Saturday, January 22, 2022

‘A Discovery of Witches’ Recap: Season 3, Episode 1

It’s a bittersweet day — the third and final season of A Discovery of Witches has finally begun. Matthew and Diana’s return to the present day is a heartbreaking affair as they learn that Emily has been killed by Peter Knox, who is voted out of the Congregation for his crimes. Baldwin is displeased to discover that Sept-Tours has become a glorified boarding house for witches and daemons. Meanwhile, a blood-raged vampire is still on the loose …

A heartbreaking return

We pick back up at Sept-Tours shortly following the season 2 finale, in which Emily Mather was killed at the hands of Peter Knox, though thankfully Marcus survived his scuffle with the power-hungry witch. Matthew and Diana arrive home to a devastating, heartbreaking scene. Later, Diana is mourning Em when Matthew makes an incredible discovery — they’re having twins.

A familiar face arrives at Sept-Tours, sporting a fresh new haircut and a stylish leather jacket. While Diana is happy to see Gallowglass after a few days apart, he’s even happier, because for him it’s been centuries. Together, the witches, humans, daemons, and Phoebe discuss what to do about Peter Knox and what happened during Matthew and Diana’s time away.

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Later, Phoebe tries to introduce herself to Matthew, but she receives a cold greeting from the vampire in return. Matthew is angry with Marcus because he believes he didn’t adequately fulfill his role as Grand Master in his absence. Riled up, Marcus takes the opportunity to bite back at Matthew for keeping the blood rage disease a secret from him.

Sarah returns to the place where Emily died, and the witches’ page from The Book of Life reappears. Sarah fills Diana in on what actually happened to Emily, who can’t bring herself to believe that Emily would pursue higher magic. She’s upset when Diana says she can’t use her magic to get Em back, so when Diana tells her that she’s pregnant, Sarah’s response is cold and disapproving.

Peter Knox’s punishment

Owen Teale as Peter Knox
Des Willie/AMCN/SkyUK

The witches, vampires, and daemons of the Congregation arrive in Venice for a meeting requested by Agatha. The vampires take the floor first, bringing up the concerning issue of the vampire that’s been on a human killing spree. (If you didn’t recognize the vampire leader of the Congregation, that’s because Trystan Gravelle stepped down from the role of Baldwin, passing it on to Peter McDonald for this season.)

Peter Knox eventually turns the conversation into an attack on Agatha, making note of the illegal fraternization of creatures that is currently taking place at Sept-Tours. Agatha, in turn, accuses Knox of murdering Emily and proposes that he’s removed from the council for his crimes. Baldwin seconds the motion because it’s an act of war for a witch to set foot in Sept-Tours without an invitation. The Majority vote, which includes Satu, does not end up in Knox’s favor. Knowing that her family is in danger now with a reckless Knox set loose from the Congregation, Agatha calls Nathaniel and tells him that he, Sophie, and the baby need to go into hiding.

A funeral and an unwelcome guest

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A fog lays heavy over the grounds of Sept-Tours while they hold a funeral for Emily, sending the witch on to her next journey. Afterward, Sarah apologizes for lashing out at Diana when she told her about the babies, and then she gives her the page from The Book of Life. Baldwin is waiting for Matthew back at the house, and he asks where he’s been these past few months. He’s taken aback when Matthew reveals that Philippe gave his blessing to him and Diana for their marriage. A power struggle ensues as Matthew argues in defense of Diana’s family, but Baldwin reminds him that only the vampires should matter to them.

The de Clermont family sits around the table for dinner, strictly observing the covenant at the behest of Baldwin, while the rest of the house’s occupants dine elsewhere. Diana treads into dangerous waters against Baldwin’s temper as she questions the merits of the covenant. After dinner, she asks Matthew about a man that Baldwin mentioned — Benjamin. Matthew explains that after the First Crusade, he lost control on the human and turned him when he betrayed the creatures and threatened to expose them. He reflects on his terrible choice to abandon a newborn, blood-raged vampire. Diana realizes that she met him in Bohemia, at which time he went by Fuchs.

Gallowglass and Marcus lament over their current situation, and the former reflects back on when his father and Fernando formed a scion because of the difficulty of living under Philippe’s rule. He grins as he suggests that history should repeat itself. They gather the rest of the de Clermont family and excitedly pitch their idea to split up the family from Baldwin, but Matthew isn’t interested.

Refuge with Fernando

Matthew Goode as Matthew Clairmont, Olivier Huband as Fernando
Des Willie/AMCN/SkyUK

The next day, Matthew, Diana, and the rest of Sept-Tours’ visitors take their leave. They seek refuge with Fernando, a vampire that was mated to Matthew’s late brother Hugh. Sarah is upset that nobody talks about Em anymore, and she’s surprised to find solace in Fernando. He explains that despite the fact that they were mated for six centuries, Philippe refused to recognize their union. When Hugh died, Fernando was alone in his grief.

Matthew and Miriam discuss continuing their research on the decline of creatures and the search for a cure for blood rage, but they need a lab. Diana solves the issue by introducing them to her friend, Dr. Christopher Roberts. Chris tells Matthew that he’ll need a bit more details from them before he agrees to take their project on in his lab. He laughs when they tell him that witches and vampires exist, but he’s quick to eat his words when Diana shows him her magic.

Benjamin Fuchs

Domenico meets with Baldwin to share some additional news about the vampire that’s been killing humans, something that he couldn’t share in front of the Congregation. He reminds Baldwin that he doesn’t have to be his enemy, handing him a folder that contains photographs from the murder scenes.

We then see Benjamin Fuchs in the current day. He receives a phone call from an unknown number and asks, “When did they get back?” in reference to Matthew and Diana. He exits his hotel room, leaving behind a bloody scene in his wake.

Don’t miss the next episode of A Discovery of Witches next Saturday, January 15 on AMC+, Sundance Now, and Shudder. Follow along with all of our coverage on the series, including episodic recaps and more!

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