“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.”
Matthew’s voiceover plays as he and Diana drive through the French countryside on their way to Sept Tours. The introductions are awkward to say the least, as his mother, Ysabeau, doesn’t even address Diana, and talks about her dislike of witches as if Diana isn’t standing right there.
Diana thanks her for letting her stay there and Ysabeau says, “Encantada.” Diana looks a little confused and Matthew translates it to ‘she’s pleased to meet you’. Ysabeau then says condescendingly, “Of course, she speaks only English and new French. Modern warm bloods are so poorly educated.” While the scene is a good depiction of the potential awkwardness of introducing someone new to your family, I thought the use of the word ‘encantada’ was a little silly. Even if you don’t speak older French, also known as Galician, you can figure out that it means something positive, particularly with the tone that Ysabeau uses, which is about the only word she says in this scene that is spoken politely.
After greeting Marthe, who has “been with their family for centuries” and offers to make up Diana’s bed, Matthew says he will do it as she’ll be sleeping in his tower. (I wish I had my own tower). Ysabeau’s reaction is again portraying the awkwardness of bringing someone new home and telling your parents you’re sharing a bed.
Diana is not an idiot and observes that Ysabeau doesn’t want her there. Matthew tries to make it sound better by saying they haven’t had visitors for a long time, but it’s obvious Diana is right and Ysabeau is not happy with the situation. Diana asks Matthew what happened to Phillippe. All he says is that Phillippe was killed during World War II.
Back in Oxford, Marcus goes to Matthew’s rooms, where he finds Juliette just sitting there, hanging out. Marcus is on the phone with Miriam at the time. Juliette asks about Matthew, and is clearly slightly deranged and gets physical, when she is upset by what Marcus says. As Juliette attacks Marcus, Miriam appears almost instantly and appears to be stronger than Juliette, so if this series is like other vampire films/series, Miriam is probably older than Juliette. Miriam tells Juliette, “Eternity is a long time to be chasing a man who doesn’t want you.” Ouch, but that is a truth.
In Sept Tours, Matthew wants to use Phillippe’s office, and we find out that witches killed Phillippe, and that Ysabeau still holds a grudge about it.
Diana is dreaming about her mother and all the spider webs again. She wakes to a phone call from Sarah, who freaks out about Diana being there, and tells Diana about the large number of witches that Ysabeau killed in South America. It’s worth noting that many Nazis escaped to South America after World War II.
We move to a Congregation meeting, where the members open a meeting room with a very elaborate key situation that made me think of Lord of the Rings and the different rings with one ring to rule them all, though nothing here suggests any of the keys have powers or are not equal. The room they go in appears empty except for some chairs, which makes it a little odd that it was locked so securely. Maybe there is something valuable in the room that is outside what we see? It could also be symbolic, requiring all members to have a meeting. I’ll be curious to see if three or nine end up having any significance.
During the meeting, we see Matthew back in France, looking at the crime scene photos of Dianas parents. Why do so many crime scenes on television have people with lost shoes? They’re always shoes with laces, too, which seem very unlikely to come off, even if one is attacked.
It turns out the Congregation meeting is an emergency meeting called by Knox to accuse Matthew of breaking Congregation rules by kidnapping a witch. Knox appears to present “proof” that Diana was being harassed or kidnapped, but we don’t see what that is. Knowing what we know, it is either something circumstantial that is taken out of context, or fake evidence. We also find out that Matthew has a brother, Baldwin, on the Congregation.
Diana is awake and asks (well, really tells) Matthew that witches were involved in Phillippes death. We learn that some witches worked with the Nazis during World War II. (So the witch deaths in South America were very likely witch Nazis).
In the lab, Marcus gets the news that the problem with his failed siring was with his blood, not his deceased friend.
Matthew is getting the horses ready, and Ysabeau and Marthe are watching. Marthe says she hasn’t smelled that much power for centuries. As they’re riding, Diana tells the horse, Rikasa, to run and we see both Diana and Matthew riding in a field, and they both are smiling and laughing, and it’s a beautiful shot of joy and beauty as the camera gets the freedom of riding, as well as a shot of the horses hoofs, running in sync with Diana and Matthew riding in sync, literally and figuratively.
The Congregation meeting is in full swing, and Peter Knox accuses Matthew of taking Diana against her will, but fails to provide all of the facts, such as any mention of the Book of Life, which Baldwin supplies, also deciding that a representative from the Congregation will be sent to Sept Tours to bring Diana back for questioning.
Meanwhile, Diana and Matthew have returned from their horse ride, and Diana thinks she should leave as her presence is upsetting Ysabeau. She says the Madison coven can protect her, and Matthew tells her there’s more involved than just Peter Knox. In his examination of the photographs of her parents crime scene, he saw a chalk witches circle, meaning her parents were killed by witches, not people fearing devil worship as Diana had always believed.
Satu confronts Knox about hiding the fact that he had examined Diana as a child, and Knox uses magic against her physically. This is the second instance of men using physical violence against women (Gerbert and Juliette being the first), which is disturbing. The dark way Satu looks after him as he leaves the room makes me wonder if she plans to get revenge.
Agatha calls Sophie to ask some questions about the statue. She has a drawing in her hand. Sophie tells Agatha she knows the person she is supposed to give the statue to is in alchemy because she’s had visions. The woman is in a castle with seven towers. (Sept Tour = French for Seven Towers, anyone?) The woman is with her dark king, who is presumably Matthew. So apparently, Sophie is supposed to give the statue to Diana, but it sounds like the statue has been in her family for a long time, possibly longer than Diana has been alive, so this is getting mysterious…
In Sept Tours, Diana is having a bath, the first instance of the theme of water in this episode. She sinks down under the water, the camera following her hair as it sinks in the water.
Matthew confronts Ysabeau and asks her to at least try to give Diana a chance. Ysabeau looks moved. Will she perhaps consider trying for Matthews sake?
We will soon find out, as Diana has walked downstairs and as she’s going through the hallway, Ysabeau asks her, “Didn’t my son warn you not to move from his tower?” Diana asks Ysabeau how her husband died, exactly, and it’s kind of rude, and Ysabeau takes offense. Diana continues, telling Ysabeau that her parents were murdered by witches, too. Ysabeau replies that witches are capable of anything. Diana points out that there is good and evil in all species, but her parents were good people. Diana tells Ysabeau: “I’m a witch who’s willing to make up her own mind, despite the stories I’ve heard about you.” Ysabeau tells her to make who ever did it pay. Damn!
At dinner, where Diana is wearing a blue bodysuit and Matthew is wearing a blue tie, we learn that vampires do drink a lot of wine, so I’m back to my thought from episode one that vampires drink red wine and witches drink white. Is there also anything relating to good or bad, as the white white drinking witches have been presented as the bad characters, while the red wine drinking vampires, and Diana, have been presented as the good characters.
Ysabeau makes a comment about horses being biddable, and Matthew replies with a sarcastic retort. Diana drinks her wine, looking like she wants to disappear from the awkward moment.
They move to a living room, where Matthew dances with his mother. Then he takes off his tie and gets Diana to dance with him. For someone who “can’t dance”, Diana is the quickest learner ever. The camera follows them spinning faster and faster to a point that I was almost feeling sick before Diana steps backward and we see she has started to glow. Matthew looks amazed. Ysabeau looks concerned.
Diana and Matthew are walking outside and start making out. After the scene earlier in the episode where Ysabeau said Diana “bewitched” him, they continue to beat the audience over the head with the metaphor, as Matthew says to Diana: “What spell have you put on me?”
In Oxford, Gillian is wrapping up a Coven meeting where she is actually defending Diana a little by telling the head of the Coven, Sylvia, that Diana doesn’t know much about Congregation rules. Sylvia tells Gillian that the more information they have on Matthew the better, and that Knox wants to know exactly what Matthew was doing in Oxford. The camera lingers on Gillian once she’s alone, and it’s clear that she is planning to do something to accomplish that.
Diana and Matthew are still walking on the grounds of Sept Tours when Domenico shows up. Matthew is immediately tense and tells Diana to go back to the house, which Diana flatly refuses to do. Ysabeau shows up, and Domenico tells Diana that she has to go to the Congregation for questioning and to hand over the Book of Life. Diana tells him that she doesn’t have the book, and that if they want it, they can get it themselves. She says this very confidently, not appearing afraid at all, and Matthew looks pleased at her standing up for herself. Matthew tells Domenico flat out that he’s refusing Congregation orders, and Domenico realizes the situation isn’t about the book, but about Matthews feelings for Diana. Domencio observes that Matthew and Diana are breaking the Covenant. Diana asks what the Covenant is, but isn’t answered and is ushered back in the house as Matthew attacks and threatens Domencio, who threatens to kill Ysabeau and Matthew in return. Then we learn that Matthew never told Ysabeau about the Book of Life. She suggests turning Diana over, because they won’t kill her if they turn her over, but they will if they don’t.
Inside, Marthe tells Diana about the Covenant, which forbids interspecies relationships. Phillippe was the one who created the rule. Diana asks Marthe what happens if creatures break it, and Marthe answers that to her knowledge it has never been broken.
Matthew comes back inside and tells Diana that there will be no more visits from the Congregation because they are not going to break the Covenant. This makes Diana angry. “You’re giving in,” she accuses Matthew. As he explains his reasoning, that the next visit will not be diplomatic, that if they break it and run, what then, etc., but what it really comes down to is Matthew is afraid. He’s afraid they will hurt Diana. Matthew Goodes tense jaw is like an extra character throughout this scene. Diana says they are bound together, observing that her magic started coming out when she met Matthew. This brings Sophie to mind, and her statement that Diana was with her “dark king.” Is there something literal to Diana noticing they are bound together, because it does seem coincidental that her magic started when she met Matthew, though she met Matthew right after getting the book out. Did her proximity to Matthew lead her magic to allow her to access the book, or did they magic from the book allow her magic to come out, and Matthew was just there at the same time?
Diana tells Matthew to stop, and it seems like an adult telling the high school bully to behave himself, but that is kind of how Matthew is acting. He is trying to drive Diana away. During the conversation, Matthew gets a phone call that someone has broken into the lab. Diana assumes that she’s going back to Oxford and Matthew says that she is staying there. Diana yells at him to stop making decisions for her, as she should, because he’s being an ass. He then asks Ysabeau to guard her with her life, to which Ysabeau agrees.
Before he leaves, Diana tells Matthew that she loves him. “How do you feel?” she asks him. Take away the Covenant, take away the Congregation, and how does he feel? “You know how I feel,” he says. Diana demands that he say the words, but he just leaves. Really, Matthew?
Diana follows Matthew out as he leaves, shrugging off Ysabeau when she tries to stop her. In the cobblestone driveway, Diana starts to cry, and the cinematography of this scene is beautiful. As her teardrop falls onto a stone, it splashes into more water than a single tear would contain. The camera pans back, and we see that it has started to rain. No, it has started to pour. We see Diana just standing in the downpour of her own creation.
Matthew is driving when the rain hits his windshield and he turns on the windshield wipers. There is no indication that he knows the rain is from Diana. Ysabeau and Marthe come out and see Diana standing in the rain. “My god, she’s doing this,” Ysabeau exclaims.
Diana looks up into the sky, water droplets on her face. It almost looks like it’s raining up instead of down. There is a wide shot of Diana, and it looks almost like she’s lost in the stars, as the raindrops shine in the light from the house. The scene cuts to black and credits.
This episode has a lot, and you wouldn’t be alone if you ended it feeling like you had emotional whiplash. There’s a lot of symbolism with the water, the castle, the statue, the continuation of blue on Diana and Matthew, red on Juliette, we could go on, but we will have to wait until next week to see where it all leads. We’re halfway through the season. This episode was really good and I’m enjoying the show so far. I have no idea how they will wrap it all up with only four more episodes!
What were your thoughts on episode four? Leave your observations and favorite moments in the comments!
-Diana and Matthew go horseback riding.
-Diana and Matthew dance
-Diana uses Witch Water
“I thought you prided yourself on being a radical.” – Matthew
“I have never been a radical.” – Ysabeau
“It seems to me that every vampire appointed over the last 900 years has been a white male.” – Agatha
“There’s good and evil in every species.” – Diana
“She’s too willful for my liking. Fiddats more biddable. As I get older, I find that quality admirable in horses.” – Ysabeau
“And in sons.” – Matthew
“Let him lead! [whispers] In the dance, at least.” – Ysabeau
“We are bound together.” – Diana
A Discovery of Witches Recap & Analysis – Episode 3 (liked by ADOW author Deborah Harkness herself!)
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