Diana Bishop & The Order of The Rede
We begin episode 2 of A Discovery of Witches Season 2 with Cecil and Matthew continuing to torture the poor man in the tower, asking him outright if the witches are working against the crown.
In Lapland, Finland (the present day) we catch up with Satu who returns home and immediately speaks to her Mother. It turns out she was raised in Finland for protection. With a single angry tear straying down her cheek, Satu tells her she wants to understand who she is and learn more.
Back in 1590, Diana continues to try and find a teacher which brings her before an alchemist called Mary Sidney. With Matthew by her side, she unfortunately declines but instead offers her friendship instead. Looks like Diana is going to have to wait longer for a teacher!
Matthew has more important matters though, as he’s forced by the Lord to go after Thomas Caldwell, the man in the tower. He’s told to “talk” (see: gain a confession by any means necessary) and sent on his way. As Matthew heads out, he’s stopped by three vampiric summons who work for a guy called Hubbard.
This man happens to rule over the city of London and he wants to see Matthew and Diana that very night, which doesn’t pose well for them. As w soon find out, this vampire took advantage of the Black Death and seized control in the chaos. It turns out there’s a treaty between Matthew’s family and Hubbard’s, promising to stay out of each others’ way. It seems this is being tested with Diana in this time period, leading to a rather uneasy standoff that very night.
The duo meet Hubbard who comments on their scars and how Matthew could be put to death if anyone finds out what’s going on between them. Diana admits that she fed Matthew willingly in the past and proceeds to tell him she did so to make sure he didn’t die. Diana’s recklessness seems to have done the trick with him, as Hubbard lets them go. However, it’s clear this isn’t the last we’ll see of Hubbard.
The next day, Diana invites Miss Norman back to their place. With Matthew out, she tries to help Diana channel her powers. Well, it seems to do the trick as the egg cracks and inside happens to be a healthy chick. Miss Norman sits thoughtfully and tells Diana that she’s proven herself. Now, she’ll take her to the most powerful witch in England, Goody Alsop.
Matthew deliberates over interrogating Thomas Caldwell or not, despite the hired help telling him to get a move on. Instead, he drinks with Kit and eventually divulges fragments of his future. Kit warns him not to disobey Cecil’s orders as Matthew eventually takes his leave.
Matthew joins Diana as they visit Alsop’s house together. This old lady touches the girl’s face and reveals that the Auguries have been prophesizing her arrival for a long time. It turns out Diana is a Weaver, the third of her kind and a maker of spells. This would explain her sporadic spells in the past and why she doesn’t rely on the conventional rules of magic like other witches.
It turns out Diana’s Father was a Weaver too – a self-taught witch. This woman can see the last threads of his spellbinding still imprinted on her, which was made with love to protect her.
Diana asks Goody for help in harnessing her power, but in order to do so will need to consult the Rede to get permission. As they turn to Matthew, he agrees to let her approach them.
Eventually Diana is taken to the Rede where she pleads her case in the midst of the other witches. Goody Alsop claims Diana is the prophesied witch brought to change their fate but everyone else is sceptical.
Diana eventually speaks up and tells them all she’s a “time spinner” and has come from the future. She tells them everything is woven together, including her relationship with Matthew and the Book of Life. This seems to be evidence enough for them all to invite her into their midst.
Meanwhile, Hubbard confronts Matthew in the streets as it turns out Tom Caldwell (the man he needs to interrogate) is caught up in all this. He promises Caldwell is innocent and two trade threats as Matthew finds himself conflicted over what to do.
Kit tells Matthew to dampen Cecil’s suspicions and hangs on the fact this prisoner will survive for 2 weeks, give or take. Well, Matthew decides to kill the prisoner and be done with the torture, leaving the poor man in a heap on the ground after giving him a blessing.
That evening, Hubbard receives Thomas Caldwell’s body. After mourning the loss of one of their own, Hubbard hands over a note for France, or more specifically for the court of Philippe De Clermont. As the wheels are set into motion, Matthew finds himself under fire by Cecil who questions his loyalty to the throne.
The Episode Review
Episode 2 deepens the character ties and the dynamic of 1590’s London as Hubbard comes out the shadows to make his case known. It’s clear this dynamic between the witches and vampires is just as volatile and inhospitable in the past as it is in the present. In fact, this new time period actually gives the show a good amount of flexibility to really build up a new threat for our characters to face.
It also helps to add in some more worldbuilding to the midst, and for the most part does a pretty good job explaining away any inconsistencies like time paradoxes that could occur.
At the center of this though is Matthew, who plays a really important role in this fight as the conflicted vampire torn between his duties to the crown and his love for Diana. It’s clear this is causing a lot of problems for him and it’s beautifully portrayed by Matthew Goode, who delivers some really good acting throughout.
The show certainly leaves the door open for the future though and the foundations have been built for a very dramatic season ahead. Roll on the next episode!