‘Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches’ Recap: Season 1, Episode 8 “What Rough Beast”

Jules
8 Min Read
AMC

In the season finale of Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches, the prophecy is revealed in full as the entire Mayfair family goes looking for Rowan. As Rowan learns the truth about her connection to Lasher, she will need to make her final choice between the creature and Ciprien — ultimately deciding what kind of witch she will be. From shocking parental reveals to powerful new magic, find out what happened in “What Rough Beast”!

The Secret’s Out

Alfonso Bresciani/AMC

As Rowan chases down the man who killed Tessa in the woods, she becomes drowsy from blood loss. Suddenly, Lasher appears. He begs her to let him take it from here, and she agrees. Lasher smiles, and, now unleashed, tracks the witch hunter down to the house where he’s hidden and burns him alive.

Josephine hears about Tessa’s death and Rowan’s disappearance. Cortland immediately asks where Rowan is, making Josephine snap. She demands to know why Rowan is his priority, but he stubbornly refuses to answer.

In the forest, Rowan is near death when Lasher returns. Leading her into Suzanne’s memories, he teaches her the language of “his kind.” She is able to heal herself. Lasher informs her that she, as the 13th Mayfair witch, is capable of harnessing all his powers. She is unstoppable and can heal anyone she wants, among many other powers. Delighted with her new abilities, she and Lasher have sex. Rowan has officially turned to the dark side.

Ciprien tries to get Albrecht to open up about his plan, discovering that the mysterious leader has the gift to erase memories. Albrecht was working with Cortland all along to make sure Lasher’s prophecy would be fulfilled. Thinking quickly to keep him from erasing his memories, Ciprien reveals that he is the father of Rowan’s baby. Albrecht reluctantly agrees to let him go to Rowan, thinking this is a part of the prophecy.

Alfonso Bresciani/AMC

At Cortland’s home, Ciprien has a vision of the night Rowan was conceived. He sees Deidre lying on her bed, passed out, while a figure in a mask hovers over her. It’s Cortland, and Ciprien has a startling realization: Rowan’s great-uncle is also her father. He also had Deidre killed so that Rowan would become the designee. Josephine catches him snooping and demands to know what he saw. Ciprien tells her the truth, shattering Josephine as the truth of his words lands.

When Rowan wakes up after her time with Lasher, she is alone. Trapped in a dream world full of the previous designees, she calls out for Lasher but can’t find him. His voice simply tells her that he will be with her on the path of her ancestors, reuniting at the witching hour. Rowan realizes that she is the vessel for Lasher’s return as her child is Lasher, reborn. Her pregnancy is sped up by magic, meaning that she will give birth to Lasher at that time and give him a physical body for the first time.

A Family Portrait

It’s important to pause here to untangle all these knots. Rowan’s father is also her great-uncle. He is her mother’s uncle and raped Deidre to ensure that Rowan would be born to provide a vessel for Lasher. Rowan’s baby is Lasher reincarnated, with her as his biological mother and Ciprien as his biological father. Rowan is in love with Lasher, the being who is living in the body of her child with Ciprien. The Mayfair family tree is a wreath! Back to the episode.

A Prophecy Fulfilled

Alfonso Bresciani/AMC

Back in the real world, Ciprien and Josephine hear the full prophecy for the first time. Lasher will come into being “over the bones of the foremothers.” Josephine realizes Rowan will give birth in the mausoleum where the designees are buried. Ciprien heads there to find Rowan. We see that Cortland is already there, having taken Rowan’s body from the forest and brought it to the crypt.

Odette calls the Talamasca looking for him, revealing that she knows about everything. She knows he wouldn’t miss the birth of her child without something seriously going wrong. This error leads to her own downfall as Albrecht pays her a visit to erase her memory along with the healer. While they wait for her to wake up from the memory-erasing ceremony, Ciprien calls Albrecht. He wants the Talamasca to take custody of Rowan’s baby, considering Lasher, in this form, will be the most powerful being the world has ever seen. Albrecht agrees, telling the healer that they can use Odette’s breastmilk to feed the baby (disgusting and misogynistic, so on brand). Ciprien believes he can trick Rowan into giving him the baby.

Rowan wakes up in pain and in labor. Suzanne’s ghost appears and helps her deliver her baby, using her midwifery skills. Rowan is conflicted as she stares at the adorable baby in her arms, with Suzanne urging her to care for Lasher as he will give her nearly unlimited power. But when Rowan has a vision of the child becoming a horrible monster, she tries to run and leave him in the crypt.

Cortland chooses this moment to enter, with the baby crawling between him and Rowan. This awakens Rowan’s protective instinct as she grabs the baby, holding him close. She has made her choice.

Cortland reveals that the reason he has done all of this is because Lasher promised him immortality if the prophecy was fulfilled. He laughs at Rowan’s attempts to hurt him with her powers, until she finds a loophole. She turns him to stone, not technically killing him.

He’s mine now. I know what he knows. I know what you did to my mother.

The Thirteenth Witch

Leaving the mausoleum, Rowan encounters Ciprien. She’s delighted at first, telling him they should go back to the Mayfair house together and be a family. He suggests his apartment, and Rowan realizes he is hiding something. Once again, he tries to lie, but Rowan is far too powerful for him to convince.

Ciprien asks to carry the baby. When he moves to take him, a bolt of lightning separates him from Rowan and the baby. Not understanding, Ciprien asks Rowan to stop letting Lasher do this. Smiling menacingly, Rowan corrects him: “He’s not doing it. I am.” He insists he’s just trying to help her and that Lasher will manipulate her. Rowan calls him out on his savior complex.

You can’t control me.

With one last smile, she walks into the storm and embraces her power.

Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches will return for a second season. You can find our other coverage here.

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By Jules
I am a nurse and dedicated nerd from Boston, MA. When I'm not at work, I'm rewatching old favorites like Supernatural or discovering my new obsessions (too many to count!). When not fangirling, I can be found reading, writing, or listening to a true crime podcast. You can find me on Twitter @juleswritesblog for more nerdy nonsense.
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