Thursday, June 17, 2021

Recap: Diana Finds a Teacher in ‘A Discovery of Witches’ Season 2, Episode 2

In last week’s episode of A Discovery of Witches, Matthew and Diana successfully timewalked back to Elizabethan London. Diana learned that in the year 1590, her vampire partner lived as the mysterious Matthew Roydon of the School of Night. As Matthew attempted to reorient himself with friends and duties that he had long since left in the past, Diana realized there are several challenges that she will be facing with their current circumstances. Keep reading to find out what happened in the second episode of season 2.

Sept-Tours, Present Day

We open at the de Clermont family home, Sept-Tours, where Sarah and Em are staying. Ysabeau appears to be handling the cohabitation as expected, while Marthe is attempting to make the best of it.

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London, 1590

Lord Burghley is questioning a prisoner and asking him if the witches are turning against the queen when Matthew arrives at the Tower. The man, frightened, states that they’re loyal. They continue to torture him anyway.

Finland, Present Day

Satu returns home to see her mother, and it appears that she has been away for quite some time. She inquires why her mother never taught her who she is, despite teaching her everything else, and her mother says that it was to protect her. Satu makes it clear that she doesn’t want protection. She wants to understand. Her mother implores her to stay and become the weaver she was born to be.

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London, 1590

Diana and Matthew sit with Walter and Henry, and they ponder whether an acquaintance of theirs that practices alchemy — Mary Sidney — can be of some help in their quest to find a teacher for Diana.

Courtesy of Sky One.

Matthew brings Diana to meet Mary. As the two chat, Diana’s attention momentarily strays, and she accidentally makes a snake manifest from an embroidered design on Mary’s shoes. Matthew is then quick to cut to the chase, and he tells Mary that they’re in need of a witch. Mary politely rebuffs him and says that although she learned that he was a vampire from her brother, she’d like to remain ignorant to the existence of creatures. Even if she ultimately cannot help them, she still warmly offers Diana her friendship.

Matthew reports to Lord Burghley and receives orders to question a witch being held at the Tower — Tom Caldwell — in order to find out what the witches are plotting. As he leaves, Matthew runs into another issue when he receives a message from Father Hubbard’s men: both he and Diana have been summoned.

Upon returning home, Matthew explains to Diana that Andrew Hubbard is a vampire that rules over the city of London. The priest became a vampire after the Black Death. It is unknown who turned him, and he claimed divine resurrection when it happened. Since then, he has spent his time gathering up and helping the lost souls of the city, but he also controls them. Though the de Clermonts and Father Hubbard have a treaty, Diana falls outside of the diplomatic immunity and must now face him.

Father Hubbard dismisses his followers when Diana and Matthew arrive. He’s quick to notice the bite marks on Diana’s neck and notes that if the witches find out that Matthew has fed from her, he will be put to death. And on the other hand, if Diana gave her blood willingly, she will be cast out of England. However, if Diana allows him to feed upon her so that she may become family, she will be under Father Hubbard’s protection (though Matthew will allow no such thing). To Matthew’s displeasure, Diana outright tells Father Hubbard that she fed Matthew willingly in order to save his life. He accepts this answer but warns her that nothing happens in the city without his blessing.

The next day, Kit finds Matthew at church and encourages him to come and have some fun. Meanwhile, Diana is out with Francoise when she comes across Mistress Norman again. She apologizes for the other day and asks her to come back to the house again since Matthew isn’t there. The other witch agrees and tasks Diana with moving the contents of an egg into a nearby bowl without using her hands. Instead, Diana uses her magic to speed up the aging process of the egg, and a chick hatches from it. At this, the witch finally agrees to go and speak with her head of coven and England’s most powerful witch, Goody Alsop.

Matthew and Kit have taken their festivities to the tavern, and Matthew ends up re-piercing his ear after a game of cards — “See, now you look like Matthew Roydon.” As they leave, one of Lord Burghley’s men finds them and inquires about why Matthew has not yet begun questioning the witch at the Tower. Kit then tries to ask Matthew about the future, but the vampire refuses to speak on it.

Mistress Norman brings Diana and Matthew to meet Goody Alsop, and the woman remarks, “I have waited a long time for you, Diana.” Goody then explains that she, Susanna, and Diana are all that’s left of their kind. Their kind being … weavers, makers of spells. Diana is very hesitant to believe this due to her utter lack of aptitude for magic, and Matthew remarks that he has never met a weaver in all of his years. Goody tells him that weavers are rare creatures, and they have been hunted down and forced into hiding. Diana begins to wonder if this is what provoked Satu’s attack on her.

Upon observing Diana, Goody is able to tell that her father was a self-taught weaver. Diana asks Goody to be her teacher, but Mistress Norman objects. She says that it will attract too much attention, and they will need to consult the council of witches. Though Matthew is not thrilled with the idea, Goody confirms that their consent will be necessary to proceed.

Goody and Mistress Norman bring Diana to meet the other witches. She pleads her case with them, stating that she was spellbound and now she needs a community of witches to help her learn the full nature of her power. Though the other witches, including Mistress Norman, are apprehensive and don’t seem open to the idea, Goody steps up in Diana’s defense. She reminds them all that dark times are coming, and Diana is the witch that has long been prophesized to come to their aid. Diana then manages to get everyone’s attention when she admits that she is a time spinner from the future, and she tells them that she has seen the Book of Life with her own eyes. Despite their unease at Diana’s connections to a vampire, she makes it clear that her relationship to her magic, to Matthew, and to the book are woven together … one cannot exclude the other. And so she is welcomed into their circle.

Father Hubbard finds Matthew in the streets, tells him that Tom Caldwell is innocent, and asks him to use his influence to address the matter. He also threatens to get Philippe de Clermont involved. Matthew returns to the house and angrily rants to Kit about the tangled mess that he’s found himself in — Father Hubbard wants the man freed, yet Lord Burghley wants him to extract a confession from him and then put him to death. Kit believes that Philippe he will be able to handle the situation, but Matthew is worried that everything will come undone if his father finds out about Diana.

“Matthew Roydon is never cruel for sport, but he is ruthlessly efficient. Do not impersonate Matthew Roydon. Become him.”

As a result of Kit’s counsel, Matthew does the only thing he can think to do — he kills Tom Caldwell swiftly and without questioning. It was the most merciful thing that he could do, given the situation. If Tom survived, he wouldn’t have been able to keep Diana safe.

As the episode comes to a close, Father Hubbard and his followers mourn the death of Tom Caldwell. Father Hubbard then gives a man a sealed letter with instructions to deliver it directly to Philippe de Clermont. Lord Burghley, meanwhile, furiously demands an explanation from Matthew. “Perhaps you have reason to side with a traitor … to support the witches.”

Episode 3 of the second season of A Discovery of Witches will be available on Sundance Now, AMC Plus, and Shudder on Saturday, January 23. Check out the rest of our season 2 recaps here.

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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 or Marvel related on Twitter @lindyysolo. Contact: lindsey@nerdsandbeyond.com

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