Lilac & Gooseberries
Episode 5 of The Witcher begins with an ominous exchange between two characters. One seems to be an imposter, wearing human skin, until he’s recruited for a job in Nilfgaard. Mousesack is released from a cage and dropped on the floor and as we see the man transform, the true nature of this creature is revealed as he takes Mousesack’s form before plunging a knife into the real one.
Yennefer visits a mage, dumping coins on his desk for a treatment. After casting spells for villagers in exchange for coins, Beau Berrant arrives and challenges her authority. Ciri meanwhile, is allowed to stay in the woods with the tribal warriors but before she does, she’s given the choice whether this is something she wants to pursue.
Geralt and Jaskier reconvene by the shoreline of a lake, where the former ignores the bard’s jokes and eventually telling him he’s hunting a djinn, fishing a vase out the lake in the process. The two fight over the antique until Jaskier shatters the pieces on the ground and the djinn escapes. They hurry to the nearby village but unfortunately as Jaskier’s ailment is of a magical nature, the elf there is unable to heal the bard. With blood stained clothes, Jaskier struggles to breathe while Geralt hurries with him away upon hearing about a solitary mage operating nearby.
While Yennefer continues to try and find a cure to her issue, desperate for a baby, Tissaia confronts her over her actions and implores her to move on. This, inevitably, brings Geralt to Yennefer and as he walks in, they come to an agreement over curing Jaskier. Yennefer entrances Geralt with lilac and gooseberries though, kissing him tenderly before admitting that it’s a trap. When he awakens, he finds himself chained up in the basement of a cell after seemingly having been on a rampage. Yennefer, as it happens, clearly has a hand in this.
While Beau Berrant arrives and starts beating down Geral, he inadvertently makes another wish – for Beau to burst. Realizing that he’s the one with the wishes, Yennefer awakens Jaskier and asks him to make a wish until Geralt arrives, determined to stop Yennefer and save her life. Geralt walks into the room and sees Yennefer start to lose control. The foundations of the house crack as Yennefer acts as the vessel for the djinn. Whispering, Geralt makes his final wish and the djinn disappears. Only, as he does the roof caves in on the house.
In the aftermath of this, Geralt and Yennefer sleep together but as she asks what he wished for, he doesn’t reply and instead falls asleep. Back in the forest, the doppleganger Mousesack arrives with plans on taking Ciri to Geralt. After saying goodbye to those in the forest, Ciri leaves with Mousesack.
Although Ciri’s storyline has been somewhat anticlimactic through much of this season so far, seeing Yennefer and Geralt finally together is a promising sign for the episodes ahead. There’s a consistency with The Witcher now that manages to blend episodic storylines with a bigger overarching hunt for Ciri and so far these two have worked pretty well together. It won’t be for everyone of course but for now, if you can go in with level-headed expectations, The Witcher is a perfectly enjoyable high fantasy effort.