Diana’s magic is coming alive!
On A Discovery of Witches Season 2 Episode 3, Diana continues her sessions with Goody and Susanna and friends to great effect, but her training has to take a backseat again as she’s about to make a long journey with Matthew.
The history of science professor also found herself face to face with Queen Elizabeth, once a dream that frightened Diana more than she imagined.
The scale of the production for A Discovery of Witches Season 2 doesn’t seem too involved when you consider the size of the cast, but when you see what it accomplishes bringing history and magic to life, you realize what a thoughtful and skilled endeavor it is.
Seeing this story burst to life on screen is a marvel, and this episode offered many scenes that popped.
Matthew and Diana traveled back in time to find the Book of Life aka Ashmole 782 and to release Diana’s magic so that she would fully grasp her potential.
Matthew believes that Diana is the key to understanding everything about creatures and how they were created. By the time Diana begins weaving her first spell, gingerly plucking at elemental threads to create something unique to her, it’s easy to understand why she’s so important.
Even the tests that the witches use for other recruits don’t suit Diana, not because she’s not disciplined enough to work through them but because she’s working with powers at a level that is rarely seen.
Goody: Regard the room with your witch’s sight and tell me what you see.
Diana: Threads of light.
Goody: That is the warp and weft of all life in the cosmos made visible.
I could feel Diana’s frustration as the elemental threads began dancing around her, and she couldn’t grasp a single one of them. It was overwhelming to see so much at one time. It wasn’t as simple as picking the brightest element because they all shone so bright to her.
Diana: The others probably don’t even believe that I am a weaver.
Goody: They’ve never met your like before. Nor have I. Most witches only have one element in their blood, and they only see the threads of those elements, so it’s easy for them to choose between them, but you saw them all.
It took Goody a bit to process it, and in that time, Diana pouted, wishing that she wasn’t taking so long to understand her magic. Goody continues to caution Diana to have patience, as she knows that every fiber of a witch’s being is needed to hone their craft.
The others continued working with Diana until she got a flair for the threads, and she began weaving right before their eyes. Those scenes were quite impressive. The threads were varying thicknesses and danced between those creating them and Diana as she plucked them.
When she got to the third knot of her first elemental spell, she set free a tree that would usher people between dimensions or worlds. That spell wasn’t even complete, but it was fantastic!
And I have to ask. How does she know what she’s doing? I can’t remember from the book if it was explained to Diana what she had to be thinking when she was weaving or how to use each element within her spells.
It didn’t seem like she had any specific direction to her thread choices other than her happiness to have manipulated them. So how did she weave something as significant as the dimension traveling spell, and what would have happened if she had tied the fourth knot?
If she was so transformed with three knots, shouldn’t she get a little more information about what comes next before she tied a fourth?
She’s going to have to take a breather from weaving for her journey with Matthew, but the more she follows her instincts, the clearer she will be with her magic.
She feels it, and although Goody and Matthew both wanted her to stay behind for her lessons, there is more to magic than learning, and Diana knows it.
Word has gotten around that Matthew is married, and he’s managed to annoy a good number of people by keeping that special news in the dark. Add to it that he and Diana seem to be on the hunt for something they are also keeping secret, and it’s ruffling a few feathers.
The first ruffled feathers come from Lord Burghley and William Cecil, and Father Hubbard. Even if he’s had to kill a person or two to keep things under control, he’s been dealing with them rather effectively.
But when Queen Elizabeth calls, you don’t have any choice but to address the situation. She’s concerned that Matthew is a traitor. She’s concerned that by marrying, he will no longer abide by her wishes. She’s got a lot of thoughts swimming through her head.
Diana: I never thought I’d be so desperate not to meet Queen Elizabeth.
Matthew: Queen Elizabeth trusts me implicitly. Even Cecil cannot change that. Overnight.
Diana, who once imagined what it would be like to meet the Queen, finds that reality doesn’t give her the warm fuzzies s much as it makes her quake in her boots.
It’s Diana and Matthew’s love for each other and their commitment to each other, even though their marriage is quite false, that drives them to make all of the right moves for the Queen and in their many other endeavors.
Diana: I often thought about what I’d ask her if I ever met her.
Matthew: Nothing. She’ll ask the questions. Keep the answers short.
Diana wisely swears loyalty to the Queen and ensures her majesty that Matthew will always answer to her first. The Queen is quite impressed, and when she discovers that they need Edward Kelly, she’s willing to listen to a plan that will benefit them both.
It’s ironic that Queen Elizabeth, who at this time is quite far into her reign and no longer a young woman, wants to live forever. Edward Kelly claims to know how to bring forth the Philosopher’s Stone, and Elizabeth longs for its magic to give her everlasting life.
Yet the Queen also knows that Matthew is a vampire. If she wants everlasting life, why hasn’t she ever hit him up for a little of what he’s got? Surely, he wouldn’t have denied her. But now that she’s waited so long, rejuvenation woudl be just as imperative as defying death.
The Queen was hardly a comely woman in 1590. If I reached a ripe age and was offered eternal life, it might be a tough sell without the guarantee that I would be somewhat rejuvenated. I assume that’s what’s got Elizabeth on the hunt for the stone, but it’s still ironic.
The other person quite out of sorts is Philippe de Clermont.
We finally met Gallowglass in the flesh, and I’m quite thrilled with Stephen Cree’s interpretation of the character. He came at a time Matthew needed another friend since he believed he was betrayed by Kit.
Kit didn’t betray him, of course, but to take his mind off of that, Gallowglass’ arrival came at the most opportune time. He came with a message from Philippe, though, which was not welcome.
There is so much wrapped up with the idea that Matthew will see his father again some 70 years after he last saw him, ravaged by Nazis and close to death.
I loved how he recalled how much Philippe enjoyed writing and how it touched him seeing his father’s wax seal on a letter and the handwriting he had once known and loved so well.
It frightens Matthew to see his father again, knowing what is to become of him. He doesn’t want to hurt Philippe, but he’s always been honest with Philippe, which is probably why Philippe is demanding a visit. It’s unlike Matthew to keep something so significant as a marriage from his father.
But everything that Matthew knew about finding his mate came by way of his father, so there is a lot for him to wrap his head around when it comes to Diana and Philippe meeting, too. Let’s say that their journey will deliver one of the best episodes of the second season.
While all of this was going down, Diana and Matthew had also settled into parenting, something they did so naturally that they never even took a breath to discuss what it meant to have Jack in their lives.
This relationship reminds me so much of Outlander‘s Jamie, Claire, and Fergus. But while I was always put off by how Claire felt about Fergus when he was younger, Diana is overjoyed at spending time with and protecting Jack.
It also warms her heart to see how Matthew and Jack together.
It has been so very long since Matthew had a young child of his own, but he was once a family man, and a good one, at that. He’s far removed from that life, but he’s not forgotten how to protect and soothe a child when they’re fearful.
They’re both going to have a hard time leaving Jack behind for the journey to see Philippe, but they arranged for Jack to have something special to remember them by. And it seems like a good time to point out that they know they’re going back to the future. Was there a plan for Jack?
It seems almost cruel to allow Jack to fall in love with them as parents and for them to disappear into the future without him, leaving him alone once again. Did they think this through?
Their future is not an afterthought. Matthew wants Diana to study magic to get them home again. You could argue that he’s home now, but it’s clear that he’s lived this life, and he’s ready to get back to the one that offers an unclear way forward. It probably isn’t all that fun reliving the past, after all.
Emily is dipping her toes into some magic that seems like it will wield uncertain results. Why did she look so frightened when she tried calling forth Rebecca? Who was in the smoke? I couldn’t tell.
Domenico was very excited at discovering a vampire-ravaged dead body because he knows the de Clermont line was laced with blood rage, and when he saw that body, it meant only one thing. Blood rage is alive and well, and Gerbert can use it to destroy the de Clermont line once and for all.
So, yes, there is a lot ahead. What about this episode was the most exciting part for you? Don’t forget that you can watch A Discovery of Witches online to relive it all from the beginning.
Please drop below and share your thoughts on this episode!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She’s a member of the Critic’s Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.