‘A Discovery of Witches’ Review: Season 3 First Thoughts

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Less than two weeks remain until the third and final season of the romantic fantasy series A Discovery of Witches arrives, which follows the story of the witch Diana Bishop (Teresa Palmer) and the vampire Matthew Clairmont (Matthew Goode). Ahead of the premiere, we’ve had a chance to check out the first two episodes of season 3, and we’re here to share some of our spoiler-free thoughts.

As with the first two seasons, season 3 of A Discovery of Witches is based upon author Deborah Harkness’ third and final installment in the All Souls trilogy — The Book of Life. Following Matthew and Diana’s adventures in 1590, this season sees them return to the present day. Although the beautiful costumes, sets, and certain characters of the past will be missed, it’s a relief to see Diana back in her element and both of them reunited with the friends and family they had left behind.

While season 1 depicted Diana’s struggle to accept her powers as a witch, season 2 focused on Diana’s quest to come into her full potential. At her core, Diana was born to be an extraordinary witch, and season 3 has begun to tap into what a formidable force to be reckoned with she is. Palmer has always had a knack for going toe-to-toe with Goode’s snarling, temperamental exterior (and in the same vein, James Purefoy last season), but seeing her beside him when the playing field of their powers has finally been evened out adds a wonderfully charged layer to their dynamic.

A Discovery of Witches continues to make excellent use of its runtime, weaving together intricate threads of an intriguing plot and leaving viewers on the edge of their seats waiting to see what’s going to happen next. The show’s pacing has always been carefully balanced between world-building, plot exploration, and action, and that’s still very much apparent in this final season. It’s an impressive feat given everything that’s been packed into the show thus far, and it’s what makes it so enjoyable to watch.

The premise of A Discovery of Witches may be crafted upon Diana and Matthew’s romance (which is a swoon-worthy tale that Palmer and Goode continue to bring to life in a beautiful manner), but there are also so many other captivating characters to be invested in beyond our leading star-crossed lovers. Right off the bat in season 3, one of the most exciting familiar faces is Steven Cree’s Gallowglass (waltzing in fit for the 21st century), who was truly a standout addition to season 2. Malin Buska’s Satu is also back, promising what will most certainly be another hauntingly powerful performance, along with Gregg Chilingirian as the fascinating, enigmatic Domenico. The first two episodes also give a taste of this season’s main villain, who promises to be a wickedly alluring presence.

Additionally, here’s to hoping that the show is able to make more use of the talented Aiysha Hart after Miriam’s minimal role in season 2. Due to scheduling conflicts, Trystan Gravelle was unable to reprise his role as Matthew’s brother, Baldwin. Peter McDonald has stepped into the role this season, bringing something new to the table as the daunting head of the de Clermont family.

Overall, season 3 of A Discovery of Witches is off to a fantastic start, beginning to close out an epic series with the same high production quality that audiences have come to know and love. A Discovery of Witches season 3 will premiere on AMC+, Sundance Now, and Shudder in the U.S. on Saturday, January 8. Stay tuned for our weekly episodic recaps!

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By 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 Star Wars, Marvel, anime, or Ted Lasso. Contact: lindsey@nerdsandbeyond.com
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