Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Recap: Loves Knows No Bounds in ‘A Discovery of Witches’ Season 2, Episode 6

In last week’s episode of A Discovery of Witches, Matthew and Diana arrived in France and continued on their journey to Sept-Tours. Upon their arrival, Philippe de Clermont wasted no time in causing an uncomfortable rift between the couple. Meanwhile, Matthew’s troublesome sister Louisa arrived in London and decided to keep herself busy with the company of Kit in the absence of her brother. In the final moments of the episode, Diana stabbed the uninvited witch Champier before he could erase her memories. Keep reading to find out what happened in the sixth episode of season 2.

Picking back up in the year 1590 at Sept-Tours, Diana is venting her frustrations and emotions with a familiar form of stress relief — rowing — albeit the vessel in question is a bit more antiquated than she’s used to. The scene then skips back to moments after Diana stabbed Champier. Matthew demands to know why Philippe let the witch see her in the first place, and he calmly explains that he needed to be sure of her — she knows too many of the de Clermont family secrets.

After Diana finishes washing the blood from her hands, Philippe finally takes notice of Ysabeau’s ring on her finger (which she slipped on in the previous episode moments before Champier arrived). Philippe refuses to believe that his wife would ever bequeath the ring to anyone, let alone a witch … not as long as he lived. In that moment, the final puzzle piece slides into place as Philippe realizes that he’s no longer alive in Diana and Matthew’s time.

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Back on the water, Matthew beckons Diana to come back to the shore and stop shutting him out. As she ties up the boat, she tells him what’s really bothering her — she wanted to kill Champier, so what is she becoming? Inside, Philippe sits at a desk and begins to write a letter to Ysabeau.

Sept-Tours, Present Day

Ysabeau isn’t pleased to find Emily and Sarah in one of the rooms that’s off-limits. However, when Emily explains that they’re tracing a strange vibration, Ysabeau becomes thoughtful as she explains that the bookshelf Sarah is examining was one of Philippe’s favorite hiding places for messages. And thus begins a scavenger hunt as they begin to sift through every book on the shelf.

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Sept-Tours, 1590

As Matthew is preparing a horse to leave for Bohemia, Philippe comes outside with two swords. He tosses one to Matthew and approaches him, angering simmering beneath the surface as he accuses him of leaving Ysabeau alone in the present day to deal with his enemies. Matthew refuses to answer when Philippe asks how long he’s been dead in the future, and with that Philippe strikes. Their fighting grows more heated as they trade angry blows, but Matthew won’t budge on the question — the knowledge could pose too much of a risk. Philippe continues to egg him on, drawing out Matthew’s dangerous temper.

Sky One

Inside, Diana is disturbed to find that Philippe has a map of where the covens are located, which is what they use to plan the witch hunts. She uses her powers to scramble the markings. Once word reaches Diana that there’s a fight going on, she rushes outside to find Philippe with Matthew pinned to a table. Matthew appears crazed at this point, as Philippe has pushed his anger so far that he’s beginning to lose control of the blood rage that flows in his veins. His father demands once more to know when he dies, but Matthew manages to pull himself back from the edge and remains tight-lipped on the matter. Something comes over Philippe and he backs off, leaving the room.

Matthew slumps to the floor and tells Diana that it’s been a very long time since he lost control like that. He explains that he’s been studying genetics to try and find a cure for the blood rage. Though Ysabeau does not carry the effects of the disease, both Matthew and Louisa are fully afflicted. He finally explains to Diana that this is why they cannot be truly mated. In the past, he killed thousands; he was Philippe’s weapon that he used to eradicate the disease.

Diana storms inside, angrily advancing on Philippe as she accuses him of provoking and humiliating Matthew. Unruffled as always, Philippe plainly tells her that she needed to see the wolf behind the man. If they are to have a future together, Diana must be able to accept every facet of him, and Matthew must be free of the guilt he carries. Diana is shocked as the realization dawns upon her that Philippe did this for them. As the two go back and forth, Diana goes on to explain the painful legacy that Philippe has left on Matthew’s life in the future. Philippe is displeased by Diana’s forwardness, but she holds her ground as she firmly tells him that she’s worthy of his son, fiercely glowing with power. Something shifts in Philippe in that moment as he stares at her in wonder and speaks of an ancient prophecy that tells of a witch who will change the destiny of all creatures.

Later, Philippe finds Matthew and Diana outside, and he tells them that he won’t ask of his future again. He remarks that if the Congregation were to question Diana and Matthew’s relationship, Matthew would respond with violence and lose her. Drawing a blade, he says that there must be no question as to whether or not Diana is a de Clermont. He cuts open his thumb and marks her forehead with a symbol that indicates she is forever a member of their family now.

Back inside, Matthew and Diana have an emotional exchange as she finally convinces him to tell her about Philippe’s death, for sharing the burden may help the memories lose their power. He tells her that Philippe was captured during the second World War, and he was held in the Nazi death camps. They used witches to extract his memories and tortured him for three months. When he was finally rescued, his mind was broken. He begged Ysabeau to kill him, but Matthew did it himself so that his mother wouldn’t have to. Diana and Matthew embrace as she tells him, “You didn’t kill Philippe. You released him.”

Sept-Tours, Present Day

Hours have passed, and Emily and Sarah have finally decided to give up on the book hunt for the evening. Ysabeau refuses to stop, though, and she tells Marthe that the prospect of one last message from Philippe is almost too much to bear.

Sept-Tours, 1590

Philippe brings Matthew and Diana to the temple of Diana/Artemis and explains that when he was a boy, brides would come to such temples to ask the Goddess for her protection. He states that Matthew and Diana are to be married in two days in a manner that honors their ancestors. They place an offering on the pedestal as Philippe says a prayer. The wind picks up and white stag approaches; Artemis has accepted Diana’s gifts. As they turn to leave, Diana turns to Matthew and says, “So I guess we’re getting married.” Matthew tells her that they don’t have to do as Philippe says, and she cheekily replies that she will if he asks nicely. Matthew then asks her to marry him properly, which she accepts.

The day of the wedding, Philippe gifts Matthew a fibula — which saved his life on a battlefield in the past — to wear during the ceremony. The ceremony is an intimate yet nonetheless beautiful affair, followed by a reception indoors. Philippe and Diana share the first dance as father and daughter. Philippe assures her that the Ysabeau of 1590 will not find out about what transpired, but Diana will tell her one day in the future. When Matthew and Diana dance, they’re amused as they discuss how their future Ysabeau will certainly not believe that they were not only married with Philippe’s blessing, but at his insistence. That evening, Matthew and Diana lie together at last.

The next day, Matthew and Diana prepare to leave for Bohemia. As he bids them goodbye, Philippe explains to Diana that the ring was a message from Ysabeau to him, functioning as a seal of her approval. In turn, he gives her the necklace that he’s wearing. “Wear this, and I will be with you always. As you will always be in my heart.”

Philippe rides out with Matthew and Diana, and he tells Matthew that not only has he found a woman worthy of him, but he is equally worthy of her. “So stop regretting your life, and start living it.” He goes on to say they have one last matter to put to rest and tells Matthew, “Whatever happens between the two of us in the future, I forgive you.” This is such an integral moment between the two of them, something that Matthew so desperately needed to hear. (And James Purefoy, two episodes was certainly not enough with you!) Upon returning home, Philippe finally pens the letter he’s been trying to write for Ysabeau.

“My dearest Ysabeau,

At last, I am able to find words to straddle the centuries that separate us. The language has eluded me until now, for I have struggled to accept my mortality. But today, I have finally found the inspiration, for I am at peace. I am no longer afraid of my fate, for fate retains the power to surprise us. Our son is happy at last, mated to a woman who walks in the footsteps of the Goddess. They journey now to Bohemia, in search of the ‘Book of Life’. I fear there are difficult times ahead, but I trust they will return to you. And that together you will forge a bold new future for our family. This is my final message to you, my love. I know now that there shall come a day when we will be parted. But until then, as in the afterlife, I will hold you in my heart.”

Sept-Tours, Present Day

Ysabeau finally locates the message, hidden in the spine of a book, and tears roll down her face as she reads it. Despite the fact that we’ve not seen Philippe and Ysabeau actually interact on-screen, their love is conveyed in such a deep and palpable manner that the emotional weight of this scene rings heavy and true.

Episode 7 of the second season of A Discovery of Witches will be available on Sundance NowAMC Plus, and Shudder on Saturday, February 20. Check out the rest of our season 2 recaps here.

Lindsey
Lindsey
Lindsey joined the Nerds and Beyond team in 2018. She has spent a large portion of her life dedicated to her first love, photography. When she's not behind the camera, she's likely reading books and comics or dabbling in creative writing. Otherwise, she's probably yelling about something Star Wars related. Contact: directors@nerdsandbeyond.com

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