A Discovery of Witches: Season 1/ Episode 3 – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)
As Diana grows closer to Matthew, it leads to Peter Knox and the vampire enemies of Matthew to ramp up keeping these two apart. Network Sky One Director(s) Alice Troughton Writer(s) Kate Brooke Air Date 9/28/2018 Characters Introduced Agatha Tanya Moodie Nat Daniel Ezra Marcus Edward Bluemel Images and text in this post may contain…
As Diana grows closer to Matthew, it leads to Peter Knox and the vampire enemies of Matthew to ramp up keeping these two apart.
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Introducing The Congregation: Satu, Domenico, Gerbert, Peter, Juliette, Agatha, Nat
Despite how contentious the relationship is between vampires, demons, and witches, it seems they possess a UN of sorts. One which Satu travels to, for Knox of course, to pick up some threatening photos. However, as we watch her peer over pictures of Diana’s dead parents, an investigation handled by Knox, Domenico intrudes. Seemingly using Satu to gather information.
What kind? Well, for reasons which remain unexplained, both he and Gerbert have quite a hard-on for Matthew. So with him breaking a thousand-year-old rule of no interspecies romance, it seems Domenico found something to have Matthew punished for. Which Gerbert is not that much for, since all Domenico has is Satu’s word but something is better than nothing. So, off he sends Juliette to go after Matthew.
With the introduction of some kind of peacekeeping organization, so comes a bit of politics to the show. Which has already established a pecking order of witch, vampire, and then demons, so just imagine getting a look-see into one of the meetings. One in which the demon repetitive, Agatha, a Black woman, is taking on these ancient white men.
And the only reason I’m speaking about Agatha’s race is simply due to a slight discomfort. When it comes to the vampires, the only Black vampire we have seen is Juliette, who is light skinned and possibly mixed. For witches, we have Emily, also light-skinned, and Sylvia, an Indian woman who is light skinned.
So, bringing back the idea demons are the lowest on the totem pole, and you have a dark skin Black woman as their representative, it brings mixed feelings. On one hand, her being the head of demonkind, which includes the well-off Hamish, is noteworthy. Yet, with it seeming clear that vampires and witches likely both oppress demons, hence why her son Nat can’t even start a group for them to communicate, it makes things a bit uncomfortable.
Yet, maybe that’s the point? Perhaps like X-Men, the idea here was to tap into history to make it more digestible? For with vampires and witches clearly well off, it could be a play on politics and also racial matters? Perhaps making it so demons represent the disenfranchised who, even when they are allowed into the room, they never really have a seat at the table. They are allowed in just for appearances to qualm dissension and chaos.
Getting To Know You: Diana, Matthew, Marcus
With so much misconstrued about witches and vampires, even their knowledge of each other, it seems to build trust, some questions are asked. Mostly from Diana to Matthew anyway. One being Matthew’s age which has him being sired around 37 and born around 500. Now, taking note he said he was around, alive, during one of the falls of Carthage, it would make him born around 500 AD and not BC. Perhaps around the time of the Byzantine Empire.
Other things noted include most myths about vampires being false, though they do have heightened senses, can jump to the point of seeming like they are flying, and that their heart doesn’t beat – much. Also, they conserve an immense amount of energy which helps them move about and, perhaps, not feed too often.
As for Diana? Well, despite being raised by her aunts, it seems she doesn’t know much about herself or her people. Marcus, Matthew’s assistant, seems to know more about witches than Diana does. Such as there perhaps being only 4 clans when witches began practicing and congregating. Outside of that, no new information is provided about witches.
With this episode, it felt like they were finishing up the foundation for all that is to come. It wanted to establish the rules which kept each sect from interacting, yet show why they aren’t at constant war. It wanted to spell out the vampire rules this show went by, and give some insight into witches. Not everything, since they are the featured player, but truly begin to demystify the mystery surrounding them.
But, also it wanted to make sure for the drama ahead, things made sense. Especially Matthew’s age and his sense of regret. For with Domenico acting as he does, Juliette’s weird obsession with Matthew, and the romance which is blooming, they need to make any and all brooding not seem like your usual moody vampire. They want you to be able to understand why he is the way he is and why certain people have qualms with him.
The New Romeo & Juliet: Peter, Diana, Matthew, Jillian, Marcus
With it being clear Diana has chosen Matthew as a friend, something more even, and Jillian no longer being her confidant, Peter finds himself finding aggression to be the only way. Hence him having Satu get pictures of Diana’s parents, after they were killed. He warns of being so liberal and open-minded, like Diana’s father, for that gets people like them killed. Probably by people like Peter.
Yet, Diana doesn’t care. She even tries to call the book up, for herself and when she does Peter, and many a witch, are there to intercept Matthew getting anywhere near it. Even to the point of trying to force her, and the librarian, to get the book and hand it over. However, after the librarian is hurt, Diana uses this power called Witch’s Wind. Something which Marcus and Matthew make sound rare, but doesn’t seem all that powerful.
Not to downplay a man of Peter’s stature looking like he is in a tornado, lifted off the floor and hanging onto a table, but considering witches made vampires and demons, allegedly, this seems like nothing. However, even if it may seem like nothing to me, Matthew and Marcus take it very seriously and both realize Diana can’t stay in Oxford. So, she is going to be taken to France to one of Matthew’s old estates – deep in vampire territory.
I have such mixed feelings about Diana and Matthew’s relationship. On one hand, I like that it wasn’t instant. Yet, on the other, it seems born from Diana being secluded and perhaps lonely. Also, Matthew not having any love or affection for her but wanting the book. Which, with Diana trusting him, falling in love with him, it means she’ll likely just hand him the book or at least let him read it alongside her.
Which isn’t to imply they aren’t friends, in some form or fashion, but with him rejecting the initial kiss, I think it was because he never saw that for them. Maybe the idea didn’t interest him at the time. Yet, realizing romance could speed things up, that is why he kissed her later on. For at this point, she has turned her back on those who are in power, within witch society. So that vulnerability could mean them forcing her to get the book, as they almost did, or killing her just to make sure no one gets the book.
Question(s) Left Unanswered
- Did Matthew sire Marcus and Miriam? If so, why?
- What the hell was that thing in Gerbert’s room?
- Though most shows, especially in their first season, don’t really hit their stride until the 5th episode, A Discovery of Witches seems like it is ready to pick up and dash starting on episode 4. For while it is still building out its world, the rules of it, and what dangers Diana may face, I think it has established its identity at this point. This is a drama with sci-fi and fantasy elements. Magic, and otherworldly things may exist, but it isn’t a crutch. The focus is more so political and either gaining or maintaining power.
On The Fence
- This feels like the kind of show which you know would eventually lead to some kind of star-crossed romance but seems like it would do so much better without it. For while Matthew and Diana have something, I wouldn’t call it romantic or sexual chemistry. Her loneliness paired with his just makes them seem like good companions. Not two people you think should be making out and some kind of power couple.
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The series is based on the book of the same name in the All Souls Trilogy. Demons are actually daemons (which can be spoken as demon or day-mon) and it’s not demon as in fallen angel/creature of Hell/etc – (in ancient Greek belief) a divinity or supernatural being of a nature between gods and humans.
The show has made Matthew and Diana’s relationship start a bit more adversarial for some reason. In the text, it’s clear they are both attracted to each other despite it being against the rules and Matthew is quite charming. They’re condensing a big book into only 8 episodes as well as adding new content, so unfortunately some things are left out that sell certain aspects of the characters.