Saturday, January 22, 2022

‘The Witcher’ Recap: Season 2, Episode 5 “Turn Your Back”

Things are ramping up in the second half of season 2 right away, and there is a lot of content in episode 5. We finally get to hear Ithlinne’s prophecy and understand who Ciri really is. We also discover a new breed of monsters has arrived on the Continent, and that Ciri has a fire-wielding team of enemies hunting her. Yennefer will have to figure out a way to rescue Jaskier from the fire-wielding mage while Ciri must figure out a way to convince Vesemir to allow her to go through the Trial of Grasses.

Fake Marriage Trope To The Rescue

New characters Rience and Lydia are introduced this episode, with Rience being revealed to be the mysterious fire mage from episode 4. Rience is doing what will turn the entire fandom against him by tortuting Jaskier — seeking information about Geralt of Rivia in order to locate Ciri. Anyone could be Rience’s employer — although Dijkstra, Emperor Emhir, or Eredin and the Wild Hunt seem the most likely suspects there. Luckily, Yennefer comes at just the right time to pretend to be Jaskier’s drunken wife. Blowing a fireball back into Rience’s face, the unlikely pair are able to escape and run to safety in Oxenfurt.

Yennefer’s Answer

Yennefer and Jaskier are separated once again, as running around the streets in bright purple is generally not the best fleeing outfit choice. The crone from the cabin with no doors visits Yennefer again, and this time Yennefer decides to seek out answers, uttering the incantation to transport her to the hut. This time Yennefer asks what’s really on her mind — how can she get her powers back? Amongst various instructions, the crone reveals that Yennefer will have to capture and use Ciri to get her powers back. Surely Yennefer wouldn’t sacrifice the young princess Geralt cares for for selfish gain … or would she?

Elder Blood Drive

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Triss and Vesemir convince Ciri to donate some of her blood in order to confirm their theories — that she has elder blood coursing through her veins and that her blood can be used to spawn a new generation of Witchers. If correct, preparing Ciri’s blood correctly could create the chemicals needed to create more Witchers. It turns out, of course, that Triss and Vesemir are correct and a new group of Witchers could soon be on the way with this discovery. The one catch to the plan is that Ciri demands to be the first one to be put through the Trial of Grasses, which can obviously lead to dire consequences. As we know, convincing Ciri to change her mind once it is made up is an incredibly difficult task.

A Dive Into Ciri’s Consciousness

Ciri is obviously struggling with a lot of these realizations about herself, feeling overwhelmed in the fact that she has no one in her family left to give her the answers she desperately wants. Fortunately for Ciri, Triss is around to offer a form of guided meditation through the deepest parts of her subconscious mind. The pair eventually make their way to Lara Dorren, an elven sage, who is kneeling and clutching to a newborn while wounded and presumably dying. In an unexpected and creepy twist, Lara begins to interact with the pair, clutching Triss by her throat. Ciri does nothing to help Triss, as she is too focused on listening to Ithlinne’s prophecy and watching the Wild Hunt. It is during this prophecy that we discover Ciri is a Daughter of Chaos, a descendent of Lara Dorren, giving reason to her elder blood.

A Scream Felt Across The Continent

Overwhelmed with emotion, Ciri is pushed to scream out to Geralt for help. Conveniently, at the same moment Geralt and Istredd are at the monolith and are able to feel the ground shake as Ciri’s scream is felt across the Continent. The answer to the current growing monster population is answered as a result, proving Geralt and Istredd right — the monoliths act as a beacon to monsters and once the monolith was shattered new monsters emerged. Once the dream ends, Triss is truly shaken from the experience and immediately lashes out at Ciri, telling Ciri she is “a seed that bursts into flames … you’ll destroy us all!”

Reassurance

With their official business wrapped, Istredd informs Geralt that Yennefer is actually alive and survived the Battle of Sodden Hill. Despite showing a mixture of emotions — joy, shock, worry — Geralt doesn’t have time to digest this news or act on it as he needs to return to Ciri at Kaer Morhen. Back in Nilfgaard, Istredd discovers Ciri’s recorded bloodline only goes as far back as Fiona and discovers to pay some information brokers a visit to attempt to uncover more. Meanwhile, Geralt returns to Kaer Morhen just as Ciri is about to undergo the Trials, putting his foot down and stopping this once and for all. In another tender moment between the freshly formed father-daughter duo, Geralt reassures Ciri that she is extraordinary and good, and that Triss is wrong about her.

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The Witcher season 2 is streaming now on Netflix.

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