A Trip Down Memory Lane
We begin episode 1 of A Discovery of Witches Season 2 with Peter Knox and Satu just missing Matthew and Diana as they escape. Realizing they’re on the hunt for the Book of Life, they eventually work out they’ve escaped to the past where they can’t be tracked easily. In fact, they’re in 1590, smack bang in the middle of London 1590.
Matthew and Diana touch down in the streets and find refuge in the former’s old home. Given he’s over 1500 years, there’s certainly a lot to history here. Anyway, Matthew shows up and introduces Diana as his wife to the various others in the house. Kit is none too happy and immediately walks away after Matthew promises he’s not under a spell.
With tensions stifled for now, Matthew and Diana realize they’re 60 miles off-course. Given he’s back in the thick of his past life, Matthew realizes he may need to adopt his old persona to prevent suspicions arising. First things first though – speak to Kit and help this blow over.
Kit and Matthew come to blows though and unfortunately the former is in no mood to accept a witch in their household. The hired help, Francoise, is a little more kind toward Diana and promises to help get her a new wardrobe shortly.
For now though, Diana and Matthew head downstairs and discuss the Book of Mysteries and its origins. Diana, of course, knows it exists and does her best to adopt an old English voice. Unfortunately, it’s not going to fool anyone and she’s forced to go into hiding for now.
Diana promises Matthew she’ll do her best to learn magic and get them home again. “Believe me,” Matthew says, kissing her hand, “I’m counting on it.” While Matthew heads out for the night, Diana is awoken by a strange presence – a familiar aura she knows as a witch.
With her robe and hood up, she heads out into the streets and follows from afar. There, she finds Sophie – or at least Sophie’s ancestor. Miss Norman hurries off before she can say anything but Diana is sure this is all connected together. Given the chess piece back in present day London, it could be all connected with Miss Norman becoming her teacher.
Matthew is not happy when he finds out about Diana’s trip, bemoaning her galivanting off into the streets alone.
Eventually the duo come to a decision to head out together, with Diana finally dressed for the occasion in new clothes. As they walk, they find old St Paul’s Cathedral and marvel at its size. As Matthew draws closer to the cathedral, he catches sight of someone from his past – an associate of Kit’s. Unfortunately this man works for William Cecil, the man Matthew takes orders from.
Before he faces him, Matthew heads speaks to William Pole, who’s rattled by his presence. It turns out Matthew was sent up North to deal with witches in Scotland but now that he’s back, Pole isn’t quite sure why.
Matthew plays his part well, especially when he uses this knowledge of him being a spy to speak to William Cecil. Unfortunately Matthew isn’t getting away that easy, and he’s told to stay close so the Lord can call upon him again when needed.
Diana goes searching around the house in the middle of the night and uncovers a secret room full of letters. Unfortunately Francoise spots her snooping around just as Diana learns the truth about Matthew. It turns out he’s actually a catholic and currently in the midst of betraying his own people. When Matthew returns home, Diana tells him he looks older. It’s clear this trip down memory lane is taking its toll on him.
Anyway, they bring fort Miss Norman the next day and sure enough, she happens to be a witch. Diana tries her best to conjure her own magic but instead of reigniting a flame, she causes the fruit in the bowl to melt and dissolve.
The woman hurries out, but as Diana follows she bumps into a young boy called Jack whom she takes in for refuge. Diana asks him about the rumours circulating about her being a witch. It turns out these originated in a tavern called The Lamb.
That evening, Matthew grabs Kit by the neck and begins choking him out, learning he’s the one who’s been spreading these rumours. Eventually, Matthew and Diana open up and admit the truth about how they’ve traveled there – and why. They believe the Matthew from this time period may well have been “displaced”, which explains why Matthew hasn’t bumped into his past self and writes away any awkward paradox issues.
That evening, Kit and Diana have a heart to heart, with the former warning Diana that she’s out of her depth, Given what Matthew is capable of, Kit worries for her safety. As the episode closes out, we see Matthew in a jail cell allowing a prisoner to be tortured.
The Episode Review
A Discovery of witches is back and with a slightly slower episode this time around, we avoid any big conflict with the vampires and instead jump back through time to 1590’s England. Here, we get a glimpse at Matthew’s past and it looks like we’re gearing up for more trouble in paradise between this troubled pair.
It’s clear Matthew has a pretty dark history and in a way this reminds me of Angel/Angelus from both Buffy and Angel. He too had a dark past and A Discovery of Witches channels that same sort of energy into this conflicted vampire.
While there isn’t a lot of plot development per-se, this episode does set some foundations for the season ahead. Thankfully, the acting remains great from both leads and this, combined with the gorgeous visual effects and set design, make for a lavishly produced fantasy series ahead. Roll on the next episode!