“Once the world was full of wonders, but it belongs to humans now. We creatures have all but disappeared. Demons, vampires, and witches, hiding in plain sight, fearful of discovery, ill at ease even with each other. But as my father used to say, ‘In every ending, there is a new beginning.”
This is one of my favorite episodes of the season. We’ve had the Oxford episodes, the France episodes, and now we have the Madison episodes. We open with Diana and Matthew leaving Sept Tours, Diana back in her blue and gray. Ysabeau tells Matthew that whatever he needs, she’s ready to help. Ysabeau has really had quite the turn around on Matthew and Diana.
In the next scene, Diana and Matthew are driving to her aunts’ house in Madison. Diana is driving this time, which does make sense, as it would be driving on the wrong side of the road for Matthew. When they get to the house, no one is home because they wanted to give them some time alone with the house. This seems weird, but the reason why quickly becomes apparent. As Matthew starts to approach the door, things start shaking.
Back in Venice, Agatha is unhappy that neither Baldwin nor Domenico were able to retrieve Diana. Baldwin tries to throw attention off of himself by questioning Agatha’s interest in Diana. Agatha says her interest is in the Book of Life. Baldwin says that Diana will answer their questions after they find Satu, managing to get the attention off of himself again. He leads them to believe that Satu has Diana. Knox confirms the information by saying they found two distinct magical signatures, meaning that Satu is with another witch. Baldwin looks a little taken aback, as he knows Diana is in New York, but that second signature may have been Meridiana. Knox is unable to state whether Diana is with Satu as an ally or a prisoner. As they end the meeting, it’s clear that Baldwin suspects something about Agatha.
In Madison, Sarah and Emily return home, and the camera focuses on the back of Sarah’s car, filled with bumper stickers: “My other car is a broom”, “I am Pagan and I vote”, “Wiccan Army: We will not go silently into the night”. These stickers do seem to be Sarah if you were to create a portrait of her using bumper stickers.
Diana confronts her aunts about being spellbound. From their initial reactions, it’s clear that Emily knew something but Sarah had no idea. Emily tells them that she suspected, but she didn’t say anything because she felt she had to trust Rebecca and Stephen in their decision. They did it to protect Diana from Knox, who was obsessed with the idea that Diana inherited Rebecca’s powers. Diana is shocked and upset that Emily didn’t tell her after all this time and storms out of the house. Sarah starts to go after her, but Matthew stands up from where he was quietly sitting to block Sarah and say, “Let her go.” Sarah’s reaction, and Alex Kingston’s performance of it, is perfect. She looks at Matthew with utter contempt and says, “Excuse me?” in a tone that is not at all a question.
Suddenly, the house is changing and showing all of them what actually happened. We see Diana is in a bed as Rebecca tells her a story and Stephen does the spellbinding. Then they see Peter Knox visit and test Diana, who doesn’t demonstrate powers. Then, they see Rebecca and Stephen leaving, and Rebecca and Stephen seem to know they aren’t coming back. The goal is to get Knox and company to follow them and leave Diana alone. I do have to question the logic of that. Getting yourself voluntarily killed to draw attention away from your child seems shortsighted. Then your child is left vulnerable. It just doesn’t make sense and defies logic. But anyway, that’s the plot, so we’re going with it.
Moving on, Diana runs outside to a tree, where she finds her mother’s initials carved into the bark. Matthew shows up to reassure her that nothing is wrong with her and they discuss spellbinding. Diana realizes her magic was tied to need and that Matthew was in her mother’s story, as the Dark Prince. Somehow she knew that Diana would fall in love with Matthew. This is interesting because it brings up so many questions. Could they time travel? We saw her dad in the first episode. Also, if that were the case, wouldn’t traveling to the future to see what happened to Diana change if they took action to achieve that same future? The whole if you know the future, the very act of knowing it changes it. Or maybe it was something psychic? I wonder if they will go more into depth on how this happened, if not this season, then next, as we only have one more episode left for the season.
Back in the house, Sarah is so hurt that she can’t even look at Emily. Nonetheless, Emily tries to explain it to Sarah, who is also hurt that Rebecca trusted Emily, but not Sarah. Emily assures her that she did trust her, that’s why Diana was left in her care.
Satu is sitting in a chair next to Peter Knox while he sleeps. Not creepy at all. She has realized that he killed Rebecca and Stephen. Is Rebecca the Bishop? I wonder why Diana has that last name? As a result of the spell Satu cast on Diana when she was trying to see her powers, Satu has realized that Knox killed them doing the spell to open them up and get their powers. Knox tells Satu that Rebecca was headed towards leading the Congregation, which as far as Knox is concerned, would have allowed the witches to “really challenge the du Clermonts.” However, Stephen, who Knox describes as secretive and selfish “got into her ear” and he lost his hope for power. Satu sees this, and realizes that Knox loved Rebecca, or rather, loved the power he sensed in her. It wasn’t Rebecca’s dream to run the Congregation and challenge the vampires, it was the dream of Knox. Satu then tells Knox about the prophecy she heard about the end of the vampires, and how she thinks it’s about Diana. I guess Satu isn’t holding a grudge, as she wants to work with Knox to get Diana away from Matthew.
Sarah is trying to teach Diana to control her magic by teaching her simple spells, upsetting Matthew. They start bickering. Diana interrupts and says she’ll do what they both want, try the simple spells to learn control and practice more defensive magic to protect herself with Matthew.
While Diana is practicing, Matthew is in the kitchen with Emily, where he admires a wooden box that looks like it’s from the 17th century, except for the condition. Emily tells Matthew that the box was a present from Diana’s father, and Matthew realizes that Stephen was a time walker, otherwise known as a time traveler, shocking Emily. Matthew then asks about time walking and Emily says he would take Rebecca somewhere special for her birthday. Emily tells him that Stephen said he had to find three objects from the right time period in order to time walk.
Domenico arrives to talk to Juliette, who answers the door in her trademark red. He tells her that Baldwin is telling people that Satu is holding Diana, but Domenico thinks he’s lying. Juliette correctly assumes that Domenico thinks that Diana is still with Matthew. Domenico offers Diana’s file to Juliette. He’s goading her about the fact that she lives under Gerbert’s rule. He’s poking at all her insecurities. He gives her an ultimatum, that he’ll give her the file and she can go after Matthew on her own, or she can burn the file and prove Gerbert wrong.
Diana gets frustrated with her progress and then suddenly disappears. She reappears in the barn, very confused. Matthew hears her reappearance and thinks she just time walked.
In London, Agatha goes to visit Hamish, where she tells him about the situation with Sophie and Diana. The idea of cross-species families is brought up again, as something that would change everything. Agatha sees it as a possibility for daemons to have the status and understanding that they deserve.
Juliette and Gerbert are attending mass, where Baldwin is already in attendance. Gerbert tells him that Juliette was the one who offered Satu La Pierre as a location. Baldwin points out that Juliette does little without Gerbert telling her to. Gerbert then encourages Juliette to tell Baldwin what she told him. When she doesn’t answer, Gerbert reminds her that she offered Satu La Pierre because she wanted Diana to be dealt with. Juliette then says no, upsetting Gerbert. Juliette then gets up and walks out of the church, and out of Gerbert’s control, assuming you overlook the fact that her issues with Matthew are part of Gerbert’s control. Domenico is standing outside the church and looks pleased with himself as he sees Juliette walk by without Gerbert.
Diana is practicing sensing danger in the woods at night, in what is one of my favorite scenes on the show so far, with Matthew running past her at superhuman speeds, shouting encouragements. He runs a little too close and knocks her down, causing her to cut her hand. He stops to apologize, laughing a little at their clumsiness, and he sees that Diana has cut her hand and is bleeding. He immediately tells her he won’t harm her, which is a totally normal thing to say. Diana seems to think that, too, and reminds him of that night on the docks when he told her to walk past him slowly and DO. NOT. RUN. At this point she is laughing and kind of sticking her bleeding hand near his face. She then runs away, laughing, taking joy in the moment. Matthew is unable to control himself from going after her, and as he gets close, she is able to fly again. The landing is a little iffy, though, which leads to…
…Diana and Matthew are making out on the ground in the woods and then as “I Found” by Amber Run plays, they are
making out walking into the house, shedding clothes as they go. Once they reach Diana’s bedroom, Matthew pulls her pants off and the camera stays with Diana’s face again, the sexual encounter focused on her pleasure rather than his.
Afterwards, while they are lying in bed, Matthew tells Diana about the two human women he had harmed. He has concerns about hurting Diana. She doesn’t share these concerns, and just as you think it’s to go Bella Swan who just knows Edward won’t hurt her, it doesn’t. Diana assures Matthew that he won’t harm her because she isn’t human, she’s powerful, and while she does say he won’t harm her because he doesn’t want to, it is immediately followed up by her saying he won’t harm her because he can’t because she won’t let him.
The next morning a taxi pulls up and Miriam and Marcus get out. As Miriam walks by the cat, she hisses at it, which I love. As they get to the door, Marcus starts to open it as Sarah gets to the door, and they both kind of step back, at which point Emily jumps in to be hospitable. Miriam’s constant suspicion about everything witch related is hilarious.
They all sit in the living room, where Sarah expresses amazement that anyone can think they’re human. Miriam tells Sarah they smell like witches. Then Marcus chimes in to tell Sarah how much she looks like her ancestor, Sarah Bishop. (So this means Sarah and Rebecca were sisters. I had thought Sarah and Stephen were siblings). She taught Marcus how to set a broken leg at the Battle of Bunker Hill. Sarah starts to lose it, the concept of vampires protecting Bishop land too much for her. As she is getting upset, the house starts to shake. Matthew is about to disagree with her and begins with his usual “with respect” when Sarah finally loses it with Matthew and essentially tells him to shut up. This interaction is amazingly entertaining and Alex Kingston’s delivery is perfect.
The house stops shaking and Sarah picks an envelope off the floor that hadn’t been there before. Miriam comments on the strange smell and we see a message written on the envelope: “Diana, You’ll need this. Love Dad.” She opens it to find one of the missing pages from Ashmole 782. It’s a picture of a woman wearing white that Marcus observes to be wearing Matthew’s insignia. Miriam really wants the page so she can take it to a lab and run tests, but Sarah says they have a stillroom and she knows just the spell.
Back in Venice, Domenico is walking through a hallway for lack of a better term, when he sees Satu. She tries to use her magic against him, but is still depleted.
Diana, staring at the envelope, realizes she recognizes the handwriting from the writing on the first page of the Book of Life. He wrote the part, “In two parts, the first anatomical, the second psychological.” Matthew suggests that since she saw him outside the Bodleian, maybe he intended her to recognize the writing. He also surmises that may be why only Diana is able to summon the manuscript. Stephen wants Diana to have the Book of Life.
Baldwin and Domenico are meeting, with Baldwin aware that Domenico has Satu. Domenico has realized that Baldwin is going after Satu to distract from Diana. Baldwin expresses a desire to see Satu suffer, and then Domenico decides to keep Satu and leaves.
Diana and Matthew are practicing again, Matthew hiding in the woods. Diana is walking around with her eyes closed, and she senses a vampiric presence, but it’s not Matthew, it’s Juliette. Diana opens her eyes as she realizes the vampire she’s touching isn’t Matthew, and Juliette grabs her by the throat.
“The house has been known to misbehave with new people.” – Diana
“So it’s haunted.” – Matthew
“We’re witches. Of course it’s haunted.” – Diana
“I’d just rant and rage and go after Knox with a carving knife.” – Sarah
“Stephen might have been a little more discreet with his souvenirs had he known a vampire was gonna come a-callin’.” – Emily
“You will never harm me. I’m not human. I’m powerful. And you won’t hurt me because you don’t want to. You can’t. I won’t let you.” – Diana
“‘With respect’, Matthew? I’ve had about enough of you saying ‘with respect’ and doing or saying whatever you damn please.” – Sarah
“Oh dear, technical difficulties?” – Domenico
A Discovery of Witches Recap & Analysis – Episode 3 (liked by author Deborah Harkness)
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