15. Witches of East End – Alex and Joanna
Okay, so imagine you’re watching this cheesy fun show about witches on Lifetime. As you’d expect, it’s a bit soapy, but also female-centric, so it balances out. The main characters are the four women of the Beauchamp family, matriarch Joanna, her sister Wendy, and her daughters Ingrid and Freya. Joanna (Julia Ormond) is apparently incredibly powerful, but mostly just seems to worry about her daughters now, who’ve been cursed to die and be reborn continuously, and it’s her curse to watch that happen. In this current cycle, she’s decided to not tell them about their magical past in the hopes that it’ll keep them alive for longer, so as the show begins, they have no idea about their powers. The sister Wendy (played awesomely by Mädchen Amick) can shapeshift into a cat and has about as many lives as one. She’s charismatic and fun-loving but things between her and Joanna have been frosty for a while. Freya’s caught up in a love triangle between two hunky brothers, the two regular male characters on the show, and Ingrid’s a librarian who, once she’s learned about her powers, is surprisingly greedy for more.
All right, so the stage is set. With so many women, the initial hope’s always that one is going to be revealed as queer from the start, but that didn’t happen here. All right, it’s an enjoyable enough show on its own and surely Wendy’s going to reveal a f/f fling or maybe Ingrid’ll start something up, whatever. In the of the second season, as our heroes are deep in trouble, they need an incredibly badass hunter. Oh look, Joanna knows someone. She takes Wendy off to the streets of NYC and just magically zones in on a woman. Meet Alex (Michelle Hurd), successful hedge fund manager. She’s not too happy to see Joanna and rejects her plea for help and it’s clear there’s something personal there. At this point I am intrigued, but then I’m intrigued pretty darn often, so pfft. No need to get my hopes up. With no help from her, the Beauchamps continue to ineffectually plan and bicker, but hey, she’s showed up after all, no more business suit but jeans and hair pulled back. She’s still short with Joanna, but obviously someone’s gotta help them.
Then, we get a flashback! In a previous life of Freya’s, Joanna introduces her to her “friend” Alex. So at this point, I’m no longer just suspicious, I am sure. And then we go back to the present where they bicker and call each other stubborn as they try to not very subtly protect each other. Even though this was Alex’s first appearance on the show, Ormond and Hurd played it so well, they really did seem like a couple of exes. As they finally did go out hunting, the scene above happened! And so, okay, I was like 99% sure, but to have it confirmed. What makes this a favorite is how even in just one episode they managed to put together a good story. Alex ended up staying for just one more, and they had a really good couple of conversations in the next ep, but this scene remains my favorite. I know WoEE’s been cancelled but I can hope that if it had continued, Alex would have returned.