Cortland's medical treatment for his recent ALS diagnosis. She can even run the neurosurgery ward of the hospital the family owns. Those possibilities exist. It would also mean accepting her status as a witch with power within this family. Right now, she's simply grateful to those who are willing to help her escape. Of course, they have their own motivations. Cortland and Dolly can't inherently be trusted to have pure intentions. They see how overwhelming this experience has been for Rowan. She may not adapt to the power they need her to wield. As a result, Lasher is more dangerous because he can't be channeled in a specific way. Everyone tells Rowan she has the ability to use Lasher as her own personal weapon. She isn't losing anything by eliminating him from her life. She is just as capable without him. She proved that throughout her years elsewhere. She graduated from medical school and has saved countless lives. She doesn't believe being a witch had anything to do with her successes. She still trembles upon the conclusion of the transfer. Part of that is simply the burden being removed. Another is fear for what this means for Tessa. Her fate seems grim. It's all an extension of what Lasher is willing to embrace to fulfill an ancient prophecy. His motivations are still shrouded in secrecy. Suzanne accepted his deal. That has forever plagued this family. Some see his power as a blessing. Others only see it as a burden that has destroyed many lives. The various fractions of the family come together because of Lasher. He's the one thing that can never be ignored or denied. They can't turn their backs on him. It takes true strength to stand up to his influence. Rowan has done that continually. She is still trapped in this prison. He invades her life at every possible moment. It's not a blessing. It's absolute torment. Sure, he allows her to be unscathed from fire. However, she also has powers that have nothing to do with Lasher. He may have been the spark that created this family. They have done much more without him. That could all be threatened. One person has to be willing to suffer in order for others to prosper. Reckoning with that responsibility has caused so much pain. Countless lives have been lost. Lasher continues to survive. He is eternal. He will always be a plague on this family. They have to confront that if they ever hope to move on. That means recognizing the past and the true horror of what he has produced after all of these years. In the end, Rowan can't run away. Too much is at stake. She understands the risks but she can't separate her life so easily. It doesn't work that way and Tessa may pay the ultimate price for it.