In last week’s episode of A Discovery of Witches, Diana managed to get through to Mistress Norman and not only found herself a teacher — Goody Alsop — but she also managed to gain the acceptance of London’s council of witches. Matthew, on the other hand, continued to try to navigate life as Matthew Roydon. He found himself forced to make a difficult decision to kill a witch named Tom Caldwell, caught between the requests of Father Hubbard and Lord Burghley. Keep reading to find out what happened in the third episode of season 2.
Oxford, Present Day
Domenico arrives at a crime scene. It appears that he has some sort of deal with the detective, who called him due to the apparent nature of the victim’s death (see also: a vampire, likely). Before leaving, Domenico asks for the post mortem to be sent to him.
Matthew sits in his hidden room in the attic, praying, and then he goes to face Father Hubbard. He explains that Cecil had already decided Tom’s fate, and he merely wished to spare him further pain. He asks for Father Hubbard’s forgiveness, who seems to recognize that the death is truly weighing on him.
At the house, Diana and Jack are sitting at the table when Pierre approaches with a letter from the Countess of Pembroke. Diana pays her a visit, and while they’re conducting an experiment, Mary mentions that she has heard she’s in search of an alchemical book. She suggests that the Queen’s astrologer — John Dee — may be able to assist her, as he has a remarkable library.
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Diana and Matthew then go to see Doctor Dee. After making an inquiry, they are led to believe that John Dee may have indeed been in possession of the Book of Life. However, upon returning home from a trip to Bohemia, Doctor Dee checked his belongings and noticed that someone had swapped the book out. He suspects it was his previous scryer, Edward Kelley, who remained in Bohemia. Apparently, Emperor Rudolf had taken an interest in both Edward and the book. Edward had said that the book contained a secret method for obtaining immortality, which means that it may indeed be what they are looking for. Matthew offers to attempt to switch the books back for John Dee.
Back at the house, Diana wakes up to the sounds of Jack having a nightmare. She listens as Matthew consoles the boy to help him go back to sleep. Matthew returns upstairs, and he and Diana discuss the issue of obtaining the book from Bohemia because Emperor Rudolf is dangerously unpredictable.
The next day, Diana goes to visit with Goody and her gathering. They stand around her in a circle, and Diana sees threads of light floating in the air. Goody shows her how weavers use the threads to create new spells and explains that they must now discover what Diana’s element is, as each element has its own thread. Each of the four witches surrounding her commands an element — earth, air, water, and fire — and Goody instructs Diana to choose the thread that calls out to her the strongest. Diana quickly becomes overwhelmed and she struggles, as each thread that she reaches out for swiftly eludes her grasp.
Though Diana is discouraged, Goody tries to explain to her that the first spell is difficult for any weaver. She then goes on to say that she’s never met someone like Diana before, because most witches have one element in their blood and therefore only see the threads of light for that particular element. This makes it easy to choose between them. However, Diana saw all of them because she has all four elements within her.
Sept-Tours, Present Day
Em attempts a spell while Sarah sleeps, and a column of smoke briefly takes on the form of Rebecca Bishop. Em tells her that Diana needs them.
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An unexpected guest has arrived at the house — Lord Burghley — who appears to be well aware that Diana is both Matthew’s wife and a witch. Cecil tells Matthew that the Queen has begun questioning the trust she has placed in the vampire and expects both he and Diana to appear at Whitehall the following day.
Matthew sits waiting for Kit in his quarters. When he returns, he angrily accuses him of telling Cecil about Diana. Kit denies it and he leaves to visit Cecil, demanding to know who told him about the witch. He implores him to tell Matthew that it wasn’t him.
The next day, Mary Sidney seems to have heard about Diana and Matthew’s impending visit to Court because she arrives at the house prepared to help. She provides Diana with an appropriate outfit for the visit.
When Matthew and Diana approach Queen Elizabeth, she remarks disdainfully that the vampire looks tired and marriage does not suit him. Matthew attempts to make an excuse as to why he has not yet presented Diana to her, but the Queen sees through him. She dismisses the rest of the room in order to speak with Matthew and Diana alone and asks what they want with John Dee. Matthew explains that they’re interested in a book that Edward Kelley is in possession of.
Apparently, Edward led both the Queen and Emperor Rudolf to believe that he is able to create the Philosopher’s Stone with the book. Matthew states that he will prove his loyalty to the Queen by assisting her in the search for the Philosopher’s Stone. She tells him that they have already sent messengers to Bohemia to retrieve Edward, but the Emperor rebuffed them. Matthew says that he may be more receptive to him, so he will go. In turn, the Queen will forgive Matthew’s recent “mistakes.”
Diana meets with Goody and her gathering again, and they take a different approach with their training. They each hand her one thread at a time. Eventually, after tying multiple threads together, Diana conjures a rowan tree. All of the witches look on in amazement as Goody remarks that she is truly a weaver. Diana is eager to continue learning, but Goody reminds her that she must be patient. As she goes to leave, Mistress approaches her and essentially insinuates that Diana’s relationship with Matthew plays a part in her inability to control her powers.
Later, Matthew’s vampire nephew Gallowglass arrives at the house. Though he seems pleased to see him, the reasoning for his visit isn’t a cause for celebration — he’s passing along a letter from Philippe. Matthew’s father has commanded him to return to Sept-Tours. Diana encourages him that they will face this together, and even though seeing his father again after so much time will reopen old wounds, it may heal them, too. Goody is upset to hear that Diana is leaving, and she warns her that because she is setting a new course, she cannot foresee where it may lead.
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Matthew and Diana explain to Jack why he cannot join them on their journey and present him with a gift in the meantime — a small pair of paintings of the two of them.
As they prepare to leave for France, Gallowglass apologizes to Diana for his initial reticence, as he has now come to understand the extent of Matthew’s relationship with her. He gravely tells her that she must be Matthew’s anchor at Sept-Tours; otherwise … he may lose himself.
Venice, Present Day
Domenico visits Gerbert, who is still very irritable over the entire affair with the de Clermonts. He explains to Gerbert that a body was found, and it appeared to be an uncontrolled feeding. This is something that they haven’t seen in centuries. Domenico references the rumors about the infected de Clermont bloodline, but Gerbert makes it clear that he will need concrete evidence. He asks Domenico what his price is for this negotiation. It’s Venice, of course, because Gerbert took the city from him in the first place. In return, Domenico will give him the means to destroy the de Clermonts.
Episode 4 of the second season of A Discovery of Witches will be available on Sundance Now, AMC Plus, and Shudder on Saturday, January 30. Check out the rest of our season 2 recaps here.