Weekly coverage of A Discovery of Witches continues as Diana works out her issues with Matthew’s father, Philippe.
Let’s bitch it out…
It’s all about family this week as Diana (Teresa Palmer), Matthew (Matthew Goode) and his father Philippe de Clermont (James Purefoy) bury the hatchet and make amends. Not only does Philippe realize how powerful Diana is, he realizes that if his witch-hunting wife Ysabeau (Lindsay Duncan) has accepted Diana in the future, then he can accept her in the past.
The result? Philippe ultimately blesses their union and immediately has them married before they embark on the next stage of their journey.
There are no new characters of note this week as the episode takes place almost entirely in 1590 at the de Clermont estate.
If nothing else, this episode feels like the payoff for why Purefoy signed on to the role. It may just be a two episode arc, but in 2.06 he’s given plenty to do: physically spar with Matthew, perform a spell to protect Diana, and organize a small, but pretty wedding ceremony.
It’s a fairly quick about face from where he was last episode, but on a whole this episode offers a romantic reprieve. Knowing A Discovery of Witches, it won’t be long before the newly married couple will be back in danger.
- The opening cross-cutting between Diana in the rowboat and the aftermath of last week’s mental assault is great. This sequence starts the episode off with energy, it gives Palmer some good emotional beats to play, and it catches the audience up quickly.
- I’ll admit that I forgot that Matthew had a wife and child before he became a vampire, which is obviously on his mind before his second “official” marriage to Diana here. Even more impactful, though, are the scenes when Philippe realizes that in the future he’s dead and Matthew must struggle with the part he played (the Nazis torture stuff is surprisingly graphic). The episode is extremely light on action, but there’s some significant character detail that works well.
- Kudos also to Lindsay Duncan, who manages to make the scenes where she’s bickering with the Aunts (Alex Kingston and Valarie Pettiford) and frantically searching through old tomes emotionally resonant. As she reads the letter from her long-dead husband for the first time, it’s a great tear-jerking moment.
- A small, but intriguing development: while father and son are out fighting, Diana changes the configuration of Ysabeau’s map of that contains the location of all of the witches. This could be intriguing due to time travel paradoxes: did Diana just do something that she was always meant to do or did she (possibly?) just radically alter the future?
- Are we really meant to believe that Philippe has a wedding gown that fits Diana lying around? Sure that collar is gorgeous, but where did she get it from on such short notice?!
- Oh right, and that whole “haven’t consummated their relationship” issue from last week? In the wake of the marriage, that’s…no longer an issue, shall we say.
- Next week we’re off to Bohemia to meet Emperor Rudolph II. Should be interesting!
A Discovery of Witches airs weekly on Fridays on Sky One (UK) and Saturdays on Sundance Now and Shudder (in North America).