Not The End
The season 2 finale of A Discovery Of Witches begins with Diana finally harnessing her powers and tying the threads together. Goody oversees her progress but this intimate threadwork comes to an abrupt end when the visions shimmer out and fade. There’s another Weaver in London. Their arrival is certainly no accident but for now, Goody tells Diana to hold tight and let them come to her.
With this weighing heavily over her, Diana walks through the streets with Diana but pauses when he smells coffee. He hurries off to investigate and tracks down a time walker. Diana immediately recognizes him as Stephen Proctor – her Father! Apparently he’s been sent back to observe this time period and find Ashmole 782. That, of course, happens to be the Book Of Life.
Diana and Matthew show him the pages and explain how three have been ripped out (which are obviously in the present). Stephen’s unable to read it either and learns that Peter Knox is also after the Book. Given he’s obsessed with the dark arts, Stephen warns that f he gets hold of the book it could spell big problems for them all.
Stephen convinces them to keep the book in the past and to head back to the present where they will actually find their answers.
Speaking of which, in the present Agatha arrives at Bishop House with Nathaniel and Sophie. Marcus shows up with Phoebe too, as the four races now all happen to be together under the same roof.
At dinner, Marcus urges them all to put aside their prejudices and move past these old issues and evolve. Phoebe catches Ysabeau’s attention after dinner and the two have a heart to heart. It’s a brief conversation, but enough to impress Marcus’s grandmother who tells him he’s made an excellent choice in selecting her.
In Venice, Gerbert and Knox discuss the pages and decide to use a powerful witch to retrieve it. As Gerbert looks at Knox, he tells him to fetch.
Back in 1591, Matthew tells Gallowglass that he’ll be heading back to his present time soon. While they talk, Diana and Stephen discuss her time walking and the level her magic has grown too now. Stephen helps channel Diana’s power, mentioning how some witches would kill for that sort of power.
Knowing that this strikes a chord with her past, Goody vacates the room as Stephen and her have a heart to heart. Knowing he won’t survive this fight, Stephen congratulates his daughter on being pregnant and eventually takes his leave, ending this emotional reunion.
That isn’t the only ending though, as Diana and Matthew say goodbye to Jack too. Diana wants to make sure the boy has a bright future and tasks Hubbard to look after the child in her absence. She even offers her blood to seal the deal. He accepts her terms and takes a single drop of her blood, which subsequently allows him to experience her entire history. He promises to look after the child and bids farewell, being sure to call her full name as she goes.
With all their affairs tied up for now, Diana says goodbye to Goody too and hands over the chess piece to Susanna – the same piece that heads through time as it’s supposed to. Eventually they all say their goodbyes as Diana hands over a book for Jack.
Back in the present, Satu finally returns after a season-long hiatus by Peter Knox’s side. She suggests he enlist the help of her people but Knox refuses, arrogantly deciding he doesn’t need it and wants to use a stronghold to flush them out instead. Satu warns that his confidence will be his undoing.
Peter Knox heads down to the lake and begins reciting magic. As he does, Em happens to be outside conjuring up the ghostly spirit of Rebecca again. As she asks Rebecca for help, the spirit promises that once the book is complete it will change everything and reveal its true purpose. Unfortunately Knox shows himself before Rebecca can continue. Em hides the page of the book, Rebecca disappears and Knox begins his interrogation.
Knox rasps at the woman through gritted teeth to surrender the page. Em hangs on, refusing to let Peter best her. Back inside the house, Ysabeau warns that a powerful spirit is nearby as both Marcus and Sarah hurry out to try and save Em.
As Knox leaves Em lying in an unconscious heap on the floor, he takes off. Only, he walks straight into the path of Marcus who stops him in his tracks. The two immediately square off but the fight is short-lived when Knox puts the vamp to sleep and slithers off into the night.
Meanwhile, Domenico uncovers the blood-raged vampire but it launches at him and begins mauling his chest. As the blood raged vampire scurries off, Domenico heals up and continues on the hunt.
As Diana and Matthew prepare to jump back into the present, Sarah cradles Em and begs her to wake up again. Ysabeau holds the Knight’s emblem while Gerbert looks out at the horizon.
The Episode Review
The second season of A Discovery Of Witches bows out with a whimper rather than a roar. We don’t really learn anything across this season except the extent of Diana learning her magic, including a touching family reunion, and more of Matthew’s dark past.
In fact, aside from these two points, the rest of the season has meandered around various other characters who really haven’t had an awful lot to do. Knox and Gerbert spend most of their time scheming and wandering around Venice while there’s very little in the way of magical action.
Aside from the episode 9 skirmish that borrows heavily from the Satu incident in season 1, there’s not a lot going on here. Even worse, Satu is severely under-utilized, essentially disappearing for 9 episodes before being thrown back into the mix at the end. It’s obvious she’ll be used a lot more in season 3 but it still feels a bit disappointing.
Given fans have waited 2 years for this follow-up, the second season is quite good in truth but fails to capture the same magic the first managed to conjure with its simple but effective forbidden love angle.
The ending to season 1 hinted that this would be an action-packed follow-up too, but in reality we’re right back to square one again with no real development on the fight between races. If anything, it’s become a little more messy with the inclusion of humans into the mix.
While the individual episodes are a fun binge ride and easy to get through, it’s not been wholly memorable either. Compared to the brisk pace of season 1, the extra 2 episodes here definitely feel the weight of trying to juggle too much and yet spreading everything too thin. I’m not quite sure how the writers managed to achieve that but there we go.
While it’s not bad per-se, A Discovery Of Witches isn’t a great follow-up either. Instead, it fits snugly somewhere above mediocrity but not quite to the point of “very good”. It’s a shame for sure but hopefully we won’t have to wait quite so long for the third season.
As a finale though, the cliffhanger ending leaves things frustratingly unresolved and it’ll be interesting to see how fans react to this one.