Following a devastating cliffhanger for Rowan, this episode takes her deeper into the rabbit hole that is her family and the whole new world she’s discovering. It gives the audience a chance to learn alongside Rowan, and shows us some disturbing glimpses into the universe she’s being thrust into…
One Loss After Another
After another 17th century flashback whose context isn’t quite known yet, “Second Line” picks up immediately where we left off last week with Deirdre’s throat being slit just as she was finally going to meet her biological daughter Rowan. After having just lost her adopted mother, Rowan is naturally in shock and inconsolable, especially given the violent circumstances of this death.
She’s then quickly introduced to her great aunt Carlotta, who attempts to whisk her away to the Mayfair House, but not before Ciprien is able to get her into his house for safety and protection. All the while, Lasher is trying to entice her the same way he did her mother, and as Rowan is just being introduced to this new world, she finds herself being pulled in multiple directions.
Rowan in the Middle
At this point, Rowan very much feels like a pawn and rightfully so. Between Carlotta wanting to confine her, Cortland wanting to help her as he did her mother, Lasher wanting to use her, and Ciprien wanting to protect her and keep order with witchcraft and magic, there are a lot of opposing forces, each with their own agenda for her and their own version of “the greater good”.
At this point, we don’t know enough about any of them to know for sure what’s behind everything, but there are certainly varying degrees of who seems trustworthy versus manipulative, and it makes for a fascinating narrative. Despite years of keeping Deirdre essentially imprisoned, you can see that Carlotta meant well. And while Lasher very quickly puts the moves on Rowan and temporarily seduces her, she can quickly tell there’s something nefarious about him.
No one is really asking what Rowan wants, and that’s sort of where she, the character, and we the audience are at now. For three episodes in a row, Rowan’s life has been completely turned upside down, so you’re really rooting for her to find herself and come out on top between this triple conflict that seems to be brewing over her soul, both literally and figuratively.
A Dark New World
The series itself was shot on location in and around New Orleans, and it really shows and adds a level of authenticity. You can always tell when a TV show fakes another city but they’re really just on soundstages in Burbank, but fortunately that’s not the case here. The city itself feels like it has a lot of soul and character that’s part of the story.
One of the best scenes of the episode is where Rowan wanders down the street and encounters Lasher as a funeral procession goes down the street. As they embrace, she sees a slew of spirits, some of whom look like corpses joining in the celebrations and dancing alongside the unsuspecting living. Lasher comments that the dead are always among us.
It was fascinating in both a visual sense, but it also serves as something of a metaphor for this entire world of witchcraft and magic that Rowan never knew existed. It was always there in front of her, but only now is she starting to notice it all.
What did you think of this episode of Mayfair Witches? What do you hope to see next week? Let us know in the comments!