Jack Huston Talks [Spoiler’s] Death in Trippy ‘Mayfair Witches’ Episode 5
[Warning: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for Mayfair Witches Season 1 Episode 5, “The Thrall.”]
Falling in love with a Mayfair witch can prove deadly. Lasher trapped Rowan and Ciprien in a supernatural time loop in Mayfair Witches Season 1 Episode 5, “The Thrall” (streaming now on AMC+), and his magical cage revealed the true feelings shared between Alexandra Daddario and Tongayi Chirisa‘s characters. The feelings did come a bit out of nowhere, but it seems they’re (loosely) explained by Lasher’s ability to reveal peoples’ true desires.
Rowan is convinced Lasher (Jack Huston) doesn’t know what she really wants. (Truly, Rowan doesn’t seem to know either. She’s still wrapping her head around the whole “I can think people to death” thing.) But the magical entity is attached to her whether she likes it or not, and he spent all of Episode 5 coaxing her into prioritizing pleasure.
Lasher had the menacing conviction that they would be pleased by seeing Carlotta (Beth Grant) dead, and he wouldn’t let Rowan out of the magically sealed house until she killed her great aunt herself. Ciprien was used as collateral in this (Rowan traded herself for him to save his life — he’s fine now, thanks to a healing ritual from the Talamasca).
After attempting to kill Rowan in Episode 4, Carlotta was held captive by Lasher until her grandniece demanded her freedom (we also learned that her other aunt in the house was a ghost the whole time in this installment). It took no time at all for Carlotta to try and kill Rowan again, this time encouraging her to take her own life by jumping off the balcony, just like she did with her own sister, Anthe.
Rowan used her powers to kill Carlotta, causing her to topple from the balcony herself, and thus ending her reign of zealot terror. And that was the key to Lasher’s spell being broken.
Here, Huston helps us make sense of the Groundhog Day-style episode.
“I think the sad part about Carlotta is that she always wished that she was chosen by Lasher,” Huston shares of Grant’s not so dearly departed Mayfair. “It’s almost her own feelings that pull her down and make her into this vicious, evil aunt that’s suppressing Deirdre’s powers and now wants to do the same thing with Rowan. It’s like that anti-hero. You kind of want Rowan to let her have it. I guess it’s one’s comeuppance.”
She definitely had it coming. And while they played enemies in the series, Huston raves over Grant’s performance.
“I love seeing Lasher coming through the fire and seeing her and the fear that she has of him,” the Boardwalk Empire alum says. “Beth is so good. She’s so enigmatic. Her face does more than anyone can do with a whole monologue.”
Carlotta told Rowan that Lasher offered himself to her when she was a young girl, and she refused him. Grant previously told us that there’s part of her character who’s deeply attracted to the demonic being, but Huston thinks Carlotta lied about it all.
“I don’t think [Lasher’s power] was ever offered to her,” he theorizes. “Maybe I’m speaking out of turn, but as far as I thought or am concerned, it all stems from this rather jealous place that we find out that she was never chosen by Lasher.”
Lasher incessantly claimed throughout “The Thrall” that he only wants what Rowan wants. But he was teeming with annoyance when Rowan made him set Carlotta free from her spectral suspension. For someone who lives and breathes for the Mayfair witch Designees, he certainly seems to have a range of emotions. Huston says Lasher can’t exist without the Designee, but that that doesn’t mean he’s free of ulterior motives.
“You never know whether or not what you are learning is the truth or if it’s something that he’s manipulated or coerced from someone because he wants something from them,” he says. “So there is this sort of always present element of mystery and suspicion that I feel with Lasher.”
“We were always having this talk about who he is, this spirit form,” Huston continues. “He exists because of these witches, and does he feel? I said [during production] that I can’t really play someone without feeling, because of course that’s kind of boring. I fully fell into the trap of saying — in a good way — that he loved every witch he was attached to. And yes, he has an ultimate goal, but as much as he manipulates them, they need him and he needs them. So it’s this co-dependent relationship.”
With the flashbacks to centuries-before Scotland and the original family witches, it seems the AMC series is building towards revealing how Lasher became connected to these witches in the first place. And now that Mayfair Witches has been renewed, there’s going to be even more time to unpack the layers of Lasher and Rowan’s supernatural connection.
Mayfair Witches, Sundays, 9/8c, AMC, Streaming Three Days Early on AMC+
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