|“||"The life that you built here, Joanna? It's about to change. Upheaval, death, destruction, pain, imprisonment, betrayal. It’s coming for you like nothing you’ve ever seen before"||”|
— Wendy, about her sister's tarot reading.
Pilot is the first episode and series premiere of Witches of East End, a TV series inspired from Melissa de la Cruz' Beauchamp Family series and the first eponymous novel. It premiered on October 6, 2013 on Lifetime and gathered 1,93 million viewers live.
THE WITCHING HOUR IS COMING — Joanna Beauchamp and her two adult daughters Freya and Ingrid — both of whom unknowingly are their family’s next generation of witches — lead seemingly quiet, uneventful modern day lives in Long Island’s secluded seaside town of East Haven. But, when Freya becomes engaged to a young, wealthy newcomer, a series of events forces Joanna to admit to her daughters they are, in fact, powerful and immortal witches.
|The episode opens with a dark-haired woman carving a symbol in the sand somewhere in a park. A couple passes by and seem to recognize her. 'Is that Joanna Beauchamp?', the man asks his wife. They stop to talk to her, but she just walks away without saying a word. When the couple decides to leave she suddenly reappears in front of them and her face changes to creepy with bright green eyes that light up.
In their home, Ingrid and Freya run down the stairs, almost being late to Freya's engagement party. Freya's excited, but worried about a dream she's had the night before. There was another man whom she'd never met before, but when they kissed the whole world seem to explode. Ingrid tries to calm her down and explains to her it's just a dream, but Freya won't take any of it. 'You know about me and my dreams', she says. They argue a bit. When they walk out the door their mom's there. Joanna Beauchamp. The same woman from the park. She hugs Freya and tells her she can't believe her little girl is finally getting married. Looking a little anxious as well. They leave together for the car.
After welcoming everybody at the party. Freya and her fiancé Dash sit outside on a bench. He teasingly scolds her for being late at her own engagement party when his mom Penelope Gardiner turns up. She starts a conversation with Freya and expresses how she wants them to be close, because she never had a daughter. But during she keeps offending Freya with references to her low upbringing and lack of style. When she turns away to grab a snack Freya quietly wishes she chokes on it. And immediately Dash's mother starts to choke on the bite she took. Dash quickly comes to his mom's rescue. Freya freaks out and runs over to Ingrid to tell her what happened. She's convinced she just made her fiancé's mom choke with her mind, but Ingrid doesn't take her seriously. Before she can finish her plea she spots the guy from her dream walking in. He's stunningly beautiful. They stare at each other and the white flower in her hair turns red. Ingrid tries to comfort her again, but it's no use. Slightly panicked Freya strides away looking for a drink.
In the park again two teenagers stumble around drinking from a bottle. The girl spots something and starts to scream, turning the camera to the couple's dead bodies lying on the ground close to the symbol the woman drew in the sand. The dark-haired woman however is nowhere to be seen.
At the party Joanna admires a painting on the wall. Dash walks up and tells her about the person on the portrait. It's the man who build the house they're in; Archibald Browning and he asks if she's ever heard of him. 'He's a real son of a bitch', she angrily says, quickly adding she's only read about him of course. They talk about Freya and her rebellious ways.
Ingrid is ordering a drink when the man next to her recognizes her. He's called Adam Noble and they have an awkward start of the conversation. Ingrid mentions she's sorry about him and Emma. She's his ex-girlfriend and he thought she wasn't actually that nice. He tells Ingrid he's still bummed she declined to go on a date with him. But Ingrid is surprised and confused, answering she thought he was joking about it. Adam then gets called away to a crime site. He's a detective now. He explains to her a couple has been attacked in the park. And probably murdered.
Dash and Freya stand outside and he notices she seems off. She blames it on the champagne, but before they can talk further Killian walks up. Freya loses her breath, it's the guy from her dream. And Dash's brother. Killian is acting friendly, but Dash seems shocked to see him. He explains he's heard his brother is getting married and came to congratulate him. He introduces himself to Freya, but she panics and leaves for the ladies room. She pauses and leans against a wall when she sees Killian walking up the stairs. He looks straight at her. She follows him into the men's room and closes the door. Freya tells him of her dream and he says he's probably had the same dream. They start kissing passionately and the roses behind them catch fire. But Freya ultimately pushes him off saying she doesn't know what came over her, then leaves quickly.
Meanwhile Ingrid walks through an empty hallway in the house, admiring all the paintings. She suddenly spots a small black and white picture. She takes a closer look and sees herself with an unknown dark-haired woman. They have strange old clothes on and the picture seems to have been taken a long time ago. When she holds it in her hands the frame suddenly falls off and shortly after the picture burns away. Ingrid's perplexed.
Early in the morning, a black cat wearing a necklace with a green pendant walks down the street. It tries to cross over, but a car hits him. When the driver gets out she's surprised to see a naked woman lying in front of her car. At the hospital the driver tries to explain to a detective that she's absolutely sure she hit a cat, not a woman. The detective is confused by this and behind them people come by with a stretcher. The woman's head is sticking out of the body bag and she's wearing the green pendant.
The same morning Freya, Ingrid and Joanna have breakfast in their kitchen. Ingrid is reading the newspaper which is all about the couple who got attacked the night before. The man Bill Thatcher is dead and had his eyes and tongue ripped out. The woman Mara is still in a coma. Joanna is disgusted by the details. Ingrid then asks Freya about the engagement party and Freya thinks of Killian. The glass in her hand bursts spontaneously. Joanna immediately blames her clumsiness, but Freya swears she didn't do anything. Her mom guesses she might be scared about the wedding. But Freya says her mother is scared, not her. Joanna believes she's rushing into this and they barely know each other. She wants her to be sure. Freya tries to assure them and herself Dash is the one for her and leaves to see him.
Freya and Dash are together in bed and he compliments her. She asks him why he can't be a doctor without borders here. But Dash brushes it off, saying he won't be gone that long. Freya then suggests they could go to Las Vegas or she could go with him on his trip and elope. He asks her if she thinks she's going to change her mind, but she assures him she never will. They kiss.
Joanna walks out of the house to her car. She says hello to a neighbor and drives off. Next a woman who looks just like Joanna walks up to the house and uses a skeleton key to open the door. The neighbor looks confused at her. Inside the house the woman stops in front of a painting of the desert. There's a kneeling man in it. She lights a candle and starts chanting a spell. The painting starts to move and the man stands up and comes closer and closer. Joanna interrupts by running back in to get something she forgot. She notices one of the windows is open and closes it before she leaves again.
In the mortuary we see a finger with a painted nail open the zipper of the black body bag. The black-haired woman comes out it wearing her green pendant. She grabs a doctor's coat and walks out of the hospital.
Ingrid is at her work in the library and speaks with one of her colleagues Barb. Barbie tells her she can't get pregnant and the latest try with IVF failed. She doesn't have any money for more treatment. Ingrid wants to help and Barbie asks her if she by any chance knows some fertility-spells, because she's desperate and remembered Ingrid studies witchcraft. Ingrid corrects her saying she studies history and she doesn't really believe in that stuff, but if she ever had the ability to do something about it Barbie would be the first person she'd help.
Joanna comes back home and on the front porch sits the lady with the green pendant. Her name is Wendy and Joanna notices she doesn't look very good. Wendy explains she died that morning so she's sorry if her hair's not perfect. Joanna doesn't seem to like seeing her and Wendy is slightly offended. She says she'd expected a warmer welcome from her sister whose she's not seen in over a hundred years. Joanna asks how much money she wants. But Wendy ignores it and tells her she came to save her life.
Ingrid is taking calls at work when Adam stops by to ask her some questions regarding the investigation. He shows her a few pictures of the crime site with the symbol on it. Ingrid is highly fascinated, but not sure what it means yet. The symbols all seem to come from different cultures. She asks Adam if she can keep the pictures so she can check some books on it for him. He's ok with that and hopes they can discuss it over coffee. She accepts.
After he leaves Ingrid approaches Barbie and tells her she's found a fertility spell online and she wants to try it even though she's still skeptical. Barbie gets extremely excited and they ask another co-worker, Hudson Rafferty, to help performing the spell. He agrees on the condition he makes the hats.
Joanna and Wendy are seeking out clothes for Wendy to wear in the bedroom. Wendy complains about being hit by a car and Joanna asks how many lives she's got left. Wendy doesn't say and starts to complain about Joanna's wardrobe comparing her style to a schoolteacher. Joanna answers she actually is a schoolteacher and she teaches art. Wendy laughs. She says she's surprised Joanna even let her in after all the phone calls she hung op on her. Joanna states she hasn't called since 1972. Wendy explains she's been busy. She moved to New Orleans and opened up a shop, got married and divorced several times, eaten by a crocodile... and she's been keeping an eye on Joanna from afar even though she knows she hates her. Joanna says she doesn't hate her, that she was just mad. She brushes off the subject and wonders why Wendy suddenly pops up half-naked on her doorstep after more than a century. She wants to know why Wendy believes her life is in danger. Wendy is happy to elaborate, but first the girls need to come back home, because they're going to need their help. She turns on the fireplace magically by snapping her fingers, but Joanna quickly makes it go out again. She doesn't want magic in her house and she doesn't want the girls to know. Explaining to her sister they are oblivious to who they really are this time. She wants to try to change their fate. But Wendy says she can't change their fate and is annoyed that she didn't tell the girls. Joanna explains she just got sick of it. The endless cycle. She watched her girls grow up, growing into their gifts.. and then they die because of them. Before she was done mourning she was pregnant again. First comes Ingrid and soon after Freya. They grow up, practice magic and then die because of it. Over and over again. They never lived past thirty. She wanted to do things differently this time. Wendy seems more quiet, but warns their powers will come out anyway. And that she can't hide this forever.
Freya is at work at the Bent Elbow bar. She tries to make a jar of olives explode with her mind when Killian comes by. He takes a seat and flirts with her a little bit. Inviting her over to his boat after her shift tonight. Freya squirms a little bit and tries to get rid of him reminding him she's engaged with his brother and that last night was just a momentary relapse. Killian makes a nasty comment and Freya throws a drink in his face.
That evening Ingrid, Barbie and Hudson are in the library. They've drawn a pentacle on the ground they're standing on. Ingrid and Hudson join hands around Barbie, while she has to massage her own uterus. They laugh a bit and then start chanting. After a few times Barbie wonders why there's no flickering lights or smoke. They all seem to get their sanity together and conclude it's just a fake spell on the Internet. Of course nothing is going to happen. When they walk away the viewer sees the pentacle light up.
Wendy and Joanna are in the kitchen again talking. Wendy brings up again the fact Joanna's mad at her for something and we find out it's because she killed her eldest daughter; Ingrid. Wendy tries to brush it off saying it was an accident and she was going to be reborn anyway. But Joanna feels Ingrid has never been the same since and every time they die it gets harder for her. Wendy thinks her curse is way worse than Joanna's and she shouldn't complain. At least Joanna can have children. And she adds Joanna could be killed if someone wanted to do it really bad. She brings out her tarot cards and lays them for Joanna. She did it before and every single time the exact same order of cards comes out. And it's not a good message. There's bad things coming for her. Joanna is skeptical and tries to lay the cards herself a couple of times. Each time the same outcome. She realizes Wendy is telling her the truth. Wendy goes straight to business and starts asking questions about the enemies Joanna might have. The one that can make themselves look like her. She says the cards seem to imply they do not have the right tools to kill her yet. And that's going to give them some time. Wendy suggests Freya's fiancé. But Joanna assures her it's not him and he's not immortal. She tested him by 'accidentally' cutting him with a knife during dinner and steal some blood and hair to perform a spell on it. She is sure it's not him. Wendy warns her they have to find out who it is, cause this person is not gonna stop until Joanna, Ingrid and Freya are all dead. Forever dead.
Freya runs down the docks. Killian jumps from his boat and walks in her direction. She jumps into his arms and they kiss passionately. 'I knew you'd come', says Killian. They kiss again. He looks at her and she asks him why he's sad. Killian strokes her hair and tells her he's been waiting for this moment 400 years. And it's not even really happening. Freya wakes up in her own bed.
Downstairs Joanna and Ingrid talk about aunt Wendy. Ingrid is asking questions when Freya walks in. Joanna makes weird explanations for Wendy's presence and tells them their aunt is an eccentric woman. She will be staying in the attic for a while and they should just ignore her mostly. Suddenly a black cat jumps onto the table. They're all surprised and Joanna quickly says it's aunt Wendy's cat and scares the cat away. Running after it out of the kitchen. The cat turns into Wendy and Joanna scolds her for not obeying her rules. Joanna is still trying to keep the girls out of this big mess, but Wendy's not convinced that's going to work. She promises however to stay in human form.
Meanwhile in the kitchen, Freya and Ingrid are talking about true love and soulmates. Freya tells her about Killian. Ingrid thinks she's not being smart and that she should remember she's engaged when Joanna and Wendy come back to the kitchen and their mom introduces their aunt to them. Freya hugs her, but Ingrid looks like she's seen a ghost and leaves as soon as she can. She remembers aunt Wendy from the picture she saw at the engagement party last night, the one with herself in it as well.
Wendy, Joanna and Freya are shopping on the market. Wendy is talking to Freya and tries to get to know more about her and her life. Her aunt senses she has feelings for someone else. And Freya wants to know how she could know that. She explains to her she reads aura's and hers is all over the place with lots of different colors. Freya gets excited and tells Wendy she can read auras too. Joanna interrupts stating Wendy is crazy and should not be listened to. Freya however says she must be crazy too then and walks away. Joanna warns Wendy again she's not to be messing with her girls.
Back at the Beauchamp-house the Joanna look-a-like is standing in front of the painting again. Holding a candle in her hand she chants a spell. The man in it starts to move again and comes closer until he drops out of the painting on the ground in the living room. Her eyes are bright green and seem to light up. She hands the man a glass of water and offers him a chance to get revenge on the witch who locked him up inside that painting.
Freya is working at the bar when Killian stops by. He wants to be friends with her, but she doesn't think that's a good idea. He promises to be a gentleman and she quite quickly relents. She goes to make a drink for him.
Ingrid is at the library working and Barbie appears at her desk glowing with happiness. She shows her a pregnancy-test that's positive. Ingrid is stunned and can't believe it's possible the spell did that. But Barbie is a believer and feels like this is kind of like in the movies. Ingrid gets unsettled and leaves promptly.
Back at the bar Killian and Freya are playing darts together. The moment it gets awkward she leaves for the ladies room. Inside she tries to calm herself down convincing herself she can handle Killian and is not going to be tempted. The man who escaped the painting walks in. His skin is red from sunburn. Freya doesn't recognize him, but he surely knows her. He is angry about what she did to him. He asked her to marry him and she rejected and then all he ever did was get mad at her. For that she put him in the desert for 70 years. Freya doesn't understand, she becomes scared and tries to scream, but he holds her against the wall. Threatening her. He says his magic is rusty and wants her to say a spell for him. She has to repeat after him. At first she denies, but after some threatening gives in and starts chanting with him. Behind her on the wall is a painting of a bar in the '20s. It begins to move and the man slowly pushes her arm in it.
Wendy is making a vision-stew in Joanna's kitchen. Joanna comes up behind her and Wendy explains she's hoping it'll help them find the imposter who's trying to kill them. She turns around and asks if she wants to taste. Joanna stabs her in the stomach. Wendy looks at her face and her eyes light up. It's not Joanna.
Freya wakes up inside the '20s bar. She begs people to help her, but no one seems to hear her. She sees that the red man's also inside the painting.
Killian gets impatient and knocks on the door. He calls Freya's name, but there's no answer. He decides to bang the door open and finds an empty bathroom. Confused he goes back inside the bar.
At the hospital Mara has woken up from her coma. Detective Adam is at her side and she tells him she knows who killed her husband.
The real Joanna and Ingrid find a wounded Wendy on the kitchen floor. She says it's too late, but that she still had a vision. They need to get to Freya. She's in the picture in the bathroom at her work. One of her ex-lovers is out for revenge. He took her with him inside of that picture. He wants to kill her there, because that way she won't be reborn again. Ingrid is freaked out and Joanna finally tells her the truth. They're witches. But Ingrid doesn't want to believe it. So Joanna explains she put a spell on them when they were young so they wouldn't find out. Suddenly the doorbell rings and Joanna opens it. Detective Adam is there and he arrests her for the murder of Bill Thatcher. His wife confessed that she saw her do it. Ingrid becomes even more shocked. Before Joanna is taken away she whispers to Ingrid that she needs to save her sister and that she's the only one who can do it now. There's a secret backdoor in one of the cupboards and in there, she'll find everything she need.
Ingrid then walks over to the cupboard and opens it.
- Neil Hopkins as Doug.
- Gillian Barber as Maura Thatcher.
- Nicholas Gonzalez as detective Matt Torcoletti.
- “You have only one superpower — and it’s your breasts.”
- — Ingrid, adressing Freya’s contention that she’s psychic.
- “That is such an interesting dress, dear. I like how you just put it all out there and screw what other people think is appropriate.”
- — Penelope to her future daughter-in-law.
- “Find me something that doesn’t make me look like the old woman who lived in a shoe.”
- — Wendy, responding to Joanna’s complaint about her nudity.
- "The life that you built here, Joanna? It's about to change. Upheaval, death, destruction, pain, imprisonment, betrayal. It’s coming for you like nothing you’ve ever seen before"
- — Wendy, about her sister's tarot reading.
- "There's no such thing as witchcraft."
- — Ingrid to Barb and Hudson.
- Like, if this were a movie, right now would be the moment when the girl who thought she was ordinary finds out she's actually magic and that the power was within her all along.
- — Barb to Ingrid after she realised the fertility spell worked.
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About the first pilotEdit
The first pilot was used to present the TV series to the networks and the press. Normally, it should have served as the official first episode, but due to two changes in the casting, the pilot was filmed again with new scenes.
- Dash Gardiner was played by Patrick Heusinger instead of Eric Winter.
- Nicholas Gonzalez was meant to have one of the main roles in the show; instead, Mädchen Amick's Wendy was promoted to main character of the show and Jason George received the role of the local detective (whose name was changed to Adam) and love interest for Ingrid.
- Penelope's role was originally given to Glenne Headly, but she was later on replaced by Virginia Masden.
- Ingrid had three co-workers at the library; Barb and Hudson, but also Caitlin (played by Brianne Davis), who was to have a relationship with Nick Gonzalez' character, despite Ingrid's secret attraction for him. The character seemingly disappeared from the show when moving to Vancouver.
- Filming the pilot began on October 16, 2012 in the port town of Wilmington, North Carolina. Scenes were shot in the street, at the market, in the cemetary and at the hospital. The filming crew then moved to Georgia for a week of filming at Hay House, from Monday 29 October to Friday 2 November. After that, the filming went on in Wilmington again.
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- The episode was directed by Mark Waters, the man behind the cult movie Mean Girls.
- Some similarities with Eastwick, another witch-based show, have already been displayed.
- Maggie Friedman wrote and produced both shows.
- Rachel Boston (Ingrid) and Jason George (Adam) both had guest/recurring roles on Eastwick.
- Some characters' names also bear a few similarities :
- Joanna was also the first name of one of the main three witches, a young and shy journalist.
- Detective Matt Torcoletti from the original pilot shares his surname with Roxanne a.k.a. Roxie, another main protagonist in Eastwick.
- the surname Gardiner (from Killian and Dash) closely resembles the one of the last witch of the Eastwick trio: Katherin "Kat" Garderner.