A Discovery of Witches Recap & Analysis – Episode 5

Teresa Palmer, Diana Bishop, Matthew Goode, Matthew Clairmont, A Discovery of Witches
Image Credit: AMC/Bad Wolf

“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 use to say, ‘In every ending, there is a new beginning.”

 

This is another amazing episode with a crazy cliffhanger! I’ve included a lot of visuals again to help illustrate points.

 

Matthew is driving during the voiceover and we pick up the next morning.

Teresa Palmer, Diana Bishop, A Discovery of Witches, gif
Image Credit: AMC/Bad Wolf

Diana is back in the bath, under water, seemingly still recovering from her water magic the night before. As she lifts her head out of the bath water in a shot that is opposite the scene in the previous episode, the camera follows her with a close up as she lifts out of the water. Then she turns and we see Ysabeau and Marthe staring at her, towels in hand. I’m not sure if this creepy or they are just showing concern.

 

We quickly learn that it was Witch Water, and much like her Witch Wind, it is magic that hasn’t been seen for centuries. And from that, Ysabeau tells Diana to get dressed because they are going hunting. The hunting metaphor is big in this episode. So are circles, though I guess they have been a theme for the whole series.

 

Back in Oxford, Matthew meets with Miriam and Marcus, where he learns that nothing was stolen from the lab, but the intruder tried to hack into the servers. Of course, according to Miriam, it couldn’t be done. Miriam accuses Matthew of being the cause of the problem, as the lab had never been bothered before he began to “mate” with a witch. This is the first time we have heard that phrase, and it sounds odd to the modern ear, but I assume it is meant as an old-fashioned term at this point. Apparently, Miriam is the only one of them to have ever mated before, but we get no additional details of what mating consists of or if it does mean something different or specific. Matthew recognizes the scent of Gillian in the lab and goes after her.

Matthew Goode, Matthew Clairmont, Louise Brealey, Gillian Chamberlain, A Discovery of Witches
Image Credit: AMC/Bad Wolf

Much like in episode two, we see two creatures, Matthew and Ysabeau, hunting in different ways. Ysabeau is hunting for food, and to scare Diana as an added bonus, while Matthew is essentially stalking Gillian, then taunts her when he catches up to her. He’s sort of playing with his food. Then Matthew bites her, which I was a little shocked by at first, but then realized he did it to get the information about what she did in the lab. It turns out she took pictures of everything on her phone, which he takes, in contrast to Ysabeau, who is just eating a fox matter of factly, though disgustingly.

Lindsay Duncan, Ysabeau du Clermont, A Discovery of Witches, gif
Image Credit: AMC/Bad Wolf

Matthew just leaves Gillian lying there in the middle of the sidewalk. Is she dead? This juxtaposes with Ysabeau asking Diana if she can be with Matthew if he kills, as this is the nature of vampires. It brings the question to the forefront of when is killing okay for vampires? For Matthew? For Diana? Does the ends justify the means? So far we haven’t seen Matthew kill anyone for food. We’ve only seen him hunt animals for sustenance.The only characters we have seen kill at this point are Satu, in episode one, and Juliette, in episode two. Interestingly, they are also the only female characters we have seen that have had men commit violent acts against them.

 

Gillian, who is not dead, manages to crawl to Sylvia’s door, where she tells Sylvia, and in turn, Knox, that Matthew is studying witch DNA. Did she notice the other DNA they’re studying or just only focus on the witch aspects of the science? It’s not fully clear if the witches are concerned about the study of DNA of any other creature.

 

Diana calls Sarah to make sure she is still alive find out how she is, and we find out that they never told her about the Covenant because it wasn’t relevant to her life. They tell her she can’t break the Covenant, and Diana is indignant, telling Sarah that she loves Matthew, and the Congregation can’t tell her who to love.

Matthew Goode, Matthew Clairmont, Greg McHugh, Hamish Osborne, A Discovery of Witches, gif
Image Credit: AMC/Bad Wolf

Matthew goes to visit Hamish. Hamish encourages Matthew to pursue his relationship with Diana, even though he is concerned she will find out about his past. Hamish tells him not to make decisions for Diana, as in let her make up her own mind about her past. He knows about it and still loves Matthew. During the conversation, we learn that Hamish is in a relationship with a human. So even if Marthe didn’t know about it, the Covenant has been broken before, and is being broken currently. However, Matthew admits he was fooling himself to think the Congregation wouldn’t care about a relationship between a du Clermont vampire and a Bishop witch. It’s not really the interspecies relationship that is the issue, but the power within it, the politics that are the problem.

 

Ysabeau takes Diana on a tour of Matthew’s human life. We learn he was born in the same French village that they currently live in, and became a craftsman. He built the local church. We also learn he was married and had a son, but both of them died from fever. There is a stone dedicated to them in the church, with multiple circluar shapes on it. Ysabeau tells Diana that Matthew’s true love has always been his wife, Blanca. She also points out that Diana and Matthew can never have children. I’m not sure if Ysabeau dislikes Diana or just knows they will have a major problem being together because the Congregation will pursue them and she is trying to protect them from that. She doesn’t say any of the words to Diana cruelly, but matter of factly.

 

After the death of his family, Matthew fell or jumped off the tower of the church. Ysabeau found him and offered to turn him, though she now believes that he didn’t know what he was agreeing to. Diana tells her that if she thought her blood could save him, she would do it. In a vampire show, this feels like foreshadowing. Is Diana’s blood going to save him?

 

Ysabeau tells Diana that after Matthew was turned, he would go into a rage and disappear. Philippe forbid her from asking about it, which seems out of character for Ysabeau. She doesn’t come across as someone who could be forbidden from doing anything by anyone.

Congregation, A Discovery of Witches, gif
Image Credit: AMC/Bad Wolf

The Congregation is meeting again to talk about Diana and Matthew, but Diana in particular. They argue about how to and who will get Diana. Baldwin gets angry and says he will do it, as it’s his house.

 

Satu wants to magically examine Diana. Knox says that a living witch cannot be put through that, and it seems that if Knox even thinks it’s bad, it must be really bad. After a mention of the vampires, Knox tells Satu that it’s long been rumored that Gerbert keeps a witch in his thrall. Presumably, this is the head in the box. Ew.

 

Daemons are meeting in a cafe, when Sophie arrives to tell Nat that she needs to talk to his mom, because she needs to pass the statue to Diana even though she doesn’t yet know Diana’s name.

Teresa Palmer, Diana Bishop, A Discovery of Witches, gif
Image Credit: AMC/Bad Wolf

Meanwhile, Diana is rifling through sitting at Matthew’s desk. She finds blocks that look like they belonged to his son Lucas in remarkably good shape for being 1500 years old, and then a secret drawer with metals that indicate the du Clermont’s involvement with the Knights of Lazarus. The metal has writing on it in a circular pattern, which Diana traces with her finger, obviously making a circular shape.

Matthew Goode, Matthew Clairmont, A Discovery of Witches, gif
Image Credit: AMC/Bad Wolf

Matthew has a piece of Diana’s hair, which I initially thought was floss, until he started smelling it. That was a little weird, too, but I guess it was to convey that Matthew misses Diana. Matthew calls Diana and the conversation is a little stilted and awkward. Matthew looks incredibly tense, but that could also be from the scratches on his neck from Gillian, the stress from the witches knowing about their laboratory research, or stress about the Covenant. After Matthew’s humorous response to being described as a mixture between Superman and Lancelot, there is a loaded moment of silence, where the camera goes back and forth between Matthew and Diana, both looking slightly nervous and awkward. Knowing about Matthew’s conversation with Hamish, the nervousness on Matthew’s end may be because he’s decided to continue his relationship with Diana and break the Covenant. Her awkwardness may be concern about the opposite. The moment is broken when Diana asks if everything is okay and Matthew responds very logistically, telling her nothing was stolen. Diana then reacts almost diametrically opposite, asking, “Was it witches?” in a very playful tone. Matthew brushes her off. The disappointment is evident on Diana’s face as she tells him she’s going to bed to end the call.

blood test, A Discovery of Witches, gif
Image Credit: AMC/Bad Wolf

After the phone call, Matthew grabs a bag with Diana’s hair and gets her blood out and starts running tests. The scene tints blue, in contrast to the bright red of the blood and has some great visuals, with the spinning whatever they ares (more circles), and then the drop of blood floating out through the water in the beaker. It also makes use of a bunch of close ups, including one of Matthew’s eyes and some of the instruments with the liquids, first the red blood, and later the blue liquid. There are a lot of contrasts. While he’s running the tests, a great song is playing, “For You” by Rae Morris.

Aiysha Hart, Miriam Shepherd, A Discovery of Witches, gif
Image Credit: AMC/Bad Wolf

By manually comparing the data, he finds that there are similarities between Diana’s DNA and pre-11th century witches. Miriam states that everything before has pointed to species decline, and Matthew says it changes everything, meaning Diana’s DNA shows an increase in powers, contradicting their previous data showing declining powers. Miriam is very excited!

Teresa Palmer, Diana Bishop, Matthew Goode, Matthew Clairmont, A Discovery of Witches, gif
Image Credit: AMC, Bad Wolf
Teresa Palmer, Diana Bishop, Matthew Goode, Matthew Clairmont, A Discovery of Witches, gif
Image Credit: AMC/Bad Wolf

The next morning, Matthew returns to Sept Tours. Diana gets dressed, in blue, and runs outside to meet him (also in blue) on some conveniently sloped cobblestone (it does look pretty in the shot though), where she demands he finally tell her how he feels. He says that if he does, there’s no turning back. Diana tells him that Ysabeau made her understand. That’s kind of vague based on what we saw, but I guess they are referring to the fact that Matthew hasn’t “mated” with anyone since Blanca? As we know he had a sexual relationship with Juliette, it isn’t like he hasn’t been with anyone, so it must go back to the way they use the term mated. We’ll call it a non-legal decision to be together.

Teresa Palmer, Diana Bishop, Matthew Goode, Matthew Clairmont, A Discovery of Witches, gif
Image Credit: AMC/Bad Wolf

The scene itself is romantic. After Matthew says there’s no turning back, he holds his hand up to Diana’s and they entwine fingers, then kiss (which is where the sloped cobblestone comes in – Diana is 10 inches shorter than Matthew or Matthew is 10 inches taller than Diana, however you want to look at it. According to IMDb, Teresa Palmer is 5’4.5″, which seems oddly specific, and Matthew Goode is 6’2″). During this exchange, we see Ysabeau is watching from the window, looking less than thrilled.

Teresa Palmer, Diana Bishop, Matthew Goode, Matthew Clairmont, Lindsay Duncan, Ysabeau du Clermont, A Discovery of Witches, gif
Image Credit: AMC/Bad Wolf

Diana and Matthew go inside and in this moment, Ysabeau kicks ass. Matthew says they will leave if they aren’t welcome, and Ysabeau calmly (though a little offended/hurt, I think) tells Matthew, “Your fight is now my fight.” She even gives Diana a hug! She tells Diana that the women of the du Clermont family defend themselves. Obviously. No one we’ve seen as of yet seems delicate or like a pushover. I’m kind of assuming Miriam is in their family in some way, in spirit if nothing else.


Satu is floating through Venice when she looks like she has an idea, and I doubt it’s a good one. Gerbert gives the severed head some of his blood, and she gives the prophecy again. “Beware of the witch with the blood of the lion and the wolf, for with it she will destroy the children of the night.” We’ve heard this before, and Gerbert is bored of it, too. He threatens to withhold his blood. Does the blood keep her alive or act as some kind of drug that she’s addicted too? Either way it’s f*cked up and I could have done without the close up of her licking her lips. “Two, light, dark. One, close.” Then it’s back to repeating the prophecy. So we’re wondering the same thing as Gerbert. Is the light witch or the dark witch the one with the blood of the lion and the wolf? Since she said two, is it the combination of their bloods? We also don’t know if the light and dark refers to their hair or their soul. That sounds really dramatic, but I mean whether they have good intentions or bad, though I guess that matches the hair colors so it’s the same either way.

Teresa Palmer, Diana Bishop, Matthew Goode, Matthew Clairmont, A Discovery of Witches, gif
Image Credit: AMC/Bad Wolf

Matthew tells Diana she has all the elemental markers, including earth, which means she should be able to cast spells. Diana reiterates that she has never felt connected to magic. Matthew tells her that her magic is acting like it wants to get out. Matthew starts to tell Diana about Gillian, but she doesn’t want to talk anymore.

Teresa Palmer, Diana Bishop, Matthew Goode, Matthew Clairmont, A Discovery of Witches, gif
Image Credit: AMC/Bad Wolf

Taking things into the bedroom, Matthew asks Diana about bundling. That seems like a prudish perspective for someone 1500 years old, but to each his own. Matthew takes off his shirt and tells Diana she might not like what she sees. He is covered in scars. It reminded me of the wedding night scene in Outlander when Claire looks at Jamie.

Teresa Palmer, Diana Bishop, Matthew Goode, Matthew Clairmont, A Discovery of Witches, gif
Image Credit: AMC/Bad Wolf

Matthew tells Diana that when she’s gone, his life will be over. Does he mean that literally, like he plans to kill himself, or in an emotional sense? Other than that very dramatic statement, this scene is kind of joyful. They are making out, then Matthew is touching Diana, ahem, intimately, and afterwards Diana starts laughing, and Matthew joins her. They joke around and laugh before kissing again as the scene ends.

Teresa Palmer, Diana Bishop, Matthew Goode, Matthew Clairmont, A Discovery of Witches, gif
Image Credit: AMC/Bad Wolf

Juliette is back in Venice, and Domenico finds her and tells her that Matthew has moved on with Diana, which angers her. He also tells her he knows where Matthew is and tells her they are both at Sept Tours. Juliette tells Domenico that she can’t go without Gerbert’s permission.

 

The next morning, Diana wakes up and goes for a run, going through the circular stone paths in the garden while Matthew is still sleeping. Diana pauses to catch her breath, and is suddenly lifted off the ground and taken away in the air by an unknown figure.

 

Who took Diana? Juliette? Satu? Gerbert? Knox? Some combination of them?

 

Best Moments:

 

-Matthew visiting Hamish.

-Matthew’s return to Sept Tours and reunion with Diana.

-The bundling scene.

 

Best Lines:

 

“Well, I try.” – Matthew, on being a mixture of Superman and Lancelot

 

“I don’t think that’s bundling.” – Diana

“Well, it is in France.” – Matthew

 

A Discovery of Witches Recap & Analysis – Episode 7

A Discovery of Witches Recap & Analysis – Episode 6

A Discovery of Witches Recap & Analysis – Episode 4

A Discovery of Witches Recap & Analysis – Episode 3 (liked by author Deborah Harkness)

A Discovery of Witches Recap & Analysis – Episode 2

A Discovery of Witches Recap & Analysis – Episode 1

 

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  5 comments for “A Discovery of Witches Recap & Analysis – Episode 5

  1. Kate
    May 8, 2019 at 5:15 pm

    Excellent recap and analysis!! Love all the pics, gifs too. 🙂 thank you!! Though this show does have a lot of flaws, I enjoy seeing Matthew Goode as a smart, charming vampire. His dark side is both scary and sexy. 😉

    • Karen Fredrickson
      May 8, 2019 at 8:50 pm

      I’m so glad you’re enjoying the show!

      • Richard
        May 14, 2019 at 7:10 am

        Can you tell me the name of the goth-like band used in the night club/disco scene? The mood was perfect

        • Karen Fredrickson
          May 15, 2019 at 1:23 pm

          I’m sorry, I don’t know. I tried Shazaam but I don’t think it could pick it up over the dialogue.

  2. May 16, 2019 at 4:55 pm

    In Oxford, Nathaniel (Daniel Ezra)  is having dinner with a group of daemons and debating about being hidden and the Congregation when Sophie (Aisling Loftus)  turns up. She says she had a weird dream with Agatha, the witch, and her dad who said she had to tell the truth. Sophie wants to speak to Agatha and tell her the truth about who she is, which Nathaniel is against significantly at first, but he eventually agrees.

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