In last week’s episode of A Discovery of Witches, things began to look grim as Philippe antagonized Matthew to the point of bringing his blood rage boiling to the surface. After a careful exercise in self control on Matthew’s part and some bold words from Diana, Philippe finally accepted the witch into the de Clermont family. With Philippe’s blessing (and insistence), Matthew and Diana were married in an intimate ceremony. Keep reading to find out what happened in the seventh episode of season 2.
The year is 1591 and Matthew and Diana have finally arrived in Bohemia. Emperor Rudolf II’s guards initially attempt to rebuff them, as His Imperial Majesty has grown tired of Queen Elizabeth’s ambassadors, but Matthew simply won’t take no for an answer.
Rudolf grants them a brief audience, instantly unimpressed to be bothered yet again. Matthew explains that he’s not there as a spy for Elizabeth, but rather he’s looking to speak with one of the Queen’s subjects — Edward Kelley. Rudolf denies Edward’s presence in his kingdom and states that he can be found in Prague. Sensing the emperor’s disdain for the vampire, Diana steps in to see if she can sway his favor instead. Rudolf is intrigued once he learns of Diana’s interest in alchemy … much to Matthew’s dismay.
They reconvene with Gallowglass afterward, resulting in an awkward moment as he immediately points out the fact that Diana and Matthew have mated — “I should call you Auntie now.” The group heads to their lodgings to find some unexpected guests have arrived — Francoise and Jake. The former explains that Jack was having nonstop nightmares and would have run away to come to Bohemia on his own otherwise.
Matthew, Gallowglass, and Diana sit around the fireplace discussing their doubts about Edward’s whereabouts. Although nobody has seen him, it’s very unlikely that Rudolf would let go of the man who’s seemingly his key to the philosopher’s stone. Their conversation is interrupted by the delivery of a gift for Diana (“the goddess”) from Rudolf — an automaton. Matthew broods late into the evening as Diana works to convince him to let her and Gallowglass attempt to visit Rudolf again in search of the Book of Life.
The pair visits the castle the next day with a gift for the emperor, but they’re dismayed to find an impressively long line ahead of them. Gallowglass leaves Diana in line while he attempts to “accelerate proceedings,” and Diana briefly meets a man as she waits: Benjamin Fuchs. Meanwhile, Matthew and Pierre prowl the castle grounds and visit the apothecary to look for signs of Edward. Matthew ends up breaking into the building.
As the line (which has scarcely moved) is dismissed for the day, Gallowglass comes running down the steps and beckons Diana forward. He may or may not have lied their way in the door with promises of a “very desirable” painting. Diana presents Rudolf with her real gift, a book, and he’s disinterested. Regardless, Diana still manages to win him over once again, and he sends for the rabbi.
Matthew and Pierre have searched the ledger in the apothecary for signs of Edward, and they’ve found what they believe may be his secret alias (who just so happens to have an appointment booked for that evening). Inside the castle, Rudolf introduces Diana to Rabbi Loew, and then he brings her to see his traveling collection of rare and curious items.
Later that evening, Matthew and Pierre find Edward as he’s being escorted across the grounds by guards (and they learn, in the process, that he’s a prisoner). Edward’s unhinged state becomes clear as Matthew inquires about the Book of Life, and the other man begins to tell him how the book speaks to him … it screams.
“It begins with absence and desire, blood and fear. It begins with a discovery of witches.”
The next day, Diana and Matthew pay Rabbi Loew a visit. They cut right to the chase and try to find out if the emperor is attempting to use the rabbi to translate the Book of Life (and they’re correct). When they return to their lodgings, they discover that Rudolf has sent Diana a summons to a pheasant hunt. Matthew is infuriated by the idea, because while Diana believes Rudolf is the key to getting their hands on the book, the vampire still thinks they should pursue Edward instead. (Not to mention, he just doesn’t want her anywhere near the emperor.) Gallowglass suggests that both of them head off to the hunt while he searches for the book amongst the emperor’s collection of rare items.
Rudolf is displeased to find that Diana has turned her invite into a plus one. As Diana attempts to feel Rudolf out to see if she can convince him to let her look at the supposed book that he’s assigned to the rabbi, he continuously speaks in a way that insinuates Diana should be with him rather than her vampire husband. Matthew surprisingly displays restraint during all of this, but manages to get his own jab in when his bird suddenly takes down Rudolf’s. The emperor angrily sends them away.
Matthew and Diana meet back up with Gallowglass. He didn’t find the book, but he did find something else in Rudolf’s secret collection: the hand of a witch. He found it in a box full of different bits and pieces of creatures. Matthew is boiling over with rage at this point, and Gallowglass awkwardly leaves the couple alone to sort out their business. Matthew tries to forbid Diana from seeing Rudolf again, which immediately sets her off. True to Gallowglass’ earlier warning, mating has awakened a dangerous new level of possession within Matthew (combined with his blood rage). Diana is undeterred by Matthew’s anger though, and she lights a door on fire as the vampire attempts to leave the room. Carefully, she coaxes him down from his uncontrollable fury.
When Gallowglass returns, he makes the wise decision not to question the charred doorway. He lets them know that Rudolf has not only sent his apologies, but has invited them both to return to the castle as well. Matthew and Diana arrive to find a gathering of people that have come to see Rudolf’s collection. Diana privately tells Rudolf that she has heard he possesses a book that contains the secrets of life itself. They’re interrupted by the arrival of Rabbi Loew, who Rudolf is less than pleased with as he announces to the room that the man has no arcane talent after all. He sends him away and then rounds on Diana, asking why he would give the book to her. Diana turns the serpent on Rudolf’s cup into a real snake, which stuns him. He quickly goes on to tell her he will give her anything she wants.
Rudolf leads them down a secret passageway and they find that Edward Kelley is imprisoned in a dungeon. The emperor implores Edward to let Diana see the book, but the other man refuses to let go of it. Diana pulls it from his hands with her powers, and the book falls open. High-pitched sounds fill the air as images dance from the pages. At that, Rudolf turns to Matthew and tells him that he can take Edward, because he’s now found something that’s much more precious. Madness breaks out as the guards lunge for Diana, Matthew and Gallowglass attack the guards, and Edward immediately begins tearing pages from the book (while also telling it to “stop screaming”). Diana pries the book from the man’s hands, and they make a hasty escape.
As promised, Gallowglass has made sure that everyone else was ready for a quick getaway, too. Meanwhile, Matthew makes a disturbing discovery — the book is made from the skin of creatures. As they disappear on horseback into the darkness of the night, Edward rocks and mutters on the floor in the dungeon. A vampire kills the guard that’s watching Edward and approaches him — it’s the man Diana met in line, Benjamin Fuchs.
Peter Knox has come across an exhibit that includes pages from the writings of Edward Kelley during the time that he was imprisoned by Rudolf. The guide notes that the “mysterious screaming book” Edward mentions has never been identified.
Only three episodes remain! Episode 8 of the second season of A Discovery of Witches will be available on Sundance Now, AMC Plus, and Shudder on Saturday, February 27. Check out the rest of our season 2 recaps here.